Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blogging in Chinese -first attempt

A lot of people have told me I should start blogging in Chinese. I am reluctant to this because of many reasons, where the main ones are: 1. My written Chinese is so bad that it is embarrassing (after 1.5 years of university studies I still write very simple sentences), 2. It would take me ages to write a Chinese blog post every day. 3. I believe a majority of you blog readers cannot read Chinese? And 4. (this is a shallow one!) I am not sure if I could handle all the critique from everyone reading my Chinese writings saying 'this suuuuucks!'. 

But then again, life is all about putting yourself out there and learning how to deal with difficult situations, right? If life was all sugar sweat it wouldn't be any fun. Also, maybe everyone's criticism can help me develop my Chinese writing skills, and/or if nothing else, at least give me some thicker skin (when it comes to learning this language). So, I've decided to give you all an example of what one of my Chinese blog posts could look like. It's in fact one of my homework essays. Every week we are asked to write at least 2 essays (in different classes) and hand in. The topics varies. In this essay below the idea was to write about a friend of ours who has some strange/special habits. 

For all of you who cannot read Chinese, you are not missing out on any sort of master piece. This is simply a very simplistic tale about my friend Tess, who (since she was a kid) has had this kind of crazy appetite and basically eats 24-7 (no, no, I promise, it is NOT about me, really, it is about HER!), and despite her eating more than 5 grown up men (in a day), she's still stick thin and always hungry. When I typed it up on the computer I realized that it actually IS quite a good way to practice my Chinese writing skills... so who knows, maybe eventually, when I feel more comfortable about writing in Chinese, I will start an additional blog, all in Chinese (although that one I wouldn't be able to update as often as this one, obviously!). 

know I still have a looooong way to go before I can compose something read-worthy in Chinese, but hey, you have to start somewhere, right? 


我有一个朋友, 吃什么都特别有意思。因为她老饿,而总是需要吃饭。你可能觉得 ”一直很饿的人没有怎么特别,” 但让我告诉你: 这个朋友的吃饭习惯很糟糕!

她很喜欢睡懒觉。 她的床旁边有一张桌子, 桌子上至少有三个小吃。 小吃一般是比较甜的东西, 比如: 蛋糕, 薄脆饼干糖果,等等。。。 每天早上她吃得比较少。她自己觉得是因为不喜欢吃早饭。 我认为是因为她在夜里已经吃了好多了!

到十点以前她都吃得很少。但十点后, 她得食欲越来越好了。 那时她经常会去买一个快餐,但半个小时后她又饿了。虽然我对她说: ”你应该要吃好的菜, 比如面包, 面条, 等等,” 但她并不听我。反而, 常常去买巧克力。

午饭的时候, 她更希望去麦当劳吃饭。我们都知道麦当劳的饭对身体的坏处,所以一般没有人愿意陪她去。午饭后她马上就打算去哪儿吃晚饭。在一个下午一直在吃小吃。 晚饭经常去外地吃饭, 或在家里做土豆跟肉丸 (瑞典的特色菜)。 她的食欲天天如此。 可她的身体从小到现在再也没有变化。

你看这篇文章可能会想 ”怎么, 你的朋友吃甜的东西, 很多人跟她一样。”但你还不知道, 尽管我的朋友爱吃饭,但她很瘦。 她比我瘦。比中国女孩瘦。不管怎么样吃, 她都不会增加体重。她每天吃的东西比男人吃的东西还多。但她的比较特别的食欲不会影响她的身材。

我们都很羡慕她。我天天吃的东西比较好,而且经常去健身房锻炼身体。如果我每天吃的东西跟她一样我马上会肥胖。 生活真不公平啊。。。

有一天我问我的朋友: ”你在生活上最怕什么?” 她的回答让我很吃惊。她说: ”我最怕增加体重。要是我胖的话 没有办法, 我一点也不知道如何减肥。 而且,我很讨厌锻炼身体。”

她说这样的话让我笑。 我们的生活真不一样, 这会让生活更有意思。

And here she is, the eater, the legend: Tess (second from left). This is an old photo taken from when I visited her in London 2005.



