How to describe using a Chinese washing machine using Chinese?
My work has provided a fairly user-unfriendly washing machine. I always struggle to describe using it without caveman Chinese. I wrote down the steps for using it in English and Chinese. I'm hoping some of you can give me some input. I know there are big mistakes.
How to use an un-automated Chinese washing machine:
1. Pour water to the washing machine, add clothes and soap.
2. Use the ‘standard setting' on the ‘select drain/fill' dial, and select the maximum cycle time of fifteen minutes on the ‘wash cycle' dial.
3. After the cycle is finished, drain the water and then pour water again for the rinse cycle. Run the washing machine for fifteen minutes.
4. Repeat step three one more time.
5. Place the clothes into the spin-dry machine (I don't even know this word in English). Make sure the clothes are distributed evenly, otherwise the spinner cannot reach work effectively. Select the full 5 minutes on the ‘spin-dry' dial.
6. Pull out your clothes. Your clothes should be ready to dry.
Note: terms I had particular trouble translating are highlighted.
Bonus question: how to say "spin it for five minutes"? 旋转五分钟?
bodaweiMay 13, 2010, 03:36 AM
Oh, good thinking, no I didn't think of that. Actually, when the landlord arrived with an obviously not new washing machine, he looked a bit sheepish, and then he told me that it is nine years old! It is actually their old machine - they must have gone and bought a new one for themselves. (I would have done the same thing I guess, fair enough.) As for being dirty, they keep a very clean house when we visit. I guess we could throw in some vinegar, good tip anyway. The main thing is that the machine works. And I got to hear new language during this saga. And made and received a lot of phone calls - always good language practice.
Thanks for new words like 细菌 (germ); probably useful in China? :) Actually I saw 细 recently in 细枝末节, which you can forget in favour of 八卦 bāguà, the more colloquial expression for 'trivia'.
helenshen_counselorMay 13, 2010, 07:38 AM
xiaophil你好，你越来越专业了。这个spin dry machine, 我们一般说“甩干机”
"spin it for five minutes"，转五分钟！不过我一般会多转一会儿，这样衣服会更容易干。
xiaophilMay 14, 2010, 01:50 AM
Hi anybody who might know and has time,
I still would like to know a few things.
Is 标度盘 the best word for 'dial'? Do Chinese actually use this word much, or do they generally get around it somehow? (nciku was low on examples, so it made me pause.) How do we say "turn the dial"?
What is the word(s) for "wash cycle"? How about "rinse cycle"? The dictionary said 周期 means "cycle", but it just doesn't feel right to me, but maybe I am wrong.
Is 功能 the best translation for "setting"? I see them as two different concepts, but I couldn't figure out a better way to say it.
There must be a dozen ways of saying some of these things - my machine for 'cycle' uses the term 过程 guòchéng (cycle as in fill, wash, empty and spin). I asked the the landlord for a run-through and he used the same terms but probably because they are on the machine. I can't guarantee that this is high frequency.
The cycle on my machine is from 浸泡 jìnpào (fill); 洗涤 xǐdí (wash); 漂洗 piàoxǐ (spin); 脱水 tuōshuǐ (drain).
Some other terms that I think are useful:
程序 chéngxù; program from 标准to 毛毯. Even though this last one says blankets I am pretty sure this is a delicate program.
水位 shuǐwèi; water level [水位选择钮 shuǐwèixuǎnzéniǔ; water level selector]
Hi Xiaophil, as you've found this I should point out that 漂洗 piàoxǐ (rinse), I think, not spin. (Just looking at the characters again.) I was guessing when I wrote my first bit and it is not in my dictionaries. If anyone can confirm, that would be good.
changyeMay 14, 2010, 02:26 AM
xiaophilMay 18, 2010, 12:42 AM
I still have one question unresolved:
Is 标度盘 the best word for 'dial'? Do Chinese actually use this word much, or do they generally get around it somehow? (nciku was low on examples, so it made me pause.)
How do we say "turn the dial to (such-and-such function)"?