0
votes
2answers
99 views

你是第幾任總統/校長?How to translate this into English properly? [closed]

你是第幾任總統/校長? I'm a Chinese. Like the title suggests, I struggle to translate this into English. I struggled to find a translation for "任". Please help.
4
votes
2answers
203 views

“Are you still married to Mary?” How to translate this?

I'm a Chinese, but I'm having trouble translating this to Chinese: Are you still married to Mary? I have never asked this before, but someone asked me if I know the Chinese translation of this. ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How many syllables does Chinese have?

I'm just reading a book about China and Chinese customs from Heike Barai. She says that Chinese only has around 300 different syllables, whereas modern German has about 10 000 and I suppose English is ...
3
votes
2answers
424 views

Tree: 树 (shù) vs 木 (mù)

Is there any difference between 树 (shù) and 木 (mù), in the meaning of "tree", or they are interchangeable?
3
votes
4answers
172 views

What is the etymology of “嗨”?

What is the etymology of "嗨"? Is it used because it sounds like the English word "Hi"? I tried looking it up, but Wiktionary doesn't have any etymology information in either the English or Chinese ...
1
vote
3answers
133 views

Are there differences between 朋友 and 我朋友 in modern Chinese?

When a friend sends me a photograph of a vase, saying 是朋友的, and some months later presents it saying: 我朋友的 should I then usually assume, that the friend became a girlfriend/boyfriend (...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

What is the textbook used to learn Chinese in Havard and MIT? [closed]

I know that Havard has an excellent East Culture Research center but what about the teaching of Chinese there?
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Why some characters have different sounds? [duplicate]

My translator (Pleco) says that 乐 is pronunced as le. However, 音乐 seems to be pronunced as yīnyuè. Why? Is it possible to know if a character has different sounds depending on the context?
4
votes
1answer
96 views

Etymological character reference [duplicate]

Is there an authoritative etymological reference for characters? It looks like all books I'm reading about Chinese characters have their own explanation. To me, all of them seem reliable, but I ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

韵/声 Dictionary Organization: Why?

I have a copy of《四川方言词语汇编》published in 1987. Unlike most modern dictionaries organized alphabetically (A-Z) by pinyin, this dictionary is organized: 黑白韵 挥堆韵 湖图韵 堤西韵 狮子韵 ...
7
votes
5answers
308 views

Is "一“ in 一线城市 first or second tone?

Quick question: Is "一“ in 一线城市 first or second tone? If it is first tone, is this because it is being used as a number? Cheers, Stephen
-2
votes
1answer
65 views

Does this 中国是 。。轮番上市 mean 'flooding the market'?

The 是 here without a following 的 seems a bit odd. 中国目前是新车和降价车轮番上市,使准备买车的消费者不知如何选择。 I see that 轮番 means 'one after another' but I get the sense of 'flooding the market'. Is that correct? ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Chinese word for X chair in a musical group when it isn't 1st or 2nd chair

In English, in an orchestra one might say that one's chair position is 2nd Violin, 5th chair. The 2nd Violin part is easy to say: 第二小提琴. But the 5th chair part is troubling. My question is the Chinese ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Can I substitute 合适 in place of 量身打造?

5万元左右的经济型小车,无疑是为广大工薪阶层量身打造的代步车。 Costing roughly 50 thousand Yuan, a small, economical car is, without a doubt, the most suitable vehicle for the salaried classes I think I could write 最合适的代步车 ...
1
vote
4answers
149 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
298 views

The meaning of a Chinese inscription found under a little sculpture

I bought a figure of a taoist wise some years ago, and in all these years I have been unable to decipher the tiny seal (1cm x 1cm) under the figure. It is an important figure in my life and I would ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

what's the difference between 会, 可以, and 能? [duplicate]

Are they used interchangeably or do they really have separate uses? I keep getting confused between the three.
2
votes
3answers
246 views

Open Software Two-Line Add Pinyin To Characters

Is there any open software that adds a second line of pinyin to a line of characters? i.e.: converting “你好” to: nǐhǎo 你好 Converting to ni3hao3 would be fine to. Open, namely, so that I ...
3
votes
3answers
427 views

How to say “see you this weekend?”

My Mandarin teacher told us “星期四见” to say "see you on Thursday." How would I say "see you this weekend"? “这个周末见” or “末见这个周”? Or something else entirely? This is being used to end a letter, so I don't ...
1
vote
5answers
262 views

What is this 予以 doing in my sentence?

From the meanings I find for '予以 = give, grant' I can't really see what it is doing here. Maybe the Chinese is '予以推进 = give/produce advancement', but 予以 may also mean 'impose' I believe. Maybe the ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

the Master is stopped from investigation?

it's Analects chapter 10 when the master comes to a country does he ask about the government? and then: 抑與之與? the last 與 is probably the ending particle. 抑 means to restrain to restrict. The first 與 ...
1
vote
4answers
133 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 ...
-6
votes
1answer
89 views

What does it mean? [closed]

With the great search for plane debris currently taking place in La Reunion island, a metal has been found with what seems to be Chinese written on it (it might be a plane debris, but nobody can be ...
6
votes
2answers
199 views

Which dialect of Chinese has the fewest tones?

Standard Cantonese has six tones, Minnan, spoken primarily in Taiwan and Fujian, has five to seven; and so on down to Mandarin, based on the Beijing dialect, which has only four. (I don't count ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Is “Year of the Goat/Ram/Sheep” due to the Chinese language?

I've heard that the current lunar year (for most of 2015) is sometimes called in English the Year of the Goat, Year of the Ram, or Year of the Sheep. I've also heard that the reason for the different ...
1
vote
4answers
91 views

What is this 运行 in this sentence?

