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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3
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1answer
105 views

What are the continents according to Chinese schemes?

In the United States, I was taught a geographical scheme comprising seven continents: Africa (非洲), Antarctica (南极洲), Asia (亚洲), Australia (澳洲), Europe (欧洲), North America (北美洲), and South America ...
0
votes
2answers
84 views

Which version is correct, 脚趾甲 or 脚指甲?

My question is as the title. I have seen both versions as the Chinese equivalent of "toenail". Which one is correct? Or are both right?
4
votes
1answer
134 views

What difference(s) does it make to use the citation tone instead of the neutral tone, for the tail character in these words?

Here’s my list: 队伍, 成分, 身分, 才力, 呼噜, 亮堂, 好处, 种子, 妥当, 爽快, 痛快, 记性, 出息, 佩服, 分析, 哈欠, 寒毛, 活泼, 鼻涕, 道理, 滑稽, 考究, 讲究, 打算, 正经, 裁缝, 得罪, 意识 (and also意识 形态), 熟识, 见识, 体谅, 兴趣, [东/西/南/前/后/那/上/下/头/里/外/左/右]边, 知道, 父亲 and ...
3
votes
7answers
213 views

和 or 或? When to use “and”s and “or”s

A very short, isolated question: No hopes or dreams In English, it's very clear that this is "neither hopes nor dreams" i.e. there are no hopes, and also no dreams. In Chinese, which word, 和 or ...
0
votes
4answers
118 views

How to translate “coming along?”

I was recently writing a letter to a Chinese colleague and wanted to wish her luck on a book she is writing. In essence, I wanted to say I hope your book is coming along well. Unfortunately, I ...
1
vote
3answers
177 views

How to describe something as a 'work in progress'

What's a good idiomatic way to tell a Chinese speaker that something is a 'work in progress' - as for example, "my Chinese language skills are still a work in progress'. Would it be similar to ...
2
votes
3answers
211 views

How would you translate 魔都 in English?

I know it is referring to Shanghai, and Baidu has a handy explanation of its origins here, but how would you translate it? "The Mystic Capital"? "The Devilish Capital"? In the theme of 帝都 to describe ...
1
vote
3answers
183 views

What is the meaning of 看在 and 分上?

看在孩子的分上,夫妇二人没有离婚。 In the phrase above, what do they mean? Neither is found in a dictionary. The sentence is said to translate to "The pair would not divorce because of the children".
4
votes
1answer
128 views

words where it is important to distinguish between the neutral tone and the citation tone

I'm working through the HSK vocab lists, and sometimes I find it hard to remember if a character should be pronounced with the neutral tone or with the citation tone. It would help if I knew when ...
1
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3answers
77 views

Email as noun and verb

Could you guys and gals clarify how you use Email as noun and verb please? My textbook uses 电子邮件 as a noun and 发电子邮件 as a verb (send an Email). I have also found 伊妹儿 in a dictionary, which looks like ...
1
vote
3answers
223 views

Is “谐仿” an actual word in Chinese?

The English Wiktionary lists "谐仿" (xiéfǎng) as a translation for the English word "parody". But my other dictionaries don't list it and also my friends here in China say they don't know it, not even ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Chinese word for X chair in a musical group when it isn't 1st or 2nd chair

In English, in an orchestra one might say that one's chair position is 2nd Violin, 5th chair. The 2nd Violin part is easy to say: 第二小提琴. But the 5th chair part is troubling. My question is the Chinese ...
1
vote
5answers
274 views

many ways to say Today

I've seen "today" translated in several ways: "今日", "今天", "本日". Are they all official words? What's the difference among them? Are those words more or less interchangeable in common language? Are ...
2
votes
2answers
231 views

Is this a correct usage of “來日方長”?

