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

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2
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3answers
190 views

Is it 說 /说 / shuō or 講 / 讲 / jiǎng for “to speak a language”?

I've realized that I still don't know the way to talk about "speaking a language", for instance the Chinese equivalents to sentences like these: Do you speak English? I can speak a little Chinese. ...
2
votes
3answers
207 views

How to say incoming president (国家主席)?

Strangely the Wikipedia article for president 中华人民共和国主席 doesn't mention 习近平 anywhere. I also asked my mother in law just now if she spotted any articles where it mentions him as the incoming ...
2
votes
4answers
197 views

Finding the “second character”?

A lot of words in Chinese have been shortened into single-syllable, and thus single-character, words. Often times though these single syllable words are not 'clear' enough in speech, in writing though ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Can we omit subject or some verbs in Chinese?

Could you tell me if we can omit subjects or some verbs in Conversational Chinese? Like these. 叫什么名字? jiào shénme míngzì? What is your name? 什么? jiào shénme? What is your name? 叫 A. ...
2
votes
3answers
167 views

Names of extended family members

In 闽南话/Hokkien (and 启海话, and possibly all dialects) when we call our uncles and aunties we call them by the order of their age and whether they're on our father's or mother's sides, and the ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

What are appropriate objects of 制作?

My dictionary, along with many websites I've checked translates 制作 as to make to manufacture What sorts of things may I 制作? The second definition of "manufacture" leads me to believe that, for ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

(Literally) Seeing Through Things

Earlier today, I ended up in a discussion which somehow involved people who were (literally) transparent. I was somewhat at a loss for how to say "Can you see through him?". After some research, I've ...
2
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3answers
106 views

What is the difference between 演奏, 弹 and 奏?

There are several words that seem to be related to playing musical instruments (specifically 演奏, 弹 and 奏), and I would appreciate an elaboration on the nuances between them. Are some used in specific ...
2
votes
1answer
88 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
2answers
136 views

Correct use of 惹人心烦

I am not sure if I used the idiom 惹人心烦 correctly. This is the sentence I used, 好啊,然而我不要惹人心烦。 Would that be a good use of it or is there a better way of saying you don't want to be a pain in the neck ...
2
votes
2answers
117 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
3answers
282 views

When can I use 透?

I came across these sentences 我浑身都湿透了。 这些芒果熟透了。 And MDBG lists these: 坏透,烂透,恨透,干透。 Should 透 only be used with these adjectives?
2
votes
2answers
231 views

Differentiate 不错 and 没错 in these situations [duplicate]

I have been having problems knowing when to use either 不错 or 没错. I think 不错 means 'great'; and 没错 means no mistake. Which should be used to: (a) praise somebody's work? (b) indicate nothing wrong ...
2
votes
4answers
308 views

Expressing “Fair enough”

The English expression "fair enough" can be used to concede a point in an argument, or acknowledge the other person's position, without expressing complete agreement. To take an example from ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

Mandarin Equivalent of 啥子树子招啥虫?

Heard 啥子树子招啥虫 used in the same sense as "不是一家人,不进一家门" - I was wondering if there is a similar phrased expression in Mandarin for the first, mentioned, expression.
2
votes
3answers
371 views

Is there a Chinese equivelant of the word stress

I don't remember hearing anyone use an equivalent of "stress" or "stressed" in a conversation, what I usually here is something like 压力很大 which in English would translate roughly to "I have a lot of ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

What is the difference between 起码 and 至少?

nciku.com states that 起码 is an adjective meaning "minimum" and 至少 is an adverb meaning at least; but the examples seem to use both words interchangeably. Is one more colloquial than the other? Or is ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Chinese equivalent of the English word candid

I was just reading this news article and I'm interested to know which word or phrase would have been translated from Chinese to English as "candid": China's foreign ministry described Tuesday's ...
2
votes
3answers
124 views

Which tone is it (in pinyin)?

Following on from this question Asking "what's the pinyin/character for X?". I've had difficulty previously asking native speakers which tone I should use for a particular character if ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

How to say “I live at the bottom of a hill”?

I've only ever people say something like 我住在山坡上 but to me 山坡 sounds like the side of a mountain. Google translate gives me 我住在山脚下. In English we use, I live at the bottom of a hill, not I live at the ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

How do you say “preferences” as opposed to “demands”?

I encounter many situations where I want to ask someone what they would like as opposed to what they need. For example, I wanted to find a restaurant for our class to have an end of the semester ...
2
votes
2answers
228 views

How to describe a puppet show

I want to describe a puppet show we saw. It was in a theatre and performed by professional puppeteers. I found three terms for puppet: 人形, 木偶, and 傀儡. I couldn't find anything for puppeteer. Here's ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Is 搏杀 used in jest in this sentence?

In December, I read this in a social network post: 今年剩下一个星期了,继续努力搏杀! In English slang, one might say "killing it" to mean performing well. Is this use of 搏杀 figurative, literal, or humorous?
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What is the difference between 很 + adjective and adjective + 得很

Since learning the adjective + 得很 rule I have only seen it once in writing with a two syllable adjective。 What are the differences in register and/or meaning between 很 + adjective and adjective+得很?
2
votes
1answer
144 views

What is the purpose of 制 in this sentence 夏时制开始

Just received this in a message from a friend trying to determine what time we meet this coming Sunday. 星期天几点开踢? 夏时制开始 Daylight savings starts early this Sunday at 2am. So what is the purpose ...
1
vote
4answers
123 views

Can 窝 be used for grouping any zodiac animal?

