1

Google translates, '挑起满满的一担粮食' [tiǎoqǐ mǎnmǎn de yī dān liángshi] as, '...pick up a full load of...', but when I attempt to translate this phrase manually, using the pinyin given in the source material, I have trouble parsing it.

I understand that the verb 挑起 means 'to carry on a shoulder pole, and that the adjective 满满 means 'full of/brimming with'. I am not quite sure how '的' is used here - in English 'full of of' would be tautological - but of course it might not be so in Chinese. My main problem is why a verb 担 [dān] - which is used both by Google Translate and chinesereadingpractice.com (source) - is being used as a noun. Should this character have been transliterated as [dàn]?

1

3 Answers 3

1

Adjectives in Chinese usually end with 的, so don't translate the 的 into "of" in this context. 满满的 means "full" here.

You guessed right for your main problem. The 担 here should be pronounced as [dàn]. 担[dàn] is usually treated as a noun, while 担[dān] can be a verb.

Or we can try to construct the sentence from scratch:

挑起 is a verb, and 粮食 is a noun. 挑起粮食 thus means something like "pick up grains".

But how many grains? A load of(一担) grains. So when we add 一担 into the sentence to indicate the quantity, we get 挑起一担粮食(pick up a load of grains.)

I would rather regard 满满的(full) as an adjective modifying the 担. So when we add the 满满的 to the sentence we get "Pick up a full load of grains"

Or it may be translated as such: Pick up(挑起) so full(满满的, roughly) a load of(一担) grains(粮食).

3

挑起(pick up)满满的(full load of)一担(100 jin)粮食(foodstuff).

  • 满满的 [adj], bank-full (full to the top of the container).

  • 担 [noun], a traditional Chinese unit of weight. 一担 = 100斤 = 1 picul (133.33 pounds, or defined as much as a person can carry on a shoulder pole with two baskets).

enter image description here

1

The question is, My main problem is why a verb 担 [dān] - which is used both by Google Translate and chinesereadingpractice.com (source) - is being used as a noun. Should this character have been transliterated as [dàn]?

担 (dān) is a verb, as in 担起(same as 挑起 carry with shoulder),承担(undrtake)。

担 (dàn) is a noun,a pair of loads hanging on the two ends of a carrying pole, as in 一副重担,担子。担 (dàn) is also a unit of weight, equals 50(KG).

When traslate the verb CARRY(with human body), you have the following choices: 担,挑,抬,扛,背,顶,拎,提,挎,抱,etc.

Used as noun, 担 and 挑 (担子 and 挑子) would have the same meaning, but they are used differently based on the situations, expecially when indicating their extended meanings, such as jobs and responsbilities.

For example, 她的能力和经验可以承担这个科研组长的担子。She is capable of undertaking the responsibility of the leader of the research group based on her ability and experiences.

For example, 有不同意见可以讨论,但是你不能撂挑子不干。We can discuss if you have any different oppinion, but you cannot just quit the job.

挑 (tiāo), verb and noun.

2
  • 2
    In your example, 担 is a "measure word", a traditional unit of weight. Follow the link for more info about it. zdic.net/hans/%E6%8B%85
    – r13
    Mar 4, 2023 at 18:40
  • I had thought that this was a classifier but, being a beginner, I was not proficient enough to realise, and then confident enough to assume, that the source material contained a mistake in the pinyin given.
    – user34666
    Mar 7, 2023 at 6:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.