Mandarin is a group of Chinese dialects that are considered the official language in many Chinese-speaking communities. The Beijing dialect is considered as standard pronunciation of Mandarin. Thus, when people say the "Chinese language", they implicitly refer to Mandarin.

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Difference between 不得不, 不免 and 必然?

All of these words mean must or inevitable, but is there a difference between them?
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How can I get exposure to mandarin usage and pronounciation?

I have been taking Mandarin classes at university. Due to illness I have missed a lot and fallen way behind. Now I wish to continue learning on my own. I find it very hard to remember the ...
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115 views

How to say “here you go” when giving a gift?

I believe you can informally say "gěi" when handing something over like the soy sauce during dinner, right? But what can you say when you give a gift? Like "Here you go" instead of just "Here". Or ...
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64 views

Apple Tablet Dictionary that Supports Drawing Input

I am trying to find an Apple tablet dictionary that supports drawing input. What I mean by that Is that you are able to draw the character you are looking for and then it suggests a number of ...
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136 views

Bigrams ending in third tone where first syllable is second tone vs. third tone

This is regarding tone sandhi for consecutive third tones. I notice CC-CEDICT has over 200 bigrams with tone pair 3-3 where there also exists a separate bigram 2-3. One such example is: 白果 bai2 ...
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283 views

Chinese language?

There are three articles in Wikipedia that disturb me. Chinese language Mandarin Chinese Sinitic languages Let's think about this for a moment. Mandarin Chinese is the official ...
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89 views

How do you say “I mean”, as in “that is not what I mean” ? [closed]

As in "You have misunderstood, what I mean is that...."
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183 views

Differences: 别的 vs 其他 vs 另外 (other)

Well, the question is in the title... I'd be very thankful for an explanation, but also: Could you give examples of cases where they are and are not interchangeable? Can I use them for "where are ...
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1answer
150 views

What does 狸猫换太子 mean?

I came across this in a Chinese television show where someone says: "咱们狸猫换太子的计划". I can't figure out what "狸猫换太子" could mean. To my knowledge this means: "Leopard exchange for Crown Prince". Which ...
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294 views

Help me understand why 我艹你 means i f*** you?

This might seem as an unserious question but i was really stunned the first time I had an argument with a Chinese guy in League of Legends and he said: "我艹你". my first thought ofcourse was WTF!?! I ...
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217 views

Number of population whose actual mother tongue is Mandarin?

It is, falsely, assumed that Mandarin is the mother tongue of all Chinese speakers (here we can understand Mandarin as 普通话/国语/华语). The mother tongue would be the language that someone learned at home ...
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66 views

Puzzling negation in a beginner's grammar book

From Jimmy Du's Essential Chinese, p. 46: I understand everything you say. 你说的我都懂。 I don't understand all they say. 他们说的我不是都懂。 Why is 不是 there in the second example, and not simply 不? I ...
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48 views

What is the difference (and english translation) between 风浪 and 涌浪?

As far as I can tell, 风浪 is waves created by wind, and 涌浪 would be waves created by tidal movements or surge waves. However, this is a very bulky way to describe them. What is the English for this ...
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49 views

What is the correct style/format when including Chinese translations in academic articles?

For instance, I would like to write the following sentence about China: "Many songs were written to praise the Chinese Communist Party and the 'Motherland' ". By "Motherland", I mean 祖国 ( zuguo / ...
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147 views

How to translate “I hope I didn't embarrass you”?

"I hope I didn't embarrass you" 怎么翻译? 是不是:”希望我没让你没脸“ ?
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172 views

Which is the most frequently used tone?

The most difficult for me in learning Chinese is memorizing the correct tone. I tried to find on web what the most frequently used tones are, but it seems to be hard to find. I suppose if one tone ...
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4answers
163 views

Does this sentence sound natural?

I'm self translating common phrases in English, and I tried to translate "Excuse me, do you have the time?" and came up with “劳驾、做你有那个时?”. Is this a natural sounding sentence and is it correct?
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180 views

Why in some contexts does 走 mean “walk”, but in others “go”?

