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  5. "小心!"

"小心!"

Translation:Watch out!

November 29, 2017

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/koolguy23

'Be careful' is better


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

Depends on context: if the floor is slippery then 小心=be careful. If it's a more urgent situation then 小心= watch out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CinnamonTe1

I agree. I think the exclamation point in the Chinese phrase gives it urgency and makes "watch out!" a good translation.


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

I agree that that would be a better default translation, even if "watch out" might be appropriate in certain situations.


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

Why is it made up of "small" and "heart"? Is there a story behind it?


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

I’d like to know too.

I know that Egyptian and subsequent Greek ideas involved the heart as the seat of intelligence ... so it would make sense that if you want to be aware of, or pay attention to, something you’d devote a little bit of your mind (located in your heart) to that thing - so ‘(focus a) small (bit of your) heart’ would make sense.

But I have no idea what Classical Chinese thinking was about where the seat of the mind would be.


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

The classical Chinese also saw the heart as the seat of the mind! I don't really know the origin of this phrase, but I imagine the meaning might be better understood as "be timid." Imagine being scared and timid and curling up (trying to make yourself smaller). I think the phrase "be careful" has something of that mindset.


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

From what I can tell, 小心 used to mean small-minded, worrisome, catious. So my guess is that it's like "use a small portion of your heart" and be reserved and catious, which evolved to mean being careful in general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vahagn196369

My guess is Too careful -> cowardly -> small hearted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hq4

look out! <-- should be accepted.


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

That's interesting. Can someone explain how "small heart" came to mean "be careful"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nao657961

To pay attention to even small things? Japanese 小心 means a coward, a chicken. Is this more reasonable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n7RD4

'Look out!' Or 'watch out!' are the same meaning


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adam670297

''Be ware'' should be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yves558328

"Attention" is refused !!!!!


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

“(请)注意”, “(请)关注一下“, or "立正!" would be closer translations, the last one specifically for standing at attention as in the army/P.E. class etc.


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

"take care" was rejected

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