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Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by swim4life, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. swim4life Senior Member

    Shanghai, China
    Chinese, China
    I noticed that [FONT=宋体]肉麻 is translated into “disgusting” in the Chinese-English dictionary, but in some situations “disgusting” is too strong to be correct. For example:[/FONT]

    Husband: Honey, you are so beautiful today!
    Chinese wife: [FONT=宋体]你太肉麻了! (别肉麻了!)[/FONT]

    There are more: [FONT=宋体]肉麻的情书,肉麻的话,肉麻的短信,肉麻的称呼等等。What’s the right English word for [FONT=宋体]肉麻 [/FONT]here? Thanks.[/FONT]
  2. strad Senior Member

    English (American)
    I think nauseating works for some of these (being used facetiously, of course). If i was reading a [FONT=宋体]肉麻的情书, [/FONT]I might describe that in English as nauseating :)

    corny is another common translation of [FONT=宋体]肉麻.[/FONT]
  3. GamblingCamel

    GamblingCamel Senior Member

    USA English CULTA + RUA
    Swim > I think "nauseating" and "disgusting" are much too strong for a wife to say to a husband. Unless they're in the middle of marital conflict.

    My translation of 别肉麻了!
    "Oh, don't be so sappy!" (Excessively sentimental, mawkish, silly, foolish).

    I suppose that a love letter or SMS that's insincere, manipulative, crass could be referred to as nauseating/disgusting.
  4. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    From GC's post, I'd use "mawkish" but conversationally, "silly" seems to fit the bill in many situations, in a light hearted way.
  5. Razzle Storm

    Razzle Storm Senior Member

    English - America
    I usually translate it into "corny" or "sappy", depending on the situation, of course.
  6. name my name

    name my name Senior Member

    Hi, all
    Here I have a Chinese word "肉麻“. I do not know what to express it in English, so anyone has any idea, please tell me. Thanks in advance.

    Moderator's note:
    This thread has now been merged with an earlier one.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  7. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    Hi name my name,

    This is not really driving you away but for "肉麻“, your first port of call should be a dictionary, and do come here when you find that dictionaries don't give you the answer you need.
  8. mrdrx Junior Member

    imagine a boy was reading a love letter to the girl he loved ,the girl was happy but pretended to be angry and complained to the boy

    the letter listens 肉麻。or you are very 肉麻!
  9. Tobb New Member

    San Francisco
    The closest word I can think of is "disgusted" or in this case, you are disgusting.
  10. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    What does the expression literally mean? Is it to say that something is too disgusting that one's flash goes numb?
  11. Lugubert Senior Member

    I know you meant to write "flesh"...
  12. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Yes, it is supposed to be "flesh." Is my understanding correct?

    Thanks be to God that I did not write "fresh."
  13. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Cantonese (Hong Kong)
    It may be, since in Cantonese we use 骨痺 gwat1bei3 "bone-numb" as well as 肉麻 juk6maa4 in an amorous context (i.e. lovey-dovey to the point of causing embarrassment). In a more general context, 肉麻 just means "embarrassing (e.g. when you see your colleague keeps brown-nosing your boss)" and the Cantonese equivalent in this case could be 肉酸 "flesh-sore".
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  14. SuperXW Senior Member

    It literally means: (some words or actions are so mawkish that make others) flesh creep.

    麻 in Chinese not only describes the feeling of "numb", but also the feeling of "having pins and needles" on your body.
  15. chrysanthy

    chrysanthy New Member

    overacts. mushy
  16. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    You've nailed it, Super! :)
  17. mrdrx Junior Member


    wow i have another illustration:the feeling when you are listening to 《rolling in the deep》by adele!^^
  18. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    I think this is more a Chinese cultural thing.

    Western people don't feel embarassed if hearing/reading something sweet or romantic.
  19. miltonese

    miltonese Junior Member

    Such as in sentence: 你好肉麻啊。
    Popular translation is: you are disgusting.

    But I do not think that is a appropriate translation.
    Is any better version out there?
  20. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    Miltonese, I've merged your question to an earlier one. If you want to ask about a word, it may be usefull to do a search first for existing threads on it.
  21. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada, English
    I too would translate it as "corny" or "sappy". Definitely not "disgusting" (or else a different Chinese word would be used, I think.. ?)

    I think you may be right! (in the West, it usually brings a reaction a lot different from 'being happy/touched on the inside but acting angry on the outside', yet I can definitely picture this happening in China)

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