I have heard the saying 一窝猪 Yī wō zhū when describing a family or group of people who are all 属猪 (have pig as their zodiac sign). Is this something that can be applied to other animals e.g. 一窝龙 or ...
1
vote
4answers
267 views

How to say “I can't help but…”

From a lesson in a Chinese text book was the following sentence: 他不由得哭 (Tā bùyóude kū) He could not help but cry I've never heard 不由得 used in a sentence, and I want to know if it is common and ...
1
vote
5answers
128 views

What is the difference between 听到、听过 and 听说?

There are 3 听 (hear or listen to), what is the difference between 听到、听过 and 听说?Thanks!
1
vote
3answers
97 views

How to say “totally it was a good day”?

How to say "totally it was a good day"? Can I use 一共 for "totally"? For example: "一共我有了好天"?
1
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2answers
211 views

Is '明天你都六点起床不起床?' a correct question?

I want to ask: Will you wake at 6:00 tomorrow?
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2answers
107 views

Why is 语 used so much when describing the language media is presented in?

It seems that the "language" descriptor on a movie, tv show, or comic is always listed using 语 instead of 文. (国语, 英语, 德语, etc) instead of 英文. This is common even when listing the subtitles (although ...
1
vote
4answers
165 views

很 and 最 - Questions of The Context

很 means very. 最 means truly, really. I was wondering in which context they would be most appropriate. 我最喜欢去组约。- I'd really like to go to New York. So 最 can be used as a descriptor in this ...
1
vote
3answers
153 views

時刻 (shíkè) vs 瞬間 (shùnjiān) vs 時候 (shíhòu) for “moment”

As a beginner I'd like to learn the most useful word to express the equivalent to English “moment” meaning “a very brief period of time.” I've found at least three Chinese words and would like to ...
1
vote
4answers
215 views

differentiation of 交女朋友 vs 找女朋友

For some reason i have these two muddled in my head. Presumably cause they sound similar. Is it possible to 找了女朋友? or does it have to be 交了女朋友 can it be 找着了女朋友? Can someone clear this up for me. ...
1
vote
2answers
361 views

Politeness in Mandarin

I like to say please sometimes when I want to be polite to someone when asking them for something. Is this customary in Mandarin? For example, if I wanted to ask for some water, I might ask my ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Using variants of 那

When to use variations of 那? 那 (nà,nǎ, nèi, núo) has multiple pronunciations. Can someone explain when to use the different sounds? (images courtesy of www.zhongwen.com)
1
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2answers
115 views

Chinese phrases to encourage better 关系 [closed]

关系 It appears that building strong relationships or guān xì (关系) is very important in Chinese society. Would readers be able to share some scenarios or phrases that would help build such 关系? Similar ...
1
vote
2answers
80 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!
1
vote
4answers
204 views

Better translation for 春节联欢晚会 than New Year's Gala

On the night of New Years Eve in China many people watch the annual New Year's Gala. This in Chinese is called 春节联欢晚会 in English this is translated as New Year's Gala. So what exactly is a 联欢晚会? Can ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

How to say “I got disconnected” and “I'm lagging”?

I'm playing an online game on a Chinese server, and I sometimes get disconnected when the VPN gets congested. When this happens, I have to restart the game and re-enter the map, while the rest of my ...
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vote
4answers
146 views

What is the difference between 列车 and 火车

What is the difference between these two words? Both mean train. Is there any difference? Are they used in different regions?
1
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5answers
235 views

Better ways to translate 积极?

Alright before I get a bunch of crappy answers saying things like: > postive > active > energetic > vigorous > proactive I just want to say these are not the words -or- phrases ...
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2answers
111 views

Does the use of 就 and 便 vary by region?

就 and 便 are synonymous in many sentences: 这儿(就、便)是我们的学校。 我看了报纸(就、便)扔了。 如果你去,我(就、便)不去了。 I believe that 便 is more formal than 就; I've seen it in writing but never heard it in speech. However, ...
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2answers
70 views

What is the difference between 差别, 分别, and 区别?

All of them can mean difference. Are all of them interchangeable when used to mean 'difference?'
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2answers
165 views

What does 企業 mean: property of the person or business company?

Is (in traditional chinese) "企業" - noun or adjective? Is this menaing closer to "readiness and willingness to take initiative" or to "a company"?
1
vote
1answer
81 views

How and when to consider 面子 when speaking Chinese?

Avoid Losing Face ( 沒面子 ) As a student of Chinese I would like always maintain a respectful tone. It can be very easy when speaking a second language to make mistakes that offend others. I would like ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Included or Not Included As In “以後” “以來”, etc

Check out the references below, we see that Japanese has the same problem as Chinese: Does "以X" include the word itself, eg. is 1 included in "1以上"? As what I have seen, in old Chinese books, there ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

how to translate 大脑迅速转动起来? [closed]

When I first came across the phrase "head starts spinning", I thought it meant 大脑迅速转动起来 in Chinese, which means "you start processing a lot info in your head in order to figure out something quickly". ...