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  5. "我学中文学了一年了,还是菜鸟。"


Translation:I have been learning Chinese for a year, I'm still a beginner.

November 25, 2017



"I've studied chinese for a year. I'm still a beginner" was rejected but I think it's ok


Please report it next go round if you haven't already done so! With Mandarin being in the beta phase, the more suggestions now, the better the course will be in the future. :)


my understanding is that this isn't accepted because it could be implied that the studying was done in the past and isn't current


Not exactly. 'I studied for a year' is in the past and not current. 'I've studied for a year' always implies up to now, hence it's current. 'I've studied', 'I've been studying' and 'I've been learning' should all be accepted.


So long sentence should be more "flexible" for possible translations.


In case it isn't clear, the Chinese translates literally to "I learn Chinese— learned one year as of now. Still am a beginner."

Two "了" characters in a clause means "up until now" per https://eastasiastudent.net/china/mandarin/four-kinds-le/#verb-%E4%BA%86-and-sentence-%E4%BA%86-together.


The site below says 了...了 is for something that starts in the past and continues in the present. In English, "up until now" can often imply a change of behavior and not a continuation.

I have been a good student up until now.
Up until now, I was a meat eater.

I don't think "up until now" is the best way to express an ongoing activity.



Thanks Patrick for the hints

  • 1266

since this skill is internet slang, "noob" would be better than beginner.


I think "newbie" is the optimal word. The contributors should also accept "n00b", "n00blet", and "nooblet" if they're feeling adventurous. :p


lol wow, thanks for those


I really don't think teaching this slang helps at this level. We have not even learnt the standard word for beginner yet.


Anybody know the origin of this term for "beginner?" Like, why "food bird?"


元々台湾で「菜鳥」は鳩の雛鳥の意味です。 つまりまだ飛べないので、新米、初心者の意味になります。 I found this explanation at https://q.hatena.ne.jp/1315476725 It says "Originally in Taiwan, vegetable bird means pigeon chicks. In other words, it can't fly yet. So it means novices and/or beginners."


I don't like the way Duolingo puts more than one character on a tile especially in this question. Why is one tile 我学 the next one is just 中 and then comes 文学 . This just doesn't make sense. I wish there was an option in settings to make each tile only one character to make it somewhat more of a challenge. Sometimes I get the right tile by only recognising one character out of three!

  • 1614

"i have been learning chinese for a year and i am still a beginner" why it is incorrect?


That should be fine.


That's what I put but I omitted the second "I". Marked incorrect :(


Yes. Chinese, along with Japanese, Korean, and Arabic, is classified as a very hard language for English-speakers to learn. For comparison, moderately hard languages include Vietnamese, Hindi, Russian, Greek, and Finnish; while easy languages include Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, and German.


Who ever wrote that did not know Vietnamese! It is way harder than Chinese.


I agree, this makes me wonder about other languages in the region such as Cambodian, Burmese, Lao; I think the clincher is the different "alphabets", as it were.


Yeah, I honestly think this assessment is due to Westerner's intimidation of the characters. Personally, I've had a WAYYY easier time learning Chinese than Spanish. I get so tangled up in verb tenses, reflexive verbs, irregular verbs etc. in Spanish. Chinese feels easy in comparison.


For me Spanish is way way easier than Chinese, though my Duolingo level is a good bit higher for Chinese. In Chinese I can kinda start a basic conversation with a local but can't get far. In Spanish I can talk for hours on random topics with locals, though I stil make lots of mistakes and get lost watching a movie, reading a book, or among a group of locals talking fast. I can't even read a page of a kid's book in Chinese yet.


I've dabbled in Vietnamese, Khmer, Lao, and Thai in my travels, but not Burmese. Khmer is hardest for reading and writing and pronunciation is tricky but there's no tones. It's fun to learn but there's few resources. Thai writing is a bit less tricky to read and write, except how the tones are encoded in the spelling. It does has tones and I find it really fun to learn. It feels easier than Chinese but I'm having trouble getting it as good as my Chinese. Lao is more straightforward to read and write than Thai but there's almost no resources to help learn the tones properly. Vietnamese is the hardest to learn to pronounce for me out of all of them. Luckily the writing is the easiest, but not 100% straightforward. Many locals are really good at teaching it though, which helps a lot.


