Which language can express ideas in the least amount of words? I hope to enjoy a good discussion.

JJchang

Senior Member
NZ - English, Chinese
Ni hao everyone,
This refers to this thread http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=29570

Because I'm bloody competitive, so competitive that I'm willing to make an a*se out of myself, I'd like to know how can we proud Chinese speakers reduce this sentence even further, or even correct my attempt.
哪種話可用最少的字表達意見? 希望這討論會很有意思.

here's my attempt:
何語可微言顯義乎. 願此對能好之. (14 words)

Can someone please helps after laughing? ;)
 
  • charlie2

    Senior Member
    JJchang said:
    Ni hao everyone,
    This refers to this thread http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=29570

    Because I'm bloody competitive, so competitive that I'm willing to make an a*se out of myself, I'd like to know how can we proud Chinese speakers reduce this sentence even further, or even correct my attempt.
    哪種話可用最少的字表達意見? 希望這討論會很有意思.

    here's my attempt:
    何語可微言顯義乎. 願此對能好之. (14 words)

    Can someone please helps after laughing? ;)
    Hi, I didn't laugh and I am not competitive.
    And I am not an advanced Chinese speaker.
    Enough on the riders. :)
    Your first sentence can be shortened to 何語最言簡意賅 which is even closer to the original sentence. So we are one character less, right?
    As for the second sentence, there can never be a correct literal translation in Chinese, I think, the reason being that this is not how the Chinese would put it. We would say 佇候高見 literally to mean : I am standing here to await your learned opinion. We are humble people, remember? ;) Discussion is not in the ancient Chinese culture.
    If you're with me, you have got 11 words to express your sample sentences.
     

    JJchang

    Senior Member
    NZ - English, Chinese
    cheers matey,
    言簡意賅 is brilliant. I was thinking 微言大義, but it has other connotation.
    I'm a bit hesitate to replace my second part to 佇候高見, as the object and subject of this sentence 何語最言簡意賅 佇候高見 are a bit confusing, and it doesn't really translate the original meaning. (otherwise people will come back and say RSVP is acceptable as well...:p)
    對 has been used to mean conversation before, and 能好之 is used in 論語.

    Anyway, I'll take 13 words. Thanks a lot. :D
     

    charlie2

    Senior Member
    JJchang said:
    cheers matey,
    言簡意賅 is brilliant. I was thinking 微言大義, but it has other connotation.
    I'm a bit hesitate to replace my second part to 佇候高見, as the object and subject of this sentence 何語最言簡意賅 佇候高見 are a bit confusing, and it doesn't really translate the original meaning. (otherwise people will come back and say RSVP is acceptable as well...:p)
    對 has been used to mean conversation before, and 能好之 is used in 論語.

    Anyway, I'll take 13 words. Thanks a lot. :D
    You're welcome. Pleased to be able to contribute. :)
     
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