3
votes
2answers
284 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?
2
votes
2answers
84 views

What is the origin of the slang term 6?

I'm speaking about for example: 他很6 To mean: He's very pro/skilled. I've seen this a lot, but I don't quite see what the origin of this comes from.
0
votes
2answers
83 views

What is the meaning of 心理活动 here?

I have this sentence at the beginning of a short 听力练习。 就一般心理活动而言,人们并非总是喜欢被别人称赞的。 心理 = mental, psychological 活动 = activity, action Together 心理活动 just means 'mental movements'? = thoughts? Is that ...
1
vote
3answers
203 views

Is “谐仿” an actual word in Chinese?

The English Wiktionary lists "谐仿" (xiéfǎng) as a translation for the English word "parody". But my other dictionaries don't list it and also my friends here in China say they don't know it, not even ...
2
votes
3answers
159 views

What is the difference between 汉语 and 普通话?

I've seen them used interchangeably, but I was wondering if there is a significant difference.
1
vote
3answers
190 views

What is the meaning of the last part of this sentence?

I can't quite get the last part of this 专家:这个问题不能一刀切。对于东部的企业,因为起步较早,有一定产业规模和资金积累,所以调整产业结构,提高技术含量,不断向产业链的高端提升是发展趋势的要求。 Can I rewrite the last bit thus: 不断向产业链的高端提升是发展趋势的要求。= 发展趋势的要求是不断向产业链的高端的提升。 ...
-3
votes
1answer
78 views

How should I translate 细心 here?

I have this sentence: 这些发明都要归功于他在实践中留心观察,细心发现。 I think 留心,细心 and 用心 all have much the same meaning of 'careful, attentive'. I understand 留心观察 as 'carefully observe', but I don't like 细心发现 as ...
3
votes
2answers
186 views

Confusion when words are combined

Hello I have been learning Mandarin for only a few weeks, although an issue has been bugging me. It concerns combining words together to make a sentence. For example I have heard that a correct ...
5
votes
1answer
238 views

The slang meaning of “Seven/七” in Cantonese

I have heard a few Hongkongers saying seven in a similar, likely identical, context. I assume they are addressing a person because when they say it, they make the L hand gesture. I could be wrong, but ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Large List/DB of (Mandarin) Chinese Geographical Names and Entitites (for NER)

Is there a freely available list of geographical entities, like cities, provinces (in China and abroad), names of rivers, mountains, etc.? I am looking for something like GeoNames, but it doesn't ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

How can I translate “To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting”?

I'm attempting to translate a notarial certificate to Chinese, but it contains this curious sentence at the start: To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting According to ELU, this is ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

What is the origin and meaning of 焗烤

焗 was an uncommon character in Taiwan 20-30 years ago, limited mostly to Cantonese restaurants, and it was an unusual type of cooking. The MOE 國語辭典 gives this description of 焗: ...
4
votes
3answers
245 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 ...
-3
votes
0answers
39 views

What rule if any determines the tone of a character following another character? [duplicate]

Going through this 听力练习, I have the choices A瓦匠,B木匠,C油漆匠,D铁匠 A and D are both third tone first character, and 匠 is 'no tone'. One shouldn't jump to conclusions on little evidence. Checking I find ...
-2
votes
1answer
96 views

How to translate 抓紧 here?

This text is talking about 甲型H1N1流感疫情。 女:那么我们应该作哪些准备? 男:抓紧疫苗研制是重中之重。然而,在没有有效的疫苗之前,提高大众的健康意识和公共卫生意识是最有效的 Edit: added a bit to make it clearer. Edit again: A friend told me to rewrite it thus: ...
-4
votes
0answers
70 views

What is a 丝网 here?

This is part of a speech for ornithologists at 南昌动物园。The speech is about the breeding colony of 靛冠噪鹛 (Garrulax courtoisi) they have there. The guy asked me to correct his English, but I couldn't ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Hanban/HSK Official Website Resources Download

Does anybody know where to find the most recent HSK test materials, especially the vocabulary lists to download? I have checked the official site, but the 资料下载 'button' doesn't work UPDATE: Found ...
0
votes
5answers
97 views

Could saying “慢慢吃” to a stranger cause offence?

