This is a sentence of my writing:


It's meant to mean something like:

She's aware that her friends judge her, have changed feelings about her, and don't want to spend time with her.

(Think someone with depression.)

My teacher said 判断 was the wrong word here, but we didn't immediately figure out a better choice, and forgot to get back to it. I'm not sure what the problem even is.

Question: Why did my teacher say 判断 is wrong in the above sentence and what's a better choice of word?

  • 1
    "Judge" in English used in the sense [personally] form a negative opinion of is not transferable to the word 判斷.
    – dROOOze
    Jan 27, 2020 at 9:43
  • 3
    判斷, (judgement), is specifically meant to be used in the legal / judicial context. Hence your teacher saying it was wrong within the context of your sentence in question. In your case, it is forming a "judgement" in the socio-moral sense which other commentators have given some suggestions. I would go for 品评 which means "judging as an appraisal", and even here Jan 27, 2020 at 13:15
  • ..... and even here your teacher may object as 品 indicates some item / product is being appraised. It is therefore not easy to find an absolutely watertight term to fit the "judge" you wanted that has the flexibility as used in English. We would like to hear what your teacher suggest. Jan 27, 2020 at 13:31
  • @WayneCheah I find 品评 too formal here. I feel OP tends to get a bit casual word.
    – dan
    Jan 27, 2020 at 13:31
  • 1
    So, we are all 同病相怜 -- "misery loves company" :) Jan 27, 2020 at 13:41

7 Answers 7


(native chinese speaker here)

判断 in Chinese doesn't have the negative connotation as judge in English does. 判断 simply means to make an estimation/distinguishment based on what the person knows/feels.

Besides, we never say 判断 sb., instead, we say 判断 sth., or use it as a verb. e.g.:

  • How to 判断 (verb. =determine) whether sth. is ... or not
  • According to my 判断 (noun, =observations & estimation), the stock market ...

As for a better choice of word, I would vote against 品评 as it is old-fashioned and rarely used. 评论 would be a better alternative (=discuss + negative connotation), or 批判 (=criticize). The best word would be 评判 (评论 + 批判).


The idiom 评头论足 is a normal phrase for this setting and has a negative connotation as well. E. g. 他总是对别人评头论足。

  • 评头论足 mainly means "forming opinions on someone base on that someone's appearance"
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 27, 2020 at 10:25
  • @TangHo No, it's not just "based on one's appearance". It could be one's personality, characteristic, behavior, etc. Its meaning has been extended to more broader sense from its literal meaning.
    – dan
    Jan 27, 2020 at 10:55

A better translation will involve a change in expression.




以私见裁度, what a brilliant translation! 私见,一己之见, personal opinion;裁度,to judge, to assert, 裁 emphasizes the arbitrary aspect.



  • 指指点点 means " voice subjective opinions on someone" ; 评头论足 mainly means "forming opinions on someone base on that someone's appearance"
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 27, 2020 at 10:28
  • @TangHo I think it is appropriate as I looked up Dictionary: judge: to give your opinion about sb, esp. when you disapprove of them. 指指点点:指频繁挑出他人的缺点咄咄逼人,或背后评论人。 评头论足:意思是指轻浮地议论妇女的容貌。今泛指对人对事说长道短,多方挑剔。 Jan 27, 2020 at 10:33
  • @TangHo Also, 评头论足 isn't 以貌取人, which matches your comment. Jan 27, 2020 at 10:35
  • I did not say 评头论足 is invalid translation of "judge" , but base on the context, "judge" here is more likely referring to "(morally) judge"= "(在道德上)品評". If her friends are making remarks about her, she wouldn't use the word "sense"
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 27, 2020 at 10:37
  • @TangHo It means: make frivolous comments about a female's appearance. Jan 27, 2020 at 10:37

dROOOze wrote:

"Judge" in English used in the sense [personally] form a negative opinion of is not transferable to the word 判斷.

A simple answer is: "Judge" should be translated as 品評 (form opinion on someone or something base on one's own standard) here --> 她意识到她的朋友在品評她...

The more precise translation of "She senses her friends are (morally) judging her..." should be "她意识到她的朋友 (在道德上)品評


Becky 李蓓 wrote:

I find 品评 too formal here

A less formal term would be "評價" (to evaluate, to assess) --> "在道德上評價她"

  • I think “”品評“ and “評價” don't have the meaning of "negative opinion"
    – Y.T.
    Jan 28, 2020 at 4:13
  • Not just "negative opinion" , "presumptuous opinion" also fit how the girl was sensing.
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 28, 2020 at 4:41

When you judge someone, you are not trying to figure out they are right or wrong, you judge them because you determine some of their action is wrong.

The word 判断 is the action of one trying to figure out if something is right or wrong, so to better fit your context, use the word 批判, it means one determines another is wrong and is expressing the disapproval.


判断 means determine.

I think 評斷 can be used. 評斷 have the meaning of judgement. So it can be used here.


I don't think there is a direct translation. Based on the context, you could use the word 批判; or in an even harsher sense, use the word 鄙視.

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