Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
Fred0

半生缘

Recommended Posts

Publius

1) Same as 我頭一個就不答應, I'm the first (and there are many) who won't allow it.

 

2) Yes.

 

3) 還 is used to form a rhetorical question, "How can I not ...?"

Quote

  13.表示反問。用在反問句裡,加強反問語氣,有時含有責難、質問的語氣。
   《二刻拍案驚奇》卷十七:“百祿見他不說,就拿起一條柱杖劈頭打去,道:‘還不實告!’”
   《二十年目睹之怪現狀》第三十回:“外國人打的樣子,還有錯的麼?”
   沙汀《航線》:“這難道是假的啦?還怕他查!”

孝順 doesn't always mean filial piety.

Quote

  2.指以財物賄賂官吏或尊長等。
   《水滸傳》第九四回:“﹝何才﹞與本州庫吏最密,當下探知此事,他便攛掇庫吏,把信賞錢大半孝順州官,其餘侵來入己。”
   《紅樓夢》第十五回:“我想如今長安節度雲老爺和府上相好,怎麼求太太和老爺說說,寫一封書子,求雲老爺和那守備說一聲,不怕他不依。要是肯行,張家那怕傾家孝順,也是情願的。”
  3.指用其他方式討好人家。
   《金瓶梅詞話》第七四回:“李桂姐道:‘三位師父宣了這一回卷,也該我唱個曲兒孝順。’”

 

4. Not a typo.

Quote

  8.厚着臉皮;嬉皮笑臉。
   茅盾《多角關係》十三:“金福田聽得錢芳行這麼說,也涎着臉笑了。”
   丁玲《母親》二:“王廚子勒着衣袖從側邊房裏走了出來,涎着臉打量着她。”參見“涎臉”。

 

5. Yes. 給 marks the agent in a passive construction (=被).

 

6. The first.

Remember 一片冰心在玉壺? 片 is a classifier of 心. You've asked about it before.

 

7. Again, 給 = 被.

氣傷心 = 氣得傷了心 (complement of result)

 

8. 摸 simply means to feel with hand, like, put your hand on your heart and feel it (and tell me if I am wrong).

 

9. Yes. 打一架 = to have a fight.

  • Helpful 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Fred0

All explainations studied, appreciated, and, I hope, remembered. Publius, how could you remember a question I posted a year ago! I am ashtonished. Your memory is far better than mine.

 

I have learned a lot working through these responses. Thank you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fred0

Manlu has been telling Hongcai what a heartless jerk he is. He responds:

 

“得,得,可别又跟我打一架!我架不住你们姐儿俩这样搓弄!”

 

Is he saying that the two of them are more than he can manage, or that he can't stand their manipulations (torment) of him. 

 

How can you tell which is correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius

He's saying he's already had a fight with one of the sisters and is wounded, another fight is more than he can handle.

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fred0

Shijun is anxiously awaiting the return of Manzhen so he can resolve their quarrel and restore their engagement. Manzhen's family's apartment is on the second floor, which is empty and locked. The downstairs maid has put him in an empty room on the first floor to wait,...  好容易盼到后门口门铃响,听见高妈去开门,世钧忙跟了出去,见是顾太太。

 

How to understand  好容易盼到后门口门铃响.  It seems to say "very easily expecting the sound of the doorbell for the upstairs (apartment)?" Does it mean that his ears are sentiized to the sound of the doorbell, so it will be easy for him to hear it when it rings?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius
On 4/4/2019 at 11:59 PM, Publius said:

Strange as it might seem, 好容易 actually means 好不容易  'with great difficulty'

😃

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius

IMG_20190512_014932.thumb.jpg.7d4d4daa26e7359da4163d8b43d5744d.jpgIMG_20190512_014840.thumb.jpg.2476fef1e893908ef02899f82f466965.jpg

Now I can see why Chinese is a difficult language. 同志們辛苦了!LOL :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fred0

