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!

Sing “Pearly Shells” in Chinese

Picked Blackberries

Picked Blackberries


Blue, blue my world is blue – the good kind of blue from the luscious blueberries (藍莓 lán méi) and blackberries (黑莓 hēi méi) in my yard begging to be picked. Duty-bound I don a white shirt with long sleeves, grab a 1 1/2 quart plastic container and head outside. It is my responsibility to unleash my gatherer instinct and free those anxious berries from their bondage to the same old bushes under the scorching sun.

What precision it takes to pluck each and every blackberry without being poked or scratched by the vicious thorns! And what delight it is to gently roll or rub a bunch of blueberries and nudge the ripe ones into the container! It does take some nerves, though, to work alongside the honeybees (蜜蜂 mìfēng) and not be intimidated by their constant buzzes and hums. My white shirt makes me basically invisible to these flying stingers. I just need to be careful not to pick from the same bunch the bees are after. Some of them zip around at lower elevations and bump into my long trousers once in a while.

An hour or so later, I come back inside with a quart of each kind of berries, fully intending to elevate their status to velvety berry sauces, to-die-for pies, or glistening jams and jellies. Alas, that is not to be. Eager hands fall upon the berries and plop them into eager mouths. Within minutes all berries are gone.

Oh well. Anyhow it’s too hot to be in the kitchen baking, canning or, for that matter, cooking. I stretch out on my favorite chair and dream about a vacation in Hawaii (夏威夷 xiàwēiyí). I imagine myself walking barefoot along the coastline, now and then picking up a seashell to admire. I come upon a group of adorable kids singing “Pearly Shells“. I smile and say, “Aloha!”

You might try singing the first part of this cute song in Chinese by substituting the English lyrics with the following lines.

小贝壳,来自海洋,
Xiǎo bèiké,láizì hǎiyáng,
Little shells that came from the ocean,

遍布沙滩上,
biànbù shātān shàng,
spread all over the sandy beach,

阳光下发亮.
yángguāng xià fāliàng.
glisten under the sunshine.

看见它们,
Kànjian tāmen,
Seeing them,

我心明白我爱的是你,
wǒ xīn míngbai wǒ ài de shì nǐ
my heart knows that the one I love is you,

尽管那些贝壳有多美丽.
jǐnguǎn nàxiē bèiké yǒu duō měilì.
despite the beauty of all the pearly shells.

来自 (láizì) means to come from a place. In Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes we came across this word while singing the phrase “I come from Alabama” in the song “Oh Susanna”. We use this word more often in writing than in speaking. Colloquially you would say “The little shells came from the ocean.” as follows:

小贝壳是从海洋来的.
Xiǎo bèiké shì cóng hǎiyáng lái de.

明白 (míngbai) as an adjective means clear or obvious. Used as a verb, it means to know, to understand or to realize, as shown in the following example.

现在我明白了.
Xiànzài wǒ míngbai le.
Now I understand.

You probably already know that “I love you” in Chinese is 我爱你 (Wǒ ài nǐ). 我爱的是你 (Wǒ ài de shì nǐ) emphasizes the choice of the person one loves. You would use this form when there is a doubt of which person you actually love and clarification is called for. When you need to clarify your intention or what you’ve just said, you could start the sentence with 我的意思是 (Wǒ de yìsī shì I mean, or what I meant is)

尽管 (jǐnguǎn), as used here, means “even though” or “in spite of”. This word also means “feel free to (do something)”, as shown in the following example:

不要担心. 你尽管去做.
Bùyào dānxīn. Nǐ jǐnguǎn qù zuò.
Don’t worry. Go ahead and do it.

祝夏安!
Zhù xià ān!
Have a nice summer!

How to say “I hate you” in Chinese?

The opposite of 我爱你. (Wǒ ài nǐ. I love you.) is 我恨你. ( Wǒ hèn nǐ. I hate you.)

(hèn) is to hate or to regret. This word can also serve as a noun, meaning hatred. As with love, there are various flavors of hatred and resentment. (yuàn) as a verb means to blame or to complain. As a noun, it means resentment or antagonism. And 怨恨 (yuànhèn) means to hold a grudge against someone, or the resentment or grudge itself. 仇恨 (chóuhèn) is hatred between enemies. A deep-seated bitter hatred is called 深仇大恨 (shēnchóudàhèn).

恼恨 (nǎohèn) is to hate and feel bothered. 痛恨 (tònghèn) is to utterly hate someone or something. 憎恨 (zēnghèn) means to detest. 嫉妒 (jídù) is to be jealous of someone. Therefore, 嫉恨 (jíhèn) is to hate out of envy. 愤恨 (fènhèn) is to hate with indignation. These words can also be used as nouns, as the following example shows:

他的眼神露出无限憎恨.
Tā de yǎnshén lùchū wúxiàn zēnghèn.
The expression in his eyes revealed immeasurable detestation.

In the above sentence, 无限 means without limit, or infinite.

怀恨 (huáihèn), or 记恨 (jíhèn), means to nurse a hatred or resentment.

他对你怀恨在心.
Tā duì nǐ huáihèn zài xīn.
He bears deep grudges towards you.

可恨 (kěhèn) is an adjective that means abominable.

那小偷真可恨.
Nà xiǎotōu zhēn kěhèn.
That thief is really despictable.

The phrase 恨不得 (hènbude) expresses a great desire to achieve an unlikely result or effect and the regret of not being able to do so.

我恨不得马上飞到你身边.
Wǒ hènbude mǎshàng fēi dào nǐ shēnbiān.
I wish I could fly over right away to be by your side.

后悔 (hǒuhuǐ) means to regret or to feel remorseful. Therefore, 悔恨 (huǐhèn) means to be deeply remorseful. Here, the “resentment” is towards oneself.

我后悔没有打电话给他.
Wǒ hǒuhuǐ méiyǒu dǎdiànhuà gěi tā.
I regret not having called him.

对于那事件, 我感到非常悔恨.
Duìyú nà shìjiàn, wǒ gǎndào fēicháng huǐhèn.
I feel extremely sorry about that incident.

Please note that when by “hating” you mean “being displeased”, you should use 不高兴 (bù gāoxìng) rather than (hèn).

我不高兴他又迟到了.
Wǒ bù gāoxìng tā yòu chídào le.
I hate that he’s late again.

What else will irk you?

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