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I learned the character for fluoride! At once you can notice the similarity to 气 -- gas, air, smell, to make angry, weather, etc; a fitting category for a chemical's name.

I learned the character for fluoride! At once you can notice the similarity to 气 — gas, air, smell, to make angry, weather, etc; a fitting category for a chemical’s name.

Of course the fluoride vote is over now, but thanks to Pleco I could actually figure out what this blurb in a local Chinese newspaper said about it.

“争取加氟活动已经集资达一百万美元”

“The fight over adding fluoride(1) has already raised funds amounting to one million dollars”

(本报编译) (This newspaper translates?)

波特兰对自来水是否要加氟的问题得不可开交。

“Whether or not to add fluoride to Portland’s tap water has been a never-ending issue.

不仅仅市民在餐桌上争论不休,而且也浪费了很多钱。

Not only (2) do city residents debate it at the dinner table without taking a breath(3), but much money has been spent, unchecked.

加氟与否(4), 赞成和反对双方都在积极朝一百万的集资方向迈进。

Whether or not [they want to] add fluoride, endorsing or opposing, both parties now together have amassed upwards of one million in raised funds, steadily trending upwards.

根据上周五的决定五月二十日将会作出决定。

According to last Friday’s decision, May 21st may be able to deliver a verdict. (5)

这一天也越来越近了。

This day draws more and more near.”

1. Literally “fight over adding fluoride activity”, but we would never say that

2. “不仅仅” I’m guessing is the same as just “不仅”, but I’m not sure

3. Without stopping, without rest. I said “without taking a breath” because that sounds more like something we would actually say. Cease your unceasing debate!

4. It just says “whether or not to add fluoride”, which doesn’t really work in English without a pronoun, so I added one.

5. Maybe there isn’t an etiquette issue about using the same word twice in one sentence in Chinese, in this case “决定”, but I think it would sound weird to translate it as “decision” both times — particularly since (I think) it refers to two different decisions, one being to vote on the issue and the other being to resolve the issue finally.

At least now I know 波特兰 — “Portland,” which is quasi-useful (I was super confused for a moment about why this article was talking about waves of special orchids — derp, proper noun). I don’t think I’ll see 氟 or 自来水 – “tap water” much again in my reading, though. I’m not sure whether there is any cultural significance to them not at all mentioning any of the arguments proposed by either side, but simply marveling on how much money people are willing to spend over arguing about it. “浪费” my app translated “unrestrained cost” but google translates it as “waste.” Perhaps that would have been more apt as well as pithy.

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