Questions tagged [translation]

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

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How to translate “define , commit , and private beta”?

In the area 51 SE, when sites are still in testing mode. How would one translate the words define, commit, and private beta? This idea was originally brought up by another user who wanted to start ...
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1answer
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Comparison of tools for converting traditional to simplified Chinese

There are many free online tools that can convert Traditional Chinese characters to Simplified Chinese characters. However, most of them don't look at context to provide an accurate translation; they ...
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How do you say “some people” in Chinese?

Like, if I wanted to say "Some people think I look like...." how would I say that? Would it be: some 人觉得我长得像....?
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How to translate 脑袋短路 into English?

I would ask this on ELL but I honestly have no idea how to express this in English. Online translation give "brain short circuit", which sounds more like terminology than self-mockery. I am ...
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how to correctly translate 我想你

When I started learning Chinese I was taught that this term would mean I miss you However have recently seen this been translated different ways into English. 1st I miss you 2nd I'm thinking ...
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4answers
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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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Meaning of 他急红了眼?

I've heard that expression while I was in Beijing, and I can't find the translation when I scroll the Internet. Do you know what it means?
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7answers
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Can I use 我的腿累了 for “My legs are tired”?

I play soccer with a bunch of Chinese friends regularly and I want to say "my legs are tired". I already know 我跑不动了 and 我的腿很酸, but I'm not sure what is the best fit for the Chinese equivelant of "my ...
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Translation: 深V

Maybe this question is better suited for the English Language SE site, but anywho... V here stands for V-Neck as in: v-neck t-shirt/v-neck blouse/v-neck sweater, etc. 深 is deep - or more accurately ...
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Difference between 目的 and 目标

I don’t manage to grasp the difference between the two words 目的 or 目标. I have seen some explanations stating that 目的 means purpose and 目标 objective but I don’t know if it is a cultural issue or not ...
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What is the meaning of 機歪?

I was listening to a Chinese song the other day. The song name is 謝謝妳愛我, sung by R.chord(謝和弦). In the second line of the first chorus, which goes "脾氣壞 固執任性機歪 還有點變態 ", I don't understand the word Ji ...
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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 ...
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Asking a cafe/restaurant if they have Wi-Fi *and* electricity for using a device

In my travels in China I've found myself in need of a place to use my internet device. Its battery has recently ceased to hold a charge so I also need to be able to plug in my AC adaptor. My Chinese ...
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3answers
445 views

What's the amount of time in 足足有一刻钟,简默的脸上现出了惊喜和迷惑?

足足有一刻钟,简默的脸上现出了惊喜和迷惑。 It is less than a quarter of an hour, or a full quarter of an hour, or what amount of time is being talked about here?
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Differentiating: 肚 and 胃 in English?

In Chinese 肚 and 胃 are two quite seperate things. In English, though, it's mostly just: stomach. Is there a good way to differantiate between the two in English?
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How to say “at the expensive/cost of”?

I want to say the following: 过了这几十年,中国的经济发展了很多,但是 [at the expense of]中国的环境。 I'm not sure if the last part of the sentence is how I would say "at the expense of China's environment"; it was more of ...
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How to say “she short changed me” (without negative conotation)?

For example, if I went to the bank to withdraw money from my account and my account showed I took out $50, but the bank teller only gave me $40. I don't want to imply the bank teller was trying to ...
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Does 外行的想法 mean “rookie mistake”?

I found this sentence and its translation on tatoeba.org. Is there a better way to translate it into English? 這是外行的想法。 That's a layman's idea. I looked up 外行, and it does mean amateur or layman, but ...
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8answers
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How to translate “就这么着吧”?

普通话口语里常用。语境: 女性跟闺蜜抱怨丈夫:「虽然我跟你这么抱怨,但真要和他离婚也不现实,唉,就这么着吧!」(带着点无奈,日子凑合过的味道) 论坛网友:「反正不管我再发布多少次,网站都会给我删除的,所以就这么着吧,我也没辙」(虽然不接受,但是也无可奈何的意思:不然我能咋办呢?) 网上搜到一些翻译,感觉味道不太对:例如Alright,如果没有音调的辅助,只凭文字传达,Alright没有“...
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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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Translation from English to Chinese of the song “The Final Countdown”

I've tried to translate the first part of the song The final countdown, can you correct me? We're leaving together 我們離開一起。 But still it's farewell 但是,還有告別。 And maybe we'll come back 可能我們來到這兒一邊 To ...
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8answers
313 views

My patience is running out

How can I say my patience is wearing thin or my patience is running out. I guess if I were to translate it, I'd say 我的耐心越来越少 That doesn't seem right
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2answers
332 views

What is the appropriate translation for 'energy'?

There are many times when I want to tell someone that I don't have enough energy to do something. These are close but not exactly what I want: 我太累。 I'm not too tired, I just don't have as much energy ...
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5answers
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How to form a relative clause with a 是 in it?

I want to be able to translate sentences with complicated relative clauses specifying that two things are the same in a particular context. For example, "I take classes where the tests are ...
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1answer
634 views

What does 神逻辑 mean?

