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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5
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3answers
174 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
86 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
435 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
votes
1answer
100 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
185 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
174 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?
3
votes
1answer
111 views

The concept of presumptuousness

Is there any word or short phrase in Chinese that expresses the concept of 'presumptuous' as in 'arrogantly making assumptions about the beliefs or preferences of another person without regard to the ...
0
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3answers
82 views

Through which processes became words in classical Chinese that tautological?

There are a lot of different words for many concepts in classical Chinese, for instance for the personal pronouns. Due to which circumstances could this happen?
2
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4answers
120 views

Which non-sinitic languages contributed to the wordstock of common chinese words before 1800?

I am not interested in modern words like telephone, aeroplane, but words that were incorporated into the more frequent used part of the vocabulary from languages different than sinitic.
1
vote
3answers
121 views

Colloquial translation of “increase in price”

What is the common used colloquial translation of "increase in price"? I know some of them like: 涨价 提价 价格上涨 Which one do you often use? or if there is better alternative, please let me know.
2
votes
2answers
114 views

how do you say “Playlist”

I've been trying to find a good translation for a playlist that you create for yourself (like on itunes or Youtube), but I haven't been able to find one. Does anyone have any suggestions?
0
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1answer
77 views

Sentence Structure Edit Help

Is anyone willing to help me edit this monologue for grammatical errors? If so, I would really appreciate it. I have also included the pinyin and english in case it helps to understand what I meant. I ...
0
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2answers
112 views

Can 把握 mean “self control”?

I'm trying to figure out what ”把握“ actually means (it seems to have a number of meanings that don't align with any translation in english). One sentence, that I thought was interesting was "她的把握全失去了" ...
3
votes
3answers
135 views

How do you refer to continents in the abstract?

I've been trying to figure out how to refer to continents as a concept as opposed to specific continents themselves. For example, I know that the continent of Europe would be translated as 欧洲大陆, or ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

How do you say something is “very alcoholic”?

I'm continuously confused on how to best say something is alcoholic. For example, I have heard 酒精很强, 很有酒精 , But I've also heard "酒量很高“ or ”酒量很大” Could someone clarify which of these is the most ...
0
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3answers
155 views

Do people use “昨晚”

Do people still use the term "昨晚“? Is it very 口语? Could it be used when writing a diary? Example sentence 昨晚十点我从我的家开始开到纽约。
2
votes
3answers
817 views

How to ask someone “Will you marry me”

So, not to look to far ahead. (Okay, not to look to far ahead at all). I'm interested in how to say" Will You marry me" I've read "你愿意嫁给我吗?“ “和我结婚,好吗” and “嫁给我好吗?“ Is there a clear "best" way to ...
0
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2answers
128 views

Does 妇人 mean wife or simply woman?

I've been trying to figure out a translation for "妇人“ from the story 《丈夫》 by 沈从文. He used 妇人to refer to women, but I'm not sure if it is ironic that it also means "married women" an accident, or if ...
5
votes
1answer
247 views

what does it mean when you use "作“ as a measure word for people?

What does it mean when you use "作" as a measure word for people ? for example, in 沈从文‘s 《丈夫》 I read the line 都使这作丈夫的想起了村长同乡绅那些大人物的威风 Is 作 different from 位?
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2answers
169 views

How do you say “A tight community”

Helo All! I"m trying to figure out a good translation for "a tight community". For example, I'm trying to say "A tight community is not a means of having a good student organization, but the end ...
2
votes
1answer
284 views

How to say “To lose” as in to “lose a team member”

I"m trying to figure out how to say to "lose" as in to lose a member of a team or (in my case) a member of a club. For example, how would you translate, "this year my school's student council lost a ...
2
votes
4answers
169 views

How to say “to light a candle"

I'm trying to figure out the most appropriate way to say "light a candle" would it be 点蜡烛 or would 点燃蜡烛 be more commonly heard? Thanks for the help!
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4answers
180 views

When can 尔 (er3) be used instead of 你 (ni3)?

I got a letter from a new penfriend in Hong Kong, written in 普通花. I think their first language is Cantonese. Mostly the letter uses simplified characters, with the occasional traditional one. It ...
3
votes
5answers
468 views

Is there a difference between 杀头 and 砍头?

I'm learning about 鲁迅 and the picture he saw of a man being decapitated. My teacher would switch between 杀头 and 砍头 - is their a large difference between the two? is one more formal? Is there a ...
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2answers
79 views

How to say “The crowd” as in a “Crowd in a concert”

I'm interested to see if there is a specific translation for "Crowd" as in "crowd at a concert". To say "We entered the crowd at the concert" would it be 那一群人? or 观众? or is there a better way to ...
2
votes
5answers
348 views

What is the difference between “面对” and “应对”?

I would love a quick overview of the difference btween 面对 and 应对! In particular, I would love to know what you say if you want to use 以...的太对来应对/面对 这个问题? Is 应对 or 面对 used in this instance?
2
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3answers
339 views

How do you say “Cafeteria Workers”?

I've been trying to figure what is the best way to describe school cafeteria workers without sounded too formal or too rude (just a normal way of saying cafeteria worker) Would you say “食堂员工” “工人”? ...
5
votes
3answers
494 views

Does the Chinese language distinguish “doubt” and “suspicion”?

Doubt expresses a lack of belief due to insufficient evidence. Suspicion expresses a feeling of belief in the absence of evidence. If I'm not mistaken, the Chinese language does not distinguish the ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

What is the difference between 探望 and 看?

