It's the set of words used by a language, but also all of the words within a language known by a single person.

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2
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1answer
105 views

What are the mandarin words for these Chinese altars?

I saw some various types of Chinese altars in some chinese countries: Altar that hanging on wall (I suppose this is altar for sky god): ...
3
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2answers
239 views

How is 之 used in these sentences?

不能实现梦想的人都有一个共通之处,那就是:想要一样东西,却怎么也不愿意为之付出 I do not understand the usage of 之 here. What does 之处 and 为之付出 mean? Thank you.
2
votes
5answers
216 views

Difference between 中饭 and 午饭

What would be the difference between two of them? Is the first one used at all? My teacher says I should prefer the last one to be understood and to avoid confusion.
2
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2answers
80 views

How do I say that something is “negative”?

I'm trying to explain to a Chinese penpal that certain word and phrases in English carry a negative connotation and so shouldn't be used in specific situations. I want to say "that phrase is very ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Why is “连忙” wrong in the following sentence?

My question is as the title. The sentence is: 如果她来了,请你连忙告诉我。 The correct sentence is "如果她来了,请你马上告诉我". Why?
0
votes
1answer
91 views

What is the Chinese way to say “We had a lot of fun”?

I know an English sentence cannot be translated into Chinese word-by-word. So is there a idiomatic way to express the same meaning of "We had a lot of fun" in Chinese? (The context-- someone said this ...
3
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3answers
95 views

Is there a difference between 復習 and 複習?

Both words have the same pronunciation, and cdict and some other dictionaries list them as variants of each other. I note that when I try to type it on Google Pinyin Chinese IME, 複習 comes up and 復習 ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

What does 唐乐乐 mean?

In the context of "唐乐乐睁开眼睛,看着头上陌生的天花板。" What would be the meaning of the phrase "唐乐乐"? While I understand the rest of the sentence perfectly, this bit makes no sense to me. Thanks for any help!
2
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1answer
118 views

What's the Chinese Converse of English “Engrish”?

We all know and love Engrish- hilariously bad English sometimes produced by native Chinese speakers. But is there an equally pat Chinese phrase to describe the converse- the weird, pitiable attempts ...
13
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2answers
607 views

How do new Chinese characters get added to the language?

For example there are characters such as 熵 which as far as I know only means one thing - in this case entropy - and which have to have been deliberately added by some person or organization. An ...
4
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5answers
547 views

What does 小白脸 mean?

I recently see this word in a Chinese tv drama show. It seems degradative and refers to a man who is deceiving, but what does it exactly mean?
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4answers
103 views

The word order of co-existing adverbs in a sentence

I am wondering whether there is a commonly accepted rule about the word order of co-existing adverbs in a sentence. For example, in the following sentences, 果然,昨天,直接,从学校 are adverbs. Which of the ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

What's the difference between 眼熟 and 面熟?

I've always assumed that you use 面熟 for people because they have a face (面). However, I recently heard a native speaker use 眼熟 about a person. Are the two phrases fully interchangeable? If not, what ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

What does 'chee' mean in the following quote?

I read a very interesting book called 'China in War and Revolution' about the period from 1900-1949 in China. I am curious about the meaning of the word 'chee' in the passage below. I don't speak ...
1
vote
3answers
108 views

What is the difference between 省 and 省份?

Two sentences "他也算是我省的名人" and "他也算是我省份的名人", is the second sentence wrong? If it is wrong, why?
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3answers
173 views

What is the difference: “和小猫一样可爱” and “像小猫一样可爱”

There are two sentences: 她的宝宝和小猫一样可爱 (I never ran into a sentence like the one until recently.) 她的宝宝像小猫一样可爱 Question: Are these two sentences exchangeable? Or, what is the difference between ...
3
votes
10answers
661 views

What is the difference between “我还没打算” and “我还没决定”

In a question-response practice, the question is "你暑假要去旅游吗"? Why is the right response "我还没决定", not "我还没打算"?
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5answers
117 views

Are 民谣 Songs? Or are they saying?

