Living in China

Mandarin Monday: My contribution to Chinese essay competition

Every semester Sun Yat-Sen University has an essay competition for us foreign students. Last year I came second among us advanced students and this year I participated too. The results aren’t out yet, but I’m not too hopeful. There were many advanced class students this year.

We had 2 hours and 20 minutes to write an essay. We could choose from ten topics (or perhaps even something else) and could use an electronic dictionary (I used Pleco). I didn’t have time to go over my essay so I’m sure there are plenty of mistakes in it.

Click the pictures below to see them larger.

Chinese essay for a competitionChinese essay for a competition

The competition also has prizes! Last semester the first got 200RMB, second 150RM and third 100RMB. Besides that your essay will be published in the university’s magazine!

What you think, do I even have a chance?


  • Vyara Gylsen

    woah your hand writing is so neat, will i learn how to get my characters into those boxes when I am in China too ? : P

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thanks, for some reason lot of people seem to be complimenting my hand writing, I think it’s not that special. btw, in China you can buy those writing pads where you practice someone’s hand writing. You can choose a hand writing of a famous person and learn to write beautiful characters.

  • ordinary malaysian

    Interesting to read that your interest in the Chines language began even when you were in your mother’s tummy. But I am not going to rate your essay because my command of the Chinese language 水平 is anything to shout about. I will leave this to others more qualified than yours truly.

  • Ivy

    I think your essay is really good and quite impressive for someone who has not been in China that long. 加油!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thank you, but it wasn’t good enough in the contest. Have to do better next semester :)

  • Youbeautyhe

    写的很不错,有几个小错误: “能用汉语交际的机会很少” 应该为“能用汉语交流的机会很少”


    Sara Jaaksola Reply:


    Youbeautyhe Reply:

    Oh!  your competitors are better than you. 中文有句话来形容这个情况叫做“强中自有强中手,一山还比一山高” 看来你们参赛的选手都很厉害啊!加油,你的中文很不错,基本达到中国小学毕业水平,在初中一年级左右,估计再过一年半载的你的水平会有质的飞跃,而且你很有文学潜质。

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:


  • jerry

    wow!!! its hard to believe that you have been in China for only 2 years!!!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thanks, even though this essay wasn’t good enough in the competition. When I came to China in Feb 2010 I could only write simple sentences and could write maybe 200 characters by hand.

  • Wang


    Good Job! I think your handwriting is better than some chinese. And you can improve it by learning calligraphy.