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When the Chicken Tries to Talk with the Duck 雞同鴨講 -a Chinese Idiom

 

當我跟中文老師聊天關於我在墨西哥度假說不同語言的經驗時,

(當)(我)(跟)(中文)(老師)(聊天)(關於)…

(ㄉㄤ) (ㄨㄛˇ) (ㄍㄣ) (ㄓㄨㄥ ㄨㄣˊ) (ㄌㄠˇ ㄕ) (ㄌㄧㄠˊ ㄊㄧㄢ) (ㄍㄨㄢ ㄩˊ)

(dāng)(wǒ)(gēn)(zhōng wén)(lǎo shī)(liáo tiān)(guān yú)

(just at)(I)(with)(Chinese language)(teacher)(chat)(about)

…..(我)(在)(墨西哥)(度假)(的)(經驗)(時),

……(ㄨㄛˇ) (ㄗㄧˋ) (ㄇㄛˋ ㄒㄧ ㄍㄜ) (ㄉㄨˋ ㄐㄧㄚˋ) (ㄉㄜ˙) (ㄐㄧㄥ ㄧㄢˋ) (ㄕˋ),

……(wǒ)(zài)(mò xī gē)(dù jià)(de.)(jīng yàn)(shì)

……(my)(at)(Mexico)(vacation)(adjective marker)(experience)(time)

When I was chatting with my Chinese teacher about my Mexican vacation,

 

她馬上就說:

(她)(馬上)❶(就)(說):

(ㄊㄚ) (ㄇㄚˇ ㄕㄤˋ) (ㄐㄧㄡˋ ) (ㄕㄨㄛ):

(tā)(mǎ shàng) (jiǔ) (shuō):

(she) (immediately) (then) (to say):

she immediately said,

 

你們是在「雞同鴨講。」

你們是在(雞)(同)(鴨)(講)

(ㄋㄧˇ ㄇㄣ˙) (ㄕˋ) (ㄗㄞˋ) (ㄐㄧ) (ㄊㄨㄥˊ) (ㄧㄚ) (ㄐㄧㄤˇ)

(nǐ men.)(shì)(zài) (jī) (tóng) (yā) (jiǎng)

(you all) (to be) (-ing, indicating prgressive) (chicken) (same, share) (duck) (to speak)

You all were being “a chicken speaking with a duck”

 

你也可以說:

(你)(也)(可以)❷(說):

(ㄋㄧˇ) (ㄧㄝˇ) (ㄎㄜˊ ㄧˇ)❸ (ㄕㄨㄛ)

(nǐ)(yě)(ké yǐ)(shuō):

(you)(also)(can,okay)(to say)

 You can also say,

 

「雞跟鴨說(話)。」

(雞)(跟)(鴨)(說)[話]❹

(ㄐㄧ) (ㄍㄣ) (ㄧㄚ) (ㄕㄨㄛ) [ㄏㄨㄚˋ]

(jī)(gēn)(yā)(shuō) [huà]

(chicken) (with) (duck) (to speak) [words, language]

 

不過,有一天某人決定 「雞同鴨講」聽起來比較順耳。

(不過),(有一天)(某人)(決定) 「(雞同鴨講)」…

(ㄅㄨˊ ㄍㄨㄛˋ), (ㄧㄡˇ ㄧ ㄊㄧㄢ) (ㄇㄡˇ ㄖㄣˊ) (ㄐㄩㄝˊ ㄉㄧㄥˋ) ” (ㄐㄧ ㄊㄨㄥˊ ㄧㄚ ㄐㄧㄤˇ)”

(bú guò), (yǒu yī tiān)(mǒu rén)(jué dìng) “(jī tóng yā jiǎng)”

(however), (have one day) (someone) (to decide) “雞同鴨講”

…..(聽起來)(比較)(順耳)。

……(ㄊㄧㄥ ㄑㄧˇ ㄌㄞˊ) (ㄅㄧˇ ㄐㄧㄠˋ) (ㄕㄨㄣˋ ㄦˇ)

……(tīng qǐ lái)(bǐ jiào)(shùn ěr)

……(to sound like) (comparatively) (smooth flowing to the ear)

However, once upon a time someone decided that 雞同鴨講 sounded better.

 

「雞同鴨講」是成語,也是常用俚語。

(雞同鴨講)(是)(成語),(也)(是)(常)(用)(俚語)❷。

(ㄐㄧ ㄊㄨㄥˊ ㄧㄚ ㄐㄧㄤˇ) (ㄕˋ) (ㄔㄥˊ ㄩˇ), (ㄧㄝˇ) (ㄕˋ) (ㄔㄤˊ) (ㄧㄨㄥˋ) (ㄌㄧㄡˊ ㄩˇ)

(jī tóng yā jiǎng)(shì)(chéng yǔ), (yě) (shì) (cháng) (yòng) (lí yǔ)

(chicken with duck talk)(is, to be)(4 words idiom), (also)(is)(often) (to use) (slang)

雞同鴨講 is an idiom, and is often used as slang.

