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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
2answers
677 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
1answer
180 views

What does 嘰咿— mean?

I'm reading a Chinese manga translation and have come across this note above a panel: 嘰咿— I'm not sure what it could mean or say in English. Can anyone help me? Thanks!
3
votes
3answers
263 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
3answers
151 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?
3
votes
4answers
131 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 - ...
3
votes
3answers
79 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
1answer
129 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
677 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
245 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
208 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
1answer
288 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
351 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
207 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
1answer
163 views

There's some blurry text I cant quite read, any ideas what it is/means?

準繫詞語 is my best guess as to what it says, what does this mean? I know it's some kind of word class description, but these jerks wrote it in 繁体字 in the smallest font possible... ( and/or Im an idiot) ...
3
votes
2answers
159 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
3
votes
4answers
201 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
70 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
219 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
143 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
368 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
104 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
141 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
226 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
199 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
364 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
2answers
103 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: ...
3
votes
3answers
195 views

What does “大开大合” mean?

I checked this out, but I couldn't really understand the meaning behind it. 形容文思跌盪,放得開,收得攏。 Does it mean good introduction, and good conclusion or something similar?
3
votes
2answers
487 views

Which is the correct sentence? Question about birthday

I was wondering, which is the correct sentence in this case. 你的生日是几月几号? or 你的生日几月几号? (without 是) Also can I omit 的 in this case?
3
votes
1answer
181 views

What's the difference between 称赞, 表扬 and 夸奖?

They all have a meaning of "praise", but do they have a difference?
3
votes
2answers
85 views

What exact breed of animal is a 金丝熊?

金丝熊 is easily available from local animal markets in my wife's home town. We asked the owners of different stores and they say it is not a mouse. So what exactly is it, is it just a fancy name for a ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

What does 眉如點倉 mean?

眉如點倉 眉 - Eyebrow 如 - Like 點 - Dots 倉 - Granary/Sea/etc So his eyebrows were like ...? Not too sure what it really means.
3
votes
1answer
743 views

When is it proper to use 托您的福?

I think it means that I succeeded in part because of your luck. I've heard this used when I was in Beijing a few times.
2
votes
4answers
391 views

What is the meaning of “拜了个拜”?

I heard this phrase from some Chinese-speaking stranger. I assume it's related to farewell since the stranger was waving hand to someone else, but what does it mean exactly? Is there a certain context ...
2
votes
3answers
151 views

Difference: 帘 vs. 帷?

Came across the character 帷 for the first time the other day, in the word 窗帷. Oxford, KEY and Adstrotrans define 帷, simply, as: curtain ABC and A Chinese-English Dictionary define it as a: ...
2
votes
3answers
237 views

What is 被 doing in sentence “这种病在三十年前就被根除了”?

I understand that the sentence means something like "This disease was eradicated 30 years ago", but I have no idea what role does 被 have in it? Is the sentence okay if we remove it? Does it convey ...
2
votes
3answers
246 views

做 as the verb “to be”

Can someone please clarify how and when 做 is used to mean "to be" e.g. 不愿做奴隶人们 I am familiar with 做 meaning "to do" or "to make", and I would expect that if I was saying "I am a slave", “我是一个奴隶“ ...
2
votes
2answers
243 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
508 views

When radicals make words does Chinese convey two layers of meaning all the time?

I can recognize and translate the 215 radicals. Now, I'm told radicals combine with each other and other characters to make words, and that some radicals denote sound for pronunciation of the word. ...
2
votes
3answers
166 views

Meaning: 好棋? (Good move?)

Seems like I'm not the only one confused about this, the country is coming up with slogans nobody understands. Recently there have been a lot of signs put up with things like 中国前进 written on them, ...
2
votes
3answers
194 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.
2
votes
3answers
209 views

Is this the way to say 'afford'?

'afford' in its meaning of 'can pay for' is not so easy to locate in Chinese. There doesn't seem to be one word. 'can't afford' is fairly easy: '买不起‘。 I have this in my text: ..., ...
2
votes
1answer
294 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, ...
2
votes
2answers
203 views

meaning: 辱=辰+寸, why? What does it mean?

Chinese Etymology (dot org) says: From hand 寸 and plow 辰. Meaning humiliate. (possibly from low level work) This explanation seems very 牵强 - plowing wouldn't been seen as low level work until ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How to use 一点儿 and 一下儿?

They both mean "a little bit" according to the dictionary. However, does the meaning both apply in V and Adjective? i.e. V + 一点儿/一下儿 (吃一点儿/吃一下儿,快一点儿/快一下儿) and Adj + 一点儿/一下儿 (美一点儿/美一下儿, 好一点儿,好一下儿) ...
2
votes
4answers
240 views

回去回来 回来回去 来来回回 来来去去 Are they the same?

In this post, Juckele mention two terms completely new to me : 回去回来 and 回来回去. I know 来来回回 Things keep going in circle, usually use to describe situation in life 来来去去 Same as above But what about ...
2
votes
2answers
750 views

The use of 上 (shàng) “on/above/over” in Mandarin and English

I'm interested in the the differences between English and Mandarin when they are talking about spatial preposition. Can i assume that in Mandarin, they use the preposition 上 for most of the times ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

What is the meaning of 摸着石头过河

I have: 哪里呀,我也是没办法,摸着石头过河罢了! Is 摸着石头过河 'tapping in the dark'? No, I don't know how, I'm still tapping in the dark.
2
votes
6answers
305 views

“一别五六年” 是什么意思??

刚跟一个好久没联系的威海朋友在聊聊时,他说了 时间过得太快了,一别五六年了。 “一别五六年”,或者“一别” 是什么意思?我查了一下,没找到。 PS: I thought that according to this, questions in Chinese were allowed, but I can't publish it without English...
2
votes
2answers
324 views

What does 就算这次做错也只是怕错过 mean?

I found this sentence in a song's lyrics => " 就算这次做错也只是怕错过 ". What does it mean?