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Questions tagged [translation]

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

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Difference between 不了 and 不到

This question is very similar but focuses more on the differences between 著 and 到. What's the difference between verb + 不了 and verb + 不到? Do the differences also apply to Cantonese? Examples: 收不到 ...
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What did Liu Cixin mean here?

In a postscript to the American edition of The Three-Body Problem / 三体, the author says: In science fiction, humanity is often described as a collective. In this book, a man named “humanity” ...
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How to translate: “对我来说,北方人的口音和语速 {makes it difficult for me to understand them}"?

I can't figure out how to translate this 对我来说,北方人的口音和语速makes it difficult for me to understand them. What's the best way to say this without losing any of the above meaning and structure?
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Help making a Chinese version of a Sicilian song (Si maritau Rosa)

Background I am making a Chinese singable version of a Sicilian song called "Si maritau Rosa" (Rosa has gotten married). I have three questions about how to best render the last verse. Here are the ...
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How do you translate “misalignment spacers”?

I'm looking for the word for "misalignment spacers", which are mechanical parts for use with Heim joints (鱼眼轴承). Anyone know what they're called in China? Here's a photo. Misalignment spacers are the ...
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Handwritten script on two scroll paintings

Could someone help translate what’s written on these two scroll paintings please?
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87 views

Unknown meaning of a carving on the back of a Buddha statue (Character identified: 朱)

I hope someone could help me understand if this is something. Its on a Budddha statue I purchased.
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146 views

Round seal stamp on a teapot (Characters identified: 沈紅英制)

This is stamped on the bottom of a yixing teapot. Can anyone translate what the name is please? Thank you.
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What is the subject in 有时间到我家去

There is this sentence in a dialog from my beginner text book: 好,我走了,有时间到我家去。再见! I understand the translation: Well, I'm going, if you have time, come to my home. Goodbye. However, though I ...
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Happen to (in questions)

I'm aware that you can use 正好 or 碰巧 to express low probability in statements, equivalent to English "happen to" . 我正好是有你要的那种啤酒。 我发现他碰巧就是我的一个远亲。 How can you use this same idea in a question? "Do ...
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How would I translate “与君知”

Google translate his been giving me straight pinyin as a translation, and pleco doesn't have what I'm looking for. I got the definitions of each individual character, but I'm not sure how to put them ...
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How do I translate this description of the Spanish Queen's dress style? 西班牙王后做造型真省事:连续两年裙子配饰完全不变参加同一活动

The title of this article about the Spanish Queen Letizia Ortiz's dress style is: 西班牙王后做造型真省事:连续两年裙子配饰完全不变参加同一活动 To give a mental picture, here's a reduced-quality image from that article: ...
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“他们之间不再会有什么友谊”:在这个句子里"会“贡献什么意思?

我的问题就对于这个句子: 他们之间不再会有什么友谊。 我的英语翻译是: There can no longer be any friendship between them. 为了了解“会”的贡献,我就试试删除它,后来翻译一下: 他们之间不再有什么友谊。 我的英文翻译成为: There is no longer any friendship between them....
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What does 已出口直封 mean?

My first question here, sorry if it's not a good fit. I am tracking a parcel in Chinese, but I do not know what 已出口直封 means. I know that 广州互换局 means Guangzhou exchange bureau/office, and 已出口开拆 means ...
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Meaning of 一挺 in 雪人大肚子一挺,他顽皮地说:“我就是冬天。” [duplicate]

雪人大肚子一挺,他顽皮地说:“我就是冬天。” What is the meaning of 一挺 in this sentence? I know 挺 can describe something as straight or erect, but I am confused why 一 is said before it.
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How would you translate The Martian's: “I'm going to science the s*** out of this”?

This is China's in theater subtitle version: 我得他妈的想办法活下去 A streaming video version: 只能开动脑筋想办法自救 Can you do better than the above? Namely by incorporating science into it, both of which don't include ...
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Why “mistreat” is translated as “三顿饭” by Google translate?

