2
votes
3answers
138 views

Which tone is it (in pinyin)?

Following on from this question Asking "what's the pinyin/character for X?". I've had difficulty previously asking native speakers which tone I should use for a particular character if ...
6
votes
3answers
237 views

When should 了 be after the verb and when should it be at the end of the sentence?

In a sentence such as "因为我去面试了,所以我刮了胡子", in one case, 了 is after the sentence, while in the other case it's after the verb, even though in both cases, 了 is used to express the past tense. So how to ...
10
votes
1answer
273 views

Geopolitical History of Simplified Chinese

I've always been fascinated about the etymology of languages and believe that we are seeing a significant series of changes within chinese. There are some fairly good technical references for the ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How do native Chinese greet each other on daily basis?

I have read somewhere that "你好" and "你好吗?" are mostly textbook greetings and are not used by native Chinese, at least not on daily basis. I would also find it hard to believe that two friends who know ...
6
votes
1answer
363 views

Resources for learning classical Chinese

I have a very strong interest in classical Chinese (文言文), but I am unable to find any ressources for learning it that don't assume Chinese is your mother language. Can anybody give me some pointers?
5
votes
3answers
399 views

Sentence structure “I'm [doing something] because [reason]”?

I am familiar with the sentence structure "因为。。。所以。。。," but what is the correct way to say "I am [doing something] because [reason]"? For example, "I am asking this question because I am clueless." ...
1
vote
1answer
249 views

Typing Yale Romanization

I learned Cantonese using Yale Romanization, but I'm unable to type it easily because of the accent marks representing the tones. Is there a quick and easy way to do this without using a special ...
7
votes
2answers
340 views

What is the proper usage of 而已 in Chinese?

I always hear Chinese people making sentences using 而已 - but I've never quite, 100%, understood how to use this in sentences myself. What is the correct way to apply it, and what is the English ...
17
votes
3answers
649 views

但是, 可是 and 不过 - how to know which one to use?

According to my dictionary, 但是, 可是 and 不过 all mean "but/however"? However are there any differences between them? Are there some cases, where one can be used but not another?
10
votes
4answers
786 views

Classical Chinese Literature - What languages could be written with it? And why?

I understand that classical Chinese (see Wikipedia) was very different from spoken Chinese (at least in the last centuries of its usage). Nevertheless, despite or maybe even because of this, it was ...
5
votes
4answers
158 views

Differences between 蝉 and 知了?

What are the main differences between 蝉 (chán) and 知了 (zhīliǎo) both meaning cicada. Do they both refer to the same species? Will either saying be understood by the majority of native speakers? Is ...
4
votes
2answers
121 views

Looking for Pinyin standards

I have noticed discrepancies in how native Mandarin speakers spell certain words in Pinyin reflecting differences in pronunciation, for instance, pángbiān vs. pángbian and zǎoshang vs. zǎoshàng. I've ...
4
votes
2answers
836 views

What are some common Chinese terms used when playing soccer

I regularly play soccer with a group of Chinese guys and wanted to share terms that I've learnt over the years. I would appreciate if anyone can fill in any gaps (or correct me if I'm wrong).
7
votes
2answers
280 views

What's the difference between 房子 and 屋?

It seems like "house" is usually translated as 房子 (fáng zi) in standard Chinese, although 屋 (wū) is also a common translation, especially in Cantonese. Is there a difference between the two? When ...
3
votes
2answers
750 views

Etymology of 奴隶 (Slave)

I vaguely remember hearing somebody make observations about the word 奴隶 (slave). I would like to verify the impressions of the person who was speaking as being factual or just his impressions. What is ...
6
votes
1answer
166 views

General guidelines for learning stroke order

A friend asked me for a brief description of the general guidelines for writing Chinese characters. What are the simplest ways to describe those "rules" that apply across most characters?
12
votes
2answers
130 views

Is the usage of European punctuation acceptable in Chinese writing?

