What Kind of Pain Do You Feel? (Chinese-English Medical Interpretation)

One of the big questions during medical appointments is the patient’s feeling of discomfort and pain. Below is a quick guide to the different types of pains that may come up during a medical interview, along with their Chinese translations. Hope you’ll find this helpful.

Type of Pain Symptoms Chinese Translation
Ache Continuous pain. 痛(tong) , 疼(téng), or疼痛 (téng tong)
Band-Like Pain A squeezing type of pain. 擠壓痛 (jǐ yā tòng)
Burning, searing Pain that feels like it was caused by heat or fire. 灼痛 (zhuó tòng) or燒灼感 (shāo zhuó gǎn, a burning sensation)
Cramps (menstrual) Menstrual pain. 經痛 (jīng tòng)
Cramping, grabbing pain Spasmodic muscular contraction. Quick pain that feels like spasms or a sudden snatch 绞痛 (jiǎo tong) or 痙攣 (jìng luán)
Cold Pain Pain that comes with cold sensations. Often seen around the lower back, abdomen, and joints. 冷痛 (lěng tong)
Dull pain Pain that exists persistently but without much intensity. Pain that’s bearable. 鈍痛 (dùn tòng), 悶痛 (mēn tòng), or 隱痛 (yǐn tòng)
Heavy Pain Pain with a feeling of being weighted down. Often seen in the head and limbs. 重痛 (zhòng tòng)
Moving pain A pain that moves continually to different body parts. 走窜痛 (zǒu chuàn tòng)
Needle-like A pain as if from being punctured with a needle. 刺痛 (cì tòng)
Pressing pain Feeling as if there’s a weight pushing against part of the body. 壓痛 (yā tòng)
Sharp pain Cutting or penetrating pain by a sharp or pointing instrument. 尖痛 (jiān tòng), 劇痛 (jù tòng)
Shooting, stabbing pain Intermittent flash of pain. 閃痛 (shǎn tong)
Splitting pain Sensation of being ripped apart. 撕裂痛 (sī liè tòng) or 撕裂般疼痛 (sī liè bān de  tòng)
Tingling pain Feelings of numbness as if being pricked by multiple needles. 麻刺痛 (má cì tòng)

What other types of pain have you encountered, or do you think I missed? Please share.

Happy interpreting!

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6 Useful Phrases to Learn in a Foreign Language

I recently returned from a trip in Spain. I had such a great time in the historical country and immersed myself in its culture and devoured its delicious food. I’m pretty sure though, that if it weren’t for my sister-in-law’s fluency in Spanish, getting around would have proved difficult. While most of us English speakers may view English as the lingua franca and feel that everyone should speak it, that is not always the case.

Basic Phrases for Travelers to Learn_Language

It became clear to me half-way through my travels that knowing some basic phrases in the language used in the country would make life easier. The ability to communicate, even a little, with the locals in their own language, also makes me feel more adequate. I don’t think it’s fair to expect everyone to speak English when we are the visitors to someone else’s country.

The following are 6 phrases I found useful. I’ve also wrote them out in Chinese for travelers who are traveling to a Chinese-speaking country.

1. Where Are the Restrooms?
請問洗手間在哪裡?
I learned before Spain how to ask for the restrooms in Spanish, and it probably is the Spanish sentence I used the most, since we were outside all day traveling and touring the various landmarks. Figuring out how to say “Where is” and “How do I get to” in the foreign language will definitely come in handy.

qǐngwèn (請問) = excuse me, or may I ask. 請: please.  問: ask.
xǐshǒujiān (洗手間) = restrooms. 洗: wash. 手: hand. 間:  room.
zài nǎlǐ (在哪裡) = where is. 在: at. 哪裡:  where

2. Directions: Straight, Left turn, Right turn
直走/左轉/右轉
Knowing how to ask directions is one thing, but understanding the directions you get is another. In a museum in Spain, I asked a staff member for directions to the restrooms, and he was friendly enough to give me detailed instructions. Unfortunately, once he started speaking I knew I was in trouble–I couldn’t understand a word! All I could do was focus on his hand gestures and body language and hope that I will eventually find my way.

The ability to understand or recognize basic direction phrases will help you make sense of the friendly guidance you receive, and of course, get you where you need to go.

zhízǒu (直走) = to walk or go straight. 直: straight. 走: walk.
zuǒzhuǎn (左轉) = to turn left. 左: left. 轉: turn.
yòuzhuǎn (右轉) = to turn right. 右: right. 轉: turn.

