0
votes
3answers
101 views

When to omit the modifying 的?

他给她买来了一个戒指。 He gives her a ring that he bought. I assume that this sentence should need 的 before "a ring that he bought" to be modifying, as below. 他给她买来了'的'一个戒指。 So I think 的 is somewhat ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Understanding "肯定“ and “一定” in this sentence

The sentence I'm having trouble figuring out is 这些行动是积极的,值得肯定,对于减少烟毒有一定的意义。 Regarding 值得肯定 does it mean it's worth acknowledging as a positive action ? As for 一定的意 does it mean has some ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

Conventional meaning of (你)耳朵生翅膀(了)

虹影 饥饿的女儿 Hong Ying, "Daughter of the River" has this sentence: "不行,这样也不对,你耳朵生翅膀了,总听不见我的话?" Translated by Howard Goldblatt (ISBN 0-8021-1637-X) as: "No,that's not right either. Do you have wings on ...
1
vote
3answers
102 views

How to say “After +Verb” in Chinese?

How to say "After +Verb" in daily conversation? For example: "After eating my candy, I will go there". "After he saw you were coming, he left". "After she found the book, she called me". etc. So ...
11
votes
7answers
12k views

Special meanings applied to numbers 0 - 10

From what I understand: 4 or 四 means death 8 is similar to 发 as in 发财 9 is somehow related to the emporer or is the emporer's number Can someone please provide the meanings (if they exist) for ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

What is the Old Chinese Pronunciation for the Character 兮?

I recently bought the book ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese in an effort to get minimally smart about old phonology. But the #1 character I'm curious about, with regard to old poems, is 兮 - ...
0
votes
3answers
40 views

(Cantonese) How to say there are always two sides to a story?

I'm talking to a friend about something, and she's only presenting one side. So I want to ask about the other side and say, "there's always two sides to every story." What's the best way to say this ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Is there a way to translate terms related to the family?

Traditionally, a person may be addressed by taking account of the person's gender, age relative to the speaker, familial relationship to the speaker, and whether or not the person is on the mother or ...
1
vote
3answers
116 views

Do I use “扔掉” or “倒掉” to expressing getting rid of 死水?

I know this is very specific, but I was looking for a translation for standing/stagnant water (context: mosquitoes), but found out it `死水`(if that's incorrect though, someone please kindly notify me). ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Translation: Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss

I'm reading the book Born for Love at the moment and came across the following passage: In all great religions, for example, there’s an equivalent of the Golden Rule, a summary of moral teachings ...
2
votes
3answers
111 views

The most used Chinese dialect on the Web?

Do Chinese use different language dialects on the Web? e.g. Mandarin, Cantonese, Min Chinese, Xiang  Chinese, Hakka Chinese, Gan Is there difference how people in China are looking for stuff on the ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

Explaining 烦百事生 in 雨下得人心烦百事生

虹影 饥饿的女儿 Ying Hong - Daughter of the River has the sentence 雨下得人心烦百事生,看不到雨停的希望。(google 烦百事生)。Howard Goldblatt's translation reads:The effect of the rain is despair that you'll ever see the end of ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

How to interpret 家居家装 in this sentence

Happy New Year to all on this beautiful sunny day in Nanjing! 从商品类别来看,网购用户指出主要集中在服装配饰、护理美容、消费电子及家居家装这四大领域的产品上。 How to interpret '家居家装'? What does it actually mean or include?
1
vote
2answers
68 views

“Today” in Spoken Singaporean Mandarin

Is "今日" or "今天" more appropriate to use when speaking Singaporean Mandarin? Is it different than the one that is used in writing?
3
votes
0answers
69 views

Is the phrase “slot machine” 老虎机 the same in different Chinese dialects?

Just wondering whether the phrase 老虎机 (slot machine) sounds and is written the same in all Chinese dialects, such as: Mandarin, Wu Chinese, Min Chinese, Cantonese, Jin Chinese, Xiang  Chinese, ...
6
votes
2answers
106 views

Tàu-tīn vs. tsò-hué in Hokkien

According to 台湾闽南语常用词辞典, both 鬥陣 (tàu-tīn) and 做伙 (tsò-hué / tsè-hé) mean 一起 (though the former is also explained as 一块儿 and the latter as 結伴、偕同). I was therefore wondering what differences there are ...
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

How to translate “desires have been granted”

I am trying to think of a 4-word 成語 that means "my/your desires have been granted" but I can't remember or think of one.
58
votes
12answers
9k views

Resources for learning Mandarin Chinese

This is a specifically created Community Wiki which gathers resources for learning Mandarin Chinese and it has been approved by the Community itself. It should be clear that the resources are not ...
3
votes
4answers
609 views

How do I say “my wife baked these for me”?

