For example, in a dialogue about global warming, this sentence fragment: 这个在中文就特别的直接...

I would translate to, "In Chinese, this is especially relevant". But 直接 translates to immediate/straightforward in mdbg and other dictionaries.

So I...

  • Google/Baidu "直接" and a meaning that I think it is, "直接" and "relevant"
  • Look it up in a Chinese only dictionary.
  • Google Translate

What other steps do you recommend?

  • 4
    What is the context of the sentence fragment? Is 直接 standing in for 有直接的关系? Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 16:55
  • 3
    I failed to see why in a dialogue about global warming someone would say '这个在中文就特别的直接'. It seems especially irrelevant...
    – NS.X.
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 19:05
  • 1
    What's the full context of the sentence? It seems to me, from the limited context, that "direct/straightforward" is the best translation, as in This is especially direct in Chinese. That definition is in Baidu. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 0:15
  • Regardless of the relevance of the sentence fragment, it actuallly doesn't appear to be grammatically correct... Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 3:00
  • I reread the dialogue that prompted this problem and my bad, the meaning 直接, straightforward applies here. Sorry, I misinterpreted the context. It was more about Chinese, the language, rather than China. On the other hand, I have had this experience in other situations and the question still stands.
    – Steve
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 13:41

3 Answers 3


If dictionaries give various meanings, I always return to breaking down the word/phrase into its components and see if they make sense given your context:

直 Zhí = straight, direct

接 Jiē = meet, connect, join

So, it would seem that 直接 (direct connect) could mean both straightforward and relevant (hence why dictionaries give both as results).

But to remove all ambiguity, I would try searching other better fitting words... In this case, I would use 相关 xiāng guān = interrelated


相 xiāng = mutually

关 guān = to involve, to concern

Some examples:

  • 这些事情是特别相关 (Zhèxiē shìqíng shì tèbié xiāngguān) - These things are particularly relevant
  • 相关任务间的重叠时间 (Xiāngguān rènwù jiān de chóngdié shíjiān) - Related tasks overlap time

More examples here


Here are some other options I go for if I don't understand immediately:

  • Go to an online dictionary which includes example sentences in both Chinese and English e.g example1 example2
  • Ask someone I know who is a native Chinese speaker (this is not always satisfying if it is a complex example)
  • Ask on an online site like this one

Sometimes when I am reasonably sure of something, but I want confirmation I still ask on a site like this one because there are people with better combined English/Chinese language skill than anyone I know in person and it is always helpful to verify.


You'd better read more books, especially poetry in Chinese, if want to understand or use Chinese with no difficulty. But even Chinese would find no proper words to express a phenomenon or his feeling.

The principle of translation into Chinese is 信(correct) 达(clear and coherent) 雅(elegent or polish), sometimes, it is hard to balance this three standards. In Chinese, a writer maybe try to find a proper word or character for many year. You can find this in this sentence in a poetry '吟安一个字,捻断数根须'.

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