1
vote
1answer
41 views

(n.) 的大預言 having trouble making sense of this construct

So I have a person's name in place of the noun and I am trying to get a better handle on how to interpret this sentence. Would it be for example, Tommie's people predicted? The full context is that ...
3
votes
5answers
387 views

Explanation for the meaning of 八竿子打不着?

The modern colloquial phrase "八竿子打不着" is used as an adjective to describe "very distant, unrelated". Example: 这是八竿子打不着的事情,怎么能联系上呢? It literally means "couldn't hit with even eight poles". I can ...
4
votes
2answers
151 views

連連 Trying to understand the double word (叠词 or 叠字) usage

In another answer someone helped me understand the meaning of: 今年一定是好事連連 At that time, I was having trouble getting the context of 連連. But then I saw both 好事連連 (good fortune) and 好运连连 (Good Luck). ...
7
votes
5answers
998 views

What are the rules in Chinese for adjective order when multiple adjectives describe a noun

See http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/1155/what-is-the-rule-for-adjective-order for the equivalent question in English. I didn't find any discussion online of the order for multiple Chinese ...
2
votes
3answers
190 views

Can you 离开 a person? (as in physically separate from them?)

I'm interested in the usage of the term 离开 as in " to leave". If, for example, I was traveling with another person on the underground (train) and I left them/we separated (to take different trains) ...
4
votes
2answers
133 views

When to use 了 and 的?

了 is used after verb or sentence to indicate that something has been finished/done or something has changed. 的 is used in many cases, one of which is to indicate the speaker's modality of certainty. ...
2
votes
2answers
81 views

has iPad been genericized in Chinese?

The other day I heard this guy referring to his 平板电脑 as an iPad (爱怕德) - when it was just some generic tablet computer. Chinese contains a lot of genericizations - 可乐 for soda, etc. Is this one too, ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

How do you say “I quickly forgot…” (As in an emotion you were feeling)

I'm trying to figure out how I could express that I had a feeling/emotion. and then, after a certain event happend/began I "Quickly forgot" that I had that emotion. In english we could say "At the ...
1
vote
1answer
237 views

不知說謂, 不三不四 - Meaning In Context?

I have heard 不三不四 pronounced (m sarm m sei) in Cantonese. I wonder if Mandarin speakers use this term and in what context? When I asked, someone they supposed that Mandarin speakers might prefer to ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

(麻薯), what kind, if not then what is it?

Someone translated this 麻薯 as a "potato" and Google Translate says it's Mochi, If it is a potato, could anyone share what kind? When I tried some research I came up with what looks like a character ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Translation Gaps On Comic Conversation : 2

I have translated the following: 那可不一定 It certainly can not be. (*Hope this translation is correct) Here is what I have so far.. 三十分(?)從,大(?)會(?)吊(?) 來。 Thanks for any help to fill ...
2
votes
2answers
318 views

How informal can 为 someone 服务 be?

Recently, I've heard the phrase " 为你们服务 “ used in a number of contexts. It seems like a relatively formal phrase, but I'm wondering how widely it could be used. Could I say, for example, ...
1
vote
3answers
97 views

How to express this idea in a better way?

I'd like to say something like "...but my heart belongs to Hong Kong" as a possible response to "where do you live?" So the full context might be "I live in X but my heart belongs to Hong Kong". ...
5
votes
3answers
123 views

How can I find the exact written versions of commonly spoken Cantonese words?

I was trying (unsuccessfully) to find the written representation of the Cantonese translation of "to make", pronounced as "jing", by looking through the alternatives on Google Translate and reading ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

What's the grammatical structure of 这是你第一次来中国吗?

I am confused about the sentence 这是你第一次来中国吗? I think I know the correct translation: "Is this the first time you go to China?" However, I am confused about the grammatical structure of the sentence. ...
5
votes
5answers
424 views

What are the common ice-breaker sentences in Chinese?

There are sentences in English like "What's up?" "What's going on?" "how have you been?" to begin a conversation with or to greet people (friends or relatives) So what are the common ice-breaker ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

What am I going to do with you?

There is an expression in English of sort of dramatic frustration, but in a very familiar, and almost endearing way. So, for example, if your girlfriend/boyfriend does something that is kind of ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

演 = 氵+ 寅 but what's it got to do with water!? How did it get its modern meanings?

