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I'm a Chinese, but I'm having trouble translating this to Chinese:

Are you still married to Mary? 

I have never asked this before, but someone asked me if I know the Chinese translation of this. Please help?

All the Chinese translations I can come up with sounded wrong, e.g. 你還跟 Mary 有婚約嗎? It sounded like you are expecting them to divorce.


I'm trying to get my answer off on hold here. For those who had voted me on hold, I first need to say I'm sorry for whatever reason, but if I really did find a fine translation elsewhere, I wouldn't have tried it on the StackExchange community platform.

Anyway, here are the utmost incorrect translations from the sites:

Google Translate:

你還在為結婚瑪麗?

Which means:

Are you still for marriage Mary?

Iciba:

你还和玛丽结婚了吗?

Which means:

Have you still married Mary?
  • 2
    For translation questions, you need to try to find your own answer first; otherwise your question will probably be put on hold. Try sites such as iciba.com, google translate, and general web searches. If you can't find a good solution, come back here and edit your question to show us what you have tried. – wpt Aug 11 '15 at 4:32
  • @wpt, sorry. If I have found an OK translation anywhere on web,I would not have asked here. – Daniel Cheung Aug 11 '15 at 9:13
  • @songyuanyao ... You are asking for a slap on the face for that. – Daniel Cheung Aug 11 '15 at 9:27
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    Danny, a small correction: a slap in the face – Peter Pan Aug 11 '15 at 9:35
  • @songyuanyao You changed the sentence to Is your wife still Mary? which is... – Daniel Cheung Aug 11 '15 at 9:37
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I can see you've tried at least one or two things, and it's a tricky question so I'll give it a shot. Remember, courtesy is everything in a forum like this one.

The problem is that 'to be married' is an adjectival form in English, and there is no corresponding adjectival form in Chinese. That means you can't get a word for word translation. Instead, you will have to rephrase the sentence, perhaps drastically, in order to get the information you want,

Rephrasing takes practice. It's not always easy to find other ways to say what you want to. One way to do this is to treat the process as an English exercise. Look up all the words in a regular bi-lingual dictionary.

For example, in the Oxford Advanced Learner's English Chinese Dictionary, I look up married. The definition gives 結婚的, 己婚的, then lists phrases that use this sense:

a married man 己婚男子
a married woman 己婚女子
a married couple 一對夫婦

The last one is the solution you want, since your sentence can be rephrased in just this way:

Are you and Mary still a married couple?
你跟瑪麗兩個人還是夫婦嗎?

Not 100% the same syntactically as 'Are you still married to Mary', but the sense is almost identical I think. Asking this in Chinese I'm sure will get the information you want, without any strange semantic or social mismatches.

  • The know the StackExchange platform pretty well. And I understand this platform is not for asking for a free job because I'm mainly active on StackOverflow. However, I originally fell asking about an obviously difficult question wouldn't require visible "effort", because it is obvious that I have tried my Googling. Growing up in Hong Kong, we have never learnt the "Chinese grammar". It's only after seeing how others asking, I learnt what they mean by "effort". I'm sorry for being rude to you people verbally. – Daniel Cheung Aug 13 '15 at 11:22
  • However, I'm sorry that I didn't accept your answer because I'm still looking for more answers, :( but I promise I'll see any notifications regarding this post. – Daniel Cheung Aug 13 '15 at 11:23
  • @wpt This question has been opened for a long time without input and I guess yours is the best answer, thanks ;) – Daniel Cheung Aug 23 '15 at 7:15
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In my opinion, if you want to ask someone (person A) the question Are you still married to Mary?, that means that you already suspect person A's relationship with Mary is not very good.

Given that, why not ask something like:

你和玛丽现在还好吗?

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    I see what you did there. But using this approach is a little bit limited, don't you think? What if I'm asking someone who got divorced 2 times so I wouldn't be surprised if he get divorced again. Then I wouldn't use this sentence. – Daniel Cheung Aug 13 '15 at 11:25
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    As native mandarin speaker, I think this is a very good translation. An alternative would be 你和马丽还在一起吗? @DanielCheung I don't understand what you mean by "limited"... you seem to have something implicitly in mind that you didn't express in OP and you want others to get it. People will have no chance to succeed if you don't express what you want clearly. – jf328 Aug 13 '15 at 12:06
  • @jf328 I mean, it is good that it goes around the whole "marriage" thing so it doesn't stir much trouble, but at the same time, there is no "marriage" element inside the sentence. It could be used even when the couple aren't married or friends who had argued. – Daniel Cheung Aug 13 '15 at 15:43
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    In that case, 你们离了吗 would probably be closest in meaning and natural to me – jf328 Aug 13 '15 at 16:17
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My immediate thought would be: 你跟玛丽还在一起吗?This would work for married couples as well as couples who are not married. The context would make it clear, so it's the most flexible version.

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