• LOGIN
  • No products in the cart.

Stump the Laowai: shànghuǒ 上火

37.jpg

Another episode in a series about tough words to translate into English (and dictionary deficiencies).

这是关于将难词翻译成英语的又一则趣话。


Judging from the great success of the previous episode (just LOOK at the fruits of our labor!), I'm confident this student will not have suffered in vain (see what fun the Chinese could have if they too had a future perfect tense!).

基于上一课的巨大成功,我认为这位学生不会白白受罪。 


Inspirational story

励志故事


A student suddenly started choking in my class. So I stopped everything and pointed straight at the poor girl and said, "Are you ok?" No, of course I didn't say that. Why would I put my student's well-being above a teachable moment? I pointed at her and asked the class, "How do you say that in English?"

一位学生突然在我的课堂上开始呼吸困难。所以我停下手边的事,问这可怜的姑娘,"你还好吗?"不,我当然不会这么说。为什么我要在教学时间里关心一个学生的安好呢?我指着她问全班学生说:"这个现象你用英语怎么说?"


Before I get sued for negligence or abuse or excessive pointing let me just say she was fine within a few seconds.  It was just a matter of a little kǒushuǐ 口水 going down the wrong guǎnzi 管子, or so I thought.

在我被指责是职权疏忽、滥用或过度意指之前,我必须澄清她在几秒中内便恢复了正常。这只是由于咽口水时呛到了气管,至少我是这么认为的。


I wrote "choke" on the board.  Then, as typically happens, a blizzard of Chinese sprang forth as the students debated and "bu shi" bashed each other over which hanzi to write next to the English word in their notes.  I just stood in awe for a few seconds and then asked directly how to say it in Chinese.

我在黑板上写下了"choke"一词。之后,如惯常一样,嗡嗡的中文说话声在教室里响起,学生们互相讨论和驳斥对方在这个英语单词旁写下的汉字。我仅仅是心怀敬畏地站了几秒钟,然后直接问他们这个单词中文怎么说。


Qiàng 呛, yē 噎, and even késou 咳嗽 each had advocates until the choking girl herself raised her hands and silenced the masses and then did sit down and spake to the multitude saying:

Qiàng 呛, yē 噎, and even késou 咳嗽,每个词都有人支持,直到这个当事人举起了她的手,教室安静下来,她坐下来对大家说:


"Shànghuǒ 上火."


An "Ooohhhh" rose up from the crowd and the debate was finished.

人群里响起一声长长的"哦~~~",然后讨论到此结束。  


New definition needed

需要新定义 


An irresponsibly literal translation of those two characters yields, "on fire."  But look at the definitions in the dictionaries (click the icons):

对这两个汉字进行不负责任的直译的话是"on fire"(着火)。但是,到词典里查这个定义的话: 


shànghuǒ 上火 

You'll see that they both disappointingly have "get angry" as the only definition. However, the sentence examples in nciku start to approach what we want.

你会看到只能查到"生气"这一个定义。然而,在词酷上的例句更接近我们想要的词义。 


I'm constantly asked, "Teacher how to say in English, ‘I don't like fried dumplings because they will make you shànghuǒ'?"  I'm sure they're not talking about jiaozi rage.  It's some sort of Chinese medical philosophy thing that I don't know how to translate well.  In a pinch, I usually go with, "Just say ‘will give you a sore throat'." But now that I've seen shànghuǒ induce choking, I'm having to re-think my advice.

我总是问,"老师怎么用英语说‘我不喜欢吃煎饺,因为会让人上火'?"我敢肯定他们不会说是饺子的愤怒。这是与中医理论有关系,我不知道如何准确地将其翻译出来。在必要的时候,我常常会顺势解释为,"就是说‘让你喉咙痛'。"但是如今在我看到上火会引发呼吸困难后,我需要重新考虑我的建议。


Any suggestions for a better translation of shànghuǒ 上火?

对于如何更好地翻译shànghuǒ 上火你有什么建议吗?

2016-06-21

0 responses on "Stump the Laowai: shànghuǒ 上火"

    Leave a Message

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Copyright ©right 2017 Chinlingo Inc. All rights reserved.