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
votes
4answers
195 views

What does 卡了壳 mean?

Here's the context. I am guessing it means stumble. 其他选手则要么在微妙的措辞上卡了壳 Other contestants stumble on delicate phrasing But according to this it means quiet/silenced? Q: 步枪卡了壳是什么意思? A: 步枪卡了壳 - 不响 咯咯 ...
9
votes
4answers
695 views

How is adding oil going to beneficial to the situation? 加油

Is anyone able to explain the history behind this cheer? At the face of it I'm unsure how this could be a cheer as 加 translate to add/plus/apply and 油 translates to oil/fat/grease you would think ...
5
votes
2answers
255 views

What does 餅乾 mean in Taiwan?

I'm unfamiliar with the variety of Mandarin spoken in Taiwan, so I was surprised to see a chilli-snack 香脆椒 referred to as 餅乾: http://mall.tw100years.com/goods.php?id=9 ...
7
votes
2answers
310 views

”委屈“ in English?

In Chinese, ”委屈“ has the meaning of being treated unfairly and consequently felt bad but didn't dare to complain. "be upset" doesn't necessarily imply being treated unfairly. "be wronged" doesn't ...
4
votes
3answers
199 views

How to address a teacher one knows well (in conversation and emails). Is 亲爱 “dear” ever appropriate?

Can one use 亲爱 "dear" in a letter to a teacher one knows well? In the specific case that triggered this question, the student, who is a male student in his late 20s, is being addressed 亲爱的[name]兄弟 ...
3
votes
2answers
236 views

How to address fellow students junior to oneself (学妹,学弟)?

I have sometimes wondered what would be the appropriate way of addressing (fellow) students that are junior to oneself. Given name? Full name? Name + 妹/第? Are there even cases where one can use 哥/兄 ...
3
votes
3answers
188 views

Asking a cafe/restaurant if they have Wi-Fi *and* electricity for using a device

In my travels in China I've found myself in need of a place to use my internet device. Its battery has recently ceased to hold a charge so I also need to be able to plug in my AC adaptor. My Chinese ...
7
votes
2answers
160 views

漏拆 - Meaning & usage?

I tried several sources & can't find a translation that seems correct. An example sentence & my attempt at translation: 嘴里漏拆了一根线怎么办? mouth inside left behind remove a strip of thread what ...
5
votes
3answers
143 views

What's the difference between “大衣” (dàyī), “外套” (wàitào), and “外衣” (wàiyī) - which can all be translated to “coat”?

As I need to buy some cold weather clothes now that I'm heading further north than Xi'an I tried to look up the word for "coat". I found there are at least these three terms: 大衣 (dàyī) 外套 (wàitào) ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Why are there so many 与 here?

In the following passage there are a lot of 与. Please let me know if I understand each of them correctly. 公关人是客户*与*市场受众的纽带, 公关公司职员通过*与*媒体编辑或记者的联系和沟通,将客户的需求软性地传递给目标客户群。 Public Relation are customers' ...
2
votes
4answers
222 views

What are the most usual Chinese terms for permanent markers vs. whiteboard markers

Today in Chengdu I wanted to buy a replacement permanent marker pen for writing on cardboard. I don't like nonpermanent markers because the ink can sometimes wipe off and stain your clothes. I find ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

Which term and which counter to use when ordering simple meals?

When ordering food at a cheap simple eatery in China, which words with which counters should I use that would be something vaguely like English "serve", "serving", "helping", "plate", "bowl". For ...
6
votes
4answers
384 views

Why is 喂 used over 你好 when answering the phone?

The use of 拜拜 over 再见 at the end of a phone conversation is obvious as you haven't seen them so how could you see them again but I don't understand why 喂 is used as a greeting when answering the ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Is there a term for the noisy bringing up of phlegm in preparation to spit?

There's a colloquial term in some regions in English I've seen spelled hoik and hoick to refer to the noisy act of clearing the throat/nasal cavity of mucus/phlegm, usually just before spitting it ...
8
votes
2answers
218 views

Are there Chinese approximations for the colloquial/slang English terms “snot rocket” or “bushman's blow”?

