Trilingual blogs (中韓英)

My university had a language centre as all modern universities do. In addition to the required X hours spent doing coursework there, you could borrow DVDs in various languages. Most were outdated or over-watched VHSs converted into DVDs, so the quality wasn’t the best, but then again we were listening to Umm Kuthum at the time anyway so lo-fi was the way to go. The only real problem was the student workers. I remember quite clearly going in one day and asking to borrow an episode of افتح يا سمسم, call number AS-03 or something like that. “AS-03?” she asked, critically, while shooting a glance to her friends standing nearby. “You want to watch Sesame Street?” Chuckles all around.

Yeah, you jerk, I do. Sorry I don’t want to pretend to understand every nuance in the dialogue of La Haine just to look cool in front of the other language students. Give me my damn muppets and leave me alone.

I’m still working through some stuff from when I was younger.

Children’s stories are the way to go if you’re a lower level language student and want to improve things like grammar without having to worry too much about knowing every word. They provide graded language that is still native-speaker accurate, which you might not be getting from your friends who, whether they mean to or not, are probably speaking some severely hobbled form of the language.

Today I want to share a couple neat blogs I found that provide something along those lines which may be helpful. The first is a Daum blog called “Doris_Korea 중국어 번역“. 중국어 is Korean for “Chinese language” and 번역 is “translation”, or 中国语 翻译. The site provides children’s stories in Korean and Mandarin. Here’s a snippet:

2심 재판을 앞둔 양 측은 ‘6년이라는 형량이 과연 적절한가’를 놓고 뜨거운 설전을 벌일 것으로 보인다. 검찰은 ‘정 씨의 죄질에 비춰볼 때 6년형은 너무 가볍다’고 주장, 공세를 펼 것으로 보이고, 반면 정 씨 측 변호인단은 ‘1심 판결은 피해자들의 거짓증언과 음해로 인한 것’이라고 반격, 무죄를 주장하거나 여의치 않으면 감형 쪽에 포인트를 맞출 것으로 분석되고 있다.


The other is more along the lines of Slow Chinese in that it’s an actual account of what’s happening to the author. It’s called bangbangstory and is really just another WordPress blog. The winning characteristic of bangbangstory is that the author often includes parallel English text. Not everywhere, mind you, but often enough to be helpful. It’s mostly Korean/Chinese though which is great if you know one and are studying the other. Some posts include audio as well. A sample:

This evening I happened to find my cell phone pictures that I took along time ago. (This evening I came across my cell phone pictures that I took a long time ago.) ((Maybe I took them about 3 years ago. )
I would like to write about that day and my feelings using / with/ my poor English. I just hope my  lang-8 freinds will help. (*These pictures were taken  by my old cell phone, so maybe they aren’t very good quality.) Just please try to enjoy that day`s mood.

今天晚上我偶然发现了自己以前拍的照片。所以今天我想 把当天的气氛和感觉 用我 笨拙 [bènzhuó]的英语来 表达/说/寫 出來。 我只有等着lang-8朋友们的帮助了。 (我的英语很差,因此我 (只能 依靠)l/or (需要)/ ang-8朋友们的帮助了。)
(这些照片是很早以前用手机拍的,因此画质不太好。。 只要有你们能 感受到当时的气氛就可以了。)

오늘 저녁 우연히 옛날에 찍어 두었던 나의 핸드폰 사진을 보게 되었다.(약 3년전쯤의 사진?)
그래서 그날의 분위기와 느낌을 내 서투른 영어로 한번 표현 해 보고 싶다.
그러니까.. lang-8 친구들의 도움에만 의지할 뿐이다. ^.^/
(이 사진은 나의 옛날 핸드폰으로 찍은 거라서 화질이 안 좋으나 그냥 느낌만 살펴 봐 주세요.)

Never underestimate the educational value of reading personal blogs written by some random 周/조/Joe.

Know of any other good ones? I’d love to find a Wu/Mandarin one.

One response to “Trilingual blogs (中韓英)”

  1. Bathrobe says:

    Children’s books sound cool, but they’re not always the way to go. For a start, translated children’s books can contain translationese. That is, the language may be strangely slanted towards the original English. Not as much as in books for adults, of course — and it’s not necessarily even a drawback, but it’s something to be kept in mind.

    Children’s books are also not necessarily as ‘standard’ as you might think. Many years ago, when I was starting German, I was exposed to a children’s textbook which had the expression: “Ade, Mutti, Ade!” (Bye, Mum. Bye!). Well, my German teacher, who was from Berlin, told me that might be ok for Bavaria, but the rest of Germany wouldn’t say that. Funny how it’s stuck in my mind after everything else has faded :)

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