"You are Ming Zhang."

Translation:你叫张明。

November 16, 2017

106 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ChaosScroll

Why is the first and last names mixed up here?

November 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Panda.Dani

Chinese people like to zoom out before they zoom in, meaning, imagine the last name, it encompasses everyone in your family, but the first name is just yourself. This is the same for the way to date things, they go from year, month, day instead of American's who do month/day/year. Do you see the zooming? :)

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BananaSmas1

Panda Dani is right, but the problem here is that people don't understand why the "surname first" rule seems inconsistent. The answer made me think duolingo programmers are quite clever.

Before getting stucked with this question, we were given sentences where the surname and the name were in the correct order (although there are some nuances about Li Hua). In the Zhang Ming infamous case first name and last name are not mixed up, the surname first rule still holds because (accordingly to wikipedia) the Ming surname can be used as a name, while Zhang surname can not.

So this question taught us that sometimes the same symbol could be used as a name and some other times could be used as a surname (like Ming and Zhang) and that in chinese the surname always come first

February 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dore.m

You cannot know for sure which of Ming and Zhang is this case is surname, they both can be uesd as a surname. Zhang, as a matter of fact is among the historical and famous "the most popular hundreds surnames" (百家姓)and is No. 24 of the list, while Ming is 291.

I didn't find your references on wikipedia, please post the link here if you still have it. Frankly, as a native speaker I myself sometimes confused about the English version of a Chinese name, especially when refers to one that is not of politicians or celebrities, i.e. an ordinary individual. There really isn't a way to distinguish between name and surname if they were mixed up as in the given example "Ming Zhang".

Better to stick to the Chinese order familiy name and given name to avoid confusion. As the press does, Yao Ming not Ming Yao, Li Na not Na Li.

HTH;)

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/The_iCONer

From general to specific, in other words.

April 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sawyer5671

Thank you so much for this! I've been wondering why this has been happening forever haha

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/XxdanthebossxX

what do u mean

September 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidStrat1

We learned as educators of, often Chinese, students to use the words "family name" and "given name"

August 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dore.m

Like your way of thinking it, clever!

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LazyEinstein

Because in Chinese the family name(Last) goes before the personal name. This is the opposite of English.

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Landon719978

Not sure why you were downvoted..

February 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/XxdanthebossxX

true

September 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Terri562793

Only in the Military. The last name is your name, for the most part... USAF Vet☺

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KAYLABONEY

how do you type the sentence then

January 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ihcq9

I put ming zhang and got it wrong

September 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KX3.

Perhaps put the initials in capitals? I put Ming Zhang/Zhang Ming and they are correct.

September 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sonny626368

Beacause is confusing me

April 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RachelStew1

I think they are trying for you to grasp that in English the last name is last. In Chinese that last name is first.

August 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Terri562793

Does one symbol mean 2 or 3 different words??

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KX3.

This is much easier explaining using Chinese terms, so bear with me for a bit and if there is anything unclear, please comment in a reply.

A word can consist of one character or a 字 zi4. Two 字 form a 词 ci2, which is usually a word as well. Special terms e.g. jargon, words translated from another language especially English, and so on usually have three or more characters as they are "made up" according to how it sounds.

Phrases consist of more characters and there are quite a few types of them.
Standard four-character ones are called 成语 cheng2 yu3, e.g. 五颜六色 meaning colourful, as 五 wu3 - five, 六 liu4 - six and 颜色 yan2 se4 - colours.
Longer phrases come from ancient texts, common sayings, a mixture of these, an evoluton of the language and so on. Some examples of these are 谚语 yan4 yu3、歇后语 xie1 hou4 yu3、名句 ming2 ju4、俗语 su2yu3 and so on.
I would like all these to idioms, proverbs and such in English, but they are more commonly and widely used in Chinese, especially as puns and jokes. In fact, some of the phrases are precisely that: clever, witty sentences that pack a punch and so grew in popularity in all probability.

Hope this helps.

January 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/BriannaHar146045

In a lot of Eastern Asian& Southeastern Asian countries last name goes before the first name. It's a little bit of a culture shock for people who dont understand the culture first.

January 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mimi682282

Yes

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LucyWendy2

because it is they country and they want to mix they last name and first name

January 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jjjm17

Ikr

June 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/charlotteb609297

Same

June 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AllisonJoh845287

Idk

December 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KAYLABONEY

what you mean bro

January 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/john27rg

I work with many people with Chinese names and it's about 50 / 50 which way they put their name in English. I think the question needs to be rephrased to avoid this being a lottery.

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Karuna8063

Agree!

