Why I learn English so hard
Chinese is my native language so that writing in Chinese wasn't a struggle as English for me. But it doesn't mean I can write good Chinese automatically. To improve my writing skill, I tried to find some books related to how to write Chinese well, but I gathered nothing. Why Chinese world doesn't have useful books about writing well? This question had doubted me for a long time until the beginning of this year when I attended an online Chinese writing course.
The course told us that Chinese is a young language. The Vernacular Language Movement was established in about 100 years ago, it reformed the Chinese language - from the ancient style to contemporary Chinese. It made the sentences easy to read and write. After 1949, China government replaced Traditional Chinese with Simplified Chinese. So that the Simplified Characters are easier to write and read than ancient style with Traditional Characters. Moreover, contemporary Chinese is entirely different from the ancient language. The New Culture Movement featured many good Chinese writers; for some historical reasons, they didn't pass their experiences and knowledge to the next generations. That's why we still don't know how to write good Chinese.
The contemporary Chinese has its benefits. It has a simple grammar system, few characters can make many different phrases and sentences, which are shorter than other languages. The pictograph and homograph give the poem tone and flavor; the abstraction made sentences short. We had a good, sensible scholarship on intelligentsia that existed in ancient China. For contemporary Chinese, the scholarship has disappeared. We don't develop a practical way to learn writing, and it is hard to find a routine method to learn well, even though you are a Chinese man.
The traditional Chinese culture didn't tell us how things worked, even though we had Confucian philosophy. The Chinese notion is spreading on its tradition without inquiry, even though most of them are vulgar practices. We've been taught that China has 5000 years of history, and it is the greatest culture in the world. But no one tells us exactly why and how. The fact that we have few things can be shown off. It's like an advertisement advocating the products, but they never tell you what the benefits of the products are. They just sound loud again and again until you trust them.
My Chinese writing teacher told us that good Chinese existed in some government files. They use a clear, concise and smooth style for propagation. I tried to read some document files, and I found that the fact was true. But I don't like the propagative style and hate to distort everything into heroic stanza. Actually, there are so many emotional texts on the Chinese Internet, they always attempt to trick you.
In the English world, there are many books and courses that can help me. I can find an easy curve of path to advance step by step. English has a regular grammar system and the writing practice is actual and routine. For advancing writing, I just need to read some classic books and follow the advice to practice. Although I should devote a lot of time, I don't mind slowly learning. To learn a second language gives me another eye to see the world. Every culture has its vulnerability and excellence, I must be humble and keep an open mind for strange things especially something that was not inside in my native language.