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  5. "这些船很高。"


Translation:These boats are tall.

December 22, 2017



The words tall and high are not generally used with ships or boats (I’m speaking about British English) except in rather special contexts: 1) traditional sailing vessels, in particular historic sailing vessels, are referred to as “tall ships”. “Tall” here refers to their having masts, holding sails. They may not actually be terribly high, and they do not have to be square rigged. 2) The word “high” is used only when a merchant ship Is unladen and so is floating “high in the water”. The word high is only used as part of that phrase. Generally a large ship is simply referred to as “big”. To refer to the height of a ship, amongst mariners the technical term used is “air draught”, meaning the distance between the waterline and the highest point of the vessel. Just speaking about “height” would be unhelpful. It is really only necessary when going under a bridge or a crane, and will vary according to the salinity of the water and the loading of the ship. I don’t think this Chinese phrase means “that is a tall ship”, meaning a historic sailing vessel. So it is just not a phrase which would ever be heard in British English.
An alternative, which could be described as tall, and which has been covered so far in the course, is: people (“these people are tall”). That is a phrase which could be used in British English.


Thank you for the long explanation. However this is a Chinese not an English course. Being stubborn about translations is not really a good way to learn a language, as translations are not a good way to learn a language in the first place. I can tell, because I did not translate these words from my mother tongue into English.


When this is a Chinese and not an English course, why do I keep losing points more for wrong English sentences than for mistakes of my Chinese???


English translations are supposed to describe the meaning of chinese words and sentences. If they're wrong, there's no way we can get the true meaning of the chinese words.


Very odd phrase in English


Tall (masted) ships maybe?


What is a tall boat? How would you describe one of those massive container ships that are big in every dimension?

[deactivated user]

    A Tall Ship is a large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessel. Like a Pirate ship. Tall ship rigs include topsail schooners, brigantines, brigs and barques. But I've never heard of a Tall boat?


    Just tall? Why not big?


    大 = big, large, 高 = tall, high.


    Why not high? Is it stable phrase?


    I think "high" is probably a better fit here; in English "tall ship" has a specific meaning (see above) but the Chinese doesn't really mean this. The only context I can think of where we'd say "these boats are high (tall)" would be if we were talking about whether they'd fit under some structure; "These boats are (too) high, you won't be able to take them under an overpass / bridge / etc." Otherwise we'd say "big", but that's different than 高; just because we'd use a different descriptor doesn't mean that's how it should be translated.


    Why does "This boat is very tall" not work here? Does 些 always indicate plurality?


    In English no one says a boat is 'tall'. maybe a ship as in 'tall ships'


    “These SHIPS are tall”= Accepted Nov. 15, 2019, 06.35


    This sentence is not "These are tall ships". Nothing wrong with it in my opinion. Also, understand that this is probably the way someone might describe a boat in Chinese.

    It's also a perfectly understandable sentence if one has to climb all the way to the top of the mast on a boat. ("Damn, these boats are tall." Think Assassin's Creed.)


    “These SHIPS are tall”= Accepted Nov. 15, 2019, 06.35


    Terrible sentence


    Perhaps it would be better 这些船很大 and not 高 for a boat?


    Sometimes concepts like "big" or "tall" cannot be translated directly. I'm not sure if this is the case with this translation but there are other examples where 高 is used and it may not make much sense if translated as "tall".


    I don't know much about Chinese yet, but in Japanese it would mean 'these ships are expensive'. This could be an acceptable phrase in Engish, while refering to ships as 'tall' in English is a very rare occasion which I doubt should be covered by Duolingo. So my guess is we are witnessing a sloppy work of the translators who either messed tall with big (which is somewhat ok) or tall with expensive (which is not ok at all).


    "...really tall." marked as incorrect again. In the US, "really" and "very" are synonymous when expressing opinions with an emotional shade.


    很 doesn't always mean "very."


    Agreed. Works in British English too. Did you click the “should be accepted” button?


    It shouldn't be accepted as 很 doesn't mean 'very'. It's the same discussion every single time the word 很 is used. So when 很 comes up again, just click on 'comments' and learn more. I promise it'll be there.


    I've been studying Chinese for 5 years now. On the very first day my class was taught that 很 means 'very'

    admitedly 很, in this context, can be either a copula OR very.

    Though in certain contexts, it is can only be interprated in one of those ways, since no context is given, 很 can be interperated in either way.




    This makes no sense at all in English

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