Hen3 Sheng1 bing4

It’s common for North Americans leaning Chinese to use the phrase in the topic…it’s a direct translation of “very sick” (ie Wo hen shengbing). However, the proper is “bing4 de hen3 yan2zhong4” (or similar). However, I’ve noticed several times Taiwanese students/professionals here in the states and even some in Taiwan use the ‘hen shengbing’ version. When someone catches them on it, they giggle and say they’ve been in America too long. I wonder if this is Western-ism that is creeping into Chinese

I would say no.

Hi Geng

That was odd. I have lived in the States for almost 10 years. I haven’t heard any Taiwanese talking in that way. I may say “hen(3)nan(2)guo(4)” that also applies to “I feel sick”. Or… perhaps I didn’t stay long enough to confuse the grammar?

I would say, it IS probably interference from Western grammar creeping in.

Many of the later-stage grammatical changes in Modern Chinese are the result of the influence of Western languages. (Don’t ask me to quote examples, I can’t remember specifics at this point but I remember discussions about this in college.) Since much of this happened during the transition from wenyan only to baihuawen writing…well, I wasn’t around yet, anyway.

Not feeling coherent at the moment…that’s all for now!


quote[quote](Don't ask me to quote examples, I can't remember specifics at this point but I remember discussions about this in college.) [/quote]

I can think of one – the increasing use of “bei-4” (&#34987 which shows the passive voice.

It used to be that it only indicated bad things, for example, ta bei sha le (he was killed), or wo bei da shang le (I was beaten up). But now, you can say sentences like Wo xiang bei ni ai (I want to be loved by you) or Geng bei xuan3 shang4 zhongguo xiaojie (Geng was chosen as Miss China) which indicate good things happening.

I don’t think what’s wrong with “hen3 Sheng1 Bing4”, the language is lived, not dead. People made the language, people changed it, I don’t see why not.
The grammar wasn’t 100% same as before, so there are no “right” or "wrong’, as long as people use it, people take it, and then people will “learn” it.
Such like “wo3 zou3 xian1” (supposed to be "wo3 xian1 zou3), but the movie say so, then it is so.
People use “wo3 zou3 xian1” now already.And it is a WRONG grammar, people know it, and people still use it.
The language changes by time, by people. Learning a language should not just go the “tranditional way”, should know what’s new outside the world, not just stay in the tranditional way and complain about the change.
If you judge a teacher is not a good teacher just because he/she use the “not tranditional grammar chinese”, that will be unfair.
I didn’t mean that people can just say what they wanna say without thinking about the grammar, the point is, language does change day and day. We just have to learn the new words and things day and day.