Mandarin Monday: 找工作靠什么

For this week’s Mandarin Monday I want to share a recent homework of mine, and essay about why it’s not a good idea to have plastic surgery in order to find a job.









  • I can’t read or write Chinese, so I had to get someone to read it out for me. Since I’m only a Cantonese speaker and not a Mandarin speaker, this still sounds good solid Chinese to me. Good job.


  • Jack

    Generally, very good writing, but with few major mistakes you need to correct.

    The first sentence “在如今的经济情况下好不容易找到合适的工作” by itself is a correct sentence. But it is not correct in this essay’s context. I actually google-translate this to English to try to understand what you were trying to say..and the translation – “In today’s economic situation is not easy to find a suitable job” seems perfect, but is actually quite different to what you wrote in Chinese (the problem with machine translation). The mistake here is your use of “好不容易” – it implies action in the past. What you should use is “是很不容易” – “是” to indicate this is a statement – as in “IS..something”.
    “很” means “very”, and a more suitable word to use in this sentence. The crucial mistake here is the word “好” in this – and I think it is worth discussing this with your lecturer/tutor or a more advanced linguist on the use of “好” in this – because the word by itself just meant “good/yes/affirmative”, but it actually implies a lot more than that. I personally think it implies action done in the past – because this word is usually use in personal statement to indicate experience – eg. “这次考试好简单!” or “我好不容易爬上这棵树”. I must say I am not a linguist, nor am I educated in the subject, all I can say is from my background of speaking mandarin as native speaker, I think there is something wrong to use “好” in this context. So check with your lecturers and tutors. :)

    Another mistake is the use of “如今”. I personally would use “当今”. There is a very subtle difference. While “如今” means “now” or “nowadays”, it actually sets a different tone compare “当今”.

    In baidu’s translation – “如今” means
    “now; at present; nowadays; these days”
    But, it gives the following examples :

    《史记·项羽本纪》:“ 樊哙曰:‘大行不顾细谨,大礼不辞小让。如今人方为刀俎,我为鱼肉,何辞为?’”

     唐 杜甫《泛江》诗:“故国流清 渭 ,如今花正多。”


      丁玲 《母亲》三:“ 曼贞 便同她解释,说如今的世界不同了,女人也可以找出路的。”

    The word “如” has the implied meaning of “and” and “therefore”, it is most apparently in the 4th example above “便同她解释,说如今的世界不同了,女人也可以找出路的”.

    I just think its not quite the right word to use. (And I think your Chinese is getting to pretty advance level I am having difficulties to explain to you ! :D)

    So, the whole sentence should be:
    is what I would write.

    Next one : “的人为了得到好工作而通过整容改善外貌” – you are missing something crucial in the front of the sentence. “的人” seems incomplete – it would sound like “…is people” in English. What you need is an adjective to complete the sentence. So, I would guess “很多”(a lot of) would be quite suitable in this case. Also, “通过” is not quite right here. It should be “经过” as in “going through a process of”.

    “靠整容找工作是有很多坏处的方法” – you can omit “的方法” and add “的” – So it would become “靠整容找工作是有很多的坏处”.

    Next one : “而且每个手术有风险” – probably need to add an “都” so it means “they ALL carry a risk”. Chinese love to use “都” in the sentence, and I notice you often omit the use of this word which makes your sentence stands out (as not quite correct). Try to “massage” this word into your sentence more!! :D

    “那找工作不会更难吗” – probably crucial to add a “就”. “就” is a bit hard to explain – it is usually use in a procedural sentence – When you are explaining your logic – it therefore becomes a “procedural consequence” – eg. “because….. and therefore……..”
    So, it becomes “那找工作不就会更难吗”.

    Next up : “,生活的各个方面会有影响” – need to add that “都” as I was saying before.
    So it becomes “生活的各个方面都会有影响”. (“As ALL aspect of your life would be affected”)

    “那些钱你做最好投资教育” – doesn’t sound right. It probably should be : “这些钱最好拿来投资在教育/进修(probably better word because 教育 implies “standard education” while 进修 means “advanced studies”).

    Next one is :”做整容不答应你能找到合适工作,更不答应你能做好工作”. “答应” very wrong to use in this context. “答应” actually means “agree” or “agree upon”, for example : “我答应你的条件”. What
    you should use is “保证” (guarantee). So, the sentence should be “做整容不能保证你能找到合适工作,更不能保证你能做好你的工作”.

    Next up : “反过来” – needs “说” to be complete. So its “反过来说”.

    That’s it! I think you are getting pretty advance now, there are only few glaring mistakes, the rest are subtle mistakes (in meaning and usage) that you need to look out for.


    thenakedlistener Reply:

    Jack, I’m in agreement with you here, especially the bit about 好. The whole thing actually sounds okay in Cantonese, but now that you mentioned all these things Mandarin-wise, it just occurred to me that you’re spot-on about 好 vs. 很. I don’t think you’d need to be trained in linguistics because you’ve explained it extremely well. (I reckon a linguist would just confuse and complicate matters for the rest of us without getting down to brass tacks.)


    Sara Reply:

    I don’t know how to thank you enough Jake! My own teacher only corrected a few things in my essay, she didn’t pay us much attention as you did! Can I hire you to check my Bachelor thesis when I start writing it after a year or so?

    p.s. I will make the corrections to my essay as soon as I have the time.


    Jack Reply:

    You are welcome! I am guessing your tutors are probably overwhelm with essays to mark they probably can’t pay much attention for each individual ones. Plus its a pleasure reading yours! And you keep it short and sweet so its not too hard! :D


    Sara Reply:

    I’m sure my teacher has other courses to teach as well, but on my writing course there are only 3-4 students.

    I’m really grateful for you Jack for your help!


  • Jack

    BTW, I got a question for you! Is it true in Finland you go to Sauna naked?! Even between friends and family??? I was a bit shocked to read about this in another blog – apparently some (or is it all?) finnish family go to sauna together and they all go naked in front of each other (even of opposite sex)..??!


    Sara Reply:

    Of course we go to sauna naked! Me personally stopped going to the sauna with men when I turned teenager, but I know many families that still go to sauna together even when they are adults. I think there’s nothing wrong with that if one just feels comfortable in doing so.

    If I would go to sauna with my male friends, I would wear a swimming suit, but I know that some wouldn’t.


  • 我同意。但是有情况整容能帮助一个人得到他的目的。比如说在模特儿的世界。况且最少都会帮助一个人给别人对他好的印象!Excuse my shaky Mandarin.


    Sara Reply:

    我可能太naive(?),但是我希望我们可以有 一个不需要整容的世界。


    ordinary malaysian Reply:

    Sara, I actually agree with you. 整容 should be the last resort. But for those really in need of it, well…But as an obsession or as part of a fad just to look better, I think it is extreme and unhealthy.


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  • Kaiser