Wednesday, 13 April 2011


When I first moved to Canada I had to learn English almost from scratch. The house I lived in implemented a strategy: ban the kids from reading Chinese books. I think if we were caught reading Chinese books our pocket-money might have been deducted. Can't rightly recall now.

I've decided to implement a reversal of this ban for myself once I finish the English books I have on hand (not many more left). Since I moved back I've been buying a lot of English books (both new ones and old favourites, because libraries don't stock much English books here). I read English a lot faster and it seems much more natural to me now that I've been using English predominantly for over a decade.

Still, living in Taiwan it seems to make sense to polish up my Chinese again. Though I have been making an effort to read more Chinese, I do sometimes succumb to the temptation of easy reading. At the same time, I absolutely cannot read English books in Chinese translation. It's torturous to me because I spend half my energies second guessing the translator and wondering what the original must have said.

So it seems that I should read more Chinese literature. I've just finished 龍應台's 大江大海 and found myself at once impressed and mildly disappointed. There's a copy of 巨 流河 on my shelf which I'm meaning to attack...