I've encountered this word online. If you google "神逻辑" (with quotes) you'll find mostly instances where it's used as a standalone noun. Anyone know what it means, and maybe its origin/the explanation ...
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How can I express the concept “There's nothing of which I'm absolutely sure” in Chinese?

Scientists and philosophers have at various times been quoted as saying: "There's nothing of which I'm absolutely sure" or "I'm not absolutely sure of anything". (Richard Feynman, for example.) How ...
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1k views

How to say that you were accepted/rejected from a college in Mandarin?

For example, how would I say something like "Harvard rejected me" or "Harvard accepted me"?
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869 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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What does “滿腦門子的黑線” mean?

腦門子 would be forehead. 黑線 is black lines. Does it mean something like "veins popping on his forehead"?
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Translations: 'Crack' as in 'Crack Knuckles'

How to translate 'crack'? As in: To crack ones knuckles? To crack ones fingers? and other joints/bones/etc? (Supposedly in 四川话 it's 'pi' - I don't know the character, hopefully @Huang can let us ...
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697 views

How do you translate “start”?

I'm trying to ask, "Are you sure you want to start a new game?" My best guess is, 你確定要开始新遊戲? I'm not sure whether I used "start" correctly.
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翻译这个传统的中国地图 --坤輿萬國全圖--

我最近对这个古代世界地图产生了特别浓厚的兴趣。但因为都是文言文,没有断句,非常难懂。 我想请问有没有谁知道这幅由利玛窦原创的地图曾经被学者翻译过么? 在哪里可以找到全部文字的翻译呢? 它在这里。 I am very interested in these old Chinese maps, such as the 坤輿萬國全圖. They are so advanced, and ...
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758 views

What is 好高骛远 in English?

Google translate translates "好高骛远" into ambitious. I was wondering if you agree with that? I don't think ambitious carries the meaning of lacking capability.
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What is the meaning of 会 in 你们太会了 and the sentence's connotation?

Context: There was a photo of a Chinese celebrity sitting down and some fans cropped and pasted that photo on different photos, so it looked the person was sitting on a horse or bicycle etc. The ...
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Clipping the Emperor’s wings

Background In Liang Qichao‘s 戊戌政變記 (pdf) pretty much at the beginning of the second chapter (pp. 129 and 130 of the linked pdf) mention is made of the Emperor trying to promote several able people of ...
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“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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Is “那些你很冒險的夢” a common expression or just a song title?

Also is there a simple translation of it into English? As far as I can tell it says "those you very adventurous dreams", but this doesn't really make any sense.
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522 views

What exactly does 差不多先生 mean?

I've been trying to study the song 差不多先生 and am having difficulty understanding all of the uses of 差不多. Also if anyone is feeling super inspired, I'd love to have a full translation of the song. A ...
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How can you say “We have to let you go”, in the context of firing somebody?

In English, "Sorry, we have to let you go" is a nice way to tell somebody they are fired If you directly translate it, it becomes "我们必须让你走", which doesn't seem right What are some ways to fire ...
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“Speak Greek” in Chinese

In English, when someone says something incomprehensible, one can say they "spoke Greek". In Italian, the equivalente is "parlare Arabo" (lit. speak Arabic). What about Chinese? Is there a similar ...
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296 views

Is 熵 in any way part of the spoken language?

In my own language (Dutch) I can (jokingly) point at something that is decaying (or perhaps my tea getting cold, or my desk being disorderly) and utter the single word: ‘entropy’. Or I can, out of the ...
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4answers
185 views

How to parse “就算世界与我为敌”?

I'm looking at the phrase: "就算世界与我为敌" and I understand that the gist of it is: "Even against the whole world" But, I don't fully understand how to properly parse it. In particular, the words: 与 - ...
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5answers
354 views

What does 且 mean by itself?

I was watching Blur's new music video, which includes a recipe for ice cream with instructions in Chinese. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp1ks7PTzng) At 3:03, the recipe says '将奶黄放入一个大,...
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3answers
919 views

Using 色 with colors [duplicate]

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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4answers
1k views

Expressing “Fair enough”

The English expression "fair enough" can be used to concede a point in an argument, or acknowledge the other person's position, without expressing complete agreement. To take an example from ...
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858 views

Chinese names for zeptoseconds and yoctoseconds

While compiling a list of names for fractions of seconds which are in the International System of Units, I stumbled upon two curious fractions of seconds whose names I'm unable to locate anywhere, and ...
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How do we describe 九九 in english

In Chinese lunar calendar, starting from 冬至, which was yesterday, you can count 9 days as the first 9 days, and subsequently second, third,...,until ninth nine days, a total of 81 days. After you ...
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159 views

How do you say: “I have known her since we were both 2 years old”?

I've been trying to work out how to form an equivalent of the English present perfect with a stative verb. I'd like to say something along the lines of: I have known her since we were both 2 years ...
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2answers
356 views

What are the prefixes for animal genders?

I know the male version when describing gender of an animal or pet is 公,but I have no clue with the female version.
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163 views

Could you please explain me a difference

I am writing one project about an aspect in Chinese, but I have some difficulties in the Chinese variant of Continuous. Could you please explain me a difference between the meaning of there 3 ...

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