1
vote
1answer
84 views

what's the difference between 会, 可以, and 能? [duplicate]

Are they used interchangeably or do they really have separate uses? I keep getting confused between the three.
1
vote
4answers
91 views

What is this 运行 in this sentence?

中国加入世界贸易组织后,国内的汽车行业与汽车市场运行环境发生了前所未有的改变。 Sometimes in colloquial English we say 'shift' to mean 'sell'. Is '运行环境‘ something like that? 运行环境 maybe 'sales environment' or ‘turnover' (交易额) ??
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Mices and rats: differences between shǔ, lǎo shǔ, Xiǎo lǎo shǔ, etc

What is the difference between all the different available kinds of rat and mices, like shǔ, lǎo shǔ, Xiǎo lǎo shǔ? Can 鼠 be used alone? Is 小家鼠 the proper word to mean a nice little mouse in a ...
12
votes
8answers
945 views

Sheep or goat? 一只羊跑过来

In the sentence: 一只羊跑过来 Would a Chinese person typically assume this is a goat or a sheep?
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Is “Year of the Goat/Ram/Sheep” due to the Chinese language?

I've heard that the current lunar year (for most of 2015) is sometimes called in English the Year of the Goat, Year of the Ram, or Year of the Sheep. I've also heard that the reason for the different ...
6
votes
2answers
199 views

Which dialect of Chinese has the fewest tones?

Standard Cantonese has six tones, Minnan, spoken primarily in Taiwan and Fujian, has five to seven; and so on down to Mandarin, based on the Beijing dialect, which has only four. (I don't count ...
-6
votes
1answer
87 views

What does it mean? [closed]

With the great search for plane debris currently taking place in La Reunion island, a metal has been found with what seems to be Chinese written on it (it might be a plane debris, but nobody can be ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Earliest usage of 力不从心?

What's the earliest usage of 力不从心? The earliest I've seen is: 《後汉书·西域传》 今使者大兵未能得出, 如諸國力不從心, 東西南北自在也。 Anything earlier than 后汉书? 445 is, apparently, the given year for completion of 后汉书.
9
votes
6answers
718 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 "i"...
4
votes
1answer
138 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
152 views

What is the meaning of '中国面孔'?

I think I know what this '中国面孔' means, but sometimes Chinese surprises me completely. 同时,也说明西门子这样一个跨国公司,已经开始选择完全的中国面孔来拉近和中国的距离。 已经开始选择完全的中国面孔来拉近和中国的距离 (Siemens) has already begun to select only ...
1
vote
2answers
215 views

Can I change this '下‘ for '前面‘?

I have this in my text: 在绿色、环保已成为全社会共识的大背景下, 。。。 ‘背景下’ says to me ‘under a background' which seems odd. I would rather locate things 'in front of' a background. Can I change '背景下‘ for '背景前‘ or '...
2
votes
3answers
228 views

Is this the way to say 'afford'?

'afford' in its meaning of 'can pay for' is not so easy to locate in Chinese. There doesn't seem to be one word. 'can't afford' is fairly easy: '买不起‘。 I have this in my text: ..., 既满足了自己买车的愿望,...
5
votes
2answers
114 views

When did the words 麻醉 and 麻药 first appear?

I want to know how long 麻醉 and 麻药 have been compounded to mean anesthesia and anesthetic respectively. What is the approximate date of the origin of those two Chinese words? Are their origins ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Is there an official translation for oleogustus, yet?

io9 There are five acknowledged tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and (slightly more controversially) umami. For awhile now, researchers have suggested the existence of a sixth taste: fat. Now, ...
0
votes
5answers
139 views

What is “一” doing in “事情一开始进展得很顺利,但后来我们遇到了困难”?

事情一开始进展得很顺利,但后来我们遇到了困难 I understand the meaning of the sentence, but I don't understand what is "一" doing in there? Could it be dropped? Would it change the meaning? Is it a part of the "一开始" as a ...
10
votes
3answers
242 views

What is the origin of the word 雪茄 (cigar)?

I assume 雪茄 (cigar) is a loanword. Who can tell me what language this word was loaned from and, if appropriate, how it was transcribed? My own guess is that the word was transcribed from English and ...
4
votes
6answers
212 views

Modern loanwords in Chinese

I've noticed that in modern Chinese there's a lot of loanwords that are translated in multiple ways: 激光 vs 雷射 互联网 vs 因特网 Generally one version will sound similar to the English ...
8
votes
1answer
226 views

What's the difference between 同样 and 一样

I'm so confused about this two phrases, I think they can be used interchangeably in most circumstances, but here's the examples: 他们两个长得一样。 Why can't we say 他们两个长得同样? 妈妈点了一杯咖啡,我也一样。 Why can't we ...
7
votes
2answers
319 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
182 views

最后吃的菜 or 吃最后的菜?

I had a friend who said there is a slight difference in the two phrases. But I don't see any difference between the two expressions. Could anyone explain it? Thanks, Rachel
2
votes
3answers
167 views

Chinese words for “everything can be viewed from a positive side”

What Chinese idioms or sayings (哪条成语或者俗语) can be used to express the following? Everything can be appreciated, when its own context is taken in consideration.
1
vote
2answers
159 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
489 views

How is pronunciation discussed in Chinese?

Here's an English example: Learner: Wait, how is c-o-w pronounced? Native: COW, like a K sound followed by ow. But in Chinese there are no phonetic letters. So how are children taught how to ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

Can 持续 have these 2 meanings?

