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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Does “Sabio” mean anything in Chinese, as a translation and a pronunciation? [on hold]

i m trying to find out if the Spanish word for wise "Sabio" means anything in Chinese, as a translation and a pronunciation. My friend has a small business called Sabio and is going to work in China ...
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370 views

How to say, “In Chinese" in Chinese

If I want to tell someone they can speak to me in Chinese, how can I say it? My guess is: 你可以给我说用中文 Is this correct, and is there any other way to say it, for example using the 把 structure (i.e....
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420 views

Loanwords with Chinese Equivalents

How many loanwords in Chinese have Chinese equivalents? Example: 三文鱼 is a loanword, borrowed from English, meaning salmon, but Chinese also has the word 鲑鱼 meaning salmon. Are there a lot of these ...
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Couldn't not access Huayu World Interactive Lesson [closed]

I'm trying to learn chinese from huayuworld.org. Unfortunately every time I accessed the interactive material, my browser always downloading something with .cdr and the page failed to load. This is ...
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10answers
2k views

How do we choose the correct characters for a westerner name?

Since there are many characters that share a common pronunciation and sometimes also the same tone, how do we properly choose which character best represents our name? Is it totally arbitrary or are ...
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27 views

How to say “One of these” and three other mini phrases?

I'm very glad I found this website. Just a few months ago I've started learning Mandarin Chinese by myself and right now I'm in Sichuan. I try applying my little knowledge in daily life, but it's not ...
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2k views

Are there differences in writing between Chinese languages, such as Mandarin and Shanghainese

There are already many questions about the different spoken languages that can be called Chinese. This question on the other hand asks about the written one(s?). Well, to start, is the written ...
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2answers
98 views

Asking the Parents of Small Children to be Quiet in Public Areas [closed]

I have three very lovely, yet very loud Chinese children living next door to me in my condominium. Two of the children are quite young, and I do realize children by their very nature are loud; ...
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2answers
122 views

How to express gratitude as a house guest?

How would the following sentence come across as a part of a thank you letter to a family receiving you as a guest in their home in Taiwan? The letter is to be sent before arriving as a "thank you in ...
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4answers
858 views

Why does 有机 as in 有机食品 mean organic?

有 and 机 are some of the first characters we learn in Chinese, but only recently did I find out that they mean "organic" when put together. Can anyone explain why this is?
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Why do native speakers often say a character has “no meaning”?

Many times I will know all the characters in a name but one & I'll ask what that one character means. 9 times out of 10 the response is, "That character has no meaning". While it might be true ...
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3answers
135 views

What's the Difference Between 吹风 and 刮风?

In both word choice, and use, what is the difference between 吹风 and 刮风? Can I say "今天刮风很大“ but not say ”今天吹风很大“?
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4answers
161 views

Meaning and etymology of the expression “棒棒的!”

Someone wrote to me "两个月就写这么好,棒棒的!" I get the first part (though I don't think it's true - 哪里哪里 ;-)), but what exactly does that "appendix" stand for? I interpreted it as a kind of "clapping one's ...
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2answers
202 views

Why is “感恩” frequently used as a verb?

In the last two years or so I began to see people frequently using 感恩 as verb meaning "thank (you)", such as "感恩大家" or "感恩领导". But I thought "感恩" is a verb-noun phrase, meaning "thank (you for your) ...
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2answers
219 views

How to pronounce 廿卅卌 in Chinese?

I originally just wanted to ask something about 廿 (20). But as I searched on the internet I found 卅(30) and 卌(40) as well, and I have to admit that I didn't know these two. I think 廿 is pronounced as ...
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9answers
5k views

What is a good technique for remembering tones?

I find it a great struggle to try and remember tones for all the new vocab I learn, and aside from gradually picking up tones by listening and talking with native speakers, I can't really remember ...
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5answers
139 views
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3answers
105 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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6answers
563 views

Could you repeat that?

