"请问,你叫什么?"

Translation:Excuse me, what is your name?

November 16, 2017

28 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/renee.jing.h

Technically, 叫 is a word for call. So if you asked "你叫什么?," the translation would be "What are you called" instead of "What is your name." If you wanted to ask "What is your name," you would use the word for name "名字." So, all together you could ask "请问,你叫什么名字?" or "请问, 你的名字是什么?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CorgiCerberus

You could argue that 你叫什么 is an abbreviation of 你叫什么名字, so the meaning it implied.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenjaminBr245428

The native Chinese speakers I know day that the "abbreviation" is brusk and rude. They recommended me not to use it every. I would prefer fewer words, but not if it makes me seem rude.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Not to mention that "what are you called" is virtually unheard in normal contemporary English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/astro_Mer

That never seemed to stop duolingo before


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/William358939

"Excuse Me" as a translation for 请问 is a bit iffy and really fails to capture the literal meaning of the characters. "Please may I ask" is a much better translation for all the other situations where 请问 might be used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rabea733910

Makes sense. With the Duo translation, it looks like you're asking a rando in the street their name to try to find a criminal or something like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tsen107548

I get this irresistible urge to translate this to:

Excuse me, who are you?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phyu2Thin_Emily

ditto! I literally did the same thing and I was wrong of course. Weren't we allowed to write "who are you?" instead of "what's your name?" before when translating "ni jiao shen me?" I thought it was right to do it so just wrote that down. I know "who are you?" isn't the literal meaning of this phrase though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanD.Morris

“What are you called?” should be an acceptable answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChristianG680402

but in English specifically we don't really say that to people.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aquarin

True but that doesn't make the more literal translation incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ingochris

Pinyin: " qǐng wèn 请问 , nǐ 你 jiào 叫 shén me 什么 ? "

ingochris


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LauraKarran

So does this translate as: "may I ask, you are called what?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carla.lazzari

Can I use 请问 for "sorry", like in " excuse me for being so direct"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deutschmitkris

It is only used directly before a question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CorgiCerberus

No, only when asking questions. In your situation, 对不起 would be acceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eoghan32

I thought it literally said "Please ask"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CorgiCerberus

Word for word, yes, but it it carries more the connotation of 《请(让我给你)问》 or "please (allow me to) ask (you)".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/terroristpeanut

Am I the only one that the audio for 问 sounds like the sound you make when you get hurt lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NasrAlhadi

Although I am writing the correct answer but still tell me wrong !!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adytiawong

I wrote 请问 你叫什么 and the app said I'm wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Sure. It's because you used a space. Careful Chinese typing doesn't use spaces (as the spacing is built into the punctuation), and Duolingo doesn't seem to allow them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eva445993

Shouldn't it like "who are you?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

No, that would be "你是谁", literally, "you are who".

Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.