"他有橙色的嘴巴。"

Translation:He has an orange mouth.

February 19, 2018

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/cafe_disco

If an animal is anthropomorphized (like in a children's story, etc.), would the pronouns 他 and 她 be used? Or would only the pronoun 它 be used? (Or am I just overthinking this?)

May 28, 2018

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

Yeah, 他 and 她 can be used for this case, unless its gender is unknown. Is there a language which is strict about it?

May 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/cafe_disco

I've studied German, and in that language, every noun is assigned one of three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine, or neuter). As I understand it, this is true for each type of animal, regardless of the animal's physical gender. So, for example, the word for bird ("Vogel") is grammatically masculine, so it takes masculine pronouns, even if the specific bird that's being referred to is female. Don't quote me on that, but I'm almost 100% positive that's how it works. So, I was just wondering if that whole gender thing works in a similar way in Chinese with a human-animal distinction (In other words, whether an animal treated as a human would still take the animal pronoun 它, even though it's not really an animal).

Thanks for your help, by the way.

May 29, 2018

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

I see. There is no inflection and no declension about grammatical genders, grammatical numbers nor grammatical cases in Chinese.

May 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/cafe_disco

Cool, thanks again

May 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HoGHe5wo

A German here. We use the grammatical gender for animals whose gender we don't know or care about, however as soon as the animal is adressed by a proper name instead of its species the gender of the name will be used.

November 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ayvah01

Fortunately this is one of those areas where it seems to work like English. Not that any of that matters in spoken Mandarin when they're all homonyms.

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hippietrail

Shouldn't this really be "He has an orange beak"? Or does Chinese 嘴巴 mean both "mouth" and "beak"?

February 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/nitedemon

While I agree with Mr.rM that 喙 is much an accurate translation of beak, I do think that if previous context has established "He" as a bird, you could use 嘴巴 to mean beak here.

February 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/emma_lara_wen

Duo is not a person. So this should be translated as "It has an orange mouth/beak". for you have said before that Duo is a lovely owl. So it is an animal, not a person.

April 26, 2018

[deactivated user]

    In Chinese we do use he and she for an animal, though in English we don't.

    July 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/cafe_disco

    English is my native language, and I've heard animals called "he" and "she." That's usually the case when we're close to the animal (like, if they're our pet), or if we're personifying the animal in some way (again, like we often do with pets).

    July 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ayvah01

    English genders and Chinese genders are both used on a case by case basis. In both languages, it's weird to call an adult human an "it", and you'd call an inanimate object an "it" unless it's anthropomorphised.

    Beyond that, it's just a personal judgement call about how "human" or "alive" the thing is.

    October 22, 2018
    Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.