5
votes
1answer
330 views

Why 意大利 and not e.g., 意国

I always wondered why all main European countries are spelled in chinese with a Hanzi that identifies them or some about their origins more the 国 morpheme, Italy has a uncontested importance in ...
7
votes
2answers
479 views

How does CJK Decomposition compare to the Wikimedia Commons Chinese characters decomposition data?

I found two public databases that describe the composition of Chinese characters. 1 - CJK Decomposition Data 2 - Chinese Characters Decomposition on Wiki Commons I can see how the formats they use ...
2
votes
3answers
205 views

Is it 說 /说 / shuō or 講 / 讲 / jiǎng for “to speak a language”?

I've realized that I still don't know the way to talk about "speaking a language", for instance the Chinese equivalents to sentences like these: Do you speak English? I can speak a little Chinese. ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

When to use [time of day]+饭 vs [time of day]+餐?

I see both used seemingly interchangeably, what is curious to me is that the same person will sometimes use one over the other. Example sentences: "我想吃晚饭" or "我在煮早餐" Looking into the roots of the ...
11
votes
8answers
673 views

How to translate: 人是铁,饭是钢,一顿不吃烦得慌. What is the logic?

人是铁,饭是钢,一顿不吃烦得慌 I can not really figure out to translate this sentence. I guess it basically means that not eating is a bad thing. The first sentences - do they indicate that "iron" and "steel" ...
1
vote
2answers
230 views

Are there words in Mandarin written by characters for other words that mean the same thing?

For example, in written Chinese 给 is used a ideograph for "to give" and is read with whatever the word for "to give" is in the various languages, even if the word is not cognate or in any way related ...
8
votes
5answers
342 views

What is a good form of address for a male friend who is too old to be 小, too young to be 老, and too humble to be called 大?

I have a male "friend", last name 柯 (kē) who is over 30. From ages 18-30 or so, he went by 小柯, but that seems less and less appropriate as he gets older. Always going by his full name seems overly ...
9
votes
1answer
451 views

How much faster is it to write Simplified over Traditional?

Speed of writing is cited as an advantage of simplified Chinese over traditional, which is especially important for schoolchildren, but are there any studies or measurements to this effect? How much ...
10
votes
1answer
221 views

Stroke order of 力 vs 九

I'm curious as to why the stroke order of 力 is different to the stroke order of 九. One page I found (力 and 九 stroke order) theorises that the reason is because 力 has "touching" strokes and there is a ...
1
vote
4answers
169 views

When submitting forms on the web, you often click a button label 'submit'. I was wondering how to express the word 'submit' in chinese [closed]

At the bottom of a web form, you might click update, or submit. I was wondering what the Chinese word for 'submit' is, and if this is correct: 提交. Similarly, if there is a distinct word for 'update'.
3
votes
2answers
137 views

When should 之 be used as a particle?

When should 之 be used as a particle? There doesn't seem to be a straightforward answer on Nciku. On Wiktionary, the entry states: Indicates that the previous word has possession of the next one. ...
2
votes
3answers
172 views

Books or websites listing *polysyllabic* Mandarin terms with same pronunciation differing only by tones

I'm interested in finding any webpages or books that list words and phrases of more than one character that share the same pronunciation but not the same tones. For instance, here are some terms I've ...
1
vote
2answers
330 views

“C'est la vie” (such is life) in Chinese

On Wiktionary there are two ways listed for saying "such is life" / "c'est la vie" in Chinese. Both look like literal translations: 這就是生活, 这就是生活 (zhè jiùshì shēnghuó) 生活就是這樣, 生活就是这样 (shēnghuó jiùshì ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

What is the difference between the suffixes 面 and 边? [duplicate]

What is the difference between 面 and 边 when they are used as suffixes, e.g. 前面 and 前边? Is one preferred over the other? Please provide examples of their different usages in both written and spoken ...
3
votes
4answers
189 views

Is it possible to use 过 with specific time words?

This is somewhat similar to this question: When to use 了 and when to use 过 to express past actions or events. I understand that the 过 particle helps express the idea of having had the experience of ...
7
votes
4answers
554 views

What's the title for addressing an unknown young person the same age as you?

