21
votes
11answers
1k views

Etymology of the Chinese number characters (一二三四五六七八九十百千)

Main Question: What is the etymology of the Chinese number characters (一二三四五六七八九十百千)? Related question: Why isn't 四 four lines? (the origin of 一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九) I decide to write a ...
5
votes
2answers
256 views

Request for a 成语 to describe a person with all of 貌, 才, and 德

We can use 才貌双全 to describe a person with both 貌 and 才 and 德才兼备 to describe a person with both 才 and 德. Does there exist a 成语 that describes a person with all of the three?
5
votes
5answers
267 views

what's the difference between 羡慕 and 妒忌?

Can someone tell me the difference between these to words. Are they both regularly used? They seem to both indicate jealousy. I've seen 羡慕 on different occasions and I'm used to that one, but I've ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

What are the translations of these IT-related terms: app, service, consulting?

What are the right translations of these IT-related terms into (simplified) Chinese: app (as in iOS apps) service (as in application service) consulting (as in IT consulting) Is there a reliable ...
4
votes
3answers
149 views

Refreshing and bubbly

What would be the english equivalent of bubbly and refreshing to describe something like a soft drink? What other words could be used to describe aspects of a soft drink, like the fizz and pop?
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Use of polyphonic characters in transliteration

The pronunciation of polyphonic character is usually deduced from the semantic of the context. In a transliterated word, there is no such context, the character only stands for its pronunciation, so ...
5
votes
1answer
187 views

Why is 汉子 measured in 条?

汉子 (son/person of Han) was - in ancient China - a term used by various people north of China to refer to the Chinese, but over time has been used by the Chinese to refer to themselves, and by the Qing ...
3
votes
2answers
361 views

What is a one-character translation of the English word “Freedom”?

I've been trying to find a single-character translation of the word "freedom," but I can't seem to find one anywhere. The best translation I can find is, of course, 自由, which seems to be a fairly ...
6
votes
2answers
222 views

About Confucius' Ta-Hio

In many books about Confucius' Analects, 大學 is transliterated as Ta-Hio. Why is this? 大學 is dàxué in Pinyin, da hsüeh in Wade-Giles, da sywe in Yale, and daai hok in Cantonese, so where does this ...
2
votes
2answers
131 views

What does “ backtick escapes ” mean in chinese?

I learn Mathematica on the site StackExchange Mathematica,I encountered a problem?(on the picture) backtick escapes The result that the dictionary gives is "那些逃离",Obviously,it is wrong. So my ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Resource for quality translations of famous American English speech/writing into Chinese? [closed]

I want to keep my study of Mandarin fun and engaging. One way I thought might be helpful is if there was a resource that held quality translations of famous American speeches or writing. By studying ...
5
votes
5answers
343 views

When native Chinese refer to China, what's the difference between 大陆, 中国 and 中国大陆?

Do they generally mean the same thing? Is one more formal than the other? Both 大陆, 中国 seem to have the same number of hits on Baidu.
11
votes
4answers
466 views

足: why is “foot” also “enough”?

足 is an ancient character meaning "foot". However, it also means "enough" or "sufficient", and this second definition is also very old. Consider this excerpt: 兵甲已足。——诸葛亮《出师表》 This is from ...
9
votes
2answers
256 views

Why is “steak” 肉排?

肉排 is Chinese for steak (e.g. 牛排 or 猪排 for beef steak and pork steak), but where did the 排 come from? As a Western cuisine dish, did the word have some roundabout origin? 排 means row/rank, which has ...
2
votes
2answers
432 views

How to come from 二百五 to 二百九?

I know 二百五 stands for foolish/stupid and I assume I have to add up 二百五, 三八 and 二 to it to obtain 二百九. Is this right and if so, what does 二 mean and where did it get it's meaning?
9
votes
1answer
417 views

How much faster is it to write Simplified over Traditional?

Speed of writing is cited as an advantage of simplified Chinese over traditional, which is especially important for schoolchildren, but are there any studies or measurements to this effect? How much ...
18
votes
4answers
957 views

Why isn't 四 four lines? (the origin of 一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九)

A common experience of beginner hanzi students is their raised hopes and expectations when they learn 一 二 三 - "what a wonderfully elegant language!" - which are promptly crushed when they encounter 四. ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
267 views

Meaning of 白 in words for “nonsense”?

There are a number of Chinese words containing the 白 character that all mean "nonsense" or "speaking nonsense": 白呼 夸白 白话 What's the significance of 白 in these words? 白 usually means ...
11
votes
2answers
229 views

Which period in Chinese history produced the most chengyu?

There are tens of thousands of chengyu, many of them are historical in nature, whilst others are loaned from foreign sources such as Buddhism. Which period or dynasty in Chinese history produced the ...
4
votes
2answers
132 views

Why was the rice radical added to 气 to form 氣?

气 is an ancient character that has roots in an oracle bone pictogram, but according to this, the rice radical was added in the Tang dynasty to form 氣. What were the reasons for this? What does 气, ...
1
vote
3answers
158 views

Could somebody help fill in these blanks [closed]

这个汤_______么_______么酸啊? 我可喝不_______? There is no context for these fill in the blanks. I do have a few more, but this was the hardest question because my initial guess is that its the grammar pattern ...
6
votes
3answers
487 views

Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?

Classical and Middle Chinese are often considered monosyllabic languages - most words are single syllables. Modern Chinese however is considered disyllabic - most words are two syllables. For ...
2
votes
3answers
403 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
324 views

Different Ways to Say “Hometown”

I have encountered both 老家 and 家乡 for referring to one's hometown. What are the differences? That is: When should each one be used? When should one or the other be avoided? When can they both be ...
5
votes
2answers
106 views

Are there any readability measurement tools for Chinese?

