Questions about what word fits better in a certain context or situation.

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0
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1answer
76 views

Difference between 'unfortunately': 不幸 可惜 遗憾

What is the difference between these three words to mean unfortunately? Also, which one is the most appropriate for this sentence: My distant relative: "what is your job?" Me: "Unfortunately, my ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Phrase to describe “wow” or “amazing” (sounds like 'pang')

There was a word a friend mentioned which meant something to the effect of "wow" or "amazing" or "impressive" and the english pronunciation was similar to "pang" but I cannot be 100% certain. Is ...
1
vote
3answers
70 views

Email as noun and verb

Could you guys and gals clarify how you use Email as noun and verb please? My textbook uses 电子邮件 as a noun and 发电子邮件 as a verb (send an Email). I have also found 伊妹儿 in a dictionary, which looks like ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Words for shopping for medicine for athlete's foot in mainland China?

In my travels I sometimes get athlete's foot and my medicine for it is now running out while I'm in Guangzhou. I see there are several Chinese terms for this condition. It's always difficult to know ...
1
vote
4answers
128 views

Why not include “的” in “传统音乐”?

I have found the following two sentences: 他们正在演奏传统音乐。 这是一个传统的玩具。 Why does the former not use 的 but the latter does? I know you can remove 的 if you express family's relation as stated in other ...
1
vote
4answers
106 views

Use of 如何 versus 怎麼樣

This is kind of a two-part question: 1) If you say "你如何喜歡你的菜?" are you asking, "how does the food taste to you" or "how do you prefer your food to be cooked"? To me it seems that if you are asking the ...
8
votes
1answer
190 views

What's the difference between 同样 and 一样

I'm so confused about this two phrases, I think they can be used interchangeably in most circumstances, but here's the examples: 他们两个长得一样。 Why can't we say 他们两个长得同样? 妈妈点了一杯咖啡,我也一样。 Why can't we ...
4
votes
6answers
177 views

Modern loanwords in Chinese

I've noticed that in modern Chinese there's a lot of loanwords that are translated in multiple ways: 激光 vs 雷射 互联网 vs 因特网 Generally one version will sound similar to the English ...
3
votes
3answers
189 views

How do you say “rock a baby to sleep” in Chinese?

当一个小儿子在哭泣而妈妈为了让他睡觉就拿他上来而用胳膊轻轻的动他,这用汉语叫什么? When a young child is crying and the mother in order to make him sleep takes him up and gently move him with her arms, what do you call that in Chinese? PS ...
4
votes
4answers
119 views

What is the difference between 好多 vs. 很多?

I'm an ABC and I find myself often using 好多. I was talking to my dad yesterday and I noticed that I said it, but something just didn't seem right. Is this correct or does it not make any sense? I'm ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

When should I say 你多大 or 你几岁 when asking age? [duplicate]

When should I say 你多大 or 你几岁 when asking age? Is one more formal than the other? are there any other alternatives, too?
0
votes
3answers
107 views

Is it appropriate to use 喂 by text?

喂 is used to answer the phone, but is it accepted over text? If not, is there an alternative to 你好 that's in common use (informally, like "hi", "hey", or "yo" in English). Is 嗨 widely accepted in ...
5
votes
2answers
163 views

What's the difference between 否则, 要不, 不然, and 要不然?

They all mean "otherwise", and beyond that 要不 is more colloquially used I'm not sure how they differ in usage or meaning.
11
votes
6answers
324 views

Why is 两 used for quantities of two rather than 二?

I understand that 两 is used instead of 二 when dealing with quantities of two. However, my question is - why? What are the historical reasons behind this? I looked at Wikitionary but it only had ...
8
votes
3answers
209 views

What's the difference between 帐户 and 账户?

To my understanding, both mean "account", as in a bank account or online account. 账户 also appears to be the more common (100M search results) compared to 帐户 (about 50M results). What is the ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

What is the nuance of 很好?

Beginning textbooks say 很好 means "very good," but soon add that 很 is usually just there to balance the phrase and does not really mean "very" in this context. S.Rhee's comment cites a much fuller ...
0
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3answers
110 views

”e.g.“ and “i.e.”

