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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1k 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 ...
2
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3answers
148 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?
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3answers
194 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) ...
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3answers
114 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 ...
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2answers
274 views

Is “佳能” the standard translation for “canon” in a religious sense?

Apparently "巴利佳能" is the translation of "Pali Canon." When referring to the foundational documents of other theological or philosophical schools, will I be understood if I use the term "佳能"?
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3answers
224 views

Books or websites listing *polysyllabic* Mandarin terms with same pronunciation differing only by tones

I'm interested in finding any webpages or books that list words and phrases of more than one character that share the same pronunciation but not the same tones. For instance, here are some terms I've ...
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4answers
134 views

What's the difference between 保育院 and 孤儿院?

Per title. Both describe an institution for children who have no parents. I've looked around on the Internet and asked several people about this, but no one seems to have a definitive answer? Does it ...
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3answers
118 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, ...
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2answers
75 views

What abstract things can you 吸收?

So, I recently learned 吸收 can be used abstractly. Looking around example sentences we have 吸收知识 吸收A的思想 吸收B的信念 吸收A的经验 Two questions: 1. How common are these collocations? How colloquial? 2. ...
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62 views

How do you say Symbol in a literary sense?

Could someone clarify the different ways of how to say "Something symbolizes something else"? (In a literary sense). I know that we could say ”白色象征纯洁。“ But could we use 象征 as a noun? ex。 “作者用“白色” ...
2
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1answer
291 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 ...
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3answers
73 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 ...
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3answers
75 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 ...
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290 views

What is the difference between 勺子 and 调羹?

Which word should I use for "spoon", as a noun or as a measure.
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4answers
380 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 ...
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1answer
348 views

Poetic two-character words of the form: Verb + Natural Noun?

I was looking for examples in Mandarin of poetic two-character words. What words have the following form... Verb + Noun ...where the noun is something that occurs in nature? The first examples ...
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1answer
96 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 ...
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1answer
124 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 ...
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3answers
173 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 ...
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2answers
100 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 ...
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3answers
102 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 ...
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2answers
138 views

Keeping track of words learned [closed]

I'm looking for a good online site to keep track of chinese words I've learned. I've looked at memrise.com, but found it lacking in features since its not linked to a dictionary and I have to manually ...
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2answers
161 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 ...
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4answers
815 views

Does qin1 cai4 translate to bok choy?

I'm pretty sure celery is 芹菜. qin2 cai4 I heard people referring to bok choy as qin cai as well, but I believe it was qin1 cai4. Is this correct? When I look up bok choy, it is 白菜 bai2cai4 which ...
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2answers
214 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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2answers
176 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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1answer
151 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): ...
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1answer
120 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!
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129 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 ...
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2answers
207 views

How to say those mouth-watering Chinese dishes names in Chinese? [closed]

Chinese food is delicious. For example, beef noodles (牛肉面) is one of my favorites. Fried noodle (炒面) and fried rice with shrimp(虾仁炒饭)are also yummy. Q: How to say other mouth-watering Chinese dishes ...
2
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1answer
297 views

How do I ask for a refill for my acrylic nails?

I like having pretty acrylic nails: Roughly once a month, I need to get a refill. (Basically, they take the color off, and fill in the part of the nail where it's grown out, and paint them again.) ...
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2answers
270 views

Proper translations on manager titles on business cards

So far I have President • 总统 FOUNDER • 创办人 CEO • 主席 CMO • 营销总监 Are these the correct characters to use on a business card for each title listed above?
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1answer
312 views

Translation of Chinese word is not an English word?

This is really strange. Dictionary.com says "obdurability" isn't a word in English, but it is the ONLY translation for "强韧" in Pleco (my Chinese-English dictionary). Google.com has tons of results, ...
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1answer
140 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 ...
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5answers
241 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 ...
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2answers
260 views

What does 软文 and 小号 mean in internet slang?

Just like the title said, what does 软文 and 小号 mean in intenet slang?
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3answers
462 views

How to say “wait” answer in simple conversation mandarin language?

Conversation example: A: Take that box to upstairs! B: Wait.. (while he is busy doing something else) How to say that wait in simple conversation mandarin? I feel 等一下 is too long. If you know ...
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4answers
199 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 ...
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3answers
201 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 ...
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3answers
188 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 ...
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2answers
102 views

How common is the phrase “同乡”?

I recently read the word “同乡” (i.e. person who lives in the same village as you). I'm trying to figure out if it is something that people say. Could I say 在飞机上我竟然认识一位同乡? If not, how is it used ...
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1answer
251 views

What is the meaning of 及 in the compound word 危及?

I know 及 as a conjungtion for words or phrases with the meaning "and". What meaning does 及 bear here that makes semantically sense?
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2answers
173 views

Is there a word in Chinese to mean “mostly”? Is “大多” appropriate?

As title, is there a word in Mandarin Chinese to mean "mostly" ? For example, I am going to tell my friend who wrote a letter to me that "I mostly got what you man", is it appropriate to say "大多" that ...
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1answer
49 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?
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4answers
125 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!
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2answers
104 views

Difference between 捞 and 拿?

So, recently I bumped into the word “捞” - which, as I've seen translated - means “to grab from a liquid。 (Somewhat similar to “ladel") I thought this looked like a really useful verb, but I wanted to ...
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3answers
89 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?
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125 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.
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90 views

What is the difference between 形成, 构成, 组成, 养成?

According to the dictionary, 成 has meanings of to become or to form, what is the subtle difference between 形成, 构成, 组成 and 养成? Thanks!
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3answers
183 views

What is the modern meaning of “送官究辦”

I saw this word from this: What does it mean?