中国加入世界贸易组织后,国内的汽车行业与汽车市场运行环境发生了前所未有的改变。 Sometimes in colloquial English we say 'shift' to mean 'sell'. Is '运行环境‘ something like that? 运行环境 maybe 'sales environment' or ‘turnover' (交易额) ??
3
votes
3answers
119 views

What is the best translation for 投胎?

If you look online, translation for 投胎 is 'reincarnation'. It suits phrases like 投胎转世 but often does not feel quite right in other context. For example: 你急什么,赶着去投胎? Not sure if anyone would ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Asterisks in Jyutping Cantonese

I have come across a couple of Cantonese words transliterated in Jyutping which had * in the tone number. For example, on CantoDict, the word 广东话 is transliterated as gwong2-dung1-waa6*2. What does ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Earliest usage of 力不从心?

What's the earliest usage of 力不从心? The earliest I've seen is: 《後汉书·西域传》 今使者大兵未能得出, 如諸國力不從心, 東西南北自在也。 Anything earlier than 后汉书? 445 is, apparently, the given year for completion of 后汉书.
1
vote
2answers
91 views

The grammar of 实事求是的石

I actually want a tongue twister for practice. But I want one that could be a Chinese sentence. Is the following at all acceptable as way to say "This is the 'seek truth through facts' rock"? ...
1
vote
2answers
215 views

Can I change this '下‘ for '前面‘?

I have this in my text: 在绿色、环保已成为全社会共识的大背景下, 。。。 ‘背景下’ says to me ‘under a background' which seems odd. I would rather locate things 'in front of' a background. Can I change '背景下‘ for '背景前‘ or '...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do people say “man dianer a” when you leave their shop?

When you leave a shop, you often hear the shopkeeper saying something like "man dianer a", which sounds like 慢点儿阿 (something parents say to their kids to get them to walk more slowly [even if they ...
0
votes
3answers
487 views

Is 𫘏 ever used in the Chinese language? And what does it mean?

Here's 汉典's rendition of 𫘏: 𫘏 according to 四川方言词语考释 dictionary means 板着(脸). 字海 【字海】 该字暂无解释!希望有识之士提供! ("This character doesn't have an explanation yet! We hope someone who knows to add ...
2
votes
3answers
228 views

Is this the way to say 'afford'?

'afford' in its meaning of 'can pay for' is not so easy to locate in Chinese. There doesn't seem to be one word. 'can't afford' is fairly easy: '买不起‘。 I have this in my text: ..., 既满足了自己买车的愿望,...
5
votes
2answers
114 views

When did the words 麻醉 and 麻药 first appear?

I want to know how long 麻醉 and 麻药 have been compounded to mean anesthesia and anesthetic respectively. What is the approximate date of the origin of those two Chinese words? Are their origins ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Is there an official translation for oleogustus, yet?

io9 There are five acknowledged tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and (slightly more controversially) umami. For awhile now, researchers have suggested the existence of a sixth taste: fat. Now, ...
0
votes
2answers
152 views

What is the meaning of '中国面孔'?

I think I know what this '中国面孔' means, but sometimes Chinese surprises me completely. 同时,也说明西门子这样一个跨国公司,已经开始选择完全的中国面孔来拉近和中国的距离。 已经开始选择完全的中国面孔来拉近和中国的距离 (Siemens) has already begun to select only ...
0
votes
5answers
140 views

What is “一” doing in “事情一开始进展得很顺利,但后来我们遇到了困难”?

事情一开始进展得很顺利,但后来我们遇到了困难 I understand the meaning of the sentence, but I don't understand what is "一" doing in there? Could it be dropped? Would it change the meaning? Is it a part of the "一开始" as a ...
8
votes
1answer
226 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
212 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

Mandarin Neutral Tone: Tone Value?

One of my dialectical dictionaries takes tone value 21 and compares it to Mandarin's neutral tone. The same tone, coincidentally enough, had been described in the same way to me by a local native ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

Can 持续 have these 2 meanings?

I found these 2 example sentences, with English translations, for 持续。They are very different in meaning. Are both ok? 高温天气持续了几天。 The hot weather went on for some days. 持续 = continued 这足以持续到周末。It is ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

How do you say “Do you speak Chinese?” in Mandarin and Cantonese?

I realize that it's fairly easy to Google it but I'd never know how to pronounce it. Are there any audio recordings out there? Thanks!
3
votes
3answers
217 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
176 views

总监,总统,总裁 and other similar words

What's the difference between: 总 总监 总统 总裁 董事长 主任 领导 老板 They can all be translated as president, chairman or boss. I only know that 总统 is the president of a country, while 老板 is used in small firms ...
2
votes
2answers
151 views

meaning of 等 in this sentence

From the economic observer: 前两个背离可以理解为经济结构调整过程中,产业结构优化等优势逐步显现 As far as I know, 等 means either wait or it is either used to end a list of objects. This sentence is also quite technical itself, ...
1
vote
2answers
139 views

Is it correct to say '较出色‘?

Is '做得较出色‘ good Chinese? Seems to me that it means that something is outstanding, remarkable, or it is not, in which case it is commonplace. I suppose this begs the question 'Where does remarkable ...
4
votes
4answers
178 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
855 views

How are blanks indicated for placeholders in Chinese (like ???)

In English, in the middle of a sentence if data is being left blank (such as an unknown date, or a name to be filled in at a later time), commonly you see ???, ___ (underscore(s)), or -- to mark this. ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

How should I translate 属地化?

In my text I have 2 sentences with 属地化。‘属地化管理’ is a phrase which can be easily found in 百度。 Does it have more connotations than 'regional management'? '属地‘ seems to mean 'dependency', as in a region ...

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