3. Numbers. One to Ten.
一、二、三、四、五、六、七、八、九、十
Knowing your numbers will help you pay the right amount, get the right change, or get on the right bus.

On my flight back from Spain, the stewardess came up to me and asked me a question. While I couldn’t understand, I assumed that she was asking for my seat number or row number since she was directing others to their seats. 25F was my seat, but while I knew two (dos) and five (cinco), I didn’t know twenty-five, so instead of speaking I gestured two and five with my hands. Hand gestures work, but knowing how to say your numbers is important as well!

One to ten in Chinese:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
èr sān liù jiǔ shí

For numbers beyond ten, there is an easy formula, demonstrated below.
Two-digit numbers
11 = ten one = shí yī
25 = two ten five = èr shí wǔ
69 = six ten nine = liù shí jiǔ

3-digit numbers
Hundred = 百 bǎi
300 = three hundred = sān bǎi
350 = three hundred five ten = sān bǎi wǔ shí
356= three hundred five ten six = sān bǎi wǔ shí liù

4. I Don’t Understand Chinese
我聽不懂中文
If you’re in a position where you can’t understand a single word, no matter what is said, just let the person know. If you are asking for help, maybe you can find a different way to communicate—-through pictures, hand gestures, body language, etc. If you’re lucky the stranger might be able to help you find someone else who can speak your language.

wǒ tīngbùdǒng (我聽不懂) = I don’t understand or I can’t comprehend.
zhōngwén (中文) = Chinese.

5. Sorry
不好意思/對不起
Getting people’s attention in a polite way is important, especially if you want help.

In Chinese, you can say bùhǎoyìsi (不好意思), which literally means to be embarrassed. This is used in scenarios when you feel that you are inconveniencing someone, such as when you’re asking for directions from a stranger.

duìbuqǐ (對不起) is used when you are apologizing, usually for doing something wrong.

6.Thank you. 
謝謝 (xièxie)
We are polite travelers, so of course we need to say our thank yous.

What are some phrases you find useful when traveling? Leave a comment!

Safe travels and happy learning!

Don’t Be A Choosy Language Learner

Translation is always in the back of my mind, so I’m always thinking: How would I say this in Chinese? or How would I say this in English? And sometimes the strangest things strike my interest. This time, they’re the phrases in an article on balding and hair loss.

Language is ever-changing, and a good linguist–translator or interpreter–always finds ways to expand her vocabulary. There are topics or occurrences in our daily lives that we don’t always think are important enough to further explore, when actually, anything can be a learning experience. Don’t discriminate against odd subjects!

Okay, so let’s get into the hair loss/ baldness vocabulary from the article I read on udn.com, a Taiwanese online news source.

Language Learning Odd Topics

  1. 頭髮 (tóufa)- hair (on the head). 頭: head; 髮: hair (on the head).
  2. 髮線 (fàxiàn)- hairline. 髮: hair (on the head). 線: line.
  3. 禿頭 tūtóu- baldness.
  4. 雄性禿 xióngxìng tū- male pattern baldness. 雄性: male. 禿: bald(ness).
  5. 額髮線後退 (é fàxiàn hòutuì)- receding hairline. 額: forehead. 額髮線: forelock. 後退: to go back.
  6. 促進生髮的藥物 (cùjìn shēngfà de yàowù)- medication that promotes hair growth. 促進: promote. 生: grow. 髮: hair. 藥物: drug, medicine.
  7. 電燈泡 (diàndēngpào) 電火球仔 dian hui chu ah>- lightbulb. Used to describe a completely bald head. Note: Another usage for 電燈泡 (diàndēngpào) is what American English terms “third wheel.”
  8. 植髮中心 (zhífà zhōngxīn)- center for hair transplants. 植: to plant. 髮: hair. 中心: center.
  9. 急性休止期落髮 (jíxìng xiūzhǐqī luòfà)- acute telogen effluvium. Hair loss caused by illnesses. 急性: acute.
  10. 圓禿 (yuántū) or 鬼剃頭 (guǐtìtóu)- alopecia areata, also known as spot baldness. 圓: round, circle. 禿: baldness. 鬼: ghost. 剃頭: to shave one’s head. 鬼剃頭 is the colloquial usage.
  11. 假髮 (jiǎfà)- wig. 假: fake; 髮: hair.
  12. 生髮水 (shēngfàshuǐ)- hair regrowth tonic. 生: grow. 髮: hair. 水: water, solution.

