23
votes
8answers
929 views

Number two in chinese: 二 vs 两

I always knew, from my studies of Japanese, that the number two is 二 (èr). I am not sure about the actual etymology, but looking at the character, it's understandable why it represents the number "2". ...
1
vote
3answers
466 views

How to say “wait” answer in simple conversation mandarin language?

Conversation example: A: Take that box to upstairs! B: Wait.. (while he is busy doing something else) How to say that wait in simple conversation mandarin? I feel 等一下 is too long. If you know ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

What's a 调警? (In a Command Center (指挥中心))

指挥中心里头的调警是什么? 调警 in a Command Center is what kind of policeman? What is its English equivalent? Often seen like this: 指挥中心调警称....
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Looking for a translation of '舒适性‘ and '安全性'?

该品牌汽车以优良的舒适性和安全性赢得了众多车主的喜爱。 This brand of automobile uses first rate *comfortness and *safetyness to win many car owner's favour.
3
votes
4answers
500 views

When to use 我是 vs 我在

In my Chinese class notes these two sentences appear: 我是南非人 and 我在看节目 Why does the one use 我是 and the other 我在? Is there a rule/guidelines to help me decide which one to use? Thanks, Jaco
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Which radicals are used mostly just as phonetic?

Some radicals do not seem to be commonly in use for their meaning, but only to convey pronounciation. As answer to this question and many websearches revealed. Is that true for many radicals? Could ...
1
vote
3answers
210 views

请问您这个职位缺了多久了?Can I lose one 了

Actually 2 questions: 1) Are these sentences all good Chinese? 2) If they are acceptable Chinese, is there any difference in meaning between them? 请问您这个职位缺了多久了? 请问您这个职位缺多久了? 请问您这个职位缺了多久?
2
votes
4answers
129 views

Can you say “回去 ____" (A location?)

Quick question: Can you 回去 a location? or can you only say 回去 by itself? ex. “回去 我家乡”
0
votes
3answers
96 views

Chinese equivalent of expression

In English, if someone explains a simple joke that should be obvious they get the nickname "Captain Obvious", as the Wiktionary and Wikipedia say. Is there an equivalent expression in Chinese? If so, ...
3
votes
3answers
234 views

What is the difference between 台 and 臺?

What is the difference between 台 and 臺? 台 is both "simplified" and "alternative", 臺 is "traditional". 臺 seems to be the "correct" traditional form for Taiwan, but I've never seen it in reference to ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

What does 原地踏步 mean in Cantonese?

Heard this on TVB: 原地踏步. What does the phrase mean? There's nothing in the Cantonese dictionary for this phrase.
0
votes
3answers
184 views

Is there such a thing as a run-on-sentence in Chinese?

In Chinese articles I often find these long, never-ending, main-point-less sentences. For instance check out these three sentence-paragraphs from this news article ("请给90后创业者多一些宽容") ...
1
vote
2answers
300 views

Difference in MEANING (NOT structure) between 得 vs 地

Please, don't explain when to use 得 or 地. I already know that the grammar difference between them both, which is: V 得 adjective (老师话说得很快。) adverb 地 V (老师快快地说话。) Also there are many posts on this ...
2
votes
3answers
283 views

What is the purpose of 多 in 你多与别人就此事沟通?

I have a sentence with a given translation, as follows: 你多与别人就此事沟通。 = You communicate with other people. Why is 多 put into this sentence, it is not mentioned in the translation. What would be the ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

What does 牛逼 mean? Can anyone define it?

牛逼 What does it mean? Someone gave a presentation on it in my school Can someone define it? Thanks!
0
votes
1answer
215 views

Why is “這麼些” at the end of the sentence, “開會的人來了這麼些” ? Is it a quantity complement?