Chinese punctuation is a little bit different from European punctuation, for example: The full stop (period) is "。" instead of "." The ellipsis are six vertically centered dots (… …) instead of just ...
9
votes
1answer
96 views

Chinese for “vote-up”, “vote-down” and “vote to close”

What are the correct Chinese words to use for the following: Vote-up Vote-down Vote to close I assume these will have been included in certain social platforms in China.
13
votes
3answers
219 views

Character Pronunciation Clues

Is there any way to know what a character's pronunciation or tone is, based on the strokes or radicals that make up the characters?
8
votes
3answers
172 views

Why does the radical for water and ice often look so weird

When I see the radical being used in 洗 and 凉 in some books or even sougou. They break it up into a broken radical that looks nothing like it. Is it one of those things that are related only to ...
0
votes
1answer
514 views

Sample Mandarin Grammar (Sentences)

First, thank you to everyone for taking the time to read this question. I am curious whether knowledgeable native speakers could assist me with the following grammar questions: I am aware of the ...
8
votes
3answers
342 views

What's the pronunciation of 不在乎

All the dictionaries I've checked say bu4 zai4 hu5 but should it actually be bu2 zai4 hu5 I get different answers searching for 不对, some dictionaries say bu4dui4 others bu2dui4, but as ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I get a Cantonese keyboard on an iPhone?

Like Pinyin, but I need something that can recognize Cantonese instead of Mandarin. The only Chinese keyboards recognize Mandarin.
1
vote
1answer
65 views

I can't recognise the 八 radical in many characters

I have my oxford and tuttle dictionary in front of me and the radical list has a lot of characters with 八 as it's radical, which means "divide" apparently. But where is this radical in 兰 ,半 ,弟, 单 etc ...
1
vote
3answers
177 views

Dialects/Topolects: Tone Marks?

Mandarin, as everyone probably knows, has four tones: 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th tone. Each tone has its own tone mark that represents that tone: 1st tone = ˉ (macron) 2nd tone = ˊ (acute accent) 3rd ...
5
votes
2answers
124 views

Can I use 完 after all verb to say finish doing activities?

Is it okay if I want to say 做完 (finish working)? I have come across 吃完 (finish eating). Is it possible to say finish [doing bla bla] by writing ...完? ... can be filled with 做 or 写 etc...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

when will we use 没(mei3) and 不(bu4) before verb in sentences? [duplicate]

I have read some articles chinese, my question is about above subject, because if I want to say : 我没喝 (it is wrong) 我不喝 (it is right) are there list of verb can be followed by 没(mei3) and 不(bu4) ?
6
votes
5answers
688 views

Are there any free fonts designed to help learn/read Chinese?

Problem As a Chinese student I found that one of the first barrier is reading. Indeed, when trying to acquire new vocabulary one might be faced with the opacity of the Chinese character as opposed to ...
7
votes
2answers
173 views

How to translate “折腾” in english

I don't think the official translation "zhe teng" is a best answer,but I don't know how to translate this word properly.
2
votes
2answers
479 views

tones when singing a chinese song? [duplicate]

if tones are so important in chinese as to even distinguish shades of meaning, how can a chinese sing a song? in music every syllable has its own note/tone, so when we sing a song, we must disregard ...
3
votes
3answers
282 views

What character is this? (yu2)

The book "A First Course in Literature" from Shaddick uses this character: In the vocabulary section it is explained as "TV to cross; to exceed". But I can't seem to find this character anywhere ...
3
votes
4answers
115 views

Can someone explain 进入 in this sentence?

非常抱歉 , 我们无法提供相关的API进入词库数据库 ,这些是受到版权保护的 。 So basically they can't provide access to the database via API, but I'm wondering why they use 进入, as I thought it was related to physical entrance of a ...
14
votes
9answers
3k views

How offensive is 他妈的?