Side note, have you heard that washing your hair every day isn’t good for you and may lead to hair loss? That actually isn’t always the case. We should actually wash our hair and scalp regularly to avoid clogged hair follicles, which can lead to more hair loss.

Hope you learned something today!

Chinese-English Vocabulary Builder

  1. 有求必應 (yǒu​ qiú ​bì ​yìng)-to get whatever is asked. 有: to have. 求: to ask, to wish, to request. 必: must. 應: respond.
    例句: 身為獨女的她總是有求必應。
    Example: As the only child, she always gets what she wants.
  2. 悼念(dào niàn)-to grieve, to mourn. 悼: to grieve, to lament. 念: to think of, to remember.
    例句: 人們用著自己的信仰方式來悼唸過世的親友。
    Example: People use their own religions to mourn friends and family who have passed away.
  3. 熱身 (rè​ shēn)-warm-up. 熱: hot, warm. 身: body.
    例句: 若想儘可能的必免運動傷害,運動前的熱身運動很重要。
    Example: To avoid the possibility of sports injuries , warm-up exercises before the actual sport is very important.
  4. 惆悵 (chóu​ chàng)- melancholy, depression
    例句: 考試沒考好讓他覺得很惆悵。
    Example: He felt depressed because he didn’t do well on the test.
  5. 恍神 (huǎng​ shén)- to zone out, to space out
    例句: 忙祿的時候,工作可以讓我轉移注意力,但一旦有空閒,想起煩心的事,我就變得有點恍惚。
    Example: Work can distract me when I’m busy, but whenver there’s a spare moment and I’m reminded of my worries , I tend to become spacey.
  6. 遲疑 (chí​ yí)-hesitation, reservation. 遲: delay. 疑: doubt.
    例句: 有些決定得馬上做,一旦遲疑便可能錯失良機。
    Example: Some decisions need to be made on the spot, as hesitation might lead to a missed  opportunity.
  7. 騰出時間 (téng chū shí​ jiān )-to make time. 騰出: to make, to part. 時間: time.
    例句: 做子女的,應該儘可能的騰出時間陪陪父母。
    Example: Children should try their best to make time for their parents.
  8. 號淘大哭-to cry loudly. 號淘: loud cry. 哭: cry.
    例句: 小孩子第一天上安親班,常常在爸爸媽媽離開去上班以後捨不得的號淘大哭。
    Example: On the first day of daycare, children often cry out when they see their parents leave for work.
  9. 似懂非懂 (sì​ dǒng ​fēi​ dǒng)-to appear as if understanding, but not really. 似: seemingly, as if. 懂: understand.
    例句: 她似懂非懂的聽著大人說話,但心裡明白這關乎件嚴重的事情。
    Example: Although she only understood part of the conversation between the adults, she was certain that it was about something serious.
  10. 內疚(nèi​ jiù)-to feel guilty, to have qualms about. 內: within, inside. 疚: sorrow.
    例句: 她因為偷了媽媽的錢深感內疚,但又不願意把錢放回去。
    Example: She feels bad for stealing from her mother, but she’s also unwilling to put the money back.

Chinese-English Vocabulary Builder: Positive and Hopeful Words

  1. 夢想 (mèng​ xiǎng)-dreams, aspirations
    Example: 夢想成真 / dream come true
  2. 抱負(bào​ fù)-ambitions, aspirations
    Example: 遠大的抱負 /great aspirations
  3. 理想 (lǐ ​xiǎng)-ideal
    Examples: 理想的工作 / the idea job、理想的生活方式 / ideal lifestyle.
  4. 目標 (mù ​biāo)-goal
    Examples:人生目標 / life goal
  5. 快樂 (kuài ​lè)-happiness
    Examples:什麼可以帶給你最大的快樂? / What can bring you the most happiness?
  6. 憧憬 (chōng​ jǐng)-to look forward to, to aspire
    Examples: 對未來的憧憬 / a longing for the future
  7. 希望 (xī ​wàng)-to hope, to wish for
    Examples: 希望能考上理想的學校。/I hope I can get into my ideal school.
  8. 渴望 (kě​ wàng)-to long for, to desire
    Examples: 她渴望得到他的認同 。/ She longs for his acceptance.
  9. 努力 (nǔ​ lì)-to work hard
    Examples: 再努力一點吧。/Let’s try harder.
  10. 加油 (jiā​ yóu)-a phrase used to cheer someone on
    Example: 明天考試加油喔!/Good luck on the test tomorrow!
  11. 勤奮 (qín ​fèn)-diligent, hardworking.
    Examples: 老闆喜歡勤奮的員工。/ The employer appreciates diligent workers.
  12.  (qín ​kuài)-diligent, hardworking.
    Examples: 他做事勤快。 / He’s a hard worker.
  13. 再接再厲 (zài​ jiē ​zài ​lì)-To persevere. Used to encourage people to keep at something despite difficulties.
    Examples: 再接再厲! 下次一定會成功的。/ Persevere! You’ll get it next time.

