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Fred0

城南旧事

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Fred0

大褂的袖子,老长老长,走起路来,用搭用搭的, 都像傻子。

 

These are child students of Chinese opera marching in order to a theater to perform, wearing traditional gowns with sleeves that hang down below their hands. The translator understands this piece of the sentence to say: "as their long sleeves swung back and forth, looking really foolish." I don't understand how 用搭 can mean "back and forth." I would like it to mean "two by two" understanding 搭 to mean "to arrange in pairs."

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Publius

甩搭 not 用

甩(shuǎi) = swing, 搭(da) = onomatopoeic, no meaning

 

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Fred0

 Ying-zi refers to Song-ma's husband as 黄板儿牙。I understand "Yellow Teeth," but was meaning does 板儿 have in this context?

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Publius

板兒牙 is just a dialectal term for 門牙 the front teeth, because they're flat, like 木板, not pointy. It's usually used derogatorily, for example, 大板兒牙 someone with prominent front teeth.

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Fred0

Song ma is describing how her husband took their infant daughter and instead of giving her into the care of a wet nurse in their home village he gave her to a couple to adopt as their own child. My question: what is the meaning of 哈德门?

 

“那年抱回去, 敢情还没出哈德门, 他就把孩子给了人, 他说没要人家钱, 我就不信!”

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Fred0

Please disregard the last post. I isee now that 哈德 is a name.

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Publius

Yup, its present day name is 崇文門.

Quote

During the Yuan dynasty, the gate was called Wenmingmen (文明門). Because the residence of the Mongol prince Hada was located close by, the gate was also popularly known as Hadamen (哈達門; 哈大門) or Hademen (哈德門).[1] The name Hademen survived well into the twentieth century, and was even the name of a popular cigarette brand.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chongwenmen#History)

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Fred0

Song ma has decided to go back home with her husband and she is feeling sad about it She says: “说走就走了!”

 

The translation is, "I can't believe I'm really going." I read this as "Said go, then go."  Since I have decided to go, then I actually have to go.

 

Is there something I am not aware of in this sentence structure?

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Publius

I think it's an ordinary use of 就 to express how quickly one event follows another.

One minute you are planning to leave and the next minute you are leaving.
就 jiù 副词。

③表示前后事情紧接着:想起来~说|卸下了行李,我们~到车间去了。

——《现代汉语词典》

Also this link: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Events_in_quick_succession_with_"yi..._jiu..."

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evn108

說 and 就 are often used together this way (說verb就verb) and I don't think it's necessary to take it literally as "say ... just..." (etc.), just that it's happening hastily without much warning. Not knowing the full context, another way to translate it would be like "So we're going to leave just like that, then?" maybe.

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Fred0

That makes a great deal of sense to me. Your translation is exactly right in this context. Thank you.

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Fred0

That makes a great deal of sense to me. Your translation is exactly right in this context. Thank you.

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Fred0

他为了叔叔给日本人害死,急得吐血了。 This is a confusing sentence to me. It seems to me to be saying: He, in order for uncle to kill Japanese, rapidly spit up blood. 

为了- in order to, so as to

给- gei3  to, for, for the benefit of   ji3  to supply, to provide

 

The translation reads: The news of my uncle's death at the hands of the Japanese, upset him and made him  spit up blood.

 

I can't see how this sentence says that. Thanks.

 

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陳德聰

Two minor misunderstandings:

 

1. 為了 is more of a "because" than an "in order to" in this instance.

 

2. 給 is being used for its passive meaning 被 here.

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ouyangjun

I finally broke down and downloaded Dangdang on my ipad and phone.  When deciding what book to buy, I actually came across this book on two sites.  First and most obvious chinese-forums.  I also saw this as a book on the reddit Chinese book of the month club https://www.reddit.com/r/chinesebookclub/ (which I'd like to get more involved with, but the whole reddit forum seems complicated to me).  

 

So when I found this book on Dangdang for 2RMB I figured it was worth picking up.  As I'm just starting now I'm quite a bit behind you @Fred0, and I'm also hit and miss on these forums over the past years, but hopefully I can add some value to this topic.

 

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ouyangjun

A little more detail on this book.  It appears to be broken down into 6 sections, each with a different story as follows:

城南旧事

  1. 惠安馆
  2. 我们看海去
  3. 兰姨娘
  4. 驴打滚儿
  5. 爸爸的花儿落了
  6. 冬阳 - 童年 - 骆驼队

I've only just started the book, but from what I can tell so far the content and vocabulary is relatively accessible for persons getting into Chinese novels.  I'm about 1/4 of the way through the first story and figure I'll finish the 惠安馆 story by the weekend.  

 

One thing to note, the book that I bought, which was an eBook from DangDang, appears to be a special edition and has an additional book included.  In addition the 城南旧事 novel, it also has a book called 北平故思.  @Fred0, was your book the same or did your book only have the 城南旧事 stories?

 

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