Article : 差不多先生传 Part II

  • We have learnt about the word “差不多”, which means “almost” or “more or less”.
  • Three weeks ago,  we have studied the Part I of the article “差不多先生传” by 胡适 ( Hu Shi ).
  • Today we will continue the article with Part II.
  • If you have any words that you don’t understand, please post it in the comment section. I will try to explain further.

Part II

差不多先生传 (The Chronicle of Mr. “More or Less” / “Close Enough”)

他小的时候,他妈叫他去买红糖,他买了白糖回来。

When he was a child, his mother sent him to buy brown sugar, but he brought back white sugar instead.

 

他妈骂他,他摇摇头说:“红糖白糖不是差不多吗?”

When reprimanded, he shook his head and said “Brown sugar and white sugar, aren’t they more or less the same?”

 

他在学堂的时候,先生问他:“直隶省的西边是哪一省?”

In school, his teacher once asked him “which province borders Hebei on the west side?”

 

他说是陕西。先生说,“错了。是山西,不是陕西。”他说:“陕西同山西,不是差不多吗?”

He answered Shaanxi. His teacher said “The answer is wrong. It should be Shanxi.” He said: “Shaanxi and Shanxi, aren’t they more or less the same?”

 

后来他在一个钱铺里做伙计;他也会写,也会算,只是总不会精细。

Later he became a clerk in a bank. He could write and calculate, but was not very careful.

 

十字常常写成千字,千字常常写成十字。

Often times, he would mistakenly write the Chinese character of 1000 for that of 10, or vice versa.

 

掌柜的生气了,常常骂他。

His carelessness infuriated his boss, who often berated him.

 

他只是笑嘻嘻地赔小心道:“千字比十字只多一小撇,不是差不多吗?”

He would grin as though apologizing and say, “The characters of 1000 (千) and 10 (十), don’t they almost the same?”

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