I'm working on a translation that requires an "e.g.". For an example: "The way we cook food (e.g. baking or frying techniques) leads to different health consequences despite using he same ...
2
votes
4answers
113 views

A noun version of “need”

I'm trying to write a sentence with the phrase "eliminates the need to do sth..." and have gotten as far as “消除作sth..的————”, any suggestions? I don't think 需要or必须are very good choices because they are ...
2
votes
5answers
196 views

Can you apply 男子汉 and 女汉子 to non-Chinese?

The term 汉奸 probably only works for Han Chinese traitors, but what about other '汉's?
1
vote
5answers
161 views

What's the difference between 之间 and 中间?

之间 means between (no more than 2), so these are acceptable: 我和他之间 我们之间 (between us two) Not acceptable: 学生们之间 中间 means among (more than 2), so this is acceptable: 学生们之间 And this isn't: ...
1
vote
5answers
141 views

English equivalent for 辛苦了 when the speaker is not the person being helped out

Per the answers to this question, it is clear that you can say 辛苦了 to express gratitude for someone else's help. But suppose you are working or studying, and somebody else (who is not related to the ...
0
votes
5answers
162 views

Difference between 察覺 and 覺察

I often use the word 察覺, which, I believe, corresponds to 發現 in colloquial context, meaning "to realize". But I recently encountered the word 覺察 in a similar context as the following: ...
3
votes
4answers
219 views

What is the polite/proper way to address elderly whom I am not familiar with?

I was wondering what is the polite way to address elderlies I do not know. Take the following context for example. Perhaps I visit a store and there is an elderly woman running the register and I ...
10
votes
1answer
233 views

What does “老” in “老虎” and “老鼠” mean

As I remember, 虎 and 鼠 are standalone nouns, meaning tiger and mouse, respectively. However, it seems that 老虎 and 老鼠 are more commonly used. Why is 老 used as a prefix for 虎 and 鼠? Why do we use 獅子 ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Why is 情结 used here?

然后该文作者笔锋一转,接着就指出了中国这种民族主义自豪情节的另一个方面. But then, the author of this article accurately points out another aspect of this Chinese nationalistic pride. I thought "自豪" alone is good enough, because it ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Help to understand this phrase?

作者首先提到了中国 媒体对于西方世界民主制度的一贯批判手法 The writer first mentions that the Chinese media have always been critical of one thing in the Western World’s democracies. I don't get "一贯批判手法." I suppose it means ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

Why is 对…不置一词 used like this?

该声明对东盟一些成员国长期以来在南海的大规模填海造地和军事建设活动不置一词。 I am having trouble with 对...不置一词。 So apparently, the sentence translates to, "This statement is not saying anything to stuff the ASEAN member nations have been ...
4
votes
3answers
62 views

Formality of “悲哀” as opposed to “悲傷” and “哀傷”

From what I have learned, or I remember I have learned, 悲哀, 悲傷, and 哀傷 all mean sadness and are interchangeable. However, as I remember, I have read 悲傷 and 哀傷 in academic/professional writings, but ...
3
votes
3answers
234 views

In novels, what would be a good english translation for “師祖”?

師祖 As in heads of martial schools, or masters of martial schools. I suppose "founder" can do, but it doesn't sound right. "Elders" is taken by another word, and "master" only seems to work for a ...
4
votes
3answers
353 views

Proper way to address a waiter or waitress

From what I have learned, one should address a waiter or waitress as 先生 or 小姐. However, I have also seen the case (I believe it was in a drama) of addressing them as the general term 服務生 or 服務員. As ...
1
vote
2answers
193 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
182 views

“惡” vs “噩” vs “厄”

I have seen these three characters forming the "same" words (I cannot think of a better way to phrase this), such as 惡夢 vs 噩夢 and 惡運 vs 噩運 vs 厄運 As I tried googling for the difference, I ...
4
votes
3answers
108 views

Any “casual” translation for 遵命?

