1
vote
3answers
185 views

What’s the function of 還, 了, and 呢 in the sentence, “我還以為他不走了呢”?

After many attempts to understand how the sentence is grammatically structured, I think I'll just ask here. The sentence "我還以為他不走了呢" is from a children's book that was originally in English. I'm ...
7
votes
2answers
97 views

Semantic Puns and Alternative Hanzi

There seems to be a set of Chinese words that have alternatives (disregarding the traditional/simplified split). For example, 借 and 藉. Within this class of alternatives, however, seems to be a set of ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

What grammatical elements are contained in the sentence 你不听不就得了?

A book on function words contains the example sentence: 管他说什么呢, 你不听不就得了。 The first part is simple: 管他说什么呢 = "no matter what" s.o. says (管 as conjunction). The second part however is unclear to me. ...
6
votes
3answers
185 views

Uncommon (Unorthodox?!) Pinyin: What are these?

I find this sort of uncommon, unorthodox, whatever you wanna call it, pinyin very fascinating. These are the ones that I know of already - that, apparently, are still considered to be Mandarin. What ...
6
votes
3answers
162 views

Typing Chinese radicals?

Is there a way to type radicals on a computer? I'd like to insert some in a document I'm writing but I'm not sure how to write those that don't correspond to an actual word. Any tips? Thanks!
-1
votes
2answers
123 views

What is a very comprehensive syntax structure?

the syntax is S V O, one can expand this to include phrases about time and place: S t p V O. What else can be this SVO structure expanded with? How would a maximal structure look like that ...
1
vote
1answer
209 views

Translate identification mark on a Chinese bowl

I am trying to translate the identification mark on a bottom of a Chinese bowl. I am almost positive the right two characters translate to "Jingde" but I can't seem to be able to figure out the left ...
1
vote
3answers
129 views

could you give a semantically explanation of the phrase 聊斋志异?

聊斋志异 is the title of a famous collection of short stories dealing with the supernatural. what actually do the words the title is made of verbatim mean, what is the cultural significance of those ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Difference between 只,之, and 支?

I'm a native speaker but I don't know the first thing about writing Chinese, on Rosetta stone we were shown 一支笔 and 一只狗, whats the difference and where and when do you use each one?
1
vote
5answers
285 views

Do people use 但愿 nowadays?

Quick question: I heard my teacher recently use the term 但愿 - which apparently means to "Wish that they had/something happened". The example give was " 他们但愿我也是从湘西来的” Is this normally used in ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

慢慢来 is the same as 慢慢地来?

慢慢来。 Take your time. It consists of an adjective and verb. Since 慢慢 is an adjective but used in an adverbal way, I assume that this one below should be the original form of 慢慢来. 慢慢 + 地 + 来。 I ...
2
votes
6answers
372 views

What is the function of 甲 in 桂林山水甲天下?

What i know: 甲 is used for enumeration of items or persons in a dialogue, it corresponds to western 1. , a) , I. , X. 桂林山水 = Landscape of Guilin 天下 = literary expression for whole china or ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

What would be the shortest translation for 'Home Delivery' on a restaurant flyer?

送饭上门 is what I have now, but for aesthetic reasons I would like to have a 2 character word. Is 送饭 enough on a restaurant flyer (that's the context I am working with) or do I need the whole four ...
13
votes
14answers
1k views

Techniques for learning and retaining characters

For many of us, memorizing characters is a difficult thing. In Chinese, just because you can speak the word doesn't mean you can read it. Just because you can read it doesn't mean you can write it. At ...
1
vote
3answers
51 views

What are compound words called that are composed of words with similar meaning?

Compared to classical Chinese, there are mostly words composed of more than one word/character. Especially the subgroup of VO-compoundwords (Verb Object) made from two characters have some special ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

What is the translation for 打出頭?

The three characters are very frequent ones, but nethertheless I find it hard to understand the meaning.
5
votes
3answers
327 views

What's the correct classifier for `房子`?