I learned that the equivalent to "bon appetit" in Chinese is "慢慢吃" (perhaps also "请慢用"). This is a polite thing to do in English. But since it literally means "eat slowly", I'm wondering if some ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Words for shopping for medicine for athlete's foot in mainland China?

In my travels I sometimes get athlete's foot and my medicine for it is now running out while I'm in Guangzhou. I see there are several Chinese terms for this condition. It's always difficult to know ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

Writing direction on seals

I am experimenting with an online seal generator, the text I have entered is 一千五百 and I have noticed that the characters go first from top right to bottom right, then from bottom left to top left. Is ...
5
votes
3answers
194 views

Indefinite article vs numeral: use of “一” (yī)

Sometimes, when the English has an indefinite article ("a", "an"), the Chinese translation has a numeral ("一", yī). So, for example, "I want to buy a ticket" sounds like "I want to buy one ticket". ...
6
votes
2answers
553 views

Are Chinese characters taught in school in Vietnam?

Vietnamese is a language that used to use Chinese characters, but doesn't use them in everyday language nowadays. Are they still taught in school?
8
votes
3answers
209 views

What's the difference between 帐户 and 账户?

To my understanding, both mean "account", as in a bank account or online account. 账户 also appears to be the more common (100M search results) compared to 帐户 (about 50M results). What is the ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

How would one translate “full of life?”

I would like to say, "She's so full of life". This is to mean she's energetic, she lively, exuberant, loves to live life. I came across two idioms: 生气勃勃 and 生机盎然, but from the examples I've read, ...
21
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the exact meaning of 吃豆腐, and where does the expression come from?

I'm not talking about eating tofu, but the expression that means something more like taking advantage of someone. What exactly does 吃豆腐 mean, and where does this expression come from?
0
votes
1answer
50 views

When should I use “很” before an adjective? [duplicate]

Very early in the process of learning Chinese as a foreign language we are taught: 我是好 is incorrect because 是 is only used before nouns and 好 is not a noun. 我很好 is the correct way to say the former ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

When “to be” should be used? When omitted?

There are cases in which "to be" is translated with 是 ( shì ), while in some other cases it seems not to be translated at all. When should 是 ( shì ) be used? When omitted? Here some examples: 我很好 wo ...
1
vote
2answers
207 views

How to interpret 休息不了多长时间吧?

他是‘业余作家‘。 您在白天应酬、工作之后,晚上是怎样进入写作状态的,您晚上休息不了多长时间吧? Have I got this right, seems she is asking the question in reverse. 您晚上休息不了多长时间吧? = How long do you sleep at night? His answer is '我大概一天睡四到五个小时。‘ ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

What does “强横” mean when it is used to describe an inanimate things?

强横实力 From zdic, 强横 means "brutal and unreasonable", which does make sense. However, at the end of the line, it also adds "describes a person like that". But if it is used as a description for ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Stative verbs in Chinese: only for adjectives?

I've recently discovered that in Chinese, adjectives can function as verbs. An answer on this site stated that "all adjectives in Chinese can function as verbs". This was obviously an interesting ...
5
votes
5answers
699 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
242 views

many ways to say Today

I've seen "today" translated in several ways: "今日", "今天", "本日". Are they all official words? What's the difference among them? Are those words more or less interchangeable in common language? Are ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

How to properly say “World's fair”

I've read that there are a couple of different ways to say "World's fair" including "世界博览会" "世博会“ or “万博”。 Would anyone like to comment on common these terms actual are? Is saying 世纪博览会 in ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Difference between 剧本 and 脚本?

Is there a clear difference between 剧本 and 脚本? I know that 剧本 can also be the more formal “screenplay”。 But beyond that I'm not sure if there is a difference
2
votes
1answer
610 views

Do people use 刻苦 nowadays?