For English (and some other languages), it's quite easy to find online tools that give a readability index of a specific text. Naturally, this doesn't necessarily match actual experience of reading ...
5
votes
3answers
374 views

Teaching Pinyin and Characters together vs Teaching Pinyin then Characters

I'm designing a curriculum to teach middle school students elementary Chinese. When I started learning, I began with Traditional Chinese characters and pinyin together on day one. I'm not so sure the ...
5
votes
2answers
168 views

Usage and meaning of “占我的便宜”

My understanding of 占我的便宜 means something similar to 吃豆腐 and I have never heard it used outside of taking sexual advantage. Can this be used in other contexts? Google translate suggests it means "take ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

How to translate the parts of Chinese university

How to distinguish "大学", "学院", "系". "专业"? As myself, I'm in "中国海洋大学数学科学学院数学系信息与计算科学专业". How to translate it properly? And another question: What is "国家保密学院"? Is "国家" describing "保密: or "学院"? I ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

How Archaic is James Legge's Written Chinese in this Side by Side English/Chinese Book?

I'm not sure if this is even an appropriate question for this venue, but here's hoping. I want to read the translated works of Zhuangzi on this site, but I'd like to know how archaic the original ...
1
vote
2answers
167 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"?
5
votes
1answer
335 views

Usage of the phrase '不错用' in Taiwan Mandarin

I heard my Taiwanese friends use the Mandarin phrase 不错用 more than once, but didn't have a chance to ask them: Is it widely used in Taiwan, or is it used by a certain circle/type of person? What's ...
3
votes
8answers
470 views

how to translate cyberbullying into Chinese?

cyberbully is someone who uses the internet to harm or frighten another person, especially by sending them unpleasant messages How to translate cyberbullying into Chinese?
2
votes
5answers
303 views

“我们过去了” was he joking?

One man and I were crossing a busy Beijing intersection and were almost across when tour buses cut us off from both sides and we stood between them as they passed. He smiled at me and said "我们过去了!' ...
7
votes
2answers
177 views

How to say “dull the knife”?

I want to translate "Using the knife on these types of surfaces will dull the knife." This I find to be difficult grammatically as well. However, I'm not sure how to say "dull" in Mandarin, and google ...
5
votes
3answers
129 views

Difference between 部门 and 系

Does any difference exist between 部门 and 系? These are the two different results I get from Google translate: I work in the university Chinese language department 我的工作在大学中国语文系 I work in ...
6
votes
3answers
200 views

病了: Function of 了

I came across the following sentence: 我病了。 I know 了 has many functions, and I believe one of them is a completive marker (past tense). But this sentence is apparently in the present, based on the ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Children's play equipment and 儿童乐园

On the weekend I asked my mother-in-law how to say "children's play equipment" in Chinese, the answer I received was 儿童乐园. I want to get some clarification on this and want someones help on ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

What traditions do people follow when naming a second child in Chinese?

What traditions do Chinese people follow when selecting names for consecutive (2nd, 3rd etc.) children? In the case of my own children the second child was given the same middle character as my ...
9
votes
1answer
606 views

What does the Twitter hashtag #壕 mean?

I'm guessing it's slang and it looks like it has a positive connotation. Like 加油? Or maybe it sounds like 好, it means good? The dictionary says it means air-raid shelter / trench. Here are some ...
8
votes
2answers
271 views

How to use 也好. Not meaning 'also good'

My non-Mandarin colleagues have been using 英文也好,中文也好 lately and I assumed from their context they meant both languages are equal in whatever comparison they were making. When I looked it up I ...
3
votes
2answers
247 views

What is the Chinese word for “home office”?

What is the correct Chinese term for "home office"? 办公室 is an office in an office building, and would not be correct.
9
votes
3answers
209 views

您 vs 你 for parents?

Having studied French, I'm aware of the subtle social intricacies of the formal vs. informal "you." I figured Chinese was at least similar, i.e., informal for people of your generation, people you ...
3
votes
1answer
918 views

Modern vocab. “selfie”, “troll” and “spam”

Do the following modern English words have Chinese equivelants that are understood by most young people: selfie troll / trolled spam phishing scam
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Does chinese songs have a natural word order?

In English, it is hard to rhyme. So writers sometimes resort to rather awkward sentence structures, just to get the song to rhyme. Recent example from Maroon Five: I'm at a payphone trying to call ...
1
vote
2answers
145 views

Are there any good reverse transliteration strategies?

So I've been watching a lot of international news in chinese. I find that I have problems putting things in context because there are a whole lot of names of people and places which I don't know the ...
5
votes
6answers
306 views

Using 老头 / 老头子 when speaking to others

I'm trying to get some clarification on whether or not it is impolite to use 老头 / 老头子 when speaking outside a group of friends when referring to a third party. From my understanding 老头 is quite ...
3
votes
3answers
114 views

有一天: past as well as future?

I'm told that to express something as "one day" in the future, it's 「有一天」. For example, 「我希望有一天能够说好华语。」"I hope that one day I can speak Chinese well." Would you also use this to the English idiom ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

Need help understanding 爱慕虚荣

I came across this phrase 爱慕虚荣 today in a piece of writing. When I use Goggle translate it tells me 爱慕虚荣 means "vain", but 虚荣 by itself also means "vain" and when I search for "vain" and ask for the ...
3
votes
3answers
230 views

Learn to type in Pinyin for a Zhuyin user

After years of frustration about not being able to distinguish ㄥ ㄣ, and nearly no improvements on iOS Zhuyin keyboard layout. I decided to switch to Pinyin for both mobile usage and daily desktop (I ...

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