13
votes
2answers
361 views

What is the difference between 总是 and 一直?

I've always (no pun intended) wondered what the difference is between the two words. I thought they both meant always, but I've never quite grasped in what context they should be used. Could anyone ...
12
votes
5answers
692 views

Is any simplified character also a traditional character?

I don't mean traditional characters that weren't simplified, thus being the same in traditional and simplified. What I ask if there is any simplified character which in turn has the same form of ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the difference between 绿 and 青?

What is the difference between 绿 and 青? Do they refer to different shades of green? I know 青 can be used in many more contexts; it can be used to mean 'young' or 'immature'. I find it boggling how 青 ...
12
votes
6answers
432 views

Do all schools in China teach in Standard Chinese (普通话)?

When I went to China, it was apparent that many (sometimes most) people still spoke their local dialects instead of Standard Chinese/Putonghua (also known as "Mandarin" in English). I was told that ...
12
votes
5answers
411 views

How do we know what characters correspond to Chinese names?

Recently I've asked "How do we choose the correct characters for a westerner name?", and now, I'm facing a similar, yet kind of different problem, which I think applies to any westerner or Chinese ...
12
votes
10answers
1k views

Are there word games in Chinese?

Do Chinese characters make it a lot harder to create or play word games in Chinese than it is in English? I have seen a few Chinese crosswords, but it seems like they aren't as densely cross-linked as ...
12
votes
7answers
14k views

Special meanings applied to numbers 0 - 10

From what I understand: 4 or 四 means death 8 is similar to 发 as in 发财 9 is somehow related to the emporer or is the emporer's number Can someone please provide the meanings (if they exist) for ...
12
votes
6answers
664 views

Are children's books a good starting place for beginners?

I was wondering if Chinese children's books might be a good starting place for adult Chinese language newbies (regardless of whether it be Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, whatever), in particular for ...
12
votes
5answers
482 views

Learning how to use measure / count words properly

Chinese has measure (or count) words like “个” (一个人), “部” (三部车), etc. These always get me confused, and there way too many of them. Are there any general rules that can help me memorize them? Also, ...
12
votes
5answers
806 views

How widespread is the use of 妳?

When addressing a female, do I have to use 妳 instead of 你? How common is the usage of 妳?
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Does an Alarm clock 吵醒 or 叫醒?

I'm trying to figure out whether an alarm clock 吵醒我, or 叫醒我。 I'd like to say the sentence my alarm clock woke me up at 5:30 today my translation so far is 今天早上五点半, 我手机的闹钟叫醒了我。 Can 叫醒 be done by ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Are 明白 and 懂 synonymous?

Are 明白 and 懂 synonymous? If not, could anyone please elaborate on the difference along with some examples of usage?
12
votes
9answers
2k views

What is the best way to teach a child Mandarin?

My son is almost 8 weeks old. I don't speak Mandarin (yet, currently in progress) and am looking for ways to start him on learning Mandarin early, maybe at about 1 year of age. What is the best way ...
12
votes
9answers
3k views

Why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese?

Can someone explain why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese, instead of a language? It is also for any language exist in China, both land and Taiwan (Cantonese, Hunanese, Fujianese, ...
12
votes
3answers
488 views

How does foreign word transliteration work in the context of Cantonese vs Mandarin?

If I understand correctly, Cantonese sounds very different from Mandarin, despite being written in the same way (omitting some small differences, which are irrelevant for the question). If it is the ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

When and why is right to left writing used?

I have encountered characters written horizontally right to left on signs (at the top of a gate) and on vehicles. When is this used and why? Was this more common in the past? Are the individuals ...
12
votes
6answers
984 views

How do Chinese speakers pronounce unknown characters?

I'm wondering what do Chinese speakers do when they are reading aloud and encounter a character they don't know (sometimes it happens, isn't it?). In phonetic languages, there is a possibility to ...
12
votes
2answers
130 views

Is the usage of European punctuation acceptable in Chinese writing?

