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How to Have a Baby 怎麼生孩子 in Chinese

Saffron Merry in ChineseContrary to much science fiction literature,

每個人都是女人生的。

(每個)(人)(都)(是)[(女人)(生)(的)]❶。

(mei3 ge.) (ren2) (dou1) (shi4) [(nü3 ren2) (sheng1) (de.)]

(every) (person) (all) (it/to be) [(woman) (to be born) (adjective marker)]

Every person is born of a woman.

 

No one can do it by themselves.

一個女人得經由生產所以每個各人可以出生。

(一個)(女人)(得)(經由)(生產)(所以)(每個)(各)(人)(可以)(出生)❷。

(yi1 ge.) (nü3 ren2) (dei3) (jing1 you2) (sheng1 chan3) (suo3 yi3) (mei3 ge.) (ge4) (ren2) (ke3 yi3) (chu1 sheng1)

(a) (woman) (must) (through/by) (give birth to) (so) (every) (individual) (person) (able) (to be born)

A woman must give birth so that each person can be born.

 

It is rather humiliating, too.

每個人剛出生以後都是無助的。

(每個)(人)(剛)(出生)(以後)(都)❸(是)[(無助)(的)]。

(mei3 ge.) (ren2) (gang1) (chu1 sheng1) (yi3 hou4) (dou1) (shi4) [(wu2 zhu4) (de.)]

(every) (person) (just at the moment) (to be born) (after) (all) (is/to be) [(not to help) (adjective marker)]

Everyone is helpless right after being born.

 

It is a lot of trouble for everyone.

嬰孩一整天都在吃, 或在哭,或在睡覺。

(嬰孩)(一整)(天)(都)(在)❹(吃), (或)(在)(哭),(或)(在)(睡覺)。

(ying1 hai2) (yi4 zheng3) (tian1) (dou1) (zai4) (chi1), (huo4) (zai4) (ku1), (huo4) (zai4) (shui4 jiao4)

(infant) (the whole) (day) (all) (prefix like adding -ing for the following word) (to eat), (or) (-ing) (to cry), (or) (-ing) (to sleep)

Infants are eating, crying, or sleeping all day long.

 

A mother can work all day long,

不過嬰孩只會滿足片刻!

(不過)(嬰孩)(只)(會)(滿足)❺(片刻)!

(bu2 guo4) (ying1 hai2) (zhi3) (hui4) (man3 zu2) (pian4 ke4)

(but) (infant) (only) (will) (full enough/satisfied) (a moment/a very short time)

but an infant is only satisfied for a very short time!

 

A baby is very selfish.

即使嬰孩的媽媽很累了,他還是要他的媽媽照顧他。

(即使)[(嬰孩)(的)](媽媽)(很)(累)(了),(他)(還是)(要)(他的)(媽媽)(照顧)(他)。

(ji1 shi3) [(ying1 hai2)(de.)] (ma1 ma.) (hen3) (lei4) (le.), (ta1) (hai2 shi4) (yao4) (ta1 de.) (ma1 ma.) (zhao4 gu4) (ta1)

(even if) [(infant)(’s)] (mama/mother) (very) (tired) (indicated completed state), (he/gender neutral pronoun for general use) (still) (to want) (his) (mama) (to care for) (him).

Even if the infant’s mother is very tired, he still wants his mama to take care of him.

 

Sometimes there is double trouble.

有時候生了雙胞胎。怎麼辦呢!?

(有時候)(生)(了)(雙胞胎)❻。(怎麼)(辦)(呢)!?

(you3 shi2 hou4) (sheng1) (le.) (shuang1 bao1 tai1). (zen3 me.) (ban4) (ne.)

Sometimes twins are born. What is to be done?

 

The parents may have mixed emotions.

他們可能覺得很興奮,可是也覺得焦慮不安。

(他們)(可能)(覺得)(很)(興奮),(可是)(也)(覺得)(焦慮不安)。

(ta1 men.) (ke3 neng2) (jue2 de.) (hen3) (xing1 fen4), (ke3 shi4) (ye3) (jue2 de.) (jiao1 lü4 bu4 an1)

(they) (maybe) (feel) (very) (excited), (but) (also) (feel) (a little anxious, like pins and needles)

They may feel excited, but also feel a bit anxious.

 

It all ends up being okay, though.

在你知覺之前,孩子都長大了。

(在)(你)(知覺)(之前),(孩子)(都)(長大)(了)。

(zai4) (ni3) (zhi1 jue2) (zhi1 qian2), (hai2 zi.) (dou1) (zhang3 da4) (le.)

(indicates a progressive tense) (you) (know with feeling, realize) (before that), (children) (all) (grow up) (sense of completion)

Before you know it, children all grow up.

 

Sometimes people say,

「我要回到年青的時候。」

「(我)(要)(回到)[(年青)(的)](時候)。」

(wo3) (yao4) (hui2 dao4) [(nian2 qing1)(de.)] (shi2 hou4)

(I) (to want) (return arrive at) [(youth implied young adulthood)(adjective marker)] (time)

“I want to go back to my youth.”

 

But they never say,

「我要回去嬰孩時期。」

「(我)(要)(回去)(嬰孩時期)。」

(wo3) (yao4) (hui2 qu4) (ying1 hai2 shi2 qi1)

(I) (to want)(return to go to) (infant time period)

“I want to be an infant again.”


 

In the audio below, my tutor reads the Chinese and I read the English. Try pausing it and repeating with the proper tones! Use the text above when you need to.

 


Notes on helpful things I learned or was reminded of while writing these sentences:

❶ The word used for “birth” or “being born” depends on whether it is referring to the mother or the baby. In this case, because there are not any prepositions in Chinese, the idea is formed using an adjective that basically means “woman birthed.” Thus, the Chinese word used is the one that is appropriate when speaking of what the woman does.

❷ Here you see the word used when speaking of what is happening to the baby. He or she is “comes out born.”

❸ The Chinese word 都 (dou1) is frequently used to emphasis all inclusiveness.

❹ There are two Chinese words/syllables that are used to indicate the same present active tense as the English suffix “-ing.” The one used in this sentence, 在 (zai4), does truly go in front of the verb it is modifying. The other one, 著 (zhe.) , goes after the verb. I don’t know why. I just try to remember.

❺ This word for “satisfied,” 滿足 (man3 zu2), has a connotation of the person not necessarily being cognizant of the need or satisfaction. Another word, 滿意 (man3 yi4), is used for more meaning in a relationship because it implies self-realization.

❻ Twins are literally “a pair from the same placenta embryo (or fetus).”