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  5. "请问,你是李老师吗?"

"请问,你是李老师吗?"

Translation:Excuse me, are you Teacher Li?

November 18, 2017

67 Comments


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/QianYanWanYu

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/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/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/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/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/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/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/weirdnerdykid123

    this should be accepted.


    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/_.-Merritt-._

    But only in Chinese English. Canadian English it just sounds weird. :/


    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/Rk5I3

    I chose "季老師是 ni ma" because I thought he was looking for Teacher Li. I think it should be accepted since "Is Teacher Li you?" is not a good sentence in English but I think it's good in Chinese.


    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?


    [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/_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?”.


      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/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/Iaptbal

      Hi Dave: same problem here: not accepted: 请问, 你是李老师 吗? My suspicion vacillates between incompetency and punctuation nazis having overtaken duolingo. For most languages duolingo is OK, but for Chinese I am looking at alternatives.


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

      You would not say it that way in English


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adurkin88

      Professor Li is an accepted possible translation. That's not reflected in the responses for this one, but is earlier in the course. It needs to be consistent.


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

      Sadly, though, the Chinese words for professor and doctor (in the scholarly sense) are different from the Chinese for teacher.


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

      teacher and professor should be interchangeable


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

      as they are interchangeable in English?


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

      Generally not (although there could be regional variations). A teacher teaches elementary through to high school. A professor only teaches at university.


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

      Teacher Li is incorrect in English. "Teacher" is not the title for a teacher. Please accept Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr, etc.


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

      Actually, here in Singapore, it is quite common. My daughter addredsses her teachers as "Teacher Vicky" etc.


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

      You are correct. We (native speakers) would never say Teacher Jones, or Teacher Smith. It's absolutely bonkers!! Even Master or Madam is better. If Li was teaching in Britain, Australia, USA, Canada (Anglo) with the exception of Dr, standard gender and/or martial status titles would apply.


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

      @Reuben - it's absolute bonkers because the language refuses to evolve. Judge Li, President Li, Detective Li etc don't feel like bonkers, do they? Besides, asking someone "Are you Mr. Li?" is merely enquiring about their name. Not profession. Which the Chinese sentence accomplishes beautifully.


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

      In Japanese ,we say "Li sensei". But in this sentence, "Mr. Li" or "Ms. Li" is right,I think.


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

      Who on Earth teacher Li?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/veronicava22

      Your avatar is sans, my son loves undertale, I think the game name was undertale.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/veronicava22

      You guys should buy my son's book, it is in spanish but it is really good, the book is called Max Stone el despertar de los zombies.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/v4b3n3

      Please and pardon are used the same! :(


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

      You cannot really use "please" here. "Pardon" may be acceptable and "excuse me" would be best.


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

      Please and Pardon are the same, c'mooon. Let me have this duo!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Firey_B.F.B

      YOU ARE and ARE YOU is the same


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

      Whats up with teacher li


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abby777486

      I do not know what is wrong


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abby777486

      well are you? ARE YOU?!?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/weirdnerdykid123

      li teacher should be accepted


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/veronicava22

      No, it shouldn't.

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