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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4
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3answers
741 views

What does “生命诚可贵 爱情价更高 若为自由故 二者皆可抛” mean?

生命诚可贵 爱情价更高 若为自由故 二者皆可抛 I think it means "life is expensive, but love is even more so. However, both are not as good as freedom."
4
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
178 views

Difference between 新 and 生?

Until now, I thought 新 meant 'new' in all contexts. In class recently, our tutor showed a slide in which he used 生词 for 'new words'. My dictionary gives the meaning of 生 when used as an adjective as '...
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votes
5answers
190 views

Is 熵 in any way part of the spoken language?

In my own language (Dutch) I can (jokingly) point at something that is decaying (or perhaps my tea getting cold, or my desk being disorderly) and utter the single word: ‘entropy’. Or I can, out of the ...
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votes
3answers
189 views

Can 弗 Mean Dollar In Chinese?

弗 means dollar (as in USD, $) in both Korean and Japanese. Korean 불 [弗] a dollar Japnese ドル noun dollar (from Dutch, orig. an abbr. of ドルラル; also written as 弗) (see also:...
4
votes
3answers
71 views

Formality of “悲哀” as opposed to “悲傷” and “哀傷”

From what I have learned, or I remember I have learned, 悲哀, 悲傷, and 哀傷 all mean sadness and are interchangeable. However, as I remember, I have read 悲傷 and 哀傷 in academic/professional writings, but ...
4
votes
4answers
754 views

Difference between 我饿了 and 我很饿?

Someone tried to explain the difference in this answer http://chinese.stackexchange.com/a/43/38 saying that 我饿了 means "I became hungry", but I don't see the difference because we don't say I became ...
4
votes
3answers
402 views

What does 自个 mean: “since a” or “onself”

As a title, I have found to meanings for 自个: "since a" or "oneself", what is correct and how to translate it?
4
votes
2answers
613 views

What is the difference between 很, 十分 and 非常?

What is the difference between 很, 十分 and 非常? Or do they have the same meaning?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Does 给你 mean “Here you go?”

I found a very short sentence on tatoeba.org. All it says is, "给你。" That literally means "Give you," but what does it really mean? My best guess is that I could say it as I give something to you, ...
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5answers
724 views

What does 惟覺 mean here?

While lying in the hospital, I am thinking about 唐詩。 Particularly about this one: 多情卻似總無情,   惟覺樽前笑不成。   蠟燭有心還惜別,   替人垂淚到天明 I think I can more or less understand it, but I have no idea what 惟覺 ...
4
votes
4answers
229 views

Difference between 生气 and 愤怒

I can't find the difference between 生气 and 愤怒. Oxford Dictionary says angry means 生气, but I found 愤怒 in the online dictionary. Both have more than 20 million hits on Google, both have pictures of ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

I need help with the translation of 长和能力

I'm working with Chinese resumes and I've found 长和能力 as a section title. I tried to translate it using the Google Translate and it says it means "Length and capacity". Is there any alternative ...
4
votes
1answer
643 views

What is the difference between 变成、变化、变得、改变、转变?

There are five 变 here, so what is the difference between 变成、变化、变得、改变、转变? Thanks!
4
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2answers
136 views

山火 vs 野火 vs 丛林大火: Chinese for “bushfire”

I would imagine that 山火 meant "a fire in the mountains", but the dictionary lists "wildfire / forest fire". Is 山火 then a generic word for an out of control fire? What about 野火? I saw 山火 on the news, ...
4
votes
3answers
418 views

What is the meaning and proper usage of 凭什么?

I was watching a TV show and heard them using the expression 凭什么 to say 'why' - I hadn't heard this with this exact meaning before, so I'm wondering what the proper meaning is in English, and what the ...
4
votes
6answers
453 views

What does 糗大 (qiǔdà) mean?

What does 糗大 (qiǔdà) mean in the following phrase? 那才真的糗大了。 From context, I think it ought to mean something like "that would really be terrible" or "that would be far worse," but I can't find ...
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
576 views

How does the particle word “呢” work?

My teacher said that a particle word in Chinese is a function word, but don't quite understand what is means. How does the particle word such as "呢" work? Also, are there any other Chinese particle ...
4
votes
3answers
792 views

Different Ways to Say “Hometown”

I have encountered both 老家 and 家乡 for referring to one's hometown. What are the differences? That is: When should each one be used? When should one or the other be avoided? When can they both be ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

What is the original meaning of 匈 (besides “chest/breast/thorax”)?

The Wikipedia article on the 匈奴 gives a literal translation as 'fierce slaves'. Did 匈 mean 'fierce' in former times? What is the etymology of this character?
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6answers
22k views

What shoud I use to say “I love you”: “wa ai lo” or “wo ai ni”?

Some of my chinese friends speak Chinese. I asked them how to say "I love you" in their language, but most of them said "wa ai lo" not "wo ai ni", how can this be? I look for google translate, it ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

What does “蕊屁” mean?

At https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyNNvgW1dSg&lc=z13jt1khfxr4zzw0k225sjfzzyn1hhebs04, someone wrote: 看完電影後整晚都在蕊屁OST Another person wrote in reply: +1 瘋狂蕊批 What does "蕊屁" mean?
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votes
3answers
620 views

How is 马马虎虎 used?

I think it's used like 'so so' in English. Like 问题:你觉得怎么样? 回答:马马虎虎。 Am I correct in this? Are there other ways to use it?
4
votes
3answers
207 views

How to translate the following grammar-pattern: 让/叫 N+V —— N还/ 就真 V (呀)

I know that this is a pattern that expresses a reverse meaning of what is really expressed (some kind of rhetorical question) - and that the speaker is somehow showing a negative attitude. I suppose ...
4
votes
3answers
257 views

Differences between 征, 伐, 讨, 侵, 袭?

