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
votes
1answer
157 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
187 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。 ...
3
votes
7answers
533 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
7answers
507 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
7answers
535 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
613 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
607 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
468 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
6answers
364 views

Requesting an 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
4answers
343 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
3answers
116 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
775 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
3answers
159 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
148 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。
3
votes
3answers
441 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
3answers
168 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
328 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
4answers
165 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
135 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
1answer
218 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
770 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?
3
votes
2answers
226 views

Does anyone know what is the characters means (丁財貴寿)?

Does anyone know what is written on the image? I tried to find out what is it, and got 丁財貴寿 (丁财贵寿), but not quite sure enough. I tried to find the meaning of the words but seems can't find it or I ...
3
votes
7answers
134 views

What is the meaning of 有针对性地

The sentence is: 企业通过以上两张表格可以了解到目前员工最需要什么方面的培训,然后可以有针对性地给员工补充“能量”。 The use of '有针对性' with '地' here confused me. It seems to say '(have relevance)ly give', 'relevant' or 'relevantly give', either ...
3
votes
2answers
252 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
189 views

What is the difference between 突然 and 忽然?

They both have sudden meaning, but what is subtle difference between 突然 and 忽然?Thanks!
3
votes
2answers
483 views

What is the difference between 由于 and 因为?

What is the difference between "由于" and "因为"? For example, what is the difference between 由于今天是公共假期,我不需要上学。 and 因为今天是公共假期,我不需要上学。 Thanks.
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What does the sound “app” mean in Chinese?

I noticed that Chinese sometimes prefer to say "ay pee pee" rather than just "app" when referring to a computer application. I infer there is a chance that "app" already had a meaning in a Chinese ...
3
votes
4answers
242 views

Meaning of 泡­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

I first encountered this word in the brand of a kid's drink, O泡. When I looked it up I saw that it meant something like "bubble", and was (ironically for the name of a drink) the classifier for ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

What does 战斗机 in this line mean?

他的花心只是为了成为备胎中的战斗机. It has something to do with a guy being a spare tire, but what about "fighter jet?"
3
votes
3answers
540 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
223 views

What is 声 in this sentence?

What is the meaning of '声‘ in this sentence? 近2/3的进口车也大幅降价;而2004年、2005年和2006年,车市降价声已经是此起彼伏。
3
votes
2answers
174 views

What does 精益 mean

I have: 厂里组织了几次丰田生产模式的培训,她逐渐了解了精益生产模式。 The online dictionaries I use don't give 精益 as a word, but I'm pretty sure it means 'optimum' here. I find '精益求精‘ roughly 'always trying to improve' but I don't ...
3
votes
4answers
235 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
251 views

Difference between 觉得 and 认为

I know both 觉得 and 认为 can be used to mean "to think", like: 你认为这篇文章怎么样? 你觉得这篇文章怎么样? But most people would translate 觉得 to "to feel". Does 觉得 express more of what someone thinks based on ...
3
votes
4answers
304 views

When to use 家 vs 师 vs 员 vs 者

I'm translating my resume into Chinese so I can maybe apply for a Chinese job. There are a number of items on there where I'm not sure when to use 家, 师, 员, or 者. Example, I developed a comics ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

Does anyone recognize the characters written here?

Does anyone recognize the characters written here? I've tried to figure it out but still can't understand what is written there, since I've just recognized the rightmost character, 天. It's a carving ...
3
votes
4answers
176 views

Can I replace 当 with 是 in this sentence

Listening to this text, it sounded like 当属 is a word. I can find lots of examples of 当属 acting like a word, but dictionaries don't seem to regard 当属 as a word. Could I simply replace 当 with 是 here? ...
3
votes
2answers
66 views

Help to understand this phrase?

作者首先提到了中国 媒体对于西方世界民主制度的一贯批判手法 The writer first mentions that the Chinese media have always been critical of one thing in the Western World’s democracies. I don't get "一贯批判手法." I suppose it means ...
3
votes
1answer
161 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
1answer
212 views

Meaning of 爱惜花草树木

I'm trying to get the meaning of the following expression: 爱惜花草树木. A Chinese friend told me that it's something like "It's so corny", but I'm having a hard time finding an explanation online. I've ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

四航奋进: This ship's name is translated as “Four Aircraft Endeavour”, but is it?

The name of the ship below is given as: 四航奋进 I've seen it previously*** translated as "Four Aircraft Endeavour", which seems peculiar, as it's not an aircraft. The 四 I can understand: it has two ...
3
votes
3answers
354 views

Is there a Chinese equivalent of the German “Mut zur Lücke”?

In German, we have the expression "Mut zur Lücke", in English something like "courage to have a gap" - a knowledge gap. It is used between students, when they skip to learn something for an exam. ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Is 级 necessary in 优先级

From the dictionary I gather that 优先 by itself means "priority" and so 优先级 means "level of priority". In a phrase such as 高优先级,or 最高优先级,is the 级 necessary to sound correct, or is it an optional ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Is there a logical explanation why 非得不 and 非得 means must?

I understand that 非 and 不 have negative meanings by themselves, and 得 means "must" by itself. So with a double negative, which means affirmative positive. So far so good. But 非得 by itself is also ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Usage of 感动 (active/passive?)

According to mdbg.net 感动 means both 'to move (emotionally)' and 'moving'. But from what I understand from some texts I have '邻居们都很感动' implying a more passive meaning for 感动. Can someone shed some ...
3
votes
3answers
188 views

Are 改正 and 纠正 interchangeable?

Both 改正 and 纠正 mean "to correct" or "to make right." What is the difference between these words? Do they have different connotations? Are both words acceptable in sentences like the following? ...
3
votes
2answers
326 views

What is the difference between 别人 and 别的人?

What is there difference between these two expressions, or are they synonmyous?
3
votes
3answers
324 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?
3
votes
3answers
170 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
243 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?