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It seems that a lot of colloquial English terms are actually seen to be quite formal or academic in Chinese.

In English we have the term dynamics as in: group dynamics, social dynamics, psychodynamics and sociodynamics. While the specific definition of each term might differ the basic idea of dynamics in each is more-or-less the same. Here dynamics can be used in every day speech with out making the speaker seem like he or she is pontificating or being overly showy.

Wikipedia has a few translations for these terms, for example:

  • group dynamics = 群体动力学 or 团体动力学

  • sociodynamics = 群聚效应

I wouldn't feel comfortable throwing around xxx动力学 or 群聚效应 in Chinese though, for fear of not being clear enough.

Is there a more basic phrase or terminology that can express this concept without being overly formal/academic?

  • I learned English as a Second language so I might need some help answering this question. "Dynamics" does not sound to me like a word that can be used in everyday conversation. When I look it up in dictionary, it is always related to some fields of study or proficiency. Can you give more detailed examples that you use it in daily life, so that we can find proper Chinese translations to those daily situations. – River May 4 at 1:46
  • I would just use 群体动力学. I think there is no problem in using formal words in daily Chinese, especially if you are talking to professionals. – Phoenix Mu May 7 at 17:41
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Just use 动力, as in 航空动力, 生命动力 and 社会动力.

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group dynamics - 群体互动(行为)

social dynamics - 社会互动(行为)

psychodynamics - 心理活动(学)

sociodynamics - 社会动力(学)

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+50

I am living in Germany and heard "group dynamics (in German)" when I met my friends/colleagues (Most of them are Germans) and discussed about our project. When I first heard this word, I also thought "are they showy?". Now, I understand that this is a problem from direct translation and the different ways of idiomatic expression.

According to my observation, "Dynamics" is used in this context to express the active interaction between elements (individuals, emotions etc.) in a system (group, society or mental state). Therefore, as a native Chinese speaker, I would give a suggestion for the translation of "dynamics" in this context:

  • groupe dynamics -> 团队发展 or 团体发展 or with a long but casual sentence 团队内成员之间的相互走动
  • sociodynamics -> 社群发展 or same idea above 社会内个体之间的互相往来

I know that 发展 from direct translation in English is "development", but it has the connotation of the active interaction within a system. And 发展 is used both formally and informally in Chinese.

As for psychodynamics, I agree with the answer from 孤影萍踪.

psychodynamics - 心理活动

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