These characters all mean "to attack" or "to invade", but what are the differences between them? When should one be used and not the others?
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votes
6answers
383 views

How to parse 没得 + Verb constructions

I've heard phrases of the form 没得V, where V is a verb. Sometimes, the 没得 appears to function like 没, e.g., 我没得选: I don't have a choice. Sometimes, it appears to function like a softer, ...
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votes
1answer
252 views

What is the difference between 竟然 and 居然?

As I know, 竟然 and 居然 both mean "unexpectedly". Do they have any difference?
4
votes
1answer
220 views

演 = 氵+ 寅 but what's it got to do with water!? How did it get its modern meanings?

氵+ 寅 = 演 zisea 拼音:yan3 ①根据事理推广发挥:推~。讲~(亦作“演讲”)。~义(以史书及传说的材料为基础,增添一些细节,用章回体写成的小说)。~绎(一种推理方法,由一般原理推出关于特殊情况下的结论)。 ②依照程式练习:~练。~示。~算。~武。~习。~兵场。 ③不断变化:~变。~化。 ④把技艺当众表现出来:表~。~出。~播。~奏。...
3
votes
7answers
707 views

What does 起来 mean in this phrase?

把被子收起来吧. Translation: Let's put the quilt away. In other circumstances, 起来 means to get up but here there is a different meaning, and from the definitions I can't decide which definition is ...
3
votes
6answers
540 views

English translation for 来 in 你哪儿来的这么多书? compatible with a Chinese-to-English dictionary

I am a Caucasian American with English as my native language. I want to improve my knowledge of the Mandarin Chinese language. I found the following question in Modern Chinese Beginner's Course 3, ...
3
votes
7answers
597 views

Difference between 坏 and 破

Looking for some concrete answers on the difference between 坏 and 破 From what I have been able to understand: 坏 bad: as in 坏人 (bad person) or 鱼坏了 (rotten food) broken: as in 手机坏了 (broken mobile ...
3
votes
4answers
711 views

德行:moral integrity or disgusting?

The question is quite simple, how it is possible that 德行 means two completely opposite things? And when facing this character, how can I know what it means?
3
votes
4answers
800 views

Why do people say “吃飽了嗎”

I have heard my Chinese-speaking friends asking each other 吃飽了嗎? several times when they are done or almost done with their own meal. And I have wondered, "Why would they ask others such question? ...
3
votes
4answers
600 views

What is the pronunciation of 行 according to its context?

行 can be pronunced háng or xíng. As far as I have seen, it means "OK, to go, profession", and many more other meanings. Could you briefly summarize the usage of it and its corresponding ...
3
votes
5answers
440 views

What is the difference between 听到、听过 and 听说?

There are 3 听 (hear or listen to), what is the difference between 听到、听过 and 听说?Thanks!
3
votes
4answers
389 views

Meaning of 我知道的就这么多了 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Translation of “this much and no more” I found this sentence on Tatoeba: 我知道的就這麼多了。 (Simplified Chinese: 我知道的就这么多了。) Beyond this I know nothing. I ...
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?
3
votes
3answers
132 views

What is the meaning of 送上 here?

In this sentence 送上 means what?? I think is means 'send = 送 to attend = 上(a series of lectures) = 一场讲座' but maybe it is just 送给?? 据报道,某石油化工公司前不久举办了一场心理知识讲座,为近百名员工送上了一把找到工作快乐和取得成功的“心灵钥匙“。
3
votes
5answers
847 views

你是我的小呀小苹果儿 What is the purpose of the second 小?

So I'm listening to this catchy song and the chorus goes 你是我的小呀小苹果儿. I'm wondering why the 小 is being said twice. Is that just something the artist is doing to play with the language in the song or ...
3
votes
4answers
306 views

Is 帮忙 and 帮助 interchangeable?

I looked up in the dictionary, 帮 means help, and 忙 means busy while 助 also means help, so is 帮忙 (help busy) and 帮助(help help) interchangeable? Or what is the subtle difference between them? Thanks!
3
votes
3answers
178 views

What is the meaning of 报 here?

A chinese friend asked me: 你有报语言培训班吗? I understand what she means, but I wonder what meaning 报 carries here. Anyone could help me?
3
votes
2answers
173 views

What is this 某 doing after the names?

What is this 某 after the names? Could it be some kind of rank in the Air Force? Listening to the mp3, it sounds like 'mao' not 'mou' to my ear. 陈某和刘某都曾在空军部队。
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votes
3answers
459 views

When to use 世界 and when to use 国际

These two terms are broadly speaking translations of "world" (世界), and "international" (国际). Recently, I've been reminded that "international" in English can be used to mean "many nations" rather than ...
3
votes
1answer
251 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
186 views

What is the difference between 嘱咐 and 吩咐?

Both of them seem to be able to be used to mean instruct. Am I right in saying that you can 嘱咐 and 吩咐 someone to study hard? If so, what is the difference in meaning between these two terms?
3
votes
5answers
468 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: ·...
3
votes
2answers
153 views

What role does 的 play in the sentence 我不明白你刚说的第一句话?

I take 我不明白你刚说的第一句话 to mean "I don't understand what you said in the first line" I'm trying to understand what 的 does in this sentence (or grammar function). Relatedly, would it be possible to omit ...
3
votes
2answers
370 views

Meaning and origin of 小確幸

小確幸 is a newly popular word in Taiwan. It supposedly comes from a Japanese novel. Is this right? If so, who was the author, and what was the book? Does anyone have any suggestions for a translation? (...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Differences between 咱们 and 我们?

我们,咱们 both means: we, but when I should use 咱们, 我们? What is the difference?