2
votes
1answer
1k views

Tones in Cantonese: 6 or 9?

Wikipedia has a tone contour chart for Cantonese with only 6 tones, but the table just below has 9. In fact, the table states 7=1, 8=3 and 9=6. From a historical point of view, there are 9 tone ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Hokkien `綴` vs. `共`: compare and contrast

According to my reference, both 綴 (tuè/tè) and 共 (kā) can translate from Hokkien (alias Min Nan) to 跟. What is the difference between the two?
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Mandarin chinese: syllable pronunciation training

Is there free mp3 resources of all combinations of syllables (1consonnant + 1vowel) in different tones? Here an example of syllables: All Possible Syllables in Mandarin Chinese
1
vote
2answers
67 views

does 并未 have to go with a pairing of words?

So, I recently learned that 并未 is a formal way of saying 并没有. However, whenever I see it in writing it is always paired with a two word set. (i.e. 并未解决, 并未提出, 等。 ) Is this a hard and fast rule? I've ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

What is the difference in use between 以及 and 还有

So,I've recently seen the term 以及 used a number of times in written text. For example, in a short story by 叮咛 I read " 这位总统为国家、政府以及人民贡献了所有的力量,人们很尊敬他。". Another chinese stack exchange answer asked ...
2
votes
3answers
175 views

Is there a difference between 显得 and 看起来?

Recently, I've been reading a short story writting by 丁玲 and I noticed she often used the term "显得" where I would have said "看起来”。 I'm trying to figure out when I should be using 显得 vs. 看起来. It seems ...
4
votes
2answers
82 views

Tone three sandhi

If there are two third tones in a row, e.g. ni3hao3, the first one is pronounced as a second tone, i.e. ni3hao3=ni2hao3. At least, that's what I was told in a course. What happens with more ...
6
votes
2answers
446 views

If Confucius came back to life today and scribbled a message, could most modern Chinese people understand it?

For example (and I am not sure if this is a good example), if presented the following stone inscription (石鼓文, source, c. 374 B.C.), could most modern Chinese people understand it (even vaguely)? ...
5
votes
4answers
631 views

What's the difference between 江 and 河?

My daily newsletter contained the following sentence: 长江是中国最长的河。 According to the dictionary, 江 and 河 both mean "river", but they seem to be used differently. Am I right in assuming that 长河是中国最长的江 ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

What is the difference between 星心相印 and 心心相印?

The title is all that is necessary, but the following description can give context. I know the phrase, 「心心相印」means something to the effect of "two hearts beating in unison" which might be said of a ...
2
votes
1answer
305 views

How do you say “mentor” in Chinese?

I've been trying to figure out if Chinese has a similar concept to the idea of "mentor" in english. I know 导师 and 良师 are both options that have been thrown out. But, I'm not sure if they imply the ...
2
votes
4answers
250 views

Is the symbol in the images a chinese letter?

Is the symbol in the images a chinese letter, and if it is, what does it mean?
1
vote
3answers
115 views

只 zhǐ appropriate use in context?

I am studying 常用漢字 and I ran across the following meanings: 只得 只好 只有 All of which were translated with the same English meaning "can do nothing." What was not given is the context in which one would ...
3
votes
2answers
187 views

The tricky prepositions. . . “in my garden”

I think prepositions are tricky in every language. The other day I was trying to figure out how to write correctly : In my garden there are many fruit-trees. The first sentence I thought of was: ...
3
votes
1answer
330 views

Help translating 爱人跟人走

I have come across the song 爱人跟人走 (lyrics here). I'll give a complete translation attempt of this Hokkien song: It's already 3 years since you left me; Have you gone away without [ever] turning back? ...
3
votes
3answers
203 views

How do you say “A story is set in another place”

Does anyone have an idea of how to translate "This story is set in a small town". I've been looking around but I haven't found a good way to translate "Set in". Thanks again for any help! Cheers, ...
5
votes
2answers
117 views

Use of 不太 and when is it necessary?

