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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
2answers
102 views

Meaning of “不了” in “忘不了/喝不了/…”

I know that 了 after a verb means a completion or termination of a certain action, such as: 吃飽了 (I am) full. 開始了 (It) has started. 不動了 (It) is not moving anymore. But what about 了 ...
1
vote
3answers
102 views

為無為, 則無不治 translation of Dao De Jing

these are to last lines of the third chapter of Dao De Jing.my question to the first line: Is the first 為 used in another meaning than the last one. I know what is 無為. Should I translate it: by 無為, ...
2
votes
1answer
200 views

The real meaning of “傲嬌”

Until recently, I have known the meaning of this word as described on the wiki page. I thought it is used to refer to people, particularly female, who are cold on the outside and hot, as in intimate, ...
2
votes
3answers
121 views

A translation for “嫂子”?

I know what 嫂子 means literally, but is there an alternative meaning for it? For example, it's like a "title" I suppose when a person doesn't know their name and just calls them that.
2
votes
3answers
261 views

Any english equivalent for “前輩” or “晚輩”?

It's used in respect for talking to a superior and respectfully, so is there even an english equivalent for it or is it just a special title used for Chinese?
0
votes
2answers
126 views

What would be an english translation for “手中法訣”?

By "手中法訣", I mean where their hands are rapidly moving in certain patterns in a special movement, but I don't know what's it called (if there's a name for it) nor how to say it english.
3
votes
3answers
234 views

In novels, what would be a good english translation for “師祖”?

師祖 As in heads of martial schools, or masters of martial schools. I suppose "founder" can do, but it doesn't sound right. "Elders" is taken by another word, and "master" only seems to work for a ...
4
votes
2answers
167 views

What is smaller than 小

There are so many ways to say "tiny" it seems. What is the most common way to say "tiny" to something, as in size, an object. Like a tiny insect, or tiny butterfly. Small in English, is still ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Usage of 一边 (doing things simultaneously)?

Is this the correct way of saying "she is taking a bath while listening to music"? 她一边洗澡,一边听音乐。
5
votes
1answer
91 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, ...
1
vote
5answers
187 views

Translation/Colloquial Equivalents: “There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat”

I've come across a few, very poor, literal translations for the English, “there's more than one way to skin a cat”: 给猫剥皮不止有一种方法 (谚)达到目的的方法不止一种 到达目标的设施多得很。 What colloquial ...
4
votes
3answers
108 views

Any “casual” translation for 遵命?

遵命 It's said from a person of lesser position to a person of higher position, ie from soldier to general. What would be a more "casual" way of translating it into English other than "As you ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

Which Harry Potter Translation is better

I have two versions of Harry Potter (book 1) in mandarin chinese. Although the translation are mostly the same. There are enough difference to make me wonder if one is better than the other. By better ...
3
votes
3answers
144 views

Translation from english to chinese:

I've tried to translate the first part of the song The final countdown, can you correct me? We're leaving together 我們離開一起。 But still it's farewell 但是,還有告別。 And maybe we'll come back 可能我們來到這兒一邊 To ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

Sect vs School for “宗門”

宗門 In the context of ancient China times, and in a fantasy novel, where people collect disciples for martial arts and whatnot. Would xx sect be better or xx school? Or even xx faction instead of ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

What does “蕊屁” mean?

At https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyNNvgW1dSg&lc=z13jt1khfxr4zzw0k225sjfzzyn1hhebs04, someone wrote: 看完電影後整晚都在蕊屁OST Another person wrote in reply: +1 瘋狂蕊批 What does "蕊屁" mean?
4
votes
1answer
397 views

What does 神逻辑 mean?

I've encountered this word online. If you google "神逻辑" (with quotes) you'll find mostly instances where it's used as a standalone noun. Anyone know what it means, and maybe its origin/the explanation ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

What does “現代修真” mean?

現代修真 Is a type/category of novel, but what does it mean in English? 現代 Is basically modern, but what would 修真 mean in this case? If 修真 means "Cultivating True Virtue", it doesn't ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

English Equivalent of “修煉”?

For example 修煉體係 What would an English translation for that be? Google says "Taoism", but that doesn't sound right, although it may be very slightly correct. I could only think of "Qi ...
0
votes
2answers
145 views

“I thought this would look good” in Chinese? [closed]

How would I say "I thought this would look good" in Chinese? I am specifically looking for the word corresponding to "I thought".
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What does this woman say in Chinese? (From the new Daredevil tv show)

I was watching the new Daredevil show and noticed this bit. I was hoping somebody might be able to explain what the elderly lady is saying...Thanks. Here is the clip: ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

What is the meaning of 串串儿?

The only translation I can find has to do with strings...? I heard this phrase when someone was speaking about 四川菜, is this related to 火锅? Is this phrase a joke of sorts about the Sichuan dialect ? ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

What does “翻起了短信” mean?

xxx翻起了短信 I know that 翻 can mean flp, cross, etc. So does the phrase mean "flipping through messages" or "crossing through messages", aka "deleting messages"? Could it also mean "replying to ...
2
votes
2answers
175 views

What does “禦姐” mean?

