18
votes
14answers
2k 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
78 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
141 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.
2
votes
2answers
187 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
165 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
206 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
55 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 effect,...
2
votes
1answer
161 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
431 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
60 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
718 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
376 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 ...
21
votes
7answers
5k 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. ...
14
votes
5answers
2k 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
3answers
215 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? ...
4
votes
3answers
590 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
515 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
266 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?
2
votes
1answer
64 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?
2
votes
4answers
383 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
227 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
253 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
501 views

Technical English-Chinese Dictionary

Do anyone know if it exists a professional English-Chinese and Chinese-English Technical Dictionary?
1
vote
2answers
138 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
83 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 (adjective,...
2
votes
3answers
134 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
117 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

What does 民以食为天 mean?

How to translate the old saying "民以食为天"? Would that be "Food is the priority of populace"? That doesn't sound right to me, though.
19
votes
1answer
691 views

What is the difference in use between 以及, 和 and 与?

I have a book with the following lesson titles: 中文以及中国 聚会和饮食 交通与环境 Why are these terms connected with 以及 / 和 / 与, why not always use 和 for example? Are there any rules for proper use of these ...
-3
votes
4answers
72 views

a translation request [closed]

I am preparing a toy example for my talk and it would be nice if I had this phrase translated to Chinese (simplified): "the wicked witch of Oz". Also, it would be nice if you could tell me which words ...
4
votes
2answers
492 views

What is the difference between 专家 and 达人?

I saw 达人 on the title of the following Tawianese video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eru3weFzRnI (very amuzing!) and some other places, and got confused since I already knew 专家 . On the title it ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

What different grammatical uses exist for 而 in classical chinese?

The question itself is already sufficient in description. Whose brilliant brain had the idea to coerce this nonsensical additional commentary text on us?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Preferred translation for “log out” or “sign out” (such as a web site): 注销, 登出, 退出?

We're having trouble figuring out the preferred Simplified Chinese translation for "log out" or "sign out" for a web application we're translating. Our third-party translator thinks it's 注销, and an ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

How to translate “In conclusion”?

I'm practicing writing short articles in Chinese, but I'm not sure how to say "To conclude" or "In conclusion". I can't seem to find an appropriate translation. What is recommended?
6
votes
3answers
844 views

What is the ancient Chinese one-character name for woman like '子’ means man?

青青子衿,悠悠我心。但为君故,沉吟至今 Here: 子,对对方的尊称 子 implicitly implies the poem is addressing a man. The poem talks about how a lady misses a man. I just wonder if there is a corresponding word for Chinese. (i.e. ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

What kind of typology does ancient Chinese belong to?

Modern Chinese belongs to the group of languages are isolating, just like English, but even purer. English once was not isolating but possessed flection. Is the situation with English similar to that ...
0
votes
1answer
152 views

What is the meaning and usage of 于之 and its contraction 焉 in classical Chinese?

I've read 于 was a preposition, but there were many unrelated translations for it. 之 is as far as I know an object pronoun, like for instance him, her, them but can also mean somthing different. How ...
3
votes
1answer
269 views

What is the average number of words necessary to read classical Chinese?

I heard classical Chinese had a limited amount of vocabularies compared to modern Chinese. How many words one has to learn in order to acquire average reading abilities, disregarding the grammar?
0
votes
1answer
134 views

What are some profanity words in classical Chinese?

It is easy to find profanity words for modern Chinese, but I could not find any profanity words for classical Chinese. Even such simple ones as "to fuck". Please help to promote this knowledge.
2
votes
3answers
207 views

Is the character 攜 still used in modern Chinese?

This character has in classical Chinese a very common meaning, namely "to take", like in the sentence: 攜妻子至海岸。 (To take wife and children and arrive at the sea shore). I recognize many characters ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a polite or neutral way to ask for someone to step out of your way?

In English I would say "excuse me". Some possibilities that come to mind are 请让,对不起,不好意思. I believe I have heard someone say "让!" before. Is that considered impolite?
6
votes
2answers
449 views

Can 来 be used as a 虚词?

来 usually means "to come". In this sentence from an online database: 旱区人民需要我们的帮助来渡过难关 来 does not seem to me being used in its lexical meaning here, but rather containing a grammatical expression ...
2
votes
3answers
246 views

Why is 那儿 just one syllable?

I was confused to find that nar4 is 那儿. I cannot figure out how to reproduce this with a pinyin IME. I type na and it gets the first character but when I type r it suggests 人 and refuses to let me ...
3
votes
3answers
424 views

你好啊? or 你好吗? Which is more common?

I have recently come across the phrase 你好啊 and I was curious about its usage. It was in the FSI Chinese course with a meaning of 'How are you?', but I have only heard 你好吗 on other courses and when ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

How long a lack of practice does it usually take to forget the intricacies off the learnt Chinese?

Particularly, intricacies of pronunciation. I am just starting to learn the language, and what bothers me is that after finally managing to learn proper pronunciations of the language sounds, I may ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Differentiating: 肚 and 胃 in English?

In Chinese 肚 and 胃 are two quite seperate things. In English, though, it's mostly just: stomach. Is there a good way to differantiate between the two in English?
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Maximum Number of Lateral Radicals

Is there a and if yes what is the maximum number of radicals that can be there in a Chinese Character?
5
votes
1answer
249 views

Is 勺 really the phonetic component of 的?

The etymology of 的 is described here. Is this resource correct is saying that 勺 is this character's phonetic component? I ask because it doesn't seem to hint at the correct pronunciation at all. 勺 is ...
4
votes
1answer
386 views

What does the last `点` mean in `玩得开心点`?

I've read the following phrases: A: 妈妈,我可以和新邻居一起玩吗? B: 可以,玩得开心点。 In the two sentences above, what does the 点 mean? I think this is something like the following: A: Mam, can I play together with ...

15 30 50 per page