I am currently taking a college Mandarin Chinese course, and today I asked my teacher how I would translate "You are the teacher. You can do __whatever __you like". I emphasize 'whatever' because I wasn't sure what wording one would use for that phrase. The reasons as for me posting this here are a)to get a different native Chinese speaker's take on this and b)this board could use more activity :) I am quite familiar with all the characters in one use or another, but I am wondering in what context my teacher translated my sentence, because I might put - 你是老师。你可以做什么。In the original sentence, "whatever you like" meant whatever you want [to do], and I'm pretty sure she took it as that. I am curious as to why she put 你 "想做就" 可以做什么 where she did and what grammatical roles those characters are playing. I would be taking linguistics if my university had it as an undergrad program so no explanation is too in-depth for me. Don't worry I will surely be asking my teacher again soon, as I hardly have a day I don't ask her something, but any feedback to my question is very valued! 欧博思
Help me grasp this - ??????????
December 2, 2009
December 24, 2009
Ni hao, There is no equivalent in Chinese to "whatever". When we translate a sentence containing "whatever", for example, "I'll eat whatever you eat", we use "shenme" (what) twice (in the clause and in the main sentence) to express the meaning of "whatever". Thus, that sample sentence should go like "Ni3 chi1 shen2me, wo3 chi1 shen2me" ( verbally "You eat what, I'll eat what") So, your sentence "you can do whatever you like" should go "you like what, you can do what" in Chinese, which is "Ni3 xi3huan1 shen2me, jiu4 ke3yi3 zuo4 shen2me" I hope that helps. All the best for the new year.
December 27, 2009
Thanks for posing that question..I found the question and the response from admin interesting and beneficial.