1
vote
2answers
65 views

Does Cantonese have a falling tone?

In all Cantonese romanization systems I could find, tone 4 is labelled the falling tone. However according to http://www.freehongkong.net/cantonese-pronunciation-cantonese-tones/ Cantonese does not ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

What does “更生” in “自力更生” mean?

I've seen the phrase 自力更生 used to mean self-reliance, but am confused by what the function of the last 2 characters is.
3
votes
1answer
69 views

小姐 and similar terms before the cultural revolution

I have listened to a lot of controversy about the modern usage of 小姐 and similar terms. Here I just want to know whether what I thought as a child reflected the usage prior to the cultural revolution. ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

What does “须发皆张” mean?

须发皆张 须 - Beard 发 - Hair 皆 - All 张 - Spread/Open up If it was directly translated, it would be something like "[someone's] beard and hair all spread open", but what does that even mean? I ...
7
votes
1answer
569 views

Expressing “tea is not just a drink”

I encountered a misunderstanding today due to my poor Chinese language skill. What could I have done better? I was standing in a German hospital and a native Chinese asked me if I wanted tea or ...
1
vote
0answers
93 views

What is 去意 here?

I think I understand the first part of this sentence, but sometimes Chinese surprises me completely, so I'd like to check. The text discusses 2 pilots who quit their jobs. Have I read it correctly, or ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

What does it mean to 占便宜?

What exactly does it mean to 占人家便宜? Are there other ways of using 占便宜? My general understanding is that it means to get the better or others, but I'm never sure when or how to use it properly.
3
votes
2answers
138 views

Meaning and origin of 小確幸

小確幸 is a newly popular word in Taiwan. It supposedly comes from a Japanese novel. Is this right? If so, who was the author, and what was the book? Does anyone have any suggestions for a translation? ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Resources For Learning Southwestern Mandarin (西南官话)

We already have: Resources for learning Mandarin Chinese Useful resources for learning Taiwanese? Resources for learning Cantonese Resources for learning Shanghainese Resources for learning ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

What is this 某 doing after the names?

What is this 某 after the names? Could it be some kind of rank in the Air Force? Listening to the mp3, it sounds like 'mao' not 'mou' to my ear. 陈某和刘某都曾在空军部队。
1
vote
6answers
206 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Clarifying usage and definition of 怀疑

怀疑 means (1) to doubt, and (2) to suspect. This seems to lead to some confusing translations. For example: 我怀疑这张百元钞票是假的 could have two very different translations. If I use "to doubt", then it ...
1
vote
0answers
100 views

How should I deal with 产生 in this sentence?

I have this sentence below, but I don't really know how to deal with 产生。Any suggestions? I have basically ignored it. 1. was my first attempt, then I wrote 2., which I prefer. Does that agree with the ...
3
votes
2answers
502 views

differences between: 过来, 起来, 下来

i encountered this multiple choice question: 这件事情说__________简单,做__________难 Where among the choices there are: 过来,起来,下来。 I always thought that their meaning was the same, but in this case the right ...
3
votes
1answer
60 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。 ...
3
votes
3answers
87 views

洗尘: why is a welcome banquet “washing dust”?

洗尘 refers to the traditional Chinese custom of holding a banquet to welcome visitors from afar. However, the literal translation is "to wash dust", which has nothing to do with eating, and I'm also ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

What is the meaning of 变现?

I have this sentence, but I'm not sure what '变现‘ means. I think it's 'assets', but baidu has 'realize' and 'liqidate'. Is '变现‘ an abbreviation for a longer phrase? 三是租赁行业,利用虚假身份证明,骗取汽车租赁公司汽车进行倒卖变现; ...
0
votes
4answers
115 views

What are these 2 的s doing here?

I have 2 的s in my text which are confusing. "可以明确的是实习生与企业间不是劳动关系,。。。“ "我九月份进的这家公司,老板说前面几个月是作为实习期的。“ In 1. I think '的‘ nominalizes, but I'm not sure what it nominalizes. Maybe there is a ‘所’ ...
3
votes
2answers
363 views

Address people using 生 (e.g. 唐生)

Sometimes I hear people from Southern China address other people using 生, e.g. 唐生 for 张国荣's lover 唐鹤德. I looked it up in the dictionaries and searched online but didn't found any explanation on the ...
4
votes
2answers
62 views

Learning written forms of dialects

I've looked for this question on the site but can't seem to find it. I'm interested in learning Chinese, well, Cantonese specifically, and I want to focus on both the written and spoken components. ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Fast dictionary lookups while reading text

I am looking for a program for google drive (or for a PC, perhaps a word plugin or something like grammarly), so that I can highlight chinese text and have a bubble show up with a dictionary ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

Resources for the Chinese section of the Gaokao?

The entrance examination for universities in mainland China includes a Chinese section. I'm looking for three things about this. 1) A source for questions that have been asked in previous years. For ...
2
votes
2answers
208 views

Is this a correct usage of “來日方長”?

