4
votes
2answers
264 views

When saying Japanese place names like “秋叶原”, do people always use the respective Chinese pronunciation?

When I hear people talk about Tokyo in Mandarin, they always pronounce it as "dōng jīng" because it's written as 东京. Similarly for Osaka and "dà bǎn" (大阪), and other such places. Are there any names ...
2
votes
1answer
293 views

Help translating 海南鸡饭

I've come across Zhang Shaolin's Hoi-nam kai-fan (characters 海南鸡饭, lyrics only in subtitles), a song in Hakka. It is split into three parts. This question concentrates on part 1, part 2 being here and ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it possible to type traditional characters with a pinyin IME in Windows 7?

I am now used to typing Chinese using a pinyin IME from my time in mainland China. But as far as I know the pinyin IMEs usually generate simplified characters. I'm now in Taiwan and having trouble ...
0
votes
3answers
124 views

How do you say “representative” as in Student Council Representative

I"m trying to figure out the best way to translate "representative" as in a "representative in government". In Taiwan people say 班代, but that doesn't seem like it would translate into other student ...
-4
votes
1answer
121 views

character-identification [closed]

The episode 20140628 谁是大毒枭 of the TV series 《庭审现场》(http://cctv.cntv.cn/lm/tingshenxianchang/index.shtml )contains the handwritten confession (repudiated during trial)of 李海江, brother of main defendant ...
2
votes
3answers
772 views

What does “理所应当的美好” mean?

我们确信, 在 Mac 的世界中, 你只需放飞自己的想象力。 享受一切**理所应当的美好**。 So 享受一切理所应当的美好。translates to: Enjoy all beauty as it should be? Sentence is from here: http://pinyin.sogou.com/mac/ Other Examples with 理所应当的美好 More ...
5
votes
4answers
460 views

Proper translation of “定位” to English?

This question is about choosing a proper English word for a Chinese phrase. Let there be given the sentence "What is the "定位" in the market of our products?" Then, what are the proper English words ...
1
vote
2answers
189 views

How do you say “A tight community”

Helo All! I"m trying to figure out a good translation for "a tight community". For example, I'm trying to say "A tight community is not a means of having a good student organization, but the end ...
1
vote
2answers
172 views

How to translate 食客 into English?

食客 were honoured guests living in the houses of kings and princes for free. They had neither property nor rank; and they scarcely ran any errands. They were not even officially employed. They ...
3
votes
4answers
263 views

Refreshing or Rude: addressing an older woman as 小姐

太太,奶奶,大姐,阿姨,女士,and many other variations are commonly used to address older women. 小姐 is used to address young women. Would it be a complement or an insult to address a middle aged or elderly woman as ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

How to use 整 as in exactly

I"m trying to figure out the grammar/syntax behind using "整". I know that it means "Exactly" when used at the end of numbers, but I'm wondering does it come before or after the noun described by the ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

When to use 这道 for “this kind”

The answer at http://chinese.stackexchange.com/posts/9675/revisions offers "这道菜" to say "this kind of food". This looks like a very useful phrase, which I had not seen before (and if I've heard it, ...
3
votes
2answers
665 views

Cantonese Romanization schemes

The Cantonese romanization scheme that I know is Yale Romanization, which to me makes the most sense and is the easiest to read of any that I've seen. It seems to give a very good idea of how to ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

What is the difference between 概念 and 观念?

I recently read on jukuu.com “ 它使老的观念向新的观念转变。” This sentence makes sense, but I'm trying to figure out whether it would be much different if I used a term like "概念“ instead of 观念. Is there a clear ...
3
votes
2answers
132 views

Is the phrase “on a scale of 1 to 10” used often if at all?

Just wondering since it does seem to me like a more western phrase, in Google translate it comes out as 上规模的1到10, I'm just wondering if there is a more common way to ask someone to rate a particular ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the difference between 狗 and 犬?

