I Love You Truly in Chinese

Valentines

Valentines

While attending college, I once found myself in a classroom with just one other classmate in it. He suddenly asked me, “If you like a girl and don’t know what to say to her, what should you do?” Not knowing where he was coming from, and not knowing better, I offered the logical answer, “Just don’t say anything.” Now that I am older and wiser, albeit still having miles ahead to catch up with Ann Landers, I think I should have advised him to try to strike up a simple conversation about something innocuous. While there are people who are naturally sociable and make friends easily, there are just as many who find it hard to take the first step to break the ice. Thus, regrets for missed opportunities. You could compare this with a job application. If you don’t send out the application letter, the chance of getting that job is nil. If you sent in your application but didn’t land the job, it means this job is not meant for you. Try another one. Having a life companion does not guarantee happiness, but if you wish to share your life with someone, then by all means find someone compatible to love and cherish. As the song “Some Enchanted Evening” goes, “Once you have found her, never let her go.” Otherwise, “all through your life, you may dream all alone.”

The Chinese word for love as a noun is (àiqíng) or  (ài) .  (ài) can also be used as a verb. “我爱你. (Wǒ ài nǐ.)” is likely one of the first Chinese sentences you’ve learned. If you truly love someone, then you could add the word 真心 (zhēnxīn), which means wholehearted or wholeheartedly. To profess your unwavering love to someone far away, you could write:

天長地久, 此情不渝.
Tiānchángdìjiǔ cǐ qíng bù yú.
Like the everlasting heaven and earth, this love will never change.

When talking about length, the Chinese word for “long” is (cháng); when talking about duration in time, the Chinese word for “long” is (jiǔ). However, (cháng) can be used as an adjective to describe the length of a time period.

我等了很久.
Wǒ děng le hěn jiǔ
I waited for quite a while.

我等了一段很長的時間.
Wǒ děng le yī duàn hěn cháng de shíjiān.
I waited for a long period of time.

Following are the lyrics to the sentimental song “I Love You Truly”.

I love you truly, truly, dear.
Life with its sorrow, life with its tears
Fades into dream when I feel you are near,
For I love you truly, truly, dear.

我真心爱你, 此情不渝.
Wǒ zhēnxīn ài nǐ, cǐ qíng bù yú.
I love you truly, this heart will never change.

人生的痛苦和忧虑,
Rénshēng de tòngkǔ hé bēi qī
The pain and cares of life

梦中相会时就都消去.
Mèng zhōng xiānghuì shí jiù dōu xiāoqù.
All disappear when we meet in dreams.

我是真心爱你, 此情不渝.
Wǒ zhēnxīn ài nǐ, cǐ qíng bù yú.
I do love you truly, this heart will never change.

At this link is a video featuring another love song “Down in the Valley” in Chinese. The lyrics are discussed in Chapter 13 of the book “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes”.

情人节快乐!
Qíngrénjié kuàilè!
Happy Valentines Day!

Learn Chinese words for near and far

(jìn) means near or closeby. For example, 靠近 (qīnjìn)
means to be near or close to someone or some place. As a verb, it means to draw near someone or something. What would you say when you want your sweetheart to snuggle up to you? The answer can be found on page 223 of “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes“.

亲近 (qīnjìn) means to be on intimate terms with someone. However, 近亲 (jìnqīn) are close relatives.

不近人情 (bùjìnrénqíng) is a Chinese idiom that describes someone as being unreasonable or insensitive to human feelings.

(jìn) is also used to indicate proximity in time. 近来 (jìnlái) means recently or lately. Do not confuse it with 进来 (jìnlái), which means to come in.

最近 (zuìjìn) can mean recently or in the near future.

近年来 (jìnniánlái) means for the past few years.

近代 (jìndài) means modern times, as opposed to 古代 (gǔdài ancient times).

近东 (jìndōng) is the Near East. (yuǎn) means distant or faraway. Therefore, 远东 (yuǎndōng) is the Far East.

远方 (yuǎnfāng) are distant places.

远来的和尚会念经.
Yuǎn lái de héshàng huì niànjīng.
Monks who come from afar know the scriptures better.

You may have heard the chant of Buddhist monks, or 和尚 (héshàng), at a temple. Reciting or chanting the Buddhist scriptures is called 念经 (niànjīng). Some rich Chinese people do not employ local monks to perform ceremonies for them but hire famous ones from afar, thus prompting this satyrical remark from the locals. You are bound to feel the same if, instead of promoting you to the new position, your company enlists an outside expert. Another way to put it is:

外国的月亮比较圆.
Wàiguó de yuèliang bǐjiào yuán.
The moon shines brighter in foreign countries.
(“The grass is greener on the other side.”)

永远 (yǒngyuǎn) means always or forever.

遥远 (yáoyuǎn) means distant or remote. Remember the song we discussed a couple years ago, 在那遥远的地方 (Zài Nà Yáoyuǎn de Dìfang)? If not, here is the link to that lesson on the soil radical.

远虑 (yuǎnlǜ) and 远见 (yuǎnjiàn) both mean foresight. The latter may also refer to a vision.

双筒望远镜 (shuāngtǒngwàngyuǎnjìng) are binoculars.

疏远 (shūyuǎn) is to become estranged.

后来他们两人就疏远了.
Hòulái tāmen liǎng rén jiù shūyuǎn le.
Later on the two of them drifted apart.

远近 (yuǎnjìn) means far and near.

远近的人都仰慕他.
Yuǎnjìn de rén dōu yǎngmù tā.
People from far and near all admire him.

We will conclude this lesson by offering two bits of Chinese wisdom.

远亲不如近邻.
Yuǎnqīn bùrú jìnlín.
Distant relatives are not as helpful as near neighbors.

不如 (bùrú) means not as good as. 近邻 (jìnlín) is a near neighbor.

人无远虑必有近忧.
Rén wú yuǎnlǜ bì yǒu jìn yōu.
If one does not think ahead, one may soon have problems on hand.

(wú) is the formal word for no, not or nothing.

人无远虑必有近忧.
Rén wú yuǎnlǜ bì yǒu jìn yōu.
If one does not think ahead, one may soon have problems on hand.

(wú) is the formal word for no, not or nothing.

(bì) is the formal for sure, certainly, or must. Colloquially, you would say 必定 (bìdìng) or 一定 (yīdìng).

(yōu), or 忧虑 (yōulǜ), are worries, sorrow or concerns.

In other words, when you see dark clouds overhead, take your umbrella along so you won’t get rained on. 🙂

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