Lost in Translation

Don't break this heart

“Beating someone is to care for someone and scolding someone is an expression of love…”Estee Teo

This translation is so direct, which keeps me wondering if the author meant that way when he wrote it. There is indeed a Chinese term called “打是情骂是爱 (da shi qing, ma shi ai)”. But according to my understanding, the sentence has a different meaning. Translation appears deceptively easy if you have mastered two languages well enough. My translation lecturer Mr Shaun Yeo once said

It is easy to speak fluently in two languages, but it takes twice the time to build the bridge in between.”

Isn’t it true that when we can easily get eggs, flour and water, but it take a great amount of efforts to make a cake out of these materials? And isn’t it true that when we missed an opportunity we considered great in our life later to discover there are even greater blessings from God?

There are many things seemingly bad in our lives, on the surface, they are nothing but bad. I could remember those times when my dad spanked me for what I did and my mom scolded me again and again for playing computer games. I was angry with them then for I did not understand what it took to discipline someone, only now have I started to thank my parents for what they have done in my life, realizing that my life could never be the same if they didn’t take courage to correct my ways in the past.

I always wonder if I could go back in time, to learn tolerance, to hold my anger when my parents disciplined me. But focusing on the things we don’t have forces us to have a mentality of “lacking”, and that does not help in our growth, while concentrating on the things we have already had helps us to grow in a direction where our life could be filled with thanksgiving and never be emptied again. It is interesting how the world has changed so much these days where people live in denial and materialism. Craving for power, longing for more and more in whatever way it can be. It is good to have big goals in life, but it is another matter to not be content all the time, just to seek that little thing in our life .

From the translation, we can see the philosophies people have towards life, which could be from the past experience as a student or working. There is a sense of straightforwardness in the expression that was being translated here, without much to be concerned and being thought of. Complexity makes things easy while simplicity gives extra complexity to the current problems.

From my understanding, the translation of that Chinese term is “It shows affection when you hit someone, and even love exists in scolding a person”.

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