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
2answers
428 views

Why 文以載道 but 以文會友?

以 is one of the most confusing words in Chinese. Texts that really challenge me are usually full of it. Today I saw something confusing again: I encountered the phrase 文以載道。The document claims it ...
2
votes
3answers
526 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
174 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
216 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
228 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: ..., 既满足了自己买车的愿望,...
2
votes
1answer
385 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
223 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
2k 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
258 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
818 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
212 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
340 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
954 views

Politeness in Mandarin

I like to say please sometimes when I want to be polite to someone when asking them for something. Is this customary in Mandarin? For example, if I wanted to ask for some water, I might ask my ...
2
votes
2answers
335 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?
2
votes
4answers
721 views

清淡 (qing dan) usage: any food, or from a diet?

I ate with a Chinese who mentioned the soup was 清淡 (qing dan): clear, and bland. On Google all I found were acupuncture and "macrobiotic diet" websites. Is 清淡 (qing dan) an adjective commonly applied ...
2
votes
2answers
129 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?
2
votes
4answers
336 views

Why do Chinese people say 一孕傻三年?

Just the other day, I heard this '一孕傻三年'. Does anyone have an inkling as to why Chinese people think this?
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Help with some book titles

重生之妙手医心 I don't get this because of "妙手医心." What does it mean? A wonderful hand and a doctor's heart? 大哥这种生物,少惹为 What is "少惹为?" 魔天记 Is it "devil's diary?"
2
votes
2answers
1k views

中学? middle or high school

中学 seems to be both terms for middle school (junior high school) and high school (senior high school). how does 高中 and 初中 relate to these words also? http://www.linedict.com/dict.html#/cnen/entry/...
2
votes
3answers
191 views

What's the English expression that means 感叹词:“坏了”

In Chinese there is a 感叹词:"坏了", means something went unexpected wrong. Example: 坏了,下雨了 坏了,手机忘带了 坏了,迟到了 What are the common English expressions that can express that "astonishing strike"? ...
2
votes
3answers
371 views

How to write “bei wu long” in Chinese and what is its origin?

Bei Wu Long in Cantonese means to make a big mistake. What are the Chinese characters for this? Is there a story for this?
2
votes
2answers
656 views

How to come from 二百五 to 二百九?

I know 二百五 stands for foolish/stupid and I assume I have to add up 二百五, 三八 and 二 to it to obtain 二百九. Is this right and if so, what does 二 mean and where did it get it's meaning?
2
votes
3answers
261 views

How to translate/use 一巧

All of a sudden in my course we've started using "一巧" everywhere, and I really do not understand it at all. example: 尽管我很喜欢这张唱片,可是我一巧也开始喜欢它,想到以后可以跟一巧一起听音乐,我决定把这张唱片给他。 which I understand all of, ...
2
votes
2answers
451 views

Why in China do they use k instead of m for the slope of a line?

In china they write y = kx + b Just wondering if there was a reason.
2
votes
2answers
343 views

才 in the sense of “only”

What does 才 mean in this sentence? 妈妈说,鼻子长才是漂亮。 (Quote taken from a nursery rhyme.) After looking in the dictionary my best guess is that it means "just" or "only", so as to make the ...
2
votes
5answers
192 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

Is “戀”/“恋” a word by itself?

As titled. I saw this lyrics with the sentence, 為什麼全世界的戀我都失一遍? Based on the structure, it looks like the word itself is a noun. If it is, what does it mean? I only know the word 戀愛/恋爱. Thanks ...
2
votes
3answers
758 views

What does the name of the singer “约瑟翰 庞麦郎” mean?

I did a quick search and have found: 姓名: 约瑟翰 庞麦郎 英文名: Joseeh Punmanlon I know it is supposed to be like "Snoop Dogg," "Buddy Guy" or something like that. But I'm still very curious on if that ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

Translation: 地灾

We're getting 地灾 warnings over here...but what is a 地灾? Apparently it's short for 地质灾害... adsotrans dictionary defines it, word-for-word, as a geological disaster; which is pretty meaningless ...
2
votes
4answers
464 views

How do you use 附近的 in a sentence? Also, 所有的? [closed]

I am learning Chinese, and I was confused on how to use the previously mentioned phrases in a sentence. Is it possible that someone could put them into a basic sentence so I could get a basic ...
2
votes
1answer
509 views

When is it appropriate to use 先生?

I'm trying to figure out when the title 先生 is used. Is it used for Mr., husband, honorary person, or something else? 谢谢
2
votes
4answers
248 views

What is the difference between 秀才, 进士, 举人, and 甲第?

