2
votes
3answers
71 views

How do you use the phrase 留宿 (liu2su4) (i.e. “To stay over at someone's house")

I've been trying to figure in what contexts it is appropriate to use the term 留宿。 Is it simply staying at another person's house for the night (like in english "crashing at someone's place") or is it ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

How should this painting's title, signature and yin (chop) be correctly translated?

This is the title, signature and chop from a painted silk screen. I think the upper characters translate as hǎi táng huā [Chinese flowering crab-apple (Malus spectabilis)]. I think the lower ...
-2
votes
3answers
163 views
3
votes
2answers
142 views

Phrases with most popular characters?

I found a table of characters (about 3000) in which most popular characters go first. Here are first 20: 我的 高的 是的 目的 的确 不 不是 人 在 有 他 这 中 大 来 上 国 自个 到 说 道 子 为 和 and I would like ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Tone Sandhi: Sichuanese 四川话

Been trying to find the rules of tone sandhi in Sichuanese - but not having a lot of luck. Wikipedia Talk:Sichuanese Mandarin Tone Sandhi Great improvements to the original article! Can we ...
2
votes
5answers
179 views

difference between 为难 and 矛盾?

Recently, I ran into the word "为难“ which means roughly that someone is in a dilemma/is having difficulty deciding . The sentences that was used as an example was 离开还是留下, 他很为难。 Could some explain ...
4
votes
3answers
315 views

What does 自个 mean: “since a” or “onself”

As a title, I have found to meanings for 自个: "since a" or "oneself", what is correct and how to translate it?
7
votes
3answers
278 views

What is the polite way to respond to a sneeze in Chinese?

In English, one might say "bless you" or "gesundheit" in response to a friend sneezing. Is there a Chinese equivalent? If so, what is it?
4
votes
2answers
183 views

How do you describe a vegetarian item? As in a vegetarian burrito?

So, in english when describing whether something is friendly for vegetarians or not we say "vegetarian object_____". Is there an equivalent in Chinese? For example could you say "素的墨西哥卷“?
7
votes
6answers
9k views

Does 危机 really mean both crisis and opportunity?

A lot of people, mostly those who haven't studied Chinese, like to claim something along the lines of "In Chinese, the word for crisis 危机, also bears the meaning of opportunity." This is usually ...
1
vote
4answers
90 views

Is there a difference between 近几年 and 这几年?

Does anyone have an idea whether there is a difference in meaning between 近几年 and 这几年? I have the feeling that 近几年 is more formal - but correct me if I'm wrong!
2
votes
3answers
160 views

信子 meaning “tongue”

信子apparently can mean (snake's)"tongue" but only if 吐 also occurs near it (s. all examples below) http://news.sina.com.cn/s/p/2014-08-03/051130621113.shtml headline:半夜如厕 小臂粗大蛇 蜷缩地上吐信子 within ...
4
votes
4answers
112 views

Can 斋戒 vs. 禁食 which one is used for “Fasting for ramadan”

Yesterday, I celebrated Ramadan with a couple of friends and I was trying to explain what the celebration entailed in my diary. Could I use the term 斋戒 - the translation I found for "to fast" or is 禁食 ...
3
votes
4answers
348 views

Loanwords with Chinese Equivalents

How many loanwords in Chinese have Chinese equivalents? Example: 三文鱼 is a loanword, borrowed from English, meaning salmon, but Chinese also has the word 鲑鱼 meaning salmon. Are there a lot of these ...
4
votes
6answers
402 views

What does 糗大 (qiǔdà) mean?

What does 糗大 (qiǔdà) mean in the following phrase? 那才真的糗大了。 From context, I think it ought to mean something like "that would really be terrible" or "that would be far worse," but I can't find ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

What does 厉害 mean, and in what context does it mean what?

This has to be one of the more ambiguous words I have struggled with. 厉害 can be: very well performed = 玩得很厉害; harsh = 骂得很厉害; severe = 生病得很厉害; probably a bunch of other stuff... Can anyone give a ...
5
votes
2answers
376 views

How to say “unsurprisingly” as in “Someone unsurprisingly did something”

I'm trying to figure out how to say unsurprisingly; I know that 果然 generally implies that you expect that something is going to happen, but in some contexts I'm not entirely sure if it is most ...
3
votes
3answers
150 views

What does it mean to 按时收听?

