Category: Linguistics

“意思”的意思 English translation by YK Chan

原文:

某老外苦学汉语10年,到中国参加汉语考试。

试题之一:
请解释下文中每个“意思”的意思:

阿呆给领导送红包时,两个人的对话颇有意思。
领导:“你这是什么意思?”
阿呆:“没什么意思,意思意思而已。”
领导:“你这就不够意思了。”
阿呆:“小意思,小意思。”
领导:“你这人真有意思。”
阿呆:“其实也没有别的意思。”
领导:“那我就不好意思了。”
阿呆:“是我不好意思。”

这老外晕了,一头雾水。
中文的“意思”太深奥了,于是他交白卷回国。

English translation:

A certain non-Chinese fellow has been toiling hard to learn Chinese for 10 years. He finally goes to China to take a Chinese language exam.

Here’s one of the exam questions:

Explain the meaning of each of the term “yisi” in the passage below:

When Ya Dai is giving a government official a red package, their dialog is quite interesting.

Official (O): What’s your intention of this?
Dai: Nothing much. Just something meant for you.
O: This way, you don’t mean much.
Dai: Just a little something from the heart.
O: You really are meaningful.
Dai: It really does not mean much anything else.
O: Then, I don’t make much significance of taking it.
Dai: It’s me who is not meaning much.

The foreigner is totally confused and could not make head or tail of the conversation.
The meaning of “yisi” is too profound. He turns in a blank paper and returns home.

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