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如今,美食家们对吃提出了更高的要求。他们不仅要观色、闻香、尝味、赏形,而且还要求食物具有养生方面的特色。

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, section 19. I don't understand the meaning of 方面的特色。Actually, I cannot make the need of both words make sense:

而且(furthermore)还(also)要求(they require)食物(the food)具有(to have)养生(health-preserving)的方面(aspects)

而且(furthermore)还(also)要求(they require)食物(the food)具有(to have)养生(health-preserving)的特色(characteristics)

So why are both needed? Or how to make the 方面的特色 = aspect characteristic make sense?

2 Answers 2

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方面 = side/respect/aspect/field/realm....

养生方面的(health preservation side's)特色(characteristic/unique feature).

As you can see that 方面 has many closely related meanings, it is therefore your choice of the one that fit the best for the translation.

ADD:

(在各方面), 美食家们对吃提出了更高的要求。他们不仅要观色、闻香、尝味、赏形,而且还要求食物具有养生方面的特色, (就像是...)。- (In all aspects),.... They not only require .... also require the food having the health preservation side's special features, (such as...).

Note, the critiques are looking for food to have and sastify these two aspects, the sensial side aspect (观色、闻香、尝味、赏形) and health preservation side's special features (XX, XX, XX).

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  • Thank you for this and all your answers, r13. But I think I am still missing something. Health preservation side's characteristic does not make much sense to me. The 方面的 / side's perplexes me. What is its use, since the sentence makes clear sense without it? 养生的特色 = health preservation's characteristic. Dec 14, 2022 at 11:38
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    I expanded the sentence to better explain the word "方面", hope it makes sense now. Note that the confusion is sometimes caused by "sentence shortening" or the paragraph is taken out from a larger text.
    – r13
    Dec 14, 2022 at 18:11
  • So nice, thank you again... Dec 14, 2022 at 18:17
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    You are welcome. Traditionally the Chinese are so fond of using the shortest sentence in writing. The result is that it often heavily relies on the reader's experience in reading, and sometimes requires the use of own imagination or even guessing in the interpretation of the work. This piece took me a long while to figure it out too, :)
    – r13
    Dec 14, 2022 at 21:10
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In this context, it's more suitable to translate it as "characteristic regarding health preservation".

"方面" put an emphasis on the subject you're talking about (health preservation).

You're perfectly right that the sentence makes clear sense without it, the same goes for the following 2 English sentences:

  1. Characteristic of health preservation.
  2. Characteristic regarding health preservation.

The second one somehow emphasizes "it's health preservation we're interested in, please tell us more about its characteristics", while the first one kind of only "states" that "Oh, it's just the characteristic of health preservation".

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