In Google translate, one of the Chinese translations of “mistreat” is “三顿饭”: Why does “三顿饭” have anything to do with "mistreat"? It is not an idiom, is it?
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What does 我就立刻知道他准是对儿媳干了偷鸡摸狗的勾当 mean? (from 活着, p.3)

I'm having trouble understanding this: 他手指挖着裤管上的泥巴,愤怒地告诉我是他那不孝的儿子,当我再问为何打他时,他支支吾吾说不清楚了,我就立刻知道他准是对儿媳干了偷鸡摸狗的勾当。 活着, p.3 My translation is: [With] his finger picking trouser-leg mud, [he] ...
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Passage in Seal Script - 18th C Japanese Book of Chinese Poems (Poem identified: 唐・賈至《西亭春望》)

I recently got an old Japanese Orihon (folding book) which has a lengthy passage in seal script - my assumption was that Japanese seal script would be the same as Chinese seal script, but if I'm wrong ...
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Have I parsed this correctly? 在这一重大的历史时点,和讯网对著名经济学家张维迎就改革的发展问题进行了一次非常深入的访谈。

在这一重大的历史时点, 和讯网 对 著名经济学家张维迎就改革的 发展问题 进行了 一次非常深入的访谈。 (From CaiJing.com.cn; link now broken.) At this important historical point, Hexun.com has conducted a very in-...
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How do I parse 真的发展成男女朋友玩的来聊的开那还是要过个一年半载才能确定的 into English?

The offending sentence (haha) is in bold below. Can't for the life of me figure out what is going on with it. 许多妹子都觉得刚失恋去找别的男人不太好,其实无所谓啦,真的发展成男女朋友玩的来聊的开那还是要过个一年半载才能确定的,先随便聊聊么,认识认识,...
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How is the quality of Google's automatic “translation” for single words?

In Google you can put in a word and it will give you the English on the right hand side with "translation" and explanation. So let's take 半挂货车 for instance. It gives me back: Semi-trailer truck ...
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Can someone help translate this seal script (I think)?

I was told the symbols on this table was seal script. I'm having trouble confirming/translating them. Any help/advice?
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translation of text and seals on painting (Poet identified: Pu Ru 溥儒)

its been in the family since the 1950's, I asked a friend but he couldn't read it. also google translate was rubbish. friend said the calligraphy was to hard. added the very bottom bit
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How do the terms in 千里之行,始于足下 modify its meaning?

I came across the phrase 千里之行,始于足下 on the Internet. Per consensus from native speakers, it appears it can be loosely translated as 'the journey of a thousand miles begins at your feet'. I'm able ...
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1answer
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In a scene from “Game of Hunting”, people in handcuffs in a courtroom are wearing clothes marked “北看”: is this correct and what does it mean?

There are two characters written on the orange jackets (?) they are wearing. It seems like it says "北看" but I can't seem to find anything related to that meaning. If it's not "看", I hope someone can ...
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What does 一个赛一个不讲理的 mean? Does the 的 determine its meaning?

一个赛一个不讲理的 Does it mean 'one competition, one unreasonable' or 'one is more unreasonable than the one before'? Does the word '的' important in sentence like this?
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Does 劳驾、做你有那个时? sound natural? (“Excuse me, do you have the time?”)

I'm self translating common phrases in English, and I tried to translate "Excuse me, do you have the time?" And I came up with: 劳驾、做你有那个时? Is this a natural sounding sentence and is it correct?
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How do I translate “both medicines and foods have common origin”?

I am trying to translate the sentence both medicines and foods have common origin into simplified Chinese using different translation apps etc. and get weirdly different answers.
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Am I interpreting this correctly? 凡物只所持,不外乎三种,神念、灵气、元血。只是,一旦错了。就不知会如何了。

I'm reading a web novel called "凤凰仙尊,刁妻萌娃好难训." There's a sentence which confused me, so I hope someone could tell me if my interpretation's already correct. 凡物只所持,不外乎三种,神念、灵气、元血。只是,一旦错了。就不知会如何了。 I ...
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How to interpret 开始起步 in IT企业的电子商务也在1999年开始起步?

In this sentence, IT企业的电子商务也在1999年开始起步。 How would you translate '开始起步'?
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Is my translation of “I think Disney has a big influence on people's expectations of love” accurate?

