Brentwoodian 2022

Studying Chinese these past two years has reminded me of why I love the language. During the first lockdown, it was easy to neglect my Chinese studies. I could understand TV shows and conversations; what more could I want to learn? As it turns out, I was cutting myself off frommany fascinating parts of Chinese culture. This course has encouraged me to study all aspects of China, from culture to technology to history. I have explored the intricacies of Chinese culture and language, its beauty, and its mosaic of perspectives that would have otherwise been unavailable to me. In particular, I have cultivated a deep appreciation of Eileen Chang, whose works I am sure I will continue to enjoy long after I leave Brentwood. In studying Chinese as a language, I feel I have been able to connect with Chinese culture. I believe there is greater clarity of ideas in their original form, unfiltered by translation. Reading a literary work in the original language enriches the text with additional subtext. This is not to say that I dislike translation. On the contrary, I have come to understand that translation can be just as creative and taxing a process as writing something new. Through my participation in the Stephen Spender Prize, a poetry translation competition, and the Anthea Bell Prize, a prose translation competition, I was able to experience first-hand the struggles of converting a text from one language to another without losing the essence of the original work. As Chinese as a language is so different from English, my entries took many hours to complete. However, as someone who loves language, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. In the end, sitting back and reading over my finished work was very rewarding. Besides the translation competition, my teacher encouraged me to participate in the British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition. Before studying Studying IB Chinese 32