Both the expressions 探望 and 看 are, in an appropriate context, translated as "to visit". I haven't been able to figure out the difference between the two. When does one use 探望, when does one use 看?
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1answer
192 views

Can you 搬东西? Or do you need to 搬家?

I'm interested in the use of 搬 in the case of moving in. Could I say "我帮了我的室友搬一些东西?“ or does it need to be ”帮了她把他的东西搬到他的宿舍里面“ Can you simply say 搬东西 ?
2
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3answers
139 views

不然 when it occurs at the beginning of a sentence

不然你逛那边的时候,我逛电子商品区. I came across this but none of the dictionary meanings for 不然 seem to fit when it's at the beginning of a sentence. What's the meaning here as are this a common usage?
2
votes
3answers
189 views

Can you 离开 a person? (as in physically separate from them?)

I'm interested in the usage of the term 离开 as in " to leave". If, for example, I was traveling with another person on the underground (train) and I left them/we separated (to take different trains) ...
0
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1answer
86 views

How to say “twelve tigers” [duplicate]

I learned that two tigers is said "两只老虎" but I wonder how to say twelve tigers, twenty two tigers in Chinese. Is that 十二只老虎 and 二十二只老虎 or 十两只老虎 and 二十两只老虎
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5answers
487 views

The translation of “Karma”

I want to know the colloquial chinese translation of "Karma". The conversation example: Bob: She had financial problem for 30 years and never got a decent job besides labor. Me: I guess it's karma. ...
4
votes
4answers
192 views

What are the different ways to say “Chapter” in Chinese?

So, I've been trying to figure out the proper way to say "chapter" for a long time in Chinese. Is this something that depends on a case by case basis? (i.e. a chapter in a novel would be different in ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

How to say “this?” interjection in chinese?

For example of a case: (I was in home walking holding a jar of chocolate candy, I was gonna go to upstairs) Mom: (She saw me and she called me from behind) "Where did you buy that?" Me: (I was a bit ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

How to say “had a child”

So, I know that 出生 means to birth or "To give birth" - but what if I want to casually say that my friend (who is a male) recently had two kids. Could I say 他最近生了两个小孩 。 Or does that imply that he ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

How to say “to found”?

I've been struggling for a while with how exactly in Chinese to say "to found". Recently, I learned that 创办 could have that meaning? (I.e. 北大是1898年创办的) - but, I also know that words like 创始 also ...
2
votes
3answers
71 views

How do you use the phrase 留宿 (liu2su4) (i.e. “To stay over at someone's house")

I've been trying to figure in what contexts it is appropriate to use the term 留宿。 Is it simply staying at another person's house for the night (like in english "crashing at someone's place") or is it ...
3
votes
3answers
146 views

What does it mean to 按时收听?

I've been listening to a great mandarin podcast recently called "imandarinpod". At the beginning of every podcast the host says something like this "谢谢大家按时收听我们的节目“。 I've looked up the translation of ...
2
votes
3answers
132 views

How to say “Avoid” as in “Avoid going to a place”

I've always struggled with the proper translation of "Avoid". Is there a way to best say "avoid going to a place". For example, if I wanted to say that " I believe that if I want to embrace chinese ...
2
votes
3answers
103 views

How do I say “right at that time”?

I'm trying to explain a situation I was in recently in written Chinese. How would I say "Luckily, right at that time Mark heard my voice" Would it simply be 幸亏, 她正好那时候听到我的声音,马上叫了起来“ Thanks for ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

How do you say “Clean” as in “clean a city”

How would one say "clean" as in "Clean a city" For example, in english we would say. "Once a month everyone in Rwanda leaves their house to clean the city" Could I say "打扫城市“ ”把城市弄干净”? Or is there ...
2
votes
3answers
204 views

How do I say “It didn't help that..”

In english, we often use the transition "it didn't help that" to indicate that something bad had happened, and that there was another factor that potentially made it even worse. Ex. He was already ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I say that a program (coding) “Works!”

I'm trying to say a program (as in something a programmer/程序员) finally works! Is there a way to translate this "works" into chinese? Could I say 我的代码终于可以了!? Or is there a way that is more clear ...
3
votes
4answers
148 views

How to express the word “enjoy”? As in “enjoy traveling”

As a native english speaker, I've always struggled with the translation of "to enjoy" in to mandarin. I know that a couple of variations involve 享受, or 欣赏. But often the sentences I write using both ...
2
votes
3answers
70 views

How do you say the noun form of “Campaign”

I know that in Chinese we can say "竞选” for campaigning (as in a verb). But, if I wanted to say "campaign" as in "Obama's Campaign" how would I say that? I've seen 竞选活动 in dictionaries。 But, would ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

How to say a “strong flavor”

I know that currently people in Chinese would say "很重的味道“。 But I'm wondering if there are any other ways of saying it. Could I say "很大的味道 “ or ”很浓的味道“ if I'm referring to something like a hot sauce? ...
5
votes
1answer
301 views

Proper letter writing etiquette

I've recently been writing a lot of letters in Mandarin and I have several questions regarding the form. Chinese has many salutations in letters. For the most part, is it okay just to use 亲爱? If ...
3
votes
2answers
160 views

Number of unique characters in the X most common words?

I assume this would be wouldn't be too hard to calculate with a proper database, but does anyone know the number of unique characters/morphemes used in the 5000, 10000, 30000, etc. most common words? ...