Wish everyone a good working week. We had some interesting talk over the weekend with Vien Hy, Be Rom, Loan, Quang on the subject of English challenge. Great discussion!
You guys did not have an answer for the easy Saturday challenge! Come on, guys! Don’t let me down. I know you can do better than that. I probably know about your ability more than you do. Have faith in yourself. And, shoot!
Anyway, I have an interesting challenge today. Yesterday I ran into an article I had written three years ago in English, entitled “The Task of this Generation.” I was planning to translate it into Vietnamese to use as a Trà Đàm article for Đọt Chuối Non, but then I thought: “Why translate it? Why not use it as an English challenge (so I don’t have to do the translation myself)?” 🙂
So, here it is, the challenge for today. Below is my (long) English article to be translated into Vietnamese. I will select the best translation among your responses, edit it a little if necessary, and then post it to ĐCN as a Trà Đàm article (as I have done that with danh ngon translations by Wasabi and Vallikie and chị Kiêm Yến).
Because this is a long article, you can do that in more than one day. Each day, just post the part you finish.
This article may be harder than the previous articles to translate. You may have to work harder.
But, whoever finds this article hard to translate, please keep in mind that you should still work on any of last week’s challenges. Keep working and post them when you’re done. Don’t slow down. Don’t stop.
Practice makes perfect! Go! Go! Go!
Have a great day!
The Task of this Generation
Some months ago, sister Huyen mentioned in this forum something like “Our father’s generation was so exciting. They walked Truong Son to fight for the country. Today is so boring. We wish we could have a time like our father’s time.” Then many months later, I read Dang Thuy Tran Diaries. As my heart was put on fire by Dang Thuy Tram’s words, I remembered Huyen’s message. Following a generation that lived with death everyday probably makes us feel overshadowed. Tough! And it is even tougher when we look at the individual level. Hard for us to feel motivated if we can’t find great meaning in our life.
But let me tell you this. If we look carefully, today we are in a much more exciting time than our father’s generation, and our task is equall, if not more important and more difficult than the task of our fathers. Today, the first time in our history we have peace, advanced technology, advanced knowledge, and global connection to move our country toward greatness. This has never before happened in our history.
For thousands of years, we were just a little country in a little unknown corner of the world with China (and later France) as the center of our world. Today, we have independence, we have peace, we have the ability to sit in any corner of the land and gather information and knowledge from anywhere in the world. And we have a network of Vietnamese spreading all over the world to move things at the global level.
Our nation has never had that chance. This is the chance for us to get out of our own shadow of a poor and heroic nation to become a powerful and prominent nation. In other words, we are in a war against poverty and backwardness and a race toward greatness. How exciting would that be!
Today, we don’t have to look at China or France as the center of the world. We look at ourselves as the potential center of the world. Why? Because in the old days the world was too big for us to fathom. Today, we are in the little global village and it is not such a big ambition for any villager to dream of becoming a village chief some day.
We live in an era abound with great opportunities. Great opportunities bring with them great challenges. And the greatest challenge of all is our Self. Peaceful life brings with it inertia and the false sense of security. It is much easier to be on guard when we have to sleep with death each night. But when things seem to be so peaceful, that is when our inertia creeps in and lulls us into a long sleep.
In war, we can’t be corrupted, because that would mean death. In peace, corruption may become a part of our life if we don’t guard against it. In war, secondary performance means death. In peace, both the best and the worst survive. In war, we know our mistake the minute or the next day. In peace, today’s mistake may show its consequences 10 years later. So today we are easily blindsided by the false sense of security and by mistake’s slow speed of presenting its own consequences.
If we see all this–the first time in our history we have great opportunities and great challenges to become a great nation in the community of nations–then we will realize that we are in a very exciting time, with a struggle that is equally if not more important than our fathers’ fighting for independence.
That is the task of this generation. Are we up to it? Are we keeping the flame of idealism burning in our heart? Are we looking forward with great vision? Are we keeping ourselves clean from corruption? Are we standing up straight to defend the truth and justice? Are we opening our mind to the most difficult issues of the nation? Are we doing our small part to bring our nation to greatness? As our fathers have told themselves “We fight to victory or to death,” are we telling ourselves, “We fight to victory until dead”?
I am thankful that I am allowed to live during this most exciting time of our nation. I hope that we of this generation will be faithful to ourselves to take on the great task of completing our father’s job–Keeping ourselves clean and patriotic, and turning our country into a great nation of the world.
Are we up to the task?
Have a great day!