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Fred0

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Fred0

Manlu's disreputable and slimy new boy friend Zhu Hongcai, has run into Manzhen, Manlu's attractive younger sister, in the hallway of the family home. Manlu runs away from him, because she is thinking of a joke about him and is afraid that she will burst into laughter in front of him, but he thinks that she is just a shy girl. But he is taken by her and stands in the hallway after she has run away. He is described thusly:

 

在祝鸿才看来,还当作是一种娇憨的羞态,他站在楼梯脚下,倒有点油然神往。

 

I see that 悠然神往 means "thoughts wandering far away," so is “油然神往” a pun to suggest that his wandering thoughes have a greasy character?

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Publius

I think it's just an uncommon variant of 悠然神往. Sometimes people get confused by 由然, 油然, and 悠然.

 

Congrats on your Google-fu btw. You have found 悠然神往 by yourself. :)

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Fred0

Thanks for the complement. I am getting better at going to Baidu, and Baike, but 悠然神往 was volunteered by MDBG Chinese dictionary when I typed in 油然神往。

1.thumb.png.a69a9cc10b95719a0398b57e19a8225a.png

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Fred0

Hongcai and Manlu are discussing their wedding plans. She wants a formal wedding but he feels awkward about it. (He already has a wife back in his home town.) She gets mad and says that he won't provide her even with this little bit of face. He responds:

鸿才也不敢朝她看,只是搔着头皮,说道:“你待我这一片心,我有什么不知道的,不过我们要好也不在乎这些。”

 

I don't understand the meaning of 待 or 一片心 in his first clause, and I don't understand how to read the second clause.  The third I understand.

 

 

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Publius

你待我这一片心 is the topic.

待 = 对待 = treat

片 as we have discussed, is a measure word for feelings, and it only works with 一. 心 means 心意, 真心.

I don't know how best to translate in English, but maybe "the wholehearted devotion with which you treat me".

我有什么不知道的 is the comment.

It's a rhetorical question that essentially means 我全都知道. Hope that helps.

 

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Fred0

Another two questions about sentences with 不:

 

Manlu has acused him of being ashamed to have a public wedding because she is a 下流女人。The author says that Manlu has hit the nail on the head.


他的心事正给她说中了,可是他还是不能不声辩,说:“你别瞎疑心,我不是怕别的,你要知道,这是犯重婚罪的呀!”

 

1. In 可是他还是不能不声辩 I read the two negatives as "But, he was still not able to not dispute, saying..."  Right or wrong?

 

2. I would have read 我不是怕别的 to mean "I am not afraid of others." But, should I read it as "Aren't I afraid of something other,?  i.e. being arrested for bigamy?

 

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Jim

1. Yes, double negative, he feels obliged to try and defend himself;

2. "It's not other things I'm worried about" (for example that she's too lowly/common) so more like your latter - "It's not any of these other things bother me, but c'mon, this will be committing bigamy."

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Publius

可是他还是不能不声辩 = but still, he couldn't not protest = and yet, he had to protest

(In the Japanese language, which is heavily influenced by Chinese idioms, there is no one word for "must, have to." To express "I gotta go" you have to say "It won't be okay if I don't go." Confuses the hell out of Western beginners.)

 

我不是怕别的 implies 我是怕……

It's not that I'm worried about other things, it's that I'm worried about this thing: ...

别的 = other things, 别人 = other people

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Fred0

Manzhen has told Shijun that her older sister is going to be married. After that she has not said anything more about it, but Manzhen has continued to think about it, how it will be easier to do things with Manzhen after the sister is gone, and that he might even be able to visit Manzhen in her home without misgivings.

 

次日照常见面,却没有再听见她提起她姊姊结婚的事情。世钧倒一直惦记着。不说别的,此后和她来往起来也方便些,也可以到她家里去,不必有那些顾忌了。

 

My question is about  不说别的, which is a similar problem for me as a sentence we have recently discussed.  Am I correct to take the bu to indicate that this is a rhetorical expression, and that the meaning is something like "you wouldn't say otherwise than that...,"  or untwisting it, "one would say that... after this (marriage)  doing things with Manzhen will be somewhat easier?"

 

 

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Publius

It's not a rhetorical question.

You can think of it as 不用說別的好處,單是這一點就已足夠 no need to mention other benefits, this following point alone is enough.

I would consider translating this 不說別的 simply as "at least".

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Publius

I think everyone who's learning a foreign language will go through a phase where he knows every single word but couldn't connect the dots, couldn't see the logic, the thought process behind these words. Don't worry. You're doing great. And soon will get there. :)

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Fred0

Shuhui has run into Manzhen outside of his house and leads her up the stairs to his family's apartment. The author describes the scene going up the stairs.

他领着她一同上楼,楼梯上有别的房客在墙上钉的晾衣裳绳子,晾满了一方一方的尿布,一根绳子斜斜地一路牵到楼上去。

楼梯口又是煤球炉子,又是空肥皂箱、洋油桶;上海人家一幢房子里住上几家人家,常常就成为这样一个立体化的大杂院。

 

It seems that 一个立体化的大杂院 is describing a single-family courtyard house which has been converted into a multi-family compound, but I don't understand what 立体,meaning solid or three-dimensional, refers to. Does this also mean "single-family?"

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Publius

I think the author is comparing the situation to Beijing 大雜院, i.e. a 四合院 original intended for one big family, but occupied by multiple families. Shanghainese people don't live in 四合院; they live in 洋樓. A 洋樓 a multistory building. The author is saying the situation is comparable to a 大雜院, only it's 立體化的 three-dimensional.

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Fred0

Yes, that makes sense of it. Thank you. It adds so much to the pleasure of reading to understand these little points. 

 

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Fred0

Shijun has just separated from Manzhen after a meeting in which he has been feeling the first pangs of love for her but without recognizing what those feelings are, he is frightened by them, and feeling uneasy. He wants to go to sleep but he can't, and he doesn't really know what's bothering him. The author describes his mental stated thusly: 心里没着没落的. I have not been able to locate a definition for this phrase. Is it a chengyu? I read it as meaning  he can't "touch," i.e. get close to, put his finger on, admit, what he feels, but he also can't "put it down," forget about it. 

 

Please comment.

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