1
vote
1answer
83 views

Which radicals are used mostly just as phonetic?

Some radicals do not seem to be commonly in use for their meaning, but only to convey pronounciation. As answer to this question and many websearches revealed. Is that true for many radicals? Could ...
1
vote
3answers
231 views

Radical meaning vs characters in use

The radical 阜 and its other form 阝, used on the left, supposedly means mound or dam. Looking at image web search hits for 阜 or 阝, I get nothing related to dam or mound. When I look up the Chinese ...
1
vote
3answers
210 views

请问您这个职位缺了多久了?Can I lose one 了

Actually 2 questions: 1) Are these sentences all good Chinese? 2) If they are acceptable Chinese, is there any difference in meaning between them? 请问您这个职位缺了多久了? 请问您这个职位缺多久了? 请问您这个职位缺了多久?
3
votes
4answers
500 views

When to use 我是 vs 我在

In my Chinese class notes these two sentences appear: 我是南非人 and 我在看节目 Why does the one use 我是 and the other 我在? Is there a rule/guidelines to help me decide which one to use? Thanks, Jaco
1
vote
3answers
466 views

How to say “wait” answer in simple conversation mandarin language?

Conversation example: A: Take that box to upstairs! B: Wait.. (while he is busy doing something else) How to say that wait in simple conversation mandarin? I feel 等一下 is too long. If you know ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

What does 原地踏步 mean in Cantonese?

Heard this on TVB: 原地踏步. What does the phrase mean? There's nothing in the Cantonese dictionary for this phrase.
3
votes
3answers
234 views

What is the difference between 台 and 臺?

What is the difference between 台 and 臺? 台 is both "simplified" and "alternative", 臺 is "traditional". 臺 seems to be the "correct" traditional form for Taiwan, but I've never seen it in reference to ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

What grammatical elements are contained in the sentence 你不听不就得了?

A book on function words contains the example sentence: 管他说什么呢, 你不听不就得了。 The first part is simple: 管他说什么呢 = "no matter what" s.o. says (管 as conjunction). The second part however is unclear to me. ...
1
vote
2answers
300 views

Difference in MEANING (NOT structure) between 得 vs 地

Please, don't explain when to use 得 or 地. I already know that the grammar difference between them both, which is: V 得 adjective (老师话说得很快。) adverb 地 V (老师快快地说话。) Also there are many posts on this ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

How to say “similarly" as a transition?

I've tried to use the transition "similarly" multiple times in Chinese, but I've gotten mixed feedback on how I should say it. I've been told I should say "同样的“ and not 同样 like "John ...
0
votes
3answers
184 views

Is there such a thing as a run-on-sentence in Chinese?

In Chinese articles I often find these long, never-ending, main-point-less sentences. For instance check out these three sentence-paragraphs from this news article ("请给90后创业者多一些宽容") ...
2
votes
1answer
182 views

Difference between 只,之, and 支?

I'm a native speaker but I don't know the first thing about writing Chinese, on Rosetta stone we were shown 一支笔 and 一只狗, whats the difference and where and when do you use each one?
1
vote
4answers
306 views

What’s the function of 還, 了, and 呢 in the sentence, “我還以為他不走了呢”?

After many attempts to understand how the sentence is grammatically structured, I think I'll just ask here. The sentence "我還以為他不走了呢" is from a children's book that was originally in English. I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
144 views

慢慢来 is the same as 慢慢地来?

慢慢来。 Take your time. It consists of an adjective and verb. Since 慢慢 is an adjective but used in an adverbal way, I assume that this one below should be the original form of 慢慢来. 慢慢 + 地 + 来。 I ...
1
vote
3answers
68 views

What are compound words called that are composed of words with similar meaning?

Compared to classical Chinese, there are mostly words composed of more than one word/character. Especially the subgroup of VO-compoundwords (Verb Object) made from two characters have some special ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

What is the verbatim meaning of the phrase 了不得了?

