Questions tagged [translation]

Questions on specific points regarding translating Chinese to/from another language. Do your own research first!

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6
votes
7answers
13k views

How to translate “暧昧” into English?

Many dictionaries translate it to "ambiguity",but it looks so indefinitely. I'm looking for more expressive answer.
5
votes
2answers
731 views

b and p, d and t, k and g etc. in English and Cantonese

Many words in Cantonese which I think should be pronounced as b, d, g, are translated by the British to p, t, k, respectively. For example, a place in Hong Kong called 大埔 and is pronounced as Dai Bo ...
3
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2answers
531 views

Help translating 海南鸡饭 - 3

I've come across Zhang Shaolin's Hoi-nam kai-fan (characters 海南鸡饭, lyrics only in subtitles), a song in Hakka. It is split into three parts. This question concentrates on part 3, part 2 being here and ...
9
votes
2answers
680 views

Help translating 海南鸡饭 - 2

I've come across Zhang Shaolin's Hoi-nam kai-fan (characters 海南鸡饭, lyrics only in subtitles), a song in Hakka. It is split into three parts. This question concentrates on part 2, part 1 being here and ...
4
votes
4answers
938 views

Meaning of seal and engraved characters on teapot

I came across an old teapot with inscriptions, but since I don’t speak Chinese, I have no means to know what is written on it. There are two columns of five characters (four columns with twenty ...
3
votes
2answers
621 views

Help translating 海南鸡饭

I've come across Zhang Shaolin's Hoi-nam kai-fan (characters 海南鸡饭, lyrics only in subtitles), a song in Hakka. It is split into three parts. This question concentrates on part 1, part 2 being here and ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

How do we know what characters correspond to Chinese names?

Recently I've asked "How do we choose the correct characters for a westerner name?", and now, I'm facing a similar, yet kind of different problem, which I think applies to any westerner or Chinese ...
11
votes
2answers
867 views

How will translate “谁让你” into English?

How will translate "谁让你" into English? For example, 我不得不服从你的安排。 谁让你是我的老板呢?
7
votes
2answers
519 views

What is written in this satellite photograph?

What is written in Chinese at this location 40.449787, 116.548828 on Google maps? Tried using translators. But didn't find any feasible answer for this.
4
votes
6answers
626 views

Why use combined characters that have the same meaning?

(rèn shí ) both characters means ( to know)and when combined it still have the same meaning. So why can't I use only one of them ?
6
votes
4answers
776 views

What is the difference between 参加 and 参与?

I have been using these interchangeably, until today I was corrected, being told that one "参加活动”, not "参与活动“. I then looked up the definition, but it wasn't too helpful. How do I know when to use ...
4
votes
3answers
247 views

Adverbs that don't use 地

So I know that to make an adverb, you use 'de/di' and put it before the verb like: 我兴奋地打开了我的礼物 But in my studies this week I saw this: ...病症的人逐年增加 and 逐渐成长为独立 Am I right in thinking that ...
4
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2answers
229 views

Help please me find out what this means

I’m looking to find out what this means. Please help was handed down to me from my family
2
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2answers
184 views

Can “ 天空一片蔚藍 ” also be “一片蔚藍天空”? And translation please?

Can " 天空一片蔚藍 " also be "一片蔚藍天空"? And what's the reason? Could "天空是一片蔚藍" be correct too? Also can someone give a good translation? I just translate it as "An azure blue sky". I might be over ...
2
votes
2answers
172 views

Translation of “this much and no more”

I found this sentence and its English translation on tatoeba.org: 我知道的就這麼多了。 Beyond this I know nothing. Now I'm trying to parse the sentence structure, and I'd like some confirmation or a ...
1
vote
1answer
196 views

What are these characters on old brass stamps?

These brass stamps were found by a relative in China ~1917. I'm wondering what the inscriptions mean. The smaller one in the likeness of an elephant is worn and discolored.
1
vote
3answers
1k views

怎么用汉语说 ”early/mid/late 20's“ 或 “low/mid/high” 20's"?

