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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2
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2answers
207 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Character and word frequencies

I'm trying to build some automated tools for processing Chinese text. I'd like to know the relative frequencies of different characters and character combinations. Are there any web sites with this ...
1
vote
3answers
122 views

“Immediately” 立即, 即時, 立刻, 馬上 etc

I'm trying to find a suitable translation for the word immediately. The dictionary has all of these words (I limited it to 4 in the title but there are over 10 results from what I can see). Could ...
2
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
48 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?
9
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
3k views

What is a good technique for remembering tones?

I find it a great struggle to try and remember tones for all the new vocab I learn, and aside from gradually picking up tones by listening and talking with native speakers, I can't really remember ...
5
votes
3answers
166 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
441 views

When to use 世界 and when to use 国际

These two terms are broadly speaking translations of "world" (世界), and "international" (国际). Recently, I've been reminded that "international" in English can be used to mean "many nations" rather than ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)?

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)? The article http://www.hainan-today.com/2012/201201/web/201201_28.htm uses “未長未短”: ...
3
votes
5answers
232 views

Ways to politely insult somebody's intelligence in Mandarin?

I know of many words to insult people and call them stupid, but a majority of them are incredibly offensive. There are more polite phrases, such as 真笨, which I've seen used within families (as a plain ...
3
votes
5answers
142 views

Are these correct headings for a spreadsheet?

The spreadsheet is related to food safety (processing, handling, storage, etc.) ID: 编号 (项目?) Process: 制程 Food category:食品类别 Standard: 标准 Frequency (as in how many times per day or every how many ...
2
votes
2answers
170 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
3answers
116 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, ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

A Complex Chinese Character

I randomly saw this character on the blog a while ago and saved a image of it as shown below. Is this even a character? If so, what does it mean? When is it used? What was the origin of it? How do ...
5
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
187 views

Is there a word to describe “more demand than offer”?

Is there a word which is used to describe the situation when demand for some goods are so high that sellers cannot satisfy it. It usually leads to rapid growth of prices and crowds in shops, even up ...
2
votes
1answer
182 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, ...
4
votes
4answers
121 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
422 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
231 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.
1
vote
4answers
106 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!
6
votes
6answers
364 views

What is the meaning of 相声?

Today I read a blog post talking about a Canadian guy called Mark Rowswell (aka 大山) that appears on Chinese TV shows and who is able to do 相声. This 相声 is referred to as "the art of language". What ...
2
votes
3answers
170 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
82 views

再次 and 再: are they different?

Here is the context: 我于是去了这家餐厅,点了一盘蘑菇菜心,果然好吃。我对服务员说: 我再次要一盘。 The sentence "我再次要一盘" is wrong. But "我再要一盘" is correct. Can anyone explain why?
2
votes
1answer
140 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): ...
8
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
265 views

How is 之 used in these sentences?

不能实现梦想的人都有一个共通之处,那就是:想要一样东西,却怎么也不愿意为之付出 I do not understand the usage of 之 here. What does 之处 and 为之付出 mean? Thank you.
3
votes
5answers
227 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.
2
votes
2answers
98 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
143 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?
0
votes
1answer
204 views

What is the Chinese way to say “We had a lot of fun”?

I know an English sentence cannot be translated into Chinese word-by-word. So is there a idiomatic way to express the same meaning of "We had a lot of fun" in Chinese? (The context-- someone said this ...
2
votes
1answer
119 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!
14
votes
10answers
1k views

Are there word games in Chinese?

Do Chinese characters make it a lot harder to create or play word games in Chinese than it is in English? I have seen a few Chinese crosswords, but it seems like they aren't as densely cross-linked as ...
2
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
685 views

How do new Chinese characters get added to the language?

For example there are characters such as 熵 which as far as I know only means one thing - in this case entropy - and which have to have been deliberately added by some person or organization. An ...
4
votes
5answers
571 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?
4
votes
6answers
516 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
115 views

The word order of co-existing adverbs in a sentence

I am wondering whether there is a commonly accepted rule about the word order of co-existing adverbs in a sentence. For example, in the following sentences, 果然,昨天,直接,从学校 are adverbs. Which of the ...
2
votes
2answers
200 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
115 views

What is the difference between 省 and 省份?

Two sentences "他也算是我省的名人" and "他也算是我省份的名人", is the second sentence wrong? If it is wrong, why?
1
vote
3answers
187 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
17k views

Special meanings applied to numbers 0 - 10

From what I understand: 4 or 四 means death 8 is similar to 发 as in 发财 9 is somehow related to the emporer or is the emporer's number Can someone please provide the meanings (if they exist) for ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

How can you appropriately use “延长”?

So, over the past hours, I‘ve been trying to figure out the proper usage of 延长。 I know that it refers to extending a period of time, but I'm trying to think about ways to use it (exact collocation) ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
5answers
119 views

Are 民谣 Songs? Or are they saying?

Recently, I was trying to understanding what 民谣 exactly means. I know that it is often translated as "Folk Rhyme or Ballad". This implies to me that it is an old, traditional song. I recently saw a ...
3
votes
10answers
683 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"?
0
votes
2answers
72 views

Difference between 帐篷 and 大棚?

Recently, I read a story that said “于是他让弟子们搭起大棚”。 I translated this roughly to "ordered the kids to set up a tent". But this had me confused. Isn't 帐篷 also tent? And can't you also 搭起帐篷? What is ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

Difference between 人和 and 仁和

In Lao She's novel Rickshaw Boy, the protagonist works at place called "人和厂“. To be very literal that is people's unity shop, in contrast to the protagonist's individualism. But two thirds of the ...
2
votes
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. ...