Questions on specific points regarding translating Chinese to/from another language. Do your own research first!

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2
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4answers
1k views

Can the famous paradox 白马非马 be translated into English?

This is embarrassing, but let's face it. It is a problem caused by Chinese grammar. A white horse is not a horse. -- false, but no paradox. White horses are not horses. -- false, but no ...
3
votes
5answers
598 views

How best translate 真的要 in to english

I got the following sentence from Chinese pod: 对不起,我今天真的要扫你的兴了,我不能去。 The translation provided goes like this: Sorry, today I'm going to take the wind from your sails, I can't go. Though I feel a ...
1
vote
3answers
71 views

Translation: 机制 (better translations)

机制 is often translated, simply, as: mechanism(s), and often quite ridgidly so. Especially if we look at definitions of a word like 应急机制 KEY 1 emergency response mechanism(s) 2 contingency ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Backwards Translation: “Self-Willed”

South China Morning Post (SCMP) ran an article recently called: "Online slang that found its way into leader's speech." The article said (emphasis is my own): Online slang that found its way into ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

毛虫,肉虫,2 kinds of caterpillar

毛虫,肉虫,2 kinds of caterpillar, Wikipedia and 百度百科 both state that larvae of butterflies come in two varieties, 肉虫 and 毛虫 (in that order: 幼虫的形状多样,有肉虫,也有毛虫。), and there are plenty of pictures of both ...
1
vote
4answers
190 views

Which one is correct, “有名” or “受欢迎”

I want to say "comics are so popular in japan" According to Google Translate, the word "popular" doesn't translate to Chinese as "有名". It translates as "受欢迎" I am confused about which one is correct. ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

How do you say "probably''?

How do you say "probably" in Chinese as in: "probably we will start having lessons next month"......can you use 可能 or 有可能? Can you give me an example of where these are placed in a sentence and how ...
2
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3answers
125 views

So I was reading this in an online dictionary

I can translate it word by word but is it a saying/quote??? 别把这天的彩虹, 放在明天的天空
3
votes
4answers
427 views

How to translate 掩耳盗铃 into English?

Preferably an idiom just as picturesque and succinct. Thanks. Here's the original meaning: The expression 掩耳盗铃 comes from a story about a person who decided to steal a bell. However, the bell ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Translation of “想要买什么东西吗?”

According to tatoeba translation of "Is there anything you want to buy?" is "想要买什么东西吗?" Is there use of 什么 and 吗 in one sentence? If there is not how can I translate"Is there anything you want to ...
2
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0answers
68 views

Can anyone translate? Etching on the sword [closed]

I bought this sword online. No idea what it says.
1
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2answers
65 views

Translation problem

Refer to the sentence "I have two dogs that catch anything I throw except those too heavy". If we are to translate the sentence into Chinese, we may say "我有兩隻能接住我丟的任何不是太重的東西的狗", which is awkward. If ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Translation: “To Say The Least”

Looking for a colloquial way to translate: to say the least into Chinese. Hujiang says: to say the least的意思是: 至少可以这样说,退一步说 至少可以这样说,退一步说 英语句子 The logic of this was weird to say ...
2
votes
3answers
165 views

Translating “哩哏楞”

In the TV drama 追捕 第3集 梁队 (梁志群队张) and 鲁队 (鲁炼) are in 贺局's office discussing the case, and at 27:54 梁队 says to 鲁队: 甭给我来这个哩哏楞. (Dialog especially of the police officers consists mainly of Beijing ...
2
votes
3answers
75 views

Translation: 'Overwhelm'

Overwhelm is a difficult word to deal with. I've seen 难不倒 translated as wouldn't have overwhelmed and XX 劳力 大 as something's power being overwhelming. Oxford has 难以忍受的 (heat, pressure) ...
2
votes
6answers
217 views

What does 且 mean by itself?

I was watching Blur's new music video, which includes a recipe for ice cream with instructions in Chinese. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp1ks7PTzng) At 3:03, the recipe says ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Translation of “we”, pronoun in official company introduction material

I am translating a document that looks like an official introduction of a company maybe to be placed on their website or marketing material. In the document, the first sentence starts with the name ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

How can 蔫 be translated as “mischievous”?

