When direct translations don't work
I have a funny story. I have been living in Qingdao for 6 months now and I teach exercise classes. My chinese is not that great, but my classes are more visual, so everyone can follow.
Today, we were doing abdominal exercises and I wanted to tell the class to "pull in their stomaches". Well...la 拉 is pull and du zi 肚子 is stomache so....I said la du zi. The zi was no sooner out of the mouth then I realized what I had said. For once, tones did not matter, and everybody ting de dong!!!
wo bu hao yi si.
pretzellogicFebruary 14, 2011, 12:41 PM
That is a funny story. My funny Chinese story isn't that funny, but it turns out you don't say "my bike tire has a flat", you say, "my tire has no air". Trying to translate flat tire into Chinese just makes people laugh at you.