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suMMit

Well and You know translation

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mungouk
10 minutes ago, vellocet said:

"like"

 

Ohhoohhohhh....  (If ever language were a virus, this would have to be the most virulent recent strain.)

 

Disclosure: I am British.

 

Meanwhile: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_fry_register

 

Isn't language bloody marvellous though?! :) 

 

 

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mungouk
10 minutes ago, suMMit said:

I was curious if THEY were translating something from THEIR mother tongue

 

Very good point, because as I'm sure you realise this works both ways. 

 

See over here for a reference that might be useful.

 

 

 

 

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anonymoose

There's a book 汉语口语问答句衔接语模式研究 which covers this kind of thing in detail.

 

I have a copy, though I haven't got round to reading much of it yet. From flicking through, though, it seems like it would be relevant to anyone interested in this aspect of Chinese language.

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Jan Finster
14 hours ago, 歐博思 said:

For first one, I feel I've heard 你知道嗎 used in the same way before.

Is this really something a Chinese person would say as a common filler sentence?

So far I only heard it from foreigner speaking Chinese (e.g. Benny Lewis here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pffLh3all3w). 

 

I concur with what others have mentioned about not translating things verbatim.

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murrayjames

Agree with Publius that translating discourse markers like "well" and "you know" is usually unnecessary. If these words are used as fillers, though, a translator may want to capture that in their translation.

 

For example:

 

A: Have you been to Japan?

B: You know, I'm just a factory worker, so I cant afford a trip overseas. 

 

A: If you've never been to Japan, what explains this picture of you and your ex-girlfriend in Osaka?

B: Well... uh, you know, that's, uh, a very old picture.

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Dawei3
On 7/28/2019 at 12:20 PM, suMMit said:

So, I was guessing they are translating from chinese, and wondering what those chinese words might be

Common filler words in Chinese are:  这个 (this), 那个 (that), 那么 (then), and 然后 (then).  然后 is especially common in young people.

 

A graduate student I interacted with in China often began sentences with “actually” when speaking English, but I didn’t hear her saying the equivalent in Chinese (其实 原来) (if she did say the equivalent, she did so rarely and likely appropriately, i.e., as a discourse marker).  (Following Mungouk, maybe she learned "actually" from a Brit 哈哈)

 

The Wikipedia link posted by Publius notes:  “In Practical English Usage, Michael Swan defines a discourse marker as "a word or expression which shows the connection between what is being said and the wider context". For him, a discourse marker is something that either connects a sentence to what comes before or after, or indicates a speaker's attitude to what he is saying.”  In this use, discourse markers are favorable.  In contrast, fillers generally detract from speech (as Shelly & others have noted).    

 

Hence, the common fillers listed above work both as appropriate discourse markers and unthinking filler words.  

 

 

 

  

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889

I've always assumed the over-use of actually by some Chinese speaking English comes from the over-use of 实际 by some Chinese speaking Chinese.

 

Other common over-used terms: 更本、整个儿、原来如此。

 

Different people have different pet phrases and speech patterns: one reason why relying too heavily on a single teacher isn't a good idea.

 

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mungouk
2 hours ago, Dawei3 said:

Common filler words in Chinese are:  这个 (this), 那个 (that), 那么 (then), and 然后 (then).  然后 is especially common in young people.

 

I'm curious as to how these are used as "filler" words, since they seem pretty essential.

 

Could you give some examples?   Thanks! 

 

 

 

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889

Fashions change. But about 20 years or so ago you couldn't do a proper caricature of a middle-aged Chinese businessman or ganbu without larding each sentence with three or four 那个s. They worked like uhs and ums in English, though adding a more rough and uncultured tone.

 

 

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Publius
35 minutes ago, mungouk said:

I'm curious as to how these are used as "filler" words, since they seem pretty essential.

那个,小张啊,咱们上次那个那个开会的纪要,那个那个,你那里有没有那个备份啊?

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Dawei3
14 minutes ago, 889 said:

with three or four 那个

I also hear people say 这个 3 or 4 times.  (maybe this is true with other fillers).

 

1 hour ago, mungouk said:

they seem pretty essential

They are essential when used as discourse modifiers.  One of my friends pointed out that I needed to use MORE of them in Chinese.  This is why I like the quote from Wikipedia;  it describes their essential use.  

 

In Toastmasters speaking clubs around the world every meeting has an "ah" counter (regardless of the language of the meeting).   The person counts how many times each person uses filler words inappropriately (i.e., to fill gaps in speech rather than to connect their line of thinking)  Most people use some fillers.  However, if a person uses 14 "you knows" or 20 "ums" in 2 minutes, they're undermining their communication message.  Toastmasters is a good way to get a sense of one's use of filler words.  

 

(as is apparent of my multiple posts, I'm a big fan of the value of Toastmasters - both for building one's speaking ability and finding language partners).  

 

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mungouk

Interesting... here in Beijing it feels like I'm hearing 你个 and  一个 as fillers, or at least punctuation points in conversation, a lot of the time.

 

Is that correct or is it more likely to be something else I'm mis-hearing?

 

 

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889

I'd well guess you're hearing 那个, said as neige often.

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mungouk
3 minutes ago, 889 said:

那个, said as neige often.

 

Oh really?  So is that a Beijing dialect thing?  It's been puzzling me for a while.

Thanks!

 

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889

Depends on your teachers and friends, but I almost always use nei with 量词. But never in 那儿 or 哪儿 . Probably some other exceptions if I thought about it.

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道艺黄帝

Anecdotal experience speaking with business level and working class young to middle aged Chinese in Shanghai:

 

那个 (nage and neige) 

这个

所以/所以呢

然后/然后呢

...呢? 

好了(haole and haolay) 

对吧 (duiba and duiva) 

...啊! /?(sometimes very hard) 

...呀! /?

那么 (more professional) 

 

Like others have said, definitely region-specific. You can see in some of the above examples there is a lot of 上海话 influence. 

What's been getting me recently is that it seems an 啊 or 呀 is part if the structure of the sentence and actually has semantic meaning that is necessary to include. I do dictation practice with friends and teachers, and will occasionally intentionally omit them, only to be corrected by them after. 

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mungouk
2 hours ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

You can see in some of the above examples there is a lot of 上海话 influence. 

 

Which ones?  I wouldn't know how to spot Shanghaihua influence.

 

I hear 好了 a lot here in Beijing as well... what connotation does it have in contrast to 好的, if any?

 

Oh... I just found a page for 那个 on Chinese grammar wiki!

 

 

 

 

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mkmyers45

Another one you will here a lot is ‘’叫什么‘’

 

 

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道艺黄帝

It's more the Shanghai accent comes out with certain sounds (b -> v, sh -> s) 

 

So at my last school meeting, I was inspired by this thread to listen carefully for these 'discourse markers'. 

 

I heard:

就是

就是说

就是说呢

那么

那么就是说 (lol) 

 

With friends I tend to hear 那/那个 a lot more, so there's some insight to formal vs informal discourse markers. 

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