This tag is for questions seeking a Chinese word or phrase that fits a meaning. Please be specific about the intended use of the word, including context.

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9
votes
5answers
9k views

How to say “cool” in Chinese

Basically I am looking for words in common usage which are roughly synonymous with English "cool", "wicked", "awesome", "sweet", and related positive slang adjectives. I would also like to know how ...
7
votes
4answers
490 views

How would one say “my computer died”?

I know 关掉 to mean "turn off" but it doesn't seem to convey the sudden-ness or unwelcome connotation of "died". 突然关掉 is more precise but still seems to lack the negitivity. Also, as this is a common ...
7
votes
4answers
670 views

What's the title for addressing an unknown young person the same age as you?

For example, you are a 20 year old male/female. You are walking on the street, then you see a male stranger who seems to be the same age as your. He is in hurry, you see him drop his wallet. You pick ...
6
votes
3answers
641 views

Chinese countable/uncountable nouns (How do they work? Examples?)

I recall in Mandarin class, my teacher would often discuss an idea about countable nouns. I never really understood how one would easily determine when one is faced with a countable vs uncountable ...
6
votes
2answers
233 views

A word that means “earn” without the “money” connotation?

I'm trying to translate a phrase in English: Trust must be earned. A direct translation would look like this: 信任是要赚来的 However, the verb 赚 doesn't seem suitable in this context. What may ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the equivalent of “make sense” in Chinese?

I am trying to explain the phrase "make sense" to my cousin, who is learning English. The dictionary suggests "有意义", but I believe that "有意义" is "meaningful" and that "make sense" should be "讲得通", ...
6
votes
1answer
404 views

“A pair of mandarin oranges” as a homophone of “the gold”

image courtesy of Today, when Chinese people celebrate the New Year, there's a tradition to offer each other Mandarin oranges. As many sources say, the Mandarin oranges should be offered in pairs, ...
6
votes
1answer
141 views

How to say “craving for something”? (Food Related)

I remember there is something that translates closely to "mouth itches", you say it when you want to express a craving for a certain food.
5
votes
4answers
271 views

How is the currency of Taiwan referred to in Mandarin?

(I'm not going to use the hanzi or even proper pinyin for some terms because I only know them from speaking as an absolute beginning learner.) In Mainland China the currency is the "yuan" but in ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to politely ask someone to please be quiet

There are particularly loud Chinese fellows working together in the university study room I'm working in. How do I politely ask them to quiet down? I found a literal translation on Google Translate ...
5
votes
2answers
466 views

“If you say so”: Dismissive agreement

I would like to know some ways to agree in a non-committal or dismissive way. For instance, in English, we have: If you say so. Is that so? (with a flat intonation) Really? (flat ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Chinese for “patch” in the sense of “software patch”

The dictionary lists many words for "patch" but none that explicitly state they mean patch in the software sense of the word. EDIT: Dictionary has now been updated
4
votes
4answers
170 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
138 views

How to express: I wish…

大家好! I had a question that I have often asked my native-Chinese speaking friends, but I have not been satisfied with the answer. In English, I find myself often saying, "I wish..." For example: I ...
4
votes
2answers
161 views

What is smaller than 小

There are so many ways to say "tiny" it seems. What is the most common way to say "tiny" to something, as in size, an object. Like a tiny insect, or tiny butterfly. Small in English, is still ...
4
votes
1answer
176 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
150 views

Any Phrases About Trees Growing From Peoples Graves?

I'm looking for any phrases (成语/俗语/谚语, 等) that talk about the meaning of tress growing out of graves/tombs/resting places (of the dead). Apparently having a tree growing out of someones grave is ...
3
votes
4answers
162 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How do we describe a “sophisticated person”?

Is there a word for "sophisticated" in Chinese? "Sophisticated" here will mean of a person or their thoughts, reactions, and understanding, being aware of and able to interpret complex issues: ...
3
votes
5answers
503 views

How to translate “I wonder…”

How can I translate something like the below sentence into Chinese: I wonder how many people are going to the party?
3
votes
2answers
257 views

Chinese Metaphor 八字沒見一撇

Simple Words I recently came across this phrase: 八字沒見一撇 I understand each character but the meaning was still lost on me. So I asked someone about this and they informed me that it is somewhat ...
3
votes
3answers
352 views

“Like I said…” in Chinese

How do I say "Like I said...", or "As I said", in Chinese. For example: A: I've never been to China. B: What do you think of Chinese culture? A: Like I said, I've never been to China.
3
votes
2answers
941 views

Correct way to say “when I was young…”

What is the usual way to say something along the lines of "when I was young, petrol was cheap" or "when I was a kid, my family lived in Mexico".
3
votes
2answers
117 views

What is the word for “they/them”?