November 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Cutie576978

agree

January 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KAYLABONEY

thank you

January 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KAYLABONEY

thank you

January 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BananaSmas1

It's not like a lottery: Ming surname can also be used as a name while Zhang can not (accordingly to wikipedia), so you must put Zhang first. More details in the first comment

February 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/aelfwyne

Agreed. As an ESL teacher I've discovered Chinese students are divided on whether or not the flip their names for English speakers.

February 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ikagudo

If the stated name is Ming Zhang, who are we to change it to Zhang Ming? With no context, how are we to know which is the surname?

December 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BananaSmas1

Because Ming surname can also be used as a name while Zhang can not (accordingly to wikipedia). It's like Cooper and Rostenkowski...yeah have to work on my analogies.

February 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jxxmxxj

It would help to have a pronunciation button next to the Chinese translation given on this solution page.

November 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Karuna8063

Or on the previous page, before we click "complete"

November 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Karuna8063

Yes please.

November 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TroyCurtis1

I understand that in Chinese, surnames are spoken first. However, the question was to translate "You are Ming Zhang" and obviously everyone is having problems with this. A better test question is "You are Mr. Zhang" where it would be obvious to put Zhang before Xian Sheng.

December 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/aculady

People are mentioning that the words are flipped "because the Ming surname can be used as a [first] name", but how are WE supposed to know THAT? I just started this course and know absolutely nothing about Chinese, let alone which names could be used as a first or last name.

June 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/bill949306

Can you be consistent??

November 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NatureSheriff_7

How so? The name order in Chinese and English are different. In English, the correct order is the first name first, then the surname. In Chinese, the correct order is the surname first, then the first name.

December 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mqstical

There is a bug its says write Ming Zhang I do that but it says I was wrong I had to do Zhang Ming

November 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/roman2095

That is because in Chinese the surname comes first and Duo is assuming that the English version positions the surname last, so the two names have to be reversed in the translation.

November 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/eleryloggia

Yeah but the pinyin is a direct translation of the chinese characters so why is the pinyin different from the characters here? It would make sense if this was a translation to english but it is just converting pinyin to the formal chinese writing, it is technically not being translated, just rewritten.

December 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JakeColon

The last and first names are mixed up

December 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BenRoth

While I understand that first and last names are reversed in Chinese, (I knew from japanese, immediately suspected on getting it wrong and discussion confirms here) that fact is never specified here during the training that I saw. Also it's going to remain confusing throughout learning the language even if I remember the principle because duolingos bi-directional translation plus transliteration means that during lessons I'll sometimes need to reverse the order and sometimes not.

January 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Karthik886599

How do you know if a word is first name or last name? How do you expect a beginner to know?

April 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/OTraverso

I am confused now... :-(

May 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Axel591520

This person's name is Zhang Ming in Chinese, and it should be Zhang Ming in any other language. I am working in an international company, and some of our Chinese employees switch the order of names to make it easier for us. That doesn't really help, cause some switch names and some don't. Some even replace their 'first' name with some Western name, so that - for example - Zhang Ming becomes Tony Zhang. I'm fine with Ming Zhang as the correct answer (though I think it's stupid). But Zhang Ming shouldn't be rated as incorrect. PLEASE FIX!

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dore.m

Totally agreed! And Ming Zhang is stupid...

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/OliverBens6

Is "叫" always used for "Am/Are/All are etc"? I thought I could miss it because I haven't yet seen a character for "Am/Are" yet? Hope that made sense.

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OliverBens6

Another question I have is this: does the 。signify a full stop? What other grammatical things does Chinese use? E.g. ? , etc. Thanks again.

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dore.m

Yes, period 。does mean a full stop. As for the others, e.g. is 比如/例如, etc is 等等.

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/aliljeholm

Jiao means "name is". So "am" is an ok translation if followed by a name. But it isn't a general term for "am/are".

November 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dore.m

I am waiting for this to be brought up. As @aliljeholm said, 叫 means "name is", 你叫张明 back translation would be "your name is Zhang Ming".

Translating "you are Ming Zhang" to 你叫张明 is ok, but not practically accurate. Because "are/am" doesn't necessarily mean what ones name is, whereas 叫 does. 叫 as a verb is pretty much like je M'APPELLE or vous VOUS APPELEZ in French, I don't think English has such verb;)

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MechamRachel

How would one know whether Ming Zhang uses the English or the Chinese method of writing their name. If I saw Ming Zhang written, I would assume that Ming is the family name & Zhang the personal name,[ which is how I answered the question, but was marked wrong!]

