A Short Chinese essay (translation from Yeats’s poem) for Learn Mandarin practice

Posted by Grace Feng on June 13, 2012

Watching a short Chinese essay being read via online video might be an efficient way for you to learn how to pronounce and read in Chinese. Unfortunately, these kinds of videos are very hard to find.

I’d like to share with you one of my latest finding on this Learn Mandarin online blog. It is a very short essay that read by 张妙阳 zhāng miào yáng (very good mandarin speaker). The title for the essay is “当你老了 dāng nǐ lǎo le (When you are old)”, it’s a Chinese translation of Yeats’ poem “When you are old”.

Please watch the video first and see how much you could understand. Intermediate level Chinese learners should be able to understand most of it. Beginners with some amount of vocabulary should not have too much trouble to understand through dictionary.

It can be good material for you to practice your Chinese, either speaking or reading.

For readers in China that can’t access Youtube, please use the following link:



When you are old

  — William Butler Yeats

  When you are old and grey and full of sleep,

  And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

  And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

  Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

  How many loved your moments of glad grace,

  And loved your beauty with love false or true,

  But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,

  And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

  And bending down beside the glowing bars,

  Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled

  And paced upon the mountains overhead

  And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

      Let me know whether you find it’s easy to understand or not …


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4 Responses to “A Short Chinese essay (translation from Yeats’s poem) for Learn Mandarin practice”

  1. nothing


    06-14-2012 4:11 pm




    • nothing


      06-14-2012 11:57 pm

      看三次就基本看懂了已经很不错了, 因为这毕竟是诗, 跟日常用语还是有区别的.


  2. nothing


    06-14-2012 4:14 pm




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