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help with translation (Mandarin language translation)

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  • help with translation (Mandarin language translation)

    So I wanted to first say that......ummm, basically I had two years where I didn't do anything in martial arts seriously. In mainland I studied under this woman for a while. It was cool, but nothing special. She could teach me some moves, a new form or two, but in the grand scheme of gong fu, perhaps I knew a little more than she might express to me. I played around at the school here in Tainan, Taiwan yet nothing touched me in any special way. These last two years I've walked past innumerable teachers. Some looked good, others OK, though most bad. I never once got a feeling like... this guy knows what he's talking about. He is really moving...he's relaxed, and he's doing it correctly. Guess I'm both picky and patient.

    Anyhow, when I used to train with my old teacher, you could see by his body alignment there was power being generated from his feet to his head, like a tornado.. And my teacher's teacher, well, in my eyes he is a tornado. He moves and ultimately the building he's in does too.

    To make a long story short, the other day I looked over and saw this guy practicing. It was dark. Mind you, in two years I have never walked up to anyone practicing gong fu to ask them what they were up to, not once. I don't really know what came over me. He stopped practicing and we talked a while. Later he did a form for me. It was the first time in a long time that I saw that kind of loose power. He was a bit hesitant when I asked him what he thought about accepting new students, saying that he doesn't like to, but if I understand that it'll be a difficult, long process, he'd be willing to. Thus, I decided to do it, without even giving it a second thought.

    Sometimes we can only spend about an hour together. I'm busy. He's busy. But there's nobody else there. On Saturday he has another student that comes, and on Wednesday he has a few. Other days it's just the two of us. Luckily he can speak some English because there's so many terms that I don't know. He typically speaks in Chinese. I always do. But if I don't understand the meaning, he tries to translate as he's spent years in the army and spoke English at that time.

    OK, all this leads to my question (which may be in the wrong section, but I couldn't find a better place). Can someone help me to occasionally translate things I need to say when speaking with my new shifu. Pin yin isn't necessary, but I can't really read simplified characters so well, so I'm hoping someone might be able to translate the following sentences into traditional characters, if at all possible. Thanks for any help...

    1. your weight transfers from one leg to another (or: from right to left/ left to right)
    2. the power is generated from the rotation of your spine (or: from the spinning of your waist)
    3. what your saying is that these details are crucial.
    4. basically this is the opposite of what you want to accomplish.
    5. the idea is to lower your center of gravity and continually build strength (or: internal power, energy).
    6. if you lean forward (backward, etc.), you'll be off balance.
    7. don't spread your feet apart too wide (or: arms).

    with thanks,


  • #2
    I suppose this should be in the chinese language section...

    As a student of chinese myself, I'm looking forward to replies also


    • #3
      Ok, I think I can help you here. You can make new sentences from this or if you want to have different words you just switch them.

      1. Your weight transfers from one leg to another. (or: from right to left/ left to right)
      把你的重量从一条腿转移至另一条腿. ( 或者从右到左/左到右 )
      Ba ni de zhong liang cong yi tiao tui zhuan yi zhi ling yi tiao tui. (huo zhe cong you dao zuo/zuo dao you)

      2. The power is generated from the rotation of your spine. (or: from the spinning of your waist)
      力量来自于以你的脊椎骨为中心的旋转. ( 或者来自于腰部旋转 )
      Li liang lai zi yu yi ni de ji zhui gu wei zhong xin de xuan zhuan. (huo zhe lai zi yu yao bu de xuan zhuan)

      3. What your saying is that these details are crucial.
      Ben zhi shang ni suo shuo de na xie xi jie shi zhi guan zhong yao de.

      4. Basically this is the opposite of what you want to accomplish.
      Ji ben shang zhe shi he ni suo yao da dao de mu di shi dui ying de.

      5. The idea is to lower your center of gravity and continually build strength. (or: internal power, energy).
      目的是降低你的重心和不断建立力量. ( 或者内在的能力,精力 )
      Mu di shi jiang di ni de zhong xin he bu duan jian li li liang. (huo zhe nei zai de neng li,jing li)

      6. If you lean forward (backward, etc.), you'll be off balance.
      如果你向前探身 ( 向后,等 ),你会失去平衡.
      Ru guo ni xiang qian tan shen(xiang hou,deng),ni hui shi qu ping heng.

      7. Don't spread your feet apart too wide. (or: arms).
      不要把你的双脚分得过开. ( 或者:双臂 )
      Bu yao ba ni de shuang jiao fen de guo kai. (huo zhe : shuang bi)


      • #4

        Thanks a lot! Looks like I can read more simplified characters than I originally thought. Just, the words you choose, your usage, is somewhat different from taiwan's chinese, but I'm sure you know this.. Anyhow, since no one answered in a couple days and I assumed it would become a "forgotten thread," I ended up consulting my chinese teacher and she had some translations that helped as well. I can use both ways and switch depending on the specific meaning I need to relay.

        Thanks again. If you don't mind, I hope I can ask some additional questions from time to time.



        • #5
          Yeah, I'm not Taiwanese. It is different. But you can use the ideas you get from these sentences. Maybe just change a bit and make a new sentence like I suggested. And traditional characters don't work on my computer. So I just used simplified with pin yin.


          • #6
            Onesp1ng...are you needing to speak Chinese or Taiwanese with this guy? Im guessing chinese since you are using the characters but in case it skipped you, the two sound TOTALLY might as well be hearing Cantonese.

            by the way, xing, im finding this extremely helpful too.