《饥饿的女儿》虹影 著 ch. 2, sect. 4 has the following text: 在学校, 最蔫的男同学对我也没兴趣, is translated by Howard Goldblatt as: "even the most mischievous boys in class showed little or no interest in me". How is this ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

How does one best translate 老在 into english

I couldn't find any translation in my dictionaries. Though. In context it seems to mean 'always'?! 这孩子老在班上捣蛋。 Is this correct. Cheers
0
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2answers
85 views

Translation needed for Chinese vase [closed]

Can anyone translate this for me? I need a translation for the bottom of this vase.
2
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3answers
118 views

What is the translation for “generic brand”?

How does one translate "generic" brand. I've come across several translations: 通用牌子, 一般的牌子,杂牌。 But none of them really demonstrate a generic brand. The first one just means common, the second one ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Meaning/Translation: 熟肉 [TV Series]

I've seen the word 熟肉 associated with TV Series'. For example: What does it mean? What's a good English translation?
5
votes
3answers
397 views

Why 干菜类 was mistakenly translated to Fuck Vegetables?

In the following famous sign which appeared in some supermarket in China: why 干菜类 was mistakenly translated to Fuck Vegetables instead of Dried Vegetables? Is there any hidden meaning in it? ...
1
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3answers
110 views

What would a good gaming translation for 灵术 be?

I found this online, and I'm not really sure how it can be translated to english. 灵 = spirit 术 = technique/surgery So I think it would either be spirit technique, or spirit surgery, but neither ...
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votes
2answers
122 views

How to translate “nonsense” into Chinese with precision?

Sentences that are incapable of true or false are called nonsense, e.g. "quadruplicate drinks procrastination" or "Socrates is a man is a man." I want to say "The Chinese language is incapable of ...
-4
votes
1answer
115 views

Can someone translate this chinese letter? [closed]

I received this letter from my crush. Please help me translate this.
3
votes
1answer
200 views

I need help translating >how< a word would be spoken

I am trying to find someone that will help me take words that are spoken in Spanish, such as Hola, and represent the sounds made by hola in Chinese Pinyin so someone who doesn't speak Spanish could ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

What is the right word order?

I am prepairing to my Chinese exam and have a doubt in using of 有 in describing of things in loction. Could you please correct my word order and explain 有-Usage rules? The task for me is to translate ...
3
votes
6answers
167 views

How to translate “For all you know”?

What are the best ways to translate For all you know? For example: For all you know, she could be lying to you. In response to a friend getting upset that her friend isn't picking up her ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

How to say “Your eyes whispered:'Have we met?' ”in Chinese? [closed]

It's from Taylor's songEnchanted.I need an answer as close to it as possible.
1
vote
3answers
127 views

Meaning/Usage/Translation: 耳膜 vs. 鼓膜?

What's the difference between: 耳膜 and 鼓膜? Apparently they both check out to eardrum in English. 汉语大辞典, even, defines 耳膜 as 耳中鼓膜。 Can 鼓膜 be used in other places then?
1
vote
3answers
215 views

Translation: couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery, etc

Looking for a colloquial Chinese translation of the English: Couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery Wiktionary: Presents an example of a minimally simple project that the person or group ...
3
votes
7answers
192 views

How would you translate “hard” in “squeeze my hand as hard as you can”?

Odd question, perhaps, but I'm stumped. I know that to say 'as fast as you can' you can say 尽可能快, but what about for other adjectives? For example, if you were to say 'Squeeze my hand as hard as ...
2
votes
4answers
181 views

Help to translate “红烧肉” to a foreigner

How to translate "红烧肉" to a foreigner. The braise in soy sauce meat?
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Translation: “世界上,治疗心脏病最好的方式就是不要开刀。” [closed]