氵+ 寅 = 演 zisea 拼音:yan3 ①根据事理推广发挥:推~。讲~(亦作“演讲”)。~义(以史书及传说的材料为基础,增添一些细节,用章回体写成的小说)。~绎(一种推理方法,由一般原理推出关于特殊情况下的结论)。 ②依照程式练习:~练。~示。~算。~武。~习。~兵场。 ③不断变化:~变。~化。 ...
6
votes
3answers
582 views

哪儿 vs. 哪里, Difference in Meaning?

Is there any difference in meaning between 哪儿 and 哪里? If not, then how did the two different words come to be employed? Does 儿 have a meaning, or is it just a sound? I know that there are many ...
3
votes
6answers
325 views

Requesting an English translation for 来 in 你哪儿来的这么多书? compatible with a Chinese-to-English dictionary

I am a Caucasian American with English as my native language. I want to improve my knowledge of the Mandarin Chinese language. I found the following question in Modern Chinese Beginner's Course 3, ...
0
votes
5answers
495 views

The translation of “Karma”

I want to know the colloquial chinese translation of "Karma". The conversation example: Bob: She had financial problem for 30 years and never got a decent job besides labor. Me: I guess it's karma. ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

How to say “twelve tigers” [duplicate]

I learned that two tigers is said "两只老虎" but I wonder how to say twelve tigers, twenty two tigers in Chinese. Is that 十二只老虎 and 二十二只老虎 or 十两只老虎 and 二十两只老虎
3
votes
2answers
941 views

Correct way to say “when I was young…”

What is the usual way to say something along the lines of "when I was young, petrol was cheap" or "when I was a kid, my family lived in Mexico".
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Which of these words for “to carry” are actually used?

I compiled a list of different words for what we in English generally would translate to "to carry". Now, the fact that I found them doesn't necessarily mean that they are actually in common usage ...
4
votes
4answers
203 views

What are the different ways to say “Chapter” in Chinese?

So, I've been trying to figure out the proper way to say "chapter" for a long time in Chinese. Is this something that depends on a case by case basis? (i.e. a chapter in a novel would be different in ...
3
votes
4answers
418 views

How to say “at the expensive/cost of”?

I want to say the following: 过了这几十年,中国的经济发展了很多,但是 [at the expense of]中国的环境。 I'm not sure if the last part of the sentence is how I would say "at the expense of China's environment"; it was more ...
1
vote
3answers
188 views

combining noun and measure word

I have read article which show this sentence 一本书, then if want to make it plural, it becomes 书本, so my question is it for all noun and measure word ? Example : 一首歌 becomes 歌首
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Translate: 荒谬时代要吃得好玩到老经常想母猫

What's the meaning of this sentence? 荒谬时代要吃得好玩到老经常想母猫。 荒谬时代 means ridiculous age, i think. 好玩 means amusing, fun But i couldn't understand the whole sentence. Can anyone help?
4
votes
3answers
458 views

What does 有模有样 mean?

Is 模 in this phrase mo2 or mu2? Literally, have mold/model, have appearance/shape. Does it mean something like takes shape? Context: Fire TV, which arrives after years of explicit rumors and intense ...
3
votes
2answers
364 views

Can someone explain what the 其 in 順其自然 means?

The phrase 順其自然 means trust nature to take its course in Cantonese, and every character makes sense except for 其. Can someone explain its meaning in the phrase? Thanks!
2
votes
3answers
88 views

How to ask whether you left A in B

I'm trying to figure out how to say "to leave" as in to leave something behind somewhere. Would you say one, two, or three? How to say “left my bag in the car” 1. 丢了我钱包在出租车里 2. 留了我得钱包在出租车里 3. ...
5
votes
4answers
339 views

What is the meaning of ㄝ?

From wikipedia: ㄝ是注音符号中的韵母之一,字形取自“世”字,发音则取“世”字之韵。 But I am not seeing how it should be used, and what is the meaning of this. Anyone knows what is the meaning of this, and when it should be ...
0
votes
1answer
124 views

I found a random file on my desktop, and I need to know what it says in English

གྷ艈挡宑ᙽ삂暋ğ㳐฀泬飥 I've tried using internet translators (I know, bad idea) but I needed to know what this text says.
2
votes
2answers
164 views

追 as in 追剧 (chasing a TV series)

I am native speaker but I haven't yet figured out the exact meaning of 追 as in 追剧 - 'chasing a TV series'. Does it mean 'stay on top', 'catch up' or simply 'actively watch'? In other words, Does it ...
6
votes
3answers
249 views

What is the function of 的多 in this sentence?

