He's been playing the violin since he was 5

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L3P

Senior Member
Russian,Ukrainian
Hi,guys!
[He`s been playing the violin since he was 5]
Can you translate it into Chinese,please?
 
  • Messquito

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    五歲起他就開始拉小提琴了:tick:
    他五歲起就開始拉小提琴了:tick:
    他從五歲的時候就開始拉小提琴至今/直到現在:thumbsup: 到現在indicates that he didn't stop for a year or so during this time. It is continual, a regular thing to do since he was 5, and he's never stopped this routine. It's what you wants to convey by 's been Ving.)
     
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    L3P

    Senior Member
    Russian,Ukrainian
    1.My manual says: 他从五岁就开始拉小提琴了. Can that be right?
    2.Is it possible just to say: 他从五岁(or 从五岁的时候)拉了小提琴?
    What does 开始 do here? It`s not 'When did he start playing',isn`t it,that we have to translate?
    I just thought it would be as in: 他在上海住了两年- He`s been living in Shanghai for two years
    3.How would you translate 'He`s been living in Shanghai since he was 5'?

    Thanks a lot,Messquito.
     
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    fyl

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    「他从五岁就开始拉小提琴了」 is right.
    But I think it is better to remove 从 in the above sentence, and 起/从 in Messquito's suggestions. 他五岁就开始拉小提琴了, 五岁他就开始拉小提琴了 are better, because "he started playing the violin AT 5" instead of "he started playing the violin since 5". But for this specific structure, using 从 is also OK, at least to me.

    You can't say 他从五岁拉了小提琴了. If you want to use the structure of 他在上海住了两年了, you can say 他拉了十年小提琴了(assume he is 15 years old). (Note that 小提琴 is the object of 拉, but there isn't an object in 他在上海住了两年了. You can say 他在上海住了两年地下室了.)

    It seems a bit complicated to explain the grammar clearly, but below is what 他从五岁拉了小提琴了 means to me:
    「他拉了小提琴了」 means "he has played the violin", this sentence implies that he has to play the violin for some reason, and he has finished that task.
    「他从五岁就拉了小提琴了」 sounds like he had completed the mission of 「拉小提琴」 at 5, and he does not need to play the violin again in his life. 「他五岁就拿了世界冠军了」 is what sounds more reasonable.
    Without 就 it sounds like a wrong sentence.
     
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    Messquito

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    1. Yes, that's correct.
    2. 他在上海住了兩年了~兩年is not a time point but a duration, so it should be "for 2 years"
    Whereas your example here is "since+a time point", which takes a different structure.
    The in 住了 implies that something is completed, and this something could be the action, or, in this case, a duration. This duration 兩年 has been completed. So when 兩年 is missing in this sentence, it would be just 他在上海住(He's living in Shanghai), without the use of 了, because there isn't anything in it completed, even the action 住. It's the same case with 拉了小提琴.
    For me 開始 means the beginning of a state or repetition of actions, and it kind of implies the subject's initiative on this action. If it's dropped in this case, it would sound really odd to me. I wouldn't leave it out, unless it's in subordinate clauses like this: 五歲起拉小提琴的他,已經成為一位知名的音樂家了/他從五歲拉小提琴到現在,一直沒有遇到多少挫折
    Or I would put it like this: 他五歲起就一直拉小提琴到現在
    3. 他自/從五歲以來就一直住在上海


    What fyl said about the drop of 從/起, I agree, and it is more logical, but I think it is never wrong to say that.
    For me, 起 marks the very start of the time and 開始 marks the start of the actions. 起=開始, so using both is perhaps redundant, but many would say that.
    Further more, 開始(...了), for me, gives a sense of "going on", as in, "The game is on! 遊戲開始了!" "The fight is on! 戰鬥開始了!" "From them on,...那時開始/起..."

    And it's even less odd to say "從...開始", given there are phrases like this "從零開始/start from zero" "Since" and "From" can both be translated as 從, so it may be a different case than "start... since"
    But then again, it's better to drop the 起/從, I agree. It's more logical.
     
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    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    1.My manual says: 他从五岁就开始拉小提琴了. Can that be right?
    2.Is it possible just to say: 他从五岁(or 从五岁的时候)拉了小提琴?
    What does 开始 do here? It`s not 'When did he start playing',isn`t it,that we have to translate?
    I just thought it would be as in: 他在上海住了两年- He`s been living in Shanghai for two years
    3.How would you translate 'He`s been living in Shanghai since he was 5'?
    1. 他从五岁就开始拉小提琴了 is right.

    2. 他从五岁(or 从五岁的时候)拉了小提琴了? is not right.
    We prefer the following structures: 从+time+起+就+verb; 从+time+开始+就+verb.
    But you used "从+time+verb", which was rather odd and incomprehensive.
    了 signifies "completion" or "change of state", which should not be attached to 拉, because this action is not finished or changed.

    3. 他从五岁起就住在上海了。/ 他五岁时就住在上海了。 etc.

    By the way, the only case you may omit 就, is when the sentence serves as a clause, and there are other clauses before or after it.
    E.g. 他从五岁开始拉小提琴,到现在已经十年了。“He's been playing violin since he was 5, so far it has been 10 years.”
    However, I still suggest you add 就 all the time, whenever you use 从+time.
     
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