Community Web Version Now Available
Jing
Every week we chat to warm up her Chinese. Can we say warm up someone's language??
Jun 1, 2015 9:34 AM
9
0
Answers · 9
You can't 'warm up' a language in English. It's a nice idea, but we don't say it. We'd use 'practise', or say something like 'We chat every week to help her keep up her Chinese'. If you want an idiom, we could say, for example '...to stop her Chinese getting rusty.' If you don't use machinery, it goes rusty. It's the same with languages. We can also use the idiom 'brush up'. If you want to practise a language which you haven't used for a while, you can 'brush up your Chinese.' Like an old but serviceable coat that just needs a bit of TLC.
June 1, 2015
No it doesn't sound natural to me.
June 1, 2015
You can but it doesn't sound natural, I'm sure the meaning gets across though. Practice is more suitable but I don't think carries the same meaning you intend to.
June 1, 2015
Yes, that is exactly what I want to say. But this expression is just not suitable in writing
June 1, 2015
I think everyone knows what you mean, and I like the expression. Perhaps : Every week we chat in Chinese to get her warmed up [in speaking the language]. This implies [suggests] that you then continue with some activity involving speaking in Chinese.
June 1, 2015
Jing
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Spanish
Learning Language
English, Spanish