I found these 2 example sentences, with English translations, for 持续。They are very different in meaning. Are both ok? 高温天气持续了几天。 The hot weather went on for some days. 持续 = continued 这足以持续到周末。It is ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

Mandarin Neutral Tone: Tone Value?

One of my dialectical dictionaries takes tone value 21 and compares it to Mandarin's neutral tone. The same tone, coincidentally enough, had been described in the same way to me by a local native ...
2
votes
2answers
151 views

meaning of 等 in this sentence

From the economic observer: 前两个背离可以理解为经济结构调整过程中,产业结构优化等优势逐步显现 As far as I know, 等 means either wait or it is either used to end a list of objects. This sentence is also quite technical itself, ...
3
votes
3answers
217 views

How do you say “rock a baby to sleep” in Chinese?

当一个小儿子在哭泣而妈妈为了让他睡觉就拿他上来而用胳膊轻轻的动他,这用汉语叫什么? When a young child is crying and the mother in order to make him sleep takes him up and gently move him with her arms, what do you call that in Chinese? PS ...
2
votes
1answer
176 views

总监,总统,总裁 and other similar words

What's the difference between: 总 总监 总统 总裁 董事长 主任 领导 老板 They can all be translated as president, chairman or boss. I only know that 总统 is the president of a country, while 老板 is used in small firms ...
1
vote
2answers
74 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
855 views

How are blanks indicated for placeholders in Chinese (like ???)

In English, in the middle of a sentence if data is being left blank (such as an unknown date, or a name to be filled in at a later time), commonly you see ???, ___ (underscore(s)), or -- to mark this. ...
1
vote
2answers
109 views

Etymologically Correct Character For The Sichuanese ‘niang’ Meaning “What”

邛崃方言 The character used here to represent ‘niang’ is 娘 but that obviously can't be the etymologically correct character for the above meanings (i.e.: what, how, etc.). Etymologically Correct ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Character: “Kei” For “To Go” (去) In Sichuanese

怎么在四川说话居然还会听不懂了 宜宾话和很多四川其他地方的话有代沟的,比如去字,宜宾读kei成都以南大多读ji以北读qi网上读qie 广安人表示也都kei 呵呵,就是,克耍。有些字眼他们真的不懂了 宜宾方言 出克:外出 克 seems to be the substitute character for kei but is there a ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

What contributes to negative emotion / sentiment in this example? [closed]

I have got the following text labelled as negative. Could you please point to what would (lexically, syntactically) contribute to negative emotion here? Is it sarcastic in any way? #LE CREUSET#...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

How should I translate 属地化?

In my text I have 2 sentences with 属地化。‘属地化管理’ is a phrase which can be easily found in 百度。 Does it have more connotations than 'regional management'? '属地‘ seems to mean 'dependency', as in a region ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

Say hallo to many people: 你好 or 你们好? [duplicate]

If a meet you (singular), I say "你好". If I meet you (plural), shall I say "你们好", instead?
0
votes
2answers
78 views

Pronunciation of 内容

The standard pronunciation of this is nèiróng. However, I often hear (and sometimes myself pronounce, especially when speaking quickly) it as nèiyǒng (perhaps closer to a neutral tone on yong). Is ...
0
votes
2answers
126 views

Clash of brothers?

Google Translate outputs for: 兄弟鬩牆,二 the following: Clash between the brothers. I know it is naive to try machine translation for guessing the meaning, but can somebody help me get Chinese ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Proper way to use sentence-final particles (like 啦 or 喽) in spoken Chinese

I know it's very common for Chinese speakers to add special particles to the end of their sentences to enhance the tone a little bit, such as adding 啊 to show excitement or 啦 to sound cute. Just to ...
3
votes
2answers
404 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Comparing forms of humble self reference

Because of one of the languages I grew up with, I have a strong desire to avoid using 我, especially when something follows that could constitute praise. I am always conscious that my language skill ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

simple translation of simple text and question about 个 and 自己

please translate the text below 他有见兔正给山羊来送白菜 我自己种的。只有自己种,才有吃不完的菜。 青菜萝卜吃个饱 i have a little confusion in these sentences and about 自己 exact translation in second sentence and the 个 in sentence 3
4
votes
1answer
317 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?
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Addressing women as “小姐” in Northern China

I heard that it is not appropriate to call women or girls "小姐" in northern China. That it is considered rough and has a meaning close to "hooker". So I never address girls or women as "小姐" in the ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

How is 古代汉语 defined?

According to Hanyu Wailaici Cidian (Dictionary of Chinese Loanwords), bóshì (博士) with the modern sense "doctor" is derived from the Japanese hakushi, which in turn is of "Ancient Chinese" (古代汉语) ...
1
vote
2answers
261 views

Hong Kong Cantonese variations

I am interested to learn whether the changes in Hong Kong pronunciation of Cantonese came about, was it because the English in Hong Kong had difficulty understanding the Cantonese? For instance, I ...
3
votes
4answers
148 views

What is the meaning of 么?

If you want to say "This dog," you'd say, "这只狗". If you want to say "This thing," you'd say, "这个东西". If you want to say, "This much," you'd say, "这么多". I understand the reasons for the 只 and the 个, ...
2
votes
2answers
177 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
5answers
169 views

what is the difference between 现场 and 地点?

Do both of them mean "location" or "site", or is there something that sets them apart? Thank you in advance!
5
votes
1answer
88 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 ...

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