Yong zhongwen zhenma jiang “native speaker”? Wo zidian meiyou zhege zi . Xie xie
zen me…correcting your stupid pinyin again.
The question is how to say “native speaker” in Chinese.
I’ve heard “muyu weI [language X] de reN” (母語為X文的人) most typically. You have to specify a language or else it apparently doesn’t make much sense. At least that’s what they tell me. Interesting for a language that’s so topic-prominent and often lets things go without saying!
Anybody have another way of saying it?
I don’t typically hear this said as a noun phrase. I often hear “Ying wen shi ta de mu yu.”
Quite often, I’ve found it difficult or unnatural to force an English phrase into Chinese. In fact, even if you find or create a translation, and then use it, people may have a hard time understanding if it’s not in common use.
If there is a commonly used exact transfer, I’d be interested in hearing it (from a native speaker).
By the way, what dictionary are you using?
Thanks kids. The way Iron lady said it was the way my student says it. I always check around before committing it to my vocab list and hopefully to my long term memory. I think I will write down the way that both of you said it in this case. I will use moo cow as a mnemonic for mu and I already know yu so… Are you showing tones with capital letters again Ironlady?
Oops. I have three dictionairies. The “Times English Chinese dictionary”. The “Concise English-Chinese Chinese-English Dictionary” and the "Far East PinYin Chinese-English dictioanry. I am open to suggestions however. Self taught dontcha know.
The Far East Chinese-English Dictionary is the best I’ve used. It has multiple ways to look up characters (including pinyin) and is about 2,000 pages long. There are simp and trad versions. Not sure if that’s the one you have.
As far as Eng-Chin, I’ve only used a couple of Oxford dictionaries, which are OK, but not thorough.
I wonder if one of those electronic jobs might be better? Funny, I remember when I stopped carrying around a dictionary. Seems like a while ago!
以 X 语 为 母语 的 人。
yi X yu wei muyu de ren
Yeah it would make more sense Shengmar’s way round than Ironlady’s I think.
It makes sense that you have to supply a Language argument. If not understood or supplied, the term is meaningless, as essentially everyone is a native speaker of some language.
But the most common term is “native speaker”:
dui native speaker lai jiang…
wo suiran bushi native speaker, wo haishi juede…
It’s a borrowed technical term, like “school” and “mainstream”.
In case you are wondering where I get these quetions, basically what I do is write little essay on various topics related to language learning and then attempt to translate the more difficult passages into Mandarin. The sentence I am working on now is “No native speaker ever learned his first language by memorizing grammar rules.” Of course what I am attempting to do is encourage them to take a more holistic, natural approach to their study of English. Does anybody want to take a stab at “No native speaker ever learned his first language by memorizing grammar rules”? Thanks.
And please, no Chinese characters shengmar. I hate Chinese characters.
I’ll try in my ‘ugly’ pin yin:
Cong lai mei you ren bei wen fa er xue ta da mu yu.
Or maybe in a slightly different vein
Xue zi ji de mu yu, bu bi xue wen fa.
It’s not very elegant. I’m sure I could do better if I thought about it more.
But this thing about ‘hating’ Chinese characters is rather bizarre. I think one needs a working knowledge of 1-2,000 characters for daily survival. But to be truly literate here and experience the same things others do, one needs to know a good number more. Sometimes people say there’s not much to do here. I beg to differ. The problem is, unless one reads at a very high level, one doesn’t have access to the large number of goings-on. Frankly, it depresses me from time to time, since I don’t make the effort to read entertainment papers and such on a regular basis.
And please, no Chinese characters shengmar. I hate Chinese characters.[/quote]
If there is anything that I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask.
I am sure that characters make a fascinating study for some people but every time I try to study them I am just absolutely overwhelmed by what a stupid system it appears to be. All that crap about sound loans and all that. Maybe if I persevered a bit my feelings would change but I am learning so much now everyday that I already feel like my head is going to explode. Anyway thanks for the pinyin! (I LOVE pinyin.)
Just for fun lets see how I would say that sentence in Mandarin. I stutter a lot so be patient.
Cong lai meiyou ren xue tamen muyu de yuyuan…Tamen bu xuexi wenfa…xiaohaizi bu xue wenfa…bu yong zhege banfa…tamen hui yong hao fuza de wenfa jiegou, keshi tamen bu zhidao wenfa…dong wode yisi ma?
At this point I would be likely to employ a lot of awkward looking gesticulations and facial expressions designed to illustrate what a profound, complicated concept that I am trying to express. Usually they will at least pretend to know what I am talking about. So as far as I am concerned that amounts to about the same thing.
muyu de yuyuan is redundant. Muyu means ‘mother tongue;’ there is no need to add ‘de yuyan.’ (Assuming you mean ‘的語言’…)
Muyu is what most Taiwanse or mainlanders will understand, but some academics and language professionals are increasingly using 以xx語為第一語言的人. Some Chinese are starting to have the same feeling about the word “mother tongue” as foreingers: that it’s not necessarily a very accurate way to describe someone’s language background. There are more and more mainlanders whose “mother tongue” is not Putonghua, but who are just as proficient in it as someone whose mother tongue is Putonghua. The picky Chinese linguist may prefer to use 以普通話為第一語言的人 for such cases as it implies that Putonghua is the speaker’s strongest language. Of course if you say that to the average person, he will probably have to stop and think for a minute since it sounds cumbersome and not so Chinese. It’s in a few books, though, and I’ve also heard a few teachers say it this way.
That sounds like the Chinese equivalent of refering to someone’s “L1”
O.K. try this one “Tolerate ambiquity.” As in, you need to tolerate a lot of ambiquity when you study a foreign language.
I assume you mean ambiguity…
Dui. Duibuqi wode yingwen zhongwen pinfa bu hao.