Guest Post: The exam of life

Well well well, lookie here. A guest post! Today we’ll be reading Rebecca Chua’s (Chinese name: 蔡幸彤) translation of an essay from her textbook. The post is about the rewards of honesty. I remember my own textbook being full of these types of essays, so thank you, Rebecca, for the traditional read.

Rebecca has this to say about the post: This story talks about a school-going child’s problems of getting his parents to sign his papers. It also talks about being honest, and that “the exam of life” matters more than tests in school. This essay was from my tutoring centre’s teaching materials. This was done with help. Thank you for those who helped me!

(And the same in Chinese:) 这个故事是讲述华文考试卷要签名所遇到的困难。这个故事教我们要诚实,也教我们,虽然考卷的真正分数低,但人生的考卷上有高分才是最重要的。

One of the interesting things about this post is the punctuation. In Chinese, they use a six-dot ellipses …… where we only use… three. (u c wat i did thar?). We also learn a little culture here: it’s worth noting that in most Chinese high schools, parents actually have to sign your test results to prove you showed it to them.

I’m super loving this phrase – 从天堂降落到地狱 – though it might need a little breakdown:

从 – From
天堂 – Heaven
降落 – descend
到 – to
地狱 – Hell

This phrase means to “have a sinking heart” or to “fall from joy to misery”.


我背着书包,手里拿着刚刚发下来考卷,一边拖着沉重的脚步向家走着,一边紧张的思考怎样让爸爸在考卷上签名……前两天的考卷,今天老师发下来了。我拿了一个A+,考到了97分!同学们都很羡慕我,我也得到老师的肯定。在老师要我们做改正的时候,我就从天堂降落到地狱。天啊!我竟然忘了一整页试题,整整要被扣十分!但是老师却没发现,我还真不知该不该对她说。这时,我的头脑出现了两个“我”,一个说:“算了,不要告诉老师,我已经得了老师的肯定,同学们又那么羡慕我,如果我告诉老师,不就等于丢我的脸,还失去爸爸要给我的礼物。”另一个说:“不行,要做个诚实的人,一定要告诉老师。”于是,我对老师说:“我漏掉了这些题,应该是87 分!”老师帮我改分数的那一刻,我立刻松了一口气

在回家的路上,我真希望我没有对老师说这番话。现在,我不仅要丢掉爸爸的礼物,还得被他骂一。晚上,我把考卷交给爸爸,爸爸说:“你为什么那么不小心?为什么一整页的题目没做?为什么?” 如在平时,当他问我这些问题时,我会叫他一个“十万个为什么”的人。可现在,我不敢,应为他生气得好像要打我似的。突然,他看见97分改成87分,很奇怪地问我:”到底怎么一回事?“我把情况如实地告诉了他。我低着头,准备继续挨训。



Show English translation »
Carrying a heavy load on my back, holding the exam papers that were just handed back to us, I wondered how I could make my father sign this paper……

The exam, which was held just two days before, had just been handed back to us. I got an A+, a high score of 97 points! All the students in my class were envious of me, and my teacher praised me. But when we were asked to do corrections, I found myself dropping all the way from heaven to hell. I discovered that I forgot to answer a whole page of questions, worth a deduction of 10 points! But my teacher hadn’t noticed, and I wasn’t sure if I should tell her. I was of two minds. One said, “Don’t tell her, otherwise you’ll lose face and your father won’t give you a present!” The other said, “No, you should be honest, just tell her!” So, I said, “I missed these questions, I should actually receive 87 points!” She helped me change my score, and I heaved a sigh of relief.

As I was going home, I wished I hadn’t told her. Now, not only was I not going to receive a gift from my father, but I was also going to be scolded. That night, when I passed my paper to him, he said, “Why were you so careless? Why did you miss a whole page of questions?” Usually, when he asks me these kinds of things, I call him a “dad of ten-thousand questions”. But I didn’t dare because he seemed so angry that he might hit me. Suddenly, he saw that my 97 points had been changed to 87 points, and he asked me, “What happened?” I told him the truth, and lowered my head, ready for him to yell at me.

My father was silent for a while. Then he suddenly said, “No, darling, even though your results weren’t satisfactory, in the exam of life, you have gotten high marks. I am proud of you! You did right……” after saying that, he signed his name.

The next morning, carrying my schoolbag, with light steps, I was feeling happy. Welcoming the rising sun, I walked towards my school with confidence……

23 replies on “Guest Post: The exam of life”

In the second paragraph near the end, in the sentence: “可现在,我不敢,应为他生气得好像要打我似的”, should that not be “因为他生气。。。” and not “应为”?

In the first paragraph, in the sentence “…还失去爸爸要給我的礼物”, the “给” is a traditional character. Is there a reason for this, or is it a typo? I’m curious because this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a random traditional character in simplified text (usually it’s 著 instead of 着).

Thank you for all the readings! This website is priceless!

In the second last paragraph, for 宝贝儿 it just says, variant of (the traditional character), but doesn’t give the meaning.

Hi,, in this sentence , 爸爸为你骄傲, I heard that 骄傲 refers only to be proud of oneself and usually in negative way, too pride, conceited, so probably in this context being pride of one’s child behaviour the other word should be applied. what do you think?

A lesson for life, life’s exams are bigger and a lot longer but there still alike in some ways. Always look at the bright side never go undernethe, always look up. ( at least it wasn’t close to an F, C, or D so he’s good right ) always be honest, anyways thanks a lot once again. ^…^. 🙂

“一边紧张的思考” should have 地 instead of 的, right?

By the way this blog is totally saving my Chinese skills. Thank you.

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发 in this passage should all correspond to 發 and not 髮. The latter traditional character means hair, and, I believe, the simplified character is derived from. But the auto dictionary refers to the “hair” as you hover on some of the 发.

For this part of the sentence “应为他生气得好像要打我似的。” in paragraph 2, should the first word,应, be corrected to the word ,因, to form the phrase,因为?

I love this website so much! I am a secondary 1 student and I do not really like to study chinese. However, this website with all these interesting stories and phrases is currently helping me to enjoy chinese more.

I love this website so much! I am a secondary 1 student and I do not really like to study chinese. However, this website with all these interesting stories and phrases is currently helping me to enjoy chinese more.

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