From one of my co-workers, I found out that one of my 6th grade students likes to write stories. This student – named Fen in this blog although that’s not her real name – is particularly aloof. Sometimes I see her mumbling to herself while looking at things closely. She’s in the highest English proficiency level, but sometimes doesn’t seem to understand what we’re doing. Maybe she’s so caught up in her imaginary world?

So I talked to Fen about her stories and asked if I could read some (I’m very in to stories). She smiled uncomfortably and said: “It’s in Chinese!” And I said, “Can you translate it for me?” I knew she could use an English-Chinese dictionary, so I figured we’ll see what I end up getting. For a week I pestered her about it: “Fen! Where’s my story?” I joked, and she would run away.

Well, TODAY I said: “Fen! Where’s my story?” And she said: “Upstairs.” And I said: “Go get it! I want to read it!” And she said: “It’s really short. Only the beginning.” And I said: “That’s fine.”

When she came down, she handed me a small slip of paper with the following translation scribbled in.

Her translation: “I believe firmly, the first world is just have imaginary, a zero world, until one to come out. The one create world have source light and dark, then they blend, birth two different people, one surname is Chen, another one is Yeh.”

This is very amazing to me. I don’t know what I expected, but I love this beginning. I think it would be cool if we work together to try to translate her stories. She’s written in all present tense, but I think that might be a fault of translation and that it should be in past. I’ve bolded the other parts that I’m not so certain I understand. I think tomorrow or the next day I’ll ask her more detailed questions about what she means with the tense and with the “have source” and “until one to come out,” but below is what I think. I would appreciate comments about what you think as well Dear Readers!

My smoothing translation of her translation: “I believe firmly, the first world was just imaginary – a zero world – until one came out. The one created world came from light and dark that blended and birthed two different people: One was called Chen; the other was Yeh.”