I want to say: You still have a long way to go, wish you have a memorable secondary school career And here's my translation to Chinese: 來日方長, 希望你有個難忘的中學生涯 I'm wondering if it is correct to ...
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vote
3answers
160 views

“Immediately” 立即, 即時, 立刻, 馬上 etc

I'm trying to find a suitable translation for the word immediately. The dictionary has all of these words (I limited it to 4 in the title but there are over 10 results from what I can see). Could ...
2
votes
1answer
134 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

枕头 versus 垫子, are these different?

I've come across these two words in a picture-book. Are 枕头 and 垫子 the same kind of pillow or are they different kinds of pillow?
10
votes
4answers
266 views

What's the difference between 帐户 and 账户?

To my understanding, both mean "account", as in a bank account or online account. 账户 also appears to be the more common (100M search results) compared to 帐户 (about 50M results). What is the ...
3
votes
3answers
450 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)?

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)? The article http://www.hainan-today.com/2012/201201/web/201201_28.htm uses “未長未短”: ...
5
votes
7answers
526 views

Ways to politely insult somebody's intelligence in Mandarin?

I know of many words to insult people and call them stupid, but a majority of them are incredibly offensive. There are more polite phrases, such as 真笨, which I've seen used within families (as a plain ...
2
votes
3answers
123 views

Is the word “以后” in “回家以后” an adverb?

My question is as titled. Per my understanding the "以后" in "回家以后", "从此以后", etc. is a preposition. So I am surprised the textbook says 以后 is an adverb here. Can anyone find a grammar book, dictionary, ...
2
votes
1answer
293 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, ...
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vote
2answers
211 views

Is there a word to describe “more demand than offer”?

Is there a word which is used to describe the situation when demand for some goods are so high that sellers cannot satisfy it. It usually leads to rapid growth of prices and crowds in shops, even up ...
4
votes
4answers
134 views

The slang(?) phrase “乾掉了”

As I remember, the phrase was used in response to a certain scenario. Unfortunately, as I tried to look it up on Google, all I find is drying out, which is certainly not the meaning I am looking for. ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

A Complex Chinese Character

I randomly saw this character on the blog a while ago and saved a image of it as shown below. Is this even a character? If so, what does it mean? When is it used? What was the origin of it? How do ...
5
votes
1answer
257 views

Chinese Chengyu (Idiom): Refute somebody with his own argument

Is there a Chinese Idiom for "Refute somebody with his own argument"? I thought this is not quite the same as "self-contradictory" 自相矛盾. Thank you.
5
votes
1answer
486 views

“同儕” vs “同僚” vs “同事”

I know that 同事 means colleague, but I have seen 同儕 and 同僚 used in similar context. Below are random examples of each I found on google: 在同儕關係中彼此地位平等、較能相互學習。 由於他過度地自負,同僚們不喜歡他。 Are these ...
2
votes
2answers
250 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 ...
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4answers
235 views

Could you help me explain the meaning of “顺其自然”? [closed]

I don't know what does this phrase mean in English. Please explain it with some example sentences. Thanks a lot!
2
votes
3answers
224 views

Why is 跟他一起去不去 wrong but 跟不跟他一起去 right

I am confused about the Chinese equivalent of "Do you go with him". The sentence is a so-called yes/no question by many textbooks and grammar books. Using the VA-not-VA(Verb Adjective) to compose this ...
3
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4answers
96 views

再次 and 再: are they different?

Here is the context: 我于是去了这家餐厅,点了一盘蘑菇菜心,果然好吃。我对服务员说: 我再次要一盘。 The sentence "我再次要一盘" is wrong. But "我再要一盘" is correct. Can anyone explain why?
2
votes
1answer
166 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
votes
2answers
301 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.
3
votes
5answers
238 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
votes
2answers
111 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
179 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?
1
vote
1answer
503 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
207 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
121 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
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
755 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
votes
5answers
592 views

What does 小白脸 mean? [closed]

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?
1
vote
4answers
137 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
207 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
279 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 ...
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vote
3answers
121 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
210 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
706 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"?
1
vote
5answers
140 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 ...