Please little help with Chinese

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by SoBad, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I just happened to come accross this handwritten note, and I would like to know what it means. I don't have a scanner available at present, so I had to use an online tool to map my mouse-drawing onto the character set. The handwriting in the note is difficult to read, therefore some of the characters are likely not exact matches (but should be close). The spacing and highlighting mirrors the original handwritten note.

    牡志在我胸
    有志千在年高,
    少喝酒少吸炯
    朋友多饹好走

    以后去中国
    spacespac我就是你朋友

    去中国找我玩, 发展做生意


    Thank you guys in advance for your help!
     
    #1
  2. Shahar26

    Shahar26 Rookie

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    According to Google's translation tool (which is pretty bad) it means :

    "Mu Chi in my chest
    In 1000 high-aspiring,
    Little less alcohol absorption Kuo-chung
    Le take more than good friends

    After the Chinese
    I am your friend

    I go to China for playing, business development"

    It could also be that you just copied them wrong....
     
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  3. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    ^^Thanks for your input. I’ve spent some time online trying to translate on my own, with similar results. I suspect there is practical content to the note that goes beyond “Mu Chi in my chest” and “alcohol absorption Kuo-chung”. I was hoping that someone who can read Chinese would take a look and comment.
     
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  4. Shahar26

    Shahar26 Rookie

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    I actually work with a Chinese linguist, he's not online now so I can't ask him yet, but I will when I see him...
     
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  5. SoBad

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    Thanks for that, have you had a chance to ask him yet?
     
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  6. Pr0DiGy

    Pr0DiGy Rookie

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    I can't tell you what the note says in it's entirety, but I can tell you that the translation is so off. I think that some words are mistranslated, but I'm not sure. I'm just a 17 year old kid that can speak Chinese well enough, but can't read and write it as well as he'd like to.

    What little I can tell you is that it's a friendly note with some advice. The third to last and second to last lines mean "Come to China sometime, your good friend." The last line says something about "Come to China to play (as in visit as a tourist), grow economically, and do business."

    The third line means drink less alcohol and do something else less, I'm not sure what two of the characters say.

    Translators simply translate word for word. Chinese grammar is completely different from English, and has hundreds of things called "cheng yu"s which are basically phrases that have some meaning, almost metaphors, that will have no meaning in English when translated word-for-word. When you translate word-for-word you get the disastruous result previously posted.
     
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  7. SoBad

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    Thanks a lot for your comment. I am quite sure that at least two or three characters were somewhat mistranscribed, so I am sure it is difficult to read. Basically, I had to pick the closest match, knowing that it is likely a mismatch. Also, your explanation regarding online translation tools makes complete sense, which is why I thought I’d ask you TTW guys for help.

    Let me ask you two questions. In the last line (re: visit China), is it clear whether the author is announcing his own intent to travel to China, or rather advising the addressee to travel to China? Also, can you make any sense of the fourth line of the note?
     
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  8. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    It also says "all your base are belong to us, move zig for great justice."
     
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  9. 0range

    0range Hall of Fame

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    (Some charactors are written slightly wrong, so the online translators probably won't work here.)

    It's basically saying that "(1)I'm happy and pumped up! (3)You shouldn't drink and smoke so much. (4)Life is easier when you have many good friends. (5)When you come to China in the future, (6)count me as your friend! (7)I'll show you around and help you start a business/career."
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
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  10. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Yeah it's basically what 0range said. Some characters are misprinted when put into computer. I believe the original message reads:

    壮志在我胸
    有志不在年高,
    少喝酒少吸烟
    朋友多路好走

    以后去中国
    spacespac我就是你朋友

    去中国找我玩, 发展做生意
     
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  11. 0range

    0range Hall of Fame

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    Hey Sangri-la I actually didn't quite get the 2nd line so I skipped that part... do you think it translates to "it doesn't matter how old you are as long as you have dreams"?

     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
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  12. CanadianChic

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    My Chinese is a little rusty, but I think it says something along the lines of:

    "If you find this note but do not speak Chinese, don't worry about the translation. How's about you don't read other people's notes?" - Ancient Chinese Proverb
     
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  13. goober

    goober Legend

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    So basically- "Lay off the booze and the smokes. I will hook you up when you come to China"

    A little advice and a little Guanxi:)
     
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  14. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    0range, yup that's exactly what it means : ) usually it's used to youngsters.
     
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  15. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Now THAT's a good friend :)
     
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  16. SoBad

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    Thanks guys for your analysis. Online mapping error has likely affected two or three characters only slightly. Poor handwriting is probably the bigger issue here. The intended text in the note is probably very close to what Shangri La has posted.

    However, the third character of the second line really does not look like the negation "不". It basically looks like a small "z" on top, with a vertical stroke extending down from the middle of the bottom of the "z". "不" is a very simple basic character, and would it not be properly written with vertical stroke being the second stroke in the sequence (before the two side strokes)? Or is this just a practical shorthand way to write in simplified Chinese?
     
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  17. 0range

    0range Hall of Fame

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    Ah I see! it is just a very sloppy way to write the word '不'.

    Think of it this way... we all print alphabets the same way, but our handwriting can be very different from one person to another.

    However, without seeing the actual note I cannot be 100% certain that the word is '不'. I'm 99% certain here (from the context and from the way you described the written word).
     
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  18. 0range

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    For example, there is a proper stroke sequence to write the word '田' (rice field), but if I need to write the word in a hurry I just draw a circle and put a plus sign in the middle lol.
     
