Use chopsticks instead of fork and knife

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capuyk

Member
Italian
Hi everyone,

I'm not sure about my translation. Could anyone check it for me, please?
There are more then one attempt because I don't perceive the difference (if there is one :confused:) between 代替 and 替代.
Moreover I also tried to translate the same santence using 不如, but I sense something strange, because I guess that 不如 has a sense of "better than".
Anyway here my attempts:

1) 用筷子代替叉子和刀子
2) 用筷子替代叉子和刀子
3) 别用叉子和刀子,不如用筷子

Thanks for your help
 
  • AquisM

    Senior Member
    English/Cantonese
    The third sounds the best to me. I would translate the first two as Replace your knife and fork with chopsticks. However, I agree that 不如 can have that sort of meaning, causing the sentence to be ambiguous, so I would just simplify it to:

    别用刀叉,用筷子吧。
     

    viajero_canjeado

    Senior Member
    English - Southeastern USA
    Hi capuyk!

    "Instead of" is a word that used to give me a lot of trouble too. In addition to AquisM's suggestion, another structure that often comes in handy is 「而不是」。 For example:

    你要用筷子,而不是刀叉。
    我打算買A,而不是B。 = I plan to buy A instead of B.

    As a side note, I don't think there's any difference between 代替 and 替代..
     

    capuyk

    Member
    Italian
    I see :).
    It seems that you can't translate "instead of" simply with 代替.
    Must admit that 而不是 sounds more natural and less literal.
    However, glad to read your side note about 代替 and 替代, but
    the problem is that now I'm even more confused than before,
    because I've understood that I don't know how to use 代替 :eek::warn:
     

    Youngfun

    Senior Member
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    First of all, I think you have to specify.
    You are saying that YOU want to use chopsticks (imperative), or are you telling the other person (imperative) to use chopsticks?
    As they already tell you, we usually say 刀叉 for fork+knife

    I will analyse your sentences:
    1) 用筷子代替叉子和刀子
    2) 用筷子替代叉子和刀子

    These sentences seems too formal to me for the use of 代替 and 替代 for such a simple operation.
    I also didn't have clear the distinction between 代替 and 替代。
    Searching on the net I understood that 替代 means "to replace something with another thing" (sostituire qualcosa con un'altra cosa), while 代替 means "doing something for somebody else" (fare qualcosa al posto di qualcun altro).
    I'm not sure if my understanding is correct. If it is, then the only right sentence would be with 替代:
    用筷子替代刀叉
    which means "Replace fork and knife with chopsticks?"... but do you usually say in this way? Do you usually say "Sostituisci le posate con le bacchette?"
    This "replacing" let me think about a person that uses one chopstick to hold the steak, and the other chopstick to cut it. :)
    (One day I will try
    :D)

    3) 别用叉子和刀子,不如用筷子
    This sentence look like an advice, which I find too "strong".
    It means "Don't use fork and knife, it's rather better to use chopsticks!"
    不如 means literaly "isn't as good as", means "it's better...(what follows in the sentence)"
    I bet if you say this sentence to a Western, he will say "hell no! I prefer to use fork and knife ;)"
    But I would possibly use this sentence when eating 汤面 (soup noodles, spaghetti cinesi al brodo) which is a little difficult to eat with the fork :)

    Chinese language doesn't like to use instead of, replace, etc.
    We prefer a comma, as you said the simpler the better ;)

    If you are giving an advice
    , AquisM's sentence is fine:
    别用刀叉,用筷子吧。

    If you are saying what you want to do:
    我用筷子,不用刀叉

    Using 而不 is also fine, but a little less simpler :)

    Viajero dixit: 你要用筷子,而不是刀叉。


    我用筷子,而不用刀叉

     
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