In my little bit of Mandarin experience, I have got that the classifier for 房子 is 座, and also felt that 座 is usually used to refer to a building. However, I have just read that someone here over ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

What is important to consider while building an adverbial phrase?

As far as I know, in Chinese, the adverbial phrase is put right in front of the verb and its purpose is to describe the verb. Sentence pattern: S adverbialphrase V O What are the rules to put a ...
2
votes
2answers
81 views

What is the verbatim meaning of the phrase 了不得了?

I stumpled upon this phrase, unfortunately the verbatim meaning was not explained, only how it is used in a sentence: sentence pattern: 了不得了, sentence. (first 了 read as liao2, second 了 as le) 了不得了 ...
2
votes
2answers
87 views

Is their a trick to find out the intensity of words with similar meanings?

I know that the intensity for the Chinese "but" is 不过》可是》但是》却 and I know that there are other words like this, but I wonder if there is a way to recognise which one has the stronger meaning, without ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

How do I say that I'm Russian?

I know that I should add rén (人) after a country. I found these two in the dictionary: 俄罗斯 俄国 Which one should I use? What would be the difference between them? Thanks
1
vote
1answer
50 views

What classifier imply a volume?

I know that you can use 盒 to suggest that there is a collection of the following noun, such as 一盒麻将牌 (a box of mahjong tiles) and I was wondering which other classifiers I can use for a similar ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Can I use a verb+的 construction to imply an item/noun?

I'm often don't which noun to use, but I can think of a verb to describe it. I know that 吃的 (to eat + 的) means food, so I was wondering if I can use it with other verbs as well, like 洗澡的 (to bathe + ...
4
votes
3answers
289 views

How does inserting 起来 into 请客 as in 请起客来 changes the meaning?

请客 is a verb-object-verbal phrase (联合词), therefore it is able to seperate both parts and put further structures in between. I read I could put 起 in between together with 来 at the end to form a so ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Transcribing native speakers using dictation tools - any suggestions to improve accuracy?

I tried playing this to iOS 7's dictation feature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6jhgUWBlxQ The accuracy was pretty poor at regular speed, I'd say 20%, at best. I tried slowing down the playback ...
3
votes
3answers
559 views

Is there a difference in meaning between 那年夏天 and 那个夏天

I asked a native speaker whether these phrases were equivalent in meaning and she said no (although agreeing that they both ultimately do "point" to the same concept). I asked if 年 here is basically a ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

How to learn to read Chinese calligraphic paintings (and Chinese handwriting)?

I am able to read quite a few Chinese characters and can recognize most of the elements (combinations of radicals and other stroke sequences) which make up the 3500 or so or more characters found in ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

How did 黃 (yellow) come to mean “pornographic”?

In my dictionary it defines 黃 (Huáng) - yellow - pornographic - to fall through - surname Huang or Hwang Imperial China and the robes of the emperor are commonly associated with the colour yellow. ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the difference between 绿 and 青?

What is the difference between 绿 and 青? Do they refer to different shades of green? I know 青 can be used in many more contexts; it can be used to mean 'young' or 'immature'. I find it boggling how 青 ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

What is a good resources to read easy Chinese texts?

I started learning Chinese and want to find some short texts to practice my reading. I've found http://chinesereadingpractice.com/ where you can find some interesting posts, but even beginners text ...
3
votes
3answers
170 views

Are 改正 and 纠正 interchangeable?

Both 改正 and 纠正 mean "to correct" or "to make right." What is the difference between these words? Do they have different connotations? Are both words acceptable in sentences like the following? ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

What's the difference between 礼仪,惯例,规矩?

In a section of my textbook I recently covered, I came across 3 vocabulary words that are very similar and I'm not sure how and when to use each. From what I understand: 礼仪: protocol/etiquette. The ...
4
votes
3answers
373 views

What is the difference between 将来 and 未来?

The dictionary translation is essentially the same. From the example sentences I've looked up, it seems the two can be interchangeable (though I could certainly be wrong). Also, I was told that 未来 ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Take a picture of me/for me (which preposition better translates)?