Manzhen has been raped by Hongcai the previous night. Her mother Mrs. Gu learns of it when she goes to see Manlu, Manzhen’s older sister and “wife” of Hongcai. Manlu tells Mrs. Gu that Hongcai has offered to legally marry Manzhen. (Since Manlu has never been legally married to Hongcai, Manzhen would be the legitimate wife.) Manlu gives Mrs. Gu a large wad of money to pay for Mrs. Gu to get the family temporarily out of town to avoid having to confront Shijun, Manzhen’s fiance. When Mrs. Gu returns home she discovers Shijun waiting there. She is upset to see him but then wants to pour her heart out to him about what has happened. When she feels for the key to open the door, her hand encounters the wad of money, and she suddently remembers that she has agreed to this plan. She rationalizes why she shouldn’t tell Shijun.  The reference to the engagement ring refers to the previous day when the ring was found in the trash, and it is being presumed, correctly, that the couple had a fight.

 

顾太太本来心里怀着个鬼胎,所以怕见他,一见面,却又觉得非常激动,恨不得马上告诉他。她心里实在是又急又气,苦于没有一个人可以商量,见到世钧,就像是见了自己的人似的(1),几乎眼泪都要掉下来了。在楼下究竟说话不便,因道:“上楼去坐。”她引路上楼,楼上两间房都锁着,房门钥匙她带在身边,便伸手到口袋里去拿,一摸,却摸到曼璐给的那一大叠钞票。那种八成旧的钞票,摸上去是温软的,又是那么厚墩墩的方方的一大叠。钱这样东西,确实有一种奥妙的力量,顾太太当时不由得就有一个感觉,觉得对不起曼璐(2)。和曼璐说得好好的,这时候她要是嘴快走漏了消息,告诉了世钧,年青人都是意气用事的,势必要惊官动府(3),闹得不可收拾。再说,他们年青人的事,都是拿不准的(4),但看他和曼桢两个人,为一点小事就可以闹得把订婚戒指都扔了,要是给他知道曼桢现在这桩事情,他能说一点都不在乎吗?(5)到了儿也不知道他们还结得成结不成婚(6),倒先把鸿才这头的事情打散了,反而两头落空。(7)这么一想,好像理由也很多。(8)人的理智,本来是不十分靠得住的(9),往往做了利欲的代言人,(10)不过自己不觉得罢了。(11)

 

1. Does 自己的人 mean something like “one of her own?”

 

2.  Does 对不起 here mean she feels sorry for Manlu, or that she feels she is betraying her agreement with Manlu to keep quiet about the rape? (I interpret this as the first suggestion that “the marvelous power” of money is unconsciously influencing Mrs. Gu.)

 

3. I understand 惊官动府 to mean “alarm officials, move government-”  i.e. “go to the authorities.”  Is this a chengyu?

 

4. Regarding 拿不准, does this sentence say “in the affairs of these young people, you can never be sure what they will do,” or “they can never decide what they will do,” or some third thing?

 

5.  Regarding 不在乎:“But seeing how these two, because of some little issue, an engagement ring gets thrown away, if she were to let Shijun know about this current matter (the rape), he might possibly...” a) ...“carelessly say any little thing,” or b) “not care even a little bit?” Or what?

 

6. a) does 儿 here mean 人,“one doesn’t know?”

 

    b) does 他们 refer to Manzhen and Shijun, or Manzhen and Hongcai?

 

    c) Regarding 还结得成结不成婚, it seems to be saying “one doesn’t know if they will, in the end, still get married or not.” Is that correct? If so, why this peculiar structure?  How would one parse this phrase?

 

7. 倒 先 把 鸿才 这头 的事情打散了 Actually prior to this chief issue (the marriage plan) was broken up by Hongcai...

反而两头落空  unexpectedly, this couple’s relationship had fallen through.  Do I have this anywhere near right?

 

8. Thinking all this, it seemed there was plenty justification (for not saying anything to Shijun).

 

9. (?) A person’s reason (rationalizations), of course can not be completely relied upon...

 

10. (?) Our inner spokesperson for cupidity more often than not, is also at work...

 

11. (?) however one does not oneself care to think of it.

 

Where would you correct of improve these translations?

 

In this paragraph I understand the author to be implying that the mother is being strongly influenced by Manlu’s money, and is unconsciously entering into collusion with her to get Manzhen married to Hongcai, in spite of his contemptible nature. Would you agree with that reading?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius
On 5/16/2019 at 1:49 AM, Fred0 said:

1. Does 自己的人 mean something like “one of her own?”

Yes.

