2
votes
2answers
143 views

Translation of text on stamp

We got this stamp as a gift. What does the chinese characters translate to? It seems too long to just translate to "conscius".
3
votes
2answers
66 views

Paifang inscription identification

I am having a hard time trying to identify a character inscribed on this gate at the Yellow Crane Tower. A photograph of the gate can be found here http://www.flickr.com/photos/hl-wang/509475247/ I ...
1
vote
1answer
166 views

Learning Chinese using traditional characters [duplicate]

I believe in Taiwan people use traditional Chinese characters for writing whereas in China they use simplified characters. Assuming this information is correct I'd like to kindly request suggestions ...
3
votes
3answers
229 views

Difference between 而, 但 and 和

和 means 'and', and so does 而. What is the difference between the two. I also know that 而 means 'but', and the second question is what is the difference between 而 and 但. Give me an example sentence, ...
9
votes
3answers
600 views

How do Chinese spell English words over the phone?

In English, if I am spelling my name for someone over the phone I can use a phonetic alphabet to ensure they get my name right. Especially for potentially ambiguous letters; d and t, b and p, c and e, ...
4
votes
5answers
268 views

Difference of 余 and 我

They both mean I。 But I still can't understand the real difference. Also, I want an example sentence. When I use Google Translate and Bing Translator, the result is same.
3
votes
1answer
373 views

How does the Chinese translation of an English name get established? [duplicate]

This isn't a question on how to choose a Chinese name equivalent, but how the one that most media and people use, gets used. For example, if some unknown person out there who never had a Chinese ...
3
votes
3answers
203 views

What does 乃 mean here?

On a particular forum is a banner reading: 此乃舊貼唯讀區 which I imagine is a highfalutin way of saying that this thread is read-only. Now, 乃 has many senses in my dictionary. What is the sense of 乃 ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

Development of 輸

The character 輸 was originally pronounced yu (indicated by the right side phonetic) and meant to transport. How did it come to be pronounced shu (Mandarin) and take on the meaning of to lose?
2
votes
3answers
90 views

What do you do when the dictionary doesn't give you a meaning that fits your sentence?

For example, in a dialogue about global warming, this sentence fragment: 这个在中文就特别的直接... I would translate to, "In Chinese, this is especially relevant". But 直接 translates to immediate/straightforward ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

Difference between 學習 and 學 [duplicate]

I used Google Translate to translate "learn" to Chinese, and the first result was: 學習 I noted that another suggested option was: 學 So, I wonder: what's the difference between the two ...
8
votes
2answers
636 views

Why are intermediate cardinal directions read differently in Chinese?

I am referring to the fact that in English, we say "northeast", whereas in Chinese, the equivalent direction is called 东北, which literally translates to "east-north". One could say the same about ...
5
votes
2answers
356 views

How to say “politically correct” or “political correctness” in Chinese?

A lot posts online use 政治正确 to mean "politically correct" or "political correctness" in English and I can say it is wrong. A few posts use 政治委婉语, but it doesn't sound good to me either, because 政治 in ...
6
votes
2answers
195 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
312 views

Which marital verbs are used for same-sex marriages?

In male-female marriage we use the two verbs; 嫁給 (jiàgěi) 娶 (qǔ) But these are gender specific. a woman can 嫁給 a man a man will 娶 a woman So how does this work in same-sex marriages?
-3
votes
2answers
154 views

What's the difference between 去 and 走? [closed]

I think they both mean "to go" -- is that right?
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?
4
votes
1answer
173 views

What is the difference between 准备, 预备 and 打算?

I seem to hear 准备 and 预备 used for “prepare” and not as often to mean “plan". 我们准备搬到美国; emphasizing the need for specific preparations for the move. Myself, I use 打算 for planning something. ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Meaning of 酿 in this sentence

Taken from this news article What does "酿" mean in this sentence: 苹果iPhone 5酿致命意外
3
votes
2answers
511 views

Proper way to use sentence-final particles (like 啦 or 喽) in spoken Chinese

I know it's very common for Chinese speakers to add special particles to the end of their sentences to enhance the tone a little bit, such as adding 啊 to show excitement or 啦 to sound cute. Just to ...
1
vote
3answers
158 views

What is the modern meaning of “送官究辦”

I saw this word from this: What does it mean?
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Where, when and what is the word 圆舞 used for?

I've heard people call Waltz (music) either 华尔兹 or 圆舞曲, but I've only heard people call Waltz (dance) 华尔兹, never 圆舞. According to Baidu, 圆舞 does have a meaning of Waltz (dance). It has another ...
2
votes
3answers
137 views

Translation for “things you don't agree on”

I attended a wedding last weekend and wanted to say something along the following lines: "In the first year you will probably find there are many things that you don't agree on". I couldn't think of ...
3
votes
2answers
278 views

Can someone explain the differences between these sentences?

There are some sentences in Chinese which possess different meanings under different circumstances. Can someone explain the differences? Example 1 a) In winter says: 能穿多少穿多少 b) In summer says: ...
8
votes
1answer
232 views

吗 and 吧 at the end of a question

I heard that ba (吧) can be used at the end of a sentence just like ma (吗). Per my understanding, it's not interchangeable with ma (吗) but a more playful way of asking the same question. (Some girl ...
7
votes
3answers
235 views

What is the difference between 夸张 and 过分

I often hear both used to describe a person or a person's action. The direct translations aren't the same, but from my experience, when used in context, I can't tell when to use one over the other. ...
6
votes
2answers
198 views

What is the difference between 整个 and 全?