I was practicing the usage of prepositions and made the sentence 我走通过城市。 This sentence was intended to translate back to "I walk through the city.", which it did. However, adding the word 怕 with the ...
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5answers
167 views

Is 我携带我的猫 grammaticaly correct?

I've been writing Chinese sentences just to get myself used to the language, and I tried writing the sentence I carry my cat. I translated this to 我携带我的猫 (Pinyin: wǒ xié dài wǒ de māo). It sounds odd ...
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4answers
170 views

Descriptive / generative grammar of Mandarin?

Does anyone know where I can find a descriptive grammar and a generative grammar of Mandarin, in English or French?
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96 views

In which ways can I express “to make s.o. jump” ?

I would like to know if there are different ways in Mandarin or Cantonese to express the causative, examplified by the help of the sentence "to make s.o. jump".
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99 views

Fill in the Blanks/Grammar error

两个队的分数_都很_近. The spaces are where words/phrases are supposed to go. Are there such words that fit in these spaces? I've been going through google trying to find similar sentence structures but to no ...
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Do Cantonese 畀 and Mandarin 被 have any historical connection?

畀 and 被's modern pronunciations are quite similar. Although 畀 can mean “give” like the Mandarin 给 it also can work like 被: 佢畀人睇見 他被人家看見 Do Cantonese 畀 and Mandarin 被 have any historical ...
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178 views

Can people carry on a conversation with each side speaking a different form of Chinese, like in some movies?

For example, in the movie Ip Man, the "northerner" martial arts fighter who comes to Foshan to challenge the local martial arts fighters always talks in Mandarin, while everybody he talks to (the ...
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243 views

Confusion when words are combined

Hello I have been learning Mandarin for only a few weeks, although an issue has been bugging me. It concerns combining words together to make a sentence. For example I have heard that a correct ...
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How many syllables does Chinese have?

I'm just reading a book about China and Chinese customs from Heike Barai. She says that Chinese only has around 300 different syllables, whereas modern German has about 10 000 and I suppose English is ...
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134 views

meaning of “然後三個三個分成小組”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n38D7DCDtbk http://southworks.com/blog/2009/06/21/the-cookie-experiment/ So,when Liu Anting refers to "然後三個三個分成小組" does she mean something along the lines of "And ...
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86 views

“upregulate” in Manadrin

My best scientific dictionaries have all crashed, and in any case they may not have this word either. I'm looking for a Chinese translation of the word "upregulate" or "up-regulate": the process ...
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4answers
119 views

A noun version of “need”

I'm trying to write a sentence with the phrase "eliminates the need to do sth..." and have gotten as far as “消除作sth..的————”, any suggestions? I don't think 需要or必须are very good choices because they are ...
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299 views

“Thank you” in Tibetan, Cantonese, and Mandarin

I have observed, from subtitled movies, that there seems to be an expression [tɔdʒe] in Cantonese meaning, approximately, "thank you". In Standard Lhasa Tibetan as represented by Nawang Nornang, the ...
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190 views

“I will,” “I can,” “I will (probably)” A fundamental problem with 會

I've always been a little wary of talking about the future in Chinese using the character 會, my early teachers made it ambiguous or demanded that I use a 的 at the end of every 會 sentence, but then ...
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526 views

Ways to politely insult somebody's intelligence in Mandarin?

I know of many words to insult people and call them stupid, but a majority of them are incredibly offensive. There are more polite phrases, such as 真笨, which I've seen used within families (as a plain ...
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245 views

Chinese views on Erhua

I'm already well acquainted with erhua (儿化) in putonghua, essentially appending 儿 to the ends of words (or reading it when 儿 isn't written, as sometimes people do with 花 or 八点 etc). Many of these ...
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241 views

How Recent Is the Divergence In Taiwan- and PRC-Accented Mandarin Speech?