Chinese punctuation is a little bit different from European punctuation, for example: The full stop (period) is "。" instead of "." The ellipsis are six vertically centered dots (… …) instead of just ...
12
votes
1answer
473 views

When to use 了 and when to use 过 to express past actions or events

I kind of have an idea when 了 and 过 should be used but it's mostly on a case by case basis, and I don't know the exact rules. So if I want to express something that happened in the past, when should ...
12
votes
3answers
875 views

中文 vs. 汉语: What's the difference?

Apparently, both of these mean Chinese, and the Chinese language. I gather that 中文 is maybe more like "written Chinese," and 汉语 is "spoken Chinese." Is this correct? I've often looked at BBC ...
12
votes
2answers
8k views

Informal ways of beginning/ending an e-mail

I have been writing quite a few e-mails recently and I feel that I want to expand my vocabulary regarding acceptable phrases to use both at the beginning and end of an e-mail. When I say informal, I ...
12
votes
2answers
586 views

How do native speakers structure their essays?

When analyzing Chinese speeches or essays, I often have difficulty understanding how their the authors organized their ideas. In North America, for example, a common template for writing an essay is ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between 哈哈, 呵呵, 嘻嘻, and 嘿嘿?

I always see 哈哈, 呵呵, 嘻嘻, and 嘿嘿 in WeChat, QQ, etc, but I don't really understand the subtle differences between them and when to use them appropriately, especially 呵呵. I use 呵呵 myself now, but I'm ...
6
votes
7answers
345 views

What does 出来 mean in this sentence: 真看不出来你是外国人?

What does 出来 mean in this sentence: 真看不出来你是外国人? Doesn't 出来 mean "come out of ..."?
6
votes
1answer
256 views

Dissimilation of bilabial finals following Middle Chinese (法, 品, 凡)

Middle Chinese syllables with the shape CVP where C is a bilabial stop and P is a bilabial underwent dissimilation to CVF, where F = P[-labial]. For instance, Baxter's reconstruction of 法 is *pjop, 品 ...
6
votes
0answers
88 views

“惡” vs “噩” vs “厄”

I have seen these three characters forming the "same" words (I cannot think of a better way to phrase this), such as 惡夢 vs 噩夢 and 惡運 vs 噩運 vs 厄運 As I tried googling for the difference, I ...
5
votes
3answers
386 views

道德經 (Dao De Jing): 「五味令人口爽」 translation

From Dao De Jing (道德經), part 12: 五色令人目盲 // Five colors make a man blind 五音令人耳聾 // Five notes make a man deaf 五味令人口爽 I have a problem with translation of the third line: Five flavours make the ...
4
votes
3answers
73 views

Thought Experiment: Twitter Character Limits

This is hopefully a fun question that is a little bit off the standard path. It's meant to elicit a light conversation but nevertheless one that illuminates fundamental characteristics of Chinese as a ...
3
votes
3answers
82 views

Any “casual” translation for 遵命?

遵命 It's said from a person of lesser position to a person of higher position, ie from soldier to general. What would be a more "casual" way of translating it into English other than "As you ...
3
votes
3answers
240 views

Proper way to address a waiter or waitress

From what I have learned, one should address a waiter or waitress as 先生 or 小姐. However, I have also seen the case (I believe it was in a drama) of addressing them as the general term 服務生 or 服務員. As ...
3
votes
3answers
70 views

difference between 生气 and 愤怒

I can't find the difference between 生气 and 愤怒. Oxford dictionary says angry means 生气, but I found 愤怒 in the online dictionary. Both have more than 20 million hits in google, both have pictures of ...
2
votes
3answers
63 views

When to use 一言难尽

When is it appropriate to use 一言难尽? Please supply a scenario where this would be a good reply. I have found this in my dictionary but I want to make sure I use in in the correct context.
2
votes
2answers
232 views

What is the difference in meaning between 应变 and 适应 here?