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  19. SoBad

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    Thanks for the explanation. I am guessing that you are right, and the character is indeed supposed to be “不
    “. It seems to me though that this sort of handwriting is beyond “sloppy”. This is not just about cursive fasthand that is difficult to read. This is actually a case of incorrect stroke order in a very simple character, probably picked up in early childhood as a shortcut. Handwriting slopiness developed in adulthood only exacerbates the problem.
     
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  20. SoBad

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    I had no idea people would do this sort of thing. So this isn't just a mainland problem, but a common practice in Taiwan and elsewhere? Wouldn't that make handwriting difficult/slow to read?
     
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  21. mucat

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    I agree with all others. But I think #4 doesn't mean "Life is easier when you have many good friends." It just means "Life is easier when you know many friends (ie. networks, know lots of people, etc)."
     
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  22. 0range

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    I think the problem is universal. Some people just have terrible handwriting. I'm one of them (mine's really, really bad...).

    My feeling is that it'd probably much harder for you to read sloppy Chinese note if you are not a native Chinese speaker/reader.
     
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  23. Vincent Left

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    Shangri La's got the exact right content so I'll continue from there.

    This note generally said -
    I (the writer) has big dreams, even if I'm not old enough to be called a real man. Smoke and drink less. The more friends you have, the better life you will lead. I'm your friend spacespac, come and see me when you visit China, we may work something out or start business together.

    Hope this could clarify. The writer is try to come up with some rhythm, which is quite... umm... rough, just comment on the literature, no offence.
     
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  24. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Thanks guys. So basically, the note is lacking rhythm, poorly composed, fasthand is barely legible, and stroke order is erroneous even for simplest of characters. The author admits to being too young to be considered a real man, yet finds the guts to preach the addressee on smoking and drinking habbits. He goes on to preach about friends and invites for a visit to China while disregarding the fact that he is not in China himself at the time of writing. Is that a fairly accurate assessment then?
     
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  25. Vincent Left

    Vincent Left New User

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    Sort of, but he didn't invite, just said if u had a chance to visit China someday, he'll hook u up and all. The "real man" I referred to should be like aged above 30 in common sense in Chinese language.

    btw judging from the note, the author seemed to be a Chinese visiting US. Whatever, just good common wishes, rough language, nothing so bad, SoBad.
     
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  26. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    I'm pretty positive about the word "不". Actually line 2 is a well known Chinese saying. Handwriting can be tricky and at times you have to do some guessing.
     
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  27. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    What made you think he was visiting US? I am quite sure he has never traveled outside the one-thousand-mile radius of home in NE PRC.

    Thanks again for your input. I have no doubt now that “不” is what he meant to write in the second line. I intend to visit him tomorrow and have a serious dialogue about what he wrote, as well as the proper stroke order in Chinese characters. Hopefully this time there will not be independent third-party monitors forcing communications to take the form of hasty handwritten notes.
     
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  28. Tina

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    Are you of Chinese descent, SoBad?
     
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  29. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Tina, if I told you, I'd have to... you know... But you'll note that there are plenty of Chinese descent people on TTW, too bad most of them are either too lazy or plain illiterate. Great to know that there are some notable exceptions, as we have learned. Their wisdom is much appreciated.
     
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  30. Tina

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    Hey Sobad, I don't think you are answering my question:) Is that a "Yes" or a "No"?
     
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  31. ninman

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    Yeah that makes a lot more sense, I knew some of the characters were wrong, but unfortunately my Chinese isn't good enough to replace them. It's a poem, and it means.

    Ambitions are in my heart (the character means chest literally, but that's the idea)
    Keep in my mind we are still young.
    Drink less smoke less.
    Lots of friends walk with you.

    After you come to China we will be good friends.

    When you come to China look for me, we will play and discover new ideas.
     
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  32. SoBad

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    Tina – things that happen do happen for a reason, if you ask me. Who are we to question the natural course of this universe? The moon and the stars light the paths of our subconsciousness that we ourselves never knew existed. With your research skills, certainly you wouldn’t need an answer any more direct than what has already come through by will of the stars.;) If no one heard the sound of frog leaping into the pond, did it ever happen?
     
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  33. ninman

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    No, it's just friendly words of advice. In China having a lot of friends is considered a very good thing. He doesn't say he's too young to be considered a real man (that's a very, very loose translation), he says that he's "not advanced in years". Telling you to smoke and drink less is just another way of saying keep healthy.

    Also if you can't read Chinese then somebody's handwriting is going to look messy and confusing. I've had lots of things written to me by Chinese people and I find it extremely difficult to understand and I know well over 2000 characters.

    It was a very friendly note, the guy obviously considers you his good friend.
     
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  34. SoBad

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    Thanks ninman for your input. It’s all water under the bridge in a sense, at this point, but I appreciate your comments nonetheless. When you say that reading something in a language that you can’t read is confusing, you are kind of stating the obvious, I think. I know enough Chinese characters to make sense of something that is typed or properly written, but this note was rather appalling. The very poor handwriting combined with the presumptuous tone of a punk who finds the audacity to tell someone to drink or smoke less, that’s where the challenge emerged, I suppose. Thanks for your comments – how is the weather in the mainland?
     
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  35. Tina

    Tina Banned

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    Don't worry about it, SoBad. I respect your privacy. Take cares.
     
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  36. zapvor

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    i can say i have met Sobad in person, and he's, well a greater man of mystery than bond himself:)
     
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  37. ninman

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    I'm in Shanghai and the weather has been poor for a few days now. At least it's not cold. I hated winter here, I felt uncomfortable every day for months. At least now I have my classes to distract me.
     
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