Chinese-English Vocabulary Builder: Chinese Idioms

  1. 躊躇滿志 (chóu chú mǎn zhì)-To be immensely proud of one’s success; to be content.  躊躇: indecisive. 滿: satisfied. 志: will. 。
    例句: 小女畢業典禮當天,父母臉上泛溢著躊躇滿志的笑容。
    Example: On their daughter’s graduation day, her parents smiled from ear to ear with pride.
  2. 白璧微瑕(bái bì wēi xiá)-A slight blemish on a piece of white jade. Used to describe a small mistake . 白: white. 璧: a piece of jade with hole in it. 微: slight. 瑕: defect, flaw.
    例句: 就算是公司裡最年長的員工也會出錯,然而這小錯只是白璧微瑕而已無傷大雅。
    Example: Even the most senior staff in the company makes mistakes, but this one is just a small mishap that won’t hurt the company’s image.
  3. 突如其來 (tū rú qí lái)-An unexpected or sudden occurrence. 突: suddenly, abruptly, unexpectedly. 如: as if. 來: come.
    例句: 突如其來的雨把他淋成落湯雞。
    Example: She was drenched by the sudden rain.
  4. 無可匹敵 (wú kě pǐ dí)-Unparallelled; unique in kind or quality. 無: none. 可: able. 匹敵: to rival or equal.
    例句: 自國中他的英語能力便無可匹敵,所以他的托福考了滿分我們一點也不訝異。
    Example: His English language skills have been unparalleled to his peers since middle school, so we were not at all surprised when he got a perfect score on his TOEFL exam.
  5. 鍥而不捨 (qiè’ ér bù shě)-To persevere; to chisel away at something. 鍥: carve. 而: and. 不: not. 捨: give up.
    例句: 他鍥而不捨的精神促使他抵達終點,跑完馬拉鬆。
    Example: His perseverance pushed him to reach the finish line, completing the marathon.
  6. 冒冒失失 (mào mào shī shī)-Lacking care, acting in haste. 冒: risk. 失: to lose, to make a mistake, to neglect.
    例句: 他冒冒失失的態度讓老闆無法給予全權的信任。
    Example: Bob’s lack of attention to detail has made it difficult for Bob’s boss to extend his full trust.
  7. 一不做,二不休 (yī bù zuò, ‘èr bù xiū)-Either give up, or follow through from beginning to end. 不: no. 做: act, do. 休: to rest, to end.
    例句: 一不做,二不休,做事要持著有始有終的態度。
    Example: We should always finish what we’ve started. If you’re not going to follow through, don’t even start.

 

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References:
Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary.
MDBG Chinese-English Dictionary http://www.mdbg.net
Yahoo 奇摩字典 http://tw.dictionary.yahoo.com

Dirty Mouth: Let’s Talk Cursing (and Interpreting)

The default role of an interpreter is a conduit. Merriam Webster defines conduit as a natural or artificial channel through which something is conveyed. If we think of the channel as a telephone wire, the conduit transmits anything and everything that is received from one end to another. In other words, an interpreter relays all information that is spoken, without any omission, additions, or distortions of the message.

In medical and legal interpreting, there are times when we have to give bad news. And in times like this, the client may become upset and use curse words to express his feelings. In my medical interpreting training, someone raised a question of whether interpreters still need to relay everything in such cases, particularly if an interpreter has qualms about cursing. Despite what an interpreter’s personal feelings are toward swearing, interpreters must stay true to the original message, even if it means cursing or using words they wouldn’t necessarily use in their daily lives. Such is what’s implied in the code of ethics for interpreters.

