Questions tagged [translation]

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

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8
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8answers
2k views

How do I self-answer “What does this say?”

We get a lot of translation requests at Chinese.SE, and while we'd like to help, there's sometimes very little about the Chinese language in the question, and a lot about the procedure for obtaining ...
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10answers
16k 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.
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6answers
1k 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 ?
5
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2answers
933 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
575 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 ...
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2answers
714 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
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
690 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 ...
17
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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?
8
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2answers
567 views

What is written in this satellite photograph? (Characters identified: 忠于毛主席)

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. I used Google translator and wrote these ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
273 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 ...
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4answers
363 views

What is the meaning of 一看 in 打开盒子一看,里面是一只小猫?

打开盒子一看,里面是一只小猫 Is it the same as 看看 or 看一看?
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2answers
252 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
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2answers
194 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 ...
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2answers
179 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 ...
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1answer
329 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.
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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-...
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5answers
684 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 ...
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3answers
561 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 ...
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6answers
5k 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「...
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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.
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6answers
11k 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.
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4answers
320 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.
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3answers
1k views

How do you say “there aren't people I can talk to”? 没有对他们可以说话的人?

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.?
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3answers
1k views

What do these two characters on cufflinks signify? (Characters identified: 福 and 壽/夀)

I was given a pair of gold cufflinks by my grandfather who was in Shanghai 100 years ago. Each shows a Chinese character (Mandarin, I guess) and I would like to know what these mean. However I have ...
5
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1answer
199 views

A more direct translation for “I [verb] [x] more than [y]”

I don't know how to directly translate a sentence like this: I [verb] [x] more than [y] I would usually translate it like this: [x] 比 [y] 更 [some adjective that captures the same meaning as the ...
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6answers
81 views

要 to indicate “will [verb]” vs “need”

Consider the sentence: 我要去北京。 This means "I will go to Beijing". But 要 also means "need". So could this sentence also be translated as "I need to go to Beijing"? How would you make the distinction ...
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5answers
608 views

In 你说的是什么?, 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?
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4answers
479 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. ...
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2answers
2k views

For magazines or books, how much does “text volume” differ when comparing Chinese to English or German?

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 ...
5
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1answer
105 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 ...
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4answers
346 views

Is there any official way to translate Chinese names into English?

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 ...
4
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3answers
452 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
3
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3answers
836 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... ...
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3answers
143 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.
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2answers
258 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 ...
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2answers
275 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?
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2answers
7k 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 ...
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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
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1answer
86 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; ...
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4answers
491 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”?
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4answers
677 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 ...
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2answers
271 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?
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4answers
1k views

“did not come”: 没来 vs 没来了

I translated "The student did not come" as "学生没来了" but the answer was "学生没来" (i.e. 了 is omitted). This answer confuses me because it doesn't contain any indication of past action; i.e. I would ...
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5answers
807 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."
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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
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1answer
162 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 ...