I sometimes need to say the equivalent of Sorry, could you repeat that? I have found one comfortable phrase (for me) to handle this situation but would like to learn other phrases to use in this case. ...
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3answers
288 views

Why is 儿 in different positions in “儿子” and “女儿”?

儿 [Er] child 儿子 [Érzi] son 女儿 [Nǚ'ér] daughter So, why is 儿 in different positions in each word but they are both valid?
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2answers
163 views

Does xiang (third tone) mean “want” or “echo”?

I am reading this set of poems for my humanities class. One of the lines is: Supposedly, the last character is xiang with a third tone and it means to "sound" or "echo". But I thought this ...
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150 views

Difference between 孩子 and 儿童 (and 孩童,少儿,…)

There are several words that mean "child" in Chinese, e.g. 孩子, 儿童 and a few others. When can they be used interchangeably and when not? For example: The children are playing: 孩子们在玩呢 or 儿童们在玩呢 or ...
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119 views

What's the correct term for ping (connection latency) in Standard Chinese/Cantonese?

How would you say something like "I'm lagging again, my ping is spiking to 500(ms)" in Putonghua and Cantonese (in the context of online games)? I've heard someone say "網又卡了!" before, but I'm not ...
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2answers
252 views

Mandarin pronunciation for <hen> and <yuan>

Consider for example the words 很 (hěn) and 员 (yuán). I constantly hear each term pronounced in at least two distinct ways by native speakers. The issue is really the vowel sound in the finals. ...
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74 views

Learning Chinese from a radio station [closed]

I'd like to learn Chinese just by listening to some radio stations as I do other work. Are there any good mp3 streaming stations in Mandarin that I could listen to?
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424 views

What does “整块的时间” mean?

I have a sentence in my textbook I've mostly translated, but I can't piece this part together. "交通不是很便利不说,还需要整块的时间" Google translate spits out: "Traffic is not very convenient, you also need the ...
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4answers
355 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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130 views

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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219 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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3answers
382 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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2answers
170 views

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 characters....
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1answer
173 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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273 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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2answers
268 views

Meaning of 这么多好吃

I want to get the correct meaning of this sentence: 我恨不得一下子把这么多好吃的都吃完。 I understand this sentence as "I wish to eat up all those delicious things, all at once". I don't fully understand the ...
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7answers
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Is it correct to say “在手机”?

Would it be correct to use the phrase "在手机”/“在手机上” etc. to express that I am doing something on my phone? For example, could I say 我听音乐在我的手机上。 Or can 在 only be used for my actual physical ...
3
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1answer
152 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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180 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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128 views
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3k views

How to say “thank you for …”?

In order to say "thank you", I can say 谢谢 or 谢谢你. What if I want to be more specific and say "thank you for (something)"? As an example, suppose I was invited for dinner at someone's place, and I ...
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340 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
186 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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2answers
78 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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4answers
1k views

Tense and use of 了

I struggle a bit to get my head around tenses in Mandarin, and in particular when I need to use 了 (le). Do you have any tips, examples or resources to help me out with this?
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1answer
148 views

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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850 views

What is the purpose of the 中 in 在新标签页中打开?

So, I recently started using my android phone in simplified Chinese mode, to help myself internalize Chinese characters. In my browser window, when I press down on a URL, the "在新标签页中打开" button allows ...
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1answer
52 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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2answers
54 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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2answers
168 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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2answers
396 views

The development of rhotic vowels in Mandarin

Schuessler's reconstruction of the Old Chinese reading of 二 is *ńźi. It seems there is a correspondence between OC syllables beginning in *ń or *ńź and Mandarin syllables romanised as er. However, I'...
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4answers
1k views

Is “biang” a phonologically possible syllable in Mandarin Chinese?

One of the local specialty favourite dishes in Shaanxi province where I am now is Biángbiáng miàn. Photo by hippietrail The hanzi character for "biáng" is usually the focus of discusssions of this ...