Regardless of the cultural or social implications of cursing, if it happens that you must curse on the job, then you need to do it as part of your professionalism. I don’t curse, and haven’t really thought about how English curse words correspond with Chinese curse words, but as a responsible interpreter, I’ve put together a short list (you know, for my work, of course). Cursing is an interesting thing. You’ll notice below that the common curse words we use in English relate  to sex and excretion and mothers. Even though sex and excretion are unavoidable parts of natural human conditions, and we all love our mothers, these words are considered indecent and taboo in both the American and Chinese cultures.

  1. Bastard-王八蛋 (wáng bā dàn)、 龜孫子(guī sūn zi)
  2. Fuck [angry fuck]- 幹 (gàn)、肏 (cào)
  3. Fuck, Fuck me, Fuckin’ awesome, Holy shit [excitement]-我靠 (wǒ kào)
  4. Fuck you, Go to hell- 去你的 (qù nǐ de)、 我鳥你 (wǒ niǎo nǐ)
  5. Fuck him, Screw him-鳥他的 (niǎo tā de)、去他的 (qù tā de)
  6. Bullshit–屁 (pì)、屁話 (pì huà)、鳥話 (niǎo huà)、你個狗屁 (nǐ ge gǒu pì)
    Example: What the fuck are you talking about-你在講什麼鳥話 (nǐ zài jiǎng shén me niǎo huà)
  7. What the fuck is this?-這是什麼鬼? (zhè shì shén me guǐ)
  8. What the fuck are you doing?-你搞什麼鬼? (nǐ  gǎo shén me guǐ))
  9. Damnit- 他媽的 (tāmāde)
  10. Son of a bitch- 狗崽子 (gǒu zǎi zǐ)

These are just some common English curse words and their cursory Chinese equivalents. If you’re interested in learning about Chinese curse words, their detailed explanations, and how they relate to English, the Transparent Language blog has a good post about it that you should check out.

Happy cursing! (Just kidding. Cursing is bad.)

Literature in Translation: “Liu Qí-Wei’s Life as an Adventurer” by Liu Níng-Sheng

In 1993, I went to Papua New Guinea with my dad, Liú Qíwěi, who was then 82 years old. On our trip he lamented: “life has a way of messing with me: When I had the energy to travel, no one would sponsor my research; now that I’m old and have sponsors, I’ve lost all my energy.” However, when he was seventy, he was still researching different aboriginal tribes and collecting data on the Borneo culture. My dad was a strong man.

At our last stop in Papua New Guinea, everyone was suffering from mosquitoes bites along the Sepik river. Even with the most potent bug spray, the mosquitoes were unstoppable; and because I was filming and had to keep a steady hand, the mosquitoes were unscrupulous in their attacks. By the time I told my dad, “I’m not sure I can take this any longer,” my hands were utterly swollen. Seeing my condition, my dad finally agreed to go home with me a few days earlier than planned and we never went further up the river.  I was once bitten by fleas when we were in the Tali highlands in China. It was extremely itchy and the swell from the bite was as large as a water glass. To stop the swelling, a shaman grabbed a few bushels of urtica thunbergiana, pulled up my shirt, and repeatedly hit my body with them. The excruciating pain left me covered in cold sweat; however, the ritual also stopped the itching. Throughout the whole trip, my father was pickier than I was about our diet, which consisted of “vegetables,” also known as tree leaves, combined with fish, canned meat, or crackers. With no variety day in and day out, he became tired of the meals and would sometimes skip lunch and just drink water instead. What he enjoyed most was instant coffee, so we brought some of that with us.

From that adventure I learned of my father’s deep respect for foreign cultures–he never treated the people as lower class, the way most travelers would. When I once again traveled through Papua New Guinea, I saw that most tourists didn’t judge foreign cultures fairly. Instead, they would use the cultural perspectives innate in them to criticize a local culture. For example, when purchasing food, they would say, “So dirty!” or “Is this edible?” These attitudes are indeed worth discussing.

When I sat on the floor with a Papua New Guinean to chat, I could tell from the body language of other tourists why cultural exchanges are so difficult. They don’t have the desire to understand, let alone identify [with the locals]. The Papa New Guinean later said to me: “You’re the only one who’s willing to sit with us, to identify with us.” How tedious would life be if the whole world spoke only one language, ate the same food, and dressed the same? Through my dad’s mentoring and influence, I learned the importance of respecting other cultures. When I once passed through Tahiti, I noticed that the aboriginals were working hard to restore their native music and dance after enduring foreign influence over the past hundreds of years.

