Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chinglish: "遇到问题" and "meet a problem"

Some Chinese students translate "遇到问题" to "meet a problem". This is not correct. The correct way to say it is "I have a problem", "I had a problem", "this problem happened to me before". Say whatever but avoid "meet", because that's a word for people, as in "I met him on the street". If you have to have an exact match for "遇到", say "encounter", as in "the operations team encountered a serious problem at the time the system went live". But it's too formal for normal use.