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I stumbled over this in Duolingo. "Thank you all for your help" was to be translated. "对" (dui) was suggested as part of the answer. I simply answered:

My translation - 感谢大家对你的帮助 (ganxie dajia dui ni de bangzhu)

But this was wrong. The correct answer according to Duolingo is:

Duolingo's answer - 感谢大家对我的帮助 (ganxie dajia dui wo de bangzhu)

This is confusing to me because I would have translated "我的帮助" as "my help" ("Thank you all for my help"). But indeed if I type Duolingo's answer into Google Translate I get:

Google Translate "感谢大家对我的帮助" (ganxie dajia dui wo de bangzhu) - Thank you for your help

But then again, if I type my answer into google Translate I also get:

Google Translate "感谢大家对你的帮助" (ganxie dajia dui ni de bangzhu) - Thank you for your help

If I just ask Google translate what is "Thank you all for your help" I get:

Google Translate "Thank you all for your help" - 感谢大家的帮助 (Gǎnxiè dàjiā de bāngzhù)

Is this a special case where "我的帮助" (wo de bangzhu) and "你的帮助" (ni de bangzhu) are interpreted the same because of context? Or is there a rule that somehow changes the relation?

7 Answers 7

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Echoing Wayne Cheah (cannot comment due to low rep):

The key word here is , which, in this context, can be translated to mean "towards".

So, 感谢大家对我的帮助 could be translate literally to mean something like "thank you all for the help towards me".

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  • Yes, we both agree that "towards" could be used as a literal translation, however, as an English sentence translation, "help towards me" sounds awkward in English, which was why I just said it as a side remark and not as the main term for a more semantic translation. BTW, welcome, and hope you earn enough reputation points soon :) Commented Jun 2 at 1:51
  • Oh, I get it, thanks. Commented Jun 2 at 11:35
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Interesting question.

First, "Thank you all for your help", is of course an incomplete sentence, both grammatically and semantically. However, on the face of it, it seems "complete" because this is used all the time in everyday speech, and therefore grammatically acceptable. Thus, the grammatical shortfall is not crucial, and we could ignore it for this question.

But the more crucial element that is missing is the semantic ambiguity, that is, "Thank you all for your help" is understood, ordinarily, to mean "(I) thank you all for helping (me)", but it does not explicitly say so, thus creating an ambiguity, unless the missing "I" and "me" are added in, because by itself, "Thank you all for your help" could also mean something like "Thank you all for your help in decorating the classroom with balloons"

So, what do we need to make it to mean "Thank you all for helping me" when translating the sentence into Chinese?

Well, add a "对" in there. With a "对", we have to say 对 "who"?, i.e. the "help" is "for who"? In the ordinary context of this kind of sentence it means "for me", "对我" The "对" here is therefore to be read as "for"

So, the "help", 帮助, rendered by you all is "for me", "对我", and not "for you", "对你"

Now we know why "对" was suggested as part of the answer?

BTW, a common mistake made is reading "我的帮助" and "你的帮助" in isolation, (which is often the case when translating because we tend to translate, mistakenly, only the parts we thought are essential), because in the context of the sentence the whole phrase is 对我的帮助, "help for me"

Another way to look at it from the Chinese sentence structure point of view is to say "help (对 --towards) me"

For purposes of merely translating "Thank you all for your help", 感谢大家的帮助 is good enough, though the ambiguity remains, because both the speaker and the listeners knew, under the circumstances prevailing then, for whom or for what is the "help" rendered for. Also, in "感谢大家对你的帮助", there is a redundancy because 大家 and 你 means the same thing here. So, you say either "感谢大家的帮助" or "感谢你们的帮助"

Finally, your question "Is this a special case where "我的帮助" (wo de bangzhu) and "你的帮助" (ni de bangzhu) are interpreted the same because of context?"

The answer is no. When Google translates "感谢大家对我的帮助" and "感谢大家对你的帮助" as both to mean "Thank you for your help", my view is something is wrong here structurally.

Unless, a big unless, Google wants to say "感谢大家对你的帮助" means "Thank you for your help", because of "你", and "感谢大家对我的帮助" means "Thank you for helping me" because of "我" This is speculation on my part as Mr. Google is not here to clarify.

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  • Yes, now it makes sense to me. Thanks. Commented Jun 2 at 11:37
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I think the previous responses don't quite address the key confusion here, that of the correct parsing of the sentence.

In this case, 感谢 doesn't really represent "thank" in the same way as English; rather, it's more like "appreciate". We don't "thank help", but we do "appreciate help". We could also "appreciate someone", "appreciate that someone helped me", etc.

The base sentence 感谢帮助 "appreciate help", and 大家对我 is a modifier on 帮助 that simply means that the help is from 大家 "everyone" towards 我 "me". It could be translated more literally as "Appreciate the help of everyone to me".

We could also rephrase the sentence in the following ways:

  • 感谢大家的帮助 "Thank you all for the help" (lit. "Appreciate everyone's help")
  • 感谢大家帮助我 "Thank you all for helping me" (lit. "Appreciate [that] everyone helps me")
  • 感谢大家 "Thank you all" (lit. "Appreciate everyone")

Note that 对 does not mean "for", in the sense of "thank you for X". It would be incorrect to say something like 感谢大家对帮助, for example.

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Hope you don't have to pay for duolingo! (Even the Spanish is a bit dodgy!)

A programme is only as good as the programmer!

大家: everyone 你们: plural you

Thank you again for all your help.
再次感谢你们这段时间的帮忙。

Thank you so much for all your help. l appreciate it.
很感谢你们的帮忙,非常感谢。

谢谢大家,谢谢你们!
Thank you everybody, thank you!

谢谢大家参加我们今天晚上的活动。
Thank you all for joining us this evening.

Invest in something better than duolinguage!

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Here, the speaker is showing his appreciation to "more than one person", so the correct translation of "your" is "你們的" rather than the singular case "你的".

  • Thank you all (謝謝大家) for(关于/対于/因为) your(你們的) help(幫助).
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How I would say it (although this is casual/informal) would be “谢谢你的帮助”, and I presume in a formal context it could change to become “感谢您的帮助” or “感谢大家您的帮助”。This literally translates to 'thanks your assistance(/help)'. The “对” you mentioned can generally be omitted however if you are wanting to sound formal you can leave it in the sentence.

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  • Yes, “对” can be omitted as there are multiple ways to translate without it. However, “对” was "suggested" by Duolingo because Duolingo is a teaching platform and being such it wants to introduce students to the various structural possibilities by "suggesting" a word like “对” which beginners of the language would not otherwise use. So, I took pains in my answer to explain why “对” was suggested. Just by giving various examples of how "Thank you all for your help" could be translated into English is not helping OP who wants to know why “对” was suggested, and how it fits in with the sentence. Commented Jun 3 at 2:32
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"Thank you for your help" in Chinese translates to "谢谢你/你们的帮助" (Xièxiè nǐ de bāngzhù). "Thank you all for your help" in Chinese translates to "感谢大家的帮助" (Gǎnxiè dàjiā de bāngzhù). "Thank you all for my help" translates to "感谢大家对我的帮助" (Gǎnxiè dàjiā duì wǒ de bāngzhù). I think the translations can help you to understand.

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  • "Thank you all for helping me" translates to "谢谢大家帮助我" (Xièxiè dàjiā bāngzhù wǒ)."Thank you for helping me" translates to "谢谢你帮助我" (Xièxiè nǐ bāngzhù wǒ). Commented Jun 7 at 14:17

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