I was reading a description of a web novel, and it said something about "禦姐/御姐", and I'm wondering what does it mean? I know it is describing females, but what would be a good english translation?
1
vote
3answers
96 views

How to say “in front of everyone” in Chinese

I have 在大家面前 and 在公共场所。It is for the sentence "I don't want to say this in front of everyone."
1
vote
3answers
59 views

How to say this sentence in Chinese [closed]

Do you know what this guy thought about the breakfast in that restaurant? It's never too early to get diarrhea!
1
vote
1answer
93 views

What's “that” and “which” in Chinese

I know that for sentences such as "this is a port that has been closed for 20 years" I could use 的 or start another phrase. Is it this way for "which" as well?
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Translating a sentence

"I'd rather be a dick than a swallower" Pretty straightforward. I tried to solve it by using google translate and what little of Chinese language knowledge I've got but I'm still not sure about it. ...
1
vote
2answers
109 views

An English equivalent of “還真是抬舉他了”?

I understand what it means, ([I] really overpraised him or something), but I can't figure out a good english translation of it. It has the meaning of "overlooking" or "looked up" or something, but I ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

Ingredients of zongzi

Chinese friends brought us zongzi from China. I copied ingredients from two packs: Pack 1 桃豆蜜枣粽 糯米,饮用水,蜜枣,鹰嘴豆,白砂糖,食品植物油。 红枣桂圆粽 糯米,饮用水,花生,红枣,桂圆,白砂糖。 Pack 2 蛋黄鲜肉粽 ...
1
vote
3answers
99 views

What would 黑著臉 mean?

黑著臉, Directly translating it, it would be "blacking his face", so is it something like "his face went dark" (Not even sure if that means anything or is proper in english). Could it also be something ...
0
votes
3answers
94 views

What does this headline mean?

女子700万买下学位房学区调整致算盘落空. I looked the words up individually using MDBG and also used Google Translate to get a general idea, but it still didn't make any sense.
-2
votes
1answer
59 views

What is the translation of this nameplate? [closed]

I'm in a need of this product and I can't seem to find what this nameplate means anywhere. I'm looking for a name of the manufacturer or something that point me to that.
1
vote
1answer
100 views

What's “ended in a disaster” in Chinese?

I think it's 以灾难结局, and that people will understand that. However, is there a more authentic term or is this it?
0
votes
3answers
77 views

What is the meaning of this?

I was on the internet, and I found this slogan 我待国足如初恋. Does this mean "I treat national soccer like first love?"
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Chinese use of abstract “saw?”

I'm trying to accurately translate an abstract use of "saw." Example: the Korean War saw fighting between America and the PRC. 朝鲜战争看到了美国与中华人民共和国之间的战斗。 Now, I have no idea if that sentence is ...
1
vote
2answers
117 views

How to say “gibberish” in Chinese?

I have been on multiple sentence bases and have found words such as 胡言乱语,词不达意。。。But is there another, better term?
3
votes
1answer
321 views

Subway door announcement mystery

I think probably every metro system around the world has to have an audio announcement warning passengers to stay away from the train's doors as they're closing. Here in New York, a pre-recorded voice ...
5
votes
4answers
159 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Is this the correct way to say “I practice Chinese with my friend”?

Is "我习说中文一起我的朋友" the correct way to say "I practice speaking Chinese with my friend"?
1
vote
4answers
152 views

How can I translate “The Ghost Town's Beauty” into Chinese?

I want to write a short story and I want to give it both an English and a Chinese title. I can read a little bit of Chinese, but unfortunately I was unable to properly translate the title myself. The ...
1
vote
5answers
180 views

Translation for “ray of sunlight after rain”

I am looking for a Chinese translation of the Swahili word kianga, which has the following meanings: burst of light burst of sunshine clear up (after rain) ray of sunlight after rain clearing up (of ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Can someone translate “capital stacks” to Chinese?

This is a financial term, and I'm hoping for the most professionally used term. Capital Stacks: A description of the totality of capital invested in a project, including pure debt, hybrid debt, ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

How to say: subway line is not in operation

How to say in Chinese: Today part of the blue subway line is not in operation. Should it be 在操作? Or another word?
1
vote
4answers
274 views

What does it mean by “失敗就懷孕”?

I'm reading a web novel, and it states: “大約是失敗就懷孕之類的任務吧……” What does "懷孕" mean or represent in this context?
0
votes
1answer
155 views

口是心非 歌词 : “怕是怕” What does “x Shi x” mean?

I was listening to one of my favorite Chinese songs, 口是心非 (duplicity) by 张雨生, and there's a line in the chorus that says 于是爱恨交错人消瘦 怕是怕这些苦没来由 a) what does x 是 x mean? b) what does it mean in ...
2
votes
2answers
169 views

Translation of “要” in “我去要出租车”

"我去要出租车" What is the meaning of "要" in this sentence?
1
vote
2answers
97 views

How to ask for a given choice of options?

In English one way to ask which option is the right one is by using whether: Could you tell me, whether you are a student, teacher or visitor? How would this be realized in Chinese?
4
votes
2answers
169 views

Is 你好,北京 grammatical?

Today Victoria Beckham tweeted it. But is this reverse form (as opposed to 北京,你好) correct?
2
votes
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 ...