5
votes
5answers
213 views

Differences between the two words for each season, such as 冬季 (dōngjì) and 冬天 (dōngtiān)

There seem to be two words for each season. Each pair has the first character in common but for the second character one will have 季 (jì) and the other will have 冬天 (tiān). For example "winter" is: ...
5
votes
3answers
280 views

三长两短: what's long and what's short?

(求词源) 三长两短 is a chengyu that means "unforeseen disaster". It can also be a euphemism for death. Here's an example of its usage: 明·罗贯中《三遂平妖传》:“万一些后再有三长两短,终不能靠着太医活命。” What is its etymology ...
5
votes
1answer
229 views

屌丝“ seems to be a ”dirty word" but also accepted and openly used. Am I missing something? [closed]

Since 屌 means "genitals" and 丝 means "hair", 屌丝 basically means "pubes". But then Mandarin speaking audiences seem to accept and openly use this dirty word. What am I missing? If it's a dirty word ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

why 秋千? Where does the name come from?

Had a look around in my dictionaries wondering if anyone has any input as to why a 秋千 is 秋+千, what's the significance?
4
votes
4answers
662 views

Chinese name of a dish containing both chicken and egg?

I was just talking about how the old Paul Simon song Mother and Child Reunion was inspired by the name of a menu item he saw in a Chinese restaurant. I wanted to know what the dish is and what its ...
2
votes
3answers
215 views

Are Sinitic languages mutually comprehensible?

According to this map, there are different Chinese "languages" (Sinitic languages) in the Chinese area. Is my understanding correct that the "official" Chinese language is the Mandarin? In other ...
1
vote
1answer
318 views

Is it possible to type traditional characters with a pinyin IME in Windows 7?

I am now used to typing Chinese using a pinyin IME from my time in mainland China. But as far as I know the pinyin IMEs usually generate simplified characters. I'm now in Taiwan and having trouble ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Usage and origins of 打机

In Cantonese, 打机 is used colloqially to refer to playing video or computer games. Where does the expression/word come from, and is it also used in Mandarin? If not, what is a similar Mandarin ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

Simplified/Traditional Chinese characters commonalities with Japanese Kanji

I noted that the simplified Chinese character for "doctor/medicine" 医 has the same aspect of the Japanese kanji for "doctor/medicine". So, in this case, the Japanese kanji and the simplified Chinese ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Table of Chinese characters taught in primary school, grouped by grade

Is there a table like this for Chinese characters, that lists which Chinese characters are taught for each year of primary school? (I'd like to learn Chinese, so this would be a great source of ...
2
votes
4answers
98 views

Can you combine sentence structures to denote an extremely short duration?

So I learned recently that you can do two things in Chinese repeat the verb (such as in 看看) append 一下 to the verb to denote a shorter duration (in this case, look for a moment). I was just ...
4
votes
4answers
274 views

Two “question words” in one sentence

One of my teachers asked us the example question: 你有什么安排吗? I asked her why there would be two "question words", 什么 and 吗, when I believed you should only have one question word (in this case, 吗 ...
4
votes
3answers
258 views

When do you use 唄 instead of 吧 to end a sentence?

I hear a lot of people in mainland China use the former (never from Taiwanese Mandarin) when saying a phrase as a sort of command, but I'm still not sure about why someone would say it.
6
votes
6answers
300 views

How gender specific in writing is the character 他

A couple of years ago I wrote this comment below an answer: On mainland China 他 is used for both male and female. I've only seen 她 used as a stylistic thing for advertising and some old formal ...
1
vote
4answers
220 views

How to translate “给力” in English? [closed]

The word 给力 is often used on Chinese social networks. What is the correct meaning of it in English?
3
votes
7answers
431 views

Difference between 坏 and 破

Looking for some concrete answers on the difference between 坏 and 破 From what I have been able to understand: 坏 bad: as in 坏人 (bad person) or 鱼坏了 (rotten food) broken: as in 手机坏了 (broken mobile ...
1
vote
4answers
98 views

Is the “to” in “Let's meet from 4 _to_ five”, 到?

