Question about Mandarin Chinese

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Question about Mandarin Chinese

Postby Junesun » 2003-01-07, 19:20


I have been trying to learn Mandarin Chinese with the Pimsleur course. They base their lessons completely on listening / speaking, which makes learning the vocabulary and pronunciation very easy. I however want to learn the Pinyin and characters, too, so I try to write down new words in Pinyin and then check them with the CEDICT dictionary to see whether they're correct and what the Chinese characters look like.

There's one problem: sometimes the CEDICT finds no results that sound remotely close to what I hear in the course and sometimes the word seems to be used only in a different context, for example the Pimsleur course says that "gen1 shei2 yi4 zhi2"(not sure about the last two syllables but there was nothing resembling the sound more) means "(along) with whom?", as in the question "With whom would you like to have lunch?". The CEDICT dictionary however says that "yi4 zhi2" only means "along" in the sense of "all along, always, from the beginning".
Can somebody explain this to me please? Is it possible to say "gen1 shei2 yi4 zhi2" in that context or is there a similarly-sounding expression? I can send you the recording where they say it.



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Postby Lyle » 2003-01-10, 7:46

Junesun, sorry for the late reply.

Online translation to/from Chinese is always difficult, this is due to differences in grammar structures between Chinese and other western languages.

一(yi4)起(qi3) = together / long
跟(gen1)谁(shei2)一(yi4)起(qi3) = with whom together.

Example :
Q : 昨晚,你跟谁一起吃晚餐?(Last night, with whom you took your dinner?)
A : 昨晚,我跟JUNESUN一起吃晚餐。(Last night, I had my dinner with JUNESUN)

So, you can use 跟谁一起 when you wanna ask someone "with whom he/she does/did something"

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