Questions concerned understanding of individual words or phrases, considering a context in which these words and phrases are expressed.

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1
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2answers
49 views

The correct usage of 大约 vs. 差不多

I am a bit confused by the appropriate use of 大约 and 差不多. I have learned to use 差不多 in many cases where I am talking about an approximate amount, value, extent, etc. of something, or speaking about ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

Making sense of '推魏大肚'

《锦城旧事》 在这灌县城中得此三者之利的,当推魏大肚。 What does 推魏大肚 refer to?
1
vote
3answers
88 views

谁 as relative pronoun?

至少今天她都不想再见到聂离了,谁让聂离骗了她。这是对聂离的惩罚! Can 谁 here be translated as the relative pronoun who? My literal translation would be: At least for today she, who has let Nieli to deceive her, doesn't ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

What does 低喝了一声 mean?

低喝了一声 I could not see how 喝 here means drink, so I tried to look further in my dictionary and it says: The same as 嗬, which is an onomatopoeia Which kind of makes sense since I also found a ...
4
votes
4answers
69 views

Meaning of 则是 in this sentence

My vocabulary state that 则是 means: "then is", However I don't understand how to translate the following sentence 而段剑则是神情严肃地站在聂离的身边。 I can translate it perfectly fine by omitting 则是, so not sure ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Something I came across in a movie 你说它真它就真说它假

I came across this in a Chinese television show, which I would like some help to translate. 你说它真它就真,说它假它就假,它是真真假假假假真真谁也弄不明白. The first part I do understand. It means: "If you say it is real then it ...
3
votes
2answers
647 views

What is the correct Chinese expression for “Only child”?

I noticed lot of compound words using "只" for "only", but what is the correct way to say "only child" (a child with no brothers, nor sisters)? Thanks!
0
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3answers
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
158 views

Why did 人艰不拆 get banned?

人艰不拆 百度百科 人艰不拆(读音rén jiān bù chāi),网络语,意思是“人生已经如此的艰难,有些事情就不要拆穿”。该词语出自林宥嘉歌曲《说谎》,“别说我说谎 人生已经如此的艰难,有些事情就不要拆穿”后常被网友在回帖中引用,楼主直接说出了一个事情的真相,只是让人一时无法直接面对的意思。“人艰不拆”已经在国家新闻出版广电总局今2014年11月27日发出的通知中被明令禁止使用。 ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

What is the meaning of 庸 in 利之而不庸 ?

A random passage from Menzius is: 殺之而不怨,利之而不庸,民日遷善而不知為之者 The first two lines have the same structure V1之而不V2, wherein V1 is expressing someone doing something to another and V2 how this one ...
1
vote
3answers
65 views

What is the meaning of 庸 in the phrase 毋庸置疑?

毋庸置疑 is a chengyu, its meaning is "beyound any doubt", but what is its verbatim meaning in literary Chinese ? 毋 is like "Don't" 置 is "to place, to put" 疑 is "doubt" 庸 here i am not sure which ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

What is the meaning behind 华胄 ?

I found the sentence 他是华胄,所以气质不凡. It is been translated as "He is the offspring of a noble family, thus his character is not a common one". I also found for 华胄 the translation "offspring of the ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

What is the meaning of 豫兮 in 豫兮若冬涉川 ?

A random phrase from the 道德經 is 豫兮若冬涉川 . I understand the part 若冬涉川 as "like crossing a stream in the winter" where "in the winter is used" is used adverbially, so a more verbatim translation might ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

What is translation for 或作譈懟,亦書作憞 ?

In the sentence from the Kang-Xi Dictionary 或作譈懟,亦書作憞, I looked up the characters 譈,懟,憞 all are pronounced dui4 and all are translated as to hate. I am confused and do not know how to deal with ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

what is the translation for 或啁之曰 ?

A random phrase from Lun-Heng begins with 或啁之曰, as far as I understand its parts mean: 或 someone 啁 to chirp, to twitter 之 objectpronoun "it,him,her" as in "I like him, I talk about it" 曰 to say ...
1
vote
3answers
68 views

Is the phrase 南狩之志,乃大得也 ironically ?

A random phrase from 周易 is 南狩之志,乃大得也. I tried to translate it using the following thoughts. 乃 is probably a conjunction and renders to "in fact, actually" to stress something not as expected. 大得 ...
3
votes
3answers
79 views

What is the cultural meaning of the practice 歃 when taking an oath ?

I came across the character 歃 , namely in the sentence: 葵丘之會諸侯,束牲、載書而不歃血 it is glossed as "to smear one's mouth with the blood of a victim to take an oath". I have searched for further details ...
8
votes
8answers
424 views

Is “不會” a correct response to “謝謝”?

