"I am busy these days."


August 30, 2018

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Is anything wrong with 我最近很忙。?


It's fine. "最近" is "recently", so the more direct translation of your sentence is "I've been (very) busy recently", whereas the nuance of Duo's sentence is something like "this is a busy time for me".


This is better translated as "I am very busy during this time."


For some reason that doesn't sound very natural. "These days" is okay, but it sounds a little broad compared to the Chinese.

"This is a busy time for me" sounds okay. Otherwise, I'd want the period of time to be specified, e.g. "I'm very busy for the next couple of weeks" etc.


You're assuming that the speaker of the Chinese sentence is talking about recent days/weeks, which may be a valid interpretation of the sentence without context. To me, it actually sounds like the speaker is either responding to a question about his availability over a particular time or is pointing to a period of time on a calendar. Without this context, the Chinese sentence sounds unnatural to me.


In the context of referring to a future period, I think your suggestion would sound a little better with "that" instead of "this", and with the future tense: "I'll be very busy during that (period of) time". Same for a past period, but with the past tense.

Those would be my personal preferences, though I think "this" could still work in either scenario, and I think the present tense could also be used to refer to the near future.

As for the Chinese, I think it could refer to the past, present, or future (though for the past and future we might choose to use "那" instead of "这"), so there are a number of translation avenues. This is a sentence that's apparently pretty highly dependent on context indeed.


這段時間我很忙了 Why is this not ok?


Is it possible to use 时候 instead of 时间?


It sounds weird to me.

I'm struggling to describe the difference. Perhaps:

"时间" generally refers to a time period in its more durative or flowing aspect, e.g. the period of time spent on something or over which something is experienced (its measure word is "段", "segment"), and "时候" refers to time in its more discrete or punctual aspect, e.g. the point in time when a discrete event takes place, starts, or stops (its measure word is "个", "individual").

A way to think of it is "during this 时间", but "at this 时候". That may not always work in translation, but it summarizes the general idea. Also, "时间" is a commodity, something we can have, whereas "时候" is a position on a timeline.

If someone else can explain this better, I'm all ears.


时候 is usually tranlated into English as "when". It doesn't indicate a particular period of time. It refers to "when" something else happens.

It is used in "Subject+什么时候+X" to ask "At what time the subject does/is X." For example, 你什么时候上班? means "When do you go to work?"

It is also used to make a subordinate "when" clause: "X+的时候, + sentence" makes "When X occurs" the timeframe for the rest of the sentence. For example, 我是小孩子的时候,我喜欢看书。 means "When I was a young child, I liked to read."

时间 is time itself. It can refer to times such as today, one year, the past month, a long time, a short time, etc.


I think that 这几天 is also ok, isn't it


It's a possibility, but "these days" is typically used as a more general reference to the present, in contrast to some past time when things were different, and doesn't usually refer to a precise set of days in the way that "这几天" ("these few days") does.

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