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"我对他的观点提出抗议。and " 我对他的态度变了"

When I first encountered this sentence ("我对他的态度变了"), I see it as "My towards-him attitude has changed," which in proper English would be, "My attitude towards him has changed."

The grammar is confusing me a bit because this sentence (我对他的观点提出抗议。) doesn't make sense using that same way of looking at "我对他的..." In fact, if I used the same way of understanding, the sentence would say, "My towards-him viewpoint raised protest/objections" or in more normal English, "My viewpoint towards him raised protest/objections." But that's not nearly what it means because the translation says, "I raised objections to his view/point of view."

So my question is, what is the correct way to bridge my English brain into understanding how the same basic structure ("我对他的" + noun + verb/verbphrase) somehow used "我对他的" in two seemingly different ways. Could someone help me understand what I'm missing here?

Thanks so much!!!

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    I think these two sentences should be read in different way. The first one should read as:【我】【对】【他的观点】【提出抗议】;And the second one:【我】【<sub>对他</sub>】【的态度】【变了】. I try to format <sub>对他</sub> as a subscript (not working in comment) to make 【我】-【的态度】 connected, to compose the meaning of "My attitude". Sep 22 at 8:31
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You need to identify the adjective and the object from the context

  1. [我对他的]态度变了 = [My] attitude [toward him] have changed (I can change my attitude, but not his)

  2. 我对[他的]态度提出抗议 = I object [his] attitude (I can object his attitude, but not mine)

  3. [我对他的]观点变了 = [My] viewpoint [toward him] have changed (I can change my viewpoint, but not his)

  4. 我对[他的]观点提出抗议 = I object [his] viewpoint (I can object his viewpoint, but not mine)

Sometimes, limited context can create ambiguity. For example, 我对他的仇恨無法理解 can mean 'I don't understand why I hate him' or 'I don't understand his hate'

More context can clear things up. For example, 我对他对我的仇恨無法理解 clearly means 'I don't understand his hate toward me'

Of course, rewrite it as '我無法理解他的仇恨' (I can't understand his hate) would make the sentence much smoother

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  • There were some great answers from everyone, but this one definitely has made things A LOT less foggy, Tang Ho. Thanks. By the way, I tried registering on that one forum, so I could send you that PM about the idea I had for a Chinese learning product that, if existed, I would buy in a heartbeat. This product would be easy to create, too. But it wouldn't let me register. I tried multiple times, but they never sent me a confirmation. Perhaps I'll try a different email?? I REALLY need someone to make this product because it'd help me and many others tremendously on this journey. Sep 22 at 17:37
  • The owner of that dictionary site is MIA, that's the reason we created a backup of it. cantoneseplus.com
    – Tang Ho
    Sep 22 at 19:22
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It can read as either [我对他的]观点 or 我对[他的观点] depending on context. We will decide this according to logic, tone, etc. If one interpretation can make sense, we ignore the other. Sometimes, both can make sense. Then we have to rely on other context to determine.

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#1 -- 我对他的观点提出抗议

#2 -- 我对他的态度变了

First of all the way to parse them is:-

(我对他的观点), (提出抗议)

(我对他的态度), (变了)

The question then is in each case what does 我对他的... refers to ?

In #1 the 观点 is the 观点 of the Second Person, the 他.

In #2 the 态度 is the 态度 of the First Person, the 我.

Thus in #1, the 抗议, "objection / protest", is towards the 观点 of the Second Person --- i.e. 他. Meaning, in plain English, "I object to his point of view"

Whereas, in #2, the 变了, "the change", refers to the change in "attitude", 态度, of the First Person --- i.e. 我. Meaning, in plain English, "My attitude towards him has changed"

In my view, #1 is pretty clear because 我对他的观点 obviously refers to the 观点 of 他.

Whereas in #2, there is uncertainty as to whether 我对他的态度 refers to the 态度 of 他 or the 态度 of 我. However, a proper reading of 我对他的态度 should be "My attitude towards him...."

Perhaps #2 could be better written as 我改变了对他的态度

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Let's play a puzzle game using this sentence,

我对他的态度变了 = 我 对他 的 态度 变了 = 我(I) 对他(towards him) 的(?) 态度(attitude) 变了(has changed)

Now put the English together - "I towards him ? attitude has changed", which does not make sense per English Grammar, so we need to modify the sentence.

Grammatically, 的(?) can be a possessive pronoun or a possessive noun. Let's try "his" - "I towards his attitude has changed", sounds better now but still incorrect, so what can be a possessive noun here? The only available choice will be "my attitude" as we recognize the first personal pronoun "I" is illogical in this sentence, thus, finally, let's replace I...? with "my attitude" we got -

My attitude towards him has changed. Done!

The important lesson here is that every language/culture has its own rule (grammar) governing how people speak and write, it is often wrong in making word to word translation, rather we shall rearrange the words/phrases as playing the puzzle, to reshape the sentence in according to one's own language, and the result has to make perfect sense. Otherwise, either the source contains mistakes, or we just haven't get there (be correct) yet.

The work of translation is an art, not mechanics. But we can sometimes take it as a game, and have fun with it:)

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