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This short paragraph is taken from a China Daily article about a new kind of rollercoaster that may or may not be built.

Advanced Chinese News Stories and Reading Practice PassagesI’m only translating the first paragraph here, if you want to read the rest, the complete article can be found on the China Daily site.

One of the fun words in this paragraph is 模拟舱 mó nǐ cāng, which means “simulator”, like a flight simulator. In English, “simulator” can refer to anything that simulates, so this could be a combat simulator that’s really just a video game on a flat panel, but the Chinese word here is more specific. 模拟 means “simulate”, but 舱 cāng means a kind of cabin, like an airplane cabin, that you can step into and ride in.

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失重 – shī zhòng – Weightlessness
模拟舱 – mó nǐ cāng – Simulator / simulation cabin
遥不可及 – yáo bù kě jí – Unattainable
研发 – yán fā – Research and development
过山车 – guò shān chē – Rollercoaster


目前若想体验完全失重的感觉,除非成为一名航天员,或是搭乘失重模拟舱,否则这将是一个遥不可及的梦想。近日美国一家设计公司提出了一个新想法,他们计划研发一款能让乘客体验8秒钟完全失重感觉的过山车。如果资金充足,这款新型过山车会在2013年底前与世人见面。
SHOW ENGLISH TRANSLATION »
At present, if you want to experience what it feels like to be weightless, you can only become an astronaut or ride in an zero-gravity simulator, otherwise this dream is out of reach. But today, an American design company proposed a new idea, they have a plan to research and develop a rollercoaster that would allow passengers to experience weightlessness for 8 seconds. If there is sufficient capital, this new type of roller coaster would be introduced to the people of the world in late 2013.



3 comments to "A New Kind of Rollercoaster"

  1. Hey, can you tell me why does the 您 (nín=you) pronoun is omitted in the sentence “if you want to experience…”?

    Btw, awesome news LOL!

  2. In the same way that the Chinese are rather heedless of tense, the Chinese are also very willy-nilly with pronouns. In most sentences, pronouns are optional in a way that make Western language speakers extremely uncomfortable. In fact, the less pronouns you use, the more Chinese you typically sound – I find that, in spoken Chinese, they tend to establish who is being discussed (“I went to the store…”), and then they never say “I” again until the person being discussed changes. In other words, they don’t say “I went to the store and then I bought two apples and when I went home, I ate those apples.” They say, “I went to the store, bought some apples, and when went home, ate apples.”

    This isn’t a formal grammar point, it’s just an observation, though. Try dropping your pronouns in all but the most crucial cases – you’ll sound much more native.

    They also don’t always use “you” the way we do, and they really don’t often use it when addressing anonymous groups of readers. Instead, no pronoun is used at all. That sentence would be more accurately translated as “If it was desired to experience weightlessness…”. But of course that sounds stupid in English.

  3. About pronouns, we do in Italian exactly the same. But, because verbs are not conjugated in Chinese, it is more difficult to recognise who does the action.

    P.S.: 在2013年底前 = before the end of 2013.
    I think it is better:)


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