The Acolyte Tao said...

Hm, well if you start writing in Chinese, I'd have to catch up! I actually began to learn Mandarin Chinese yesterday! And I only know who to write the numbers 1-19... Hm. So, if you ever type a number, I'll know. =P

Dottie Jo said...

Well, I can't read, speak or understand Chinese, but it looks impressive! Good job!

Little Tiger said...

Jiaaaa youuuuu a!!
You should seriously think about flying the flag for Sweden at Chinese Bridge this year.

PattyF said...

Well, I can't read Chinese, but I have to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog, and I think you're a wonderful, articulate young woman no matter the language. I'm proud of you for taking a step outside your comfort zone -- next time will be much easier, yes?

I applaud you, my dear.

Beach Mama said...

I wish I could respond to you in Chinese, but I can't. I have taken Mandarin lessons (toddler Chinese) with my young daughter for 1.5 years. I know my colors, numbers, some nouns and verbs. I sound very southern when trying to speak it and it's hard to tell the tone differentiation. In my humble opinion, you ROCK!

Jonna Wibelius said...

Acolyte tao -you started yesterday?! Ha -no stress! I started 1.5 years ago. I should be writing better than I do at this point, but I guess (or no, I don't guess, I know) that I am a bit of a slow learner when it comes to chinese characters. The text I posted is veeeery simple, so you'll catch up soon! :)

Dottie Jo -thanks darl! Prob looks cooler than it is, haha!

Little tiger -flying Sweden's flag at the Chinese bridge? What have I missed? Yeah I guess 'jia you' is the best way to go, haha! (that's what some of my teachers often write at the end of my essays too, haha!)

Patty & beach mama -thank you guys, although like I said, it is not an essay on any sort of deep topic or such, but rather just a first attempt. Anyways, your nice comments were nice to read as a first thing this morning, so cheers for that!!

Jackie said...

Well, I don't know any Chinese at all, nothing beyond neehow (I know that's not how that's spelled either). So if you start blogging in chinese could you still keep this one going in english most days of the week? Like just have Chinese Fridays or something?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Jackie -Yeah, like I said in the blog post: this blog is not going to turn into a Chinese blog because it wouldn't be fun for anyone. If I start blogging in Chinese I will do it in a separate blog so don't worry, this blog will continue to be written in English!! I just wanted to try once and see what everyone thought, that's all.

Anonymous said...

hey, that is a rather good Chinese essay for a non-Chinese speaker! Well, there's first time for everything, right? So, blogging in Chinese once a while wouldn't be such a bad idea.

anyways, you friend Tess is really lucky that she has high metabolism. I am so envious of her...


Anonymous said...


Jonna Wibelius said...

simon 哪里哪里不敢当。。。 很简单的。

incognito -yep, first time for everything! :) Although I think there will be quite a while until I dare to do my second attempt.

As for Tess' metabolism -I KNOW! I'd kill for it... or OK, no I wouldn't, but almost. She's the laziest, most unhealthy person I know and still she has this amazing body... gaaaah!

Kosmo said...

That does sound like a good way to practice your Chinese.

I know exactly 0 words of Chinese.

bkbj said...





Anonymous said...

I think it's a good idea. I used to write in Japanese a lot, and it helped.

nova said...

Great idea. Hopefully you continue writing in English on this blog, because

wo bu shuo hanyu

haha ok i don't know what i'm talking about in Chinese at all

Little Tiger said...

Chinese Bridge is a yearly competition for Chinese Language students:
Check it out here:
(hehe, you can see me in the black T-shirt at the end)
and here:

I took part in it last year and I was surprised to see that apart from a Finnish contestant there were no representatives from Scandinavia (The Finnish girl got really far - probably because her husband was Chinese!)
I think you would have to apply through the confucius institute in Sweden, but I'm sure they would be delighted that you are already in China (so it would save them paying for a plane ticket).
It is a fantastic opportunity to make contacts with people around the world who study Chinese (I'm still very much in contact with all my fellow competitors)
I'm also quite sure it is held in Changsha like last year too.

