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Trying to translate this: 始终是碰不上边的...

From the beginning, not able to meet (in agreement) with those above?

I searched on "不上边" in 百度 and it seems there are multiple ways to interpret it - position-wise and for example, this: 世界杯与穷人沾不上边. Here top is not top as in position, but priority? Does 不上边 have different meanings?

Here's the context for the first phrase:

Connie: 龃龉,我们看它的汉字。这两个字呢,都有一个,牙齿的齿… …它的左边。

徐州: 那跟牙齿有关系。

Connie: 啊,有关系。龃龉呢是说,牙齒上下,对不起。

徐州: 啊…

Connie: 嗯,就是它对不上,就是很错乱的。

徐州: 啊…唉…

Connie: 看起来很难看吧。

徐州: 对的。

Connie: 啊, 所以它用来比喻呢,啊, 双方的意见不和。

徐州: 嗯。观念啊、关点啊、始终是碰*不上边*的。

Connie: 嗯,对。

徐州: 好。

Connie: 所以我们会说龃龉不断或者发生龃龉。就是两个人产生意见不和你可以说发生龃龉。

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There's two things going on; a verb (碰边 or 沾边) and an auxiliary verb (不上) inserted in the middle.

碰边, 沾边 literally mean "to touch the edge", which is a metaphor for relationship. 不上 means "unable to" in this context (similar to 不到 or 不得). So altogether, 碰不上边 means "unrelated".

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I would probably refer to 不上 as a verb infix, rather than an aux verb. Anyway, terminology aside, this answer is right on the mark. –  deutschZuid Feb 5 at 0:28
    
@deutschZuid sure; I'm no linguist so if you think the terminology can be corrected, please go ahead and make an edit. –  congusbongus Feb 5 at 0:29
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Are there multiple translations for 不上边?

The related phrases are:

1)无关

2)不着调

3)牛头不对马嘴

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haha, I like #3, very interesting! –  amateur Feb 5 at 7:10
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碰不上边(cannot touch each other's edge)=对不上(cannot match each other)=不合(cannot agree with each other)

不知道词源是怎么样的,但是你想象有两个盘子,连边都碰不上,怎么可能合得上呢? (How can they match each other (like we are doing a jigsaw) even if their edge cannot touch each other?)

说 两个人(意见)不合,就是说they don't agree with each other.

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