Translation:Excuse me, are you Teacher Li?
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.
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
@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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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？”.
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.
@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.