How do I say "my wife baked these for me", where "these" can be cookies, pie, etc? In English I can use "make" or "bake" as the verb. Would I use 烘? When referencing one's own wife, is 太太 appropriate? ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Confucian Messianism, Mencius, etc

Just picked up Popular Religious Movements and Heterodox Sects in Chinese History by Hubert Seiwert (In collaboration with Ma Xisha) and was kind of caught aback by the idea of Confucian messianism. ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

How to Translate 江湖?

I've always wondered how to translate the word "江湖“ in a context such as that in Du Mu's poem: 落魄江湖载酒行, 楚腰纤细掌中轻。 This link clearly explains what 江湖 means, but "underworld" isn't particularly ...
6
votes
5answers
757 views

Resources for learning Cantonese

I'd like to learn Cantonese, does anyone know some good resources (books, websites) that provide a thorough introduction into the language? I know that the pronunciation is a lot harder than in ...
15
votes
5answers
296 views

Question about “很好”

I've read that when asked the simple question 你好吗? ("How are you?"), answering 我很好 is the standard form, while 我好 is simply not used. 很 means "very", but 我很好 is simply translated as "I'm fine." and ...
1
vote
3answers
155 views

Radical meaning vs characters in use

The radical 阜 and its other form 阝, used on the left, supposedly means mound or dam. Looking at image web search hits for 阜 or 阝, I get nothing related to dam or mound. When I look up the Chinese ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

How can you appropriately use “延长”?

So, over the past hours, I‘ve been trying to figure out the proper usage of 延长。 I know that it refers to extending a period of time, but I'm trying to think about ways to use it (exact collocation) ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Colloquial way to express the concept of “默写”

Say you've read a poem by William Shakespeare. You liked it very much so you remembered it by heart. Now you can recite it, i.e., read it aloud from your memory, or, you can write it down accurately ...
12
votes
2answers
537 views

How do native speakers structure their essays?

When analyzing Chinese speeches or essays, I often have difficulty understanding how their the authors organized their ideas. In North America, for example, a common template for writing an essay is ...
8
votes
2answers
395 views

The origins of “AA制”

Every since I learned the expression AA制*, I have been curious as to its origins. The morphology seems clear enough: AA + 制(定) = "to draw up (the bill) in an AA way". What is not clear is how AA ...
1
vote
3answers
101 views

Difference between 捞 and 拿?

So, recently I bumped into the word “捞” - which, as I've seen translated - means “to grab from a liquid。 (Somewhat similar to “ladel") I thought this looked like a really useful verb, but I wanted to ...
-1
votes
2answers
113 views

How to spell these words in Chinese alphabets? [closed]

since there is a wide range of letters in Chinese language , I need your best offers on spelling (pronounce) these words by use of only Chinese Characters in its most accurate form ? the spelling ...
1
vote
3answers
106 views

Understanding/Translating: 空无

What is the best understanding and (English) translation of 空无? 汉语大词典: 佛教语。谓一切事物从因缘生,唯心所造,了无自性 《维摩经菩萨行品》: "观於空无而不舍大悲。" There are a lot of religious, if you will, concepts in here that I ...
1
vote
5answers
113 views

Are 民谣 Songs? Or are they saying?

Recently, I was trying to understanding what 民谣 exactly means. I know that it is often translated as "Folk Rhyme or Ballad". This implies to me that it is an old, traditional song. I recently saw a ...
3
votes
10answers
633 views

What is the difference between “我还没打算” and “我还没决定”

In a question-response practice, the question is "你暑假要去旅游吗"? Why is the right response "我还没决定", not "我还没打算"?
2
votes
4answers
80 views

grammar sentences

I have been learning Mandarin since beginning of this year. I also learn from song. Then today I read some lyrics from song. I read some sentences : "我看不清楚", then I just think why it should be like ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Difference between 帐篷 and 大棚?