As an experienced tourist in China, I know the sentence:你能不能给我(们)相的照吗? Although it gives the desired result-- someone taking a picture of me, for me, with my own camera-- I am not sure of the exact ...
1
vote
3answers
94 views

Old Mandarin vs. Mandarin Chinese?

How intelligible is Old Mandarin to the speakers of Mandarin Chinese? If an Old Mandarin Chinese speaker heard a Mandarin Chinese speaker or vice versa, how fluent would the communication be?
6
votes
1answer
78 views

When should I use the 是…的 construction?

I've been told that 是...的 is used to put emphasis on something, but I'm not sure when or why I should use it.
2
votes
1answer
38 views

What podcasts/movie/music is good to improve my listening?

Most other skills are improving steadily, but my listening is lagging (far) behind. Are there any movies, music or podcasts that can help me with this?
14
votes
3answers
558 views

Tense and use of 了

I struggle a bit to get my head around tenses in Mandarin, and in particular when I need to use 了 (le). Do you have any tips, examples or resources to help me out with this?
2
votes
4answers
62 views

What is the chinese translation for “ endure and move on ”?

I need help. I've been trying to get the chinese word with meaning of the phrase " endure and move on ". It has something to do with a break up w/ a girlfriend and you want too endure it and move on. ...
6
votes
5answers
125 views

What is the verbatim translation for “都什么时候了” ?

"什么时候" means verbatim "what time" But, when i add 都 (adverb meaning "all") and 了(particle indicating either change of state or completion), i can not grasp what meaning is conveyed by this phrase. ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

Oral Tradition: Chinese Folktales, Sayings, Ballads, Songs, Chants, Etc

With the first translation and publication of the first edition of Grimms' Fairy Tales into English recently, I've been wondering a lot about Chinese and/or Sinological oral tradition. The Wikipedia ...
5
votes
4answers
56 views

Technical English-Chinese Dictionary

Do anyone know if it exists a professional English-Chinese and Chinese-English Technical Dictionary?
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Why is 劝ing so common -or- popular in Chinese?

First off I'm not really sure what we would call 劝ing in English, it's not really exhorting or admonishing as dictionaries would lead people to believe - it's more like actively sticking your nose ...
3
votes
5answers
687 views

When to use `他的太太` and when `他太太`?

I've read the two different sentences, on which the one uses 他的太太 and the other uses 他太太. However, how can I tell the difference between the two? For example, in the following sentence: 现在他想他的太太。 ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Translating 2 subtitles (TV drama 03:31 and 03:39)

below find dialog of 2 druglords and the brother of one of them 江东和江南兄弟 and 林力华 at the start of part 8 of TV drama 国家形象, http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTA2MDgwNDQw.html 03:31 includes 拿手 ...
1
vote
3answers
66 views

Chengyu dictionary

I am looking for a chengyu dictionary with the following caracteristics: the stories behind the chengyus in englis (or with chinese too), long, not just one or two sentence explanation, when and how ...
2
votes
3answers
104 views

What's the difference between 候 and 等?

I've usually seen in my little Mandarin learning experience, that when people express wait, they usually use 等. However, I just noticed the following phrase in Sina Weibo: 请稍候... I know 请 means ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Where do i put adverbial expressions and other phrases in a sentence?

I know Chinese use the sequence S O V. I also know place follows time, for instance in these ways: t(ime),p(lace) S tp V O tp S V O t S p V O Where do i put further phrases, like adverbial ...
5
votes
3answers
140 views

How is 青 and 苍 used in classical Chinese to denote colors?

Here is what the dictionary says about 青:  1. 深绿色或浅蓝色:~草。~苔。 Dark Blue or light green.  2. 靛蓝色:靛~。~紫。 Indigo blue.  3. 黑色:~布。~衣。 Black. Similar case is 苍:  1. 深青色,深绿色:~翠。~天。 Dark ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

why are there some people learning Chinese? [closed]

Although I am a native Chinese, I think Chinese language is not a good language tool to communicate information among people. So when I found there are some people asking some Chinese language ...

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