狗 (gǒu) and 犬 (quǎn) both mean "dog" and both seem relatively common, but is there any difference between them? When should I use one and when should I use the other?
24
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the difference between 作 and 做?

作 and 做 are both translated as "to do" or "to make"; how can I tell when I should use one or the other?
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Can 良好 be used as a closing remark?

良好 is translated as be good, or be well in one of my dictionaries. This is a common closing remark in spoken English. Can 良好 be used in the same context in Chinese. i.e. OK, Bye now... Take care, be ...
5
votes
3answers
130 views

Is there a difference between 凡事 and 所有?

Recently, I've been reading a bit of 鲁迅 and I've run into the word 凡事 a number of times. Everytime, I see it translated it seems to mean 所有。 It seems to me that 凡事 is either an older usage or is much ...
3
votes
5answers
475 views

Is there a difference between 杀头 and 砍头?

I'm learning about 鲁迅 and the picture he saw of a man being decapitated. My teacher would switch between 杀头 and 砍头 - is their a large difference between the two? is one more formal? Is there a ...
7
votes
4answers
864 views

What is the Difference Between 方法 and 办法?

Both have comparable definitions of "method", "manner", "means", etc. and describe or define a way of doing something. The phrase 没(有)办法 is often used to deflect responsibility by claiming ...
7
votes
3answers
881 views

How to say “giving someone the benefit of the doubt” in Chinese?

This expression connotes that one is willing to not insist on accusing someone of a mistake despite most evidence pointing to that someone as being responsible. As in a legal proceeding where the jury ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?

I already have a hard time distinguishing tones in normal speech. This gets significantly worse when I listen to Chinese songs, since the melody masks tones even further. Yes, I understand that ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

How to differentiate MacBook Air from MacBook Pro in Chinese?

In Chinese, Macintosh is described as 苹果的电脑, and MacBook series are described as 苹果的笔记本电脑. However, I don't know how to differentiate MacBook Air from MacBook Pro. Apple's Chinese page doesn't ...
2
votes
3answers
97 views

Why is 的 necessary in 你是什么时候买的苹果?

I've found the following sentence: 你是什么时候买的苹果? However, I've convinced that this sentence should be 你是什么时候买苹果的?. Why does the sentence above require 的 after 买? What purpose does it function for?
6
votes
4answers
744 views

Can I use "我知道“ to say I know some kind of food?

There are kinds of foods, such as malaxiangguo, that people often suspect a foreigner will not know and will not like. I can say "我吃麻辣香锅" (wo chi malaxiangguo). Is that the best thing to say? And I ...
6
votes
1answer
254 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Translation: confabulation

How is confabulation properly translated into Chinese? Wikipedia doesn't have a corresponding entry. The only dictionary I can find this in, LDC English-Chinese Wordlist, just lists 交谈/闲谈 - which is ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views
1
vote
1answer
140 views

How to translate 武大郎开店 into English?

武大郎 is a legendary short man. He runs a shop; and all of his employees are shorter than him. It characterizes an orgnizational phenomenon. I wonder if there is an English saying that means the same ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

可怕 and 恐怖 are what kind of “terrible”?

Before heading to town to find something to eat, a friend suggested I should be the one driving the 摩托車. I told my passenger it was illegal for me to drive, but they insisted. I drove fast, ran red ...
2
votes
4answers
179 views

How to say “to light a candle"

I'm trying to figure out the most appropriate way to say "light a candle" would it be 点蜡烛 or would 点燃蜡烛 be more commonly heard? Thanks for the help!
1
vote
4answers
191 views

When can 尔 (er3) be used instead of 你 (ni3)?

I got a letter from a new penfriend in Hong Kong, written in 普通花. I think their first language is Cantonese. Mostly the letter uses simplified characters, with the occasional traditional one. It ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Cantonese sandhi

In Mandarin, there is limited tone sandhi, mainly about third tones and the tone variations of yi1 (one) and bù (not). By contrast, Min has sandhi rules for all tones, as illustrated by this diagram. ...
8
votes
5answers
471 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
311 views

What does the `的` mean in `我是九点去上班的`?