遵命 It's said from a person of lesser position to a person of higher position, ie from soldier to general. What would be a more "casual" way of translating it into English other than "As you ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

一单字动词,表示给食物过冷水,是哪个字? / a single-character word meaning to submerge food in cold water

北京话里有个单字动词,表示给食物(比如刚煮熟的面条、蔬菜等)过冷水。华北其他地区可能也说。请问这是哪个字?以前经常听人说,现在记不清了。 There is a single-character verb in Beijingese Mandarin, meaning to submerge food (like boiled noodles, vegetables, etc.) in cold ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Appropriate way to reject an offer

I have three case scenarios here: 這是一點心意,請你收下。 Please accept this (gift/money as an) appreciation. 我請你吃飯吧! Let me treat you a meal! 加入我們的團隊吧! Join our team! As far as I know, in ...
5
votes
1answer
434 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

Sect vs School for “宗門”

宗門 In the context of ancient China times, and in a fantasy novel, where people collect disciples for martial arts and whatnot. Would xx sect be better or xx school? Or even xx faction instead of ...
2
votes
4answers
372 views

What is the meaning of “拜了个拜”?

I heard this phrase from some Chinese-speaking stranger. I assume it's related to farewell since the stranger was waving hand to someone else, but what does it mean exactly? Is there a certain context ...
4
votes
4answers
195 views

The formal version of “謝謝”, “對不起”, especially in an email?

In English, when writing a formal email, one would sometimes use appreciate/grateful and apologize in place of thank you and sorry, respectively. Is there any such alternate words/phrases in Chinese ...
3
votes
3answers
182 views

“吃飽了” versus “ 吃好了”

One friend advised that after a meal it is more polite for a guest to say "我吃好了" than "我吃飽了." That makes sense but I suppose it could depend on context. Searching the two phrases on Google I see ...
4
votes
3answers
237 views

What is the difference between 群 and 羣?

As titled. They seem to be made up of the same two components: 羊 and 君. As such, are they interchangeable? Or do they have different usage regardless?
6
votes
2answers
619 views

What is the formal/polite way to begin and end an email in Chinese?

In English, formal emails, e.g. emails to a professor, often start with "Hi", "Hello", "Dear" followed by the receiver's name (and title, if applicable). The ending is usually "Best", "Regards", ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Is this ad wrong? Or, is my understanding wrong (quite possible)

This is an ad for Cathay Pacific posted in downtown Boston. https://www.flickr.com/photos/31789321@N03/16882394887/ It reads: 波士頓至香港 不停站 每周四班 I am surprised by two things in this ad copy that I ...
3
votes
6answers
184 views

How should a professor address a woman student?

Several answers on this site suggest addressing a woman as 大姐 but that seems wrong for a professor speaking to a woman student. To be clear, by professor here I mean a university professor speaking ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Why is 就 used in this sentence?

兩個月前,我其實在立法會內曾就膠袋問題提出質詢,因為我們有一次 到沙灘和路邊的郊野公園去,看見那情況感到很恐怖。 I looked it on MDBG but didn't get anything of important meaning.
2
votes
2answers
80 views

Does 道上的人物 represent anything special?

xxx 也是道上的人物... Does "道上" mean something like "a good and legal path" while "道下" (not sure if even this is a word) means "the illegal ways"?
8
votes
2answers
188 views

Two-character homonyms with same meaning

This is question about synonymous homonyms in Chinese, in particular, two-character words with same sound, tone. Edit: to keep the question simple and broad, I am using the word "homonym" in a ...
4
votes
1answer
194 views

What is the verb for “hacking” (as in computing) in Chinese?

Using my dictionary and some research, I've found that there seems to be three words for "hacker" in Chinese. 黑客,骇客,and 红客. The first two look to just mean "hacker," while the third is a word for the ...
0
votes
3answers
202 views

“Learn” vs. “Study”

I've read the thread on 學 vs. 學習, and I have a slightly related question. In English, the words "learn" and "study" are somewhat interchangeable, but also fairly distinct, in that there is a ...
7
votes
2answers
145 views

Why always go up or down?

We (me and my parents) always say: "上厕所", and: "上卧室", ect. We (me and my parents) always say: "下厨房". Personally my house has the kitchen at the top floor. Why is that?