Questions concerned comprehension and understanding the finer aspects of individual words or phrases, with or without a context in which they are expressed.

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8
votes
7answers
421 views

早已 and 早就: what's the difference?

To my understanding, both hold the meaning of "already happened long ago". What are the nuances though? Are they interchangeable? Examples: 他早已打定主意了。 (He made up his mind long ago.) 他早就搬走了。 (He ...
3
votes
3answers
153 views

Are 耳光 and 巴掌 the same?

There is this sentence in this story 沙漠里的朋友: 今天我的好朋友打了我一巴掌. Here, can I replace 巴掌 with 耳光?
0
votes
4answers
211 views

Is Chinese imprecise? [closed]

I admit that I am a beginner with Chinese, thus in no position to judge the language. However, I got the feeling that it's "vague" when I tried to understand its logic, by examining a Chinese text and ...
0
votes
4answers
215 views

What is the meaning of 晦 in the phrase 韬光养晦?

I find the phrase 韬光养晦 in a context,and I look up it in the dictionary,it means hidden talents, do not make the leakage.But I still don't know the meaning of 晦.
0
votes
1answer
63 views
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Can you decipher what this seal stamp says and means? [closed]

I am told that this seal stamp character(s) are from the Chinese dialect, though I got it from my Japanese grandmother. She had it made and gave it to me. I was told it says 'strong and smart' and ...
3
votes
4answers
135 views

How to parse “就算世界与我为敌”?

I'm looking at the phrase: "就算世界与我为敌" and I understand that the gist of it is: "Even against the whole world" But, I don't fully understand how to properly parse it. In particular, the words: 与 - ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

What is the origin of 抠门儿?

I understand that 抠门儿 is an informal phrase meaning dingy. But can't figure out how these three Chinese words combined together could be used to describe a person being dingy (extremely reluctant to ...
6
votes
7answers
317 views

“是你太能說了”這句話什麼意思?

My friend complained that she aged five years in an instant and she posted some photos. I commented that she always has excellent skin and looks very young. Then she said: 是你太能說了 Does this mean ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

What was the writer going for with '酗逼'?

Started reading this article this morning: 为抢红包,小伙跳楼威逼母亲买iPhone6s but couldn't get past the first word: 酗逼母亲买6s,为此不惜以跳楼威胁。 [emphasis is my own] 酗逼 appears again in the following sentence: ...
0
votes
2answers
106 views

Meaning of 甜-Z (Z is the upper-case English letter)

This is apparently a jargon engineering term for something to do with frequency (Hz). I'm guessing it might be something to do with resonance ("sweet spot"?) but I've not run into it, and neither ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Is “girdling root” *really* 环根 in Chinese?

Baidu translates girdling root as 环根. Icibia quotes Baidu with the exact same entry. Baidu images returns nothing resembling a girdling root upon 环根 search. Baidu also returns very little about 环根 ...
1
vote
5answers
256 views

What is this 予以 doing in my sentence?

From the meanings I find for '予以 = give, grant' I can't really see what it is doing here. Maybe the Chinese is '予以推进 = give/produce advancement', but 予以 may also mean 'impose' I believe. Maybe the ...
4
votes
8answers
610 views

How does “多” work in this describing sentence “多好看啊!”?

I know 多 means many. But in some cases, it is used as in this sentence, such as this one: "多好看啊!" How exactly does it work? Thanks!
3
votes
3answers
81 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
161 views

What is the role of 没 here?

How can these sentences be translated into English? Are they questions or afirmative sentences? 1-洗没洗衣服 2-听没听音乐 3-复习没复习课文
0
votes
5answers
311 views

What does 冒了出来 mean here?

通过网络写作,很多年轻的写手冒了出来,然后重新回归到传统的出版方式出书,这是好事。 Many young writers emerge on the internet and later turn to more traditional forms of book publishing, which is a good thing. I think 冒了出来 means 'emerge', ...
13
votes
8answers
25k views

Special meanings applied to numbers 0 - 10

From what I understand: 4 or 四 means death 8 is similar to 发 as in 发财 9 is somehow related to the emporer or is the emporer's number Can someone please provide the meanings (if they exist) for ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

The usage of 醒来 vs. 睡醒, and a little bit about 睡觉。

I was asked to translate the phrase "I wanna wake up where you are". One of the options that came up was 我想在你的身边睡醒 which turned out to be not so pleasant to a native Chinese ear. A better ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

“FLAG” meaning in ‘bullet hell-style subtitles’ (弹幕)?

