Translation:You eat noodles.
For those who are interested in learning traditional form:
In simplified writing system, 面 can have two main meanings: "noodle" and "face".
When talking about "noodle," it is 麵 in traditional form, but when talking about "face" both system use "面."
Combining the complicated characters into simpler characters with similar pronunciation was also an approach to form the simplified characters.
A supplement: 麵 can be broken into 麥 and 面. 麥 can be wheat 小麥 or barley 大麥. And 面 shows the sound here. 麵 at its basic form, is indeed flour 麵粉 or dough 麵團. Noodles is 麵條 but usually 麵 is referring to noodles.
Why doesn't the symbol for noodle look like a noodle? That would make things so much easier.
In the past it probably did. The characters went through thousands of years of updating and simplifying.
I think ericspanner has explained that:
"And 面 shows the sound here"
Since noodles and face share the same sound, "noodle" borrows the character of "face" which is 面(mian) and insert it into "麵".
麥 + 面 = noodles
面 can also refer to flour. I'm ethnically Chinese and my mom uses it this way.
I wish they would include the pinyin and the English meaning, rather than just 'you are correct'.
In my Mandarin class, we were taught that noodles had two characters, though I can't remember what the second one was. We were taught two foodstuffs containing mian (sorry for no tone marker) - bread and noodles, because they both contain an ingredient which is the same. Is it common to only use mian to say noodles?
Yes, mian is usually referred to noodles. Bread is 麵包. Both noodles and bread usually made of flours. The second character is 麥. You may refer to my supplement to Andrew's.
Well, isn't 面also used to describe foods made with wheat flour in general, such as 面食? Yes, it is most commonly used to describe noodles, but wouldn't 面条 be more specific?
吃麵 (excuse the traditional, I will include pīnyīn as best I can) chī miàn is almost phrasal, and yeah you can say 麵 miàn on its own, but if it isn't clear based on context, then you can use the two character alternative 麵條 miàn tiáo (flour strips), but conversely, you're more likely to say 吃麵 with no 條 this goes the same with 吃飯 chī fàn and 米飯. Mî fàn.
Does this sentence mean "I am eating noodles" or "I eat noodles"? Does it mean that one eats noodles in general?
I never said that... just mian tiao??? Why is this so weird. I speak Chinese at home, although I don't read / write, but we refer as mian tiao and not mian....