I suspect that 太 has a similar function in negatives as 很 does in negative sentences. Some Chinese speakers have corrected some of my negative sentences in include a 太. e.g.: 他不高兴 was corrected to ...
3
votes
6answers
653 views

What's the difference between 打开 and 开门?

How can I tell when to use 打开 and when to use 开门 in Chinese? For example, in the following sentences: 这扇门打开了 这个书店开门了 Why does the first sentence use 打开 and the latter use 开门? Also, is it ...
2
votes
1answer
462 views

What does this symbol mean on my ring? [closed]

Unknown symbol on my ring. Not sure if Chinese, but I've tried all written translations- and still no answer
5
votes
1answer
281 views

Zhuyin IME setting to make tones optional

When I type Chinese via a Pinyin IME, I can write "nihao" to get "你好". Writing out "ni3hao3" is not required. But when I try to write "ㄋㄧㄏㄠ", the IME interprets this as "ㄏㄧㄠ". Basically I'm forced to ...
2
votes
3answers
510 views

When radicals make words does Chinese convey two layers of meaning all the time?

I can recognize and translate the 215 radicals. Now, I'm told radicals combine with each other and other characters to make words, and that some radicals denote sound for pronunciation of the word. ...
4
votes
3answers
135 views

difference between 伤痕, 伤疤 and 疤痕?

Recently, I read that someone's 额头上有一个伤痕 。 I knew that the sentence literally meant that there was a scar. But then I thought "Why didn't they say "伤疤” or “疤痕”。 All three of these translate to scar ...
6
votes
2answers
105 views

What is the difference between 究竟 and 到底 ?

So, a teacher explained to me that 究竟 is a more formal way of saying 到底. However, I'm still curious are there any other usage differences between the two? Is 究竟 only used in examples that are ...
5
votes
3answers
152 views

Is there a difference between 凡事 and 所有?

Recently, I've been reading a bit of 鲁迅 and I've run into the word 凡事 a number of times. Everytime, I see it translated it seems to mean 所有。 It seems to me that 凡事 is either an older usage or is much ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

Is there a difference between 教训 and 论点 ?

I'm taking a history class in Chinese and my teacher brought up 四五运动的两个教训 。 Then later on he talked about 启蒙的两个论点 。 I know that roughly 教训 is translated as "lessons" and 论点 is a bit more like "thesis, ...
3
votes
5answers
481 views

Is there a difference between 杀头 and 砍头?

I'm learning about 鲁迅 and the picture he saw of a man being decapitated. My teacher would switch between 杀头 and 砍头 - is their a large difference between the two? is one more formal? Is there a ...
5
votes
3answers
281 views

How formal is 如何 in the context of 最近如何?

I was told by friend who is a native mainland speaker that "最近如何", or anything using "如何" to inquire about the state of a person, is a very ancient/formal way of speaking. This was quite a shock to ...
3
votes
2answers
150 views

What are the real obstacles of romanizing Chinese characters?

Most people will say it is because there are too many homonyms in the Chinese language. But when I realize that homonyms do not bother people very much in oral communications, I begin to question this ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

How to say “The crowd” as in a “Crowd in a concert”

I'm interested to see if there is a specific translation for "Crowd" as in "crowd at a concert". To say "We entered the crowd at the concert" would it be 那一群人? or 观众? or is there a better way to ...
7
votes
4answers
583 views

快: why does “fast” also mean “happy”?

The character 快 is usually used for the meaning of "fast", but it is also used in the sense of "pleasant" or "happy" - for example, in the words 痛快, 爽快. It seems that both meanings are quite ancient. ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

Subjunctives in Chinese

I'm trying to render a song in Chinese from Spanish, precisely this one – lyrics here –, but I'm not sure how to translate the subjunctives at the start. The beginning reads: May the infinite become ...
3
votes
3answers
106 views

Duration of tones in Chinese?

What are the durations of tones in Mandarin? Do all tones have the same exact duration? Other dialects can be noted as examples...
2
votes
3answers
390 views

Explaining “condescending” in Chinese?

