Temporary audio below
Her own hair is often both a woman’s personal nemesis and a treasure.
(zui4 hou4) (wo3) (man3 yi4) (wo3) [(zi4 ji3) (de.)] (juan3 tou1 fa2)
(most after = finally) (I) (satisfied, approve) (my) [(self) (possesive ending) = own] (curly hair)
Finally, I am satisfied with my curly hair.
It wasn’t always curly.
(cha4 bu4 duo1) (zai4) (wo3) (shi2 san1) (sui4) (sheng1 ri4) (de. shi2 hou4) (ta1) (cai2) (kai1 shi3) (bian4) (juan3)
(about) (at) (my) (13) (year of age) (birthday) (when) (it) (just then) (begin) (become) (curly)
It became curly about when I had my 13th birthday.
Then, it never did what I wanted it to.
(wo3) (jue2 de.) (ta1) (zong3 shi4) (luan4 luan4 de.)
(I) (feel) (it) (always) (messy)
I felt is was always messy!
I didn’t care how many people said they were jealous of it,
(you3 shi2 hou4) (wo3 de.) (juan3 fa3) (rang4) (wo3) (kuai4) (feng1 diao4 le.)
(sometimes) (my) (curly hair) (make) (me) (almost) (crazy completely)
Sometimes my curly hair almost made me crazy!
No matter what I tried,
(jiu4 shi4) (mei2) (ban4 fa3) (gai3 bian4) (wo3 de.) (tou1 fa3)
(exactly is) (not) (way, method) (change) (my) (hair)
there was no way to change my hair.
Then, one day I realized there was another way to look at it：
(ke3 neng2) (wo3 de.) (juan3 fa3) (mei2) (bian4 de.) (luan4 luan4 de.)
(maybe) (my) (curly hair) (not) (become) (messy)
Maybe my curly hair doesn’t get messy.
It didn’t matter how much I moved or the weather changed,
(ta1) (zong3 shi4) (yi2 yang4 de.) (juan3 fa3)
(it) (always) (same) (curly hair)
it is always the same curly hair.
Just like with many things in life，
(bu2 yong4) (dan3 shi4), (zui3 hao3) (yao4) (you3) (zheng4 mian4 de.) (kan4) (fa3)
(no use) (to worry), (best good) (need) (to have) (right side) (look) (way of doing things)
it is of no use to worry, it is best to look at the good side of things.
The audio with my native speaker Chinese tutor reading the Chinese. I listen to these recordings to tune my hear to the proper pronunciation and to practice the speed of my comprehension:
❶ In cases where in English we would add the -est ending to a word (or have a variant meaning a similar thing, i.e. fastest, best, most fun), the word 最 (zui4) is used in Mandarin Chinese. In this sentence, adding it to the other word/character 後 (hou4), which means “after” or “at the back of”, it means “at last” or “finally,” in the sense of “the most after.”
❷ There are three phrases typically used to mean “about” “almost” or “close to.” They are 差不多 (cha4 bu4 duo1), 快 (kuai4), and 幾乎 (ji1 hu1). The first two are what is used in speech most. 快 (kuai4) is also the word meaning “fast,” and is ironically faster to say in comparison to the other phrases.
❸ The pronouns he, she, it (alive non-human), and it (inanimate object) may all sound alike when spoken, but it is very important to get them correct in writing.
- 他 (ta1) he, gender inclusive
- 她 (ta1) she
- 牠 (ta1) it, alive but not human
- 它 (ta1) it, not alive, an object, like my hair
❹ Here the core word 亂 (luan4) of the adjective [identified by the ending 的 (de.)] is doubled, as is often done in speaking Chinese, for both rhythm and playful emphasis.
❺ It is common for words to be condensed, especially in speech and if the context if already understood. Thus, while the full word for “curly hair” is 卷頭髮 (juan3 tou1 fa3), it is later shortened to 卷髮 (juan3 fa3), because it has been established that we are talking about the hair on my head.
❻ During my lesson we were reviewing the expression of “extreme” using the Chinese phrase 死了 (si4 le.), which you can read more about by clicking here. However, for this sentence, my tutor said “being close to crazy” was bad enough. I didn’t need to use the “(blank) to death” form in this case. 😉