I stumpled upon this phrase, unfortunately the verbatim meaning was not explained, only how it is used in a sentence: sentence pattern: 了不得了, sentence. (first 了 read as liao2, second 了 as le) 了不得了 ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

Is their a trick to find out the intensity of words with similar meanings?

I know that the intensity for the Chinese "but" is 不过》可是》但是》却 and I know that there are other words like this, but I wonder if there is a way to recognise which one has the stronger meaning, without ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

What classifier imply a volume?

I know that you can use 盒 to suggest that there is a collection of the following noun, such as 一盒麻将牌 (a box of mahjong tiles) and I was wondering which other classifiers I can use for a similar ...
-1
votes
4answers
145 views

How to pronounce “论”

I"ve been trying to figure out the tones for the character 论. It seems like it is fourth tone in 讨论. However, in something like 一概而论 I'm not entirely sure. Is this a taiwan/Mainland division? Or is it ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Can I use a verb+的 construction to imply an item/noun?

I'm often don't which noun to use, but I can think of a verb to describe it. I know that 吃的 (to eat + 的) means food, so I was wondering if I can use it with other verbs as well, like 洗澡的 (to bathe + ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Transcribing native speakers using dictation tools - any suggestions to improve accuracy?

I tried playing this to iOS 7's dictation feature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6jhgUWBlxQ The accuracy was pretty poor at regular speed, I'd say 20%, at best. I tried slowing down the playback ...
5
votes
3answers
421 views

What's the correct classifier for `房子`?

In my little bit of Mandarin experience, I have got that the classifier for 房子 is 座, and also felt that 座 is usually used to refer to a building. However, I have just read that someone here over ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

What does "一概而论“ mean?

I’m getting mixed answers to what 一概而论 actually means. What would you translate this sentence as 但是, 我们不能将这位作者的观点一概而论。 Is this the only way it can be used?
2
votes
3answers
283 views

What is the purpose of 多 in 你多与别人就此事沟通?

I have a sentence with a given translation, as follows: 你多与别人就此事沟通。 = You communicate with other people. Why is 多 put into this sentence, it is not mentioned in the translation. What would be the ...
3
votes
3answers
650 views

Is there a difference in meaning between 那年夏天 and 那个夏天

I asked a native speaker whether these phrases were equivalent in meaning and she said no (although agreeing that they both ultimately do "point" to the same concept). I asked if 年 here is basically a ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

How to learn to read Chinese calligraphic paintings (and Chinese handwriting)?

I am able to read quite a few Chinese characters and can recognize most of the elements (combinations of radicals and other stroke sequences) which make up the 3500 or so or more characters found in ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

What would be the shortest translation for 'Home Delivery' on a restaurant flyer?

送饭上门 is what I have now, but for aesthetic reasons I would like to have a 2 character word. Is 送饭 enough on a restaurant flyer (that's the context I am working with) or do I need the whole four ...
4
votes
3answers
389 views

How does inserting 起来 into 请客 as in 请起客来 changes the meaning?

请客 is a verb-object-verbal phrase (联合词), therefore it is able to seperate both parts and put further structures in between. I read I could put 起 in between together with 来 at the end to form a so ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

What is a good resources to read easy Chinese texts?

I started learning Chinese and want to find some short texts to practice my reading. I've found http://chinesereadingpractice.com/ where you can find some interesting posts, but even beginners text ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

What's the difference between 礼仪,惯例,规矩?

In a section of my textbook I recently covered, I came across 3 vocabulary words that are very similar and I'm not sure how and when to use each. From what I understand: 礼仪: protocol/etiquette. The ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

Take a picture of me/for me (which preposition better translates)?

As an experienced tourist in China, I know the sentence:你能不能给我(们)相的照吗? Although it gives the desired result-- someone taking a picture of me, for me, with my own camera-- I am not sure of the exact ...
2
votes
3answers
73 views

Singing in tune translation help

I sang Chinese karaoke last night... went alright... but couldn't sing in tune. I wanted to express this to my Chinese friends.... so I wanted to learn phrases/words related to singing and music, ...
3
votes
3answers
397 views

Some unknown marks: are they in Chinese? If not, what language is it? What do they mean?