 

On 5/16/2019 at 1:49 AM, Fred0 said:

2.  Does 对不起 here mean she feels sorry for Manlu, or that she feels she is betraying her agreement with Manlu to keep quiet about the rape? (I interpret this as the first suggestion that “the marvelous power” of money is unconsciously influencing Mrs. Gu.)

No. Unlike the English phrase "I'm sorry", "对不起" in Chinese has only one interpretation: "It's my fault, I am to blame, I have wronged someone, I'm apologetic." 对不起 literally means "how I treated him cannot compare with how he treated me." The compassion 同情, regret 遗憾, etc. encompassed by the English "sorry" are completely different feelings.

The next sentence gives the reason why she feels sorry: She had an agreement with Manlu, even took her money, but she almost forgot that when she saw Shijun. Now that the wad of money reminds her that she almost broke her promise and told the fiance the truth, she feels apologetic for her previous behavior (wanting to tell the truth).

 

On 5/16/2019 at 1:49 AM, Fred0 said:

3. I understand 惊官动府 to mean “alarm officials, move government-”  i.e. “go to the authorities.”  Is this a chengyu?

No, not a chengyu. It's just another way of saying 惊动官府.

 

On 5/16/2019 at 1:49 AM, Fred0 said:

4. Regarding 拿不准, does this sentence say “in the affairs of these young people, you can never be sure what they will do,” or “they can never decide what they will do,” or some third thing?

Third thing.

他们年青人的事 <-- this is the topic

  都是拿不准的 <-- this is the comment

Who 拿不准 doesn't matter. It can be both.

 

On 5/16/2019 at 1:49 AM, Fred0 said:

5.  Regarding 不在乎:“But seeing how these two, because of some little issue, an engagement ring gets thrown away, if she were to let Shijun know about this current matter (the rape), he might possibly...” a) ...“carelessly say any little thing,” or b) “not care even a little bit?” Or what?

Or what.

The original sentence, when stripped down, is 他能不在乎吗?

It's a rhetorical question: "He can't not care, can he?"

 

On 5/16/2019 at 1:49 AM, Fred0 said:

6. a) does 儿 here mean 人,“one doesn’t know?”

    b) does 他们 refer to Manzhen and Shijun, or Manzhen and Hongcai?

    c) Regarding 还结得成结不成婚, it seems to be saying “one doesn’t know if they will, in the end, still get married or not.” Is that correct? If so, why this peculiar structure?  How would one parse this phrase?

a) 儿 is the erhua suffix of 了 (pronounced liao3). 到了儿 = 到了 = in the end

b) Manzhen and Shijun

c) I seen no fundamental difference between 结得成结不成婚 and 吃完没吃完饭. Both have a underlying verb + object structure, with a verb complement thrown into the middle

结(得成) + 婚    vs    吃(完) + 饭

and to form a whether-or-not clause, you repeat the verb + complement part in both positive and negative and put them together before the object

结得成/结不成 + 婚    vs    吃完/没吃完 + 饭

 

On 5/16/2019 at 1:49 AM, Fred0 said:

7. 倒 先 把 鸿才 这头 的事情打散了 Actually prior to this chief issue (the marriage plan) was broken up by Hongcai...

反而两头落空  unexpectedly, this couple’s relationship had fallen through.  Do I have this anywhere near right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Let's look at it this way:

On the one hand, the mother has Manzhen and Shijun's impending marriage, which nobody knows whether or not will still go through even without the fiance knowing bout the rape (most certainly will not if she tells him).

On the other hand, Hongcai has promised to marry Manzhen. If the mother betrays Hongcai and Manlu by telling the fiance about the rape, things get ugly, Hongcai may well rescind.

So if the she tells the fiance, Manlu will be left with no one to marry. That's what 两头落空 means.

 

On 5/16/2019 at 1:49 AM, Fred0 said:

8. Thinking all this, it seemed there was plenty justification (for not saying anything to Shijun).

Yes, three sentences, three reasons.