I apologize for my rudimentary Chinese, but I am having trouble finding the translation for "them/they" in Chinese in regards to an entity (and gender neutral). For example: Does the store sell ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

Differentiating “to do a burnout” and “burning tyres”

"To do a burnout" is 烧胎, so I assume a reasonable sentence would be: 昨天晚上我在停车场烧胎。 How would one distinguish this activity from piling up tyres and setting fire to them, for example in this news ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

What's the way to say “too/also/as well” in Taiwanese?

I would like to learn to say "I love you too" in the Hokkien dialect, as my boyfriend's from Taiwan, and I would like to surprise him. But I can't find the way to say it online, and I've heard him ...
3
votes
3answers
143 views

Is There A Way To Say “Fro” (as in afro/fro) In Traditional Chinese?

Are there any kanji that could be used to say Afro and/or Fro in Traditional Chinese? If not, what about Simplified Chinese? What are the characters?
3
votes
2answers
67 views

live poultry for sale?

Is there a specific term that is usually used to describe live poultry, or live chickens, or any type of live animal, which is for sale in a market and which the customer takes home alive to butcher ...
2
votes
5answers
919 views

Chinese equivalent of “no worries”

"No worries" in English is used as a statement expressing that the speaker regards a task / problem / setback as inconsequential, or that a task is easy to complete. For example: A: "You're going ...
2
votes
3answers
156 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
256 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
162 views

How to say copycat?

I posted a status on Facebook and 20 minutes later someone else posted the exact same one. Google translate spits out 复印机 for copycat which looks pretty weird to me (the 机 at the end). Nciku gave me ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

Alternative name for moon cakes?

The standard name for moon cakes in Chinese is 月餅. In Thailand they are called ขนมเปีย or roughly ‘khanom pia’. The first element is a general word for baked goods, so the operative term is ‘pia’ ...
2
votes
2answers
144 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
1answer
141 views

How can I distinguish between Western style spirits and Chinese style spirits (liquor)?

I have tried to have this conversation a few times in China. The problem is when trying to explain the difference between beer, wine and spirits. People assume that spirits means something similar to ...
2
votes
3answers
237 views

How to say “all the usual X” in Chinese?

How do I say "all the usual ..." in Chinese, for example." "At my school we play all the usual school sports." "The pharmacy had all the usual junk."
2
votes
1answer
156 views

(麻薯), what kind, if not then what is it?

Someone translated this 麻薯 as a "potato" and Google Translate says it's Mochi, If it is a potato, could anyone share what kind? When I tried some research I came up with what looks like a character ...
2
votes
2answers
168 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
2answers
143 views

What nuance does the `当` represent?

In the following sentences: 有一天他会当医生 有一天我会当经理 what does the 当 mean? I think this means something like One day she would become a doctor. However, what kind of nuances does 当 include? Is it would ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

What am I going to do with you?

There is an expression in English of sort of dramatic frustration, but in a very familiar, and almost endearing way. So, for example, if your girlfriend/boyfriend does something that is kind of ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

Common (and good) ways to ask for hand in marriage

The popular song goes, "今天你要嫁给我好吗" but I feel something like "你愿意嫁给我吗" sounds more like a question, rather than just adding "好吗" at the end of a statement. Does anybody have any critiques or ...
2
votes
4answers
108 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

What is Chinese for “Arts Festival”?

I am referring to events such as the Edinburgh Festival.
1
vote
1answer
153 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

Is there an abbreviation for the 黑海/地中海 combo?

In Chinese, related region names are often abbreviated. For example, Sino-Japanese is known as 中日 and Sino-African is known as 中非.  Does anyone know whether there is a corresponding abbreviation for ...
1
vote
5answers
149 views

Translation for “ray of sunlight after rain”

I am looking for a Chinese translation of the Swahili word kianga, which has the following meanings: burst of light burst of sunshine clear up (after rain) ray of sunlight after rain clearing up (of ...
1
vote
5answers
285 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
297 views

Chinese equivalent of 'Surprise!'

In English culture, when someone is giving other a surprise, he/she can call out with voice 'surprise!'. Is there an equivalent in Chinese culture?
1
vote
1answer
48 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
116 views

Tabletop Wargaming / Miniwargaming

Wargame is 战争游戏 and tabletop game is 桌上游戏 so i'm assuming that "Tabletop Wargaming" is 桌上战争游戏? Is this the term used? This type of game is also called "Miniature Wargaming" or "Miniwargaming," is ...