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Fenton Benton 麻雀虽小,五脏俱全!
How do we say "意思" in English?

I ran across a Chinese dialogue yesterday, which was so funny that I couldn't hold back my laughter. This dialogue is well written and "意思" is used in every sentence they've said. So I added serveral of my own sentences in this dialogue to make it funnier and more meaningful before sharing with your guys.

 

The most important thing is that in every dialogue sentence in the dialogue is commonly used in our daily conversations. And 意思 has almost 10 different meanings in this short dialogue, which looks simple but it is hard for us to translate it without losing all of its original meaning and flavor. I have to say there's much more to in the dialogue than meets the eye. it is not all looks, no without substance:)

 

“科长阿呆上领导家拜年,呈上红包时,

 

领导问:你这是什么意思?

阿呆:没什么意思,只是意思意思!

领导:都在一个单位的,你这样就不够意思了。

阿呆:承蒙您关照,真的是点小意思。

领导:哈哈!你这个人真有意思。

阿呆:其实真没别的意思!

领导:那我就不好意思了。

阿呆:应该的,大家都感觉到您有升迁的意思。

领导:最近看大家的意思,你们都知道上面的意思了。

阿呆:大家的意思是希望您以后多多关照我们。

领导:明白你们的意思。

 

Your informal writing is better. You wrote it with your heart and so the expressions are more natural.  Good work.  You should write more like this.  I shall try my hand at your translation later :)

 

A literal translation would destroyed the conversation. Such preservation is a must.

 

领导问:你这是什么意思?

Leader: Eh? What's the meaning of this?

阿呆:没什么意思,只是意思意思!

Idiot: Nothing, just a little something!

领导:都在一个单位的,你这样就不够意思了。

We both share the same desk, you are way too much :)

阿呆:承蒙您关照,真的是点小意思。

Thanks for looking after us.  Here's a little token of our esteem.

领导:哈哈!你这个人真有意思。

Haha... You are really something.

阿呆:其实真没别的意思!

Actually, there's no such intention!

领导:那我就不好意思了。

Then I really have to thank you for this.

阿呆:应该的,大家都感觉到您有升迁的意思。

It should be.  We felt that you deserve the promotion.

领导:最近看大家的意思,你们都知道上面的意思了。

On seeing the recent support from you guys, I understand your gesture.

阿呆:大家的意思是希望您以后多多关照我们。

We hope that you will take us under your wing.

领导:明白你们的意思。

I DO understand you.

Sep 8, 2012 1:12 AM
Comments · 9

我看出来了,小麻雀对Joa有点意思

就不知道Joa有没有那个意思了。Smile

 

开个玩笑。

September 13, 2012

You can write an article using the various meanings of "run".

http://www.italki.com/notebook/entry/241810.htm

 

If you can access youtube, they have a video of the various meanings of the F word.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka_wQEqTQII

September 12, 2012

难道中文是最难学的嘛?谁能给出一个英文中类似的段子?

September 12, 2012

领导:那我就不好意思了。

It makes me feel embarrassed.

阿呆:应该的,大家都感觉到您有升迁的意思。

You deserve it, and everyone feels that you're probably going to be promoted.

领导:最近看大家的意思,你们都知道上面的意思了。

As it seems, you guys picked up on signals from above.

阿呆:大家的意思是希望您以后多多关照我们。

Everybody wants you to treat us with more care.

领导:明白你们的意思。

I understand what you're getting at.

September 9, 2012

领导问:你这是什么意思?

What's this for? 

阿呆:没什么意思,只是意思意思!

Nothing, it's not worth mentioning. 

领导:都在一个单位的,你这样就不够意思了。

We work together, you put me in an awkward position by doing so

阿呆:承蒙您关照,真的是点小意思。

This is just a small token of my appreciation for your kindness. 

领导:哈哈!你这个人真有意思。

Haha..You're interesting. 

阿呆:其实真没别的意思!

Don't think too much into it, it's just a small appreciation gift. 

September 9, 2012
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Fenton Benton 麻雀虽小,五脏俱全!
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English