Read: “Difference between Interest and Hobbies” Collection and Correction of Chinglish 中式英語收集及修改 第 40 楼 Hobby vs Interest
Hobby vs interest
(Please include this information in any 转帖Yeti: 2005-2-8 12:58:43 中式英語收集及修改 第 40 楼http://www.rainlane.com/dispbbs.asp?boardid=11&star=4&replyid=2236&id=10928&skin=0&page=1 )
This is something from way back, and is not unique to "Chinese users." Even in my days as a high school student, almost everyone, including myself of course, misused the word "hobby."
English speakers use hobby to mean "something you like to do that is pursued vigorously in a systematic manner." 业余爱好,嗜好,癖好, and interest for something you like to do 爱好,兴趣. Of course dictionaries will list a whole bunch of meanings, but it is what is generally used by the public that defines its meaning. If you tell an English speaker music is your hobby he would assume you either sing with a choir or play an instrument on a regular bases or perhaps perform with an amateur or even semi-professional group.
Something you like to do is an "interest." If you only listen to music for pleasure, it is an interest. If you like to travel once in a while, that's an interest. Hobby is something you do systematically and with devotion. Stamp and coin collection are hobbies. Playing a musical instrument and joining non-professional or semi-professional performance group is a hobby.
From the novel "Wycliff and the Winsor Blue" by W.J. Burley:
"The Captain had set him thinking about retirement. What would he do when his turn came? Living in a cottage in the Cotswolds or anywhere else isn't an occupation. In any case, he was already living where he intended to retire. 'Prepare in advance, cultivate an interest--find a hobby," the pundits said. Well, he had plenty of interest but none sufficiently systematic to qualified as a hobby.