Mandarin Chinese help
September 18, 2007 11:17 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find a reliable (hopefully free) translation service so that I can ace my Mandarin test.

I have an upcoming test in Mandarin Chinese, and a very large component of the test is translation from English to Chinese.

In order to make sure that I understand the fundamentals, I would love to know where I could find a site (possibly some rapid-response Chinese-learning message board?) that could help me figure out how to translate certain English phrases into Chinese (e.g. "It will soon be Autumn").

My test is on Thursday morning, so I place a very high premium on sites where I could get very rapid feedback. I would be willing to pay for a service, but I would much rather use a free one.

posted by JamesJD to Education (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
some rapid-response Chinese-learning message board
Eh, Google? The one I go to has to be on the first page, and is the only active one I can think of. I (and many other forumgoers) always hate it when people go there asking for exam help, though, so you may want to hide your intentions.
posted by pravit at 11:57 PM on September 18, 2007

A friend of mine runs, which is a great resource for this kind of thing. There's also the 'zhongwen' community on Livejournal, which I used to moderate before LJ got blocked in China.

I know there are several other Chinese-speakers and translators on here -- msittig and Abiezer, for starters. I'm sure we'd be able to help you out -- my e-mail's in my profile.
posted by bokane at 1:55 AM on September 19, 2007
posted by RavinDave at 3:33 AM on September 19, 2007

If not itself, and time is of a premium ... try their more informal and freewheelin' CPOD Forum.
posted by RavinDave at 5:35 AM on September 19, 2007

I would have a great deal more confidence in an actual Chinese speaker than unknowns on internet forums. I find that even here amongst the Mefites, best guesses substitute for reliable translation. Why not ask a translator, teacher or friend?

And it will soon be autumn? Are you translating Jane Austen novels into Chinese or what?!
posted by B-squared at 6:23 AM on September 19, 2007

The point is that you can find people ON those forums that will help you (and time seems to be a premium). You could probably post a request for a Skype exchange and get several bites within minutes.

The other part of my suggestion was the ChinesePod side; wherein someone in James's position might benefit from listening to the FREE intermediate and advanced podcasts.
posted by RavinDave at 7:47 AM on September 19, 2007

ChinesePod makes for a great supplementary resource for learners, and some of their features -- particularly the new dictionary, based off of AdsoTrans -- are invaluable tools for learners. However, if time is of the essence, I think that throwing out questions to fellow learners may not be the greatest of ideas. My offer stands -- so long as it's a fairly reasonable amount of text, I'll be happy to help or proofread or whatever.

And for "it will soon be autumn," the most colloquial Chinese translation is 秋天快(要)到了 -- "autumn - soon - (will) - arrive - (state change particle)."
posted by bokane at 9:34 AM on September 19, 2007

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