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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
4answers
165 views

How do you translate “if she had not helped her, they both would be dead now” ?

How do you express in Chinese a conditional set in the past that did not actually happened? Like for instance: if she had not helped her, they both would be dead now
2
votes
2answers
117 views

What is the function of 當 in 當愛已成往事 ?

I think 愛已成往事 is complete chinese sentence, that means: love already turned into sth. of the past. Well, but how does the meaning changes when 當 is put in front of it to form 當愛已成往事 ?
2
votes
2answers
235 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?
2
votes
3answers
269 views

Using 色 with colors

I'm making something to teach students Chinese colors... Let's say they have to match a color to a square- Is it okay to just use 红, 蓝, 紫, etc on each block just as long as they know 色 means color... ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Having trouble translating this: 多是不跑步的替跑步的操心

My rough translation is "better not to run than to run and worry about it." It's the double 的 and 替 that's throwing me off. Is my translation close? Here's the context: ...
2
votes
5answers
352 views

(Better) Translations of: 稀罕/稀奇?

In Chinese 稀罕 and 稀奇 are often used negatively to express disdain, e.g.: ABC 我不稀罕你的钱。 Wǒ bù xīhan nǐ de qián. I don't care about your money. And 你以为我稀奇你的东西? Dictionaries often ...
2
votes
3answers
138 views

How to say X were said to do Y?

Example: The hijackers were said to demand the plane to fly to Iran The only think I could think of was 有人告訴 (somebody said), and putting it at the beginning, like: 有人告訴劫機者... Is this ...
2
votes
1answer
237 views

Is this a translation of 逍遥游?

I think this is from 逍遥游, but I'm not sure. I just can't locate the following sentence. Thus, the wise man looks into space, and does not regard the small as too little, nor the great as too ...
2
votes
3answers
176 views

What is the most appropriate translation for this law article?

In this Skeptics answer, a user provided a rough translation of a Chinese law article — from this source — about vehicles and pedestrians using Google Translate. So I thought, why don't we provide a ...
2
votes
5answers
186 views

What does 你要买点儿什么? mean exactly? (吗 question vs. Wh- question)

I already learned that Chinese wh- questions don't require a 吗 particle but I got stuck on this sentence: 你要买点儿什么? Which does the sentence mean, "what will you buy?" or "will you buy ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

How to translate this usage of “afford”

How does one translate the following sentences? I can't afford to lose any more time. I can't afford to lose any more sleep. I've tried looking this up, but nothing quite matches the ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

What is the meaning of the phrase 铁血丹心 ?

This is the title of a famous wuxia-novel, whose full title is 射鵰英雄傳之鐵血丹心, it is also a the name of a Cantonese song. I have searched for an explanation of this phrase. I thought, maybe it is a ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

How to use correctly use 是否?

I'm not entirely sure what is suppose to follow 是否. For example, I'd like to say: I wasn't know (or wasn't sure) if you heard me clearly. I'm not sure if this is how it should be translated: ...
2
votes
3answers
229 views

How would you translate 魔都 in English?

I know it is referring to Shanghai, and Baidu has a handy explanation of its origins here, but how would you translate it? "The Mystic Capital"? "The Devilish Capital"? In the theme of 帝都 to describe ...
2
votes
4answers
328 views

How to say something is “an acquired taste” in Chinese? [closed]

A : "Do you like to eat Durian?" B : "No not really" A : "Yeah, I guess it's really an acquired taste"
2
votes
2answers
178 views

How to say “development and support” in Chinese

As an example I want to translate "electronic document workflow system development and support" Translation word by word: 'development' is 发展 and 'support' is 支援 But googling of 发展和支援 does not give ...
2
votes
3answers
133 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
1answer
89 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。
2
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
145 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Translation: Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss

I'm reading the book Born for Love at the moment and came across the following passage: In all great religions, for example, there’s an equivalent of the Golden Rule, a summary of moral teachings ...
2
votes
3answers
676 views

Why is Zhenya Wang's surname in English “Wang” but sometimes pronounced “Wong”?

Australian politician Zhenya Wang, sometimes called Dio Wang, Chinese name 王振亚, has his surname written in English as "Wang", but it's sometimes pronounced in English as "Wong". Another Australian ...
2
votes
2answers
181 views

What is the verbatim meaning of the phrase 了不得了?

I stumpled upon this phrase, unfortunately the verbatim meaning was not explained, only how it is used in a sentence: sentence pattern: 了不得了, sentence. (first 了 read as liao2, second 了 as le) 了不得了 ...
2
votes
3answers
82 views

Singing in tune translation help

I sang Chinese karaoke last night... went alright... but couldn't sing in tune. I wanted to express this to my Chinese friends.... so I wanted to learn phrases/words related to singing and music, ...
2
votes
1answer
151 views

Differences between 股份有限公司 and 有限公司

I am currently making a company database of different Chinese firms and as it is I have to give the English versions of the names translated from traditional Chinese. So I have been wondering about ...
2
votes
2answers
182 views

How to translate “I have always been”

I have always struggled with this translation, but have never quite figured it out. How do I translate I have always been ... Some examples would be: I have always been an academic I have ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Can “ 天空一片蔚藍 ” also be “一片蔚藍天空”? And translation please?

