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

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6
votes
0answers
115 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
101 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
93 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.
3
votes
2answers
59 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
66 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?
3
votes
4answers
110 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. ...
1
vote
5answers
321 views

How to translate: 我发音得不太准

我发音得不太准. Does it translate as "My pronunciation is the best/exact?" What is the meaning of 准? Does it depends on the context?
5
votes
3answers
387 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
388 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
136 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
180 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
103 views

Use of “是不, …” to introduce sentence

In a video I recently watched, the narrator introduced an idea by saying 是不, ... Can someone tell me what the best way is to understand this for an English speaker? Thanks. Edit: here is one ...
3
votes
5answers
176 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 ...
7
votes
10answers
1k views

What does 非也 mean?

What does 非也 mean? I heard it used here: Is this XXX? 非也! It's YYY! Does it mean "Oh my god!" or something? Thank you very much for your help!
1
vote
1answer
110 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?
5
votes
4answers
766 views

How did 东西 come to mean “something” in the expression “吃东西”?

I was chatting with a Chinese penpal recently and when I asked "what are you doing?", I received the following answer: 吃东西,你呢? Now, "东西" means "east and west" and so "吃东西" literally means ...
2
votes
3answers
167 views

What is the difference between 日 and 号?

Right now I am taking Mandarin 1 in Brooklyn Tech. From my understanding, 号 and 日 both mean "day." I took it upon myself to check Google Translate and find out what they both mean for confirmation. I ...
5
votes
5answers
436 views

“哩勒公蝦毀” what does this mean?

What does “哩勒公蝦毀” mean? A Taiwanese guy said that to me after I had, accidently, mistyped two words in an idiom I used on him. He also used an expression of surprise (I presume) which went like “蛤?!” ...
6
votes
3answers
510 views

Is “ 事出必有因 ” the most accurate translation for “ everything happens for a reason ”?

Is " 事出必有因 " the most accurate translation for " everything happens for a reason "? If not, what is it? Thanks!
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Can I use a verb+的 construction to imply an item/noun?

I'm often don't which noun to use, but I can think of a verb to describe it. I know that 吃的 (to eat + 的) means food, so I was wondering if I can use it with other verbs as well, like 洗澡的 (to bathe + ...
17
votes
7answers
3k views

How did 黃 (yellow) come to mean “pornographic”?

In my dictionary it defines 黃 (Huáng) - yellow - pornographic - to fall through - surname Huang or Hwang Imperial China and the robes of the emperor are commonly associated with the colour yellow. ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

How to translate 哪有农村热闹?

北京城里禁止随便放鞭炮,城里人过春节越来越简单, 哪有农村热闹? I don't understand the last part of this sentence, marked in bold. I guess it's a rhetorical question? My attempt: Beijing City banned setting off fireworks, so ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

What is the meaning behind 5000 万 袋住先 7689!@#?

On a poster referring to the umbrella protests in hong kong is a chinese politician depicted in the way of the picture "the scream" by edward munch, next to him is a humanoid banana with googles ...
1
vote
3answers
90 views

只 zhǐ appropriate use in context?

I am studying 常用漢字 and I ran across the following meanings: 只得 只好 只有 All of which were translated with the same English meaning "can do nothing." What was not given is the context in which one would ...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

零 in context of age, other uses?

I'm led to believe that 零 has the context of age as in this sentence. I've also heard Cantonese use the sound soy to refer to someone's age (is this the same word). What are some other contexts that ...
2
votes
2answers
166 views

What is the meaning of 用支 in this setence?

支 usually means support or branch, but here it seems to take on a different meaning. Unless it means they plan the support they use in their life on money? I also tried to replace 用支 with 用之 and 用纸, ...
8
votes
4answers
403 views

When to use 一倍 vs 两倍

I would like to have a clarification on this: I know that 倍 means "-times, -fold", but I don't understand why 一倍 seems to mean "twice as (fast)" in the following sentence: 开车最少比骑自行车快一倍。 while we ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

Character Gaps On Comic Conversation : 4 [closed]

I am learning Chinese by reading different texts. I have some problems with seeing some characters in this older copy of a book (the Chinese character is sometimes too dark to distinguish strokes and ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Character Gaps On Comic Conversation : 5 [closed]

While reading a comic book, I have some problems with seeing some characters in this older copy of a book (the Chinese character is sometimes too dark to distinguish strokes and scanning doesn't ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Character Gaps On Comic Conversation : 6 [closed]

I am reading a comic book to learn more Chinese. I have some problems with seeing some characters in this older copy of a book (the Chinese character is sometimes too dark to distinguish strokes and ...
2
votes
4answers
153 views

