Translation:Hello! My last name is Li.
@HenriVickers @adurkin88 @Ellis930361 @ Alex171705
Since 姓 means surname or family name or last name, the answer must be "My surname is Li" "My name is..." is not correct.
Yes, it is traditional for Chinese to ask for each others surname, as in "你貴姓？“ - ni gui xing? meaning "What is your surname?". And the answer would be (in this case) "我姓李".
Yes and/or no, depending on whether you are from the "translate the meaning" school of thought or the "translate as literally as possible" school of thought.
If you are from the former then, "I am Mr. Li" is fine and if the latter then, probably "I am surnamed Li" will suit you better. Duolingo should have both in the answers list so that everyone is happy.
We English speakers who are learning Mandarin in this case. The question is trying to verify that you understand what the sentence means in English so the English version should be something that is normally spoken in English not some literal translation of the Chinese words. Only non native english speakers talk like that.
I've found it's actually a helpful way to learn language, being able to translate word for word as well as into the nearest colloquial English phrase, because the literal translation shows an insight into the culture itself. The way it does here in Mandarin, with the different order of family versus given names.
Exactly! I am learning Hebrew alongside Greek and German and I'll just give two examples from Hebrew to illustrate your point.
"Shalom" is translated as "hello" but knowing that the word literally means "peace" gives us an invaluable insight into the mindset of the Hebrew people.
Similarly, "Welcome!" (when someone appears at your door) is "Baruch Habah" but just knowing that the four syllables of seemingly random sounds mean "Welcome" is most unsatisfying. To know that they literally mean "Blessings (baruch) on the one (ha) who comes (bah) (to my house)" is so enriching.
Dennis385858 - From my limited store of these languages, "shalom" for Hebrew equals "salaam" for Arabic, right? Same meaning, similar pronunciation, usage, and irony?
There's a saying in Visayan (which fingers crossed I've translated correctly) - "ang sabaw (the soup) nga init (that is hot) sa tiyan (at the stomach) manggunit (does hold)" sounds better as "hot soup sticks to your ribs."
In your example of "blessings" used to welcome a visitor, it's more difficult for me to find a link - I'm guessing it's the hospitality idea of offering the best to a guest, but that feels like a stretch.
Straying from the point of this thread here, but situations like these are why I enjoy looking at the colloquial and literal translations from one language to another - it's a clearer look at the different priorities around a common idea.
Don't know why DLDesktop hasn't got a Reply option on your comment, so I'm using the one on mine.
@GhappynowappT Since I cannot reply to your latest reply, I will do it here.
You can google translate the phrase word by word (just copy and paste from here. ברוך means "blessed". בא means "comes". In Hebrew the definite article "the" is actually a prefix so ה is prefixed to the word for "comes".
Literally it means "Blessed be the one who comes",
The literal meanings for "Welcome" and "Hello" are given by other users like us on the discussion forum and not in the notes. But they are a great help to learning and especially remembering the new language we are learning.
And yes from what I know "Shalom" is similar to the Arabic "Saalam" which I think means "peace" too.
Its the same in English. If I am in a formal situation and I ask someone "who is this" they would introduce him as Mr "XXX". They would never introduce him by saying this mans surname is "XXX". Translating languages word for word is not the correct solution. In English we use Mr or Mrs or MIss to denote that it is the surname, not the word surname.
Hello, My last name is Li is normal English. It may be the way Chinese people speak english but it is not how English people speak. I would say Hello. I am Dennis, or I am Dennis Stevens or I am Mr Stevens. I would never say my surname is Stevens. Only when filling in a form where it asks for Surname and Family name is that expression used. We understand it is required when you speak in Chinese but when you translate it back to english it is not spoken that way. When we say Mr. Li that implies that it is his Surname. If we say just Li that would imply it is his first name.
It depends on how closely something is related to or how many "的"s are there. For example, "我的车" (wode che/my car) vs "我爸爸" (wo baba/my father). From what i can remember,it's completely acceptable to drop the "的" since something more closely tied to you. Probably a poor explanation,but it's along those lines i believe.