I live in Taiwan.There are occasions where I need to thank people, and sometimes they use "不會" to reply my "謝謝". Is this correct and what does "不會" in this occasion mean?
0
votes
1answer
126 views

In how many ways can we say “go straight ahead”?

I have heard 一直走(Yīzhí) and 往前(wǎng qián)走, but it seems the online translators prefer 一直往前走(Yīzhí wǎng qián zǒu) or 一直向(xiàng)前走 (if we're going forward)... From the above which are the most ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Usage of word “sun”: 太阳 (tài yáng) vs 日 (rì)

What is the difference between 太阳 (tài yáng) and 日 (rì) for "sun"? Are they used in different contexts or are they interchangeable? Thanks!
-3
votes
1answer
92 views

How should I translate 细心 here?

I have this sentence: 这些发明都要归功于他在实践中留心观察,细心发现。 I think 留心,细心 and 用心 all have much the same meaning of 'careful, attentive'. I understand 留心观察 as 'carefully observe', but I don't like 细心发现 as ...
-2
votes
1answer
109 views

How to translate 抓紧 here?

This text is talking about 甲型H1N1流感疫情。 女:那么我们应该作哪些准备? 男:抓紧疫苗研制是重中之重。然而,在没有有效的疫苗之前,提高大众的健康意识和公共卫生意识是最有效的 Edit: added a bit to make it clearer. Edit again: A friend told me to rewrite it thus: ...
3
votes
2answers
362 views

Tree: 树 (shù) vs 木 (mù)

Is there any difference between 树 (shù) and 木 (mù), in the meaning of "tree", or they are interchangeable?
2
votes
2answers
136 views

meaning of 等 in this sentence

From the economic observer: 前两个背离可以理解为经济结构调整过程中,产业结构优化等优势逐步显现 As far as I know, 等 means either wait or it is either used to end a list of objects. This sentence is also quite technical itself, ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What does “更生” in “自力更生” mean?

I've seen the phrase 自力更生 used to mean self-reliance, but am confused by what the function of the last 2 characters is.
0
votes
4answers
119 views

What are these 2 的s doing here?

I have 2 的s in my text which are confusing. "可以明确的是实习生与企业间不是劳动关系,。。。“ "我九月份进的这家公司,老板说前面几个月是作为实习期的。“ In 1. I think '的‘ nominalizes, but I'm not sure what it nominalizes. Maybe there is a ‘所’ ...
5
votes
2answers
213 views

meaning of 傳 in 傳不習乎?

In Analects, chapter 4, 「吾日三省吾身 為人謀而不忠乎? 與朋友交而不信乎? 傳不習乎?」 I would translate it: Master Ceng said: everyday I check three things in myself: do I plan my behavior without loyalty? do I make friends ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

How to understand “实” in this context? ”五侯九伯,女实征之“(《齐桓公伐楚盟屈完》)之“实”字何以训?

《齐桓公伐楚盟屈完》,出《左传》僖公四年,原文节此: ”昔召康公命我先君太公曰:‘五侯九伯,女实征之,以夹辅周室。’” 这个“实”字当何以训?“实”常见的释义里,大概只有“真正、真确”还强通文意。但看到《康熙字典》里“实”又有“具數”一义:“又具數也。《史記·始皇本紀》使黔首自實田。《註》謂令民自具頃畝實數也。”用来训此“实”,是否得当?有更好的解释吗?
3
votes
3answers
202 views

Does 青龙 not really mean Green Dragon?

People at the Hebei museum, and my friends, and Baidu http://baike.baidu.com/view/606163.htm all agree that 青龙白虎 means "Dragon and White Tiger." (I capitalize because these name specific folk ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Meaning of 狂牛 in this context?

你在說什麼? 你是又被變種狂牛攻擊喔了喔? I'm what the second sentence means. It translates literally to something like Have you been attacked by a mutant mad cow again? But I'm sure that's not the ...
3
votes
6answers
107 views

上的 — How is it functioning in this sentence

In the following sentence, what does 上的 mean? 中国历史学上的夏、商、周属于考古学上的青铜时代。 I translated it as "Archaeologists know the Xia, Shang and Zhou collectively as the Bronze Age." I think I have the gist of ...
-1
votes
1answer
60 views

What is the meaning of the last part of this passage? [closed]

这也是人之常情。毕竟嘛,世人都知道,王爷从小就想娶冷王妃,好不容易抱得美人归,那个时候一定是喜不自胜,金风玉露一相逢便胜却人间无数. I don't understand "金风玉露一相逢便胜却人间无数."
4
votes
3answers
177 views

Meaning of 所 in “有所…”

As far as I know, 所 has the following meanings: a place, as in 派出所 (police office). a counter, as in 一所科學中心 (a science center). a passive voice indicator that pairs up with 被(為), as in 被(為)愛所糾纏 ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

The pronunciation of 的 [duplicate]

I have always pronounced 的 as "dė", regardless of the context, but I have heard people pronouncing it as "di"(fifth tone). For instance, 我的(di)姑娘 暖暖的(di) 漫長的(di)歲月 I do not remember ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Why is 大消费组 used here?