Watching shows with 弹幕 (or bullet hell-style subtitles) the word ‘FLAG’ often shows up. What does ‘FLAG’ mean?
0
votes
1answer
131 views

What does 蕉 mean in Cantonese?

I've seen 蕉 translated into Mandarin (and dubbed into Mandarin) as 肏. CC-CANTO doesn't really give anything much for 蕉 in Cantonese. words.hk doesn't give any results, either. I'm guessing 蕉 just ...
0
votes
2answers
141 views

Using “抱怨”: I'm really skinny, but I'm not complaining

Not sure how to use "抱怨." Would it be correct to say: 我很瘦,但我不在抱怨。 Or if there is a better phrase to use in this case, please let me know!
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

Please help me with this translation? [closed]

What does this translate to in English? Apparently it's a quote. 昨天是歷史, 明天是未知, 而今天是禮物
5
votes
2answers
248 views

To 了 or not to 了

I'm Chinese learner and as everybody else I'm puzzled by the verbal aspect 了. My research into the subject gave such results: 了 belongs to a class of perfective aspect markers just as many other ...
2
votes
2answers
252 views

What exactly does 阅兵 mean/translate as?

The word 阅兵 has been used a lot the last couple of days, for obvious reasons, mostly for one specific activity. Dictionaries define as follows: CC-CEDICT to review troops KEY ◊ review ...
0
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
170 views

What is the negative of 将会?

将会 (Jiāng huì) means 'will' and for its opposite meaning ('won't') I have seen 不将会 and 将不会. Is there any difference here? Is one preferable to the other?
1
vote
2answers
194 views

What is the difference between 随手 and 顺便?

These two have the same meaning which is "conveniently" but I'm not sure if there is any difference in using these two.
1
vote
5answers
143 views

What is the English for “地宮”?

I know that "underground palace" can be a translation of "地宮", but I'm not too sure on the "correct" translation. Seeing some pictures on baike, "underground palace" doesn't really seem to fit what ...
0
votes
2answers
108 views

How to interpret 本质 here?

When I look up 本质 I get English meanings like 'essence, nature, innate character', esoteric stuff like that. 学习必须讲究方法,而改进学习方法的本质目的,就是要提高学习效率。 I think 本质 here actually means 主要, 最初 and 本质目的 is ...
2
votes
5answers
186 views

What is this 所 here?

This is the sad story of a little piece of gold that wants to shine but can't, so it 哭泣着。 小石头也想:“是金子在哪儿都发光。” 于是他日夜吸收天地之精华,把自己沖涤得闪闪发亮,终究又被脏东西所掩盖。 终究又被脏东西所掩盖。in the end by dirty things 所 covered up ...
0
votes
3answers
106 views

Is it possible to 结交朋友?

This little text is talking about the importance of 人脉关系. If you want to be successful, you should make a lot of friends. (in brackets added by me, not in the original text) ...
8
votes
7answers
13k views

Does 危机 really mean both crisis and opportunity?

A lot of people, mostly those who haven't studied Chinese, like to claim something along the lines of "In Chinese, the word for crisis 危机, also bears the meaning of opportunity." This is usually ...
1
vote
3answers
369 views

What does 着急 mean in this sentence?

This text is talking about 应试教育 versus 素质教育。In this sentence the last phrase is a bit unclear. 应该说已经推动了应试教育向素质教育的转变,但是这个转变非常艰难,是一个痛苦的漫长的过程,我们不能太着急。 Dictionaries say ‘着急’ means 'worry, feel anxious' ...
1
vote
3answers
198 views

What is the meaning of 看在 and 分上?

