1
vote
2answers
262 views

What is the equivalent of “冒昧打扰” in English?

In Chinese, we have the expression "冒昧打扰" màomèidǎrǎo. To put it into a sentence: 冒昧打扰,请您见谅。 màomèi dǎrǎo, qǐng nín jiànliàng Is there a similar expression in English?
7
votes
1answer
255 views

Did a king ask for a ball? How did 王 + 求 become 球?

The character 球 means ball and is composed of 王 meaning king and 求 meaning demand. Where does this composition come from? Did a king ask for a ball?
2
votes
6answers
353 views

How to translate “读书好 好读书 读好书”? [closed]

A famous Chinese writer whose pen name is Bingxin once remarked, "读书好 好读书 读好书", which is used to encourage Chinese students to read books. In this sentence, there are altogether 3 "好"s. The first and ...
6
votes
2answers
289 views

Why don't all questions have the “ma” 吗 particle at the end?

I've been using this site to get my basic foothold in Mandarin. If you scroll down you'll see a section entitled "WHAT", including some questions like "What's the matter?" and "What did you say?" and ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
248 views

When is it appropriate to use 先生?

I'm trying to figure out when the title 先生 is used. Is it used for Mr., husband, honorary person, or something else? 谢谢
2
votes
2answers
263 views

How is pronunciation discussed in Chinese?

Here's an English example: Learner: Wait, how is cow pronounced? Native: COW, like a K sound, and ow. But in Chinese there are no phonetic letters. So how are children taught how to pronounce ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How do we describe a “sophisticated person”?

Is there a word for "sophisticated" in Chinese? "Sophisticated" here will mean of a person or their thoughts, reactions, and understanding, being aware of and able to interpret complex issues: ...
1
vote
1answer
153 views

Why is 真都不错 used here instead of 都真不错?

中国的风景都真不错。 A native speaker told me that the above sentence was wrong, so the corrected version should be: 中国的风景真(的)都不错。 Is the first sentence's grammar wrong or it just sounds unnatural? ...
5
votes
3answers
236 views

Learn the characters at the same time as the language?

Should I learn Mandarin basics first through pinyin and worry about the characters later, or should I learn them together? Pros and cons?
6
votes
3answers
383 views

What does it say on the stamp?

I was requested by a friend to find out what this stamp is. Do you know what it says on the stamp?
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Included or Not Included As In “以後” “以來”, etc

Check out the references below, we see that Japanese has the same problem as Chinese: Does "以X" include the word itself, eg. is 1 included in "1以上"? As what I have seen, in old Chinese books, there ...
2
votes
1answer
374 views

Are tones sometimes glossed over?

To elaborate, although ni3 hao3 has a double third tone, when I hear native speakers say it, it's said so quickly that they definitely are not using that tone, nor is there feasibly time to use the ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

how to translate 大脑迅速转动起来? [closed]

When I first came across the phrase "head starts spinning", I thought it meant 大脑迅速转动起来 in Chinese, which means "you start processing a lot info in your head in order to figure out something quickly". ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

What is the difference between 依偎 and 偎傍?

I looked them up and they both have relatively the same meaning. So what's the difference between the two?
6
votes
6answers
455 views

What is the difference between 餐馆 and 饭店? Is 饭店 used for restaurant or hotel?

饭店 and 餐馆 can both mean restaurant. My Chinese friend here in Dongguan tells me 饭店 is not commonly used to mean hotel. I want to understand in what contexts both of these words are used. 谢谢.
5
votes
2answers
164 views

Correct usage of “behind schedule”

What I would like to know is the proper way to say "I am behind schedule" in the general sense similar to "I am running two hours late for the meeting", or "This project is two weeks overdue". When I ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Meaning of these signs

Could someone please tell me what these signs mean, the OCR couldn't read them.
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Missionary Romanization?

I'm interested in the romanization system, or similar systems to, the one that produced translations such as "Confucius" and "Mencius". These names are very easy for non-Chinese speakers to pronounce. ...
5
votes
1answer
583 views

What is the correct pronunciation of 垃圾?

The word 垃圾 is sometimes pronounced laji, but other times I've seen it pronounced as lese, which pronunciation is deemed to be more correct? Are they both interchangeable?
3
votes
1answer
244 views

Comparing 朝 vs. 向 vs. 往

In talking about physical/geographical directions, I'm pretty comfortable using 朝 and 向 and 往 for the meaning of "to" or "toward". But I would be hard put to describe to a Chinese language learner any ...
7
votes
7answers
914 views

Why do native speakers often say a character has “no meaning”?

Many times I will know all the characters in a name but one & I'll ask what that one character means. 9 times out of 10 the response is, "That character has no meaning". While it might be true ...
2
votes
1answer
197 views

How would you translate 细腻 into English?

My Chinese coworkers were describing Korean drama TV shows & said that the actors faces are "细腻" xi4ni4. When I look this up in my dictionary, I get 2 definitions "fine & smooth" or ...
5
votes
5answers
484 views

Why do you say 我没有错 instead of 我不错 to say “I'm not wrong”? When should I use 没有?

