ehophi wrote:For instance, your translations are literally speaking different:
Well, if you're speaking Chinese, you ARE speaking different!
Different language, different set of rules. Not everything matches up to English (and, in fact, most of it doesn't).
I think that's where most people get confused and go astray when trying to learn Mandarin, they tend to think that this exists in English and therefore MUST exist in Mandarin.
Once again, I have no idea what on earth you were talking about in your post, though.
Yes, I'm aware that not every sentence of English bijects every sentence of Mandarin. However, one should recognize that transliterations actually match to completely different sentences, as this avoids to needless confusions about how sentences, phrases, and words of different languages match or don't match.
Here's an easy illustration: These are two sentences of arithmetic: -(4 + 7) = -11 and -4 - 7 = -11. Most people insist that "they say the same thing." That shows a superficial understanding of arithmetic, however. It's more accurate to say that the two sentences state an equivalent fact in different ways. We could prove the first sentence from the second sentence, and vice versa.
Natural languages do the same thing. Take sentences like, "John hit the road." and "John beat it." These don't "say the same thing," either. However, they state an equivalent fact in different ways, and we would infer that "John hit the road" implies that "John beat it," and vice versa.
If you accept this, then you would have to accept that two sentences may offer similar or identical information, but strictly speaking, form unique sentences. Your sentences, however, don't do that, because we would not (rationally) infer that "He said when he'll eat [food] to his boss," implies, "他跟他老闆講他幾點要去吃飯。/ He said at what time he'll eat [food] to his boss." Couldn't I very easily tell you when I'm going to lunch without telling you the time on a clock?
If we can't translate a sentence to another most literally, then we don't need to insist that an approximate translation which says something different "says the same thing." At most, we could say that the two sentences are similar in certain ways.
You'd have to understand what I was talking about in my earlier post to get any meaning out of any further details.