Recently, I was trying to understanding what 民谣 exactly means. I know that it is often translated as "Folk Rhyme or Ballad". This implies to me that it is an old, traditional song. I recently saw a ...
1
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2answers
103 views

Difference between 捞 and 拿?

So, recently I bumped into the word “捞” - which, as I've seen translated - means “to grab from a liquid。 (Somewhat similar to “ladel") I thought this looked like a really useful verb, but I wanted to ...
0
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2answers
72 views

Difference between 帐篷 and 大棚?

Recently, I read a story that said “于是他让弟子们搭起大棚”。 I translated this roughly to "ordered the kids to set up a tent". But this had me confused. Isn't 帐篷 also tent? And can't you also 搭起帐篷? What is ...
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2answers
95 views

Difference between 人和 and 仁和

In Lao She's novel Rickshaw Boy, the protagonist works at place called "人和厂“. To be very literal that is people's unity shop, in contrast to the protagonist's individualism. But two thirds of the ...
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2answers
71 views

What abstract things can you 吸收?

So, I recently learned 吸收 can be used abstractly. Looking around example sentences we have 吸收知识 吸收A的思想 吸收B的信念 吸收A的经验 Two questions: 1. How common are these collocations? How colloquial? 2. ...
3
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2answers
96 views

How can you appropriately use “延长”?

So, over the past hours, I‘ve been trying to figure out the proper usage of 延长。 I know that it refers to extending a period of time, but I'm trying to think about ways to use it (exact collocation) ...
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2answers
97 views

How common is the phrase “同乡”?

I recently read the word “同乡” (i.e. person who lives in the same village as you). I'm trying to figure out if it is something that people say. Could I say 在飞机上我竟然认识一位同乡? If not, how is it used ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

How do I ask for a refill for my acrylic nails?

I like having pretty acrylic nails: Roughly once a month, I need to get a refill. (Basically, they take the color off, and fill in the part of the nail where it's grown out, and paint them again.) ...
1
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3answers
269 views

How to say “wait” answer in simple conversation mandarin language?

Conversation example: A: Take that box to upstairs! B: Wait.. (while he is busy doing something else) How to say that wait in simple conversation mandarin? I feel 等一下 is too long. If you know ...
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2answers
62 views

How to say “similarly" as a transition?

I've tried to use the transition "similarly" multiple times in Chinese, but I've gotten mixed feedback on how I should say it. I've been told I should say "同样的“ and not 同样 like "John ...
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votes
4answers
143 views

How to pronounce “论”

I"ve been trying to figure out the tones for the character 论. It seems like it is fourth tone in 讨论. However, in something like 一概而论 I'm not entirely sure. Is this a taiwan/Mainland division? Or is it ...
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1answer
143 views

What does "一概而论“ mean?

I’m getting mixed answers to what 一概而论 actually means. What would you translate this sentence as 但是, 我们不能将这位作者的观点一概而论。 Is this the only way it can be used?
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6answers
387 views

What is the function of 甲 in 桂林山水甲天下?

What i know: 甲 is used for enumeration of items or persons in a dialogue, it corresponds to western 1. , a) , I. , X. 桂林山水 = Landscape of Guilin 天下 = literary expression for whole china or ...
6
votes
3answers
476 views

Is “ 事出必有因 ” the most accurate translation for “ everything happens for a reason ”?

Is " 事出必有因 " the most accurate translation for " everything happens for a reason "? If not, what is it? Thanks!
4
votes
3answers
264 views

Do people say “文学家?”

Do people use "文学家” normally? It feels like it could be a correct word, but no one would say "literarist" on the other hand in english.
5
votes
6answers
281 views

What is the translation of “attached to X”?

