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Tag Archives | translation issues

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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Questioning the Presumed Superiority of Phonetic Languages Over Symbolic Ones Like Chinese

I have heard many academic historians repeat the claim that written phonetic languages are more advanced than character based written communication. After studying the Chinese language and discussing this perspective with my tutor, I find reasons to question this. The Chinese language in not only not compatible with a strictly phonetic language system, but there are […]

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