我分管该公司研究部大消费组6个消费类行业。 I'm in charge of 6 consumer industries of the research department in this company. I don't understand 大消费组. It seems to be redundant. Why is 大消费组 used here? What does it mean ...
10
votes
1answer
261 views

What does “老” in “老虎” and “老鼠” mean

As I remember, 虎 and 鼠 are standalone nouns, meaning tiger and mouse, respectively. However, it seems that 老虎 and 老鼠 are more commonly used. Why is 老 used as a prefix for 虎 and 鼠? Why do we use 獅子 ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

Origin of the slang “機車”

I know that "機車" is motorcycle and it is also used as a slang word, but I was unsure of its meaning. Thus, i checked this page, and I was confused by its ambiguity when translated to English, as ...
4
votes
2answers
121 views

Meaning of “不了” in “忘不了/喝不了/…”

I know that 了 after a verb means a completion or termination of a certain action, such as: 吃飽了 (I am) full. 開始了 (It) has started. 不動了 (It) is not moving anymore. But what about 了 ...
6
votes
3answers
194 views

When to use 一言难尽

When is it appropriate to use 一言难尽? Please supply a scenario where this would be a good reply. I have found this in my dictionary but I want to make sure I use in in the correct context.
2
votes
1answer
291 views

The real meaning of “傲嬌”

Until recently, I have known the meaning of this word as described on the wiki page. I thought it is used to refer to people, particularly female, who are cold on the outside and hot, as in intimate, ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

夫唯弗居,是以不去 What"s the meaning of the first 4 characters?

it's the end of the second chapter of Dao De Jing. I try to make sense: 是以不去 therefore it's not lost, doesn't go away. 夫唯弗居? Can anybody help me?
7
votes
1answer
197 views

“惡” vs “噩” vs “厄”

I have seen these three characters forming the "same" words (I cannot think of a better way to phrase this), such as 惡夢 vs 噩夢 and 惡運 vs 噩運 vs 厄運 As I tried googling for the difference, I ...
4
votes
4answers
134 views

The slang(?) phrase “乾掉了”

As I remember, the phrase was used in response to a certain scenario. Unfortunately, as I tried to look it up on Google, all I find is drying out, which is certainly not the meaning I am looking for. ...
6
votes
3answers
453 views

道德經 (Dao De Jing): 「五味令人口爽」 translation

From Dao De Jing (道德經), part 12: 五色令人目盲 // Five colors make a man blind 五音令人耳聾 // Five notes make a man deaf 五味令人口爽 I have a problem with translation of the third line: Five flavours make the ...
5
votes
1answer
486 views

“同儕” vs “同僚” vs “同事”

I know that 同事 means colleague, but I have seen 同儕 and 同僚 used in similar context. Below are random examples of each I found on google: 在同儕關係中彼此地位平等、較能相互學習。 由於他過度地自負,同僚們不喜歡他。 Are these ...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Is “戀”/“恋” a word by itself?

As titled. I saw this lyrics with the sentence, 為什麼全世界的戀我都失一遍? Based on the structure, it looks like the word itself is a noun. If it is, what does it mean? I only know the word 戀愛/恋爱. Thanks ...
3
votes
2answers
322 views

What does the phrase “足矣” mean?

I saw this phrase recently in a post online. The whole sentence is 人生得一知己足矣. I think 人生得一知己 means "getting a BFF(?) in one's life". (The only meaning of the word 知己 that I know of is BFF, but please ...
4
votes
1answer
346 views

Google, “heavenly”/“original” and Baidu coordinates

I'm helping answer several questions on StackOverflow and GIS.SE regarding the unique coordinate system used in China, and its interaction with Baidu Maps. While trying to machine translate the Baidu ...
3
votes
5answers
206 views

Is the sentence “我们要怎么去机场?” ambiguous?

我们要怎么去机场? The translation given is "How do we get to the airport?", but since 怎么 can also mean "why", can this sentence also be translated as "Why are we going to the airport?" I'm probably ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

Meaning/Translation: 熟肉 [TV Series]

I've seen the word 熟肉 associated with TV Series'. For example: What does it mean? What's a good English translation?