 

「雞同鴨講」很容易懂,如果你記得雞不可能跟鴨子說話。

(雞同鴨講)(很)(容易)(懂),…

(ㄐㄧ ㄊㄨㄥˊ ㄧㄚ ㄐㄧㄤˇ) (ㄏㄣˇ) (ㄖㄨㄥˊ ㄧˋ) (ㄉㄨㄥˋ),

(jī tóng yā jiǎng)(hěn)(róng yì)(dòng),

(chicken with duck talk) (very) (easy) (to understand)

…..(如果)(你)(記得)(雞)(不)(可能)(跟)(鴨子)(說話)。

……(ㄖㄨˊ ㄍㄨㄛˇ) (ㄋㄧˇ) (ㄖㄧˋ ㄉㄜ˙) (ㄐㄧ) (ㄅㄨˋ) (ㄎㄜˇ ㄋㄥˊ) (ㄍㄣ) (ㄧㄚ ㄗ˙) (ㄕㄨㄛ ㄏㄨㄚˋ)

……(rú guǒ)(nǐ)(jì de.)(jī)(bù)(kě néng)(gēn)(yā zi.)(shuō huà)

……(if) (you) (remember) (chicken) (not) (able) (with) (duck) (to talk, to chat)

雞同鴨講 is easily understood if you remember that chickens are not able to carry on a conversation with ducks.

 

他們彼此不懂對方說什麼。

(他們)(彼此)(不)(懂)(對方)(說)(什麼)。

(ㄊㄚ ㄇㄣ˙) (ㄅㄧˊㄘˇ) (ㄅㄨˊ) (ㄉㄨㄥˋ) (ㄉㄨㄟˋ ㄈㄤ) (ㄕㄨㄛ) (ㄕㄣˊ ㄇㄜ˙)

(tā men.)(bí cǐ)(bú)(dòng)(duì fāng)(shuō)(shén me.)

(they) (each other) (not) (to understand) (other person involved) (to say) (what)

They don’t understand each other. (or They don’t understand what the other talks about.)

 

哈哈哈

哈哈哈

ㄏㄚ ㄏㄚ ㄏㄚ

hā hā hā

ha ha ha!

 

一隻雞說:「咕咕咕」

(一隻)(雞)(說):(咕咕咕)

(ㄧ ㄓ) (ㄐㄧ) (ㄕㄨㄛ):(ㄍㄨ ㄍㄨ ㄍㄨ)

(yī zhī)(jī)(shuō): (gū gū gū)

(one + measure word for chicken)(chicken)(to say): (*chicken noises according to Chinese sounds*)

A chicken says, “cluck, cluck, cluck”

 

一隻鴨子說:「呱呱呱」

(一隻)(鴨子)(說):(呱呱呱)

(ㄧ ㄓ) (ㄧㄚ ㄗ˙) (ㄕㄨㄛ): (ㄍㄨㄚ ㄍㄨㄚ ㄍㄨㄚ)

(yī zhī)(yā zi.)(shuō): (guā guā guā)

(one + measure word for duck) (to say): (*duck noises according to Chinese sounds*)

A duck says, “quack, quack, quack”

 

有時候用此語彙在成語裡雖是古老的,可是這次卻不是!

(有時候)(用)(此語彙)(在)(成語)(裡)(雖)(是)(古老)(的),…

(ㄧㄡˇ ㄕˊ ㄏㄡˋ)(ㄧㄨㄥˋ)(ㄘˇ ㄩˇ ㄏㄨㄟˋ) (ㄗㄞˋ) (ㄔㄥˊ ㄩˇ) (ㄌㄧˇ) (ㄙㄨㄟˋ) (ㄕˋ) (ㄍㄨˊ ㄌㄠˇ) (ㄉㄜ˙)

(yǒu shí hòu)(yòng) (cǐ yǔ huì)(zài)(chéng yǔ)(lǐ)(suī)(shì)(gú lǎo)(de.),

(sometimes)(to use)(vocabulary)(at)(4 words idiom)(in)(although)(to be)(archaic)(adjective marker),

…..(可是)(這)(次)(卻)(不)(是)!

……(ㄎㄜˇ ㄕˋ) (ㄓㄜˋ) (ㄘˋ) (ㄑㄩㄝˋ) (ㄅㄨˊ) (ㄕˋ)

……(kě shì)(zhè)(cì)(què)(bú)(shì)

……(but) (this) (time) (yet) (not) (t0 be, is)

Sometimes the vocabulary in idioms is archaic, but not this time!

