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Tag Archives | translation issues

The Many Faces of Chinese Names

Why do Chinese people choose English names? Every Chinese person I have met has had an English name. Whether they were living in Taiwan, living in the United States, or on a cruise ship, each one of them has introduced themselves by their English name. They would only tell me their Chinese name when I […]

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Are You Finished 你完成了嗎 in Chinese

The other day I accidentally told my Chinese tutor that I was perfect.   我說「我完全了!」 (我)(說)「(我)(完全)(了)!」 (ㄨㄛˇ) (ㄕㄨㄛ) [(ㄨㄛˇ) (ㄨㄢˊ ㄑㄨㄢˊ) (ㄌㄜ˙)] (wǒ)(shuō) [(wǒ)(wán quán)(le.)!] (I)(to say, to speak) [(I)(complete, whole, totally, entirely)(intensifies preceding clause)!] I said, “I am perfect!”   I was trying to explain that I had finished something.   她覺得好笑! (她)[(覺)(得)](好笑) (ㄊㄚ) […]

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Understanding the words he 他, she 她, and it 牠 or 它 in Chinese

Understanding the Chinese pronouns that are translated to he, she, or it requires knowing a couple of things. First of all, the pronouns that mean he, she, or it in Chinese all sound the same, but have different characters. 他 ㄊㄚ (tā)  “he” 她 ㄊㄚ (tā)  “she” 牠 ㄊㄚ (tā)  “it” 它 ㄊㄚ (tā)  “it” There are […]

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Understanding the i’s in Pinyin

The use of the letter “i” in pinyin can be confusing. Pinyin is the use of the ABC’s, such as is used in English, to symbolize sounds in the Chinese language. Sometimes the pinyin sounds are fairly similar to the English sounds, and sometimes they are quite different.   When saying some words, the single […]

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