complex English

Earlier this week, I was reading a textbook. It tried to explain the communication barriers between people. It used an example about six blind people touching an huge elephant and none of them can fully describe how exactly an elephant is like. And the six of them have a quarrel. It took the writer of the textbook about half of the page to tell this story. I feel so tried reading it. We have the exact story in Chinese, and we used to refer to this story in only FOUR characters: 盲人摸象. 

We call this kind of words consists four characters “Cheng Yu”. It’s the similar things of proverbs in English. Chinese language have tons of “Cheng Yu”, some tell stories while some reveal a moral. This sort of words greatly simplify our communication. Actually I believe the barrier lies between the language itself if it would take English half a page to explain a simple matter like this.

I believe this is not the so-called ethnocentricity. I also respect English in certain ways. The beauty of English lies within alliteration which Chinese can never possess. Chinese lies to deep within me and I am just not accustomed to the complex English expressions yet. Another thing to adjust to.


Author: Yue Zhang

Graduate student currently studying at University of Westminster, London. For my passion in storytelling, I am adventuring abroad to learn more.

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