A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
So first, a confession from my personal life that is relevant to today's essay; that like many others, I too once fell in love with someone while on a foreign trip, in many ways precisely because it was a foreign country and she was a foreigner within that country. And like many others, it wasn't just simple lust that ma...more
1)The title of this book, which is named after an actual Chinese to English dictionary.
2)Z's unintentional humor, like--"I not understanding what she saying. Mrs. Margaret have a neatly cut pale blonde hair, with very serious clothes. Top and her bottom always same colour. She not telling her age, but I guessing she from 31 to 56."
3)Z's language reflections, like--"I thought English is a strange language. Now I think French is even more strange. In France, their fish is poisson, t...more
Note: It's best to read this book in the voice of someone struggring with Engrish. If you do so, it becoming easier adopting the tone and the mindset of the protagonist. (In my immigrant-raised habit of taking what is said and written with entire seriousness and my snobbery about proper grammar and pronunciation, I was initially offended by the author's choice to wr...more
I enjoyed this for the view it gave me of the English to Chinese translation and per...more
This book took me through many stages of star-rating. It first begun with me thinking it a two star, then upgraded a bit to a three star and eventually landed me with the feeling it was worth four stars.
It's a well written tale of how a girl grows into a woman. It has interesting observations of cultural clashes, poetic wisdom and thoughts about life. The characters feels humane and real and the love relationship feels very realistic with it's emotions and pace.
I would recommend it.
I was a bit disappointed by the inconsistent use of 'bad' English; the conceit of learning vocabulary, grammatical rules etc doesn't work as well when, early in the book, she's using 'me' and 'I" quite well, and then lapses completely much later on when it's the focus of a chapter.
As a bilingual writer I would have expected more accuracy (not that I know a...more
I loved Z and her practical wisdom. Her 5 week solo travel stint through Europe in many ways felt eerily similar t...more
This is a powerful book about love in a modern relationship told through a captivating narrative.
In the beginning and in the end it is a love story -- a very sad love story but a completely realistic love story, a true lov...more
A young Chinese woman comes to London to study English for a year. As she learns the language, she also learns about love and independence. The language in the book changes, starting with very poor, stilted English, peppered with errors, to near-fluent English at the end.
I really liked the concept of the book and it was a lot of fun to read the main characters language at the beginning, as she tries to learn English. Although I liked the style, I didn't care much for the story or for the charact...more
I read Russian translation, and it was great. Translator, I think, kept the style, and reading was enjoyable.
And also the beginning of the book was very promising. 24-year old Chinese rural girl named Zhuang came to London for the first time. Her English is weak, her knowledge of everything is weak. She met 44-year old Englishm...more
The book is a diary of a young woman from China who goes to London to study English and ends up in a relationship with an older man. It explores the issue of cross cultural communication and more ge...more
Zhuang is twenty three years old and her parents have sent her to spend a year in London to learn English to enable her to return to China and help them expand their shoe factory business. The bad English grammar of th...more
I say I think you beautiful, ignoring the age. I think you too beautiful for me, and I don't deserve you.
I don't feel any real love in my heart.
"To me, to live life is to live in the present." OK, live in the present, and which direction you leading then?"
If no need struggle then we don't know how to live anymore.
The speaker on th...more
Guo has written this story about a young, curious, quirky Chinese girl (she insists that people call her Z, because her Chinese name is too complicated for them to pronounce anyway, but begins with a Z), whom meets an older Englishman in London, and through some language misunderstandings ends up living with him, and having an affair. The book is intentionally written with some typical C...more
Back to this one by Xiaolu Guo. I avoided it for a while because it's written in bad English. My boyfriend found this cute but it's not good for me. I...more
This is a story about love, but it's also a story about culture clash, and language, and misunderstandings. The cover copy tells me it's a comedy, but I mostly found it sad, and it left me longing.
The story itself is about Zhuang Xiao Qiao (she calls herself Z), who begins by arriving in London for a year-long study abroad program to learn English. She's very quic...more
What I didn't like at all was Z herself. Her personality and her actions repulse me on many levels. I'm not sure why a country girl who immigrates to England would simply move in with a man she just m...more
The romance and indeed the central relationship between him and her never comes across as meaning...more
I had picked up this book ages ago and read the first few pages, then been put off by the broken English the beginning is written in. ("Is unbelievable, I arriving London, "Heathlow Airport". Every single name very difficult remembering, because just not "London Airport".) However, when I picked it up again and gave it another try, I found it very easy to get into the rhythm of the writing. Particularly if you know a little about Mandarin as a language,...more
Author: Xiaolu Guo
When Zhuang arrives in London for her studies in English, everything is so different for her, observations of her Hostel, food and London and even her teacher, Mrs. Margaret are extremely funny, everything is strange, everything is new, not always pleasant but new, there are phrases like
‘Sorry for my English”, or ‘ Now I am studying hard on English, soon I stealing their language too’
Soon she meets an older man at a movie theate...more
Then there's the cover. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover but in this case, by all means, DO! A red backdrop, scattered with sundry green leaves surrounding an exotic, faceless and naked Oriental woman. Plants, China, the...more
Her novel A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary For Lovers was nominated for the 2007 Orange Prize f...more
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I understand the difference of these two words so well. I understand falling in love with the right person in the wrong timing could be the greatest sadness in a person's entire life.”