季 / 天

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Seeda, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Seeda Senior Member

    Metz
    法语 / French (FR)
    大家好,

    Is there a different in usage between 季 and 天 when referring to seasons? I'm asking because I see summer translates as both 夏季 and 夏天.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. ElGarcia Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    夏天 is colloquial and used more widely/broadly than 夏季. It may refer to the season or a certain time point/one or more days in the season (the latter may also be expressed as 夏日 in semi-formal/written texts). Examples:
    1. - 好热啊。 - 没办法,现在是夏天嘛。
    2. 这里别的都好,就是夏天蚊子太多。
    3. xx防晒霜,夏天好伴侣!(广告)
    In all these situations 夏季 is not incorrect, but weird (maybe better in case 3 as it is an ad, e.g. semi-formal context). 夏日 can be used in 3 but not 1 or 2.

    夏季 is more formal and often seen in institutional/scientific texts.
    For example: (足球俱乐部)夏季转会情况一览表
    (某地)夏季平均光照x小时。
    Here 夏天 may be used in related oral conversations, such as: "你看今年夏天的转会新闻了吗?""夏天光照充足,冬天就不一定了。"But in the original news or articles 夏季 would be more proper.
     
  3. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    ElGarcia's explanation is perfect.
    天 basically means "day", therefore is more broad, not specific to the meaning of "season". 夏天 is like "the summer days", therefore it's more informal.
    季 specifically means "season". Therefore "summer season" is more formal.
     
  4. Seeda Senior Member

    Metz
    法语 / French (FR)
    Thanks again, guys, you made it very clear.
    I'm just stumped by this phrase, though. Can you break it down?
     
  5. ElGarcia Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    这里别的
    This place is (pretty) good/nice otherwise, (if not...) or
    Everything/All is good here, (except for...)

    别的 (other, else) and 都 (all) complement each other to express the meaning of "everything/anything apart from the mosquitoes in summer".
     
  6. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    夏天平均光照12小时 vs. 夏季平均光照1080小时
    *你看今年夏天奧運會了吗?* vs. 你看今年夏季奧運會了吗?
    To me, it is not about register (formal vs. informal). They simply do not mean the same.

    又下雨啊。 - 没办法,现在是雨季嘛。 vs. *又下雨啊。 - 没办法,现在是雨天嘛*
    这里别的都好,就是雨季蚊子太多。
    xx油紙傘,雨天好伴侣!
     
  7. ElGarcia Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    As I said, 夏天 may mean either the season in general (as 夏季) or a certain time point/a period of time in that season. So 夏季平均光照 might be average for the whole season while 夏天平均光照 is average for a summer day, though I doubt the latter is often used.

    雨季 vs 雨天 is not the same as 夏季 vs 夏天. Only 春/夏/秋/冬天 could mean the season as well as a certain day in the season; 雨天 can only mean rainy days instead of the entire rainy season. Like 阴天,晴天 etc. - there is no 阴季/晴季 in Chinese.
    Therefore "又下雨啊。- 没办法,现在是雨天嘛。“ doesn't make sense because here “夏天” in my original example refers to the season of summer.
     
  8. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    What's your understanding of the sentences? I can't think of any other meaning.
    夏季奥运会 is a formal competition, a formal term of "summer" is required. I don't know what 夏天奥运会 is.
    We are talking about 夏天vs夏季, not 雨天vs雨季.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  9. ElGarcia Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    I think Skatinginbc means [今年夏天]奥运会 vs. 今年[夏季奥运会]. There is a nuance here, but again the point is 夏天 includes the meaning of 夏季 and more.
     
  10. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    夏天 'summertime' ==> 夏天裡, 農事忙, 早榖才收割, 晚稻又下秧.
    夏季 'summer' ==> 採蓮是夏季農事,亦是江南舊俗。
    Just as "summer crops" sounds more natural than "summertime crops", so does 夏季作物 sound more idiomatic than 夏天作物. "Summer sports" (e.g., Summer Olympics 夏季奥运会) and "summer attire" (夏季服飾) are preferred over "summertime sports" (e.g., Summertime Olympics *夏天奥运会*) and "summertime attire" (夏天服飾). Actually, 夏季服飾 'attire that befits the season of summer' does not mean exactly the same in my mind as 夏天服飾 'attire that befits a summer day or the period of summer'. 夏季服飾 may include summer raincoats, but it would be very strange to me if raincoats are included in 夏天服飾 (適合炎炎夏日的服飾).

    Why did I mention 雨天 and 雨季?
    1. The reason that 天 'day', not 季 'season', is preferred in xx油紙傘,雨天好伴侣 also applies to xx防晒霜,夏天好伴侣.
    2. The 天 in 这里别的都好,就是夏天蚊子太多 'too many mosquitoes in the summertime' is sort of a combination of 季 'period' in 这里别的都好,就是雨季蚊子太多 and 天 'day' in 这里别的都好,就是雨天蚊子太多.
    3. The 天 in 好热啊--没办法,现在是夏天嘛 ('It is summertime', 'It is during the period of summer') is definitely not the 天 'day' in *又下雨啊。 - 没办法,现在是雨天嘛*.

    請上傳你的夏天照片 'summer day photos' vs. 請上傳你的夏季照片 'photos taken in a particular summer'
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  11. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    ^Again, we may have different definitions of "formal/informal". To me, all your examples are about formal/informal usages.
    To me, 夏季服飾 and 夏天服飾 have no difference in meaning, but since 服飾 is a formal term, 夏季 should be the better choice. If you interview enough native speakers, I bet most of them won't tell the difference you suggested.
    And I don't think most people would specifically differentiate 你的夏天照片 and 你的夏季照片. Both of them are ambiguous. They can be either "photo of you" or "photo of the summer season".
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015

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