January 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/aelfwyne

Just fix this already. We all KNOW names are sometimes flipped. There is zero consistency to this and it is needlessly punitive. JUST FIX IT.

February 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kathan2477

Why is the first name mixed up with the last name I just wrote the first name last and the last name first and I got it wrong That's my my problem here it's pretty confusing??

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kathan2477

You r right

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Cierramin

To clear it up: The surname always comes before the name (what we think of as the first name) in Chinese. As others have said before, Ming and Zhang can both be surnames in China, but only Ming is considered a first name. Also, Ming comes before Zhang in the English translation similar to how the first name comes before the last name in European countries. I hope that you'll find this helpful.

June 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rich992347

That's like six in a row wrong because I am trying to translate words i haven't learned yet

June 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NormaSunset

”叫“ is implying called, while “是” is are/is So the answer should either be "你是张明。 Or the question should be "You're called Ming Zhang"

June 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/wafflepjs

My issue is that in English we don't change the order of Chinese people's names. Yao Ming doesn't go by Ming Yao in America.

January 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/carrots084

为什么“张明”? 当我说“Qin Guose" 是我的名字 (秦国色),不”Guose Qin"

November 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/QuincyZh

Because in Chinese the name order is "Family name+ First name", not "First + last name"

November 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlspotting

True--though it's also true that many Chinese speakers do not switch these when giving their names in English. E.g. retired basketball player Yao Ming is 姚明 in Chinese i.e. he doesn't refer to himself as "Ming Yao."

November 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LazyEinstein

Personal choice shouldn't be taken into account imo. For an absolute beginner, I feel that this is being taught correctly. They need to understand that Chinese and English name orders are not the same.

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ChaosScroll

Ok thx

November 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Karuna8063

If this was a comment you want us all to understand, could you also put it in English for the beginners? thanks

November 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/johnnyhu8

This is sum bull ❤❤❤❤ - ming zhang

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/rGaha

You just need to properly listen and see. In Japan and China, Last Name(Sirname or family name) is written or spoken first then comes the First Name. Only Very close friend or family member uses the first name to each other otherwise they call by their last name or Full Name(here also last name first then first name). This is to maintain politness and dicipline.

April 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ashley801270

I was right yet I got it wrong

May 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hikids4

Lol

June 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hailey188949

Junkook mean

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MeMeBigBoy582452

):

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tommaso546781

Ciao belli

June 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Hajer467779

الله يعينا

July 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/nguyendacnam95

Its wrong, please fix it

July 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ku6bK

you have to give us the meaninig of the characters before this exam

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SarwatMuza

Why the same question before was correct and this is wrong?

August 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/XxdanthebossxX

i hate correct solutions cause that kind of means i got it right but got marked wrong

September 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/spooky525789

Why are the questions so inconsistent with which must go first in English? I get some correct and some incorrect just because of surname/first name.

January 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Tracie614750

I keep putting it backwards

January 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/BriannaHar146045

I totally get the surnam coming befor the first. Its just, what thay have given to me is, " You ARE Ming Zhang. " I just don't understand why the correct way would be you or your CALLED Zhang Ming.

January 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Claudio822427

Please review this phrase, please contact is wrong written

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alyanqyh

This is so confusing

February 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/justin426197

The correct answer is wrong

February 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Nastaran70219

What does "jiao" mean?

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/hshsxx2001

مرة صعبب

March 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/BreeseLingo

Question: Why the f*** are the first sentences about people's names? Useless characters to start with.

April 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mango152

i think instead of "you are zhang ming" it should've been "your name is ming zhang" or "you are called ming zhang"

April 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bobby61557

zhang ming. not ming zhang

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/YodasWs

Chinese put their "last" name first! They put their family name first. So if the Chinese answer really should be "你叫张明", then the English is "You are Zhang Ming". But instead you put "You are Ming Zhang" so it's no wonder I thought the answer was "你叫明张" >_<

February 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Miyukj

English sentence should be You are Zhang Ming. Please fix it

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Arctic_Line

Ho boy, is doing this course with stroke type stressful.

September 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/joshvanDam

hello

November 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ImSmart-Chan

got wrong because put no period

November 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ColinWong7

I do not know know why this is wrong

December 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AmieBlack

It says its wrong when its right

January 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EthanG479983

My chinese friend helped me with this but i still got it wrong and now i dont think hes chinese

February 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Augerey

zhang ming and ming zhang are the same!

February 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LeviMorris2

theres no way to aubmit my roght answer here! one word is flat out missing

March 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jenny147959

Алалда

March 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sonny626368

That is so hard

April 1, 2018
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