It was the first time in 10 years.
(wo3 de.) (xian1 sheng1) (yao4) (dai4) (wo3) (qu4) (lu4 ying2).
(my) (husband) (to want) (to take) (me) (to go) (to camp)
My husband wanted to take me camping.
He said he would do all the planning,
(suo3 yi3) (you3) (ji3) (tian1) (ta1) (hen3) (mang2).
(so) (have) (few) (day) (him) (very) (busy).
so for a few days he was very busy.
He knew I was having a hard time with the idea of camping, so
(ta1) [(cong2 lai2) (bu4)] (wen2) (wo3), “(qing3) (ni3) (bang1 bang1) (wo3)?”
(he) [(from the beginning) (not)] (to ask) (me), “(please) (you) (help) (me)?”
he never asked me, “Please, could you help me?”
I was struggling with thoughts like,
(ke3 neng2) [(bu2) (gou4)]❶ (shi2 wu4), (ran2 hou4) (wo3) (hui4) (e4) [(si3) (le.)]
(perhaps) (not) (enough) (food), (then) (I) (will) (hungry) [(to die) (indicating completed action)= “to death”]
perhaps there won’t be enough food, and I will be starving.
If he makes me hike all day long,
(wo3) (hui4) (jue2 de.) [(lei4) (si3 le.)]
(I) (will) (to feel) [(tired) (to death)]
I will feel tired to death.
Even in the summer,
[(zai4) (shan1) (shang4) (ye4) (wan3) (de.)] (tian1 qi4) (hui4) (rang4) (wo3) [(leng3) (si3 le.)].
[(at) (mountain) (on) (night) (late) (turns prior phrase into adjective)] (weather) (to make) (me) [(cold) (to death)].
in the mountain nights the weather makes me so cold I could die.
(ru2 guo3) (xiong2) (e4) (le.), (yi1 ding3) (zhang4 peng.) (shi) [(bao3 hu4) (bu4) (liao) (le.)]❸[(wo3 men.) (de.)]
(if) (bear) (hungry) (indicates completed action), (one + measure word for tent) (tent) (to be) [(to protect) (not) (able) (completed action)] [(ours)]❹
If a bear is hungry, a tent is not going to protect us!
Before it gets inside,
(wo3) (yi2 ding4) (hui4) (bei4) [(xia4) (si3 le.)].
(I) (certainly) (will) (by) [(frightened) (to death)].
I will be scared to death!
I know what you are thinking –
(wo3) (bu4 gai1) (rang4) (zi4 ji3) [(dan1 xin1) (si3 le.)]…
(I) (not should) (to make) (myself) [(to worry) (to death)].
I shouldn’t worry myself to death…
I might just have fun
(han4) (hao3 hao3) (huo2)❻ (zhe.) (lai2) (gao4 su4) (ni3) (gu4 shi4).
(and) (well, or without any real problem, somewhat playfully stated) (to live) (suffix like “-ing”) (to) (tell) (you) (story).
and go on living to tell you about it.
Notes on helpful things I learned or was reminded of while writing these sentences:
❶ For some reason, it has been hard for me to remember that 不 (bu4), which is typically pronounced with the 4th tone, changes to the 2nd tone when used in front of another word that is pronounced with the 4th tone. Another example is 不要(bu2 yao4), “don’t want.” It actually does make these words a bit easier to say, in my opinion.
❷ This is the main phrase in this blog. I mentioned recently that in the Chinese speaking world, they avoid saying any clear “death” words, if it is a real issue. But similar to English, in colloquial use they will say they are hungry “to death” or tired “to death” in less serious situations.
❸ See this blog for what I have learned about using 不了 (bu4 liao3) with a verb.
❹ The way this was explained to me, the literal translation is more like, “protection will not be ours,” thus using the adjective forming 的 (de.) after the 我們 (wo3 men.), which by itself would mean “we or us,” turns it into “ours.”
❺ This character, 被 (bei4), is similar to the English word “by,” and implies that the “frightening” is being done by the bear, even thought I would be the one “feeling it.”
❻ Because everyone reading understands that we are not talking about a real life and death situation, the less serious phrase, 好好活 (hao3 hao3 huo2) is used instead of 生活(sheng1 huo2) . The first combination is a casual admission that “life will actually go on just fine” or “it’s all good” or “to one’s heart’s content”, whereas the second set of characters is used more for talking about the overall, seriously important living conditions. Thus, I now know how to say, “eat to my heart’s content.” 好好吃 (hao3 hao3 chi1).