 

「同」是很平常的用字。

(同)(是)(很)(平常)(的)(用字)。

(ㄊㄨㄥˊ) (ㄕˋ) (ㄏㄣˇ) (ㄆㄧㄥˊ ㄓㄤˊ) (ㄉㄜ˙) (ㄧㄨㄥˋ ㄗˋ)

(tóng)(shì)(hěn)(píng cháng)(de.)(yòng zì)

同 (very)(common) (adjective marker)(used word)

同 is a common word.

 

比如,你可以說:

(比如),(你)(可以)(說):

(ㄅㄧˇ ㄖㄨˊ), (ㄋㄧˇ) (ㄎㄜˊ ㄧˇ) (ㄔㄨㄛ):

(bǐ rú), (nǐ)(ké yǐ)(shuō):

(such as, for instance)

For instance, you can say:

 

「全世界上的人到處都同樣地需要愛!」

(全)(世界)(上)(的)(人)(到處)…

(ㄑㄩㄢˊ) (ㄕˋ ㄐㄧㄝˋ) (ㄕㄤˋ) (ㄉㄜ˙) (ㄖㄣˊ) (ㄉㄠˋ ㄔㄨˋ)

(quán)(shì jiè)(shàng)(de.)(rén)(dào chù)

(whole, complete)(world)(on)(adjective marker)(person, people)(everywhere, far and wide)

…..(都)(同樣)(地)(需要)(愛)

……(ㄉㄡ) (ㄊㄨㄥˊ ㄧㄤˋ) (ㄉㄜ˙) (ㄒㄩ ㄧㄠˋ) (ㄞˋ)

……(dōu)(tóng yàng)(de.)(xū yào)(aì)

……(all, both) (in the same way) (-ly) (want) (love)

“People all over the world similarly want love.”

 

「講」也是很平常用的字。

(講)(也)(是)(很)(平常)(用)(的)(字)。

(ㄐㄧㄤˇ) (ㄧㄝˇ) (ㄕˋ) (ㄏㄣˇ) (ㄆㄧㄥˊ ㄔㄤˊ) (ㄧㄨㄥˋ) (ㄉㄜ˙) (ㄗˋ)

(jiǎng)(yě)(shì)(hěn)(píng cháng)(yòng)(de.)(zì)

講 (also)(is)(very) (common) (to use) (word, character)

講 is also a commonly used word.

 

你可以說:「我會對聽眾講話。」

(你)(可以)(說):(我)(會)(對)(聽眾)(講話)

(ㄋㄧˇ) (ㄎㄜˊ ㄧˇ) (ㄕㄨㄛ): (ㄨㄛˇ) (ㄏㄨㄟˋ) (ㄉㄨㄟˋ) (ㄊㄧㄥ ㄓㄨㄥˋ) (ㄐㄧㄤˇ ㄏㄨㄚˋ)

(nǐ)(kė yǐ)(shuō): (wǒ)(huì)(duì)(tīng zhòng)(jiǎng huà)

(you)(can)(to say): (I)(will)(toward)(audience, listeners)(to speak, to address)

You can say, “I will speak to the audience.”

 

希望不是「雞同鴨講。」

(希望)(不)(是)(雞同鴨講)

(ㄒㄧ ㄨㄤˋ) (ㄅㄨˊ) (ㄕˋ) (ㄐㄧ ㄊㄨㄥˊ ㄧㄚ ㄐㄧㄥˇ)

(xī wàng) (bú) (shì) (jī tóng yā jiǎng)

(hopefully)(not) (is, to be) (chicken together with duck talk)

Hopefully, it won’t be chickens talking with ducks.

 


Vocabulary 詞彙 ㄘˊ ㄏㄨㄟˋ (cí huì):

經驗     jing1 yan4   experience

馬上    mǎ shàng    right away, immediately

某人    mǒu rén      someone, a certain person

彼此     bǐ cǐ            each other, the other party

到處    dào chù       everywhere, far and wide

用字   yòng zì          to use letters, to use words

卻       què               yet, still

雖       sui1               even though, although

雖然  suī rán          even though, in spite of, even if

對方  duì fāng        other person involved, opposite side

說話  shuō huà       talk to , carry a conversation

卻      què                 yet, still

比如  bǐ rú               such as, for instance

成語   chéng yǔ      Chinese set expression, often made up of 4 characters, idiom, saying

俚語   lǐ yǔ              slang

關於  guān yú        about

順耳  shùn ěr         comfortable to the ears, sounds better

聽眾  tīng zhòng    audience, listeners


Notes:

❶ 馬上  ㄇㄚˇ ㄕㄤˋ (mǎ shàng) is a very fun word, because it literally means “get on your horse,” the strong implication also being “and get right to it.”

❷ Just like in English, some word order is just expected and cannot be clearly defined.

❸ This is a case of 2 third tones in a row in a word, so the one that appears first is changed to a second tone.

❹ Since it is being used as a 4 words idiom, the 話 ㄏㄨㄚˋ (huà) is just mentioned as a natural part of this mix of characters.