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Google translated this 好羡慕拍照的人,有这么漂亮的人可以拍 as “I really envy people who take pictures. There are such beautiful people who can take pictures.”

Context: This came from someone looked at some pictures of one person.

I thought it implied the person whose pictures were taken.

Am I wrong?

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    To specifically answer the question, ("who is 的人"), answer, the first 的人 is the photographer, and the second 的人 are the photographic subjects. – Wayne Cheah Mar 19 at 9:40
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    Perhaps you were misled by the clumsy phrase 可以拍, which you interpret as " who can take pictures" It should, in the context of the whole sentence, be read as "who have their pictures taken" – Wayne Cheah Mar 19 at 9:51
  • @Wayne Cheah. I agreed with you on this. If you would put it in the answer, I will select it as the answer. – EmilyJ Mar 28 at 13:37
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    There is no real need to formalize my comment. Your response is appreciated. – Wayne Cheah Mar 29 at 11:26
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According to the context you provided, that sentence should mean something like this:

I envy the one who took this photo, because s/he could take a photo of such a gorgeous.

的人 = the one who took the picture, i.e. the photographer.

Full version:

[我]好羡慕拍[这张]照的人, [他/她]有这么漂亮的人可以拍

Implied meaning [not accurate at all]:

I am so jealous that someone could befriend with this beautiful lady/handsome man.

Or even worse:

Wow, it is so lucky to be a friend with this gorgeous, aka me ;) [provided that the person in that photo is herself/himself] [This is so pretentious of course, totally a show-off 😂]

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  • Care to explain the downvote? – xbh Mar 21 at 14:58
  • May I ask what software did you use to do the translation of the last two. – EmilyJ Mar 28 at 13:38
  • @EmilyJ I am native. These last two scenarios are totally imagined. Of course these are not solely translations. They are not accurate, as I claimed😏 – xbh Mar 28 at 13:49
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  1. The latter half of your sentence belongs to the structure subject + 有 + object + transitive verb, where the subject 拍照的人 is hidden. To understand why they are arranged like so, consider a simpler example below.

  2. When we rearrange 我吃東西 ('I eat something'), which bears the orthodox subject + verb + object structure, into 我有東西吃 ('I have something to eat'), the sentence gravitates towards the object 東西 (i.e. food). The purpose of saying 我有東西吃 is that there is food to eat, not eating itself.

  3. Similarly, 拍照的人/有/人/可以拍 (for simplicity, remove the adjectival phrase 這麼漂亮的) is 拍照的人/可以拍/人 rearranged (lit. ‘people who take pictures=the photographer can take someone’s picture’). 有人可以拍 emphasises on the fact that there does exist someone that a photographer (the hidden subject) can take pictures of, not the action itself.

  4. In 我有東西吃, we may guess by emphasising on the food, the speaker might have been hungry for a long while. In 拍照的人有人可以拍, we may guess, by the emphasis on (the beauty) of photographic models, the reason of the speaker's envy. The point being, common sense does help in parsing sentences correctly.

  5. Google translation thinks a noun (有人) placed before a verb (可以拍, lit. can take) must make it the doer of the verb, following the logic in SVO structure. That is not the case, because the structure is rearranged.

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好羡慕[那些]拍照的人,有这么漂亮的人[供(讓)他們]拍[].

While the translation is understandable, the modified sentence above is more likely to be the comment heard from a Chinese tongue/audience, at a fashion show, or a photographic event.

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    There is a fundamental error in the latter half of Google's translation regarding the grammatical subject of the sentence. The translation should not be thought as being 'understandable'. Rectifiable, but not understandable. – L Parker Mar 19 at 0:37
  • @L Parker It is not a good translation, but I don't think google is to be blamed 100%, the source is important too. On this case, the sentence is understandable by most Chinese people. . – r13 Mar 19 at 1:07
  • Rather contradictory to the spirit of translation, no? – L Parker Mar 19 at 1:09
  • @L Parker I don't want to guess/comment something I didn't see. But remember "garbage in, garbage out" could be the case. I've no mean to protect google though. – r13 Mar 19 at 1:14
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    Normally I would agree with you, but I think we should make clear that the translation is problematic (specifically, grammatically incongruent to the original sentence) to language learners. – L Parker Mar 19 at 1:42
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Anyone may take a photo, so it seems a somewhat strange thing to say.

好羡慕拍照的人,有这么漂亮的人可以拍。

好羡慕那些摄影师,有这么漂亮的人可以拍摄!
I really envy those photographers, they have such gorgeous people to snap shots of.

"Beauty's only skin deep, you're just as pretty as you feel inside"

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