Mandarin Chinese Reading Challenge: Holidays in America

If you are my reader for some time and you read most of my posts, I hope you knew already hundreds of common useful Chinese characters and many Chinese phrases scattered in my posts.

If you are new to my blog, please take your time to read my other posts. I hope these posts are helpful for your Mandarin Chinese learning.

As I mentioned before, if you wish to learn a language successfully, you have to know how to pick up the right word to express yourself precisely.

As a language learner myself, I got this lesson in a hard way. Actually, it is a common mistake for many language learners.

For example, for a long time, I had no idea what is the difference between “sorry” and “excuse me”.

Why? Because they both are translated in Chinese as 对不起 (duì bú qǐ). As a result, I always said “sorry” when I was supposed to say “excuse me”.

How to solve this problem then? Read. Read. Read. Read in context.

However, if you are a beginner, you might get lost in a long article. That is why I put many Chinese characters and phrases in context in my English written posts to help you master the meaning of a word and phrase precisely, at the same time you will not feel overwhelmed.

In this post, I am going to give my readers some challenge to give you a short article in Mandarin Chinese to see if you understand it.

If you don’t understand that much, don’t worry. I give the explanation of some keywords. Pay attention to the bold letters, especially pay attention to the sentence order.

For example, in Chinese, we say: 我在饭厅吃饭 ( wǒ zài fàn tīng chī fàn ). The sentence order is: I at the dinning room eat. However, in English, the order is: I eat at the dinning room.

Test: How to say “ I cook at the kitchen?”

The correct answer is: 我在厨房做饭 ( wǒ zài chú fáng zuò fàn ). Don’t say: 我做饭在厨房。

师傅领进门,修行靠个人. If you really wish to master a skill, you need work hard on your own. However, a good teacher’s instruction will help you a lot for sure. That is right: 名师出高徒.

Note: If you don’t understand the phrase “师傅领进门,修行靠个人” and “名师出高徒”, please read my post The Best Way to Learn Mandarin Chinese. I explained the meaning of these two phrases in that post.

Read below short article to see how much you understand.


měi guó de jié rì
美国节日
Holidays in America

 měi guó de jié rì fán duō ,bǐ rú ,mǎ dīng lù dé jīn rì ,zǒng tǒng rì ,lǎo bīng jié,děng děng děng děng

美国的节日繁多比如马丁·路德金日总统日老兵节,等等等等。

There are many holidays in America. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day (Washington’s birthday), Veterans Day etc.

bú guò ,zhēn zhèng zhòng yào de jié rì ,yě jiù nà me jǐ gè 。àn zhào rì qī yī cì pái liè xià lái ,shì xīn nián ,qíng rén jié,dú lì rì ,wàn shèng jié ,gǎn ēn jié hé shèng dàn jié

不过,真正重要的节日,也就那么几个。按照日期依次排列下来,是新年情人节独立日万圣节感恩节圣诞节

However, the really important holidays are those several ones. Listed in date order, these holidays are New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

hé shèng dàn  jié  xiàng bǐ ,měi guó de yuán dàn xīn nián , guò de yǒu xiē qiāo wú shēng xī 。zài jīng guò le shèng dàn de kuáng xǐ zhī hòu ,xīn nián de dào lái ,xiǎn de yǒu xiē duō yú sì de 。

和圣诞节相比,美国的元旦新年, 过得有些悄无声息。在经过了圣诞的狂喜之后,新年的到来,显得有些多余似的。

Compared to Christmas, American New Year’s Day is somehow quiet. After experiencing Christmas’s bliss, New Year Day’s coming seems unnecessary.

hé xīn nián de lěng qīng xiānɡ bǐ , èr yuè shí sì rì de qíng rén jié yào rè nào xǔ duō 。dào le zhè yī tiān ,rén rén dōu huì máng zhe fā sòng wèn hòu kǎ ,fèn pài qiǎo kè lì ,gòu mǎi xiān huā ,hé jiā rén péng yǒu jù cān ,biǎo dá bǐ cǐ jiān de qíng yì 。

