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

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6
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4answers
2k views

Why does 三明治 mean sandwich when 三 means 3, 明 means bright/clear, and 治 means to rule?

I am a native English speaker who is learning Mandarin Chinese for the AP Chinese test next year. I stumbled on this "anomaly", and I would like your help. Thank you.
6
votes
2answers
273 views

What's the most accurate translation for “copping a feel”?

Absolutely the best first question I've ever asked on any site, ever. I've considered: 吃豆腐 (but I don't think this is limited to physical actions) 偷偷亂摸 猴子偷桃 (but I think this is too specific?) Is ...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

Standards: Japanese - Chinese Name Translations

Very rarely will you see a Japanese name in Chinese without 汉字. What rules are there for translating Japanese names into Chinese? Take for instance the name Yoshi (よし) 汉字 include: 与四、与志、与子、与士、与司, ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I say that a program (coding) “Works!”

I'm trying to say a program (as in something a programmer/程序员) finally works! Is there a way to translate this "works" into chinese? Could I say 我的代码终于可以了!? Or is there a way that is more clear ...
6
votes
4answers
239 views

Which expressions should I choose to say “thanks for your help”?

If I want to say "Thanks for your help", which sentence is correct and which one is more commonly used? 谢谢你的帮忙 谢谢你的帮助 It seems that the first one is more uncommon but I'm not really ...
6
votes
3answers
128 views

What's the Chinese word for “bare-metal” (computer programming)?

Bare-Metal Programming Bare-metal programming is a term for programming that operates without various layers of abstraction or, as some experts describe it, "without an operating system supporting ...
6
votes
2answers
516 views

Quality of BBC Chinese?

I have been practising Chinese by trying to read some articles in the Chinese section of the BBC News site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/zhongwen/simp/. (I am making quite heavy use of Pleco Reader for this, ...
6
votes
5answers
763 views

Is there a noun that has the meaning of “offer” in Chinese? How to say “offer” in Chinese?

Such as "offer" in 我有了CUHK的入学许可 = "I got an offer from CUHK." 还没有一个地方要我 = "I still don't have any offers." I think there is no such noun in Chinese. Is there?
6
votes
2answers
178 views

文了 也温了 any ideas?

I'm hoping to work my way through the Chinese tv series 新结婚时代, looking up new vocab, learning it as I go and I'm hoping to understand it all as I work through it. Already in the first few lines I've ...
6
votes
3answers
851 views

Is “ 事出必有因 ” the most accurate translation for “ everything happens for a reason ”?

Is " 事出必有因 " the most accurate translation for " everything happens for a reason "? If not, what is it? Thanks!
6
votes
3answers
335 views

脚底抹油-开溜 translate into English

Can someone help me to translate 脚底抹油-开溜 because when I'm using google translate the sentence is so weird.
6
votes
3answers
243 views

When to use “下一个” and when just “下一” to translate English “next”?

When I looked up how to say "next" some time in the last couple of months I found "下一个". So I was using that and seemed to be mostly understood. But then I started noticing that just "下一" was used by ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do you say “I'll be a little late”?

I've learned that 来不及 means that I can't make something at a specific time. I've most often seen it used in the sense that "I can't make the appointment at all". How do you indicate to someone that ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the best Chinese equivalent for “passion” or “to be passionate about something”?

In English, it is common to say you are "passionate about something" or "something is your passion" (e.g. My passion is rockclimbing). This use of 'passion' is different to 'passion' as in ...
6
votes
2answers
278 views

The mysterious role of 占 in a sentence

I know that 占 means "to occupy/to take up". But in this following sentence, I can not figure out what it adds to the meaning as a whole: "对占人口绝大多数的民众来说,还是觉得有钱应该省着花" If I take "zhan" away, ...
5
votes
5answers
309 views

How do you say “walked from…to…”

For example, would it be: 我从我的家到教室走路。? I know how to say simply "from somewhere to somewhere" but I'm not sure where you put the verb if you want to say like "walked from somewhere to someone"
5
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6answers
320 views

Is this correct: “一个游戏有四个季度”

I wanted to find out how to say a sports game has four quarters and the translation I received from Google was: "一个游戏有四个季度" Certain sports games are split into 4 quarters rather than 2 halves and I ...
5
votes
4answers
791 views

Difference between 常常 and 往往

I'm fairly certain I understand how to use 常常,but I don't know if 往往 is used any differently (they both have the same translations). Are there any differences in usage I should be aware of?
5
votes
3answers
357 views

Help me understand why 我艹你 means i f*** you?

