I've always struggled with the proper translation of "Avoid". Is there a way to best say "avoid going to a place". For example, if I wanted to say that " I believe that if I want to embrace chinese culture, I should avoid going to Mcdonalds in China" How would that be said?

Could it be


3 Answers 3


First of all the correct translation is:

I believe that if I want to embrace chinese culture, I should avoid going to Mcdonalds in China


Proper choice of word when translating avoid

  • When you say avoid doing something, you can alway translate avoid to 避免+Verb(respective verb of the gerund used).

  • When you avoid something bad or dangerous from happening, you can use 避免+Object. For example, you can 避免 accident, risk, danger, problem etc.

  • When you avoid something or someone so you wouldn't need to face or confront them, you use 回避(people, thing, situation, place)、逃避(problem, issue, punishment, situation)、规避(risk, situation) + Object.

Collocations of 避免

Also I see you wrote "我应该好好避免去那儿". The problem with this sentence is the inappropriate adverb “好好” which basically means do something to an praiseful degree. It's very uncommon to say 好好避免。

Common adverb collocations for 避免 is 完全(completely), 尽量(try your best to), 尽可能(as much as possible)

  • 完全避免 completely avoid ...
  • 尽量避免 try someone's best to ...
  • 尽可能避免 avoid ... as much as possible
  • , by the way does "拥抱“ translate well int o chinese? Or does that sound strange?
    – Stephen
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 21:44
  • @Stephen: 拥抱 means embrace and hug. When it is a verb, it often means to embrace and or to hug and is used figuratively. For example 拥抱(nature, a career). When it means literal hug, it's often in noun form. So instead of "hug me", in Chinese it's more often to use 给我一个拥抱(give me a hug) if you want to use 拥抱 for hug. If you want literally say hug me as a verb+object phrase, you use just 抱: 抱我(hug me). Or to be more cute, it would be 抱抱我, which is more often used in people who love each other (between SOs or parents and little children). At the end, hug is not a common gesture in China. Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 23:29


You are correct but "好好" is not necessary in the sentence. "我应该避免去那儿".

  • Actually 去 would be better than 前往 in this case. It is correct, but 前往 is more purposeful. It implies a goal, like you are going there right now. 去 is more general.
    – Dsodo
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 22:17
  • @Dsodo I agree with you after you mentioned it. I have edited the answer
    – Alex
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 13:50

"我認為, 要在中國體會當地文化的話, 就盡量不要光顧麥當勞."

Although "應該避免" is a correct translation, I think it is a bit too "westernised" and too "formal".

Also, "信奉" has a sense of "worship" and sounds too heavy in this case. I prefer saying "體會", "認真體會" or "全心體會".

  • Thanks Henry, 體會 should be a better way of expressing but I am not sure if it applies to 'embrace'
    – Alex
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 13:55
  • But definitely not "信奉". Others use a direct translation of "擁抱" which I consider a bit too vague. After reading "thefutureorganization.com/…" and "examiner.com/article/…", I think "體會" is an appropriate translation.
    – Henry HO
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 0:34
  • Hi Henry, I think we both get it wrong - while I doubt 體會 is one of "embrace"'s translation, 信奉 is used incorrectly like you stated. I think the other meaning of embrace is "acceptance", which might be a better choice in this sentence
    – Alex
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 13:37
  • Yes and no here. Perhaps "體會" is not "deep" enough. On the other hand, by the context of the sentence, I presume that it is referring to a relative short stay in China. In such case, could there be an acceptance of culture? Also, cultural acceptance should mean something more than the diet.
    – Henry HO
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 15:04
  • Right, I guess now it depends on what Stephen actually means. There might not be an definite answer. Also 體會 would be something like "I 體會 chinese culture by participating dragon boat" - to do something "Chineseish" instead of "avoid do something western". But again, Stephen should have an idea in terms of how "avoid" is used here, which was he main concerns =D
    – Alex
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 15:19

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