I'm trying to figure out two things. Is 刻苦 still commonly used in China? Is it colloquial? For example, could I say “他那一年刻苦的学西班牙文” If it is used, are there any clear differences with “认真”? Or are ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

What kind of food is 漢巴德? (from 官場現形記)

In the Qing dynasty novel 官場現形記, there is this passage: 三荷包接過看時,只見上面開的是:清牛湯、炙鰣魚、冰蠶阿、丁灣羊肉、漢巴德、牛排、凍豬腳、橙子冰忌廉、澳洲翠鳥雞、龜仔蘆筍、生菜英腿、加利蛋飯、白浪布丁(10300620)、濱格、豬古辣冰忌廉、葡萄乾、香蕉、咖啡。另外幾樣酒是:勃蘭地、魏司格、紅酒、巴德、香檳,外帶甜水、鹹水。 ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

What does this 鼎力 mean here?

关键是减少烟民数量,要实现这个目标,光靠医生的劝导是不幸的,还需要国家采取措施鼎力支持。 When I look up 鼎力 I get 'your kind help' or 'thanks for your help'. In the above sentence, I think it just means 'help', or are there other connotations? ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

The meaning of “宝藏”?

I know that "宝藏" can mean "underground mineral deposits", but it can also mean "treasures". My question is this: In addition to the two definitions above, can "宝藏" also mean a location that stores ...
7
votes
1answer
328 views

What character is 刄 + 点?

Here's a pic I took in HK today What's the 刄 + 点 char? In 堂飲2 xxxxxxx 28元 I'm guessing its similar to mainlands 两, for alcoholic drink sizes. I tried zisea & zdic to no avail... edit: ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Breaking a sentence into grammatical structures

There's a very robust deck of Anki flash cards I've been using to build vocabulary. But sometimes I get stuck when new grammatical constructs are shown. The deck says 你想走的时候就走吧。 is translated "Go ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Verbs of two words

In 你想走的时候就走吧。 it seems 的就 is supposed to be taken as the verb. At my current knowledge level, I wouldn't know how to match those two together and recognize 时候 as modifying the verb. How can I learn ...
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
97 views

How would I translate the two morphemes 基腐 together?

I am trying to translate this in the context of 基腐头条, I understand the meaning - the 基 is referring to gay (men) and 腐 is a shortened version of 腐女, 'rotten girls' or 'females interested in gay ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

What is the function of 贴 in 四贴袋?

I can't figure out what 贴 is doing here: 中国革命先行者孙中山综合了西式服装与中式服装的特点,设计出了一种直翻领有袋盖的四贴袋男用套装,定名为中山装,此后几十年,中山装大为流行,成为中国男子喜欢的标准服装。 ‘四贴袋‘ is 贴 a 量词 here?
9
votes
2answers
355 views

Is there a comprehensive list of vocabulary differences between 台湾国语 and 大陆普通话?

I've found many articles about differences in certain sentence structures regarding 台湾国语 and 大陆普通话, but does anyone have a large list of commonly-used vocabulary that are different? I spend a lot of ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Numbering for mobile verification call to China in Chinese

I am making a chat application , so for number verification I need to make calls (your verification code is 1234) on the number. I want to know if I called to China in Chinese then how the numbers are ...
8
votes
3answers
592 views

了解 vs 明白 vs 知道 - what is the difference, and when should I use each one?

了解, 明白, and 知道 seem to be fairly synonymous in Mandarin, but there does seem to be some subtle differences between them. What exactly is the difference? When should I use each one? Could you give me ...
0
votes
4answers
91 views

What does 探个究竟 actually mean?

On the lid of the barrel(桶) it says '不可偷看‘ I have the sentence:人很好奇,走过来弯下腰把脑袋伸到桶里探个究竟。 探 = explore, 究竟 = outcome, result 探个究竟 = 'take a look' or 'see what happens' or both OK?
35
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there a lot of value in learning to write Chinese characters?

I have noticed that a lot of my friends that study Chinese at university spend a lot of their time learning to write Chinese. I would estimate more than 50% of their Chinese study time is spent on ...
4
votes
2answers
86 views

Origin: of the phrase 不让[能]踩门槛

Looking for something authoritative. What is the origin of the 不让[能]踩门槛 phrase? Earliest usage?

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