In English I know of two colourful terms for blowing your nose without use of a handkerchief or tissue by holding one nostril closed and expelling mucus from the other: bushman's blow [1][2] snot ...
3
votes
6answers
226 views

What's the word for 'human quality'?

For example when someone jumps the queue, I might tell them they lack good manners / human quality, what's the word in Chinese (Mandarin)?
3
votes
2answers
361 views

What does 看得开 and 看不开 mean?

This sentence is very hard for me to translate. 许多事情,看得开是好;看不开,终归也要熬过去。别以为看不开就不会过去 My try: "Have a lot of problems, Kan De Kai is good; Kan Bu Kai, in the end will still be angry (??). Don't ...
6
votes
2answers
185 views

What does 大秀香肩美背mean?

Got this off Weibo. What does 大秀香肩美背 mean? Particularly that 大 seems odd there.. 【熊乃瑾秀香肩美背 性感造型女人味十足】女星@熊乃瑾xiong 近日在意大利为某杂志拍摄了一组复古时尚大片,大秀香肩美背。 Thank you
1
vote
2answers
75 views

What is the conclusion of this article?

I am not clear on the usage of 偏上 in the following sentence: 此前,《时代》周刊和皮尤研究中心也分别做过类似国家形象的调查。结果均显示,中国的受欢迎程度排名中偏上,但都远远落后于日本的排名。 My translation: Prior to this research, ShiDai publication and Pew ...
3
votes
6answers
635 views

How to translate “暧昧” into English?

Many dictionaries translate it to "ambiguity",but it looks so indefinitely. I'm looking for more expressive answer.
3
votes
2answers
415 views

Complimenting someone on their appearance

In Spoken Mandarin Chinese what adjectives can be used to complement a persons appearance? I can think of a couple off the top of my head: 美丽 - Měilì - Beautiful 可爱 - Kě'ài - Cute 性感 - Xìnggǎn - ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

How to translate the parts of Chinese university

How to distinguish "大学", "学院", "系". "专业"? As myself, I'm in "中国海洋大学数学科学学院数学系信息与计算科学专业". How to translate it properly? And another question: What is "国家保密学院"? Is "国家" describing "保密: or "学院"? I ...
3
votes
2answers
233 views

What is the Chinese word for “home office”?

What is the correct Chinese term for "home office"? 办公室 is an office in an office building, and would not be correct.
3
votes
1answer
827 views

Modern vocab. “selfie”, “troll” and “spam”

Do the following modern English words have Chinese equivelants that are understood by most young people: selfie troll / trolled spam phishing scam
4
votes
3answers
372 views

娘炮 - how do you pronounce this word/phrase?

娘 is clearly niang2, but 炮 is a multiple pronunciation character; it can be bao1 or pao2 or pao4 according to the dictionaries I consulted. I tried searching Baidu for "娘炮拼音" but didn't find anything. ...
3
votes
2answers
211 views

What does 唰 (shua1) mean?

I met the word 唰 shua1 in a Xi Yang Yang book as the sound 唰唰 one character makes while eating. Two sources agree it is "onomat. quick slick up." I don't know the English "quick slick up." Google ...
3
votes
2answers
177 views

How do you translate “hover over”?

I would like to say something like "Please use your mouse to hover over the attribute icon," but I do not know the Chinese equivalent for "hover over" in terms of technology. Would 停留 be understood, ...
7
votes
8answers
476 views

Neutral Terms for “White People”

This is always a difficult topic because racial and ethnic identities are so complex, sensitive, and dynamic: what are the best (as in the most precise and neutral) terms for "White" people? I've ...
2
votes
5answers
410 views

What is the English translation for 劲爆?

I saw this word in a news headline. It isn't found in any of 4 dictionaries I checked (PLC, CC, ADS for Pleco; YellowBridge.com). 劲 jin4 means strength, energy, or enthusiasm 爆 bao4 means explode or ...