英文學習口說生活進階Lv4~Lv6

「我每天化妝」= I make-up every day (?!) 中式英文讓外國人聽的一頭霧水

日常生活中,我們常常會把中文直譯成英文,可是翻譯成英文後卻不是母語人士常用的用法。趕快來看看十個常見、受中文干擾的搭配詞,讓你擺脫中文思維,完全進入英文模式!

 

中式英文到處可見

一、1分鐘單字速速記 Vocabulary

  • ingredient (n.) 食材
  • material (n.) 材料
  • to put on (phrs. v.) 穿上
  • direct (adj.) 直接的
  • fundamental (adj.) 基本的
  • substance (n.) 物質
  • interpret (v.) 解釋,說明,詮釋
  • context (n.) 內文
  • compensate (v.) 補償
  • edible (adj.) 可食用的

 

二、中式英文 Common Mistakes

1. Material≠食材

When talking about food, ‘ingredient‘ is the right word. While both ‘ingredient’ and ‘material’ have very similar meanings in Mandarin, in English, they are used in very different contexts. Ingredients are parts of a mixture of substances (e.g. eggs are an important ingredient in many recipes), whereas materials are parts of a whole (e.g. building materials), and are non-edible things.

在談論食物時,“食材”是正確的詞。雖然“食材”和“材料”在中文中具有非常相似的含義,但在講英文的時候,它們在完全不同的情境中使用喔。食材是一道菜的其中一個食材(例如,蛋是許多食譜中的重要食材),而材料是整體的一部分(例如建築材料),而且是不能吃的!

食材不等於材料

2. I want to conversation foreigners≠我想與外國人溝通

When interpreting a new language, it’s important to understand the different parts of speech and how to use it properly. It is often heard, from Taiwanese English learners: “I want to conversation foreigners.” While it makes perfect sense when translated into Mandarin, it’s grammatically incorrect in English. Remember, the word ‘conversation’ is a noun, not a verb!

這也是經典的中式英文,在詮釋一個語言時,了解不同詞性以及如何正確使用它非常重要。台灣的學習者經常會說:「I want to conversation with foreigners.」雖然翻譯成中文時好像說得通(直翻:我想要對話外國人),但在英語中它的語法是不正確的。請記住,「conversation」這個詞是名詞,而不是動詞!

“I want to communicate / talk/ speak/ chat with foreigners,” would be the right way.

「我想與外國人communicate / talk / speak / chat」才是正確的喔。

3. I make-up every day≠我每天化妝

I-put-on-make-up-every-day
  • make-up / makeup (n.) 化妝品
  • make up (phrs. v.) 補償,彌補;和好

Do you see why the sentence “I make-up every day,” is kind of funny? Make-up/ makeup is a noun, meaning it must be the object of an action (subject + verb + object), so the correct way would be: “I put on* make-up every day.”

看得出來為什麼「I make-up everyday」這句子有點怪怪的嗎?以正確文法來翻譯的話,這句話的中文翻譯是:「我每天彌補」!「Make-up / makeup」是名詞,可是「make up」(同音)卻是短語動詞,所以想表達自己每天讓自己美美的正確的方式是:「I put on make-up every day」。

The sentence: “I make up every day,” in verbal speech is grammatically correct, but people will ask, “with who?”

事實上「I make up every day.」以文法上來說是正確的,但別人可能會問“彌補誰?”

*You can also use the verbs: apply, wear, and use when you’re talking about making yourself look pretty!

*想表達上妝這動作時也可以用:「apply」,「wear」,和「use」!

4. I am student.

Yes, you are. You are also just one person. Remember your ‘a’s and ‘an’s!

是的,中式英文again,你是。你也只是一個人。記住你的冠詞喔!

I am a student.

我是一個學生。

5. I live in Taiwan, Taipei.

English location and addresses are written from the smallest location first, followed by the larger ones (as opposed to Chinese addresses, written from the biggest location to the smallest).

英語在描述地點和地址的時候,都是從最小的地方寫起,然後才說較大的地方(而不是像中文地址,從最大的地方寫到最小的)。

So, the correct version of the sentence above should be: “I live in Taipei, Taiwan.”。

所以,上面句子的正確版本應該是:「I live in Taipei, Taiwan.」。

 

三、注意事項 Precautionary Notes

1. 詞性 Forms of speech

Is it a noun? Is it a verb or an adjective? Just because it makes sense in Mandarin, it doesn’t mean it’ll work when you put it together in English.

名詞?動詞還是形容詞?就算直翻的時候中文意思是ok的,並不代表當你用英語把它們串在一起時是正確的。

2. 一字一字的直翻 Word for word

It’s never a good idea to translate everything word for word from one language to another. Grammar and sentence structures are different for every language, so the direct translations may not make any sense.

一字不漏地將一切翻譯到另一個語言並不是一個好主意。每種語言的語法和句子結構都是不同的,因此直接翻譯常常會有很幽默的事情發生。

3. 「Be」動詞 Be verb!!!

One of the most fundamental concepts of the English language is the BE verb, but a lot of people still forget about it when they’re in a verbal conversation (most likely because of nervousness).

英語最基本的概念之一是「be」動詞,但是當大部分人進行口語對話時還是很容易會忘記它(很可能是因為緊張)。

It’s not always possible to express the same feeling or vibe when you’re interpreting a language. Sometimes you’ll have to try and use different phrases that portray similar meanings.

當你想去理解或是解釋一個語言時,並不總是可以表達同樣的感覺或氛圍。有時你必須嘗試使用不同的俚語來敘述相似的含義。

As a final note, it’s also good to know that some examples of direct translations have been made popular by other Asian countries, which have become widely accepted:

其實呢,我們中文文化很多俚語與成語都已經被其他亞洲國家直翻而紅到西方世界了,像以下這幾句:

people mountain people sea (idiom) - 人山人海
lose face (phrs. v.) - 丟臉
add oil (phrs. v.) - 加油

Hopefully the information above will give you a more in-depth insight into some of the common mistakes! Until next time!

喜歡這系列常見錯誤,還可以看這邊喔!

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