Tag Archives: translation problems

Random Word Trivia #8

Now it’s time for another Random Word Trivia Quiz! Which of these can you guess the Chinese and English for? Answers are at the bottom! (Don’t peek until you can figure them out!) You have a big belly, possibly from too much eating or drinking (noun) You know someone who has a huge vocabulary and […]

15 Chinglish Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

The purpose of this post is to explain some of the most common errors made by Chinese students writing English, as well as students translating into English from Chinese, who perhaps have trouble creating natural English expressions when at the mercy of Chinglish words and structures. I hope translation students and Chinese ESL students find […]

Clichés, Stereotypes and Euphemisms

Let me start off by saying that clichés, stereotypes and euphemisms have always seemed to me to be quintessentially “Western” concepts; it’s for that reason that I’ve been using them as foundations for lesson plans in my ESL teaching. These words, I believe, evolved after centuries of critical theory in linguistics, sociology and other fields, […]

Ventriloquists, Dummies and Ugg Boots

My new project is to do a weekly round-up of challenging words and phrases I have encountered translating both from English-into-Chinese and Chinese-into-English. I’ll present them here in this list and see if you can translate them without reading ahead first: ventriloquism 对…评价不高, e.g. 我对他的演技评价不高。 to hang out (with someone, at a place, etc) to […]

“Untranslatable” Words In Chinese

Although I’m not a fan of the word “untranslatable”, one should recognise that there are plenty of words in any language that are difficult to translate. However I don’t think anything is really “untranslatable” in a practical context – if you work hard enough you can find a way to get the message across, especially […]