In a situation like:

My friend: 你知道StackExchange吗?
Me: 不知道啊, 孤陋寡闻了.

how can I properly translate 孤陋寡闻了 here? "I am being ignorant"?


2 Answers 2


你知道 StackExchange吗?
You know StackExchange?

不知道啊, 孤陋寡闻了。
Nope, I'm so out of touch.

  • My first thought was "out of touch" too, but saying someone being out of touch could mean someone is out of touch with reality instead of out of touch with the trend or the public, therefore I chose the more specific term "ill-informed" instead
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 5, 2019 at 18:00
  • With this context, "out of touch" is a good translation, but if we just translate 孤陋寡闻 as "out of touch", it would be too general, and "out of touch with reality" is the most common interpretation of this phrase... For example: "Trump's voters who don't believe the mainstream media and only trust Fox News are quite out of touch (with reality)"- They don't lack information, they just pick and choose the information they agree
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 5, 2019 at 18:11

"ignorant" means "lack knowledge", doesn't mean you are stupid or dumb, so translating "孤陋寡闻" as "being ignorant" is correct

However, "ignorant" is a derogatory term. If you don't want to be too harsh, you can translate "孤陋寡闻" as "ill-informed"

My friend: 你知道 StackExchange吗?

Me: 不知道啊, 孤陋寡闻了. (I'm so ill-informed)


ill-informed (adj):

not having a lot of knowledge especially about current news and events

  • Even if precise in meaning, it seems a bit too formal, doesn't it?
    – trisct
    Aug 7, 2019 at 13:57
  • @ trisct The term 孤陋寡闻 is kind of formal. The casual term is 見識少 (don't know much/ lack knowledge)- e.g. "我見識少, 不知道/ 沒聽過"
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 7, 2019 at 14:38
  • At least in the example provided by the op, I sensed a little bit of self mockery, and I don't think ill-informed is ever used for that. Of course, someone more familiar with English may correct me.
    – trisct
    Aug 7, 2019 at 14:40
  • @ trisct using formal term for self mockery sound more sarcastic
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 7, 2019 at 14:43
  • Perhaps. Still I hope a native English speaker can confirm this. Don't take this the wrong way, ill-informed is also good.
    – trisct
    Aug 7, 2019 at 14:46

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