"我想开始学功夫。"

Translation:I would like to start learning kung fu.

November 20, 2017

17 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/janette.yeung

"I want to start learning kung fu" should also be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LexaM33

Why does "I want to start to learn gong fu" not work?


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

Your verb and structure are fine, but "kung fu" is well established in English, rather than "gong fu".


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

I was under the impression that Chinese didn't use "kung fu" / "gong fu" to refer to the martial art as westerners do. I thought it meant something like mastery of any particular skill and that "wushu" was used for martial arts.

Or did Chinese also adapt the English meaning back and add it as another meaning of 功夫?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabrielle145359

When I was in China, the college martial arts clubs and competitions used 武术. However, a Chinese medicine doctor referred to the old Chinese man teaching her qigong and associated philosophy as her "gongfu teacher."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/frankduo99

I want to start studying Kungfu.


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

Yes except we normally write Kung Fu with a space in the middle.


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

Next phrase in the lesson is missing: "Patience, young grasshopper".


[deactivated user]

    My auto-"corrupt" has changed "kung" to "king" several times now. Grrrrr....


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

    Studying and learning are synonymous in English and chinese. It shouldn't be incorrect to use one over the other


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephanusG1

    Almost synonymous in meaning but not quite in usage. Compare: I have learnt French (it's completed, I know it all, I'm fluent) and I've studied French (I've had lessons but probably haven't mastered it.) Hence we can say 'I studied Chinese today' but it's nonsensical to say 'I learnt Chinese today' (a very common error amongst my Chinese students, by the way.) In this sentence both are possible though I would prefer 'study'.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen241623

    Based on the context, I tried using “martial arts” for 功夫 and was told I had misspelled “martial art”. Er, no, no I did not.

    But I have to say that I'm deeply puzzled by the question, and more so by the suggested translation. If I understand correctly, 功夫 as a term for martial arts in particular is a recent borrowing from the English “kung fu”, itself a borrowing from Cantonese, and it's hard to guess what it refers to since in English it seems to be more about cinematic conventions than real-world martial arts (actual martial arts practitioners using the names of their specific disciplines, or using “martial arts” as the general term).

    At the end of this game of cultural telephone, I'm not sure what to think. Does Duolingo imagine it's being kind to us by using a word that is somehow its own false friend?


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

    What we call "kung fu" in English would arguably more accurately be called be called "Chinese kung fu" if we were following Chinese usage, but "功夫" is synonymous with "中国功夫" insofar as we approach the matter from the perspective of China being the center of the world. It is "中国" after all.

    武术 (martial arts), as it's more conventionally and still most commonly called in Mandarin, is indeed also sometimes called "功夫" in that language, and undoubtedly moreso in contemporary times with the continuing influence of movies with a Hong Kong / Bruce Lee / Cantonese origin or lineage as you suggest, even down to Kung Fu Panda ("功夫熊猫" in Mandarin) and beyond.

    Focusing in on the meaning of the term "功夫" and the English borrowing "kung fu", these are much like "yoga", which is broader in its original Sanskrit meaning and encompasses internal and external components of self-mastery, even though many people, especially in the West and across the transliteration threshold, focus on (or only even know about) a narrow aspect or branch and don't think of it as much more than a series of body movements for physical health.


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

    This has so many possible correct translations. It's too strict


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

    Just remember to report any translation you think should be added to the database. They're working on it (slowly).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen241623

    [I mentioned this before but had a bee in my bonnet about something else and didn't explain clearly, sorry all] I wrote “… martial arts” and was ‘corrected’ to “martial art”. This is an error, both semantically and syntactically: the English term for the general field of study is “martial arts”, plural, and if the singular is intended (the speaker is pondering whether to study wing chun or tae kwon do, let's say) then an article is required: “I would like to start learning a martial art.”


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

    The big fat panda!!! Ha Ha

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