In the reply to 你是什么时候去上班的?, what does the 的 in 我是九点去上班的 mean? I think that without the 的, the sentence makes sense in and of itself, right? And the meaning is that I start to work at 9:00 am...., ...
3
votes
4answers
511 views

How do I say “I held my head in my hands”

Recently, I was writing about my time at a funeral. I am trying to express the situation that I was overwhelmed by emotion so I put my head in my hands. (I.e. I rested my head on my hands). Is there a ...
1
vote
4answers
442 views

What does 亮黄灯了 mean?

Can someone please tell me what 亮黄灯了 means in this sentence: 我承认,应该是运动量过大,身体*亮黄灯了* And why is the colour yellow (黄) used?
8
votes
10answers
5k views

Tips for pronouncing X vs SH in Mandarin?

I'd like to think my Mandarin pronunciation is generally pretty reasonable, but I often get tripped up with X and SH - for example words like 雪 and 水, or 虾 and 莎. Even with different tones, I find ...
0
votes
4answers
201 views

Can someone please translate this picture for me? Please i need help! [closed]

I have this picture and I know that the last symbol means sentenced, but i don't know what the rest of them are, or even what is the meaning. Please help! :)
3
votes
2answers
67 views

live poultry for sale?

Is there a specific term that is usually used to describe live poultry, or live chickens, or any type of live animal, which is for sale in a market and which the customer takes home alive to butcher ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

How to distinguish between rat and mouse in Chinese?

I know there are two words here: 老鼠 and 鼠. However, the dictionary states that 老鼠 (rat) can also mean mouse; how do you specify rat? I imagine that 仓鼠 (hamster) and 沙鼠 (gerbil) are often abbreviated ...
1
vote
4answers
122 views

Meaning & Etyomology: 博眼球?

The only meaning of 博眼球 I've been able to come across is the following from a 百度知道 answer: 回头率高,吸引人的意思 but is it really that simple, is that all it means? 'An eyeball-turner?' What does 博 mean ...
1
vote
3answers
99 views

只 zhǐ appropriate use in context?

I am studying 常用漢字 and I ran across the following meanings: 只得 只好 只有 All of which were translated with the same English meaning "can do nothing." What was not given is the context in which one would ...
2
votes
3answers
141 views

Is there a difference between 显得 and 看起来?

Recently, I've been reading a short story writting by 丁玲 and I noticed she often used the term "显得" where I would have said "看起来”。 I'm trying to figure out when I should be using 显得 vs. 看起来. It seems ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

What is the word for “they/them”?

I apologize for my rudimentary Chinese, but I am having trouble finding the translation for "them/they" in Chinese in regards to an entity (and gender neutral). For example: Does the store sell ...
1
vote
4answers
104 views

Help translating the phrase, “was seen as.”

The sentence I am trying to translate: "Revolution was seen as desperate and dangerous." I am aware of the grammar pattern, sb 把革命视为危险的 for "see as." However, this usage is incorrect because the ...
5
votes
3answers
479 views

What's the difference between 江 and 河?

My daily newsletter contained the following sentence: 长江是中国最长的河。 According to the dictionary, 江 and 河 both mean "river", but they seem to be used differently. Am I right in assuming that 长河是中国最长的江 ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Mandarin chinese: syllable pronunciation training

Is there free mp3 resources of all combinations of syllables (1consonnant + 1vowel) in different tones? Here an example of syllables: All Possible Syllables in Mandarin Chinese
2
votes
2answers
89 views

The position of 给

I‘ve notice that sometimes 给 changes its position in the sentece. Look at these examples: • 我发给你一个邮件 • 我给你发一个邮件 Both are correct but what different meaning/shadow do they express?

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