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  5. "你想了解中国的历史吗?"


Translation:Would you like to understand Chinese history?

November 16, 2017



What about this sentence implies "learn more" as opposed to just "learn?"


It's now just "learn".


I don't see anything, myself. Maybe if there were a 更, as in 更了解. Or would 比较了解 be okay? Chinese native speakers?


更了解 doesn't sound right to me in this case, and 比较了解 is further off. Here are a few natural translations for "to learn more about X": 进一步了解X, 更深入了解X, 关于X...了解更多 (e.g. 关于中国历史,您想了解更多吗?)


One more example to add is 更深一层; there are likely others.


Thanks @RaphaelNing and @KX3.

A Google search currently returns about 9 million hits for "更了解". To clarify, are you saying that it's not good Chinese, or just that it doesn't work here?

And if the latter, in what circumstances would it work?


I remember, not clearly, my teacher saying that it is a common mistake, probably because it sounds right and all. I think its just very colloquial, but incorrect use nevertheless.
If anyone finds out for sure please let us know.


First of all, 更了解 is good Chinese, most commonly used when you want to compare one person's knowledge about X with either another person's knowledge about X, or the same person's knowledge about Y:

你更了解中国的历史 = You know more about Chinese history (e.g. than I do / than Chinese literature)

I wanted to say 想更了解 is bad Chinese, but I should take that back. First, there are 371k results for it on Google, and some of them sound just fine to me:

我只是想更了解自己。 = I just want to learn more about myself.

想更了解對方就問他喜歡看什麼片! = If you want to learn more about that person, just ask him what movies he likes to watch!

I frowned on the one below, which follows the same pattern as 想更了解中国的历史:

想更了解霍金的思想,可以阅读哪些书? = If I want to learn more about [Stephen] Hawking's ideas, which books should I read?

But this is purely my intuition, and I'm not so sure about it now, especially after another native speaker told me that 想更了解中国的历史 sounds just fine to her.

Nevertheless, in all these sentences, you can replace 想了解 with 想进一步了解, which is 100% good Chinese.


Thanks again to both of you.


They are all acceptable to duolingo, which means they are spoken by a population of native speakers, or is idiomatic to them. However, there remains the question of whether or not it is accurate, standard Chinese.

All the examples given in this comment-thread are acceptable. Whether or not they are "accurate" and "standard" (标准) is harder to say for sure, since we are all not language teachers with the latest information from the Language Authority Boards or howsoever it is called, and even so would like only be expert on one such Board, e.g. from China or Taiwan, hence at the risk of perhaps delving too far in what is, after all, meant to be a language learning app and one for preparation of language exams, I'll reiterate that what is considered good can be either acceptable/idiomatic and accurate/"standard" or one of them. In duolingo, I'd say the difference doesn't matter so if you've read this far, thank you and apologies if I'm going too much into semantics and such.

P.S. You're most welcome @PeaceJoyPancakes.


It seems like 更 is a bit complicated for a non-native speaker to figure out how to use it naturally.

I've come across "多/少" being used before a verb as a way to say "more/less." Wouldn't 多 be the simplest way to say do "more" of something?



it's beta, report it, so the course can improve :)


It also accepts "Do you want to understand Chinese history?"


Can't we translate like this: "Do you want to study Chinese history"?


No, study is 学习 with more formality in it, like a proper course instead of asking around and visiting places and such.


Where does the idea of "about" show in the Chinese text?


I think it's implied in at least one of the senses of 了解, which is essentially "to find out (about)".

But perhaps it's not strictly necessary here.


It's implied in Chinese.


The male voice pronounces both "了" and "了解" as "le." The female voice pronounces both "了" and "了解" as "liao."


Then how would you say "Do you think you understand Chinese history?"?


It depends on whether you want to ask it neutrally or if you want to suggest otherwise.

  1. Neutral: 你【觉得 / 认为】你了解中国历史吗?
  2. Do you (mistakenly) think...: 你以为你了解中国历史吗?
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