There's a bit of a learning curve.

Jian Cho

Banned
Chinese
Hi. I'm supposed to translate an Adobe Photoshop review into Chinese, but here's the thing: The term "learning curve" does not have an equivalent in my language. Well, it does, but it's not used in day to day speech at all and very few people would actually understand what I'm talking about. So I need to translate it a bit differently.
- What would you say to those considering buying the product?
- There's a bit of a learning curve, but it's the industry standard for a reason. Every designer should know how to use it.

Adobe Photoshop Review - Flexible and powerful software - essential for designers by Julie H. March 27, 2018
Can I translate the part in bold as...

"It's easy to get into, but it's hard to master."
OR
"It's easy to learn, but it's hard to master."
OR
"It's easy to get into, but mastering it takes a lot of practice and experience."

...and still convey the same meaning?

Thanks.
 
Last edited:
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    There's a bit of a learning curve, = There's a relatively steep learning curve,

    At first/initially, it is very difficult to learn, but ...
    At first/initially, it is a very difficult program to learn to use, but ...

    The article makes no mention of "mastering it"; it refers only to the initial process of learning how to use it.

    (From my own experience, the learning curve for Photoshop is like the North Face of Everest... :D)
     
    Last edited:

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I don't think she means that it is easy to get into but rather that it takes some effort to learn. In fact, "A bit of" seems like it might be somewhat of an understatement.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    There's a bit of a learning curve, = There's a relatively steep learning curve ...
    While the original question has been answered, I can't let this go by without comment.

    The learning curve describes the reduction of effort to do given task as one learns to do it better, as in this graph:



    A steep learning curve is one where the effort drops off quickly - that is, it is easy to learn to do the task well. When something is hard to learn, like Photoshop, it takes a long time to learn to do it well. Reductions in effort come slowly. The learning curve is not steep. It is gradual.

    This error is common. Most people use "steep learning curve" erroneously, to describe something that is hard to learn. This is natural, since we associate steepness with hills and steep hills are hard to climb. I just thought that, on a site where we make an effort to learn correct English, we should take this opportunity to point out this common error and perhaps make it just a bit less common. If I saw the same error on a site about photography, computing, or travel, I probably wouldn't mention it.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Most people use "steep learning curve" erroneously, to describe something that is hard to learn. This is natural, since we associate steepness with hills and steep hills are hard to climb.
    The OP wanted a phrase to translate the idea of "steep learning curve" so that the meaning intended would get through.

    There is a previous discussion on this at on the learning curve / learning curve has been steep in which the consensus was that the tide has already come in for the meaning of "steep learning curve" and the prime example is "Photoshop" - very difficult to learn or make progress in in the early stages.

    I am afraid that there is no way back. :)

    And I suppose that much depends on what you use as your axes.

    Then there is "He paid a steep (=high) price for that!"

    And the graph above is initially "steep".
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top