I'm trying to write a piece about sexism, that specifically discusses the gender wage gap and how it's affected by race. The sentence I'm trying to say is

Latina women have to work until Nov. 20 in order to earn what a white man would have earned in the year before.

I'm not sure if it makes sense though.


Does this sound natural? I've tried putting pieces of it into various translation devices, and it gets the right translation each time, so I'm pretty sure it means what I want it to, if a little clunky, but I don't know how to check it otherwise. Does it work well or sound weird?

  • 1
    – vuluvsa
    Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 19:19
  • You can translate twice, this is a technique in NLP.
    – Voyager
    Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 23:06
  • 1. 拉丁裔(的)女人需要 / 必须工作到(次年的)十月二十号,才能赚到白人前一年能(够)赚到的钱。2. 拉丁裔(的)女人需要 / 必须工作到(次年的)十月二十号,才能赚到和白人前一年一样(多)的钱。3. literally: 拉丁裔(的)女人需要 / 必须工作到(次年的)十月二十号以便 / 才能赚到白人前一年赚到的钱。
    – xenophōn
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 10:56

3 Answers 3


"Latina women have to work until Nov. 20 in order to earn what a white man would have earned in the year before"

The sentence itself is kind of hard to follow. The biggest problem is it doesn't state "from what time" they have to work until Nov. 20. Therefore, the concept of "Latina women's 23 months income = white men's 12 months income" isn't expressed very clear

The following sentence would state things more clearly

"Latina women have to work until next year's Nov. 20, to earn as much as a white male earned in this year"

Google Translate result: “拉丁女性必須工作到明年11月20日,才能獲得與(今年)白人男性相同的收入”

grammatically refined: “拉丁女性必須工作到明年11月20日,才能獲得與白人男性相同的(今年)收入”

When Google Translate gives you a comprehensible translation, you know the original sentence is also comprehensible in general


Forget machine translations, get a Chinese boy/girlfriend!


"Latina women have to work until Nov. 20 in order to earn what a white man would have earned in the year before."

Put it into clear English:

"Women have to work 11 months longer in order to earn what a white man earns in 12 months."


If want to put 拉蒂纳 in front, that's fine!

  • +1 for your first suggestion! :)
    – 米凯乐
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 22:04

TL;DR: Here's my version, where I've tried to stay faithful to the original:

In order to earn the money earned by a white man in a year, Latin-American women must work until October 20 the following year

The major structural change is putting 为了 = "in order to" at the start. This approximately breaks up as follows:

In order to [为了] earn [赚到] white man [白人男性] in one year [一年] earned money [赚的钱],Latin-American [拉美] women [女人] must [必须] work [工作] until [到] the next year [第二年] October [10月] 20-th [20号]

I spoke with my Chinese teacher about this thread, she said it needs to be 赚到 instead of just 赚 at the start of my sentence [I corrected that]. Also she said 工作到第二年10月20号 could simplify to 工作一年10个月 ("work for one year and 10 months") or 工作22个月 ("work for 22 months"), simply ignoring the 20 days. We had a long discussion about what "Latina woman" means, but couldn't figure it out precisely. She felt that 拉蒂纳 was never used. She also mentioned that 明年 ("next year") in 明年11月20日 suggests the statement is true for a fixed year, so it's likely more appropriate to use 第二年 ("the following year") here.

I explain all the changes below.

Part 1

Latin-descended women

  • 拉丁 = Latin (correct)

  • 裔的女人 breaks apart into

    • = descendant
    • is a particle (no meaning in English, but necessary for Chinese grammar)
    • 女人 = woman

Curiously, "Latina women" (literally 拉丁女人) was translated into "Latin-descended women". But let's drop the "descendant" stuff.

So we have 拉丁女人 = Latin woman.

This is fine, but Pedroski's answer suggests 拉蒂纳 = Latina instead, but I would not use this (e.g., search for 拉蒂纳 on Baidu Image search). Since the OP's location is in the USA, I suggest 拉美 = Latin-American is the best choice here. This varies on your audience.

Tang Ho's answer gives 拉丁女性, where 女性 = the female sex. There's a subtle trade-off between 女性 and 女人 here (perhaps this distinction is suitable for another Chinese.SE question).

Part 2

must work

Tang Ho's answer gives 必须 which also means "must", but meaning something like "necessarily must" (i.e., you can't just choose not to). While 需要 is okay, 必须 seems more precise.

Part 3

one year until October 20 [with a grammar error]

  • 一年到十月的二十号 breaks apart into

    • 一年 = one year
    • = until (in this context), which is correct but misplaced
    • 十月的二十号 is close to meaning October 20-th, and breaks apart into

      • 十月 = October
      • 的 is the particle above; as far as I know, using it in dates is plain wrong, so delete this
      • 二十 = 20
      • = number

This is not a good fit. Chinese has the phrase 第二年 = "the following year" which works well here, so

until October 20 the following year

Part 4

for earn the money hundred white men earn

How 为了 is used feels wrong, but I can't pinpoint why. Normally Chinese uses a preceding = is, e.g.:

Marriage is for having children

But this "for" is different, so we can't simply add a 是 to fix the problem. The 为了 would probably sound better at the start though, e.g.:

For your safety, please fasten your seat belt.

Both Tang Ho's answer and Pedroski's answer use = "only then" (in this context). I'll instead opt for restructuring the sentence.

  • = earn (correct)

There's other options though, such as 获得 as in Tang Ho's answer, and as in Pedroski's answer.

  • = hundred, a common mistake for = white

Another point here, 白人 = "white person", while some people seem to use 白男人 (along with other alternatives), it seems 白人男性 = "white person male sex" is most appropriate, as used in both Tang Ho's answer and Pedroski's answer.

  • 男人赚的钱 breaks apart into

    • 男人 = man (correct)
    • = earn (correct, again)
    • is a particle (correct)
    • = money (correct)

    Together it means "the money that a man earns". All correct. But there's no specified time period (we need to add 一年 = one year).

Part 5

previous year [with a grammar error]

  • 在前 = prior to
  • is a grammar particle; it's not correct, but can be deleted
  • 一年 = one year

After deleting the 的, it's unconnected: like someone simply stuck the phrase "previous year" at the end of a sentence.

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