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

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5
votes
2answers
142 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.
6
votes
3answers
154 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
164 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
votes
3answers
105 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
108 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
187 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
111 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
157 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
190 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
214 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
81 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
66 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
103 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
60 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
226 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
305 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
182 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
173 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
99 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
134 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
52 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
416 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
35 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
349 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
181 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
172 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
228 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
379 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
53 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
172 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
57 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
78 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
169 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
183 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
196 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
144 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?
4
votes
3answers
239 views

Differences: 干,办,做,搞,弄

What's the difference between all these five words? They mean all "to do", they're driving me crazy! I write some example sentences with some of them (hoping that's the right one), just to understand ...
2
votes
4answers
101 views

Which one to choose: 赶紧 or 快?

What's the difference between those two? For instance, in a sentence like "你们赶紧/快走吧" can I use both indiscriminately? What are the particular conditions that make me prefer one rather than the other? ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Greeting in an Email Autoresponse: 您好, 亲爱的 or something else?

It's a pretty specific situation, so I hope you can help me.
4
votes
7answers
283 views

不得不, 必须, 只好, 应该: what's the difference?

This is what I'm thinking: 不得不 pm. "cannot but, have to" this seems colloquial, and the fact that dictionaries think of this as a set phrase/fixed expression makes me think so. Also feels like ...
1
vote
1answer
157 views

What is the Chinese word for a Chinese lantern?

What is the Chinese word (/ what are the Chinese words if more than one) used to describe the Chinese lanterns which the Chinese use to celebrate (Chinese) New Year (those that go flying up in the air ...
2
votes
3answers
185 views

What is the difference between 电视 and 电视上?

In the following two sentences: 电视说今天很晴朗,不过下午下雨了。 电视上说今天的天气会很晴朗,今天一整天都很晴朗。 Why does the first sentence not use 上 but the second sentence does? Is there any difference between 电视 and 电视上? I think ...
3
votes
4answers
317 views

What is the difference between 课 and 班级?

Is there any difference between 课 and 班级? As far as I know, both mean class in school. Some of example sentences I read are below: 这个班级上数学课的时候用计算机 他正在准备历史课的作业 这是一个高中的班级 他们正在上法语课 我的班级是在学习念英文 我想要教画画课 ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Difference between 只,之, and 支?

I'm a native speaker but I don't know the first thing about writing Chinese, on Rosetta stone we were shown 一支笔 and 一只狗, whats the difference and where and when do you use each one?
6
votes
3answers
581 views

Is “ 事出必有因 ” the most accurate translation for “ everything happens for a reason ”?

Is " 事出必有因 " the most accurate translation for " everything happens for a reason "? If not, what is it? Thanks!
2
votes
4answers
127 views

What is the chinese translation for “ endure and move on ”?

I need help. I've been trying to get the chinese word with meaning of the phrase " endure and move on ". It has something to do with a break up w/ a girlfriend and you want too endure it and move on. ...
3
votes
3answers
230 views

你好啊? or 你好吗? Which is more common?

I have recently come across the phrase 你好啊 and I was curious about its usage. It was in the FSI Chinese course with a meaning of 'How are you?', but I have only heard 你好吗 on other courses and when ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a polite or neutral way to ask for someone to step out of your way?

In English I would say "excuse me". Some possibilities that come to mind are 请让,对不起,不好意思. I believe I have heard someone say "让!" before. Is that considered impolite?
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Sentence Structure Edit Help

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
2answers
245 views

的确, 确实, 实在, and 真正: what's the difference?

(Related a bit to Difference between 实际, 现实, 确实, and 实在 I guess. Good to link to it for posterity.) 的确, 确实, 实在, 真正 My dictionaries all say that all four can be adverbs with a meaning of ...