Daily English Challenge–Friday, May 5, 2009

englishchallenge
Hi everyone,

Let’s continue the discussion on our future plan. Since no one seems to contradict me on my last message, I think we can come to some compromise for the time being, to see how it goes.

I think we can just make one page called “Discussion In English” and put the Daily English Challenge as a section of that page. In that way, we still have the challenge and talk about English a bit each day, but we can be sure that the “challenge” will have the overall effect of the “English only” method we use in the “discussion” page. And we can make the challenge at the entry and intermediate levels. Advanced people don’t need it.

But I need someone to help me handle that section. Any volunteer? If there is no volunteer, I will ask chị Huệ if we can invite some English teacher(s) who is/are willing to help.

Thanks a million in advance.

YESTERDAY’S CHALLENGE

Thank you very much, Thai Ha, for answering. That is a good translation, nothing to fix.

I need to go over Psalm 23 again to emphasize some important writing techniques. This Psalm was written almost 3 thousand years ago, but it is still the standard for today’s writing. That is why it is so famous.

Let’s look at it again:

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

1. Simple words. There is no complex word in this poem. The entire poem has only one 3-syllable word “righteousness” and, even that, this is a very well-known word–everyone is familiar with it.

2. Concrete words and ideas.

* the Lord is my shepherd. (Not, the Lord is my creator).

* I shall not be in want. (Not, I shall not be poor).

* He makes me lie down in green pastures. (Not, he gives me good rest).

* He leads me besides quiet waters. (Not, he gives my security and peace).

* He restores my soul (“My soul” happens to be an abstract word, but the sentence tries to make it concrete by using the word “restores”, like restoring a broken house).

* He guides me in paths of righteousness (Again, “righteousness” happens to be an abstract word, but the word “paths” helps make it concrete.

* Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (Not, even though I am in trouble).

* I will fear no evil. (This clause is intentionally left abstract, to weaken the sense of “evil”).

* For you are with me. (Not, for you always care about me).

* Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Not, you give me protection and give me peace).

* You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemy. (Not, you give me courage and calmness when I am under attack).

* You anoint my head with oil. (Not, you make me your chosen one).

* My cup overflows. (Not, you give me more than I need).

* Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. (“Goodness” and “love” are abstract words made concrete by the term “follow”).

* And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Not, I will dwell in heaven forever).

3. Short, simple, clear sentences. Ex: The lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

4. Present tense. Ex: Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5. Indicative mood, active voice. Ex: He makes me lie down in green pastures.

5. Using images and pictures. We can see that the entire poem is all images and pictures.

These are standards of writing, brothers and sisters. Keep these in mind. Kalil Gibran took these standards to the utmost, by concreting every single abstract idea.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE

OK, here is today’s challenge, everyone.

Please translate the following news article into Vietnamese.

Obama Reaches Out to Muslim World
By MARK S. SMITH

CAIRO (June 4) — Quoting from the Quran for emphasis, President Barack Obama called for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims” Thursday and said together, they could confront violent extremism across the globe and advance the timeless search for peace in the Middle East.

“This cycle of suspicion and discord must end,” Obama said in a widely anticipated speech in one of the world’s largest Muslim countries, an address designed to reframe relations after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The White House said Obama’s speech contained no new policy proposals on the Middle East. He said American ties with Israel are unbreakable, yet issued a firm, evenhanded call to the Jewish state and Palestinians alike to live up to their international obligations.
In a gesture to the Islamic world, Obama conceded at the beginning of his remarks that tension “has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.”

Have fun. Thank you, everyone.

Have a great day!

Hoành

One thought on “Daily English Challenge–Friday, May 5, 2009”

  1. Obama đến thế giới Hồi giáo

    Trích dẫn kinh Co-ran để nhấn mạnh, tổng thống Barack Obama gọi hôm thứ Năm là “sự khởi sắc giữa Mỹ và Hồi giáo” và nói rằng, chúng ta cùng với nhau đương đầu với chủ nghĩa bạo động cực đoan trên toàn cầu và tiên phong trong việc tìm kiếm hòa bình vĩnh viễn ở Trung Đông.

    Trong một bài phát biểu có tính dự đoán chung tại một trong những quốc gia Hồi giáo lớn nhất thế giới về vấn đề bàn lại mối quan hệ sau sự cố tấn công của khủng bố ngày 11 tháng 9 năm 2001 và chiến tranh Iraq do Mỹ chủ trương, Obama nói rằng “vòng nghi ngờ và bất hòa này phải chấm dứt.”

    Nhà Trắng nói rằng bài phát biểu của tổng thống Obama không đưa ra một chính sách mới nào về Trung Đông. Tổng thống nói rằng quan hệ giữa người Mỹ và người Israel là bền vững, không phá vỡ, công bằng kêu gọi quốc gia Do Thái này cũng như những người Palestine hãy sống theo bổn phận quốc tế của mình.

    Để tỏ thiện chí với thế giới Hồi Giáo, tổng thống Obama thừa nhận trong lời nhận xét ban đầu rằng, sự căng thẳng “do chủ nghĩa thực dân gây ra đã phủ nhận nhiều quyền và cơ hội của những người Hồi giáo và Chiến Tranh Lạnh, trong đó phần lớn các quốc gia Hồi giáo bị coi như là nơi để thử mà các nguyện vọng của họ không được quan tâm đến.”

    Số lượt thích

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