秀才、进士、举人、甲第那些单词有什么区别?好像它们都是指在中国古代科举制度下成绩特高的考生。准确的区别是什么?哪些至今还在使用? (麻烦大家帮忙改正中文错误!) What is the difference between 秀才, 进士, 举人, and 甲第? They all seem to refer to students who did particularly well ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

What's the meaning of “神” in “神经”?

I am a high school student who are curious with psychology. When I read the section on neuron, I find that the Chinese translation below is "神经". I am very enthusiastic about it because it seems ...
2
votes
8answers
315 views

Difference Between 计算机 and 电脑

What's the difference between 计算机 and 电脑?Do they have the same meaning? They both mean computer, but does the meaning differ between regions, or something else? Or are they completely synonymous?
2
votes
1answer
136 views

meaning of “然後三個三個分成小組”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n38D7DCDtbk http://southworks.com/blog/2009/06/21/the-cookie-experiment/ So,when Liu Anting refers to "然後三個三個分成小組" does she mean something along the lines of "And ...
2
votes
3answers
234 views

What is the meaning of this 征 in this sentence please

What is 征 here please? I guess it is either 征求 or 征集。Would either fit the bill? Maybe 征名 is a word? I think it is really '征集名字‘。 The background is, 兰州的‘读者文摘’ had to change the name of their magazine, ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

What is in 侧面 this sentence?

I can't quite see what 侧面 is doing in this sentence, any tips please? I'll put the previous sentence for clarity. 今天,杨先生的银行存款很少,绝大部分都用来投资股市,一年下来,收益远远高出利息。 实际上,市民理财概念的变化,侧面反映了金融市场在入世以后逐渐与国际接轨。 Could ...
2
votes
2answers
223 views

What is the meaning of 用支 in this setence?

支 usually means support or branch, but here it seems to take on a different meaning. Unless it means they plan the support they use in their life on money? I also tried to replace 用支 with 用之 and 用纸, ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

过道/走廊 what's the difference?

It seems to me that these two are pretty interchangeable for 'hallway' - at least in the writing I've read before. My question is, though, is there any difference in meaning? Any difference when to ...
2
votes
2answers
249 views

Correct context for 大河向东流哇

As part of my immersion process I am studying Chinese lyrics of songs that I like. Many times I find Chinese phrases that I understand all of the words but none of the context. In this case 大河向东流哇 ...
2
votes
3answers
354 views

How can I translate “精神需要”?

This is an example sentence in my textbook: "建立良好的人际关系,是每个社会人的精神需要" 精神 is translated in the dictionary into "spirit, mind, consciousness". Here I believe it must be modifying 需要, which is acting ...
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? ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

What does “须发皆张” mean?

须发皆张 须 - Beard 发 - Hair 皆 - All 张 - Spread/Open up If it was directly translated, it would be something like "[someone's] beard and hair all spread open", but what does that even mean? I can't ...
2
votes
2answers
330 views

Why “保重” means “take care”?

As far as I have learnt, for each Chinese word with more than one character, its meaning is formed from that of each character which it comprises. However, I cannot understand how the meaning of 保重 is ...
2
votes
3answers
173 views

What do 总 and 不时 mean here together?

他说,当公司总经理从他身旁经过时,总会不时地赞美他“你扫的地真干净“。 It seems I have 总 ‘always‘ and 不时 ‘occasionally' or 'often' together. Does the 总经理 always or occasionally laud said sweeper? Or is it 'on all occasions'??
2
votes
1answer
86 views

可怕 and 恐怖 are what kind of “terrible”?

Before heading to town to find something to eat, a friend suggested I should be the one driving the 摩托車. I told my passenger it was illegal for me to drive, but they insisted. I drove fast, ran red ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

What is the difference between 阻拦, 阻止, 阻挡, and 阻碍?

Title says it all; what's the difference between 阻拦, 阻止, 阻挡, and 阻碍?
2
votes
2answers
463 views

How to say “Peekaboo” when playing hide and seek

I have tried to find how to say "peekaboo" in chinsese when playing hide and seek. I 've just found 门门! but I don't know it is corect or not. Could you tell me how to say "Peekaboo!" and "Play hide ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

What does […] 给盯背过去 mean?

The full sentence was more or less: 差点没把人家给盯背过去 I was wondering if it was a phrase, or if it just meant that they were staring at the person's back.
2
votes
2answers
188 views

What is the function of 是 in this sentence: 你是怎么学习英语的?

Am I right to assume that the question is about the other person's personal method of studying English? And would omitting the 是 make the question more general? (Is this an example for the topic-...