Google translate says "tape" is 胶带, and "tape it" is 用胶带.

But to me, that's just saying "use tape".

Is there a verb for the act of taping something?

For example, how would you say "could you tape that package?" or "can you tape that shut?"

  • "Could you tape that package" 你能 用胶带捆好 (or 用胶带封上) 那个包裹吗? It seems we don't have a concise expression in Chinese and have to say something like "could you tie/seal the package with tape?" – Stan Nov 29 '15 at 22:01
  • also answered by dictionaries e。g。iciba:用带子捆扎,用带子系紧, 以带子绑起 <美>缠绷带于,用绷带包扎 (anyhow somewhat of an Americanism?) – user6065 Nov 29 '15 at 22:22
up vote 3 down vote accepted

用胶带捆 (literally: bind with tape) seems a good translation.
Ancient Chinese has many similar verbs directly from nouns, but there are much fewer, if not none, in Modern Chinese. So there are some cases that a single English word must be translated into a long phrase in Chinese.

To communicate the same generic sense as the English verb to tape, try 貼 (simplified: 贴), pinyin: tie1


t: 可以幫我把它貼起來嗎?

s: 可以帮我把它贴起来吗?

e: Can you help me tape it up?

  • appropriate for situations such as sealing a package like a present for someone
  • "tape that shut"

t: 我貼好了

s: 我贴好了

e: I finished taping

  • for example after applying duct tape to repair a hole in an air duct, you can say this

Machine translation such as Google is still somewhat hit-and-miss, I'm sure you have come across translation fails that make you wonder Did they use Google Translate?. Better to use machine translation as a last resort when no native language speaker is available.

Why not just say'用胶带包起来' or '用胶带包上'? That's what my Chinese wife would say every time we went through the hussle of sending a package to China.

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