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I don't speak much Chinese at all and would like to write a letter to our adopted grandmother. Thank you for the help! Here is what I have:

曾祖母尊鉴;

我们想念你。 红红感冒。

我们会回来的,当时她是健康的。

我们爱你。

谨此

Here is what I am trying to say:

Dear Great Grandmother,

We miss you. Hong Hong has a cold.

We'll be back, when she is healthy.

We love you.

Sincerely.

  • Yes, she will love it. Tang Ho gives good advice -- including the advice that you do not need to make the Chinese sound perfect. So use that advice if you like, and it will help you learn. But you can be sure your grandmother will like the letter even if you send it just the way it is now. – Colin McLarty Aug 29 '16 at 21:11
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Any native Chinese speaker can edit and make your letter perfect and native sounding, however, that would not be your writing and won't help your learning. Instead, I would suggest some basic improvement.

紅紅感冒

  • since Chinese grammar doesn't have tenses, you have to indicate Hong Hong's is "currently" having a cold by putting "現在"(now/currently) in front of the verb.

  • If you treat 感冒 as a noun, "紅紅感冒" in English would be " Hong Hong flu" (subject+n) you need to add a verb between the two nouns, the simplest one is "有"(has); If you treat 感冒 as a verb, then you don't need to add another verb.

我們會回來,當時她是健康的。

Unlike in English, Chinese sentences usually state the time first, therefore, this sentence should has been "當時她是健康的, 我們會回來。" but "當時" is a common term for " at that time (in the past)". The correct structure is [ (當) + (relative phrase) + (時)] / [ (當)+(她健康) +(時)]

當她健康時 ( when she is healthy) would be grammatically correct.

我們會回來 means " we will be back" , you should add the reason " to see you" and write " 我們會回來看你"

*You can further improve the writing by replace " 當她健康時" (when she s health) with " 等她康復後" (wait until she has recovered)

*Using terms like "尊鑒, 謹此" is too formal for someone close to you. A casual " 親愛的" (dear) feels more intimate.

*To avoid the same subject 我們 appear twice in consecutive sentences, you can omit the second subject 我們.

親愛的曾祖母:

我們想念你 , 現在紅紅(有)感冒, 等她康復後,我們會回來看你,

愛你!

*is she 祖母 (grandmother) or 曾祖母 (great grandmother?)

  • Using old script is of no help to the OP. Do you have an agenda or something? – user4452 Aug 29 '16 at 17:01
  • Read my first statement. If you think write a perfect Chinese letter for him is helping, because this site is a free proofread service, then no, it wasn't helping; if you agree this site is here to help people to learn, I think I did, by pointing out basic mistakes in the letter and explain the basic Chinese grammar structure to him, within a new learner's ability to digest. If I tried to give a long and detailed "lesson" to him, it would simply go over his head at his current beginner Chinese level, indicated in his writing – Tang Ho Aug 29 '16 at 17:20
  • Wouldn't "紅紅感冒" in English would be " Hong Hong catch cold" (subject+tenseless verb)? I don't see how to add 有. – Colin McLarty Aug 29 '16 at 21:05
  • You are correct, if you treat 感冒 as a noun, you have to write 紅紅(有)感冒(Hong Hong has flu); if you treat 感冒 as a verb, then you don't need to add another verb. You should still add "現在"(now/currently) in either case to indicate it is not a past event. – Tang Ho Aug 29 '16 at 22:49
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Just one tip for you:

Use 红红感冒了 instead of 红红感冒.

By adding a can simply clarify that the child Hong Hong got a cold and is still having it.

  • That's debatable, "了" is a final particle. It emphasizes the fact in the statement and indicate the sentence is finished. It does not change the sentence's meaning much. Even without "了" at the end, "現在紅紅(有)感冒" still indicate she is having a flu now. – Tang Ho Aug 30 '16 at 9:14
  • In fact, if you wrote :"紅紅上星期感冒了。" the readers wouldn't know if she still has it or not. – Tang Ho Aug 30 '16 at 9:22
  • I think the intended meaning in this answer is "紅紅 has caught a cold" (perfective 了). I wouldn't assume that she has recovered unless otherwise specified. Also, this may be a regional thing, but "紅紅上星期感冒了" sounds strange to me. – Brian Tung Aug 31 '16 at 22:42

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