Does “想” equal to “思う”?(1)

When we translate the Chinese word “想” to Japanese, it seems that we often select the Japanese word “思う” as its translation. While we must notice that, on some occasions, we should not translate it to “思う”, instead we should use other words, for example “たい”,“考える”,“慕う” and so on. Now that, it is necessary to make clear that when translate it to “思う” and when translate it to other words.

Before we discuss the translation of “想”, in my opinion, we should realize that the Chinese word “想” has a great deal of meanings which makes it complex when translate it to Japanese. Broadly speaking, “想” in Chinese has four main meanings summarized as follows.(1)“think”, ”think of”   (2) ”suppose, consider” (3)”want to , would like to” (4)“miss, remember with longing”. Since it has four different meanings, when we translate it to Japanese, we must figure out which meaning it describe and then according to right meaning to transfer to Japanese. In order to make out how to translate “想” Chinese –Japanese translation, I will summarize some relevant things and will centre on the problem in my following passages.

The first meaning of “想” is “think”, ”think of” and the like. For example, 你在想什么?when we translate this sentence to Japanese, we must not translate to “何を思っていますか?” Because the word “想” in this sentence means “think of”, and the sentence means ”what are you thinking of? ”. Thus, we should translate it to “何を考えていますか?”. Similarly, when we encounter the sentence like “让我想一想。”, we should not translate it to “ちょっと思わせてください。” If we translate like that, then the Japanese will wonder what ever it meant by this sentence. That because “想一想” in means “think over”, and this sentence means “Let me think it over/ Let me see”. For this reason, we should translate this sentence to “ちょっと考えさせてください。” To conclude, when “想” express the meaning of “think”, ”think of”, “think over” and the like, most of the time, it tends to translate it to “考える”.


Words translated by CCJK


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