When Paul Gauguin went to Tahiti, he argued with the local government, which was trying to suppress the local culture after missionaries were offended by the perceived flirtation of the native dances. In fact, promoting reproduction and the longevity of their culture was the essence of their dances. Many aboriginals are fond of war; some are even cannibals and head hunters. Aboriginals partake in cannibalism believing that it allows them to attain the spirit and wisdom of the hunted, whom they see as their respected enemies. [But without understanding], we criticize their cultures and customs, and simply think that their behaviors are amoral and uncivilized. However, we need to first learn about their culture to understand the reasoning behind such ceremonies. These are all lessons I learned from my father.

Vocabulary:

  1. 巴布亞紐幾內亞 (Bā bùyà Niǔ Jī nèi yà)-Papua New Guinea. This usage is most common in Taiwan.  Abbreviated version: 巴紐(Bāniǔ).
  2. 感嘆 (gǎn tàn)-To sigh, to lament.
  3. 造化 (zào huà)-Nature, the creator.
  4. 弄人(nòng rén)-To mess with someone.
  5. 部落 (bù luò)- Tribe.
  6. 原住民 (yuán zhù mín)-Indigenous peoples / aborigine.
  7. 婆羅洲 (pó luó zhōu)-Borneo.
  8. 採集 (cǎijí)-To gather,  to collect, to harvest.
  9. 熬 (áo)-Endure.
  10. 防蚊藥 (fáng wén yào)- Bug (mosquito) spray. 防: to protect , to defend, to prevent. 蚊: mosquito. 藥: drug, medicine.
  11. 吃不消 (chī bu xiāo)-To be unable to tolerate or endure / to find sth difficult to manage
  12. 肆無忌憚 (sì wú jì dàn)- Unrestrained; unscrupulous. 肆: indulge. 無: without. 忌: fear. 憚: to shrink (from fear).
  13. 跳蚤 (tiào zao)-Fleas.
  14. 巫師 (wū shī)-Wizard, magician.
  15. 咬人貓 (yǎo rén māo)-Urtica thunbergiana.
  16. 民族 (mín zú)-Nationality, ethnic group.
  17. 商榷(shāng què)-To discuss, to bring up for discussion.
  18. 認識 (rèn shi)-To understand, to become acquainted to.
  19. 認同(rèn tóng)- To identify with, to recognize, to approve of.
  20. 薰陶 (xūn táo)-Influence.
  21. 風俗 (fēng sú)-Custom (social).
  22. 壓制 (yā zhì)-Suppress.
  23. 傳教士 (chuán jiào shì)-Missionary.
  24. 西匹河 (xī pī hé)- Sepik river.
  25. 大溪地 (dà xī dì)-Tahiti.

Original commentary, “劉其偉的探險生涯,” by 劉寧生著, from 聯合報副刊. Dated November 14, 2011.

Chinese-English Vocabulary Builder: Chinese Idioms with Hearts (心)

