How to say "vehicle" in Chinese?
OK let me try this here.
Could someone tell me--how to say "vehicle" in Chinese, as in every film Elvis Presley made is by definition an Elvis Presley vehicle.
I don't even know how to say this in Japanese! I don't think we say this in Japanese.
Therefore if the answer is--we don't say this in Chinese! I guess I would have to be satisfied.
But there are such things in the Chinese entertainment world as well aren't there. For instance 《不能说的秘密》 could be considered a 周杰伦 vehicle (well it is a showcase for his many facets as an entertainer right? vehicle doesn't necessarily mean the movie is blah), so how would you talk about that?
Would appreciate any insights! 谢谢
zhenlijiangNovember 26, 2009, 06:53 AM
Thank you all very much for your helpful insights.
Sorry it's late, but I'd like to add that my understanding of vehicle when it gets used in this way is that there is no story that compels the making of such a movie or TV series. Rather, the purpose of making such a movie is to showcase the star (we can see him act! he's being a regular guy with regular friends, not an entertainer! he's a hero punching out bad guys and saving the day! he has a crush on the cute girl in school!) and milk his/her fan appeal for huge quick profits. It's a treat for the fans as well. And not all vehicles are equally bad or embarrassing to watch, as Henning I think is saying.
Maybe 载体 is the closest term available in Chinese? Again, perhaps this whole concept doesn't really exist in the first place?
Changye, I've been trying to say that anything with 木村拓哉's name on it is a vehicle.
bababardwanNovember 24, 2009, 09:46 AM
I can't believe you've mentioned that movie..the secret,because I have been meaning all day to mention it in the hanzi only group thread about movies and was going to do it tonight..reminded of it by the fact that Scarlett mentioned romantic movies and I was discussing Chinese movies.I bought the dvd of that movie and my daughter was surprised to find that she really enjoyed it.I must watch it again.
zhenlijiangNovember 24, 2009, 10:19 AM
Yes Changye you're right--like I said, it's not something I have ever heard said in Japanese (we've got them though! when Johnny's Jimusho idols get to star in their own movies, Misora Hibari's movies were vehicles, what else--I reckon the 若大将シリーズ were 加山雄三 vehicles, etc.). But do you see what I mean?
OK Miantiao, what brought all that on? Why target me? I've lived long enough by now to earn the right not to be harrassed like that by anyone, anywhere. Don't come here angry; you'll only terrify new poddies and they've really done nothing to offend you (why do I have to say this?).
Baba, I haven't seen it actually. Missed it. But would like to see it. So pls don't give too much away!
Xiaophil, I guess I'm surprised you don't know what I mean (I am the author of the sentence) by vehicle in this sense. Huh I thought it was standard American(? maybe it's entertainment industry-speak?) English.
changyeNovember 24, 2009, 11:06 AM
I think I understand what you mean. I agree there is no exact counterpart of the "vehicle" in Japanese. Probably the "vehicle" can be translated as "十八番シリーズ" or "代表作/出世作", but I don't know if they carry the same connotation as "vehicle" does.
paulinurusNovember 24, 2009, 11:36 AM
Vehicle can be defined as 'something you use in order to achieve a certain purpose'. For example: Her intelligence was the vehicle that got her that good job.
Vehicle is a noun word, similar to the word "means". The words in Chinese would probably be 方法 or 办法
I'll try writing the sentence in Chinese and maybe someone can improve it.
changyeNovember 24, 2009, 02:44 PM
I think I've found a possible Chinese translation (candidate) for the "vehicle"............although not so sure.
advertise using a movie as a vehicle ..........?
oranginaNovember 24, 2009, 03:29 PM
载体 is a good translation, I think. With paints, oil (or water or latex, etc.) is the vehicle by which pigment is distributed. I think this is the same definiton of "vehicle", and the oil is also called the "medium". The movies Elvis made are the vehicle, or medium, by which his talents were monitized.
RJNovember 24, 2009, 03:43 PM
I also think you may have it.
a "vehicle" used this way is a medium through which something is expressed, conveyed, or achieved. It is an abstract vehicle that carries you where you want to go or transports your message.
btw- the truth is that Elvis actually hated his own movies. He wanted to do something more meaningful but did what the colonel (his manager) wanted. The goal here of course was just to make money, not art.
mingfenyaNovember 24, 2009, 04:03 PM
代表作 is a good translation。对于有些单词不能翻译的那么死。针对什么样的场景怎么翻译的。that means don't translate the word "vehicle" to a fixed word .you should translate it into the right way by where it is .
oranginaNovember 24, 2009, 04:16 PM
hmmm... I do think that many words have to be translated in context, but I don't think Elvis' movies are 代表作，because they weren't the body of his work or even representative of his work. They were intended as a means to showcase his talent and profit by it. In English "vehicle" gives this connotation. I think zhen (and the rest of us) are searchng for a word or phrase that emphasises that the movies are a means to an end, and not an end product in themselves.
changyeNovember 25, 2009, 02:39 AM
Your story just reminds me of Beatles movies, such as "Yellow Submarine", although I don't know if the four guys liked their promotion movies.
I like your analogy of "pigment" and "oil". I think the line between "载体" (vehicle) and "媒介/媒体" (medium) is sometimes not so clear in Chinese. For example, "电影" (fiml) can be both "载体" and "媒介/媒体". So you can say both "以电影为载体宣传" and "以电影为媒介/媒体宣传". (promote something using a movie)