Is there a difference in meaning between 应变能力 and 适应能力 in this sentence? If so, can you please try to explain it? 公司领导人认为,在未来十年的商战中,最重要的武器是应变能力、适应能力和创新能力。 Thanks!
2
votes
3answers
91 views

How to say “you don't need to.”

In every language I know, the expressions for saying someone does not need to do something are often used to say they had better not do it. Suppose I want to tell someone in an e-mail, in Chinese, ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

Where to start/continue my learning?

你好!我是美国人, 我做在中国 一年 也学习中文一年。我想 to continue with 我的中国学习. 现在 我能 rate my 中国口语 level as intermediate, 拼音 and 汉字 beginner level. I have not formally 学习 the language. 我的 method for learning thus far as just ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Help deconstructing parts of 點唱機 - 按年份後,當年的流行曲就出來了,一按即點

A Chinese family relative sent me this message (I am not Asian). I need some help deconstructing the message because at times the word sequence or implied idea is lost on me (even when I know most of ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

The real meaning of “傲嬌”

Until recently, I have known the meaning of this word as described on the wiki page. I thought it is used to refer to people, particularly female, who are cold on the outside and hot, as in intimate, ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Questions with multi-syllable verbs

What would be the difference between 你认识不认识他? and 你认不认识他? Are they the translated with the same "Do you probably know him?
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Does “些” Work As A Suffix (Ever) In Mandarin Similar To “们”?

些 xiē 【名】 [方言]:们〖-s〗——表示复数的词缀。如:婆娘些;娃儿些;老师些 Although marked as dialect (read: topolect), I'm curious to know if this usage is ever acceptable or found in MSM (Modern Standard ...
1
vote
1answer
860 views

How to use jyutping as an input method on windows 8.1

Is there a way to use Jyutping as the input method on Windows 8.1?
1
vote
2answers
25 views

What is the meaning of 有针对性地

This use of '有针对性‘ with '地‘ confused me. It seems to say '(have relevance)ly give' or if '有针对性‘ = ’relevant‘, 'relevantly give', either of which is awkward in English, but obviously not in Chinese. ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Is 得弄 one word here or two?

I have 首先得弄清楚我们需要什么。 I see 得弄清楚 is a fairly common combination of words. Is 得弄 one word or 2 words here? Should I read de nong or dei nong? Should I translate 1. 'First we need to find out what we ...
0
votes
2answers
25 views

Meaning of “不了” in “忘不了/喝不了/…”

I know that 了 after a verb means a completion or termination of a certain action, such as: 吃飽了 (I am) full. 開始了 (It) has started. 不動了 (It) is not moving anymore. But what about 了 ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

What does 九洚 mean?

My friend asked me about the character in this picture: He said it's a map, and that part looks like a lake with rivers as its branches, so he thought it's a lake name. I've tried to search it in ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

What does this translate to in English?

幼师 喜欢翻唱微博: 动词大茗音 Please help translate this for me, thanks!
0
votes
0answers
11 views

How to say 他媽的 in Hokkien?

This is important :^ I wouldn't mind knowing how it's said in other dialects as well. I think in Hakka it's something like 'ni mu zi'?
0
votes
2answers
21 views

為無為, 則無不治 translation of Dao De Jing

these are to last lines of the third chapter of Dao De Jing.my question to the first line: Is the first 為 used in another meaning than the last one. I know what is 無為. Should I translate it: by 無為, ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Can anyone translate this for me…please? [on hold]

Thank you, I am hoping someone can translate this for me.
0
votes
3answers
69 views

A translation for “嫂子”?

I know what 嫂子 means literally, but is there an alternative meaning for it? For example, it's like a "title" I suppose when a person doesn't know their name and just calls them that.
-6
votes
1answer
97 views

List of US universities in English and Chinese [closed]

Does anyone know where to get a list of US universities in both chinese and english? thanks

15 30 50 per page