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

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3
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2answers
128 views

Use of 蓝 (Blue) in a Specific Context?

There is a song sung by William So whose title is 《有人喜欢蓝》 (Yǒurén xǐhuan lán - There are people who like blue.) What does 蓝 (blue) mean in this context? Is it a reference to the sky, sea, a mood, or ...
3
votes
3answers
250 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
40 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
148 views

How to translate “doesn't lift a finger” and “without lifting a finger”?

I recently same across this stumbling block in conversation; in one case I wanted to say "doesn't lift a finger" and in another "without lifting a finger". These phrases mean that someone is extremely ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

Correct word to use for a suburban fence?

What should I be using to describe a suburban fence? Here is an image of what I am trying to find the right word for: Author: Greg O'Beirne - source I guess I might go with 篱笆 or 栏杆. Could I get ...
2
votes
5answers
135 views

凤毛麟角 - How to use?

I think that the 成语 "凤毛麟角" is pretty awesome, and I would like to learn how to use it. Could you please help me? My teacher said I could use it to describe a person who is truly unique, but when I ...
2
votes
4answers
428 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
152 views

Difference: 帘 vs. 帷?

Came across the character 帷 for the first time the other day, in the word 窗帷. Oxford, KEY and Adstrotrans define 帷, simply, as: curtain ABC and A Chinese-English Dictionary define it as a: ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Various ways of saying OK?

I mean OK as in said in agreement with what someone has suggested. A: We should go to the park. B: OK. If someone used the verb 不 verb structure I would think you should use the same verb in ...
2
votes
2answers
183 views

Does 外行的想法 mean “rookie mistake”?

I found this sentence and its translation on tatoeba.org. Is there a better way to translate it into English? 這是外行的想法。 That's a layman's idea. I looked up 外行, and it does mean amateur or ...
2
votes
5answers
218 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?
2
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
790 views

How to ask girl for number?

In my Chinese class we haven't really discussed how to ask people for their number, only business cards "Zhao pian" what would be the proper way to ask a girl for a number? I am thinking "wo keyi you ...
2
votes
3answers
148 views

Difference between 成员 and 会员?

Is there any difference between 成员 and 会员? Both mean member. I encountered this in a Level 2 Chinese workbook. Are they used in different contexts?
2
votes
5answers
344 views

How do you idiomatically transate 你这个人?

I was typing something in Chinese to a friend including 你这人 (or 你这个人), when I realized that I didn't have a good interpretation of it in English. It just feels like the sort of thing you say to ...
2
votes
2answers
379 views

Difference of 不可. 不要. and 别

In Chinese, 不可, 不要, and 别 can all mean "don't". I am wondering about the differences between them. For example these sentences: 1. 不可吃。 2 别哭了。 3 你不要打扰!
2
votes
4answers
124 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
5answers
209 views

difference between 为难 and 矛盾?

Recently, I ran into the word "为难“ which means roughly that someone is in a dilemma/is having difficulty deciding . The sentences that was used as an example was 离开还是留下, 他很为难。 Could some explain ...
2
votes
1answer
326 views

Are there any differences between these Chinese terms for “French fries” / (hot) “chips”?

I just felt like some French fries for the first time since I've been in China so I bought some from a Dico's here in Zhangjiakou. I ordered by pointing at the menu becuase I'm just beginning at ...
2
votes
2answers
934 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
235 views

Translating the word “feelings” for conversational use

When I look for a dictionary translation of "feelings", I see two translations: 情怀 and 情面. Which of these two would be better suited to translate the following sentence The woman rhetorically ...
2
votes
3answers
139 views

Ways to say “more”

I know a few ways to say "more" or "in addition", and I'm wondering which to use when translating this sentence. I came across the following English sentence and its Chinese translation on tatoeba.org....
2
votes
3answers
194 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
187 views

What's the English expression that means 感叹词:“坏了”

In Chinese there is a 感叹词:"坏了", means something went unexpected wrong. Example: 坏了,下雨了 坏了,手机忘带了 坏了,迟到了 What are the common English expressions that can express that "astonishing strike"? ...
2
votes
3answers
297 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
5answers
2k views

What does 牛逼 mean? Can anyone define it?

牛逼 What does it mean? Someone gave a presentation on it in my school Can someone define it? Thanks!
2
votes
4answers
250 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
231 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
1k 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 wives/...
2
votes
2answers
157 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
4answers
468 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
1answer
132 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
votes
3answers
132 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
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
2answers
177 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
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
3answers
2k 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
3answers
356 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
419 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
2answers
114 views

How to distinguish between 吧 and 嘛, 罢 and 嘛

At the end of a sentence in a conversation, how does one distinguish between 吧 and 嘛, 罢 and 嘛? Thanks.
2
votes
2answers
126 views

Chinese Speaker

What's the best way to say "Chinese speaker" in Chinese? There are the terms 母语者 and 非母语者; there are 华语学者 and 中国通 and 能说中文的人. None of these terms seems to encapsulate the simple "Chinese speaker," ...
2
votes
4answers
121 views

Difference between 沒轍, 莫可奈何,沒辦法

Can anyone help me with any differences between those words? C-E dictionaries say "there's no way out" or "nothing can be done" for all of them, C-C dictionaries say about the same. However, I was ...
2
votes
4answers
120 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
2answers
89 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"?
2
votes
2answers
171 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.
2
votes
2answers
175 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
1answer
180 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
180 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
2answers
113 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
58 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 ...