            • #7
              Whoa, Taiwanese isn't that much different! I can understand Taiwanese. It's just pronunciation is a bit different with some words and the usage is different as well. It's like the difference between American and British English. They can still understand each other though they sound differently. Just like Shanghainese and Hangzhounese. Very much alike, after all they are only an hour or so apart. Cantonese, Shanghainese, or other are dialects are much more different to Mandarin than Taiwanese though...


              • #8
                I'm not talking about Mandarin with a taiwanese dialect, im talking about Taiwanese the native language itself, of which there are several dialects within Taiwan and that sounds like complete jibberish to someone who did not learn it as a language.


                • #9
                  I don't know what you guys are going on about. Yes, I speak Chinese with my shifu. What I was saying is that there's a difference between the Chinese spoken in mainland and the Chinese spoken in Taiwan. Mainland Chinese most often subscribe to the 北京話 dialect, which is what people generally consider 標準 (standard). Of course there are many other 方言 as well, but the Chinese spoken in Taiwan is considered 國語, a version that doesn't necessarily resemble the 標準. It's not only a dialectical thing, it's a matter of grammar, the frequency -- height or depth of tones (intonation) -- emphasis on words, word choice, and overall usage.

                  Many Taiwanese people have a very difficult time understanding the Chinese spoken in Mainland, and vice versa. "It's like the difference between American and British English." I guess you can say this is true, for the most part, if we're discussing the difference between the Chinese 國語 spoken in Taiwan and the Chinese spoken in Mainland. Yet, "Taiwanese" (or Hakka), on the other hand, is a totally different language altogether. It has 9 tones, as opposed to 4, and is much more like Cantonese than Mandarin. Just because you understand Chinese, regardless of the level, does not mean you can understand Taiwanese. Taiwanese people who speak Taiwanese use the same characters that a native Chinese speaker uses when speaking Mandarin, but the oral expression of the characters is entirely different.

                  When my teacher speaks Taiwanese with other students, I don't even bother trying to listen. I understand close to nothing. But most Taiwanese speak both languages.


                  • #10
                    I figured you were talking about the Chinese spoken in Taiwan, since it seemed to be what you asked for anyway. Most of them do use the same characters but different pronunciation for them. For Mandarin speakers learning Shanghainese they use characters that when pronounced in Mandarin sound like the Shanghainese words. But it doesn't make any since in Mandarin. Like "xie xie ni" in Shanghainese is "xia xia nong". There are characters that have that sound in Mandarin so they use it. But it doesn't make any sense. And a lot of Shanghainese is kinda nasal sounding, but the good side is... no tones. Easier for foreigners to learn.


                    • #11
                      Hakka, thats what it was....

                      Also if im not mistaken, That language originally did not have a writing system (kind of like Vietnamese which is why you always see Vietnamese written romanized) which is why i made my comment on an earlier post about the characters.

                      sorry if i caused any confusion...tho i cant say itll be the last time


                      • #12

                        Yeah, Taiwanese has no writing system of it's own. It uses 漢字.


                        I'm merely trying to say that you can't call the Chinese spoken in Taiwan Taiwanese. Taiwanese is Hakka. (guess that' s clear though)

                        But I have to ask, what's with the foreigner comment? It may be so that Shanghainese will be easier without tones for people to learn, but the comment is a bit silly. I only take notice to this type of comment cause I live here, and, well, the reality is many Chinese have preconceived notions about so-called foreigners and how they are incapable of grasping the language, because of the tones, which is absolutely not the case.

                        Isn't one of your parents Chinese and the other "foreign?" You live in the States, no?

                        (just kicking up some ****)



                        • #13
                          What I meant by that was for Chinese speakers of another dialect, it's easier because they are Chinese. They are used to speaking with tones whereas other foreign languages don't have these tones on every word. So it is something totally new to foreign learners of Chinese, and therefore more difficult to learn. Not to say that they can't learn it well and be good at speaking it. It's just something new to them while the Chinese are used to tones. Wouldn't you agree?

                          I've just lived in USA this century. But yes, my mother's side of the family is not Chinese. It's the reason I know how to speak English as well.


                          • #14
                            Onesp1ng- I agree with you 1,000% on the foreigner thing. Its really one of the few things about Chinese/Eastern culture that i just cant stand.

                            and Xing, FYI, My Cantonese-speaking friends who sat with me in Mandarin asked me for tutoring. Also, i can pronounce things in Cantonese "off the bat" so to speak, better than most of my Mandarin-speaking friends. The idea commonly held by Chinese that foreigners cannot learn dialects of Chinese as well as Chinese can is a myth.

                            It usually depends on two major factors...

                            -How long you've been practicing. Especially pertient to language, from what age. (I imagine you are aware of the research regarding human development parallel to linguistic development)

                            -How much effort you put into it.

                            ...which really should resemble what a lot of people define as "kung fu". Theres a good reason why people often compare martial arts to learning a language.


                            • #15
                              Well, what I said was that Shanghainese would be easier because it has no tones. Would you agree or disagree that a dialect with no tones would be easier to learn than a dialect with many tones that you must memorize on each word of your sentences? Of course you can be understood by normal context clues, but to really get the language down well you need to know the tones of each word you are using. Wouldn't it be easier to learn, and speak well, a dialect with no specific tones on each word?


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