"请问,你是李老师吗?"

Translation:Excuse me, are you Teacher Li?

November 18, 2017

42 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ericspanner

Traditional Chinese: 請問,你是李老師嗎?

請問here literally means "may I ask". Excuse me in this translation showing politely, but the meaning of ask is not shown in this text.


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

I learnt traditional chinese too but I think people here to learn chinese have enough to do with the simplified logograms ;-)
My daughter has chinese course in her school. Of course, I would like her to know the traditional writing but I m happy if she only knows the simplified one because she's been making great effort to memorize and mostly she writes with pinyin.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pablito117770

Thanks for the traditional !


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

I know that 老师 is teacher of course. But I think it's just too unnatural to say "Teacher Li" in English, and it should really just be translated as "Mr. Li" because it's just a distinction that English doesn't make.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joseph102069

I think this kind of thing is a constant difficulty in translation: is it supposed to be the meaning as it would be expressed in the translated language that is being given, or is the translation a hybrid of meaning plus a somewhat literally translated string of words?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rk5I3

Then it should also be translated to Ms. Li and Mrs. Li too. How do you know Teacher Li is male?


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

Chinese is notoriously short of surnames, so there is a tendency, I believe, to refer to people by their profession or some other characteristic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_.-Merritt-._

It's true, and I think that too. Buuuuut, I've seen this a lot is comment sections saying that duo is just using their country's language. But just hover your mouse or tap your finger on a word that you're not sure, and it will tell you the English translation of it. If you're just not sure. I usually hover my mouse over words like teacher, doctor, men, women and so on. So if you're ever having trouble, just tap of hover over the word! :D


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

@duovivo - Elizabeth Li and millions of female teachers would take serious offence at your translation, I'm sure. And what is also interesting is that English does naturally allow Dr. Li, Judge Li, Professor Li, Inspector Li, Detective Li, President Li and so on, but discriminates against teachers for some reason.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pallas12

I completely agree with this, it shouldn’t be teacher li as it isn’t natural. Professor li as stated below would be much more appropriate I believe.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vangard123

how do you know it is a sir


[deactivated user]

    Well, it does distinguish between an ordinary Mr Li as opposed to Teacher Li. Li is a common Chinese last name and maybe adding 'Teacher' helps others understand what Teacher Li's job is. Hope this helps. Ambereen


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wiki.on.kiwi

    In chinese community, we use "surname+(job, seniority or other)position" to call someone with respect. Sir is not used because it will translate to 先生 in chinese, which didn't mention his position as teacher. If you call someone 先生, it is in the situation when you don't know much about him, like stranger.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noriko863898

    I wrote "Lee" instead of "Li" and got it incorrect. In previous questions, I always wrote "Lee' and I got them right. No more Lee spelling but should be "Li"?


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

    This course is taught in pinyin, so it should be Li. Lee is a common spelling in Korean and Cantonese. Other countries, such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan dont use pinyin (hence Bruce Lee (李), whose parents were from Hong Kong and spoke Cantonese)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

    You would not say it that way in English


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheImmorta1

    I used Lee instead of Li, and was marked incorrect. I know the latter is more common, but in Hong Kong, Lee is used more than Li... Please fix this. Thank You


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

    Hong Kong doesnt use pinyin. But this course does. If you want to spell it Lee, you should learn Cantonese


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

    Do you know any Cantonese course? I'm interested but can't find any.


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

    I do not know of a DuoLingo Cantonese course, but Mango, Pimsleur, and others offer Cantonese courses. Good luck. Much of the grammar and writing is the same as Mandarin, but of course, the pronunciation is different.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/esraa373562

    it right to say ...... excuse me , are you Li teacher ?


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

    In English, title comes before name. Many here say that "Teacher Li" sounds awkward in English, but we are here to learn Mandarin, in which 李老师 is, indeed, the correct order. In English, titles precede names: Mr. Li, Professor Li, Miss Li, Sir Lancelot, Officer Cresap, President Sanders, Captain Crunch, Queen Bee, King Kong, and so forth.

    If it helps, think of it as "Li, Ph.D.," "Julius Hibbert, MD," or "Magnum, PI."


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

    I typed in: 请问, 你是李老师吗?But I was marked incorrect.

    Why? The only difference I can see is maybe an extra space between the two phrases.

    Is that really enough to be marked wrong? What is wrong with this course?


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

    This reminds me of Chinese class: 李老师,请问我可以去厕所吗?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rajul285485

    Teacher deserves nin


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

    特别如果李老师是你的老师,可是我们不知道是谁问这个问题。可能李老师的老板问,或者李老师的同志,或者一位警察。

    Especially if Li is your teacher, but we do not know who is asking the question; maybe, Li's boss (the Principal) is asking, or Li's coworker (perhaps another teacher senior to Li), or a police officer. I think it's fine to use "nin" rather than "ni" here, but "ni" is acceptable, depending on the context.


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

    The recording kind of omits the final consonant in 请问 to make "qing weh" instead of "qing wen"; is this normal or just an inaccurate recording?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wayne417741

    Is "please may i ask ..." correct?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YuJin382387

    why not excuse me BUT are you teacher Li?


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

    I'm pretty sure it's because the sentence never really put the word/phrase for "but", aka "但是“. It says "请问,你是李老师吗?“ which translates to "may I ask, are you teacher Li?" but if you want to add in the "but", I think it would be better to add in "但是“, creating the sentence "请问,但是你是李老师吗?”.


    [deactivated user]

      Maybe because Chinese places words in a different order than English, so this may be a strange context and make the comment a bit harder to understand.


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

      Is please can I ask not an appropriate trnaslation for 请问?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/learnchin4dramas

      i had: excuse me, are u teacher li. thats very frustrating, because it was wrong. I guess its my mistake


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

      S gr8 tat u wrt are stead of r; excuse stead of xcus; n teacher stead of tch.

      xcus me, r u tch li snds mch mre cmpct. Innit?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A.YAY-16

      I spelled "excuse" wrong and it was wrong! come on!!!


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

      @A.YAY-16: Try again. Hopefully you can spill it right in the seconds attempt.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chicken16384

      I wrote "Excuse me, are you Li Laoshi?" I think that this would be correct because it would sound too unnatural to say "Teacher Li", and "Mr. Li" would be too generic; You have to specify what the person's occupation is in Chinese. Also, 李老师 could be a woman or a man, and the gender isn‘t stated. I think that the best way to write it would be to put in the 拼音 for 老师.


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

      Maybe you should have written “qing wen, ni shi Li lao shi ma"

      If the recipient of your response is expected to understand what you mean by "lao shi" then s/he can very well understand "qing wen" and the rest of it too... Just saying :-).


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chicken16384

      Thanks, that makes sense. It would still sound weird to say "Teacher Li" though...


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AxelMathew77

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