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"To do a burnout" is 烧胎, so I assume a reasonable sentence would be:

昨天晚上我在停车场烧胎。

How would one distinguish this activity from piling up tyres and setting fire to them, for example in this news clipping:

[Pupils] had been unable to go to school ... because roads were being blocked with stones and burning tyres.

The problem was not that people were doing burnouts on the road to school.

TL;DR enter image description here

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I think the right way to express is 昨晚我的车在停车场烧胎了。 –  Zang MingJie Feb 27 '13 at 13:51
    
@ZangMingJie ahh great! Thanks. –  trideceth12 Feb 27 '13 at 16:20
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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

烧胎 is a technical term understood by motor-sports enthusiasts as a burnout. If you are really burning tyres, you would need to say 烧轮胎 instead:

昨天晚上我在停车场烧胎。

A translation for your news clipping example would be:

[学生]无法去上学......因为道路被石头和燃烧着的轮胎给封锁了。

TL;DR???

enter image description here

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TL;DR = "Too long; didn't read". It's used either as a reply to someone who has written too much, or as in my case where the TL;DR section is an abbreviated version of the full version. –  trideceth12 Feb 26 '13 at 8:21
    
I think trideceth12 is actually looking for an adjective + noun expression, not a verb expression, based on the context of his example sentence. 燃烧着的轮胎would probably be a better translation in this case. –  deutschZuid Feb 26 '13 at 11:53
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@trideceth12, yes, I understood what it means. Trying to be funny here :) –  Question Overflow Feb 26 '13 at 12:39
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@JamesJiao, ok I have added that in. –  Question Overflow Feb 26 '13 at 12:41
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I like the TL;DR version!

I would suggest the translation:

点燃轮胎 = to set fire to tires

By using two separate words, it cannot be interpreted as a single term with an idiomatic meaning of "to burn rubber"*. 点燃 might not be the best translation for "to light on fire" (transitive), so I'm open to suggestions, but there are plenty of google hits showing angry protestors lighting tires on fire, so it can't be that wrong.

* As I side-note, I am familiar with "to burn rubber", but not with "to do a burnout". This may be an US vs UK thing though.

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"Burnout" is quite common for this activity. I think in the US they also say "peel out". "Burn rubber" can also just mean to drive fast, and by extension to do anything fast "we need to burn rubber on this project". –  trideceth12 Feb 26 '13 at 6:03
    
Yeah, I've heard "peel out" for situations where you are accelerating rapidly. –  Stumpy Joe Pete Feb 26 '13 at 6:06
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