Again, jia youuuuuu. I'm so envious of your friend! If I eat a doughnut, I'm a kilo heavier the next day!!!

Jonna Wibelius said...

sour -actually, what u said made total sense... And yes, don't worry.. this is a 'one off'.. I just wanted to try. All future posts will be in English.. if I ever choose to write again in Chinese that will be in a separate blog! Tune in tomo for an all-english post! :)

Jonna Wibelius said...

Little tiger -wow, I had no idea bout this competition.. how cool that u participated!! how did u go?!? Although really, I am not at that level to compete yet... give me a year (or 2) though and then we can see! :) Also, I am quite shy when it comes to performing and such... so not sure if it would b my thing. I saw you in that little clip though -really cool that u went!!! I reckon u should have a blog... seems that u have done quite many cool things that I'd love to know more about. Also, seeing that your 'shui ping' is quite high, why don't u blog in Chinese?

Jonna Wibelius said...

bkbj 谢谢你给我几个小意见了。让我知道我的写文章的问题在哪儿, 真会帮助我的写作能力。

你想学瑞典语啊。。 我听说过比较难学。。。(但瑞典语比芬兰语简单一点) 加油!

Anonymous said...

How's this:


我有一个朋友, 吃什么都特别有意思。因为她老饿,而总是需要吃饭。你可能觉得 ”一直很饿的人没有怎么特别,” 但让我告诉你: 这个朋友的吃饭习惯很糟糕!

她很喜欢睡懒觉。 她的床旁边有一张桌子, 桌子上至少有三个小吃。 小吃一般是比较甜的东西, 比如: 蛋糕, 薄脆, 饼干, 糖果,等等。。。 每天早上她吃得比较少。她自己觉得是因为不喜欢吃早饭。 我认为是因为她在夜里已经吃了好多了!

到十点以前她都吃得很少。但十点后, 她食欲越来越好了。 那时她经常会去买一个快餐,但半个小时后她又饿了。虽然我对她说: ”你应该要吃好的菜, 比如面包, 面条, 等等,” 但她并不听我。反而, 常常去买巧克力。

午饭的时候,她更希望去麦当劳吃饭。我们都知道麦当劳的饭对身体的坏处,所以一般没有人愿意陪她去。午饭后她马上就打算去哪儿吃晚饭。在一个下午一直在吃小吃。晚饭经常出外吃饭, 或在家里做土豆跟肉丸 (瑞典的特色菜)。 她的食欲天天如此。 可她的身体从小到现在再也没有变化。

你看这篇文章可能会想 ”怎么, 你的朋友吃甜的东西, 很多人跟她一样。”但你还不知道, 尽管我的朋友爱吃,但她很瘦。 她比我瘦。比中国女孩瘦。不管怎么样吃, 她都不会增加体重。她每天吃的东西比男人吃的东西还多。但她的比较特别的食欲不会影响她的身材。

我们都很羡慕她。我天天吃的东西比较好,而且经常去健身房锻炼身体。如果我每天吃的东西跟她一样我马上会肥胖。 生活真不公平啊。。。

有一天我问我的朋友: ”你在生活上最怕什么?” 她的回答让我很吃惊。她说: ”我最怕增加体重。要是我胖的话 没有办法, 我一点也不知道如何减肥。 而且,我很讨厌锻炼身体。”

她说这样的话让我笑。 我们的生活真不一样, 这会让生活更有意思。

Only one and a half year ? This is great writing after only such a short time. It was clear. Grammer was right. You only need to expand your vocabulary. I can't believe how little I need to fix.

Do you read Chinese novels ? Find something containing a lot of conversation, especially those written with Beijing as background, and use the Beijing dialect. Read them out loud. Will expand your vocabulary, expose you to more ways to express and help with your conversation too.

Ramesh said...

Amazing Jonna - Take a bow. Unbelievable that you can actually write like this after not very long in China. Hats off to you.

Niel said...

nice job, thought it got me lol-ing a bit. haha. keep it up!

Brad Farless said...

Here's an idea for you...

