foreign language writing to me

Discussion in 'Writers Forum' started by musingbird, May 18, 2004.

  1. musingbird

    musingbird Member

    I am an English learner and English is a foreign language to me.
    Nowadays I have been trying to brush up writing and have done a little writing.

    I know this is a forum where many native speakers gather so I take the liberty of pasting some paragraphs of what i did here and wonder whether you would give me some advice on the piece of writing below.
    Thanks a lot.

    My writing:
    There are not many days to go this year. I have been pondering how to express my good wishes to you, to the New Year and me myself. To find proper words for such a purpose, you can surely understand, is no easy job.

    I have pondered a lot, and none unrelated to you.

    You like narcissuses but didn¡¯t luck into any this year, which is to be ascribed to my not offering any help. I believe you will yearn for the narcissus¡¯s pure fragrance and immaculate whiteness all the more. I know you harbor other yearnings, and when the yearnings intensify, the mysterious world will unfold for you.

    You live on a meager income, but never wear a woebegone expression (I have often noticed your innocent smiles). I know you once picked an exquisite souvenir medal you wore on the chest and gave it, as a gift, to an old man, who couldn¡¯t make a tour to far-off places. And you asked in delight, ¡°Is it beautiful?¡± In my eyes, you were affluent, because instead of soliciting, you were bestowing.
     
  2. musingbird

    musingbird Member

    Nobody want to give me a hand?
     
  3. veinglory

    veinglory Member

    My thoughts:

    There are not many days to go this year.
    ---'to go this year' is an awkward phrase. Other option would include 'remaining in the year'

    I have been pondering how to express my good wishes to you,
    ---'for' you is better, grammatically

    to the New Year
    ---'new year' is not a proper noun and so should not be capitalised

    and me myself.
    ---I am not sure you can have go wishes for yourself?

    To find proper words for such a purpose, you can surely understand, is no easy job.
    ---Not a complete sentence? Either replace the period with a comma or begin 'I have struggled to...' (or something similar).

    I have pondered a lot, and none unrelated to you.

    ---the is no object for there to be 'none' of as ponder is an action/verb not a noun. I suggest: 'I have had many thoughts...'

    You like narcissuses but didn[']t luck into any this year,
    ---You are using luck as a verb when it is a noun. This might be ok as an informal saying but should be changed if you want to be technically correct.

    which is to be ascribed to my not offering any help.
    ---stick in past tense 'which can be ascribed'
    ---I don't understand, you not offering an help to what/who?

    I believe you will yearn for the narcissus[e]s pure fragrance and immaculate whiteness all the more.
    ---All the more for what? 'All the more' implies a cause, which you have not stated.

    I know you harbor other yearnings, and when the[se] yearnings intensify, the mysterious world will unfold for you.

    You live on a meager income, but never wear a woebegone expression (I have often noticed your innocent smiles).
    ---woebegone is accurate but quite archaic, you mi8ght do better to use something like 'mournful' or 'woeful'.

    I know you once picked [up] an exquisite souvenir medal you wore on the chest and gave it, as a gift, to an old man, who couldn[']t make a tour to far-off places. And you asked in delight, ["]Is it beautiful?"

    In my eyes, you were affluent, because instead of soliciting, you were bestowing.
    ---A string of odd word choices. Also the metaphor of wealthy from giving is a little counter-intuitive

    I think you meaning is clear even when the phrasing is awkward.
     
  4. musingbird

    musingbird Member

    VEINGLORY:
    I have to say it's very kind of you. I feel grateful! This is the first reply I've got after registering here. Thanks!'

    Actually, the above piece of writing is my translation from another language. I might be adopting a word-for-word approach in doing this, which makes the wording sound awarkward.

    Your advice has been of enormous help. There is one particular place where I wonder you would help me out, i.e. "soliciting" and "bestowing" in the original version appear to have the meaning of "begging" and "giving". I had thought to put it as "taking" and "giving" (which sounds more like a couple) but rejected the option after finding "taking" do not contain the meaning of "to beg". Would you give me some alternative choices?
     
  5. veinglory

    veinglory Member

    I would say 'giving' and 'receiving' as these are common words and it echoes the Christian saying 'it is better to give than to receive'.
     
  6. musingbird

    musingbird Member

    But "receiving" does not quite match the original meaning, which is kind of like "begging".
     
  7. musingbird

    musingbird Member

    PLease help
     

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