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New Year Resolutions* 新年目標 (complemented with an English to Chinese piece and notes)

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.


Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. 因為在犯錯時,你會嘗試和學懂新事物;你會鞭策和改變自己跟自己的世界。You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.(在犯錯時,)你會試做從來沒做過的事情,更重要的是,你(起碼*)是在做事。

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. 所以,這就是我對你,對所有人,包括我自己的願望--去犯新的錯。Make New Mistakes. (去犯新的錯。*)Make glorious, amazing mistakes. 去犯一些光榮、驚奇的錯誤吧!Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. 去犯一些前無古人*的錯吧! Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. 不論是藝術、愛情、工作、家人或是生活,都別發呆;別停下來;別再擔心「這不夠好、那不夠完美」。*

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it. 不管你怕的是什麼,做吧!

Make your mistakes, next year and forever. 犯你的錯吧!(今年*)、下年、永遠都如此的去犯錯。” ― Neil Gaiman



- There is not a clear concept of New Year resolution in Chinese culture. I believe the closest way of saying it would be New Year goals, that is why I translated it into 目標(n.) goal(s) instead of resolution(n.) 決心(dedication)/解決方案(plans to problem solving).

**Resolution(n.): intention 原意/意向(n.), resolve 決心要⋯(v. phr.), decision(n.) 決定(n./v.), aim 目標(n.), plan 計劃(n.)


- "You're doing something." The writer implies that at least people are doing something or it is better than not doing anything. Hence, I added 起碼(at least) in the sentence. 


- "Make new mistakes." 去犯新的錯。The reason, why I emerged the two sentences together into one in Chinese, is because it is a common way of writing in Chinese. We tend to use dashes, and to us a dash is formed by 2 dashes, to introduce the hidden meaning, word, theme in the sentence before it.


-「前無古人,後無來者。」is a saying in Chinese, commonly used in situations where writers addressing things that accomplished in ways that have appeared for the first time in history, and that no one after it can reduplicate the action. The reason, why I have only adapted the former part of the saying, is because that is very close to what "nobody has ever made before" means in Chinese.


-「不論是藝術、愛情、工作、家人或是生活,都別發呆;別停下來;別再擔心「這不夠好、那不夠完美」。」The sentence was in reverse order to how it was written in English, as it appears to be more natural that way in Chinese.


- 「今年」means "this year". By adding it to the sentence, there appears to be a more logical sequence and makes it easier for Chinese readers.


Happy new year! Hope this have helped some of you who wish you learn Chinese or English. This year, I hope to MAKE GOOD and WORTHWHILE MISTAKES. I hope to fall hard, so that I can learn deeply. I hope to grow, to aspire, to dream, to live fearlessly. I hope to renew my experiences with God and to fall in love with Him all over again. What about you? What are your new year resolutions? Share in the comments below! :)

Jan 8, 2015 7:50 PM
Comments · 2

I get what you are saying, Ur17. The idea of gaining more life experience by learning from mistakes is relatable and correct. But still, glorifying mistakes sounds a bit too much in my opinion. Your goal is to learn new things and you CAN achieve this by making mistakes which you learn from but you don't NEED to.

Mistakes are always painful and sometimes not worth the experience you have gained from it. For example: Driving a car. If I want to be a better, more experienced driver, then I certainly would not like to learn by crashing and causing accidents. :D

Well, technically you would still learn new do's and don'ts in driving but it wouldn't be worth it...

You should instead ask your family, elders, friends and teachers and they will share their experience with you. That is a major principle of life. Learn and share!

January 8, 2015

你好 Ur17




Thank you for drawing our attention [bringing to our attention] to the importance that our mistakes play in our growth as people.


The outstanding issue, however, remains : How do we ensure that we only "MAKE GOOD and WORTHWHILE MISTAKES" ?  Doesn't this analysis simply push the dilemma about the value of mistakes to the next branch point, without resolving it :  we should make good and worthwhile mistakes, but not those of the other kind, but how do we know, ???? ????????????????????????, what kind of mistake we are about to make ?

I decided that in 2015 I would try to learn a little of the Chinese language.  I may succeed in this goal, feel fulfilled, and not regret the decision.   I may fail, insomuch as the task is difficult, and I am not up to it  i.e. I do not possess the capacity to make it a success, but in doing so I have learned something about myself, that could help me avoid making similar mistakes in the future.  This might be called a good, though costly, mistake.  I may fail because I have not made sufficient effort, for various reasons,  to make the progress of which I may be capable.  In this case too, I have learned something about myself  i.e. that I should have done more work, and this realization could help prevent me from undertaking similar challenges in the future.  I would have learned from both types of failure, but others may think that the first type is 'good' and the second type 'bad' as mistakes.  How shall I know, before I set out, which of these three outcomes will prevail, and whether any mistake I have made will be 'good' or 'bad' ?

Oh ! - and to make an entirely new mistake - is there anything new under the sun when it comes to human frailty ?

January 8, 2015
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), English, Hindi
Learning Language