I've been listening to a great mandarin podcast recently called "imandarinpod". At the beginning of every podcast the host says something like this "谢谢大家按时收听我们的节目“。 I've looked up the translation of ...
3
votes
3answers
108 views

When do I need 的?

Why do I need 的 for 爸爸 but not for 爸 ? me: So if I said "your father is....", it would be 你的爸是.... me: Right? friend: No 的 if you use 爸 friend: we say 你爸是。。。 friend: Or 你的爸爸是。。。。
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Resources: Chinese Minority Languages

China has a lot of minority groups and each group has its own language, if not a bunch of them. What resources are there for learning Chinese minority languages? For example: Naxi Dongba script : ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

Toneless Sinetic Dialects/Topolects

One of Mandarin's biggest characteristics is its tones. Other Sinitic dialects/topolects aren't any different: Cantonese, Hakka, etc. Question: Are there any toneless Sinitic dialects/topolects? ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Is there a Chinese word for liberation?

When I studied Mandarin Chinese in the early 1990's my teacher told me that there is no word for "liberation" because it is not a concept in Chinese culture. She thought for a minute, tried a few ...
2
votes
3answers
132 views

How to say “Avoid” as in “Avoid going to a place”

I've always struggled with the proper translation of "Avoid". Is there a way to best say "avoid going to a place". For example, if I wanted to say that " I believe that if I want to embrace chinese ...
2
votes
5answers
119 views

凤毛麟角 - How to use?

I think that the 成语 "凤毛麟角" is pretty awesome, and I would like to learn how to use it. Could you please help me? My teacher said I could use it to describe a person who is truly unique, but when I ...
2
votes
3answers
128 views

Difference between 检索 and 找

I'm interested in what the exact difference is in usage between 检索 and 找 - I know that we can saying 检索资料 but I'm wondering if we could "检索" something that is a bit more concrete. For example, ...
5
votes
3answers
297 views

说服: shuìfú vs. shuōfú

I've been trying to find some sort of indication as to the differences between these two pronunciations for 说服: shuìfú vs. shuōfú. I used to always read it: shuōfú, until I was corrected by a ...
1
vote
4answers
206 views

Can you use 丰富 to describe a day?

So, I'm trying to figure out how to use 丰富 most correctly. I know that youcan say 今天的晚餐很丰富。 But how else could it be used? Could I say “今天过得好丰富?“ in say a written diary? Thanks for the help guys!
2
votes
3answers
282 views

Is there a difference between 你无意之中流露出来 and 你无意流露出来?

In a casual conversation, one person didn't know he unwittingly revealed he doesn't like whatever, ice cream. The other person says... 你无意之中流露出来 which translates to roughly to "You let it slip." I ...
10
votes
3answers
246 views

When not to use 厕所 when asking for the toilet?

I've noticed sometimes in polite company or in the company of strangers some people will saying they are going to wash their hands 去洗手 (qù xǐshǒu) instead of going to the toilet 去上厕所 (qù shàng cèsuǒ). ...
2
votes
3answers
166 views

What is the most appropriate translation for this law article?

In this Skeptics answer, a user provided a rough translation of a Chinese law article — from this source — about vehicles and pedestrians using Google Translate. So I thought, why don't we provide a ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

How Formal is 为期 (wei2qi1)- to last?

In a recent podcast I've been listening to - imandarinpod - the term 为期 was mentioned. It was loosely explained to mean "to last" as in for a period of time. I know that we can say something like ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Can 余 (more than) go after the measure word?

I've just learned a new formal word 余 and I'm trying to understand it's placement. I know that roughly it means 多 but in a more formal way. If for example, I was saying "more than 500 people" I think ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Do you use 个 when describing distances/weights?

