"树上有六只鸟。"

Translation:There are six birds in the tree.

November 18, 2017

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Owlspotting

Great example of the difference in space representation for English and Chinese. I've talked to Chinese speakers who find it quite curious that English represents this scenario as if the birds were inside (i.e. embedded in) the tree; for English speakers looking at the Chinese, I guess our first guess may be that the birds are at the top/apex of the tree.

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Semeltin

Well, this makes it even more difficult for non-native English speakers.
In German, for example, the birds would also be auf dem Baum lit. ‘on the tree‘.
It's quite unintuitive having to translate the Chinese sentence that works much like it would in my native language differently to English.

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Eanorel2

In Greek as well. The birds are always "on the tree". If you say they are in the tree you imply they are trapped inside its trank or something.

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew-Jiangnan

It might be a different conceptualization of "tree." I.e., when we think of "tree" in English, we're focusing on the whole as one enfolding shape--not just the trunk but also the foliage. To be within the extension of tree branches is to be "in the tree," same as to be "in the bushes." So the birds are "in the tree" because they are within the spatial parameters of tree-ness.

December 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kokaku

could 木 be used instead of 树? (still trying to understand how single characters are used when they can have the same meaning as others)

March 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JessicaBer862872

I was also wondering about the difference between 木 and 树. Are they interchangeable?

March 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Celticfiddleguy

While both can be defined as "tree" in dictionaries, on its own 木 usually means wood(en). When it's used in a compound (with another character) 木 can mean tree though. This page has some helpful info:

https://ipfs-sec.stackexchange.cloudflare-ipfs.com/chinese/A/question/14592.html

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jjprvt

木 means wood. and even if you want to say there are six birds on the log, you would say 木头上有六只鸟。

June 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Imnuts7

Don't get confused with Japanese.

July 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/wbeeman

What is the function of 只 in this sentence? Is it a counter for "birds?"

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/yarrite

yes, and it can be used as a counting word for other animals such as 猫 and 狗 as well!

June 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/bbrighi

Also in italian: the birds are on the tree (not inside)

October 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Don2xu

In chinese, we'd directly translate to: "The tree has 6 birds"

November 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LlamaScota

It would be "The top of the tree has six birds"

December 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ollo212321

Where are the birds now? On the tree ir in the tree? This very cinfusung when sometimes exact translation is required and sometimes not. Too ambiguous for my taste.

January 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/tmjmt

If we go with the English preposition of 'in' being correct, then 'In the tree are six birds' should also suffice.

January 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Karoliina765050

'In the tree there are six birds.'

March 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Microphone13

上 means "top, on top of, etc."

February 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/phil971928

I got the answer correct but can someone please explain why the sentence doesn't start with 在

November 22, 2018
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