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When It Is None of Your Business 什麼時候不關你的事 in Chinese

(she made a serious face for me by request)

(she made a serious face for me by request)

什麼時候不關你的事

(什麼時候)(不)(關)(你的)(事)

(shen2 me. shi2 hou4) (bu4) (guan1) (ni3 de.) (shi4)

(when) (not) (related to, concerning) (your) (affair, matter, business)

When it is none of your business.


 

Busy bodies abound in every culture.

到處都會有人要告訴別人怎麼過生活。

(到處)(都)(會)(有)(人)(要)(告訴)(別人)(怎麼)(過)❶(生活)。

(dao4 chu4) (dou1) (hui4) (you3) (ren2) (yao4) (gao4 su4) (bie2 ren2) (zen3 me.) (guo4) (sheng1 huo2)

(to arrive + locality = everywhere) (all) (will) (to have) (person/people) (to want) (to tell) (other people) (how to) (pass through) (life)

Everywhere there are people who want to tell other people how to live their lives.

 

When they persist, you may have to say,

「我不要再聽了。」

(我)(不)(要)(再)(聽)(了)

(wo3) (bu2) (yao4) (zai4) (ting1) (le.)

(I) (not) (to want) (again) (to hear) (expletive for emphasis)

“I don’t want to listen again.”

 

You don’t want to let them get you worked up.

最好就是你要保持有冷靜的頭腦。

(最)(好)(就)(是)(你)(要)(保持)(有)[(冷靜)(的)](頭腦)。

(zui4) (hao3) (jiu4) (shi4) (ni3) (yao4) (bao3 chi2) (you3) [(leng3 jing4)(de.)] (tou2 nao3)

(best) (good) (exactly) (to be) (you) (to want) (to keep) (to have) [(cool)(adjective marker)] (head brain)

It is best to keep a cool head.

 

Some people will even be offended that you won’t take their advice.

不過, 如果你保持著你的微笑你會覺得最好。

(不過)❷, (如果)(你)(保持)(著)(你的)(微笑)(你)(會)(覺得)(最好)。

(bu2 guo), (ru2 guo3) (ni3) (bao3 chi2) (zhe.) (ni3 de.) (wei1 xiao4) (ni3) (hui4) (jue2 de.) (zui4 hao3)

(however), (if) (you) (keep) (-ing) (smile) (you) (will) (to feel) (best).

However, if you keep smiling you will feel best.

 

You might try saying,

「什麼對你好不一定對我好。」

(什麼)(對)(你)(好)(不)(一定)(對)(我)(好)。

(shen2 me.) (dui4) (ni3) (hao3) (bu4) (yi1 ding4) (dui4) (wo3) (hao3)

(what) (toward) (you) (good) (not) (certainly, necessarily) (toward) (me) (good)

What is good for you is not necessarily good for me.

 

If things get really bad, you may think,

「他讓我的耳朵很痛!」

(他)(讓)(我的)(耳朵)(很)(痛)

(ta1) (rang4) (wo3 de.) (er3 duo1) (hen3 ) (tong4)

(he) (to make) (my) (ears) (very) (painful)

“He makes my ears hurt.”

 

You may even have to say,

「這個是不關你的事。」

(這個)(是)(不)(關)❸(你的)(事)

(zhe4 ge.) (shi4) (bu4) (guan1) (ni3 de.) (shi4)

(this) (to be/is) (not) (related, to involve, to concern) (your) (affair, matter, business)

“This is none of your business.”

 

Or,

「少管閒事。」

(少)❹(管)[(閒)(事)]

(shao3) (guan3)❺ [(xian2) (shi4)]

(stop, quit) (to meddle in) [ (quiet) + (affair) = matters that don’t concern you]

“Keep your nose out of it.”

 

Possibly, it could help to say it from their perspective.

「你不想過自己想要過的生活嗎?」

(你)(不)(想)(過)[(自己)(想要)(過)(的)]❼(生活)(嗎)

(ni3) (bu4) (xiang3) (guo4) [(zi4 ji3) (xiang3 yao4) (guo4) (de.)] (sheng1 huo2) (ma.)

(you) (not) (think) (live, pass through) [(self) (think want) (live) (adjective marker)] (life) (question sound)

Don’t you want to live the life you want to?

 

They will probably admit:

大部分的人都想要過自己覺得愜意的生活。

[(大部分)(的)](人)(都)❽(想要)❾(過)(自己)(覺得)[(愜意)(的)](生活)

[(da4 bu4 fen4)(de.)] (ren2) (dou1) (xiang3 yao4) (guo4) (zi4 ji4) (jue2 de.) [(qie4 yi4)(de.)] (sheng1 huo2)

[(great MW part of the whole)(adjective marker)] (person/people) (all) (think/want) (live) (own) (to feel) [(contentedly free)(adjective marker)] (life)

Most people want to live their own lives feeling free.

 

Here is an audio of the above sentences, with my tutor reading the Chinese:

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Notes on things I reviewed or particularly learned while writing this:

❶ The verb 過 (guo4) means “to pass through, go across, or spend time.” In Chinese it is the verb of choice for “living life,” since life is not a static or one time event. There are other uses for 過 (guo4), such a forming a past perfect verb tense, and being inexplicably part of the common 不過 (bu2 guo4), which means “however, but, only, nevertheless.”

❷ 不過 (bu2 guo4), as mentioned in note ❶, can be used fairly interchangeably with 可是 (ke3 shi4) and 但是 (dan4 shi4).

❸ 關 (guan1) is also the character that means “to shut or close,” as in closing a door or switching off a light. However, another of it’s meanings is as given above.

❹ 少 (shao3) has been most commonly shown to me to mean “small in number,” as in the shopping question: 多少錢? (duo1 shao3 qian2) “lots (or) little money?”, a sentence meaning “How much does it cost?” Like many characters, or English words, there are several possible meanings, often discovered by context of usage.

❺You may notice hear that another “guan” is being used in a phrase of very similar meaning. The two characters have unconnected meanings, but happen to be part of phrases with similar meaning. They do have different tones, too.

❻ While “Keep your nose out of it” is not the literal translation of the sentence, it is the common English turn of phrase that is similar in force of meaning.

❼ The sentence structure here is 你不想過。。。生活嗎?Or in English: Don’t you want to live … life? The space could be filled with anything to describe the kind of life you think someone would want to live such as the following examples, adding the (de.) as necessary to signify an adjective.

愜意 (qie4 yi4) free as possible, satisfied, content
快樂 (kuai4 le4) happy
安靜 (an1 jing4) peace(ful)
健康 (jian4 kang1) health(y)

❽ Much like the use of 很 (hen3), 都 (dou1) is frequently added to sentences for emphasis. In this case, it is like saying “most all.”

❾ The concepts of “thinking” and “wanting” are usually very closely connected, so in Chinese they are often stated as a compound word: 想要 (xiang3 yao4) “to think to want.”