How to say 'no' in this situation
As the father of a lovely young girl, I have found that many, many strangers in China think it is a normal thing to outstretch their arms and say, "Let me hold her." I respectfully do not want to let strangers hold my little girl. What is the best way to say no in this instance? I feel like 不可以 (you may not) is a bit stern for little old ladies, but perhaps I'm paying too much attention to the English translation. I can't say 不要 because they don't want to give me anything. Saying 别抱她 would certainly be too harsh. Perhaps a string of 不不不? Or 对不起 left with an implied no? What would Chinese say?
PS: I usually say my daughter cries when strangers hold her. This works, but I would like to know an honest method, if there is one.
bababardwanJune 20, 2011, 12:57 AM
there used to be an ad here on telly that went:
don't argue, don't argue, huttons footy franks are best.
..and the clip was of a rugby league guy with a ball in one hand and doing the palm off with the other hand, and this was continuously repeated in sync with "don't argue"
..so sometimes actions are better than words.
But seriously mate, this is an excellent question, and I'm interested in whatever good answers you get. But so far I like your duibuqi best..or maybe buhaoyisi would be more apt +/- excuse.
dui laoren guomin
dui whatever they're wearing guomin
dui xiangshui guomin
dui shenme guomin
just got her settled
you laduzi....but some determined ones may not be deterred by this
zhe tian outu hen duo ci...that might make 'em think twice
babyeggplantJune 25, 2011, 01:55 AM
I think saying something like ，“不好意思，这个宝宝很怕陌生人” is best. Even though you're not being completely truthful, I feel like "saving face" here is more important than being honest and flat out telling someone you don't want them to hold your baby.
同意。。很好的建议。 这个“陌生人”是很有趣。。。意思是stranger可是breakdown is "street born person". So I'm wondering if there is any offense in this word or if it is simply used how we'd use stranger in the sense of someone unknown to us?
Thanks for your suggestion. That's basically what I have been doing, but I was hoping for a truthful way of saying it, especially since sometimes it will obviously be a lie, as another habit is when Chinese like to touch my child's hands. My daughter clearly brightens up with the anticipation that someone will give her attention, so it would be obvious we are giving them a line. Perhaps there is no good line here. Many Chinese people don't seem to understand that if I let everyone touch my daughter's hands (and boy do a lot of people want to touch a mixed-blooded baby), the likelihood of some sort of infection dramatically increases. Thus, hurt feelings might be unavoidable. I'm sure they'll get over it :).
You're absolutely right. They'll be ok. Even though they know you are "lying," by putting all the blame on your darling baby, it allows both parties to save face and everyone makes it out ok in the end.
To be honest though, I'm pretty sure I'd want to hold your baby as well.