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    #1

    Is "say" used correctly here?

    ------------------

    The Chinese news media focused on a stumble by Ms. Tsai in her meeting with Mr. Jadotte. She paused awkwardly while reading the Chinese version of Mr. Jadotte’s name in the prepared text, then ad-libbed in English, “I have trouble saying it in the Chinese language.”

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    Last edited by emsr2d2; 29-May-2016 at 16:35. Reason: Enlarged font to make post readable

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Does "say" used correctly here?

    If she specifically has problems saying his name, then it's correct to say "I have trouble saying it in the Chinese language" (I would use "Chinese" there although I appreciate there is no such language). If she generally has problems with the language, regardless of the words, she should have said "I have trouble speaking Chinese" (same comment applies about "Chinese" not being a language).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: Does "say" used correctly here?

    Is "in the Chinese language" correct? We usually express "say it in English"-so simply using "say in Chinese" seems better.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Does "say" used correctly here?

    Yes, she's using "say" correctly. Apparently his name is hard to say in ANY language!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #5

    Re: Does "say" used correctly here?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTaste View Post
    Is "in the Chinese language" correct? We usually express "say it in English"-so simply using "say in Chinese" seems better.
    Perhaps she didn't know which one of the Chinese languages she was speaking!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Does "say" used correctly here?

    The Chinese people I met when I worked there, always referred to the language they spoke as Chinese. when they spoke to me in English.I don't know the nuances when they refer to it in their own language(s).

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    #7

    Re: Does "say" used correctly here?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    If she specifically has problems saying his name, then it's correct to say "I have trouble saying it in the Chinese language" (I would use "Chinese" there although I appreciate there is no such language). If she generally has problems with the language, regardless of the words, she should have said "I have trouble speaking Chinese" (same comment applies about "Chinese" not being a language).
    Here's a nuance in English express for which I am still confused:

    The speaker, Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's new president, is a native Chinese; so of course she has no trouble speaking Chinese. When she said "I have trouble saying it in the Chinese language", she referred to the fact that she didn't know how to say Mr. Jadotte’s English name in Chinese in particular. I wonder whether it is better in English expression if she had said "I have trouble saying it in Chinese", not "I have trouble saying it in the Chinese language"?
    Last edited by GoodTaste; 30-May-2016 at 00:21. Reason: bigger font size for better reading

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    #8

    Re: Does "say" used correctly here?

    It would have sounded more natural to just say "I have trouble saying it in Chinese", yes. However, as Charlie pointed out, his name is his name - you can't say it in any other language than the one it's actually in so anyone saying his name would be saying it in Chinese.
    She should have simply said "I have trouble saying his name".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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