Write a blog entry in English, and then below it re-write it in Chinese. It'll be a great way for your to practice, and since you'll be combining learning with something you enjoy doing, maybe it will be easier?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Bill -I don't have much time to read Chinese novel since I have mountains of homework for all my classes every day (that I don't have time for either.. i always prioritize meeting my Chinese friends to practice my spoken Chinese...! ha!) although I know I should. I should also start watching Chinese TV again... ahhhooooggh! Learning this language is like a full-time job?! Although thanks for your comments. And u r sooooo right! Expand my vocab, that's just what I need to do!!

Ramesh -oh thank you thank you! No need to bow though... a quite simple essay... *blushing*

Niel -I don't know if I should take your 'lol-ing' as a good thing, although I hope so!! :)

Brad F -good idea.. although quite a challenge. Writing in Eng and writing in Chi is so different.. although worth a try.. sometime in the future maybe (and in another blog -from what I am getting not everyone is enjoying this Chinese language post!)

Brad Farless said...

Jonna, I'm sure everyone is enjoying it. It's not a bad post. It's just that most of your readers can't read Chinese. Still, it's an interesting idea and an interesting thing to talk about.

By the way, your blog is still great! I looked at some of the other "Blogs of Note" a few days ago and not all of them wind up with a huge group of followers.

Dr Sofea J.Ann Tan said...

i salute u gurl !!!!
i myself do not even read or write in my mother tongue and here we have someone goin all odds to learn it !!! wow !!!good job !!

afritzse said...

Congratulations, that 一篇文章 was fun to read. There were also a couple of words I didn't know yet.

About expanding your vocabulary: One nice strategy is to put all of your Chinese flashcards in a big basket, so you can mix them through. (I use a cardboard box for the same purpose so they won't get dusty.) Check yourself in both directions, always writing the characters down. You can then keep about a 66-33% ratio of words that you know and you don't, adding and removing words as you go. This strategy motivates me to learn words for hours on end, as long as my brain doesn't overheat. :)

vivacemusica said...

I'm much impressed! For someone who has been learning for a year and a half, you're leaps and bounds ahead of what anyone could ever expect! I was definitely able to understand what you're getting at in Chinese, although I can usually only read traditional Chinese. Great job! You should definitely consider a Chinese blog -- I'd follow it for sure! And it would get easier too. The first time is always the hardest.

Anonymous said...

Why no more Sweden? What is wrong with it?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Thank you all guys for your wonderful comments! I never expected such a response to this post -wonderful!

afritzse -yeah I should practice more with flash cards...

Anonymous -Sweden what? I am not following??

Anonymous said...

shit jonna. din kinesiska är bättre än min!!!!!!!!!!!!

you go girl

Jonna Wibelius said...

shopgirl -nääääääää det e den ju inte... du e ju native :)

mantse said...

a very nice starting point here~~ congraulations!!!

this is very funny and i think even better than my English which i have learnt over 10 years...

Many of comments say something on this alrerady as i only can add one or two. Hope you not mind.

the title
我的很特别的朋友 is too complicated. used 我很特別的朋友 or even 很特別的朋友 is enough.

Enjoy learning Chinese, and you may be another Prof. Malmqvist.

Anonymous said...

Great job! I reckon to speak for most of your merry band of followers when I say that I am SO pleased that you have started listening to our collective advice and begun blogging in Chinese! Well done!

It was very clever of you to post a homework essay. I think you should do that any time in the future when you don't have time to write a new post but want to update your blog. That way you'll have the benefit of extra feedback, even when you aren't able to benefit from extra writing practice.

And, on the subject of feedback, here's mine. I echo the other commentators in my principal impression, which is that your meaning is extremely clear. (Surely the most important point!)It seems to me that perhaps the best next step you can take, aside from the suggestions the other commentators have made, is to interlard your mainly straightforward, declarative sentences with a certain degree of modal inflection. This will not only add zest to an already engaging, personable style, but will also actually enhance the clarity of your communication by emphasizing the nuances in the relationships between your ideas.

Also, IF you have time to rewrite your pieces, I'd suggest asking yourself this question: When I wrote this sentence, was I thinking in Chinese or was I translating? I've known this to be helpful for some people.