How offensive is the expression 他妈的? What is an English expression with a similar degree of offensiveness? In what situations is this expression appropriate / not appropriate?
3
votes
4answers
169 views

Translations: 'Crack' as in 'Crack Knuckles'

How to translate 'crack'? As in: To crack ones knuckles? To crack ones fingers? and other joints/bones/etc? (Supposedly in 四川话 it's 'pi' - I don't know the character, hopefully @Huang can let us ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

Translation: 地灾

We're getting 地灾 warnings over here...but what is a 地灾? Apparently it's short for 地质灾害... adsotrans dictionary defines it, word-for-word, as a geological disaster; which is pretty meaningless ...
3
votes
4answers
516 views

Most common words in Cantonese?

There are many resources documenting the most common words for Mandarin, but none for Cantonese. Is there a list of the most common 500/1000/2000 words in Cantonese? Thanks!
7
votes
2answers
343 views

If the simplified version of 態 is 态 is why isn't there one for 熊?

I ask because I'm curious as to what's the reasoning behind simplification. It would look something like: 太 灬
3
votes
4answers
345 views

Did 劵 and 券 become variants in PRC/simplified in 1995?

The topic of 劵 vs 券 came up a couple of months ago and I did some Internet research at the time. I turned up a document about an orthographic reform in China in 1995 which included, among many other ...
-1
votes
2answers
77 views

Translation: 凉虾 (米凉虾)

Is there an official (bit of a stretch) translation for 凉虾 (米凉虾) in English? Wikipedia only has a chinese page: 凉虾 The only info I could find is, well, awful: 百度知道 宜昌凉虾英文介绍 Yichang is located ...
1
vote
2answers
161 views

意饺: English Translation?

I've seen 意饺 translated as ravioli. Obviously 意饺 = 意大利 + 饺子, but does it only refer to ravioli? There's a lot of different kinds of Italian "dumplings", no? Can it refer to other things besides ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Can someone translate this charm? [closed]

We found this charm in a box of buttons, and I'm curious what it means... For all I know it may not be Chinese, but it looks like it. I tried translating it using the Google Translate app... While it ...
-1
votes
2answers
326 views

filial piety[孝]: what it is and what it isn't(?)

孝、孝顺,孝道、孝敬 all talk of filial piety which is a huge part of Chinese language and culture. 愚孝 on the other hand means "stupidly filial" and is defined by Taiwans Ministry of Education as, ...
-1
votes
1answer
217 views

Official translation for “南繁”?

Is there an official translation for "南繁"? As in "南繁基地" and other "official" names. I've looked on baidu and other sites but have only come up with things like "south reproduction"... Edit: ...
2
votes
3answers
142 views

What does 一个泡子 mean?

What does 一个泡子 really mean ? my teacher had asked our class to do some assignment about our names in chinese and find the meaning too. I use chinese simplified in google translate to find my name. but ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does the word 萌 mean “cute”?

A friend of mine said in a photo of me, my eyes looked very 萌(meng2). 你的眼睛很萌 My dictionary defines 萌 as; 萌 méng (动) sprout; bud; germinate But apparently in this context it means ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views
4
votes
3answers
426 views

How to say I want to leave colloquially?

How to say I want to leave or I want to go home colloquially in the case of we are visiting someone's place? Let's say I'm visiting my auntie, then when it's the time for me to leave, what should I ...
7
votes
3answers
759 views

How to Say the “something” in the phrase “Do something”

I was trying to explain the meaning of the phrase "hang out" to a Chinese friend, and the first thing that came to mind was 一起做什么了, with me intending 什么了 to mean "something". He seemed to understand ...
1
vote
2answers
413 views

Why Is The Color Red Considered Lucky In Chinese Language and Culture?

A constant feature in all things Chinese is the color (colour, for those yank-challanged among y'all) red. As common knowledge goes, it is because red is considered to be lucky. Why?
4
votes
6answers
312 views

Mandarin Equivalent: “duh!”

"duh!" Advanced English Dictionary duh Disdainful indication that something is obvious. "It’s hot in the desert. - Well, duh!" Is there a Mandarin equivalent of 'duh!'?

15 30 50 per page