I want to say: You still have a long way to go, wish you have a memorable secondary school career And here's my translation to Chinese: 來日方長, 希望你有個難忘的中學生涯 I'm wondering if it is correct to ...
6
votes
3answers
71 views

Different kinds of writing paper

What is the suggested pattern on paper to learn handwriting? On the web, I've found many kind of paper, such as those named 九宫格 jiǔgōnggé, 米字格 mǐzìgé, 田字格 tiánzìgé, etc. I've got a book of chinese ...
5
votes
4answers
320 views

written characters: yuē vs rì

I have some troubles in distinguishing written characters 曰 yuē (to speak) and 日 rì (sun). Although they singularly look different on computers (maybe yuē look a bit wider, while rì is taller), I find ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

written characters: bèi vs jiàn

I have two books displaying different meannings for characters that look the same to me: What is the difference (if any) among the character for "bèi" (shell, money) and "jiàn" (to see)?
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Definite and indefinite noun after 找

What's the proper translation for "I'm looking for a phone charger" (any charger, I just need to charge my phone) "I'm looking for the phone charger" (the specific charger, I seem to have misplaced ...
3
votes
4answers
615 views

德行:moral integrity or disgusting?

The question is quite simple, how it is possible that 德行 means two completely opposite things? And when facing this character, how can I know what it means?
1
vote
4answers
66 views

Correct/natural way to say “在我的咖啡可以加糖吗?”

I'm wodering about the correct, or natural, way to say "could you please add some sugar to my coffee?" My unnatural-sounding way would be 在我的咖啡可以加糖吗, but I feel like a Chinese speaker is unlikely to ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

How to say “That looks delicious”

In company, or at someone's house, how might I say "That dish looks delicious?" or "That looks good"? My inclination is to say 那看起来好吃, or maybe 那看地好吃, but both seem like too much of a direct ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Alternative notations for Cantonese tones

What is the list of diacritics used to denote the seven Cantonese tones (in pinyin or similar notation)? Is there a standard (or even, more common) convention?
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Measure words for music

I'm aware of the construct: 一首歌曲。 However, what's the difference between the following 声音 constructs? 一张音乐 一曲音乐 一段音乐
0
votes
0answers
36 views

When should I say 你多大 or 你几岁 when asking age? [duplicate]

When should I say 你多大 or 你几岁 when asking age? Is one more formal than the other? are there any other alternatives, too?
2
votes
3answers
100 views

个 ge usage plus 每 mei

Anybody can explain me the reason why: -we don't say 每个年 but 每年? and, on the contrary, we must say 每个月 and not 每月? -Is there somethig to do with the fact that sometimes we must use 全 (全身)instead of 整个 ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

解 Read as Jiai?

from《四川方言词典》: 解 jiai3 Originally, I just figured it was a topolectical reading but then I found this: “解”的准确读音是“jiai” ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Comparing intensifiers

There are a lot of intensifier in Chinese, like 很,真,挺,非常,相当,极为 ,太,and recently I found out about 蛮. So how can I use them effectively? In particular I want to compare the differences in degree of ...
2
votes
2answers
33 views

Cantonese Pronunciation of 户珥 (Hur)

Hur (Ex. 17:12) in the Bible is translated as 户珥. Does anybody know for sure how to pronounce 户珥 in Cantonese? 珥 has two variants (Jyutping) nei6 餌, 鈮, 膩 and ji6 二, 樲, 潩 I just wonder ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

What does “大开大合” mean?

I checked this out, but I couldn't really understand the meaning behind it. 形容文思跌盪,放得開,收得攏。 Does it mean good introduction, and good conclusion or something similar?
4
votes
3answers
179 views

The two pronunciations of 粘

粘 can be read as either "nian" or "zhan", but in both way it can be translated as "sticky", so what is the difference? In other words what should I take in mind, when reading a text , in order to ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

啰 vs. 囉 in Old Texts

啰 seems to be the simplified version of 囉 these days, but....these are two examples from 《四川方言词典》circa '87 that I found: 要飞啰 我是乌梢蛇打店——长客囉! Most the entries I've seen in these 八零后 books ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

What's the Mandarin equivalent of the Hardcore History podcast?

So I'm looking for an very interesting and in-depth history podcast, in Mandarin, for native speakers. It's doesn't have to be about Chinese history, or any particular place or period. Any ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Job requirements for typing Chinese

Many government positions in Taiwan have typing speed requirements. In Taipei city job announcements I've found which mention this requirement, the minimum runs from 40-60 characters a minute. This ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

的 with nouns which classify other nouns

Should the particle 的 be omitted among nouns that refer to other nouns, such as phrases like "the plot of the film", "the head of a giraffe", etc.? Thanks!
2
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
82 views

Synonyms of (不会)少块肉?

I'm quite fond of the phrase 少块肉, as in 又不会少块肉 or 能少块肉吗?. What synonyms of 少块肉 exist in Chinese?
2
votes
1answer
57 views

What Possible Pronunciations of 也 exist in Suzhou Dialect?

I was looking at old Kunqu opera the other day and was interested by the fact that the singers seemed to be pronouncing 也 as "yi" instead of "ye", for example in ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Chinese/English/Pinyin Books For Young Adult Readers

I'm looking for some medium level Chinese books to read. Most of the books I can find in Chinese are aimed at more fluent speakers or for the very beginners but I'd like somewhere in between. Ideally ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Fonts for Unicode CJK extensions C, D, E

Does anyone know of a font that supports the unicode CJK extensions c, d, e? If you have such a font, do you know if it works with the MySQL utf8mb4 character set?
5
votes
1answer
100 views

When was 华/華 first used as a reference to China?

E.g. as in 中华 or 华语, and other similar words.
3
votes
3answers
311 views

When did the usage of “N” to indicate some unspecified quantity come up?

I have heard a number of Cantonese speakers use N (pronounced like the English letter) to designate some sort of unspecified quantity, for instance: 我 N 年前去过。(Approximately "I went there some ...

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