The dictionary definitions for 整个 and 全 both use "whole" and "entire". However, 全 additionally has definitions of "all" and "complete". I have a homework assignment that asks me to distinguish their ...
3
votes
2answers
171 views

Measure words for disrespect

I know certain measure words convey respect, for example: 一位客人 Is there something similar I could use to emphatically disrespect someone, as in: 他是一?饭桶 Or is just using 个 disrespectful ...
7
votes
1answer
286 views

How to say a negative number in Mandarin?

There are plenty of posts for rules on numbers, but I can't seem to figure out how one would say, for example, -5 (negative five). I know that negative number is 负数, so would it just be 负五?
2
votes
2answers
121 views

What is the Chinese equivalent of “Encl.” used in formal letters?

What is the Chinese equivalent of "Encl." used in formal, written correspondences to alert the recipient of the presence of enclosed documents?
2
votes
2answers
210 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!
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Were the choice of characters in compound words based on their intrinsic meaning, or are their meaning derived from their use in compound words?

It is sort of a chicken and egg question. Before I started to think (maybe too much), I just assumed that Chinese characters had their own independent meaning and got chosen in certain compound words ...
4
votes
2answers
278 views

What's the difference between …的 and 所…的

I believe that both of these constructions create what is called a "subordinate clause". I know that 的 can be used to specify something like: 我喜欢的东西 (those things which I like), 很远的地方 (the place ...
-2
votes
2answers
509 views

Which Chinese dialect is it rewarding to learn? [closed]

A dialect or rather a language. Of course, Mandarin is the most popular one. But nonetheless, in Hong Kong, for instance, Cantonese is more popular, it's almost the one Chinese language there and ...
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
3answers
172 views

的 at the end of short responses

I've always been curious about this: What is the grammatical reason for 的 at the end of these short responses? Q: 這樣好嗎? A: 好的。 Q: 你是美國人嗎? A: 是的。 Q: 你會彈鋼琴嗎? A: 會的。 Can someone shed some light on it ...
3
votes
4answers
203 views

Where is 蛮 used, as in the meaning of 'quite'?

I was watching a Chinese show today, where they said '蛮舒服'. Since I've never heard 蛮 before I looked it up, and the dictionary tells me that 蛮 is only used as 'quite' in dialect. Now my question is, ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Can somebody identify these characters?

Could somebody help me identify these two characters? The meaning of the first one should be "point" or something similar, the second one looks to me like a combination of 月 and 爭, but I couldn't ...
5
votes
4answers
989 views

Meaning of “去你的头”

I just heard "去你的头" in a joke, and while it sounds like an approving "go ahead" OR "go with your head/what you think" I realized at the end of the joke it's kind of an equivalent of "go f*** yourself" ...
1
vote
1answer
185 views

Can 挟带 be pronunced as jiādài?

In the song 千山萬水 at 1:13, the subtitles for the lyrics show 挟带, however, the word was pronunced as jiādài instead of xiédài. MDBG lists 夹带's pronunciation as jiādài, and 挟带's pronunciation as ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Measure word usage with 这个/那个

When referring to a previously mentioned object, such as a computer (一台电脑), do you say 这个/那个 or 这台/那台? i.e. does the measure word used in 这个/那个 depend on the object, or is it always the generic 个?
5
votes
7answers
439 views

What does 土 mean in this sentence 这个名字有点土?

I heard this mentioned about someones name recently. Can someone explain the meaning and any connotations of "土" in the sentence: 这个名字有点土
2
votes
3answers
319 views

The Chinese equivalent phrase of 恋の予感

I saw the phrase Koi no yokan described on a website: http://www.hightowerflashes.com/untranslateablewords.html The Japanese phrase means a feeling that you will fall in love with someone, which is ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
245 views

Similar pronunciations of tea/茶 across languages

The Cantonese (Yale cha4), Mandarin (pinyin chá) and Kan’yōon (cha) pronounciations of 茶 are similar to the Russian чай (IPA t͡ɕaj) word for tea. Do these have a common origin?
0
votes
2answers
122 views

Tones and syllable structure

Are there any initial consonants/syllables in modern Chinese dialects which are incompatible with some tones? Can certain tones occur only in certain syllables (that is, within open or close ones)? ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

Difference between 消防车 and 救火车

Is there a difference between when to use one or the other? Both translate directly to fire truck.
2
votes
2answers
901 views

Difference between the Advantages and disadvantages of learning Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Hokkien for visiting Taiwan

I'm planning on visiting Taiwan as a tourist for about one week next year. Both Wikipedia and Wikivoyage say that Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Hokkien are common languages there. What advantages ...
12
votes
1answer
261 views

Meaning of “~~” at the end of a sentence

I see quite often a few "~" characters placed at the end of sentences, especially in e-mails, texts, and social networks. Is this an informal exclamation or an emphasis mark? For example, the ...
2
votes
3answers
214 views

When writing pin yin, should you use a question mark in sentences using “ma”?

Ni xiang chi fan ma ? Is it redundant to use ma and a question mark? Doesn't ma make it a question in of itself? I am unclear on the correct approach here.

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