Can " 天空一片蔚藍 " also be "一片蔚藍天空"? And what's the reason? Could "天空是一片蔚藍" be correct too? Also can someone give a good translation? I just translate it as "An azure blue sky". I might be over ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

the word “menu” in the context of gaming

The word for a food menu is 菜单 Càidān, sensibly translating as "food list." But what would you call a game menu? I could only think of 选项 Xuǎnxiàng, but this "options", which may be a sub item in the ...
2
votes
2answers
244 views

How do I translate, “by pretending that something is real?”

Just as the title says. I really have no idea how to translate the word "by" in this sense. It's just a form of grammar I've never even been exposed to, so I wouldn't know where to start. Anyone know ...
2
votes
1answer
925 views

Do the four Chinese symbols in the bottom-left corner of a Samsung battery mean manufacturing date?

For the purpose of this question I'd like to know whether the four Chinese characters in the bottom-left corner of the i9250 Samsung battery really mean manufacturing date: Here, here or here are ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

Translation: 地灾

We're getting 地灾 warnings over here...but what is a 地灾? Apparently it's short for 地质灾害... adsotrans dictionary defines it, word-for-word, as a geological disaster; which is pretty meaningless ...
2
votes
2answers
301 views

Translation: Self-Conscious

In English we use 'self-conscious' to mean 'conscious (or worried) about oneself' like: The cameras made her feel self-conscious about her weight. Or Don't mention his acne, he's really ...
2
votes
3answers
124 views

Headline: “YouTube创始人从雅虎手中收购Delicious”. What is the purpose of “手中”

If you take out 手中, isn't the translation, YouTube founder buys Delicious from Yahoo, still conveyed? What does 手中 add? http://tech.sina.com.cn/i/2011-04-28/09065460713.shtml
2
votes
2answers
97 views

How would you say 绵延不绝的小山 and 一望无际的田野 in English [closed]

How would you say 绵延不绝的小山 and 一望无际的田野 in English? Continuous mountains, and large and large fields? Thanks!
2
votes
2answers
344 views

How to congratulate someone on getting a new job?

How would I congratulate someone on getting a new job? In English I would say something like: Congratulations on your new job! I've done a bit of research and came up with these: 祝你找到一个好工作 ...
2
votes
4answers
459 views

Expressing “Fair enough”

The English expression "fair enough" can be used to concede a point in an argument, or acknowledge the other person's position, without expressing complete agreement. To take an example from ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

(Literally) Seeing Through Things

Earlier today, I ended up in a discussion which somehow involved people who were (literally) transparent. I was somewhat at a loss for how to say "Can you see through him?". After some research, I've ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

How would you say 悲凉 in English?

How would you say 悲凉 in English? For example, 每当想起自己的经历,心里就阵阵悲凉。
2
votes
1answer
142 views

How to say “here you go” when giving a gift?

I believe you can informally say "gěi" when handing something over like the soy sauce during dinner, right? But what can you say when you give a gift? Like "Here you go" instead of just "Here". Or ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

a better translation for the expression “psychology is dead”

Expressions such as psychology is dead in A cognitive scientist once told me that psychology is dead. are examples of personification, in this case, to convey the idea that psychology is using ...
2
votes
4answers
368 views

Email salutations for mother / father

Wikipedia lists many honorifics for one's own family, but I don't see any for one's own (living) mother or father. How would an adult write the equivalent of "Dear Mom" or "Dear Dad" in an email? Does ...
2
votes
3answers
134 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
2
votes
2answers
233 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
1answer
85 views

Small Red Vase W/ Chinese on bottom?

Can someone help me decipher these characters? These are on a small red vase with a small "wick" attached to the top. Thanks!
2
votes
2answers
154 views

Translation Gaps On Comic Conversation : 1

As always: I appreciate any help provided. Thanks again. Background I am reading Doraemon (or at least I am trying to read it) and sometimes I can't quite see the character while other times I have ...
2
votes
2answers
143 views

Translate: 荒谬时代要吃得好玩到老经常想母猫

What's the meaning of this sentence? 荒谬时代要吃得好玩到老经常想母猫。 荒谬时代 means ridiculous age, i think. 好玩 means amusing, fun But i couldn't understand the whole sentence. Can anyone help?
2
votes
4answers
144 views

CH-E Name Translation Etiquette

Is there any official way to translate Chinese names into English? Chinese is of course: surname + name, usually when translated into English why is the same formatting kept? 毛泽东 is usually written ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

NY Times 翻译: He presented the choice in binary terms - 他用非此即彼的二元论来表述这个选择. Too complex?

I'm having problems figuring The NY Times' translation. Why so complex? 他用非此即彼的二元论来表述这个选择. He presented the choice in binary terms So Google Translate gives me: 他用非此即彼 - He used one or the other. ...
2
votes
1answer
276 views

How would you translate 细腻 into English?

My Chinese coworkers were describing Korean drama TV shows & said that the actors faces are "细腻" xi4ni4. When I look this up in my dictionary, I get 2 definitions "fine & smooth" or ...
2
votes
2answers
229 views

What does “想問伊人何處” mean?

There's this song in Chinese with these lyrics. 起雲動劍下虎嘯龍吟 誰知成敗早已是天定 想問伊人何處 離愁漸遠漸生 但願人長久情常在 無悔無憾 What does the phrase "想問伊人何處" mean and connote? I understand this song to be sad.