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  5. "李先生,这是王小姐。"


Translation:Mr. Li, this is Miss Wang.

February 11, 2018



'In mainland China, 小姐 is less used to mean “young lady” because the meaning “prostitute” took over the original meaning; 女士 (nǚshì) is used instead. ' - wiktionary


Looks like Duolingo wants us to get in trouble.


Would it be considered offensive even if it is used together with a proper last name?


It won't accept Ms Li only Miss li


It should always accept both "Lee" and "Li" for the surname 李.


Why should it accept an Englishization of the Chinese?


Because there are people with Anglicized Chinese names. Quite a lot of them actually. Jet Li is Li. Bruce Lee is Lee. Lee and Li are both Anglicizations of Chinese. Pinyin became official for Mandarin generations after many Chinese families moved to other countries.


But that misses the point, and is Anglocentric besides. The point is Duo is teaching Chinese characters, and 李 is lǐ, not lee.


But 李 isn't lǐ or lee, it's actually... well... just 李. Pinyin is a Romanization of a written language that existed for thousands of years prior without it. It is Western-centric by nature and has had multiple different attempts that have resulted in different spelling variation (which is why Hong Kong is Hong Kong instead of Xiang Gang) . If we wanted to be learning a phonetic system closer to original Chinese script we should be learning the bopomofo alphabet, but that's not what the party pursued during the language reforms in the 50's.

Duolingo choosing to accept Li and Lee interchangeably is not Anglocentric because really Duolingo choosing to accept either Li or Lee is Anglo/western centric.

I think Hippietrail's argument is born out answering the sentence problems, and since many Chinese people chose to Anglicize their names in different ways, there is now a many-to-one relationship between 李 and {Li, Lee} when used as Surnames. These should be accepted either way for a surname.

Dr_Jerry's focus is on what should be taught since it isn't efficient to learn multiple systems of pinyin simultaneously, which is correct as well. Which is why Duolingo should be consistent when it teaches Hanyu Pinyin and should always display or teach 李 as lǐ. It also probably shouldn't accept alternative pinyin variants for anything other than names, since that would be really difficult to maintain and do text validation at scale.


I got many of the names wrong because of auto correct.

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