2
votes
1answer
264 views

How to say “To lose” as in to “lose a team member”

I"m trying to figure out how to say to "lose" as in to lose a member of a team or (in my case) a member of a club. For example, how would you translate, "this year my school's student council lost a ...
7
votes
3answers
521 views

How to say “giving someone the benefit of the doubt” in Chinese?

This expression connotes that one is willing to not insist on accusing someone of a mistake despite most evidence pointing to that someone as being responsible. As in a legal proceeding where the jury ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?

I already have a hard time distinguishing tones in normal speech. This gets significantly worse when I listen to Chinese songs, since the melody masks tones even further. Yes, I understand that ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

How to differentiate MacBook Air from MacBook Pro in Chinese?

In Chinese, Macintosh is described as 苹果的电脑, and MacBook series are described as 苹果的笔记本电脑. However, I don't know how to differentiate MacBook Air from MacBook Pro. Apple's Chinese page doesn't ...
2
votes
3answers
78 views

Why is 的 necessary in 你是什么时候买的苹果?

I've found the following sentence: 你是什么时候买的苹果? However, I've convinced that this sentence should be 你是什么时候买苹果的?. Why does the sentence above require 的 after 买? What purpose does it function for?
6
votes
4answers
683 views

Can I use "我知道“ to say I know some kind of food?

There are kinds of foods, such as malaxiangguo, that people often suspect a foreigner will not know and will not like. I can say "我吃麻辣香锅" (wo chi malaxiangguo). Is that the best thing to say? And I ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

Etymology of 至关(重要)

至关重要 strikes me as a four-character idiom instead of a Chengyu, and it didn't even make an entry on 现代汉语词典 or ZDic.net. However, that couldn't explain the fact that the specific character combination ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

Translation: confabulation

How is confabulation properly translated into Chinese? Wikipedia doesn't have a corresponding entry. The only dictionary I can find this in, LDC English-Chinese Wordlist, just lists 交谈/闲谈 - which is ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

I keep running into so many different synonyms for like/dislike on Chinese websites. What others am I missing?

Like: 好文, 顶一下, 喜欢, 赞, 支持 Dislike: 踩一下, 太水, 反对
1
vote
1answer
123 views

How to translate 武大郎开店 into English?

武大郎 is a legendary short man. He runs a shop; and all of his employees are shorter than him. It characterizes an orgnizational phenomenon. I wonder if there is an English saying that means the same ...
2
votes
0answers
73 views

Help translating 海南鸡饭 - 2

I've come across Zhang Shaolin's Hoi-nam kai-fan (characters 海南鸡饭, lyrics only in subtitles), a song in Hakka. It is split into three parts. This question concentrates on part 2, part 1 being here and ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

可怕 and 恐怖 are what kind of “terrible”?

Before heading to town to find something to eat, a friend suggested I should be the one driving the 摩托車. I told my passenger it was illegal for me to drive, but they insisted. I drove fast, ran red ...
2
votes
5answers
140 views

How to say “to light a candle"

I'm trying to figure out the most appropriate way to say "light a candle" would it be 点蜡烛 or would 点燃蜡烛 be more commonly heard? Thanks for the help!
1
vote
4answers
147 views

When can 尔 (er3) be used instead of 你 (ni3)?

I got a letter from a new penfriend in Hong Kong, written in 普通花. I think their first language is Cantonese. Mostly the letter uses simplified characters, with the occasional traditional one. It ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Cantonese sandhi

In Mandarin, there is limited tone sandhi, mainly about third tones and the tone variations of yi1 (one) and bù (not). By contrast, Min has sandhi rules for all tones, as illustrated by this diagram. ...
8
votes
5answers
347 views

When is the spelling and the pronunciation different?

I noticed that sometimes certain finals in Chinese sound differently when combined with different initials. For e.g., what is spelled "u" sometimes is pronounced "ü". Other times, I think the final ...
1
vote
3answers
166 views

What does the `的` mean in `我是九点去上班的`?

