Translation:How do I get to the Chinese restaurant?
63 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
In case this is still unclear to you, "How to" is used for a title or in indirect statements, such as, "I don't know....how to (get there, do this, read this...)" "How to" can also be used in reported speech. (She told me how to do my homework).
But in the direct WH question form, it must be "How do you/I....?"
Chinese often doubles up a verb that describes a process with a verb-like word/phrase that describes the result (a 'resultative complement'). 到中国饭馆 is the result: arriving at the restaurant. 走 is the process: going (from where you are).
When 到 is the only verb in a sentence, it literally means getting your body to a place. When it is the complement, 'arrive/reach' can also be a metaphor:
go + reach = get to
delay + reach = be late
chase + reach = catch
search + reach = find
study + reach = learn
look + reach = see
listen + reach = hear
point + reach = point at, point out
work + reach = accomplish
到 can even be a (non-resultative) complement with the meaning 'until', which is another metaphor based on 'arrive', like English 'when the time comes'.
These metaphors make 到 work kind of like a preposition, instead of a verb. Maybe after hundreds of years, it will really be a preposition, with a very general meaning of 'to, up to, onto, into'. Right now it is in between.
到 (dào) has multiple meanings, such as the verb "to arrive" and also the preposition "to". In spoken Chinese, it is acceptable to omit any part of speech which is inferable in context, such as the context. So: whatever makes the most sense in your own brain, one can translate the sentence as "How do I (go/get) to/how do I arrive at the Chinese restaurant?" Hope this helps. It is frustrating.
To all discussions about the correctness of the "right English" translation, we know that in English an subject must be present in a sentence. In this case we translate the Chinese sentence that lacks the subject and this cauises the confusion that sparked the whole discussion.
"怎麼走到中國飯館?" is more natural sounding and would probably be easier to understand. but the bigger problem is 中國飯館...China restaurant? really? are you TRYING to be offensive? 中試飯館? 中餐館? 中試飯館? 中國 is the country so the only way this could make sense is if 中國飯館 is a restaurant in the People's Republic of China, which is technically a "Chinese restaurant" but not what "Chinese restaurant" means in US English.
Many Asian languages drop the pronouns regularly. But they are contextually present and are needed in English to make grammatical sense.
By the way, we sometimes drop the pronouns in English too. The best example is Thank you. It actually means "I thank you", isn't it?