Many have compared the differences in standard (news broadcaster) accents in of Taiwan 國語 and PRC 普通话 to the differences in British and American accents. What linguistic factors have contributed to ...
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69 views

Does “些” Work As A Suffix (Ever) In Mandarin Similar To “们”?

些 xiē 【名】 [方言]:们〖-s〗——表示复数的词缀。如:婆娘些;娃儿些;老师些 Although marked as dialect (read: topolect), I'm curious to know if this usage is ever acceptable or found in MSM (Modern Standard ...
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66 views

Query about tone and stress in Mandarin foreign transcriptions/loanwords

Chinese transcription of foreign names and countries often results in long words that (in my opinion) stick out from the native lexicon significantly. There is general agreement that Mainland ...
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2k views

What does this woman say in Chinese? (From the new Daredevil tv show)

I was watching the new Daredevil show and noticed this bit. I was hoping somebody might be able to explain what the elderly lady is saying...Thanks. Here is the clip: ...
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178 views

What is the difference between 看来, 看起来, and 看出来 ?

Please help, I'm not getting this, 听来我不懂! Could you please use examples in your answer?
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138 views

Chinese use of abstract “saw?”

I'm trying to accurately translate an abstract use of "saw." Example: the Korean War saw fighting between America and the PRC. 朝鲜战争看到了美国与中华人民共和国之间的战斗。 Now, I have no idea if that sentence is ...
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2k views

What does 'duang' mean in 'online Chinese'?

I see this word popping up on Weibo and Taobao. It's not written with any character, but spelled out in Pinyin. What does it mean? EDIT: For the annals:
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107 views

Is there a “Peking Opera dialect”?

Peking Opera has a distinct pronunciation, that is at first similar to Mandarin, but to astute listeners, certain characters appear to have alternate or even non-Mandarin pronunciations. Take certain ...
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107 views

Dictionary meaning required [closed]

On my Chinese dictionary, there are a few characters that I don't know what it means. It says: 商务印书馆. I want to know what it means.
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4answers
433 views

What is the difference between 他, 它, and 她

What is the difference between 他, 她, and 它? I want to know when you use one and when not to. It seems pretty basic language because I hear 他, 她, and 它 everywhere in Chinese language. Anything else ...
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907 views

How to say 'never' in Mandarin Chinese?

Research: In here, https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=how%20to%20say%20never%20in%20mandarin It says that to say never, you say, "Cónglái ...
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113 views

Where can I go in February to take 2-3 weeks of Mandarin? [closed]

This is my situation: I've just been hired for a job in San Francisco. I have 4 weeks roughly before I start a new job, and would like to leave immediately to Asia to study Mandarin (I have some ...
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216 views

Is there a difference between “几点” (jǐ​diǎn) and “什么时候” (shén​me​shí​hou)?

Both "几点" and "什么时候" seem to mean "what time?". Here are two examples that contain "几点" or "什么时候": 我们什么时候开会? (My interpretation: "When is the meeting?") 现在几点? (My interpretation: "What time is ...
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7answers
320 views

不得不, 必须, 只好, 应该: what's the difference?

This is what I'm thinking: 不得不 pm. "cannot but, have to" this seems colloquial, and the fact that dictionaries think of this as a set phrase/fixed expression makes me think so. Also feels like ...
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3answers
190 views

What is the difference between 电视 and 电视上?

In the following two sentences: 电视说今天很晴朗,不过下午下雨了。 电视上说今天的天气会很晴朗,今天一整天都很晴朗。 Why does the first sentence not use 上 but the second sentence does? Is there any difference between 电视 and 电视上? I think ...
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289 views

How Cantonese and Mandarin writing can be identical

Forgive any ignorance on my part - I am a beginner, studying Mandarin. If "Apple" in Mandarin is "苹果" (píngguǒ), then I guess in Cantonese it is also "苹果", though no doubt pronounced completely ...
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167 views

Whats the difference between the usage of 个, 只, 张, and 条

Whats the difference between the usage of 个, 只, 张, and 条? I know that 个 is used for counting fruits and 只 is for counting animals but what should each counting word be applied?