新年快乐,大家! I'm a long-time user of Stack Overflow for coding problems, but a noob on Chinese SE. I was trying to say recently "I think Disney has a big influence on people's expectations of love". ...
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Why is the meaning of 不是要求以小组为单位做报告吗?? (…以…为…)

不是要求以小组为单位做报告吗? Context: a conversation about an economics class in high school. The Chinese Grammar Wiki says "以 A 为 B" means "using/taking A as B", but it still doesn't make sense to me.
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Tang inscription translation (Characters identified: 大唐年製)

Can anyone assist with translation of the characters as shown. They are incised into the underside of a Tang sancai figure of a resting camel
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What is the function 就是 and 对 in 这个重大责任, 就是对民族的责任?

I encountered the following sentence recently: 这个重大责任, 就是对民族的责任。 I loosely translated it to: This important responsibility is the nation's responsibility. But grammatically, I was confused by ...
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Is there a Chinese word for the Japanese 気合 (kiai), the sounds (“Hi-yah!” etc.) made when performing martial arts?

I watched 叶问4 (Ip Man 4) last night, and became interested in the sounds they make during fighting: Kiai (Japanese: 気合, /ˈkiːaɪ/) is a Japanese term used in martial arts for the short shout uttered ...
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What is the meaning of “比一比” in 一件件新衣向身上比一比?

Continuing from my previous question, here's another sentence I picked from a song. 一件件新衣向身上比一比。 I tried to search through Pinpin Dictionary, it means: To make a comparison To engage in a ...
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Meaning of “绽开来” in 这句话让她脸上的皱纹菊花般绽开来?

她的话音刚落,一直在旁边默默无语的老公说道:“我们就是后一种。”这句话让她脸上的皱纹菊花般绽开来。" Just after she spoke, her husband who'd been staying in silence beside her said, "We're the latter kind." This remark made the wrinkles on her face.....
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How to translate “this person is salty or this person is feeling salty”

For example, I had a flu shot but a week later I got the flu. I feel salty that I went through the trouble of getting the shot and still ended up sick. Another example, I stood in line for the new ...
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What is the meaning of 确定 in 你确定你是外国人?

I was told this sentence: 你确定你是外国人→_→ When I looked up the meaning of 确定 it said it meant definite/certain. So, my guess for this sentence is: Are you certain you are a foreigner/are you ...
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How do I translate the first two lines of Befriending the Learned? 入國而不存其士,見賢而不急

It's Mozi, first two lines of Befriending the Learned: 入國而不存其士, 見賢而不急, I would translate it: if one enters the country and doesn't have his soldiers(?), meets the valuable and doesn't have to ...
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240 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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What does the first part of 它一把拉着我跳回了家,我成了兔子,而它成了我的模样 mean?

I've taken to reading short essays written by grade-five children (五年纪作文). In 沙发上的兔子 (Rabbit on the Sofa), there's an image of a rabbit on the sofa, and when the child falls asleep, the child turns ...
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Why are multiple 学s okay in the sentence 我学英语学了4年了

In this sentence, I do not understand the purposes of each of the 2 instances of the character 学. 我学英语学了4年了。 I have been studying English for 4 years. In my naive understanding I would personally ...
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171 views

Help with Cantonese correct translation

I thouhgt about posting here twice as I know rules do not allow for users to simply ask for translations. But after a few efforst in trying to translate it myself, I decided to ask for your kind help. ...
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633 views

How is 我简直不敢相信! translated as “I can't believe it!”

I found this expression the other day : 我简直不敢相信! I failed to get what it means and looked for its meaning on the Google translate and it told me that the meaning of this sentence is : "I can't ...
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576 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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How to say: “I have been studying Chinese for 4 years.”

How can I most accurately say the simple sentence: I have been studying Chinese for 4 years. This is a very simple phrase, and I am surprised at myself for not being confident in which one of the ...
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119 views

Parsing grammar of 你是怎么学习汉语的?

To my knowledge 是 means "is" and the usage of 的 that I am familiar with is that it is like a possession particle. I don't understand how either character functions in the following sentence: ...
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Is there a Mandarin equivalent of the Cantonese term “手尾”?

手尾 is a very common Cantonese term, I would like to know what Mandarin term can be the equivalent of it. The following are from CantoDict dictionary: 手尾: (to tie up) loose ends 冇手尾: fail to ...