What is the best way of expressing 'dates back to' in Mandarin? e.g. the family's lineage dates back to 1720..etc
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'Dates back to' is usually translated into '追溯到', which literally means 'trace back to'.
When used in a sentence, people usually add 可以 (can/may) or 要 (have to) before 追溯到, for example:
A very formal way to translate this word is “追(zhuī)朔(shuò)到(dào)”。
For example: 中(Zhōnɡ)国(ɡuó)的(de)历(lì)史(shǐ)可(kě)以(yǐ)追(zhuī)朔(shuò)到(dào) 5000 年(nián)以(yǐ)前(qián)。 ( China’s history dates back to 5000 years ago.)