A simple question, trying to say, let's have a lesson from 4 to 5 -- want to make sure that "to" is indeed 到.
2
votes
5answers
246 views

How do you idiomatically transate 你这个人?

I was typing something in Chinese to a friend including 你这人 (or 你这个人), when I realized that I didn't have a good interpretation of it in English. It just feels like the sort of thing you say to ...
3
votes
6answers
267 views

When you use 在 with a time, where does 在 go in the sentence?

So, if I wanted to say, "Last week I saw my friend in Japan," where would the location (Japan) go in this sentence? I thought it would go like this: 在日本,我上个星期看朋友。 Is that correct or does the ...
2
votes
4answers
267 views

Tonal difference between 浪费 and 糟蹋

Both 浪费 and 糟蹋 mean "to waste." (I'm not really concerned with the other uses of 糟蹋 right now.) I've seen the collocations 糟蹋粮食 and 糟蹋人才, and 浪费 is very common in phrases like 浪费时间 and 浪费水. Are ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

筛选 is the correct filter for 'search filter'?

When searching for airline flights, for example, there may be an option to filter by ticket price, or filter by airline, or filter by flight duration. I am looking for the Chinese translation of ...
2
votes
4answers
313 views

What does 算你狠 mean?

I've been pondering on this one for a while, but I'm still not sure about the best wording for it. It seems to be often used by someone who has been defeated/humiliated/etc, implying something along ...
6
votes
3answers
462 views

When would one use 临时 versus 及时?

Recently I read the following dialogue: A: 今天有转校生要来吗? B: 听说是这样,好象是临时决定的,所以才没有及时通知我们。 As I was trying to make out what they were saying, I noticed that 临时 and 及时 have similar meanings. The ...
1
vote
3answers
137 views

What is the meaning of 未体?

Here is an example that came from a document talking about salary bonuses: 未体年假折现. My best guess for 未体 would be "haven't done". So the example above would be translated to "discount for not taking ...
4
votes
3answers
344 views

Why does 拉倒 mean “forget about it”?

拉倒 is a word that can mean "forget about it". For example: 鲁迅 《华盖集续编·马上支日记》:“现在这书既然借不到,只好拉倒了。” This seems strange though, because 拉倒 literally means "to pull over". What is the etymology of this ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

Chinese input on Windows based on pinyin and tones

What is the best way for me to type pinyin using a keyboard on Windows? I've tried the built-in IMEs, but... they don't feel very intuitive to me. For example, if I want to get wǔ, I need to type wu, ...
1
vote
3answers
134 views

What is the meaning of 晦 in the phrase 韬光养晦?

I find the phrase 韬光养晦 in a context,and I look up it in the dictionary,it means hidden talents, do not make the leakage.But I still don't know the meaning of 晦.
1
vote
4answers
253 views

Why is George 乔治 in Chinese?

I've always been puzzled at the origin of the translation of "George" into Chinese. It's probably the only (pardon me if there are more) name that does not sound like its English counterpart.
3
votes
5answers
141 views

Meaning of 他急红了眼?

I've heard that expression while I was in Beijing, and I can't find the translation when I scroll the Internet. Do you know what it means?
0
votes
3answers
95 views

How do you say “to get back at someone”? Is it 找晦氣 or 找負氣?

According to CantoDict, 找晦氣 in Cantonese means, "to get back at someone or cause trouble over a past grievance". Link: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/50994/ CantoDict is sometimes ...
0
votes
5answers
234 views

What is the chinese term for “StackOverflow” [closed]

What is the chinese term for "Stack Overflow" website and how do i pronounce it ??
2
votes
10answers
342 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
5answers
233 views

Learning abstract “tone contours” for words and phrases

I'm having trouble acquiring both Mandarin pronunciation and tones (hampered by the opacity of Pinyin for beginners). I've learned various languages to various degrees and some people consider me to ...
0
votes
5answers
142 views

How would you say “he does not take criticism well” in Cantonese and in Mandarin? [closed]

How would you say this in Cantonese and how would you say this in Mandarin?
4
votes
2answers
313 views

What is the difference between 工作上 and 工作

那个是我工作上的东西 Why is there a 上 in this sentence? How does it change the meaning? Ie, what's the difference between 工作的东西 and 工作上的东西? When should 工作上 be used as opposed to 工作?
4
votes
5answers
791 views

Why is 未有 used here?

