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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2
votes
1answer
74 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
74 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
356 views

自习 vs 自学: what's the difference?

What's the difference among: 自习 (Zì xí) 自学 (Zì xué) They should be something like "to study by oneself", "to study on one’s own", but still, I don't get the difference. Thanks!
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 ...
6
votes
7answers
321 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
64 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
78 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: ...
3
votes
3answers
83 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
162 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
2
votes
3answers
149 views

Understanding “當地的頭腦”

What does "當地的頭腦" mean? I saw a shirt with that written on it. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the earth and brain. Does "当地的头脑" mean the same thing? Even if it doesn't make sense, would ...
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
124 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
156 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
82 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
256 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
156 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
210 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.
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
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 '...
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) (如果你)多结交能认同你的做法、想法和才华的朋友,...
1
vote
5answers
145 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
190 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
372 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
207 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".
0
votes
5answers
315 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', ...
1
vote
3answers
350 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
339 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
2answers
99 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
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? 到电影院看电影,观众应尽早入座。如果自己的作为在中间,应当有礼貌地向已就座者示意,请其让自己通过。通过让座者时要与之正面相对,...
0
votes
4answers
171 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
184 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.
1
vote
2answers
253 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 ...
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
212 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.
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。‘ ...
3
votes
2answers
119 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: 用鹽或淨沙下鍋炒熱,再將食物用紗布等包好,...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

What does this 鼎力 mean here?

关键是减少烟民数量,要实现这个目标,光靠医生的劝导是不幸的,还需要国家采取措施鼎力支持。 When I look up 鼎力 I get 'your kind help' or 'thanks for your help'. In the above sentence, I think it just means 'help', or are there other connotations? ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

What is the function of 贴 in 四贴袋?

I can't figure out what 贴 is doing here: 中国革命先行者孙中山综合了西式服装与中式服装的特点,设计出了一种直翻领有袋盖的四贴袋男用套装,定名为中山装,此后几十年,中山装大为流行,成为中国男子喜欢的标准服装。 ‘四贴袋‘ is 贴 a 量词 here?
0
votes
3answers
81 views

In 霸王别姬 is 霸 just a name?

I have not seen the film or read the book, I can't judge. Is this 霸 just a name, or does 霸王 really mean 'the tyrant king'?
0
votes
4answers
119 views

What does 探个究竟 actually mean?

On the lid of the barrel(桶) it says '不可偷看‘ I have the sentence:人很好奇,走过来弯下腰把脑袋伸到桶里探个究竟。 探 = explore, 究竟 = outcome, result 探个究竟 = 'take a look' or 'see what happens' or both OK?
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Do 向 and 学 or 学习 work together here?

I'm not sure how to interpret 向学 in these 2 sentences。I think that 向 and 学/学习 work together. 1) 小张一心向学,厉志要成为一名科学家。'一心向学' = 1 mind to study = single-mindedly (to) study?? 1) is from iciba and they ...
1
vote
3answers
111 views

Are used to and 以往 really the same?

I have this question: 中国经济以往都是什么样的发展模式? I would like to translate it: China's economy used to use what kind of expansion method? 以 can be 'use' and '往‘ can be 'to' in English, so that ‘used to' and ...
3
votes
2answers
415 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?
1
vote
3answers
133 views

Are there differences between 朋友 and 我朋友 in modern Chinese?

When a friend sends me a photograph of a vase, saying 是朋友的, and some months later presents it saying: 我朋友的 should I then usually assume, that the friend became a girlfriend/boyfriend (...
-2
votes
1answer
65 views

Does this 中国是 。。轮番上市 mean 'flooding the market'?

The 是 here without a following 的 seems a bit odd. 中国目前是新车和降价车轮番上市,使准备买车的消费者不知如何选择。 I see that 轮番 means 'one after another' but I get the sense of 'flooding the market'. Is that correct? ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Can I substitute 合适 in place of 量身打造?

5万元左右的经济型小车,无疑是为广大工薪阶层量身打造的代步车。 Costing roughly 50 thousand Yuan, a small, economical car is, without a doubt, the most suitable vehicle for the salaried classes I think I could write 最合适的代步车 ...
1
vote
5answers
259 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 ...