和曼璐说得好好的,这时候她要是嘴快走漏了消息,告诉了世钧,年青人都是意气用事的,势必要惊官动府,闹得不可收拾。

再说,他们年青人的事,都是拿不准的,但看他和曼桢两个人,为一点小事就可以闹得把订婚戒指都扔了,要是给他知道曼桢现在这桩事情,他能说一点都不在乎吗?

到了儿也不知道他们还结得成结不成婚,倒先把鸿才这头的事情打散了,反而两头落空。

 

On 5/16/2019 at 1:49 AM, Fred0 said:

9. (?) A person’s reason (rationalizations), of course can not be completely relied upon... 

10. (?) Our inner spokesperson for cupidity more often than not, is also at work...

11. (?) however one does not oneself care to think of it.

This is the omniscient narrator's comment (on how the touch of money helps her make up her mind).

人的理智,  <-- topic

  本来是不十分靠得住的,  <-- comment #1

  往往做了利欲的代言人,不过自己不觉得罢了。  <-- comment #2

The rationality of human beings is not entirely reliable after all. So often it just acts as proxy for greed without noticing it.

  • Helpful 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fred0

This post has been an enormous help to me. Thanks very much.

 

If I may, just one more thing. In the clause "他能说一点都不在乎吗?, does 说一点都 mean something like "to say the least?" If not, then what? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
陳德聰

一點都不 is a structure that means “not even a little”

 

他能說[一點都不[在乎]]嗎

Can he say that he doesn’t care at all? (Rhetorical)

  • Thanks 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fred0

Following the rape, Manzhen is being held prisoner in the house. Manlu speaks to the assembled servants and tells them:

 

二小姐是在我们这儿养病,你们小心伺候,我决不会叫你们白忙的。她这病有时候明白,有时候糊涂,反正不能让她出去,我们老太太把她重托给我了,跑了可得问你们。可是不许在外头乱说,明白不明白?”

 

What does 决不会叫 mean? What does 白忙 mean? What does the clause as a whole mean?

 

跑了可得问你们。 If she runs away, I definitely must ask you all.  In other words, I hold you all responsible. Yes or no?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius

叫 (or 教) = 使、令、讓 = make, let, allow (我不會叫你失望的 = I won't let you be disappointed => I won't let you down)

白 = 白白地 = in vain, for nothing

我决不会叫你们白忙的 = I won't let you do it for nothing, i.e., you will be rewarded

 

跑了可得问你们 Yes, your interpretation is correct.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fred0

Following the last sentence I posted about: 跑了可得问你们。comes this sentence 可是许在外头乱说,明白不明白?

 

I thought this sentence was saying "Don't allow yourselves loose talk outside this house, do you understand? But this doesn't jive with the translation I have, which is "she absolutely can't go out, is that clear?" I'm trying to see that meaning in the Chinese sentence. 可是 If (you) 许 allow (her) 在外头 outside...   but then 乱说 means what?Perhaps something like, I hate to say (what will happen)? Or "don't even say such a messed up thing?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius

可是不许在外头乱说,明白不明白

But there can be no loose talk about it, is that clear? (it = what I just told you)

 

不许 is a negative command / prohibition, so the subject is "you".

乱 is an adverb whose translation is highly context dependent. Do you have Pleco? Check Pleco for usage.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fred0

Thank you for the response. I'm pleased that my initial reading was  correct. It gives me confidence. 

I would gladly use Pleco but I do not have a hand-held device. This may be the final impetus for me to succumb to one. For now I'm limited to MDBG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fred0

Manzhen is being held captive at her sister's house. She is hatching a plot with the maid to send out a letter to her recently rejected fiancè, Shijun. When she tells the maid that it is Shijun she will be writing to, tears begin to flow.

 

她一提到世钧,已是顺着脸滚下泪来,因把头别了过去。

 

The last phrase seems to say: Because (she is crying?)  (she) other passes by (her) head.

 I think there is something about 别了 here that has been explained to me before, but which I still don't understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius

There seems to be a typo. Should be 因此 or 因而.

别/彆, pronounced bie4, is a dialectal verb that means "to bend, to twist -> to turn (one's face, head, body)". It helps if you know the word 别扭/彆扭, since 别 = 扭, 扭 = 别.

  • Helpful 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...