I have been given a nice set of small white tea set with bamboo motifs and some foreign oriental marks. There is no single English character. I spent the whole morning trying to draw these marks and ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

What podcasts/movie/music is good to improve my listening?

Most other skills are improving steadily, but my listening is lagging (far) behind. Are there any movies, music or podcasts that can help me with this?
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Small Red Vase W/ Chinese on bottom?

Can someone help me decipher these characters? These are on a small red vase with a small "wick" attached to the top. Thanks!
2
votes
6answers
403 views

What is the function of 甲 in 桂林山水甲天下?

What i know: 甲 is used for enumeration of items or persons in a dialogue, it corresponds to western 1. , a) , I. , X. 桂林山水 = Landscape of Guilin 天下 = literary expression for whole china or ...
6
votes
1answer
106 views

When should I use the 是…的 construction?

I've been told that 是...的 is used to put emphasis on something, but I'm not sure when or why I should use it.
6
votes
3answers
629 views

Is “ 事出必有因 ” the most accurate translation for “ everything happens for a reason ”?

Is " 事出必有因 " the most accurate translation for " everything happens for a reason "? If not, what is it? Thanks!
1
vote
2answers
132 views

Why is 劝ing so common -or- popular in Chinese?

First off I'm not really sure what we would call 劝ing in English, it's not really exhorting or admonishing as dictionaries would lead people to believe - it's more like actively sticking your nose ...
2
votes
4answers
169 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
271 views

Do people say “文学家?”

Do people use "文学家” normally? It feels like it could be a correct word, but no one would say "literarist" on the other hand in english.
1
vote
2answers
124 views

What is the translation for 打出頭?

The three characters are very frequent ones, but nethertheless I find it hard to understand the meaning.
2
votes
3answers
219 views

Using 色 with colors

I'm making something to teach students Chinese colors... Let's say they have to match a color to a square- Is it okay to just use 红, 蓝, 紫, etc on each block just as long as they know 色 means color... ...
7
votes
2answers
109 views

Semantic Puns and Alternative Hanzi

There seems to be a set of Chinese words that have alternatives (disregarding the traditional/simplified split). For example, 借 and 藉. Within this class of alternatives, however, seems to be a set of ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Translating 2 subtitles (TV drama 03:31 and 03:39)

below find dialog of 2 druglords and the brother of one of them 江东和江南兄弟 and 林力华 at the start of part 8 of TV drama 国家形象, http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTA2MDgwNDQw.html 03:31 includes 拿手 ...
1
vote
2answers
153 views

How do I say that I'm Russian?

I know that I should add rén (人) after a country. I found these two in the dictionary: 俄罗斯 俄国 Which one should I use? What would be the difference between them? Thanks
0
votes
3answers
96 views

Chinese equivalent of expression

In English, if someone explains a simple joke that should be obvious they get the nickname "Captain Obvious", as the Wiktionary and Wikipedia say. Is there an equivalent expression in Chinese? If so, ...
6
votes
5answers
164 views

What is the verbatim translation for “都什么时候了” ?

"什么时候" means verbatim "what time" But, when i add 都 (adverb meaning "all") and 了(particle indicating either change of state or completion), i can not grasp what meaning is conveyed by this phrase. ...
5
votes
6answers
296 views

What is the translation of “attached to X”?

For example: "He is too attached to his money and wealth". "He is very attached to his house" Note: the meaning of "attached to" is closer to the feeling of very hard to letting go of something. ...
5
votes
5answers
251 views

Chengyu dictionary

I am looking for a chengyu dictionary with the following caracteristics: the stories behind the chengyus in englis (or with chinese too), long, not just one or two sentence explanation, when and how ...

15 30 50 per page