Ways to determine whether a noun phrase is plural

So in a recent answer someone told me: 预言 here most likely is not plural - hence the whole 的大 Which brings to mind a question about other ways of determining plurality. Certainly I've heard of ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Rules on when to read characters in sequence

Maybe the hardest part so far about learning to read Chinese is determining when to read the characters in sequence and when to view them separately. So, in my recent question on 的大预言 for example: ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

(n.) 的大預言 having trouble making sense of this construct

So I have a person's name in place of the noun and I am trying to get a better handle on how to interpret this sentence. Would it be for example, Tommie's people predicted? The full context is that ...
4
votes
2answers
140 views

連連 Trying to understand the double word (叠词 or 叠字) usage

In another answer someone helped me understand the meaning of: 今年一定是好事連連 At that time, I was having trouble getting the context of 連連. But then I saw both 好事連連 (good fortune) and 好运连连 (Good Luck). ...
1
vote
1answer
218 views

不知說謂, 不三不四 - Meaning In Context?

I have heard 不三不四 pronounced (m sarm m sei) in Cantonese. I wonder if Mandarin speakers use this term and in what context? When I asked, someone they supposed that Mandarin speakers might prefer to ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

追 as in 追剧 (chasing a TV series)

I am native speaker but I haven't yet figured out the exact meaning of 追 as in 追剧 - 'chasing a TV series'. Does it mean 'stay on top', 'catch up' or simply 'actively watch'? In other words, Does it ...
2
votes
1answer
223 views

Use of 龙 in the idiom 车水马龙

With the idiom 车水马龙 which is used to describe somewhere that is bustling and crowded, why was 龙 included considering it is a mythical creature? Does it represent something other than a creature in ...
3
votes
4answers
115 views

Can someone explain 进入 in this sentence?

非常抱歉 , 我们无法提供相关的API进入词库数据库 ,这些是受到版权保护的 。 So basically they can't provide access to the database via API, but I'm wondering why they use 进入, as I thought it was related to physical entrance of a ...
2
votes
3answers
143 views

What does 一个泡子 mean?

What does 一个泡子 really mean ? my teacher had asked our class to do some assignment about our names in chinese and find the meaning too. I use chinese simplified in google translate to find my name. but ...
6
votes
3answers
123 views

What is the meaning of 多米 in the music service?

My friend often sands me links from the Duomi music service. Where does the name come from? 多米 seems to mean "a lot of rice" if I translate it directly.
3
votes
5answers
294 views

meaning: 接+地气=?

I saw this comment online the other day: 我只能说大陆的法律能接点地气吗?如果在台湾,这属于通奸罪。 I'm a bit confused about the [接+地气] part. 地气 has some funny definitions in the following two dictionaries: ABC: ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

过道/走廊 what's the difference?

It seems to me that these two are pretty interchangeable for 'hallway' - at least in the writing I've read before. My question is, though, is there any difference in meaning? Any difference when to ...
3
votes
4answers
241 views

In what situations can one use 帥哥?

I do hear people say that a lot to me in China and I am always surprised by the timings and situations in which people just, kind of bluntly I feel, say this. I wonder what all those situations would ...
2
votes
4answers
530 views
2
votes
2answers
199 views

What word could you use to approach your friend in Chinese with?

Either close friends, family friends or fun/casual friends. E.g. "hey ... (close/family/fun friend), what are you up to?" I am looking for a word to replace the "close/family/fun friend" with.
2
votes
1answer
67 views

來鴻去燕 interpreting idioms

So I am studying idioms and in many cases I come across one whose words I understand but whose meaning must apparently lie in a deeper story. In this case, I keep thinking there must be a larger ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

What is the difference between qi3 and qi3 lai2?

In both situations my pen is now on a table. Speaking to another person, why do we say: 1) Qing3 na2 qi3 wo3 de5 bi3. 请拿起我的笔。 Not: 2) Qing3 na2 qi3 lai2 wo3 de5 bi3. 请拿起来我的笔。 How does the ...
5
votes
4answers
576 views

Making sense of 去华山怎么走比较好?

The following dialogue is in NPCR 2, Lesson 23, listening exercise 7 in the exercise book, and my attempt in translating it. I'm unsure about the sentence marked in red. I have not learned the ...
7
votes
5answers
837 views

Usage of 一定 vs 当然

I recently had a homework assignment to select the correct answer 我学了10年汉语了,含有水平 。。。 很高 I chose 一定,but the correct answer turned out to be 当然 Was my answer incorrect, why? How do these two ...