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How to Keep a Secret 怎麼樣有自己的秘密 in Chinese



(zen3 me. yang4) (you3) (zi4 ji4 de.) (mi4 mi4)

(how to, in what way to) (have) (your own) (secret)

Everyone likes to listen to a good secret!

Everyone likes to listen to a good secret!

People have a hard time sharing many things.



(bu2 guo4) (mei3 ge. ren2) (dou1)(xi3 huan1) (fen1 xiang3) (hen3) (hao3 de.) (mi4 mi4)

(however) (every person) (all) (to like) (to share) (very) (good) (secret)

However, everyone likes to share a good secret.


If you mention you have a secret,


(你的)(朋友)(大半)(會)(說),「(趕快)(說)(吧)!」(click here for a blog about understanding how to make suggestions in Chinese.)

(ni3 de.) (peng2 you3) (da4 ban4) (hui4) (shuo1), “(gan3 kuai4) (shuo1) (ba1)!”

(your) (friend) (big half = most likely) (will) (to speak), “(quickly) (to tell, to speak) (suggestion sound)!”

Your friend will probably say, “Oh, do tell me!”


You might respond by asking:



“(ni3) (hui4 bu2 hui4) (bang1) (wo) (bao3 mi4)?”

“(You) (will not will) (to help) (me) (to keep secret)?”

“Will you help me keep my secret?”



Almost everyone will promise something like:



“(wo3 de.) (zui3 ba1) (hen3) (jin3)!”

“(my) (mouth) (very) (tight)!”

“My lips are sealed!”


Then, they hope you will respond with something like…



“(wo3) (gen1) (ni3) (shuo1) (yi1 ge.) (qiao1 qiao1 hua4)

“(I) (with) (you) (to speak, say) (a, one) (whisper).”

“I will whisper in your ear.”


Maybe you need to do something without someone finding out.



(ran2 hou4) (ni3) (hui4) [(tou1 tou1 mo1 mo1)(de.)] (zuo4)

(then) (you) (will) [(mysterious, stealthy)(ly)] (to do)

Then, you will do things stealthily.


The trick is to act normal.



(ni3) (yao4) (hen3) (zhen4 jing4), (zhuang zuo4) (ruo4 wu2 qi2 shi4)

(you) (to want) (very) (self-composed, calm), (pretend to do) (nothing at all)

You want to act calm and cool, like you aren’t up to anything.


There is only one way to be sure about all of this.



(ni3) (yao4) (bao3 mi4), (jiu4) (yao4) (ba1) (cang2) (zai4) (xin1) (li3)

(you) (to want) (guard, protect the secret), (exactly) (to want) (to hide) (at) (heart) (in)

To guard your secret, you must hide it in your heart.


Hopefully, no one will ask,



“(ni3) (zai4) (gao3) (shen2 me.) (shi4 qing2)?”

“(you) (“-ing” for the following word) (rather mysteriously doing) (what) (affair, matter, thing)?”

“What are you up to?”


You might try an evasive answer such as,



“(zhe4 ge.) (shi4) (si1 ren2 de) (shi4 qing2)”, (deng3 dao4) (ni3) (yuan4 yi4) (gao3 su4) (ta1) (wei2 zhi3) (na4 )(di2 que4) (zhen1 shi4 de.)!

“(this) (to be, is) (personal, private) (matter),”(By the time when) (you) (willing to) (to tell) (him) (until) (that) (certainly) (true).

“This is a personal matter.” Until you are willing to tell him, that is certainly true.


Unfortunately, if you are like me,



(ni3 de.) (lao3 gong1) (huo4) (peng2 you3) (hui4) (goa3 su4) (ni3), “(ni3) (bu4) (ke3 yi3) (pian4) (wo3), (yin1 wei4) (ni3 de.) (lian3) (gao3 su4) (wo3) (ni3) (zai4 gao3 shen2 me. gui4)

(your) (husband) (or) (friend) (will) (to tell) (you), “(you) (not)(can) (trick,lie to) (me), (because) (your) (face) (to tell) (me) (you) (are up to something).

Your husband or friend will tell you, “You can’t fool me, because your face says you are up to something.”


The bottom line is:



(hen3) (nan2) (bao3 mi4).

(very) (hard, difficult) (guard, keep secret).

It is very hard to keep a secret.


Here is the audio, with me reading the English and my tutor reading the Chinese:



Notes on helpful things I learned or was reminded of while writing these sentences:

❶ The Chinese word for secret is made up of two characters that both mean “secret, confidential, hidden.”Either character is used in conjunction with other characters to speak of specific secrets, such as 祕方 (mi4 fang1), secret recipe, or 密報 (mi4 bao4), secret message.

❷You may recall this is a common way to form questions in Chinese, similar to the English “will you or won’t you.”The grammatical form is [verb + 不 (bu4, usually 4th tone, but the tone will be adjusted according to the tone of the verb)+ verb].

❸ The term 口風 (kou3 feng1), literally “mouth wind,” can be used interchangeably with (zui3 ba1) here.

❹ Describing something as “tight” in this way is also used when saying things like clothes or money, as in 我的褲子太緊 (wo3 de.) (ku4 zi.) (tai4) (jin3) [My pants are too tight.] or 我的錢很緊 (wo3 de.) (qian2) (hen3) (jin3) [My money is very tight].

❺ My dictionary only lists 悄 (qiao3), with the 3rd tone, meaning “quiet,” but my tutor says when it is doubled, changed to 1st tones, and the word 話 (hua4) is added, it means “to whisper.”

❻若無其事 is a 4 word idiom meaning “to act with perfect composure as if nothing has happened.”

❼ This turn of phrase literally means “doing what like a ghost.”Both the 搞 (gao3) “doing in a mysterious way” and the 鬼 (gui4) “ghost,”give it the playful connotations of “what are you up to?”