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I have a sentence in my textbook I've mostly translated, but I can't piece this part together.

"交通不是很便利不说,还需要整块的时间"

Google translate spits out:

"Traffic is not very convenient, you also need the entire time"

...which doesn't make much sense to me.

Pleco (my dictionary) doesn't list "整块" as one word, but separates this part into:

整: whole, complete, full, entire; in good order, neat, tidy; put in order, rectify; repair, mend, renovate; make sb suffer, punish

块: piece, lump, chunk; MW for a piece or lump

A whole lump of time?

Is this literally just 很长时间?

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This sentence sounds a little strange. Could you give me more context of this sentence, to help me understand it more? –  Huang Mar 7 '12 at 3:22
    
Yikes. I will try. Here is some more context: "爬山当然不能算是高消费,可是山都在郊外,交通不是很便利不说,还需要整块的时间,一年中能悠闲地爬那么一两回,已经算是十分的心满意足了。" –  aelephant Mar 7 '12 at 3:29
    
+1 for showing what you tried! –  Jon Mar 7 '12 at 4:23
    
@aelephant While it's not something decided (yet), take a look at this about the Mandarin tag. Feel free to state your opinion there (also by voting) –  Alenanno Mar 7 '12 at 9:22
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整块的时间 is rarely used. –  Xiè Jìléi Apr 4 '12 at 8:59
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5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You are correct, by raw translate 整块的时间 is "a whole lump of time", but it's a strange sentence, Chinese never say/write like this. it's almost mean 很长时间.

We would say: "交通不(是很, optional, remove is better)便利不说,还要花(大量精力 or 很长时间)", but the meaning would be different from your sentence. but with all the other sentences together, the meaning is same.

If one really wants to say that, 整段时间 is better, valid, widely-used, but still wired when put in OP's sentence. another similar word is 整天. They both mean "a period of continuous time".

Examples:

早上11点到12点这段时间我都用在泡Stack Exchange上了。

爬了一整天的山,累死我了!

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+1 for giving the OP a more natural version of the sentence in question. –  Jon Mar 8 '12 at 17:14
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Can I share my thoughts after the OP has chosen the best answer?

I disagree with everyone here: 整块的时间 is correct, and I hear people say it all the time.

If you Google the phrase "整块时间" (commonly used without 的), you see a lot of test prep websites suggesting that students use an entire block/period studying for one subject as opposed to spending ten minutes on history when you wait for the bus and another ten before they go to bed (i.e. 用整块时间学习). The opposite is 零碎时间, which means "fragments of time" (five minutes today, five minutes tomorrow).

For example,

你今天得把文章写完!You have to finish your article today!

根本不可能!我五分钟之后要开会,会结束之后十分钟又要参加开幕式!It's impossible! I have a meeting in five minutes and only a ten-minute break before the opening ceremony starts! (Here, if you combine the speaker's five- and ten-minute breaks, he could probably finish the article. But unfortunately he does not have 整块的时间 - only 零碎的时间.)

Similarly, 爬山 takes up 整块的时间 (can't be done during those five-minute breaks) because it's exhausting, not to mention the traffic and the mountain's location. The book is trying to illustrate that "一年中能悠闲地爬那么一两回,已经算是十分的心满意足了", as 爬山 usually takes a day or two.

P.S. Is there an English equivalent of 整块的时间? I can't think of any off the top of my head.

EDIT: Aelephant suggests "a relatively long period of uninterrupted time" - perfect!

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We can also say a block of time in English. It sounds like they are using it to refer to a relatively long period of uninterrupted time, as opposed to a short period of time. –  aelephant Mar 18 '12 at 3:43
    
Right on target, aelephant! Thank you! –  gonnastop Mar 18 '12 at 5:03
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Even the version with the 的 seems to be used quite often: encrypted.google.com/… –  BertR May 22 '12 at 14:22
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People do not say in that way in Chinese, the text book is trying to say is because of traffic, it will take long time.

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Hello ouya2, and welcome to Chinese Language & Usage! Do you mind expanding on your answer? It will help a lot to improve its quality. :) –  Alenanno Mar 8 '12 at 18:19
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This is from a book by Beijing University Press, which as far as I know is a trusted and thoroughly Chinese publishing company. Maybe this is something you would not hear in spoken Chinese but may be used in written language? Is that what you meant? –  aelephant Mar 8 '12 at 22:47
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As a native speaker, I do not think 整块is a right word in Chinese. I did not understand what it means in this context. I guess, it means, it takes whole day to go hiking.

交通不是很便利不说,还需要整块的时间 It translates to: Not only the transpotation is not convenient, but also it takes whole day (to do something).

整段does not sound right in this context neither.

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It is literally almost 很长时间? But at the same time it highlights the time is not seperated, like you do something 2 mins in 7am, then you do it again 2 mins in 9am. 整块means you do something 4 mins in 7am or 9am at a time.

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