half bucket

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jokaec

Senior Member
Chinese - Hong Kong
In Chinese, we can say his English is only half bucket, which means he only knows about half of the English knowledge. Does English have sumilar saying? If not, can I say his English is dabbler? Thank you!
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    In Chinese, we can say his English is only half bucket, which means he only knows about half of the English knowledge. Does English have sumilar saying? If not, can I say his English is dabbler? Thank you!
    :D
    Lovely phrases - but not at all idiomatic in English, I am afraid.
    You could say "he only dabbles in English" to suggest he has a very limited knowledge.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    dabble is a verb. A dabbler is a person doing that. There is no related adjective meaning a skill level.

    I'm a good example. I dabble in Chinese and Korean and Japanese. I know the sounds and writing, some grammar, but less than 200 words in each language. Recently I bought some books on Chinese, and I plan to study it seriously (the opposite of dabbling).
     
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