I got it from a textbook awhile reading about demonstrative pronouns. The textbook translate the sentence as "So many people have come to attend the meeting." Can someone explain why "這麼些" isn't at ...
7
votes
2answers
109 views

Semantic Puns and Alternative Hanzi

There seems to be a set of Chinese words that have alternatives (disregarding the traditional/simplified split). For example, 借 and 藉. Within this class of alternatives, however, seems to be a set of ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

What grammatical elements are contained in the sentence 你不听不就得了?

A book on function words contains the example sentence: 管他说什么呢, 你不听不就得了。 The first part is simple: 管他说什么呢 = "no matter what" s.o. says (管 as conjunction). The second part however is unclear to me. ...
6
votes
3answers
209 views

Uncommon (Unorthodox?!) Pinyin: What are these?

I find this sort of uncommon, unorthodox, whatever you wanna call it, pinyin very fascinating. These are the ones that I know of already - that, apparently, are still considered to be Mandarin. What ...
6
votes
3answers
286 views

Typing Chinese radicals?

Is there a way to type radicals on a computer? I'd like to insert some in a document I'm writing but I'm not sure how to write those that don't correspond to an actual word. Any tips? Thanks!
-1
votes
2answers
127 views

What is a very comprehensive syntax structure?

the syntax is S V O, one can expand this to include phrases about time and place: S t p V O. What else can be this SVO structure expanded with? How would a maximal structure look like that ...
1
vote
1answer
267 views

Translate identification mark on a Chinese bowl

I am trying to translate the identification mark on a bottom of a Chinese bowl. I am almost positive the right two characters translate to "Jingde" but I can't seem to be able to figure out the left ...
1
vote
3answers
132 views

could you give a semantically explanation of the phrase 聊斋志异?

聊斋志异 is the title of a famous collection of short stories dealing with the supernatural. what actually do the words the title is made of verbatim mean, what is the cultural significance of those ...
1
vote
5answers
324 views

Do people use 但愿 nowadays?

Quick question: I heard my teacher recently use the term 但愿 - which apparently means to "Wish that they had/something happened". The example give was " 他们但愿我也是从湘西来的” Is this normally used in ...
2
votes
2answers
144 views

慢慢来 is the same as 慢慢地来?

慢慢来。 Take your time. It consists of an adjective and verb. Since 慢慢 is an adjective but used in an adverbal way, I assume that this one below should be the original form of 慢慢来. 慢慢 + 地 + 来。 I ...
2
votes
6answers
403 views

What is the function of 甲 in 桂林山水甲天下?

What i know: 甲 is used for enumeration of items or persons in a dialogue, it corresponds to western 1. , a) , I. , X. 桂林山水 = Landscape of Guilin 天下 = literary expression for whole china or ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

What would be the shortest translation for 'Home Delivery' on a restaurant flyer?

送饭上门 is what I have now, but for aesthetic reasons I would like to have a 2 character word. Is 送饭 enough on a restaurant flyer (that's the context I am working with) or do I need the whole four ...
18
votes
14answers
2k views

Techniques for learning and retaining characters

For many of us, memorizing characters is a difficult thing. In Chinese, just because you can speak the word doesn't mean you can read it. Just because you can read it doesn't mean you can write it. At ...
1
vote
3answers
68 views

What are compound words called that are composed of words with similar meaning?

Compared to classical Chinese, there are mostly words composed of more than one word/character. Especially the subgroup of VO-compoundwords (Verb Object) made from two characters have some special ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

What is the translation for 打出頭?

The three characters are very frequent ones, but nethertheless I find it hard to understand the meaning.
2
votes
2answers
133 views

What is the verbatim meaning of the phrase 了不得了?

I stumpled upon this phrase, unfortunately the verbatim meaning was not explained, only how it is used in a sentence: sentence pattern: 了不得了, sentence. (first 了 read as liao2, second 了 as le) 了不得了 ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

Is their a trick to find out the intensity of words with similar meanings?

I know that the intensity for the Chinese "but" is 不过》可是》但是》却 and I know that there are other words like this, but I wonder if there is a way to recognise which one has the stronger meaning, without ...
1
vote
2answers
153 views

How do I say that I'm Russian?