看在孩子的分上,夫妇二人没有离婚。 In the phrase above, what do they mean? Neither is found in a dictionary. The sentence is said to translate to "The pair would not divorce because of the children".
1
vote
3answers
333 views

Which country is 岛国?

and now for a weibo post 咱们四川流行的“头上开小花”发卡已经火到国外了,还在岛国推特排行榜登上了第一,分分钟过万转……十一区网友有的表示“灰常萌应该引入动漫里”,还有的表示“大叔带上格外喜感想嫁”,当然最多的回复是“看来我已不懂时尚”[笑cry] I'm told 岛国 is either TW or HK, but how can I know which ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

Who wants to visit whom?

In this sentence: 好久没有看望萧乾老人了,怕干扰他翻译和写作,怕影响他休养生息,但心里却常惦念着他。 I think 好久没有看望萧乾老人了, = 萧乾好久没有看望老人了, but I'm not certain and I don't know why I think this. Is there a rule of syntax being followed here? ...
4
votes
2answers
331 views

How to interpret the explanation of '巧夺天工‘?

I had the phrase '巧夺天工‘ in my text, so I 百度 it. 百度 explains it thus: 专指人工的精巧胜过天然制成,形容技艺十分高超。, which is clear. However, they say '巧夺天工‘ comes from 古代成语,“微妙在智,触类而长,玄通阴了,巧夺造化。” and that is more ...
0
votes
3answers
120 views

What is this 让 in this text?

A strange old 听力 from a bygone era it seems, but this 通过让座者时 is holding me up, I can't get a handle on it. How is it meant? ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

What does “兵器谱排行榜第一位” mean/represent?

Full sentence: 你们可真是兵器谱排行榜第一位,够贱 I did some googling, and it seems like "兵器谱" is a leaderboard for fictional weapons? I have absolutely no clue what this means in relation to "够贱". Source
1
vote
2answers
181 views

What's Baidu doing with all these crazy characters everywhere?

What's Baidu doing with all these crazy characters everywhere? Seems kind of meaningless to me.
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does the word 萌 mean “cute”?

A friend of mine said in a photo of me, my eyes looked very 萌(meng2). 你的眼睛很萌 My dictionary defines 萌 as; 萌 méng (动) sprout; bud; germinate But apparently in this context it means ...
1
vote
2answers
246 views

Does this 淘 just mean 买?

The little text I'm listening to has a poetic style. So I presume this is a poetic useage of 淘。Think it just means 'buy'. Is that right? 。。, 有很多特色的小商品店,可以淘一些特产带回家。Something like 'can fish up a few ...
3
votes
2answers
397 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?
0
votes
2answers
92 views

What is the meaning of 心理活动 here?

I have this sentence at the beginning of a short 听力练习。 就一般心理活动而言,人们并非总是喜欢被别人称赞的。 心理 = mental, psychological 活动 = activity, action Together 心理活动 just means 'mental movements'? = thoughts? Is that ...
2
votes
3answers
206 views

What is the difference between 汉语 and 普通话?

I've seen them used interchangeably, but I was wondering if there is a significant difference.
5
votes
1answer
686 views

The slang meaning of “Seven/七” in Cantonese

I have heard a few Hongkongers saying seven in a similar, likely identical, context. I assume they are addressing a person because when they say it, they make the L hand gesture. I could be wrong, but ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

What is the origin and meaning of 焗烤

焗 was an uncommon character in Taiwan 20-30 years ago, limited mostly to Cantonese restaurants, and it was an unusual type of cooking. The MOE 國語辭典 gives this description of 焗: ...
21
votes
3answers
11k views

What is the exact meaning of 吃豆腐, and where does the expression come from?

I'm not talking about eating tofu, but the expression that means something more like taking advantage of someone. What exactly does 吃豆腐 mean, and where does this expression come from?
1
vote
2answers
233 views

How to interpret 休息不了多长时间吧?

他是‘业余作家‘。 您在白天应酬、工作之后,晚上是怎样进入写作状态的,您晚上休息不了多长时间吧? Have I got this right, seems she is asking the question in reverse. 您晚上休息不了多长时间吧? = How long do you sleep at night? His answer is '我大概一天睡四到五个小时。‘ ...