Translating a shirt

July 24, 2014, 07:45 PM posted in I Have a Question

Hi again everyone,

At a blood drive I got a shirt that stated " I gave blood" in a few different languages. I looked forward to finally learning enough Chinese to translate my shirt. However, playing around with my dictionary and low level skills, whereas I might have thought it would be我给血  Wǒ gěi xuè    ,

it says:


我是献血者   Wǒ shì xiàn xiě zhě
doesn't that mean
 "I am a blood donor" instead?


Also, should there really be a measure word in there such as :


我是一个献血者   Wǒ shì yīgè xiàn xiě zhě
or is no measure word necessary?
Would saying " I gave blood " be an 
awkward way of saying it in Chinese
and that's why they put
 "I am a blood donor" instead?
(That is if I translated it correctly ).
I have attached an image of the shirt 
so you can see for yourself and let me
 know if I am even close in my


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July 25, 2014, 06:38 AM

I think 我是献血者 is more natural. 


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July 25, 2014, 08:14 AM

Thanks , Jenny. Is that what it means though? I am a blood donor?

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July 27, 2014, 01:32 PM


You nailed it. Yes, that's exactly what it says..." I am a blood donor" in traditional characters. Cool shirt btw.

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I'm curious what country you got the shirt in if you don't mind me asking. How cool having a multilingual shirt. Looks, like English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and is that Hebrew? Are you in Israel ?

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July 27, 2014, 10:06 PM

I like this 者, coming from ancient Chinese = 的人... Interesting question, Meir ... and congratulations to give your blood, by the way !

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August 06, 2014, 08:03 PM

Hi, Meir,

as far as I can tell, 献血 is a verb that exactly means 'to give blood'.  So, if you really wanted to do a word-for-word translation, you'd end up with 我献血, ignoring past tenses, cause adding 以前 would make it too un-pithy for a shirt.

I am not sure why, but it may be that 我献血, or 我义务献血 sounds unnatural in Chinese.  Like Jenny said 我是鲜血人 is most natural.  If that helps, I think in Spanish and Russian it also says "blood donor", not sure about Hebrew, though.

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August 14, 2014, 09:38 AM

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your replies. Sorry, I didn't see them earlier. To answer your question, Bababardwan, I got the shirt in New York City at a corporate blood drive. The languages are Chinese, Hebrew, Spanish and Russian. The Spanish and Hebrew both mean "I gave blood". The Russian I want to ask a Russian friend about to see if that means I gave blood or if , like the Chinese, it means I am a blood donor.

When I got the shirt I was so excited that it had it in Chinese as well since I was taking such small steps towards learning Chinese. I was hoping that one day I could actually read my own shirt!