polite and helpful

yuechu

Senior Member
Canada, English
大家好!

My parents just came back from Japan and I was thinking of how to translate the following sentence to Chinese: "My parents just came back from Japan and were saying how polite and helpful people were in Japan."
For example, for "helpful", is it common to say "乐于助人的"?

Thanks!

EDIT: 乐意 was corrected to 乐于
 
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  • SimonTsai

    Senior Member
    Taiwanese Mandarin
    我父母剛從日本回來,他們剛剛正說著:在日本,人們是怎樣地 [by giving examples] 有禮貌、樂於給予人幫助。
     
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    corner1912

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    但日本人讲礼貌不是一个一直存在的事实吗?用过去时,给人的感觉好像过去讲礼貌,现在不一定了:confused:
    感觉英文里的过去时很好“触发”,只要是在说过去的事情,就用过去时,除非在陈述事实,“陈述”和“事实”两个条件都不能少。这里可以理解为只是在说过去的见闻吧。我不太能理解为什么用were saying,感觉这里翻和不翻对句子有影响
     
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    yuechu

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Thank you all for your translations and correction as well! :)

    为什么要用过去时?而不是一般现在时?
    That's a good question. I think that a grammar book might only say that 过去时 is correct here and not the present tense. (It's what I was taught in school) However, you will hear people sometimes use the present tense as well, especially in conversation.
    I think that the past tense sounds a bit better in this sentence because they only went for a short trip and didn't have much interaction with Japanese people. It was a "tour bus trip" and they mostly interacted with other tourists. Even if it were longer though, the past tense is still correct. I think that if you want to emphasize that it is a fact or always true, and especially if the past tense sounds too ambiguous, the present tense can be used as well.
     
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