Looking for another retrograde translation. Here's the excerpt: 美国有一个心脏病之父,他一生开过,开胸开一万多人。他,美国的心脏科医生都知道,尊称他为心脏病之父。他死掉以后呢,在他的墓碑上面,刻了......了一句话在上面:“世界上,治疗心脏病最好的方式就是不要开刀。” This obviously comes from ...
1
vote
3answers
269 views

translation for “melee” in Mandarin

How do you translate "melee" (as in close hand to hand combat)? I keep getting translations such as "collection of diamonds or diamond fragments", 碎钻. I've also gotten "乱斗", but this means ...
0
votes
2answers
107 views

Translation: Human Penis (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

According to Wikipedia's List Of Traditional Chinese Medicines: Human penis According to Li Shizhen: the human penis is not a drug —[8] Human penis is believed under TCM to stop ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

Can someone translate this for me? [closed]

http://m.imgur.com/i7FcLqc This is from the top of a container my friend found at work. I was wondering if someone could do a quick, easy translation. I tried to draw it in Google translate, but it ...
3
votes
0answers
113 views

Hakka song “kam-thung sim”: character approximation and translation required for a part

Background: Searching for songs as exercises of translation from Chinese, I came across kam-thung sim, the Hakka version of 感动天感动地. Unfortunately, there were no characters (well, except for those ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

What is the Correct Sense of 隔空喊话 in English?

Baidu defines it literally as "not directly engaging with [someone/thing] when talking, rather talking with no person in mind." I'm curious whether it can be close to how we say in English, "[two ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Translation: “people with upright eyes will arrive”

Related: Confucian Messianism, Mencius, etc Still going through Popular Religious Movements and Heterodox Sects in Chinese History by Hubert Seiwert (In collaboration with Ma Xisha) and came across ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Understanding "肯定“ and “一定” in this sentence

The sentence I'm having trouble figuring out is 这些行动是积极的,值得肯定,对于减少烟毒有一定的意义。 Regarding 值得肯定 does it mean it's worth acknowledging as a positive action ? As for 一定的意 does it mean has some ...
1
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2answers
147 views

Conventional meaning of (你)耳朵生翅膀(了)

虹影 饥饿的女儿 Hong Ying, "Daughter of the River" has this sentence: "不行,这样也不对,你耳朵生翅膀了,总听不见我的话?" Translated by Howard Goldblatt (ISBN 0-8021-1637-X) as: "No,that's not right either. Do you have wings on ...
1
vote
3answers
114 views

How to say “After +Verb” in Chinese?

How to say "After +Verb" in daily conversation? For example: "After eating my candy, I will go there". "After he saw you were coming, he left". "After she found the book, she called me". etc. So ...
4
votes
2answers
90 views

Is there a way to translate terms related to the family?

Traditionally, a person may be addressed by taking account of the person's gender, age relative to the speaker, familial relationship to the speaker, and whether or not the person is on the mother or ...
1
vote
3answers
117 views

Do I use “扔掉” or “倒掉” to expressing getting rid of 死水?

I know this is very specific, but I was looking for a translation for standing/stagnant water (context: mosquitoes), but found out it `死水`(if that's incorrect though, someone please kindly notify me). ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

Explaining 烦百事生 in 雨下得人心烦百事生

虹影 饥饿的女儿 Ying Hong - Daughter of the River has the sentence 雨下得人心烦百事生,看不到雨停的希望。(google 烦百事生)。Howard Goldblatt's translation reads:The effect of the rain is despair that you'll ever see the end of ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

Confucian Messianism, Mencius, etc

Just picked up Popular Religious Movements and Heterodox Sects in Chinese History by Hubert Seiwert (In collaboration with Ma Xisha) and was kind of caught aback by the idea of Confucian messianism. ...
6
votes
2answers
236 views

How to Translate 江湖?

I've always wondered how to translate the word "江湖" in a context such as that in Du Mu's poem: 落魄江湖载酒行, 楚腰纤细掌中轻。 This link clearly explains what 江湖 means, but "underworld" isn't particularly ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Colloquial way to express the concept of “默写”

Say you've read a poem by William Shakespeare. You liked it very much so you remembered it by heart. Now you can recite it, i.e., read it aloud from your memory, or, you can write it down accurately ...