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以為

English translation: think, believe, feel (likely contrary to fact)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Chinese term or phrase:以為
English translation:think, believe, feel (likely contrary to fact)
Entered by: Roddy Stegemann
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04:43 Nov 28, 2006
Chinese to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Linguistics / Grammatical Analysis
Chinese term or phrase: 以為
Sentence: 我以為他當時一定覺得很滿意,要不然,他怎麼會滿臉笑容呢?

First Attempt: I believe that you must have studied to your satisfaction this time, else why would you be wearing such a happy face?

Question One (1/2): No matter how one translates 以為 in this instance (believe, think, etc.), is there some reason for preferring this expression over, say 想 or 應為? Does 以為, for example, imply that the author may doubt his own belief? If so, why would he say, 一定? Do 以為 and 要不然 somehow hang together?

I am offering PRO points for this question based upon your explanation, not your translation.

Please see http://homepage.mac.com/moogoonghwa/tsongkit/contents.html#p... for further reference.

As always you are welcome to comment on other parts of the sentence, if you find them in error or would like to suggest an improvement.

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Roddy Stegemann
United States
Local time: 06:06
thought
Explanation:
I don’t know the context to which this sentence related. It may be a kind of expression that is just similar to “Subjunctive Tones” in English, meaning “I” thought he must have been very satisfied with something; otherwise, he didn’t wear such a happy face. But it is very possible that an opposite result will be led to. He was not satisfied with what “I” said or “I” did at all, although he wore a polite smile at that time.
Selected response from:

Nissa
China
Local time: 21:06
Grading comment
Final Rendering: He must have been very satisfied at the time; why else would he have been wearing such a happy face?

Acknowledgment: Thanks to everyone. As there appeared to be general agreement about the doubt cast by the phrase 以為 I was compelled to base my decision on other factors.

Kiukakuan provided a great explanation as to how treat the phrasing A以為B一𤴓C, but failed to treat the relationship between 以為 and 要不然. Perhaps he/she did not understand the question.

Lu Wang took a very philosophical approach that clouded somewhat his obvious understanding of the distinctive use of the word 以為 to indicate a belief that is contrary to fact.

Angeline provided still another English word for the same idea conveyed by the words belief and think, but provided no new real insight.

Nissa made grammatically clearer the nuance contained in Lu Wang's philosophical explanation. In effect, the term 以為 need not always express a belief, thought, or feeling that is contrary to fact, but rather emphasize the subjective nature of the belief, thought, or feeling, and thus the acknowledgment of the possibility of mistaken belief, thought, or feeling.

Vicky provided alternative Chinese expressions that could replace 以為, but unfortunately no one either confirmed or disconfirmed her very thoughtful entry. My Chinese is not strong enough to judge with so little to go on.

In the end I was torn between Lu Wang's and Nissa's contributions, as they were both confirmed: the former by Pei Ling, and the latter by PK. So, I went with Nissa, despite her somewhat awkward English.

Thanks to wherestip for pointing out my obvious blunder with regard to 覺 and 學. In Cantonese these two characters are not only written differently, but they are also pronounced differently. Please do not ask how the mistake came about, because that was not the only one. I also messed up on the pronouns . . . .

Discussion: Please see http://homepage.mac.com/moogoonghwa/tsongkit/part3/III-3b-g.html#s18 for further discussion regarding the context of this question.

My very best from the land of no mountains surrounded by sea on many sides.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5thought
xxxvwkl
4 +1thought
Nissa
4 +1fell
Angeline PhD
5none
kiukakuan
3 +1believe
Lu Wang


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
none


Explanation:
Chinese should not be translated into English word by word. I would suggest that you use "must" here for "以為” and since it had already happened, the use of "must"+"perfect tense" should be used. In other words, I would translate your sentence into "He must have been pretty satisfied then or he would not have worn such a happy smile on his face".

According to the Oxford Dictionary, must have + past participle is used to draw a conclusion (i.e.以為)from some past event. That is why the use of different tenses in English is so important as some Chinese expressions do not have their equivalent in the form of vocabulary but tense expression.

kiukakuan
Local time: 21:06
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
believe


Explanation:
to believe is a kind of guessing, no matter how close the guessing might be to the truth. the belief might be very well grounded, supported by very apparent evidence. but it needs proving anyway. it might prove to be wrong. I have thought (believe) that he must have been very satisfied with his studies. But now I know that it is not at all the case.

Lu Wang
Local time: 21:06
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  peiling: cut out the 'with his studies', as in, .... very satisfied (period)
14 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
fell


Explanation:
fell
I agree with kiukakuan, Chinese should not be translated into English word by word.


Angeline PhD
China
Local time: 21:06
Native speaker of: Chinese

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  peiling: huh?
14 hrs

agree  wherestip: felt or perceived
1 day 6 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
thought


Explanation:
I don’t know the context to which this sentence related. It may be a kind of expression that is just similar to “Subjunctive Tones” in English, meaning “I” thought he must have been very satisfied with something; otherwise, he didn’t wear such a happy face. But it is very possible that an opposite result will be led to. He was not satisfied with what “I” said or “I” did at all, although he wore a polite smile at that time.

Nissa
China
Local time: 21:06
Native speaker of: Chinese
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
Final Rendering: He must have been very satisfied at the time; why else would he have been wearing such a happy face?

Acknowledgment: Thanks to everyone. As there appeared to be general agreement about the doubt cast by the phrase 以為 I was compelled to base my decision on other factors.

Kiukakuan provided a great explanation as to how treat the phrasing A以為B一𤴓C, but failed to treat the relationship between 以為 and 要不然. Perhaps he/she did not understand the question.

Lu Wang took a very philosophical approach that clouded somewhat his obvious understanding of the distinctive use of the word 以為 to indicate a belief that is contrary to fact.

Angeline provided still another English word for the same idea conveyed by the words belief and think, but provided no new real insight.

Nissa made grammatically clearer the nuance contained in Lu Wang's philosophical explanation. In effect, the term 以為 need not always express a belief, thought, or feeling that is contrary to fact, but rather emphasize the subjective nature of the belief, thought, or feeling, and thus the acknowledgment of the possibility of mistaken belief, thought, or feeling.

Vicky provided alternative Chinese expressions that could replace 以為, but unfortunately no one either confirmed or disconfirmed her very thoughtful entry. My Chinese is not strong enough to judge with so little to go on.

In the end I was torn between Lu Wang's and Nissa's contributions, as they were both confirmed: the former by Pei Ling, and the latter by PK. So, I went with Nissa, despite her somewhat awkward English.

Thanks to wherestip for pointing out my obvious blunder with regard to 覺 and 學. In Cantonese these two characters are not only written differently, but they are also pronounced differently. Please do not ask how the mistake came about, because that was not the only one. I also messed up on the pronouns . . . .

Discussion: Please see http://homepage.mac.com/moogoonghwa/tsongkit/part3/III-3b-g.html#s18 for further discussion regarding the context of this question.

My very best from the land of no mountains surrounded by sea on many sides.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  pkchan
7 hrs
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
thought


Explanation:
Example: "I thought he must have been very satisfied at that time.."

The key point is "以為" implies the statement (very satisfied at that time) turns out to be not true. (Will someone please confirm that? Similar to 自以為是﹑一直以為).

With this in mind, the tense and structure of your translation should reflect it.



xxxvwkl
Canada
Local time: 09:06
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in ChineseChinese
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