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效率 means efficient, but what is the word for productive in Cantonese and Mandarin?

CantoDict does not have an entry, and Google lists 生產的 which feels wrong.

For instance, let's say you want to translate this sentence into Cantonese and Mandarin: "Don't procrastinate then you can be productive."

Mandarin: 你別拖延先可以。。。?

Cantonese: ?

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If you want to say that someone is productive, as in your example, you are basically saying that they are very efficient, therefore 效率 is the best term.

你效率很高 you are very productive (efficient)

In your example: 先别拖延,你就可以提高(你的)效率。

For inanimate objects, 生产力 (productive strength) is the way to go, only difference being in Chinese you are using it as a noun.

中国的生产力很高 China is a very productive country

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'productive'

"producing or able to produce large amounts of goods, crops, or other commodities.

  • For factory that is producing or able to produce large amounts of goods or other commodities 'productive' Should be translated as '具生產力的' e.g '具生產力的工廠' (productive factory)

  • For people who are being productive, e.g. "the most productive employees" 'productive' can also be translated as '具生產力的' e.g '具生產力的僱員' (productive employees), but it can also be translated as '多產的' as in "多產的小說家"

  • For land that is producing or able to produce large amounts of crops, productive' Should be translated as '多產的' e.g '多產的土壤' (productive soil)

Many English words contain different meanings coordinate with more than one single Chinese term. Take the word productive for example, it can be used to describe factory, people and land, but no single Chinese term can do that, that's why we translate the word productive differently depend on the subject.

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To add on to TXV's answer, in Cantonese, you can use a similar construction:

你效率好高 you are very productive (efficient)

"Don't procrastinate then you can be productive" can be translated in Cantonese as:

你唔拖延時間,咪可以提高效率囉。

or, if you want something more colloquial:

你唔揼[dam1]嗮啲時間,效率咪可以高啲囉。

  • Thanks for the awesome suggestions! Hope to see you contribute more. These are very helpful, esp the contrast between colloquial and formal language. So would another colloquial alternative be: 你唔拖時間,效率咪可以高啲囉 (just removed the 延)? – Crashalot Dec 6 '17 at 21:04
  • I think that would work. 你唔再拖,咪可以提高效率囉 would also work. – justinrleung Dec 6 '17 at 21:13
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    This last one sounds perfect! Thanks so much! – Crashalot Dec 6 '17 at 21:24
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I don't speak Cantonese, so I am not familiar with it. For Mandarin, "productive" means "多产的" or "高效的" which means very efficient.

We can translate this: "Don't procrastinate then you can be productive." as: "别拖延,你可以变得更加有效率一点"

And by the way, "效率" means efficiency, not efficient, it's a noun, not adjective.


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