Recently, I read a story that said “于是他让弟子们搭起大棚”。 I translated this roughly to "ordered the kids to set up a tent". But this had me confused. Isn't 帐篷 also tent? And can't you also 搭起帐篷? What is ...
2
votes
2answers
182 views

吃午饭了, should 了 be right after 吃?

I saw this sentence from a text book: 你吃午饭了没有? Have you had lunch yet? Does the 了 have to be right after the verb 吃 though? 你吃了午饭没有? Have you had lunch yet? I learned that 了 with verb ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

Hokkien pronunciation of `白头偕老`

白头偕老 is a set expression in Mandarin, meaning to get old together, in a loose translation. I found it in a Hokkien song called 牵阮的手 (Mandarin 牵我的手, English While you hold my hand). In the linked ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Specially formatted Xiehouyu: What are they? What others are there?

I was going through the 四川方言词典 the other day and came across this: ...and my transcription... 冲起屁——[股] cong1 qi3 pi4——[gu3] 这是歇后语的一种特殊格式。这种歇后语的“引”和“注”合起来是一个完整的四字格词组, 运用时, 只说“引”, ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

What's the Most Likely Chinese Version of this Odd “Chinglish”?

This Language Log post is an entertaining discussion of some possible explanations for an unidiomatic English phrase, "Suffered We Protect They", that has appeared on some Liuzhou SWAT posters. My ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Usage of direction and location (destination) complements (衣服都装进箱子里去了 vs. 衣服都装到箱子里了)

In some situations, it is not clear to me when to use a direction complement or a location (destination) complement. For instance, I read from a book that the sentence "衣服都装进箱子里去了" is correct. This ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Meaning of 莫逮 in Classical texts?

Some examples of 莫逮 found in Classical texts: 三國志.卷二十一.魏書.王粲傳:「昔伯牙絕絃於鍾期,仲尼覆醢于子路,痛知音之難遇,傷門人之莫逮也。」 《南齐书·周盘龙传》 形甚羸訥, 而臨軍勇果, 諸將莫逮。 《宋史•朱弁传》:“叹马角之未生,魂销雪窖;攀龙髯而莫逮,泪洒冰天。” 《荀子·尧问》 ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Is knowing how Chinese Characters are formed common knowledge?

Are Chinese taught in school how Chinese characters are formed (mainly phono-semantic compounds) or do they just bruteforce remember them? At least I know Japanese people don't learn phonetic parts of ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Difference between 人和 and 仁和

In Lao She's novel Rickshaw Boy, the protagonist works at place called "人和厂“. To be very literal that is people's unity shop, in contrast to the protagonist's individualism. But two thirds of the ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Difference between 剧本 and 脚本?

Is there a clear difference between 剧本 and 脚本? I know that 剧本 can also be the more formal “screenplay”。 But beyond that I'm not sure if there is a difference
1
vote
1answer
64 views

殊: Why 歺(歹)+朱? How did it get to mean special (in a good way)?

How did 殊, as in: 特殊、殊技、殊荣、殊勋、殊遇、殊遇 come to have it's meaning of special? 歺(歹)+朱 paint out a rather, more, grim meaning if anything... 說文解字: 死也。从歺朱聲。漢令曰:“蠻夷長有罪,當殊之。”市朱切 How did 殊 get to mean ...
0
votes
3answers
79 views

Why is there no 了 in 以前我住在这儿

I am used to hearing phrases like this: 我住在这儿 To say "I lived here [before]", however, it seems you can't use 了 at all: 以前我住在这儿 Why is this not "以前我住了在这儿"? Is there a formal reason why 了 ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

一眼之念 一念执着 meaning

I want to translate lyrics for 步步惊心 intro song. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj8kElvozBY) 一眼之念 一念执着 - My Chinese friend told me that meaning is "I fall in love with you from first look" 一眼之念 - ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

What abstract things can you 吸收?

So, I recently learned 吸收 can be used abstractly. Looking around example sentences we have 吸收知识 吸收A的思想 吸收B的信念 吸收A的经验 Two questions: 1. How common are these collocations? How colloquial? 2. ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

How to properly say “World's fair”

I've read that there are a couple of different ways to say "World's fair" including "世界博览会" "世博会“ or “万博”。 Would anyone like to comment on common these terms actual are? Is saying 世纪博览会 in ...
2
votes
2answers
82 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 ...

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