For example, you are a 20 year old male/female. You are walking on the street, then you see a male stranger who seems to be the same age as your. He is in hurry, you see him drop his wallet. You pick ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

What are popular Chinese songs for toddlers? [closed]

I am trying to teach my daughter Chinese. Since she loves to sing songs in English, I believe that teaching her to sing Chinese songs will help her to learn more Chinese. Unfortunately, because I did ...
8
votes
6answers
354 views

Should the term 廁所 (bathroom) be used for both a home and public toilet?

I found this word, 廁所 (Cèsuǒ). Does it mean a toilet outside house like a toilet in the mall? However, for a bathroom in a house which has only a toilet and a shower and there is no bathtub. How can ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

What is the difference between 很 + adjective and adjective + 得很

Since learning the adjective + 得很 rule I have only seen it once in writing with a two syllable adjective。 What are the differences in register and/or meaning between 很 + adjective and adjective+得很?
1
vote
3answers
184 views

Tamen dou1 hen3 hao3

As I am reading the New Practical Chinese Reader From: Resources for learning Mandarin Chinese And I got to the translation of Tamen dou hen hao and I was wondering something. The translation of ...
6
votes
7answers
566 views

Correct/Polite way of asking “Can we speak in chinese?”

I would like to preface this by saying I'm Australian and speak with an Australian accent when I'm speaking English which can be hard to digest for a lot of people new to Australia. A lot of 1st gen ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Effective and polite way to end a phone conversation

What are some ways that I can let the other speaker know I want to finish a phone conversation and am going to hang up. I frequently come across as too abrupt. Usually something along the lines of ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How to politely ask someone to please be quiet

There are particularly loud Chinese fellows working together in the university study room I'm working in. How do I politely ask them to quiet down? I found a literal translation on Google Translate ...
1
vote
2answers
458 views

Politeness in Mandarin

I like to say please sometimes when I want to be polite to someone when asking them for something. Is this customary in Mandarin? For example, if I wanted to ask for some water, I might ask my ...
11
votes
4answers
971 views

What is a polite way to ask “may I ask who is speaking?”

A man I don't know calls me and starts talking to me in Chinese. All is fine, except I don't know who he is. I sense I'm not the person he's looking for. How do I ask who he is without being too ...
3
votes
2answers
664 views

How do I call for a male waiter?

For female waiters, my dad taught me to use the phrase "小姐 ". But for male waiters, my dad doesn't know how to properly call them. I discussed the possibility of using "da ge", "小ge", "da di", "小 ...
3
votes
2answers
274 views

How to address fellow students junior to oneself (学妹,学弟)?

I have sometimes wondered what would be the appropriate way of addressing (fellow) students that are junior to oneself. Given name? Full name? Name + 妹/第? Are there even cases where one can use 哥/兄 ...
10
votes
2answers
474 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
207 views

Where is the correct place to use 您 when addressing others?

Almost every foreign text book I've seen mentions 您 as a polite or formal address to others, however I rarely hear it said and rarely see it written except when addressing customers and occasionally ...
11
votes
6answers
482 views

When is it appropriate to address a lady as 先生?

Chairman Mao addressed Soong Ching-ling as 宋庆龄先生. Yang Jiang was also addressed as 杨绛先生 by the public. My dad used to tell me to address some of his female colleagues as 先生 too. I wonder why a lady ...
4
votes
2answers
290 views

Etymology of 对象

When I look up the etymology of 对象 on the internet, most of the answers (link1 link2) refer to an explanation from 《幽默与笑话》. The source makes me doubt if it's the real origin of the word: ...
11
votes
5answers
693 views

Difference between 特色, 特點, 特性, 特質, and 特徵

Looking up these five words in dictionaries gives results that are almost identical. In Chinese-English dictionaries, I find explanations identical or very close to: a characteristic; a ...
-1
votes
2answers
543 views

Where to start learning mandarin [closed]

I'm about to start learning mandarin chinese myself, without any teachers but with a help of textbooks and video (audio) lessons. My question is: where do I start, I mean, is it better to start with ...
1
vote
4answers
386 views

Are Chinese language equivalent of English /p/ and /b/ sounds the same? [closed]

As per my knowledge, both these sounds are considered the same in Mandarin. Do Chinese speakers them have difficulty in distinguishing between say Paul and Ball? How do they deal with it?
8
votes
7answers
348 views

Is 了 optional when a time word is present?

