"You are Ming Zhang."
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? :)
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
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.
Thank you so much for this! I've been wondering why this has been happening forever haha
Because in Chinese the family name(Last) goes before the personal name. This is the opposite of English.
Only in the Military. The last name is your name, for the most part... USAF Vet☺
Perhaps put the initials in capitals? I put Ming Zhang/Zhang Ming and they are correct.
I think they are trying for you to grasp that in English the last name is last. In Chinese that last name is first.
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.
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.
because it is they country and they want to mix they last name and first name
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.
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
Agreed. As an ESL teacher I've discovered Chinese students are divided on whether or not the flip their names for English speakers.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is a bug its says write Ming Zhang I do that but it says I was wrong I had to do Zhang Ming
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.
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.
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.
How do you know if a word is first name or last name? How do you expect a beginner to know?
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!
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.
Another question I have is this: does the 。signify a full stop? What other grammatical things does Chinese use? E.g. ? , etc. Thanks again.
Yes, period 。does mean a full stop. As for the others, e.g. is 比如/例如, etc is 等等.
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".
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;)
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!]
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.
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??
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.
That's like six in a row wrong because I am trying to translate words i haven't learned yet
”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"
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.
Because in Chinese the name order is "Family name+ First name", not "First + last name"
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."
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.
If this was a comment you want us all to understand, could you also put it in English for the beginners? thanks
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.
i hate correct solutions cause that kind of means i got it right but got marked wrong
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.
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.
Question: Why the f*** are the first sentences about people's names? Useless characters to start with.
i think instead of "you are zhang ming" it should've been "your name is ming zhang" or "you are called ming zhang"
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" >_<
My chinese friend helped me with this but i still got it wrong and now i dont think hes chinese