This might seem as an unserious question but i was really stunned the first time I had an argument with a Chinese guy in League of Legends and he said: "我艹你". my first thought ofcourse was WTF!?! I ...
5
votes
2answers
761 views

What is a one-character translation of the English word “Freedom”?

I've been trying to find a single-character translation of the word "freedom," but I can't seem to find one anywhere. The best translation I can find is, of course, 自由, which seems to be a fairly ...
5
votes
7answers
931 views

Chinese equivalent of “Oh Burn”

As stated in the title, what would be the Chinese equivalent of the popularly-used term (for kids) "Oh BURN"? I understand it should be used mostly after an insult. I Googled and found nothing but ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

How to say “I'm finished”?

When we've finished doing something like I've finished (doing my homework) what we should say. Can we say 好了 "I'm finished"? (Hǎole) How about "are you finished"? Can we say "好了吗"?. (Hǎole ma)
5
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6answers
766 views

How to say “as you wish” in Chinese

I want to know what to say in the following scenario: I am pushing someone for his own good, and he is not doing what I want, so I would then say to him "Okay, as you wish." How can I express this in ...
5
votes
2answers
482 views

Can someone verify the meaning and age of these ancient Chinese characters?

I came across this interesting article which attempts to support the Christian Genesis story by showing the meaning of some ancient Chinese characters. I would like to verify the meaning of these ...
5
votes
5answers
368 views

寻 找 , 就 寻 见: I do not understand the second “xún”

At the website http://learnchinesethrubible.org/ I find the following phrase: seek and you will find 寻 找 , 就 寻 见 I do not understand the second "xún". In the dictionary http://www.mdbg.net I ...
5
votes
4answers
206 views

What is the subject in this sentence part 有时间到我家去

there is this sentence in a dialog: 好 , 我走了 , 有时间到我家去 . 再见 ! (from my beginner text book) I do understand the translation. Well, I'm going, if you have time, come to my home. Goodbye. However, ...
5
votes
2answers
193 views

Correct usage of “behind schedule”

What I would like to know is the proper way to say "I am behind schedule" in the general sense similar to "I am running two hours late for the meeting", or "This project is two weeks overdue". When I ...
5
votes
2answers
305 views

Errors and Unnatural Language in a Translation Challenge

I was recently challenged to translate the following sentence from English into Chinese: You should stay away from that bar. A friend of mine went there before, and he ended up in the hospital after ...
5
votes
2answers
153 views

How to say “a beneficial insect”?

I want to be able to say to my son that an insect is beneficial. I know I can use 害虫 for an insect that is harmful, but is there something I can use to say beneficial other than 好虫 which I assume is ...
5
votes
2answers
236 views

meaning of 傳 in 傳不習乎?

In Analects, chapter 4, 「吾日三省吾身 為人謀而不忠乎? 與朋友交而不信乎? 傳不習乎?」 I would translate it: Master Ceng said: everyday I check three things in myself: do I plan my behavior without loyalty? do I make friends ...
5
votes
2answers
221 views

How would one write “face up” (e.g. as an instruction on a copier)?

We are trying to solve a minor mystery over at Japanese.SE: I found a multifunction printer/scanner/copier/faxer that had the following instruction label on it. Curiously, the last two lines are ...
5
votes
3answers
220 views

How can I find the exact written versions of commonly spoken Cantonese words?

I was trying (unsuccessfully) to find the written representation of the Cantonese translation of "to make", pronounced as "jing", by looking through the alternatives on Google Translate and reading ...
5
votes
6answers
315 views

What is the translation of “attached to X”?

For example: "He is too attached to his money and wealth". "He is very attached to his house" Note: the meaning of "attached to" is closer to the feeling of very hard to letting go of something. ...
5
votes
1answer
495 views

What is the meaning of 當 and 自強 in 男兒當自強?