比如,如果我要翻译: The temperature in Beijing tomorrow will be in its low/mid/late 20's 或者 I'm guessing she's in her early/mid/(high or upper) 20's 要怎么翻译? 更新: 1.)一般来说,early/low 等于 20-23, mid 等于 24-...
0
votes
2answers
275 views

Yahtzee score card — what is the term for a “full house”

I'm teaching my mother-in-law how to play Yahtzee so she can more easily join us when we have a family gathering. She's visiting the USA. Most things I explained easily enough using Google Translate....
5
votes
5answers
611 views

Loanwords with Chinese Equivalents

How many loanwords in Chinese have Chinese equivalents? Example: 三文鱼 is a loanword, borrowed from English, meaning salmon, but Chinese also has the word 鲑鱼 meaning salmon. Are there a lot of these ...
10
votes
3answers
464 views

Asking “what's the pinyin/character for X?”

How do we ask someone to "translate" a character or some pinyin into the other one? The expressions I'm referring to are: What's the pinyin for this/that (character)/... ? What's the character ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is Russia translated to 俄罗斯(E Luo Si)?

The Chinese Wikipedia article describes the name of Russia, and many of its historical Chinese exonyms. 按照俄语发音“Россия”,其名称应翻译为“羅西亚”。元朝时根据蒙古语译为「斡羅思」[b],到清朝初年许多文献中曾称为「羅剎」[c],但在以国家相称时则多译为「鄂羅斯」[d]或「...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the meaning of 真是的

What is a meaning of 真是的. I heard for many times in context something like 你真是的! And yet I have doubts about proper meaning of this expression.
10
votes
5answers
9k views

What does 民以食为天 mean?

How to translate the old saying "民以食为天"? Would that be "Food is the priority of populace"? That doesn't sound right to me, though.
8
votes
4answers
292 views

Which expressions should I choose to say “thanks for your help”?

If I want to say "Thanks for your help", which sentence is correct and which one is more commonly used? 谢谢你的帮忙 谢谢你的帮助 It seems that the first one is more uncommon but I'm not really sure.
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Relative clause in Chinese

How do you say "there aren't people I can talk to" ? 没有对他们可以说话的人?or else "the person with whom I had a fight last week is now a friend" and all those sentences that require with/to/etc.?
9
votes
5answers
553 views

In this sentence, what is the purpose of 的?

Consider this sentence: 你说的是什么? I understand that 的 permits creating adjectives, like 我的 would be "my". But here, I can’t see how it works. What is its purpose?
7
votes
4answers
458 views

That mystical 就 again

Here is a sentence: 厨房壁炉架上的那面镜子就把哈利吓了一跳 Below are my translation variants. Bold letters should be a 'jiu' english analog here. The mirror on top of the kitchen's fireplace scared Harry the most. ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

are there any free bilingual sources of chinese proverb?

In reference to the thread Is this [Ivanka Trump] Chinese proverb real? —“Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it” and related news, I've created this question, and ...
4
votes
3answers
778 views

How often is 羊肉 Goat in chinese?

I've always translated 羊肉 as mutton. Mutton is not really a protein eaten in the west. Lamb is eaten a lot but that is 小羊. Goat is said to be the most widely consumed protein in the world. How ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How does English to Chinese translation affect magazine layouts?

For a magazine, I know from a personal source that English text, when translated properly from German, fills out two thirds of the space the German source text usually takes up. Does anyone know how ...
3
votes
4answers
294 views

CH-E Name Translation Etiquette

Is there any official way to translate Chinese names into English? Chinese is of course: surname + name, usually when translated into English why is the same formatting kept? 毛泽东 is usually written ...
3
votes
3answers
398 views

Meaning of text on a picture

I have a piece of artwork, a paper rubbing (see the images attached) with a piece of text on, which I'd like to know the meaning of. I suspect it is in Chinese, but I'm unsure. Online tools like ...
3
votes
3answers
691 views

Using 色 with colors

I'm making something to teach students Chinese colors... Let's say they have to match a color to a square- Is it okay to just use 红, 蓝, 紫, etc on each block just as long as they know 色 means color... ...
3
votes
3answers
136 views

How is this sentence translated into Chinese “The man, who kissed the woman, who betrayed him with the man, who loved the one, whom nobody knew”?