If I want to explain the word "condescending" in Chinese using a scenario, what can I do? Thank you so much for your attention!
3
votes
2answers
67 views

live poultry for sale?

Is there a specific term that is usually used to describe live poultry, or live chickens, or any type of live animal, which is for sale in a market and which the customer takes home alive to butcher ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Simplified variant of 幺?

This question is regarding when 幺 appears in traditional Chinese. What is the simplified variant of 幺? I asked this question on the cantodict forums recently, and one member gave this excellent ...
3
votes
3answers
114 views

Use of 了 - when is it necessary?

我走到海滩边,看到一幢房子前有一块写着“旅馆”的牌子. I went to the seaside and saw a building with sign in front of it which said 'hotel'. Authentic Chinese with my translation. This is in the past. But there is no 了. Is ...
1
vote
0answers
276 views

Can someone please translate this into English for me? [closed]

Hi - can someone please translate this Chinese into English for me? Thank you!
4
votes
3answers
219 views

Complement of result:完 or 好

I‘m currently learning how to form the complement of result and what are the translations of some common compound verbs. My book makes this examples: • 看完=to finish watching • 写好=to finish writing • ...
4
votes
5answers
234 views

Is 起 too formal to use in day to day writing?

I read recently in a piece of poetry the sentence ”从明天起, 我会做一个幸福的人“ - what is the difference between this and, say, "从明天开始?“. Is 起 significantly more formal? Could I use it in day to day writing? ...
2
votes
2answers
132 views

Proper term 劝合不劝散

Came across this, old(?), term today: 劝合不劝散. A quick baidu gives me a lot of variants on this term though: 劝合不劝离 劝合不劝分 And 劝和不劝散 劝和不劝分 劝和不劝离 I would imagine anything with 和 would be a more ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Does 多 always come after the measure word?

I've realized that I still don't fully understand the placement of "多“ a relatively common word. Can you never place 多 before a measure word? A friend recently corrected my "四多快美金“ into 四块多美金” but ...
4
votes
2answers
693 views

How to say “Next time” in the past tense?

I'm a bit confused on how to use the expression "The next time" in chinese. I originally wrote (after going to Kigali for the first he realized there were no ethiopian restaurants) 于是, 他下次回基加利时, ...
3
votes
4answers
202 views

how to use 受欢迎 in the past tense?

I'm a bit confused on how to use A受的欢迎 in the past tense. Would you say "可是这家餐厅已经受了所有外国人的欢迎。 or 这家餐厅已经收到了所有外国人的欢迎? Thanks for any help in advance!
6
votes
3answers
329 views

脚底抹油-开溜 translate into English

Can someone help me to translate 脚底抹油-开溜 because when I'm using google translate the sentence is so weird.
12
votes
3answers
610 views

高兴 vs 快乐 vs 愉快 vs 幸福: what's the difference?

So, I'm a bit confused. All the time. 高兴 eg 我很高兴 It seems 高兴 has a connotation of impermanence .. you could be happy right now but unhappy later on. It appears to be the most common, most ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

How to translate skepticism?

Skepticism, in Bertrand Russell's words, means "it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. " I.e. don't believe until there is enough evidence. ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

道 vs 途 in religious texts

As we all know, 道 is an important concept in classical Chinese, meaning "the way" in the metaphorical sense. It is a central concept in Taoism, but it was also used in Buddhism and Confucianism to ...
4
votes
2answers
134 views

How to translate belief?

I'm trying to write this in Chinese: "Knowledge is a subset of true beliefs." But I can't find a proper word for "beliefs." Notice that 信仰 is faith. Faith has religious connotations; belief is ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

How to express: Get

I struggle with how to translate (generally informal) sentences containing the word "get." It seems that sometimes you can use 拿, or even 带, but for some reason it feels wrong, or that this is not ...
2
votes
5answers
369 views

What is the difference between “面对” and “应对”?

I would love a quick overview of the difference btween 面对 and 应对! In particular, I would love to know what you say if you want to use 以...的太对来应对/面对 这个问题? Is 应对 or 面对 used in this instance?

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