I'm trying to figure out if you ever use 个 when describing distances or weight. For example, people say "十公里“ NOT "十个公里“ - right? does the same apply for weights? like 公斤?
3
votes
2answers
135 views

How do you say “Take the next right” when giving directions

I'm interested to see if anyone can help me out. I was talking to a chinese friend and I was trying to give them directions - however, I was struggling saying the simple phrase in english of "Once you ...
2
votes
3answers
104 views

How do I say “right at that time”?

I'm trying to explain a situation I was in recently in written Chinese. How would I say "Luckily, right at that time Mark heard my voice" Would it simply be 幸亏, 她正好那时候听到我的声音,马上叫了起来“ Thanks for ...
4
votes
4answers
623 views

How to use “whether” in Chinese - do you need to say 如果?

I've always had a bit of difficulty with statements with the term "whether" in Chinese. In this sentence I would like to say "I asked him whether or not he had met Mark." - I translated this in my ...
4
votes
2answers
393 views

Is there a single word for “無用”

I wish to know is there in Chinese language a single word for "無用"?
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Translation; “出来混的,迟早要还的”

What's a good translation for: 出来混的, 迟早要还的 What comes around, goes around?
2
votes
1answer
76 views

How do you say “to do” When asking a kid what he wants to do when he grows up?

The classic question (at least when speaking english) is to ask a child what he wants "to do" when he grows up. Now this "to do" is very vague - and, in a lot of instances, doesn't actually mean "do" ...
3
votes
2answers
242 views

Difference between 看作 and 看成

Recently, I've been listening to a chinese podcast and in the podcast I heard someone say "中国人常常把谦虚看作一种美德“。 I have also heard the term “叫作” within the podcast - I'm wondering, is there a clear ...
2
votes
3answers
280 views

Accepting compliments (without rejecting them)

I find it much more sincere to accept compliments and show how grateful I am rather than to belittle myself. Therefore I would like to know some phrases in Chinese to accept compliments and show my ...
2
votes
3answers
197 views

Could you repeat that?

I sometimes need to say the equivalent of sorry, could you repeat that... I have found one comfortable phrase (for me) to handle this situation but would like to learn other phrases to use in this ...
5
votes
3answers
713 views

How to say “being” as in “Being jewish”

I've always had some difficulty trying to translate the english "being" as in "being Christian" or "being American". I'd like to say "in the U.S. being Jewish isn't difficult." Should I say ...
4
votes
2answers
307 views

How do I say “Have you spoken to A about B yet?”

Quick question, how would I say "Have you spoken with your parents about me staying at your house yet?" Could it simply be 我问一下,关于我在你们家住几天, 你跟你的家庭说了没 ? or does 关于 sound too formal?
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Appropriate responses to unexpected gift?

I have been on the receiving end of an unexpected gift. Actually I was in a restaurant and the owner (who knows I am learning Cantonese/Mandarin), just gives me some dong gua tong (soup). I didn't ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Yale tone marks and low-level 'h' for vowel-less syllables

For tone-marked Yale, the tone mark goes over the first vowel and then (for tones 4,5,6) an 'h' is placed after the last vowel. But what about the syllables without any vowels: hm, hng, m, ng ? I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Introduction. What's the difference between 介绍, 简介, 入门, 引导, 导语, 导论, 引子?

I've seen 介绍, 简介 and 导语 in news pieces, which labels a one sentence synopsis of the article. Is there any difference between these three? 介绍, 简介 look to be interchangeable, and used commonly like 介绍 ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

How do you say “Clean” as in “clean a city”

How would one say "clean" as in "Clean a city" For example, in english we would say. "Once a month everyone in Rwanda leaves their house to clean the city" Could I say "打扫城市“ ”把城市弄干净”? Or is there ...
5
votes
3answers
108 views

The Shi Shi Shi Shi Shi poem?

A while ago I came across this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shi_Shi_shi_shi_shi Very interesting. I wonder if there's any more homophonic poems like this? Or even is there a genre?
3
votes
3answers
43 views

Do people say 有能力 Do Something or 有DoSomething 的能力

I've always been a bit confused about the order of using 有能力 and I'm hoping someone can clarify. Do people say "有能力 Do something“ or 有 Do Something 的能力。 For example, could I say "他没有能力写代码?”

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