For example: "He is too attached to his money and wealth". "He is very attached to his house" Note: the meaning of "attached to" is closer to the feeling of very hard to letting go of something. ...
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2answers
58 views

How do you say a “quote” as in a “quote from a author”

Does anyone know how to say "a quote" as in a quote from an author/book/piece of writing? Do people say 引号, 引文, 引用? Thanks so much!
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2answers
45 views

What is the official total sum of all Madarin pictograms?

I took a few books in a public library; I saw more than 600 different pictograms. I never found any other way to learn them than to learn them by heart. It is a very beautiful language; a form of a ...
3
votes
4answers
143 views

Difference between 惊讶 and 吃惊?

Is there a difference in the usage between 惊讶 and 吃惊? I know you can say “令人吃惊“ and “阵脚我吃了惊“. Is there any way to divide the two?
4
votes
1answer
43 views

Any Chinese-English economics and business related vocab list online?

Apologies to those who are irritated by resource request questions. What would you recommend to brush up and expand economics and business related vocabulary? Ideally I am looking for something that ...
4
votes
2answers
478 views

What is the difference between 专家 and 达人?

I saw 达人 on the title of the following Tawianese video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eru3weFzRnI (very amuzing!) and some other places, and got confused since I already knew 专家 . On the title it ...
7
votes
3answers
199 views

How is 青 and 苍 used in classical Chinese to denote colors?

Here is what the dictionary says about 青:  1. 深绿色或浅蓝色:~草。~苔。 Dark Blue or light green.  2. 靛蓝色:靛~。~紫。 Indigo blue.  3. 黑色:~布。~衣。 Black. Similar case is 苍:  1. 深青色,深绿色:~翠。~天。 Dark ...
3
votes
3answers
274 views

Is there a formal way to describe three word color adjectives?

Is there a way/word to describe three letter color adjectives in Chinese? For example, I know that 绿油油 is one that is used often - is there a way to describe these? Are they a certain type of ...
4
votes
6answers
475 views

Is Mandarin impossible for my goals?

Since years ago I have been studying some languages with the major goal of being able to read texts, complex or not, written under them. My native is Portuguese (from Brazil) and nowadays I have no ...
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2answers
58 views

How do you say Symbol in a literary sense?

Could someone clarify the different ways of how to say "Something symbolizes something else"? (In a literary sense). I know that we could say ”白色象征纯洁。“ But could we use 象征 as a noun? ex。 “作者用“白色” ...
1
vote
1answer
245 views

What is the meaning of 及 in the compound word 危及?

I know 及 as a conjungtion for words or phrases with the meaning "and". What meaning does 及 bear here that makes semantically sense?
4
votes
1answer
52 views

What is the origin of giving certain corners within houses own name?

Thanks to another question on this forum i learned that the south-western corner of a house has its own name: 奥. I was very surprised of this notion and could not make any sense why there might be ...
5
votes
3answers
172 views

What Chinese characters are rare in modern but common in classical Chinese?

I browsed randomly through texts written in classical Chinese, and I noticed there were a lot of Chinese characters that were frequent in classical Chinese but never or rarely being present in modern ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

What is the word in majiang equivalent to suits in cards?

With playing cards with French faces, ♣♠♥♦ are collectively called suits in English, Farben ("colours") in German. With majiang tiles, what is the collective noun in Chinese for 饼、条、万, a property of ...
4
votes
1answer
433 views

What is the meaning of 當 and 自強 in 男兒當自強?

男兒當自強 is the title of the main theme in wong feihong, i was told its translation is "a man has to stand one's ground", i do not know how verbatim this translation is. 男兒 is man, 自強 is either "his ...
0
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1answer
98 views

What are some profanity words in classical Chinese?

It is easy to find profanity words for modern Chinese, but I could not find any profanity words for classical Chinese. Even such simple ones as "to fuck". Please help to promote this knowledge.
3
votes
1answer
182 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
1answer
162 views

What is the average number of words necessary to read classical Chinese?

I heard classical Chinese had a limited amount of vocabularies compared to modern Chinese. How many words one has to learn in order to acquire average reading abilities, disregarding the grammar?