I do not know the technical term for this kind of sentences, but obviously there is some fractal vibe to it.
2
votes
2answers
201 views

Different terms for 'family' and 'family member'

When I was being taught Mandarin Chinese- quite a few years ago- we were only taught 家人 as meaning family or family member. However Google translate returns 家庭 as the best option for 'family' and 家庭成员 ...
2
votes
2answers
233 views

Translate Zimbabwe to Chinese: 辛巴威 or 津巴布韦?

Zimbabwe is a country. Which one is its Chinese translation: 辛巴威 or 津巴布韦? Could it be possible that Chinese in Taiwan call it 辛巴威? Another country is Zambia. 尚比亞 or 赞比亚?
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Subway door announcement mystery

I think probably every metro system around the world has to have an audio announcement warning passengers to stay away from the train's doors as they're closing. Here in New York, a pre-recorded voice ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

how to translate “何如” in 呂氏春秋?

this question is made, and answer provided; in response to a comment in another question: How to translate the phrase 利而物利章 in context? cause, my explanation is too long to put in the comment area; ...
5
votes
4answers
385 views

Does 从来 translate to “always”?

Does anyone know if 从来 translates to "always"? And if it is, is it used in the same way? For example if I want to say: "I always buy oranges", would that be “我从来买橘子”?
5
votes
2answers
265 views

Is 你好,北京 grammatical?

Today Victoria Beckham tweeted it. But is this reverse form (as opposed to 北京,你好) correct?
4
votes
4answers
2k views

How to say “I prefer x over y”?

For example: I prefer eating fried rice over fried chicken. How to say that in chinese? How about this? 我较喜欢吃炒饭比炸鸡 我炒饭比炸鸡较喜欢吃
4
votes
4answers
376 views

Translating the two meanings of 好自为之

My dictionary gives the meaning of 好自为之 as "look out for yourself". This is a positive thing you might say out of genuine concern for another person, and I think this was also the case with the ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Pinyin to Chinese characters

I'm trying to learn Chinese from books, online tutorials, but mostly from Rosetta Stone. I'm just starting, so there's still a lot I'm probably not understanding - so I don't know if I'm even asking ...
3
votes
5answers
499 views

In Chinese, how can I describe someone as being cynical?

cynical as in "believing the worst of human nature and motives; having a sneering disbelief in e.g. selflessness of others."
2
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1answer
69 views

Did the man lock up his 6-year old son at home overnight? (把6岁大的儿子一个人锁在家里整整一夜)

This question is about 后来才知道 in the following sentence: 他为了帮我,把6岁大的儿子一个人锁在家里整整一夜,彻底感动了我,交往不到一年,我们结婚了。 ... bǎ 6 suì dà de érzi yīgè rén suǒ zài jiālǐ zhěngzhěng yīyè ... 嫁给离婚带孩子的男人 我的生活只剩下两个字, ...
2
votes
2answers
166 views

Translation: Chinese relative names + numerals into English

Working on some translations but always come across things like: 李二嫂 王二叔 三奶奶 张幺伯儿 For 李二嫂 I think I came up with something like: The Li family's second eldest son's wife, which sounds ...
2
votes
1answer
262 views

Confucian Messianism, Mencius, etc

Just picked up Popular Religious Movements and Heterodox Sects in Chinese History by Hubert Seiwert (In collaboration with Ma Xisha) and was kind of caught aback by the idea of Confucian messianism. ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Need help in translation. Problems with 了. Again :)

The sentence is (1)突然父亲嘘了一口气 and (2)突然父亲嘘一口气 I would have undertand them if it's not the for the "突然" part. My take: (1) "Suddenly father exhaled (once)" (like "ooooh" and then maybe died). ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Is referring to Mandarin as just “Chinese” problematic?

I am living in Taiwan learning Mandarin Chinese (with traditional characters). When speaking in English I try to refer to the language as Mandarin both for clarity, and because I imagine people who ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

How do I parse 天津图书馆园区馆 (tiān jīn tú shū guǎn yuán qū guǎn)?

I saw the road sign photographed below, but I'm confused about how 天津图书馆园区馆 (tiān jīn tú shū guǎn yuán qū guǎn) makes sense. I'm mostly familiar with the components: 天津 = Tianjin, the city I live in....