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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5answers
401 views

What is the meaning of 十三薪?

It has something to do with salary bonuses. Anyone know how to describe this in English? I haven't the slightest clue.
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3answers
223 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 ...
5
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5answers
321 views

Differences between the two words for each season, such as 冬季 (dōngjì) and 冬天 (dōngtiān)

There seem to be two words for each season. Each pair has the first character in common but for the second character one will have 季 (jì) and the other will have 冬天 (tiān). For example "winter" is: ...
5
votes
2answers
192 views

Correct usage of “behind schedule”

What I would like to know is the proper way to say "I am behind schedule" in the general sense similar to "I am running two hours late for the meeting", or "This project is two weeks overdue". When I ...
5
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1answer
269 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.
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6answers
314 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. ...
5
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1answer
491 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 ...
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1answer
519 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 ...
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3answers
246 views

What is the function of 已 in 好像她已出去好几天了。

What is the purpose of 已 in the following sentence? 好像她已出去好几天了。 The English translation given is: It looks as if she's gone away for a few days. Or is this an incorrect-character, supposed ...
5
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2answers
290 views

Where can I find sorted word lists used by native students?

I would like to find a sorted list of vocabulary that is studied by native students in primary (elementary) and secondary (middle) school in China, arranged by grade level. Is there any official place ...
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1answer
304 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 ...
5
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1answer
147 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?
5
votes
1answer
105 views

How to say replica as opposed to fake

The only difference between a replica of a van Gogh painting, and a fake van Gogh painting, is that the replica claims to be a replica while the fake claims to be real. This is a subtle distinction, ...
5
votes
2answers
703 views

How to differentiate moods, characters, temperaments, etc?

It seems like there are way more words for these things than in English, and I am having a hard time figuring out the difference between them. Some adjectives can only be used to describe mood, while ...
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7answers
4k 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.
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5answers
613 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?
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4answers
4k views

茶 - How to identify varieties of tea?

I'm looking for vocabulary to help puzzle-out the kind of tea contained in various packages from the Chinese characters on their labels. So far I recognize 茶(tea) and 叶(leaves). (Apparently these ...
4
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3answers
286 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.
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6answers
561 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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4answers
143 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
491 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 ...
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4answers
446 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 ...
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5answers
2k views

Chinese computer vocabulary, and most frequently encountered common computer terms

What are the most frequent words I'm likely to encounter when using a computer in Chinese. Stuff like file menu, cut, copy, paste, edit, properties, ok, cancel, back, refresh, save, print etc... ...
4
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3answers
455 views

How to say I want to leave colloquially?

How to say I want to leave or I want to go home colloquially in the case of we are visiting someone's place? Let's say I'm visiting my auntie, then when it's the time for me to leave, what should I ...
4
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1answer
595 views

What is the difference between 变成、变化、变得、改变、转变?

There are five 变 here, so what is the difference between 变成、变化、变得、改变、转变? Thanks!
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3answers
400 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. ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Terms of endearment

What are some Chinese words that I can use to call either my spouse or a love interest? In English we have names like sweety, sweetheart, lovely, honey etc. What are some common equivalents that are ...
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2answers
1k views

What are some common Chinese terms used when playing soccer

I regularly play soccer with a group of Chinese guys and wanted to share terms that I've learnt over the years. I would appreciate if anyone can fill in any gaps (or correct me if I'm wrong).
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1answer
2k 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
2answers
790 views

What are the corresponding titles for “Dr.” (in the sense of MD and PhD) in Chinese?

The prefix Dr. in English refers to both medical doctors, and PhD graduates. What are the correct titles for these in Chinese? I believe that 医生 is correct to use as a title for a medical doctor, but ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Politeness in referring to a recent death

Some people in the US normally avoid saying a person has "died." They say the person "passed on," or "has left us." Are there similar, gentle ways in Chinese to avoid saying a person died? Would it ...
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5answers
116 views

Pairs which are of the form AB / BA

I need help with 实现 v.s. 现实 and 罪犯 v.s. 犯罪. I find it hard to remember the distinction between these pairs which are of the form AB / BA. Can anyone help me grasp the underlying ideas/logic/feeling? ...
4
votes
2answers
99 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
3answers
811 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
193 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?
4
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3answers
154 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
326 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 ...
4
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2answers
756 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 - ...
4
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2answers
109 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
1answer
58 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
552 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 ...
4
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1answer
141 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
214 views

“不应” vs. “不该”: Which is used in formal writing?

Recently I've been writing "should not" in Chinese a lot. But, I've been confused. What is the difference between "不该“ and "不应“? Are they both used? For example, I know we can say 对不起,我不该说那么难听的话。 ...
3
votes
10answers
733 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"?
3
votes
4answers
142 views

How do I interpret 铁饭碗 concisely?

How am I supposed to put "铁饭碗" in simple words, and not a paragraph worth of explanation? I can't seem to find suitable adjectives or nouns to concisely interpret the implication of "铁饭碗" (Suppose to ...
3
votes
2answers
184 views

Difference between 清水, 淡水 and 自来水

My main aim is to try and find the best word to use when describing a freshwater lake. But what if any is the difference between the following: 清水, 淡水 and 自来水
3
votes
5answers
243 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.