While reading a news article from Hong Kong, I noticed the sentence: XXX 未有回覆传媒查询。 (I replaced specific details that aren't relevant to my question with "XXX".) This I take to mean that: XXX ...
3
votes
5answers
254 views

Variants of 将在外,君命有所不受?

There seems to be multiple versions of this idiom, with slightly different characters: Baidu: 将在外,君命有所不受 汉典: 将在军,君命有所不受 And a big bunch of variants: 将在外,军令有所不受 将在外,军令有所不从 将在外,君令有所不受 ...
2
votes
3answers
128 views

Names of extended family members

In 闽南话/Hokkien (and 启海话, and possibly all dialects) when we call our uncles and aunties we call them by the order of their age and whether they're on our father's or mother's sides, and the ...
17
votes
7answers
1k views

What is a good technique for remembering tones?

I find it a great struggle to try and remember tones for all the new vocab I learn, and aside from gradually picking up tones by listening and talking with native speakers, I can't really remember ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Which one of these two ISO 639-2 code refers to Traditional Chinese, chi or zho?

On a database file, the designer uses chi and zho to tell simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese. It's hard to tell whether chi means the simplified one or traditional. Seemingly, chi is derived ...
6
votes
6answers
357 views

What are the differences between 男女, 公母, and 雄雌?

In what situations would you use one of the following instead of the others? 男女 nán nǚ 公母 gōng mǔ 雄雌 xióng cí Is it a matter of formality or is each term confined to a particular ...
1
vote
0answers
118 views

Chinese [Topolectical] IPA: Ẓ

I've asked this elsewhere before but without much luck so I'm just gonna paste what I wrote before: I ran across "Ẓ" use some what in some old texts used as a sort-of "IPA" then to make sure I ...
-3
votes
1answer
108 views

How to say in Cantonese, “He is very sensitive to criticism” [duplicate]

What is the right way to say, "He is very sensitive to criticism" in Cantonese?
3
votes
3answers
207 views

What's the difference between 蝦 and 鰕?

I found there are two characters for "xia1" (ghra as in Middle Chinese), 蝦 and 鰕. Could someone explain what the difference is?
4
votes
3answers
213 views

Do 之 and 的 come from the same word?

In modern Chinese 之 is thought of as the literary genitive particle and 的 as the colloquial. In most reconstructions of Old Chinese 之 looks very similar to the way 的 is pronounced now. For example in ...
5
votes
4answers
174 views

也 When expressing a series does 也 need to be before each object or just the last object

When expressing a series of object does 也 occur prior to each object or only prior to the last object to express the list Example: 我没有房子没有工作没有车也没有朋友。 我没有房子也没有工作也没有车也没有朋友。
3
votes
4answers
128 views

How do you say “walked from…to…”

For example, would it be: 我从我的家到教室走路。? I know how to say simply "from somewhere to somewhere" but I'm not sure where you put the verb if you want to say like "walked from somewhere to someone"
5
votes
3answers
265 views

How many characters do Chinese pupils know at different ages?

I'm looking for data that would let me estimate how much written language young Chinese at different ages know, in terms of number of characters they can read/write. Examples of materials that would ...
2
votes
3answers
81 views

In Cantonese, which is correct: 淨係 or 剩係?

Both phrases are listed in CantoDict (http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/3497/). It seems like 剩係 makes more sense, but which is actually correct?
7
votes
4answers
184 views

Is 師奶 (see lai) strictly a Cantonese word? Is it a neutral word or does it have a negative connotation?

I had heard a husband refer to his wife in Cantonese as 師奶 (pronounced "see lai"). The way he said it sounded like an insult but I was told it's not a bad word. How would 師奶 be described in English? ...

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