Lastly, while I agree with the other commentators who have suggested reading for style (I mean, of course they are right, that's how we learn to write well in any language, isn't it?), I also take your point when you say you don't have time to read Chinese novels right now. May I suggest you consider getting Feng Shengli's 冯胜利 book “汉语书面语初编: Expressions of Written Chinese?” The opening sections might be more trouble than they're worth for your purposes at the moment (I wouldn't know about that, I just have the impression that you're already pretty busy), but there are some handy usage guides at the back that might interest you.

Oh, one more thing: have you thought about picking out one or two 成语 and writing a post around those? I bet it would really make those stick in your mind!

Nancy said...

I bow to you, Tess!

Wagner said...

Very good job, with lots of fun~! :D

mochi said...

Your essay is really quiet good for only studying for such a short time!
I am self studying Japanese right now, I only wish I can get to that point in a few years. You give me the inspiration to study harder! Thanks!

Keep up the good work!

The Taipan said...


Great little essay, I enjoyed it.

I would like to second the support of starting a Chinese blog, I would def follow that.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wow! Your Chinese is great J!

Your friend is soooo lucky! I totally consider that a super power, eating whatever you want and not gain weight!

Anonymous said...

that look like my third grade essay.

Kate said...

Love your blog, as always!
A note about Tess,
My husband had the same high metabolism for years...6000+ calories a day and a complete twig. Oh, how I envied him for it!

Then we discovered that he has wheat gluten intolerance! It is a disease that treats gluten as a toxin in his system! He was literally slowly starving to death. We would have never caught it if not for a low iron count preventing him from donating blood.

There is probably nothing at all wrong with your friend, but my experience with my husband taught me not to envy! I'd prefer my slow metabolism and my daily bread any day!

Steph said...

Well, I can't read simplified Chinese, but I used an online translator to convert it into traditional so that I could try to read it. I thought the story was so cute, and definitely better than anything I could ever write. I'm still in the category of Chinese learners who 聽得懂 and 看得懂(一點點), but who still have trouble forming comprehensible sentences. :/

Jonna Wibelius said...

sunset -I assume you are Chinese?! If so, I am SO happy that I can write as well as a Chinese third-grader. Only one year ago I felt as if I was on the same level (with my Chinese) as a 4-year old! YEY!

Anonymous said...

i can't read write or even understand Chinese and i am getting only square box like chars ( i don't even have Chinese fonts in my system), blogging in Chinese once in a while is good, but don't make it daily activity :(

Jonna Wibelius said...

naresh -I won't. I've already written that this was a 'one off' several times... so don't worry, u'll be able to read all future posts!

Bagman and Butler said...

Mucho gracias por el poste. Il est un bon libre. Grazie. I really wish I knew more languages. I'd write more in Chinese but I can't find the keys on the keyboard and drawing characters in Photoshop would take a long time even if I knew what I was doing.

Anonymous said...

为什么女人好吃显得挺可爱,而男人好吃就是猪?这个世界有时候真是不公平啊。=) 写得很好,只有些语言习惯上的小错误(有人已经指出了)。中文是你的第几语言啊?不得不服你的语言天赋。这个世界有时候真是不公平啊..... lol

养蜂猴 said...

Hey, Jonna, congratulations for your new process from another Chinese reader, I'm Heimat. I have been reading your blog for time, it is the first comment.
I read a book written by a Sweden girl ,whose Chinese name is 李琳, in my college library. It is about her Chinese learning experience and things she saw in China. Here is the book, if you have interests. 金发碧眼看欧洲
I like Sweden, Volvo, Sophie Zelmani, Anna Lindh, Ingerma Bergman.
Thanks about your dairy words.

GWENNN. said...



rock ur life said...


Unknown said...

Thiner eat more!!!I always know that,and that's why I seldom invite thiner to have the dinner together. They are wasting the food!:P

大熊 said...

苍天啊,大地呀,楼主写的中文文章的确非常好。我也给我的德国同事看了。哈哈:) 赞一个!!!

Anonymous said...

emm... thanks for thread