男兒當自強 is the title of the main theme in wong feihong, i was told its translation is "a man has to stand one's ground", i do not know how verbatim this translation is. 男兒 is man, 自強 is either "his ...
5
votes
4answers
363 views

That mystical 就 again

Here is a sentence: 厨房壁炉架上的那面镜子就把哈利吓了一跳 Below are my translation variants. Bold letters should be a 'jiu' english analog here. The mirror on top of the kitchen's fireplace scared Harry the ...
5
votes
2answers
399 views

What are the connotations of the word 拳拳?

I chose 拳拳 as my own Chinese name, having the meaning of my name in mind. I got it from an online dictionary, so I would like to know what native speakers "get" from it, as in what are the ...
5
votes
3answers
431 views

How are Latin botanical names handled in Chinese?

How are Latin botanical names (e.g. Rattus rattus or Eucalyptus marginata) handled in Chinese? Does a Chinese botanist simply use Latin? Are there specific characters allocated for these words?
5
votes
3answers
164 views

Is 工作详细情况 similar to work experience?

I´m working with Chinese resumes and I´ve found this expression 工作详细情况" I´d like to know if it could be translated as work experience. Is it the same thing? Could 工作详细情况 work as a work ...
5
votes
4answers
362 views

How you say… I feel good after finally getting closure

I'm looking for an idiom that describes feeling better after getting closure/some explanation/clarity on a certain issue... whether breaking up with significant other and having a final ...
5
votes
2answers
352 views

How to translate 'hyper-','super-' and 'ultra-' exactly?

The prefixes hyper-, super-, and ultra- seems all has meaning 'transcend' or 'upper class' and can all be translated to '超'. But they have a bit difference, e.g. hypergiant is larger than supergiant; ...
5
votes
3answers
289 views

The meaning of a Chinese inscription found under a little sculpture

I bought a figure of a taoist wise some years ago, and in all these years I have been unable to decipher the tiny seal (1cm x 1cm) under the figure. It is an important figure in my life and I would ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

What is the difference between 探望 and 看?

Both the expressions 探望 and 看 are, in an appropriate context, translated as "to visit". I haven't been able to figure out the difference between the two. When does one use 探望, when does one use 看?
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Introduction. What's the difference between 介绍, 简介, 入门, 引导, 导语, 导论, 引子?

I've seen 介绍, 简介 and 导语 in news pieces, which labels a one sentence synopsis of the article. Is there any difference between these three? 介绍, 简介 look to be interchangeable, and used commonly like 介绍 ...
5
votes
1answer
366 views

Why 意大利 and not e.g., 意国

I always wondered why all main European countries are spelled in chinese with a Hanzi that identifies them or some about their origins more the 国 morpheme, Italy has a uncontested importance in ...
5
votes
4answers
255 views

Does 从来 translate to “always”?

Does anyone know if 从来 translates to "always"? And if it is, is it used in the same way? For example if I want to say: "I always buy oranges", would that be “我从来买橘子”?
5
votes
2answers
712 views

How to say “politically correct” or “political correctness” in Chinese?

A lot posts online use 政治正确 to mean "politically correct" or "political correctness" in English and I can say it is wrong. A few posts use 政治委婉语, but it doesn't sound good to me either, because 政治 in ...
5
votes
4answers
212 views

What is the difference between 参加 and 参与?

I have been using these interchangeably, until today I was corrected, being told that one "参加活动”, not "参与活动“. I then looked up the definition, but it wasn't too helpful. How do I know when to use ...
5
votes
4answers
171 views

Can 太久 be used to refer to time past between two dates?

As an example, if I am making plans to meet with a friend, and I say I am free on a specific date, say 2 weeks from now, and then I follow up by asking my friend "Or is that too far ahead?" To ...
5
votes
4answers
155 views

How to translate 实时新闻定制和推送系统 to English?

I once worked on a project called 实时新闻定制和推送系统. Now someone translated it to English as Real-time News Ordering and Pushing System. However I feel strange with the word Ordering. I often hear the word ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you say “some people” in Chinese?

Like, if I wanted to say "Some people think I look like...." how would I say that? Would it be: some 人觉得我长得像....?