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I wrote this:

我觉得小夏后悔过去的比赛,小夏回忆没进球也也许让一个好机会错过。所以小夏在房间里老坐着。马克想帮助小夏带他去足球比赛再体验足球的兴奋,让小夏高兴点儿。

My teacher made the following corrections (my question relates to the 5-th item below):

  1. she deleted the first "也",
  2. she said I should change 老 to 一直 in writing,
  3. she added 参加 after 去,
  4. she underlined 体验, suggesting it's not the best choice of word (I think 经历 was preferred in conversation, but I don't recall exactly), and
  5. she said 兴奋 is incorrect, and it should be 乐趣.

(Please assume anything I said wrong above is my misunderstanding, not my teacher's mistake.)

I don't really understand what's wrong with my usage of 兴奋 here. It seems there's a difference between the English and Chinese words here. It's not the first time she's marked my use of 兴奋 as incorrect.

Question: Why does 兴奋 not mean what I think it means?

  • 1
    You can say 体验足球带给我们的兴奋 or 体验足球带来的兴奋. – dan Nov 2 at 4:08
  • 兴奋 is excited not exciting. – Toosky Hierot Nov 4 at 4:14
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The major reason is that 兴奋 is generally used of people, and most commonly in the phrase 令人兴奋 lìng rén xīngfèn. It can also be used of other biological entities in a scientific context, closer to English excitation (and the original derivation of the English word excited).

The original sentence has 足球的兴奋, which sounds odd because of 足球 not being a "person" of any kind. Not strictly incorrect, but definitely odd enough to merit correction.

Another possible, but more minor, reason is that 兴奋 is strongly associated with the word for "doping" (兴奋剂 xīngfènjì, literally "stimulant/excitatory chemical") in the sports context. Perceived in a very negative light of course.

乐趣 is a lot more appropriate for this: it is not necessarily as "childish" as the English word "fun", and can include the feeling of "excitement".

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"兴奋" (excited) is an adjective

The noun "excitement" is translated as "激动"

"The excitement of the fans" means "球迷的激动"

"The excitement of football" means "足球的激动" and we know, unlike fans, football is not people, it can't has excitement like fans do

A better phrasing could be "足球使人兴奋之處" (what makes football exciting)

马克想帮助小夏带他去足球比赛再体验 [足球的兴奋]

马克想帮助小夏,(於是)带他去(看)足球比赛,(让他) 再体验 [足球使人兴奋之處]

Mark wants to help Xiao Xia (therefore) he took him (to see) a football match, (let him) experience [what makes football exciting] again

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