I'm trying to understand when 没有 should be used instead of 不 when negating a sentence. Consider the example "I'm not wrong." Why is it 没有错? How can I know when to use 没有 when negating a sentence? ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

What is the Chinese for “Harbin salad”

There is a dish from Northern China called Harbin salad in English as well as in Russian. I want to find out what it is called in Chinese. Here is a link that describes the dish.
2
votes
3answers
189 views

Relative clause in Chinese

How do you say "there aren't people I can talk to" ? 没有对他们可以说话的人?or else "the person with whom I had a fight last week is now a friend" and all those sentences that require with/to/etc.?
1
vote
2answers
527 views

Which dialect(s) to study before visiting Shenzhen? [closed]

I'm looking at travelling to Shenzhen for a month. Which dialect(s) should I study? For speaking with factory managers, workers, and for day to day life?
2
votes
3answers
241 views

Proper use of “closet”

I apologize if this is very elementary: I've never heard of closet referred to as 壁橱, only as 衣柜, but the direct translation doesn't seem apropriate. I've also heard 衣柜 used to reference cupboard as ...
4
votes
3answers
278 views

What's the difference between 了, 著 and 到 when used as verb complements?

I need help with sorting out the difference between 了, 著 and 到 when used as verb complements. I have learnt most of my Chinese in Taiwan and in my experience, Taiwanese people don't use 著 as a verb ...
7
votes
1answer
64 views

黃中 = being employed as an imperial government official/having a career in the imperial government?

Many Chinese clans have a "昭穆", a kind of poem from which each generation of the clan picks a successive character as a prefix to given names, so we can easily identify people from one generation to ...
4
votes
3answers
291 views

How would you translate the word '面子'?

I want to describe that a certain action gives you '面子', or that people do things to try and maintain or protect their '面子' but I can't think of an appropriate English word for it.
2
votes
1answer
94 views

How do you translate the word 'flight' in the context of a golf ball?

I am trying to describe that the design of a golf ball gives it a good flight (not necessarily the same as distance). This is an article that describes the basics of ball flight in golf. It makes me ...
2
votes
2answers
191 views

How to translate “Muscle Memory” to chinese?

I cannot find a perfect word to describe "记忆". So any one can help me ?
2
votes
3answers
200 views

质数 vs 素数​​​​​​​​

质数 and 素数 both mean "prime numbers" in chinese. What's the difference in their nuances and usage?
1
vote
1answer
72 views

What are the characters on this image, and what do they translate to?

Here is the image in question: http://i.imgur.com/e4bPJv6.gif Thank you for your time!
5
votes
1answer
206 views

Stroke order for 印

I've seen two different stroke orders for this character: and Which one is more "correct" or widely used? It seems to me that the fourth stroke in the latter picture is incorrect, and that it ...
5
votes
2answers
254 views

How do I type the lü for Character Romanization?

I am studying classical Chinese and when I try to type in any words that require the ü it just randomly chooses a character. How do I use the Traditional pinyin entry method on a Mac and get the the ...
5
votes
2answers
856 views

Adding tone marks to characters

I'm looking for a way of adding tone marks above characters. It's fairly easy to add Pinyin with tone marks, but I want to add only tone marks. I want to use this as a teaching tool, because even ...
5
votes
2answers
241 views

In what contexts would I use 由?

I know that 由 means through/via or from but I'm not sure exactly what contexts to use this in. For example the dictionary has this example sentence: 运输问题由他们解决。 I understand this but I would have ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to (hand) write Chinese character faster

Are there any resources / how-to sources about how to write Chinese characters faster than normal while still being readable? It took me forever to take note while in class.
3
votes
10answers
477 views

How do I know when I am “fluent”? [closed]

What in a common test for fluency in Chinese? Is it when I can; talk to a shopkeeper converse meaningfully about a film do business purely in Chinese pass HSK6 When my friends ask I don't know ...
2
votes
3answers
161 views

Mixing of 你 and 您 a stylistic device?

I found this text on the ubuntu.com website. There are what seems to be 2 different levels of politeness mixed together. Or is this a stylistic device? 下载并安装Ubuntu桌面操作系统,你 只需要一张空白的光盘或U盘。无论 您 ...
2
votes
1answer
258 views

Translation of Chinese word is not an English word?

This is really strange. Dictionary.com says "obdurability" isn't a word in English, but it is the ONLY translation for "强韧" in Pleco (my Chinese-English dictionary). Google.com has tons of results, ...
-1
votes
1answer
130 views

How can we translate this sentence into chinese? [closed]

Can you tell me the structure and grammar of the sentence? In the main new effort presented inthis paper, an approach is developed for integrating the PSO algorithm as a driver at both the top ...
6
votes
3answers
340 views

What's the main difference between 为 and 是?

It seems like both 为 and 是 mean "to be". In which cases is one used but not the other? Is it something like the difference between "estar" and "ser" in Spanish and Portuguese? (In the sense that one ...
8
votes
2answers
346 views

Is there a literal meaning of 对不起?

对不起 is one of the first phrases any student learns. We learn it as a set phrase, and don't question why it has this meaning. But we also learn the phrases; 听得懂 - "hear and understand" 听不懂 - ...
2
votes
3answers
258 views

Japanese 気分転換 in Cantonese?

Is there an expression in Cantonese with roughly the same meaning as the Japanese 気分転換 (I guess it's 氣分轉換 in Chinese characters)? I would include an English translation but something might get lost in ...
2
votes
2answers
318 views

Pronouncing pinyin “c” in Shanxi dialect

I had thought I knew how to pronounce pinyin "c," like the English "ts" in "cats." But on a trip to Shanxi it seemed like most of my friends were pronouncing it like pinyin "ch." Village names ending ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Is this a translation of 逍遥游?

I think this is from 逍遥游, but I'm not sure. I just can't locate the following sentence. Thus, the wise man looks into space, and does not regard the small as too little, nor the great as too ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Using 變音 when reading Classical Chinese poetry in Cantonese

The poem 《登鸛雀樓》 (Climbing Stork Tower) has the final line 更上一層樓. If I were to read this in Cantonese, would I pronounce the final character as lau4 (without 變音), or lau2 (with 變音)? My guess would be ...

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