I know that I should add rén (人) after a country. I found these two in the dictionary: 俄罗斯 俄国 Which one should I use? What would be the difference between them? Thanks
1
vote
1answer
52 views

What classifier imply a volume?

I know that you can use 盒 to suggest that there is a collection of the following noun, such as 一盒麻将牌 (a box of mahjong tiles) and I was wondering which other classifiers I can use for a similar ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Can I use a verb+的 construction to imply an item/noun?

I'm often don't which noun to use, but I can think of a verb to describe it. I know that 吃的 (to eat + 的) means food, so I was wondering if I can use it with other verbs as well, like 洗澡的 (to bathe + ...
4
votes
3answers
389 views

How does inserting 起来 into 请客 as in 请起客来 changes the meaning?

请客 is a verb-object-verbal phrase (联合词), therefore it is able to seperate both parts and put further structures in between. I read I could put 起 in between together with 来 at the end to form a so ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Transcribing native speakers using dictation tools - any suggestions to improve accuracy?

I tried playing this to iOS 7's dictation feature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6jhgUWBlxQ The accuracy was pretty poor at regular speed, I'd say 20%, at best. I tried slowing down the playback ...
3
votes
3answers
650 views

Is there a difference in meaning between 那年夏天 and 那个夏天

I asked a native speaker whether these phrases were equivalent in meaning and she said no (although agreeing that they both ultimately do "point" to the same concept). I asked if 年 here is basically a ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

How to learn to read Chinese calligraphic paintings (and Chinese handwriting)?

I am able to read quite a few Chinese characters and can recognize most of the elements (combinations of radicals and other stroke sequences) which make up the 3500 or so or more characters found in ...
20
votes
7answers
4k views

How did 黃 (yellow) come to mean “pornographic”?

In my dictionary it defines 黃 (Huáng) - yellow - pornographic - to fall through - surname Huang or Hwang Imperial China and the robes of the emperor are commonly associated with the colour yellow. ...
13
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

What is a good resources to read easy Chinese texts?

I started learning Chinese and want to find some short texts to practice my reading. I've found http://chinesereadingpractice.com/ where you can find some interesting posts, but even beginners text ...
3
votes
3answers
189 views

Are 改正 and 纠正 interchangeable?

Both 改正 and 纠正 mean "to correct" or "to make right." What is the difference between these words? Do they have different connotations? Are both words acceptable in sentences like the following? ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

What's the difference between 礼仪,惯例,规矩?

In a section of my textbook I recently covered, I came across 3 vocabulary words that are very similar and I'm not sure how and when to use each. From what I understand: 礼仪: protocol/etiquette. The ...
4
votes
3answers
438 views

What is the difference between 将来 and 未来?

The dictionary translation is essentially the same. From the example sentences I've looked up, it seems the two can be interchangeable (though I could certainly be wrong). Also, I was told that 未来 ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

Take a picture of me/for me (which preposition better translates)?

As an experienced tourist in China, I know the sentence:你能不能给我(们)相的照吗? Although it gives the desired result-- someone taking a picture of me, for me, with my own camera-- I am not sure of the exact ...
1
vote
3answers
169 views

Old Mandarin vs. Mandarin Chinese?

How intelligible is Old Mandarin to the speakers of Mandarin Chinese? If an Old Mandarin Chinese speaker heard a Mandarin Chinese speaker or vice versa, how fluent would the communication be?
6
votes
1answer
106 views

When should I use the 是…的 construction?

I've been told that 是...的 is used to put emphasis on something, but I'm not sure when or why I should use it.
2
votes
1answer
57 views

What podcasts/movie/music is good to improve my listening?

Most other skills are improving steadily, but my listening is lagging (far) behind. Are there any movies, music or podcasts that can help me with this?
16
votes
3answers
766 views

Tense and use of 了

I struggle a bit to get my head around tenses in Mandarin, and in particular when I need to use 了 (le). Do you have any tips, examples or resources to help me out with this?

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