7

I don't think the official translation "zhe teng" is a best answer, but I don't know how to translate this word properly.

  • Maybe you can say "no zuo no die"..lol – moiaussi06 Jul 10 '14 at 21:49
  • It means spending many more meaningless time or much more times on somebody or doing something. It can be a verb, like 这件事折腾了很久, or an adjective, like 这件事很折腾. – 賈可 Jacky Sep 7 '17 at 2:25
5

First off "zhe teng" can not be considered a translation of 折腾, and certainly not the official translation - it is simply just the pronunciation.

A translation of 折腾 really depends on the context, and since you didn't provide any context then you can consider the following definitions and sample sentences and see which fits best:

A Chinese-English Dictionary

INFORMAL

1 turn from side to side; toss about

他折腾了好几个钟头才睡着。

Tā zhēteng le hǎojǐ ge zhōngtóu cái shuìzháo.

He tossed about in bed for hours before he got to sleep.

2 do sth. over and over again

徒工把旧机器拆了又安, 安了又拆, 折腾了好多回。

Túgōng bǎ jiù jīqì chāi le yòu ān, ān le yòu chāi, zhēteng le hǎoduō huí.

The young apprentice again and again took the old machine apart and then put it together.

3 cause physical or mental suffering; get sb. down

牙疼真折腾人。

Yá téng zhēn zhēteng rén.

A toothache can get you down.

4 spend freely; squander

没多久他就把那份家产折腾光了。

Méi duōjiǔ tā jiù bǎ nà fèn jiāchǎn zhēteng guāng le.

It didn't take him long to squander away his family fortune.

  • Is 'get somebody down' from a dictionary? I think example 3 needs more context, for example, the person went to dental service several times for it/ have to prepare liquid food. Otherwise it is surely painful, but may not cause a lot of trouble. – EmmaXL Oct 18 '16 at 1:53
2

I agree with user3306356, it depends on contexts.

For me as a native speaker, the one I used and heard the most means "torture or torturing" For instance, 您别折腾我了 Literally it means(Please)you stop torturing me. Note: 别...了 is a grammar usage meaning stop doing something.

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