中国人爱喝茶的多。 I assume the meaning is that "Chinese people love drinking tea a lot", or "...really love drinking tea." Does 的多 act as an adverbial structure here? In what other situations would it be ...
4
votes
2answers
693 views

Translation: 深V

Maybe this question is better suited for the English Language SE site, but anywho... V here stands for V-Neck as in: v-neck t-shirt/v-neck blouse/v-neck sweater, etc. 深 is deep - or more accurately ...
2
votes
2answers
362 views

the meaning of 算什么 in 《我爱台妹》

I have recently been listening to MC Hotdog's seminal 2006 hit 《我爱台妹》 I am a little confused by the second and fourth lines of the chorus 我爱台妹,台妹爱我 对我来说,林志玲算什么 我爱台妹,台妹爱我 对我来说,侯佩岑算什么 I understand ...
1
vote
2answers
127 views

How to explain this situation in a few Mandarin phrases?

Background/Context I have been spending a lot of time taking care of my mother-in law recently. Because she is from 台山市 I have been learning some Taishanese. She is 85+ and only eats specific foods. ...
4
votes
3answers
522 views

Why is the 会 in 会计 pronounced kuài?

The character 会 has two different pronunciations; usually it is huì but in 会计 it is pronounced kuài. It seems that the latter pronunciation is exclusively used in the "accounting" meaning. How did ...
3
votes
2answers
276 views

Are there relative pronouns in Chinese

Are there words for relative pronouns, for example: The man, who was walking to the shop, was tall. Is there a Chinese word for the bolded "who"?
3
votes
1answer
116 views

How to say “this?” interjection in chinese?

For example of a case: (I was in home walking holding a jar of chocolate candy, I was gonna go to upstairs) Mom: (She saw me and she called me from behind) "Where did you buy that?" Me: (I was a bit ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

How do I say “The things I do”

I've been working a bit on writing lately, and I'm trying to figure out how best to translate the classic english statement "The things I do". For example, I would like to say "Sometimes the things I ...
4
votes
1answer
208 views

Looking for official specification of Putonghua in English

There has been some confusion here between different senses of "Putonghua." So to clarify: article 19 of the constitution of the PRC says "The state promotes the nationwide use of Putonghua (common ...
2
votes
2answers
163 views

pronunciation: j/q/x/y + ün

Here in the south (mainland) ün has a similar pronunciation to the English -ean as in 'wean' or even the -een in 'ween', though it seems like northerners pronounce it more like -uin in 'ruin'. jün, ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Characters used to specify low/standard/medium/high quality/definition in video sharing websites

I wonder what are the most common characters used in video sharing websites to specify options for the vide reproduction quality, in particular for this one.
4
votes
6answers
883 views

Chinese equivalent of “Oh Burn”

As stated in the title, what would be the Chinese equivalent of the popularly-used term (for kids) - "Oh BURN"? I understand it should be used mostly after an insult. I Googled and found nothing but ...
15
votes
6answers
671 views

Difference between 如果 and 要是?

In the Pimsleur Mandarin course it uses 如果 (rúguǒ) to mean 'if', but the dictionary shows 要是 (yàoshì) to have a similar meaning: 如果: if; in case; in the event that 要是: if Are there any ...
30
votes
7answers
5k views

How many characters do I need to learn?

How many Chinese characters would I generally need to learn to be able to handle most text in typical every day circumstances? How many would be required to be considered fluent? Are there any good ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What's the meaning of “不见面也有不见面的好”?

I really couldn't understand the meaning of this sentences. 见面 means to meet, to see 不见面 means not meet, not see. 不见面也有不见面的好。 But I really couldn't get what it is saying.
3
votes
2answers
160 views

How to say “Catch a plane”

I'm interested to see if there is a translation for "catch a plane". I know that 赶不上飞机 is an expression - but could you say "今天我有很多事。 最要紧的是赶上飞机“

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