In the reply to 你是什么时候去上班的?, what does the 的 in 我是九点去上班的 mean? I think that without the 的, the sentence makes sense in and of itself, right? And the meaning is that I start to work at 9:00 am...., ...
3
votes
4answers
437 views

How do I say “I held my head in my hands”

Recently, I was writing about my time at a funeral. I am trying to express the situation that I was overwhelmed by emotion so I put my head in my hands. (I.e. I rested my head on my hands). Is there a ...
1
vote
4answers
363 views

What does 亮黄灯了 mean?

Can someone please tell me what 亮黄灯了 means in this sentence: 我承认,应该是运动量过大,身体*亮黄灯了* And why is the colour yellow (黄) used?
8
votes
10answers
4k views

Tips for pronouncing X vs SH in Mandarin?

I'd like to think my Mandarin pronunciation is generally pretty reasonable, but I often get tripped up with X and SH - for example words like 雪 and 水, or 虾 and 莎. Even with different tones, I find ...
0
votes
4answers
137 views

Can someone please translate this picture for me? Please i need help! [closed]

I have this picture and I know that the last symbol means sentenced, but i don't know what the rest of them are, or even what is the meaning. Please help! :)
1
vote
3answers
62 views

Where can I find resources to improve my listening ability?

I am currently studying for the HSK1 exam, I can read the vast majority of the required vocab and know the pinyin for most of the words but I am having a lot of trouble understanding the audio on the ...
3
votes
2answers
66 views

live poultry for sale?

Is there a specific term that is usually used to describe live poultry, or live chickens, or any type of live animal, which is for sale in a market and which the customer takes home alive to butcher ...
4
votes
7answers
734 views

How to distinguish between rat and mouse in Chinese?

I know there are two words here: 老鼠 and 鼠. However, the dictionary states that 老鼠 (rat) can also mean mouse; how do you specify rat? I imagine that 仓鼠 (hamster) and 沙鼠 (gerbil) are often abbreviated ...
1
vote
4answers
108 views

Meaning & Etyomology: 博眼球?

The only meaning of 博眼球 I've been able to come across is the following from a 百度知道 answer: 回头率高,吸引人的意思 but is it really that simple, is that all it means? 'An eyeball-turner?' What does 博 mean ...
1
vote
3answers
46 views

只 zhǐ appropriate use in context?

I am studying 常用漢字 and I ran across the following meanings: 只得 只好 只有 All of which were translated with the same English meaning "can do nothing." What was not given is the context in which one would ...
2
votes
3answers
97 views

Is there a difference between 显得 and 看起来?

Recently, I've been reading a short story writting by 丁玲 and I noticed she often used the term "显得" where I would have said "看起来”。 I'm trying to figure out when I should be using 显得 vs. 看起来. It seems ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

What is the word for “they/them”?

I apologize for my rudimentary Chinese, but I am having trouble finding the translation for "them/they" in Chinese in regards to an entity (and gender neutral). For example: Does the store sell ...
1
vote
4answers
99 views

Help translating the phrase, “was seen as.”

The sentence I am trying to translate: "Revolution was seen as desperate and dangerous." I am aware of the grammar pattern, sb 把革命视为危险的 for "see as." However, this usage is incorrect because the ...
14
votes
3answers
5k 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?
5
votes
3answers
367 views

What's the difference between 江 and 河?

My daily newsletter contained the following sentence: 长江是中国最长的河。 According to the dictionary, 江 and 河 both mean "river", but they seem to be used differently. Am I right in assuming that 长河是中国最长的江 ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Mandarin chinese: syllable pronunciation training

Is there free mp3 resources of all combinations of syllables (1consonnant + 1vowel) in different tones? Here an example of syllables: All Possible Syllables in Mandarin Chinese
2
votes
2answers
78 views

The position of 给

I‘ve notice that sometimes 给 changes its position in the sentece. Look at these examples: • 我发给你一个邮件 • 我给你发一个邮件 Both are correct but what different meaning/shadow do they express?
1
vote
1answer
46 views

How to translate “连环夺宝”, the name of a game from China LotSynergy?