  1. 心知肚明 (xīn zhī dù míng)- To be well aware. 心: heart, mind. 知: to know. 肚: gut.  明: clarity; to understand.
    例句: 陳太太對丈夫的外遇心知肚明但卻沒勇氣揭發他。
    Example: Although Mrs. Chen is well-aware of her husband’s affair, she doesn’t have the courage to expose him.
  2. 心甘情願 (xīn gān qíng yuàn)-Out of one’s will; completely willing. 心: heart, mind, soul. 甘: voluntary. 情: feeling, sentiment.  願: wish, desire.
    例句: 為了讓孩子能有最好的未來,父母們心甘情願付出所有的一切。
    Example: Parents are willing to give all they can to guarantee the best future for their children.
  3. 意猶未盡 (yì yóu wèi jìn)-To wish to continue something. 意: idea, thought, intentions. 猶: like, similar to. 未: not yet. 盡: completed.
    例句: 此宴席在大家意猶未盡時結束。一夥人接著上酒吧續趴。
    Example: The reception ended before everyone was ready for the night to end. A group of people then went to a bar for the after party.
  4. 誠心誠意 (chéng xīn chéng yì)-Sincerely and earnestly. 誠: sincere, honest. 心: heart, mind, soul. 意: intentions.
    例句: 他誠心誠意的想跟你做朋友,你就答應他的邀約嘛。
    ExampleHe sincerely wants to be friends with you; why don’t you just go out with him?
  5. 提心吊膽 (tí xīn diào dǎn)-To be on edge. 提: to carry. 心: heart. 吊: hang. 膽: gallbladder. 
    例句: 自從他不小心冒犯他的上司,他在工作上總是提心吊膽,身怕被解職。
    Example: He’s been on edge, worried for his job, ever since he unintentionally offended his supervisor.
  6. 掉以輕心 (diào yǐ qīng xīn)-To be complacent, to lower one’s guard, or to treat something lightly. 掉: swing. 輕心: careless, casual.
    例句: 即便這是個安全的社區,晚上出門還是得處處留心,不得掉以輕心。
    Example: Even though this is a safe neighborhood, one should still be vigilant at night.
  7. 心平氣和 (xīn píng qì hé)-Calm and even tempered. 心: heart, mind, soul. 平: peaceful. even. 氣: breath; spirit. 和: harmonious.
    例句: 他的個性很好,即便情況不如意,他還是能心平氣和地處裡它。
    Example: He is well-tempered and is calm even when dealing with unpleasant situations.
  8. 別出心裁 (bié chū xīn cái)-To come up with a new idea or original approach. 別: different. 出: come up with. 心裁: idea, concept.
    例句: 她別出心裁,把窗簾拿來做裙子。
    ExampleShe came up with an idea and made a dress out of her curtains.
  9. 賞心悅目(shǎng xīn yuè mù)-Something that is pleasing and delightful. 賞: to appreciate. 心: heart, soul, mind. 悅: please, happy. 目: eyes.
    例句: 看完那部賞心悅目的電影後,她笑不合嘴。
    ExampleShe couldn’t stop smiling after that delightful movie.
  10. 粗心大意 (cū xīn dà yì)-To be negligent or careless. 粗心:  careless. 大意: careless.
    例句: 他總是粗心大意,忘東忘西的。
    Example: He’s so careless that he forgets things all the time.

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References used:
MDBG Chinese-English Dictionary http://www.mdbg.net
Yahoo 奇摩字典 http://tw.dictionary.yahoo.com

Chinese-English Vocabulary Builder: Chinese Idioms

  1. 叫苦不迭 (jiào kǔ bu dié)-To complain incessantly. 叫: to cry out, to shout. 苦: hardship, suffering. 不: no. 迭: repeatedly, frequently.
    例句: 王太太對購物、血拼的愛好讓皮夾子縮小的王先生叫苦不迭。
    Example: Ms. Wong’s love for shopping has led to many complaints from Mr. Wong, who holds a shrinking wallet.
  2. 匪夷所思 (fěi yí suǒ sī)-Unthinkable or extraordinary actions or ideas. 匪: same. 非 (fēi), not. 夷: ordinary. 思: think.
    例句: 這件謀殺案令人匪夷所思,十年了還是解不出來。
    Example: This is a difficult murder case that has yet to be solved even after ten years.
  3. 唯利是圖 (wéi lì shì tú)- To seek personal profit over everything. 唯: only. 利: gains, profit. 圖: to covet, to seek.
    例句: 此公司的創辦人唯利是圖,不在乎廉價材料和低廉的品質仍以高價出售產品,賺取高盈利。
    Example: The founder of this company seeks profit over everything, selling his products at high prices with high returns despite their cheap materials and  l0w quality.
  4. 得不償失 (dé bù cháng shī)- The gains do not make up for the losses. 得: to gain. 不: not. 償: return, to compensate. 失: to lose.
    例句: 失戀後她連續睡了好幾個星期,課也沒去上,結果影響了成績。真是得不償失。
    Example: After her breakup, she slept for weeks, missing her classes and thus affecting her grades. So not worth it.
  5. 打草驚蛇 (dǎ cǎo jīng shé)- To inadvertently alert an enemy.   打: to hit. 草: grass. 驚: startle, alert. 蛇: snake.
    例句: 玩躲貓貓時千萬不能出聲,打草驚蛇,免得被找著。
    Example: In the game of hide and seek, you must not make any sounds to alert the seeker, in case of getting caught.

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References used:
MDBG Chinese-English Dictionary http://www.mdbg.net
Yahoo 奇摩字典 http://tw.dictionary.yahoo.com
Bai Du 百科 http://baike.baidu.com
國語日報辭典