和新年的冷清相比,2月14日的情人节要热闹许多。到了这一天,人人都会忙着发送问候卡,分派巧克力,购买鲜花,和家人朋友聚餐,表达彼此间的情意

Compared to the quietness of New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14 is much more busy. On this day, everyone is busy with sending out greeting cards, hand out chocolates, buy fresh flowers, dining with family and friends, express each other’s affection.

měi guó de dú lì rì , xiānɡ dāng yú wǒ men zhōng guó de guó qìng jié 。zài qī yuè sì rì zhè yī tiān ,dāng dì zhèng fǔ wǎng wǎng huì ān pái rè nào de dú lì rì yóu xínɡ

美国的独立日,相当于我们中国的国庆节。在7月4日这一天,当地政府往往会安排热闹的独立日游行

American Independence Day is equal to National Day in China. On July 4th, local governments usually will arrange hilarious Independence Day parades.

měi guó shí yuè sān shí yī rì de wàn shèng jié,qí shí jiù shì wǒ men zhōng guó rén suǒ shuō de guǐ jiē 。hé wǒ men zhōng guó rén duì guǐ jiē de jì huì xiàng bǐ ,měi guó rén hǎo xiàng fēi cháng xǐ huān zhè gè jié rì ,yóu qí shì hái zǐ ,shí yuè hái méi kāi shǐ ,jiù zài rè qiè  dì pàn wàng wàn shèng jié  de dào lái

美国10月31日的万圣节,其实就是我们中国人所说的鬼节。和我们中国人对鬼节的忌讳相比,美国人好像非常喜欢这个节日,尤其是孩子,10月还没开始,就在热切地盼望万圣节的到来。

American Halloween on Oct. 31 is actually Chinese ghost festival. Compared to we Chinese’s taboo, Americans seems like this holiday very much. Especially children, before the October, they are waiting eagerly for the Halloween.

shí yī yuè de dì sì gè xīng qī sì ,shì měi guó de gǎn ēn jié 。zhè yī tiān ,zuì dǎo méi de yào suàn shì huǒ jī le 。yīn wéi zhè yī tiān ,jǐ hū suǒ yǒu de jiā tíng dōu huì kǎo  yì zhī huǒ jī ,quán jiā yì tóng fèn xiǎng 。dāng rán ,yě yǒu yì zhī zuì xìng yùn de huǒ jī ,àn zhào měi guó de fēng sú ,dé dào zǒng tǒng de shè miǎn ér xìng miǎn yú nàn

11月的第四个星期四,是美国的感恩节。这一天,最倒霉的要算是火鸡了。因为这一天,几乎所有的家庭都会一只火鸡,全家一同分享。当然,也有一只最幸运的火鸡,按照美国的风俗,得到总统的赦免幸免于难

The fourth Thursday in November is American Thanksgiving. On this day, the most unluckiest one is the turkey. It is because on this day, almost all of families will bake a turkey and shared with the whole family. Of course, there is one luckiest turkey, according to American custom, this turkey survives thanks to the president’s pardon.

měi guó zuì zhòng yào de jié  rì ,dāng shǔ shí èr yuè èr shí wǔ rì de shèng dàn jié 。zài měi guó rén kàn lái ,zuì fù yǒu shī qíng huà yì de shèng dàn jiē ,shì zài bái xuě ái ái de rì zǐ lǐ ,quán jiā wéi zuò zài  yì qǐ pǐn cháng měi shí 。rán ér ,zhè yàng de bái sè shèng dàn jiē ,bìng bù róng yì yù dào

美国最重要的节日,当属12月25日的圣诞节。在美国人看来,最富有诗情画意的圣诞节,是在白雪皑皑的日子里,全家围坐在一起品尝美食。然而,这样的白色圣诞节,并不容易遇到。

The most important holiday in America should be Christmas on December 25. In American’s view, the most poetic and pictorial Christmas should be the whole family sit together enjoying gourmet in a snowy day. However, the chance to have such a white Christmas is odd.


I hope you learned something today. When your Mandarin Chinese is getting better, you might find, sometimes English translation just can’t do its job.

If you wish to enjoy the beauty of Chinese, you have to know Mandarin Chinese well enough. I am sure you will one day. Don’t give up easily.

Enjoy your learning.


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