"连环夺宝" is a popular game operated by China Welfare Lottery. It can be seen in this video: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjkyNDczNDI4.html . I've heard it referred to as "Precious Stones" in English, ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

Explanation usage of 得 and 地 [duplicate]

Can someone explain me exactly when I have to use these two words? They are both pronunced "de", but I found some difficulties understanding why should I use 得 (or shouldn‘t) in some senteceses. 地 , ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Hokkien pronunciation of `白头偕老`

白头偕老 is a set expression in Mandarin, meaning to get old together, in a loose translation. I found it in a Hokkien song called 牵阮的手 (Mandarin 牵我的手, English While you hold my hand). In the linked ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Hokkien `綴` vs. `共`: compare and contrast

According to my reference, both 綴 (tuè/tè) and 共 (kā) can translate from Hokkien (alias Min Nan) to 跟. What is the difference between the two?
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Tones in Cantonese: 6 or 9?

Wikipedia has a tone contour chart for Cantonese with only 6 tones, but the table just below has 9. In fact, the table states 7=1, 8=3 and 9=6. From a historical point of view, there are 9 tone ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

does 并未 have to go with a pairing of words?

So, I recently learned that 并未 is a formal way of saying 并没有. However, whenever I see it in writing it is always paired with a two word set. (i.e. 并未解决, 并未提出, 等。 ) Is this a hard and fast rule? I've ...
6
votes
2answers
376 views

If Confucius came back to life today and scribbled a message, could most modern Chinese people understand it?

For example (and I am not sure if this is a good example), if presented the following stone inscription (石鼓文, source, c. 374 B.C.), could most modern Chinese people understand it (even vaguely)? ...
4
votes
2answers
58 views

Tone three sandhi

If there are two third tones in a row, e.g. ni3hao3, the first one is pronounced as a second tone, i.e. ni3hao3=ni2hao3. At least, that's what I was told in a course. What happens with more ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

What is the difference in use between 以及 and 还有

So,I've recently seen the term 以及 used a number of times in written text. For example, in a short story by 叮咛 I read " 这位总统为国家、政府以及人民贡献了所有的力量,人们很尊敬他。". Another chinese stack exchange answer asked ...
3
votes
2answers
98 views

The tricky prepositions. . . “in my garden”

I think prepositions are tricky in every language. The other day I was trying to figure out how to write correctly : In my garden there are many fruit-trees. The first sentence I thought of was: ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

Help translating 爱人跟人走

I have come across the song 爱人跟人走 (lyrics here). I'll give a complete translation attempt of this Hokkien song: It's already 3 years since you left me; Have you gone away without [ever] turning back? ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

What is the difference between 星心相印 and 心心相印?

The title is all that is necessary, but the following description can give context. I know the phrase, 「心心相印」means something to the effect of "two hearts beating in unison" which might be said of a ...
8
votes
4answers
205 views

Why 又 is used there instead of 再?

In this dialogue: A: 现在恢复得怎么样了? B: 没问题了,又可以爬山了。 Why is 又 used there and not 再? As far as I know (I might be wrong), both 再 and 又 are used for describing recurring actions, but 又 refers to ...
5
votes
3answers
466 views

Does the Chinese language distinguish “doubt” and “suspicion”?

Doubt expresses a lack of belief due to insufficient evidence. Suspicion expresses a feeling of belief in the absence of evidence. If I'm not mistaken, the Chinese language does not distinguish the ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

How formal is 如何?

I was told by friend who is a native mainland speaker that "最近如何", or anything containing "如何", is a very ancient/formal way of speaking. This was quite a shock to me—I was taught this sentence ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

How do you say “mentor” in Chinese?

I've been trying to figure out if Chinese has a similar concept to the idea of "mentor" in english. I know 导师 and 良师 are both options that have been thrown out. But, I'm not sure if they imply the ...
0
votes
2answers
106 views

Is the symbol in the images a chinese letter?

Is the symbol in the images a chinese letter, and if it is, what does it mean?

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