It's the set of words used by a language, but also all of the words within a language known by a single person.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
5answers
637 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
168 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?
2
votes
1answer
623 views

Do people use 刻苦 nowadays?

I'm trying to figure out two things. Is 刻苦 still commonly used in China? Is it colloquial? For example, could I say “他那一年刻苦的学西班牙文” If it is used, are there any clear differences with “认真”? Or are ...
2
votes
3answers
551 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
367 views

The real meaning of “傲嬌”

Until recently, I have known the meaning of this word as described on the wiki page. I thought it is used to refer to people, particularly female, who are cold on the outside and hot, as in intimate, ...
2
votes
3answers
368 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
4answers
148 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.
2
votes
4answers
251 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!
2
votes
3answers
149 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
2answers
214 views

What's the difference between 眼熟 and 面熟?

I've always assumed that you use 面熟 for people because they have a face (面). However, I recently heard a native speaker use 眼熟 about a person. Are the two phrases fully interchangeable? If not, what ...
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
153 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
200 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) ...
2
votes
3answers
162 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
279 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"?
2
votes
3answers
253 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
141 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
233 views

How would you translate 魔都 in English?

I know it is referring to Shanghai, and Baidu has a handy explanation of its origins here, but how would you translate it? "The Mystic Capital"? "The Devilish Capital"? In the theme of 帝都 to describe ...
2
votes
3answers
128 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, ...
2
votes
2answers
83 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
75 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
votes
3answers
103 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
votes
1answer
305 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
3answers
79 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
84 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
394 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.
2
votes
4answers
527 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
1answer
379 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
102 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
256 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
118 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
111 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
2answers
186 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
190 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
245 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
308 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
172 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): https://www.flickr.com/photos/ripi/3969597088/in/set-...
2
votes
1answer
125 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!
2
votes
2answers
185 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
1answer
529 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.) ...
2
votes
2answers
451 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?
2
votes
1answer
332 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
1
vote
8answers
210 views

hanzis used on their own, hanzis exclusively used in words

i know that a few hanzis cannot be used alone, on their own, in Chinese. i am looking for a list where i can find them. someone can help ? just for the most frequent :-) is it allowed to use 爸 ...
1
vote
5answers
294 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
373 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?
1
vote
3answers
818 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
249 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 ...