The Wenzao Ursuline University College of Languages in Taiwan recently held a speech contest for their international students. Molly decided to participate because it was a good chance for her to improve her Chinese and have some fun. The following is a Chinese and English transcript of her impressive speech.
最近我的美國妈妈問了我一個問題。他問我”簡體字跟繁體字有什麼差別”我舉了一個例子給妈妈聽。我說，以”愛” 這個字來說，簡體字的愛跟繁體字的愛就很不一樣。簡體字的愛沒有’心’可是繁體字的愛有心。這讓我感覺到台灣是華語文化的中心。 台灣人保留傳統的繁體字，也得以保存傳統的花語文化。簡體字有時候可能會破壞文字的美感，也可能減少了傳承中國傳統文化的機會。
Hello everyone! My name is Molly. My name means”Jasmine flower”. Today my speech contest theme is “Why I wanted to come to Taiwan to study Chinese”. I come from America. When I was little my mother adopted me from China and brought me to America to live. However, because I look Taiwanese or Chinese when everyone first see’s me they think I can speak perfect Chinese. But as soon as I start speaking they are very surprised!
My first goal in coming to Taiwan is to be able to speak extremely good Chinese! My second goal is that I hope to learn traditional Chinese culture and language. I feel that compared to other countries studying in Taiwan is the most ideal place to learn Chinese. Taiwanese people are very friendly, honest, and very welcoming to foreigners. Taiwan’s also has a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
Recently my American mother asked me a question. She asked me “What is the difference between simplified and traditional Chinese characters?” In response I gave her an example of the difference. I used the character ‘ai” which means ‘love’. As soon as you look at both the simplified and traditional version you will see that they are very different. The simplified version of ‘love’ does not have the character ‘heart’ but when you write ‘love’ in the traditional way there is a ‘heart’. This made me feel that Taiwan is the heart of true Chinese culture. Because Taiwan uses traditional Chinese characters, therefore Taiwan has preserved traditional Chinese culture. Simplified characters sometimes damage the beauty of traditional Chinese characters and hinder the chance to pass on Chinese culture.
Every country’s most important knowledge is its writing system. A writing system helps people share their culture, language, and traditions with the rest of the world. This is my reason for coming to Taiwan to study. Thank you!