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你是第幾任總統/校長?

I'm a Chinese. Like the title suggests, I struggle to translate this into English. I struggled to find a translation for "任". Please help.

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  • 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
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 4:35
  • @wpt If I could find that on iciba or Google Translate, would I even be asking here?! Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 9:09
  • iciba 1. What number President is Lincoln? 林肯是第几任总统?
    – user6065
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 16:06
  • @user6065 I swear I didn't get that sentence when I used it lobg ago Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 16:32
  • it seems to be just colloquial English
    – user6065
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 17:57

2 Answers 2

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It is a bit awkward isn't it? ‘You are the how many'th President?

I suggest a rewording to something like (my Chinese is not good): 有多少总统您前? That can easily be translated as 'How many Presidents have there been before you?'

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  • I have thought of this, but isn't it a bit weird? :/ Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 9:10
  • Though the Chinese translation should be 您前面有多少位总统? Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 9:12
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    Hey Danny, I said my Chinese is not good! You are the Chinese, tell me what is correct, acceptable Chinese!
    – Peter Pan
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 9:14
  • But how would you ask? Like if you don't know Obama's position. How manyth? Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 9:16
  • I'd put it as in my answer, "How many have there been before you?" You may hear people say "the how manyth", but it is not very good English, I would rephrase the question.
    – Peter Pan
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 9:20
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I just looked up English StackExchange. Turned out someone has asked this already: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/77222/how-do-you-convert-the-sentence-george-washington-was-the-first-president-to

Here is a list of possible questions:

  • What number president are you?
  • What is your position in the order of presidents?
  • What is the ordinality of you in the sequence of presidents?

They should answer an ordinal number as answer.

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