"请看一下菜单。"

Translation:Please take a look at the menu.

November 21, 2017

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/beaudanner

Please look at the menu is wrong huh??.

(dear literally everyone: don't feel bad. Even a native speaker couldn't pass their proficiency tests.)

November 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/adonaia

That was my first thought too, but after considering it, "看一下" is idiomatic. So it's not just "to look" but "to have a look," "to take a look," "keep an eye" on something, etc. Duolingo should maybe explain better that this matches the English idiom?

November 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jotape561345

Is there really a substantial difference between "to look at the menu" and "to take a look at menu" ?

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

If we want to give effect to the idiom presented in Chinese, it makes sense for us to recognize the construction "看一下" with an English idiom that's similar in tone and effect. Sure, "take/have a look at the menu" essentially means "look at the menu", but the latter is a bare imperative, and the former is modulated in tone and effect similarly to the Chinese expression.

It's not an exact science, and each sentence needs to be evaluated on its own terms, but since, in this case, the Chinese doesn't say "请看菜单", and English has a structure that can give effect to what it does say, it's logical that the English shouldn't say merely "please look at the menu".

It's wonderful that all of these native speakers of English are weighing in on whether "please look at the menu" is a correct English sentence (as if there were any doubt), and whether the meaning is basically the same, but again, some consideration of the entirety of the words in the Chinese sentence, and of the fuller exercise of learning and translation here on Duolingo, is part of the process as well.

March 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DaveLommen

"Look at the menu" is rude. It is, like, "How can you order that? Can't you see for yourself we don't have it?" Whereas: "Take a look at the menu" suggests: "Take your time. Read the whole menu if you wish; then decide."

February 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/cazort

It's subtle, but I do think there is a difference. "Take a look at the menu." seems to imply looking at the menu for a certain duration of time, whereas "Look at the menu" could be briefer, like, just glancing at it. From explanations I've read of Chinese, I think "take a look" is a good idiomatic translation of "看一下", in this context, because both imply a certain (possibly brief) duration.

December 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisLons

I'm a native English speaker (Canadian) and I say there is not a substantial difference.

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonoboyle

no way, 一下 has no direct translation. it would be more accurate to add the polite; could you, not an auxiliary verb which turns the verb 看 into the english noun 'a look'

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/leowtyx

Correct,

"一下" implies the waiter is polite, just like you wouldn't say "read the menu!" or "look at the menu!".

But you would say "here's the menu~" or "just let me know when you're ready~"

January 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisLons

I believe the word "please" takes care of the politeness, not "take a look" vs "look" which are largely synonymous in English. At the very least, there is not a different level of politeness between the two.

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
  • 1502

If this is spoken by a waiter, then the translation should be “Here is the menu.” or “Please read the menu.”. Without this context, I think only “to take/have a look” is the correct (literal) translation.

December 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/incazelo

agree

December 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/GMQM7

You are right, my answer is also look at, and I'm a native speaker...

December 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/dorklord1

Please look at the menu should be accepted.

December 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/leowtyx

That would be literal translation, and in English that is rude for a waiter to say.

January 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Melarish

Is it still rude if he says "please"?

January 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/roman2095

Yes it still sounds rude because it sounds like you have to look at the menu to please the waiter, whereas "take a look at" still leaves you in control of things and so it is polite if said with the right tone.

September 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/papayaj

"Please look at the menu" is wrong? "Please take a look at the menu" is right?

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/leowtyx

One is polite and one is impolite.

January 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dennis385858

看 is also translated as "read" as in 看报纸 "to read a newspaper", so "Please read the menu" should be accepted as well but was marked wrong.

December 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Tony404013

"Please look at the menu" is a perfectly acceptable translation. Please update this question

January 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/yang711647

why is please look at the menu wrong

February 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/wbeeman

一 下 means "a bit, a little, some" but when this sentence was translated: Please look at the menu a bit, it was marked wrong.

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
  • 1502

No, 一下 means “one attempt, once”. “a bit, a little” is 一点. “some” is 一些.

March 17, 2018

[deactivated user]

    Take a Look? Read, scan, browse, peruse. Are you literally 'taking' anything? I never understood why people use this verb - like saying 'take a dump' you don't take it, you leave it. The use of 'take' here is confusing.

    June 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

    At its root it's a matter of taking the time and the opportunity, however brief, to do something. And yes, you're literally taking something, which I say advisedly in consideration of the fact that "take" has 84 definitions in its transitive use alone, as listed here: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/take.

    It has to be recognized that both "take a ..." and "... 一下" are idiomatic. The translation here isn't directly literal, but it's appropriate because it conveys a similar sense and tone.

    June 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/bill949306

    Pedantic

    January 1, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jonoboyle

    f*ck your american phrases. please look is perfect english

    December 28, 2017
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