Languages are strange. I’m not sure I’d consider myself bilingual, though I’ve heard Mandarin Chinese from birth and learned it in school up through age 17, reading, listening, speaking, writing the language at least a few times a week. I express myself primarily in English, and definitely think and dream in English (though I do simple multiplications in Mandarin… thanks to abacus classes and rote memory of times tables) . I barely write now, only the occasional short letters and cards to grandmothers. The last time I wrote substantially in Mandarin would have been a decade ago for my last exam, in 2009. It seems funny now to think of it; would I still be able to read what I wrote?
Yet emotions, nostalgia, relationships all seem better expressed in, or at least more associated with Mandarin, to me. Perhaps it’s the songs I listen to. In any case, I felt like writing in Mandarin; apologies to any native Mandarin speaker reading this if I wrote anything wrongly/badly and do leave a comment pointing it out!
English translation: Memories
Sometimes, I recall the past
Those years of friendship, frank conversations
Relaxed jokes, reality of that time
Maybe some friendships are meant to last forever
Maybe friendships were always meant to be ephemeral
All I know is that those past friendships cannot be regained
And will never again experience that happiness of friendships.