In sentences that already have a point in time word that indicates that the event happened in the past, is 了 optional? Or could there be some additional meaning with it present? For instance: ...
2
votes
2answers
323 views

Are “好饱了” and “好包了” both correct?

"好饱了" and "好包了" both seem to be used to mean "I'm full". I'm pretty sure that "好饱了" is definitely correct but they both get lots of Google hits and if I combine the search with the English "full" ...
5
votes
4answers
762 views

How to say “I'm finished”?

When we've finished doing something like I've finished (doing my homework) what we should say. Can we say 好了 "I'm finished"? (Hǎole) How about "are you finished"? Can we say "好了吗"?. (Hǎole ma)
3
votes
4answers
149 views

Possessives in Chinese

I used Google Translate for these sentences but I'm not sure they are correct: Mom 's white dog 妈妈的白狗 My mom's white dog 我妈妈的白狗 And it is possible if I say Mom 's white dog 妈妈的白色的狗 My mom's ...
2
votes
7answers
427 views

How can I translate this correctly into English “今晚怎么意思”

I have a group of friends who regularly meet to play soccer, someone asked on WeChat: 今晚怎么意思 The reply given was the time that we start "7" (meaning 7pm). I may be missing something very ...
2
votes
3answers
121 views

Headline: “YouTube创始人从雅虎手中收购Delicious”. What is the purpose of “手中”

If you take out 手中, isn't the translation, YouTube founder buys Delicious from Yahoo, still conveyed? What does 手中 add? http://tech.sina.com.cn/i/2011-04-28/09065460713.shtml
5
votes
3answers
424 views

Some characters look different handwritten and on the computer - how to learn the differences?

I've mainly been learning to read/write Chinese using computer based software as opposed to going to lessons etc. However, I've realised that there is a small handfull of characters that look ...
7
votes
4answers
283 views

Why is the radical of 难 > 隹 and not 又

难 nan2, difficult; hard Kangxi radical 172 隹 My teacher says the radical for this character is 又 but the dictionary is clear 隹
1
vote
3answers
157 views

How can I type 吗 in Pinyin keyboard setup?

My Mac has a "Pinyin - Traditional" keyboard mapping that shows the most frequently used Chinese characters for the sound typed (i.e. "m" or "a") so I can select the Chinese character I want. This ...
7
votes
4answers
492 views

Origin of beautiful kingdom and hero kingdom

Why in Mandarin chinese, USA is beautiful kingdom and England is hero kingdom?
1
vote
2answers
99 views

what kind of gematria systems are there in chinese?

since in china culture , there is a lot of materials about astronomy and supernatural methods so i interested to know about Gematria as exist in most of languages ... like this : Gematria Calulator ...
2
votes
3answers
190 views

list of Chinese language country name abbreviations

In watching CCTV-4 news, I frequently see country names abbreviated but miss the leading character before I can look it up carefully (I know the major ones). Is there a list anywhere of those ...
4
votes
3answers
144 views

So technically, the correct usage of 得 for run very fast is 跑得很快 - why are there so many Baidu hits for 跑的很快 and 跑地很快?

Is there 的, 地 and 得 confusion among native speakers as well or am I missing some subtleties of the language?
8
votes
4answers
208 views

Is there any difference between 汤 and 羹?

Are 汤 and 羹 used to refer to different kinds of soup or is 羹 merely a part of the full word for soup (汤羹)? For example, is one used to refer to light soups while the other is reserved for heavy ...
9
votes
3answers
373 views

What is the equivalent of the English word 'Fail' in Mandarin?

Fail is a pretty popular term on the internet these days, and one I'm quite fond of. Looking in my Chinese dictionary I can't find a great equivalent - is there a good way to say this? What would be ...
1
vote
3answers
147 views

What is 猫舅 in the following sentence?

I assume this is a cultural thing that I am not aware of, but a friend just updated their status to say: 希望猫舅变成天使守护全家 Xīwàng māo jiù biàn chéng tiānshǐ shǒuhù quán jiā Who or what is 猫舅?

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