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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4
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2answers
95 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
474 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
144 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.
3
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
134 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
3answers
422 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
117 views

Sentence Structure Edit Help [duplicate]

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
73 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
votes
3answers
159 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
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
278 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?
0
votes
2answers
138 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
301 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
480 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
218 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!
1
vote
4answers
221 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
526 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
651 views

What's the difference between 对不起, 对不住 and 不好意思

When I was in China, I heard people using 不好意思 to apologize casually. I also heard the expression 对不住 in TV series and movies. Is there any differences?
2
votes
5answers
369 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?
1
vote
1answer
205 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
votes
3answers
355 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”? ...
2
votes
3answers
149 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?
5
votes
1answer
145 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?
2
votes
3answers
195 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
votes
5answers
562 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
89 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
4
votes
4answers
366 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
151 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
106 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
76 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
168 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
143 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
135 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
151 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
76 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
174 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
157 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
5answers
388 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.
3
votes
2answers
210 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? ...
5
votes
1answer
586 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
97 views

Correct word to use for a suburban fence?

What should I be using to describe a suburban fence? Here is an image of what I am trying to find the right word for: Author: Greg O'Beirne - source I guess I might go with 篱笆 or 栏杆. Could I get ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

Chinese weather periods

The only time I have traveled to Beijing a taxi driver told me I had come at the worst and hottest time of year. He explained to me that the year was divided up in periods of roughly 16 days and the ...
3
votes
4answers
454 views

Correct terms for a roadside gutter and gutter on a roof

What is the correct terms for both a roadside gutter and a gutter on a roof? For the sake of making me look bad, my guess would be 水沟 but I've seen that applied to a large canal so I'm not sure if it ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

What are the uses of 什会 and from which area?

In restaurants in Australia we quite often have Chinese dishes which are combination for example Combination Satay or Combination Fried Rice. These contain several types of meat as opposed to ...
5
votes
2answers
274 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
848 views

How are the terms for “male/female” and “man/woman” divided exactly?

I know that daughter in Chinese is 女儿, and son is 儿子. A little side-question: Why isn't "son" 男儿? My main question is this one though: apart from son and daughter stated above, what are the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Site for reading the same news article in English and Chinese (简体中文)

Previously I used to regularly go to a news site that had articles in English that allowed you to immediately switch to Chinese for the same article. It also had good information on the Chinese side ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

Accidentally Saying Chinese Swear Words

So I saw a video on youtube about a guys experience in china. He said that people can often accidentally say swear words if they say the tones wrong. Like the word "ma" It can heard as mother but ...