Chinese version is at hand

Sun14

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello, my friends,

I was wondering whether the underlined part is idiomatic or there is more idiomatic choice:

"The Chinese version is at hand."

Thoughts: I began to write teaching material in English but a friend told me students won't read English so I told him since the English version is written, the Chinese version is at hand. By saying this I mean the Chinese version is easy and soon to be written after I finished the English version.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hi, Sun. I wouldn't be sure exactly what you meant if you told me that. I would have to ask you what you meant if you used that phrase in a conversation with me.

    Rather than making me do that, you should probably use something clearer to express your meaning: I will soon write a version in Chinese.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Hi, Sun. I wouldn't be sure exactly what you meant if you told me that. I would have to ask you what you meant if you used that phrase in a conversation with me.

    Rather than making me do that, you should probably use something clearer to express your meaning: I will soon write a version in Chinese.
    Thank you, but I want to tell him that the possibility of how soon and easy the Chinese version would be done rather than I would actually do it.
     
    Last edited:

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Why? If you tell me something "is at hand", that doesn't mean that it can accomplished easily. It might mean that the Chinese version will appear in the near future. It might mean that you already have a copy of the Chinese version.

    Both ideas seem misleading if you merely want to say that it would be easy to translate your writing into Chinese. If you don't plan on doing this yourself in the immediate future, "at hand" seems even more misleading to me.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Why? If you tell me something "is at hand", that doesn't mean that it can accomplished easily. It might mean that the Chinese version will appear in the near future. It might mean that you already have a copy of the Chinese version.

    Both ideas seem misleading if you merely want to say that it would be easy to translate your writing into Chinese. If you don't plan on doing this yourself in the immediate future, "at hand" seems even more misleading to me.
    I don't insist on using "at hand". I was wondering whether there is a set term like "at hand" to convey such meaning. Maybe: The version in Chinese is a easy cake or the version in Chinese is like a easy basket. The latter one is a term in basketball, I was wondering whether I could use it this way.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thank you. Your question is much clearer. You can say that writing the Chinese version will be a piece of cake. That's another way to say that it will be easy to write the Chinese version.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I don't insist on using "at hand". I was wondering whether there is a set term like "at hand" to convey such meaning. Maybe: The version in Chinese is a easy cake or the version in Chinese is like a easy basket. The latter one is a term in basketball, I was wondering whether I could use it this way.
    I would avoid "cute" expressions, idioms, or metaphors if I were you, Sun. Just say "I could translate it into Chinese quickly, if needed."
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    'At hand' does not mean 'easily done'. I would understand your sentence to mean that the Chinese version was available or very soon available. I'm thinking of definitions 2.1 and 2.2 from Oxford Dictionaries:
    at hand

    1. Close by:a mortar burst close at hand
    2.1 Readily accessible when needed:doctors can have vaccines at hand to immunize any child who comes for treatment
    2.2 about to happen:a breakthrough in combating the disease may be at hand
     

    torresc15

    Member
    English - United States
    I think what you want to say is "The Chinese version is on its way" or "The Chinese version is on the way" or better yet "The Chinese version will be available shortly."
     
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