If you are going to a contemporary word like “otaku” to translate 宅男, the certainly the same can be done for 菜鸟. Beginner is not slang at all and so I think inappropriate for the translation. Any of the following would be suitable: newbie, greenhorn, rookie, tenderfoot


I have been studying Chinese for one year, but I am still a beginner. (need a coordinating conjunction joining the clauses or separate sentences)


It's definitely more correct in the grammatical sense; there is no "but" in the Chinese sentence though (which would be 但是 or 可是).

The comma should be changed into a period in the English sentence. (Of course Duo ignores punctuation, though.)


Apparently a word that means "food" or "cuisine", combined with a word that means "bird" or "duck" makes the word "beginner". Can somebody explain how that became a thing?


That's language. If this course explained the etymology of every Chinese character you'd still be reading the explanations. Do you ever consider why 'auto crime' means damaging cars and not self-harm?


Those combined blocks are so annoying...


"I have learned Chinese for a year, I'm still a beginner" is correct, right? I know the double 了 changes the meaning to be more of a "I am doing this currently and in the past" type of phrasing... but does translating without the -ing still work?


了……了here means "I have been learning for such and such a time", "I have learned" could mean not currently learning and can be translated as 我已经(学了一年的华语), but I guess it still works


Note that "学了一年了" gives specific information about the person's current state with learning Chinese which also tells us about when it started, but the accepted translation doesn't make that clear enough.

A more accurate translation would be: "I have been learning Chinese for a year _(already|up until now). I'm still a beginner"


Interesting, I never think the Chinese grammar is so inflexible like that. For me, I don't see tense hint between 學一年、學一年了、學了一年、學了一年了. Well, it emphasizes different part, I reckon. 學一年了 sounds you're talking the period you're learning so far. 學了一年 sounds saying "learning" this matter.

So in conclusion, I reckon Chinese tense is not so important, well, not the point we focus. Still should find the keyword. In this sentence, the keyword is 菜鳥. I'm still a rookie (definitely wrong translation as "beginner"), showing you're still learning. That's why using "have been learing" instead of "have learnt".


Why do we need two 学's here?


When a Chinese verb is done for a certain amount of time, the time or duration goes after the verb.

However, when an object/noun (i.e. 中文) is used after the verb, the verb must be repeated a second time before using the first 了. The verb needs to be directly next to the 了.

我学了一年了 = I've been learning for one year.

我学中文学了一年了 - I've been learning Chinese for one year.

我学中文了一年了 X - wrong


In oral expressions the first "学" can be omitted


Interesting translation...also has a similar meaning, although spring chicken has a positive connotation rather than a negative one

[deactivated user]

    Bird in a dish?

    [deactivated user]

      Or a baby bird in a plant/nest?


      I have been learning chinese for more than a year, but this question makes me feel like a beginner... Duo, please expand your database of accepted answers!


      Your hints say 'Chinese literature', which you then grade 'wrong'. Why?


      "I have been learning Chinese for a year. I still am a beginner" is correct but was not accepted. Please fix!!)


      Could anyone help me understand what it would mean if we removed one 了? 我学中文学一年了 or 我学中文学了一年


      i have been learning chinese literature for a year i am still a beginner... should be accepted...学中文学 this is literature...学中文 and this is chinese... there is a mistake here


      Is it me or is it the getting the sentence wrong effect played twice in this sentence's audio that is a bit unnerving?


      Correct punctuation would have a period after year, or at least a semi-colon. Otherwise, it is a run-on sentence.


      There are different ways of translating the chinese sentence. Doulingo only accept one way, which is quite annoying.


      I can't see three of the answer choices so it's marked incorrect.


      "I have been studying Chinese for one year"... should also be considered as correct.


      Does 'zhong wen' mean only Mandarin or does it cover every Chinese language, please?


      This sentence reminds me of 得. (: "我学中文学得很慢。"

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