2
votes
3answers
194 views

What is the difference between 电视 and 电视上?

In the following two sentences: 电视说今天很晴朗,不过下午下雨了。 电视上说今天的天气会很晴朗,今天一整天都很晴朗。 Why does the first sentence not use 上 but the second sentence does? Is there any difference between 电视 and 电视上? I think ...
2
votes
2answers
212 views

What's the difference between 眼熟 and 面熟?

I've always assumed that you use 面熟 for people because they have a face (面). However, I recently heard a native speaker use 眼熟 about a person. Are the two phrases fully interchangeable? If not, what ...
2
votes
2answers
220 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
405 views

How does ‘三神不挂二神’ come to mean 'unconcentrated' in this sentence?

This is from a German Chinese forum: 她骂斥道:“好生点嘛!叫你做事,你就三神不挂二神。” Source: 《饥饿的女儿》,作者:虹影,出版年1997,第一章。 English, ISBN 0-8021-1637-X 1999 : ‘Pay attention,’ she growled. ‘can’t you do anything right?’ ...
2
votes
3answers
269 views

Using 色 with colors

I'm making something to teach students Chinese colors... Let's say they have to match a color to a square- Is it okay to just use 红, 蓝, 紫, etc on each block just as long as they know 色 means color... ...
2
votes
3answers
132 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Having trouble translating this: 多是不跑步的替跑步的操心

My rough translation is "better not to run than to run and worry about it." It's the double 的 and 替 that's throwing me off. Is my translation close? Here's the context: ...
2
votes
3answers
99 views

What is the grammatical analysis of 信得过?

信 = to believe. 得过 = ??? Is this construction a sentence, a phrase, a verbalphrase or maybe sth. different?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How to ask someone “Will you marry me”

So, not to look to far ahead. (Okay, not to look to far ahead at all). I'm interested in how to say" Will You marry me" I've read "你愿意嫁给我吗?“ “和我结婚,好吗” and “嫁给我好吗?“ Is there a clear "best" way to ...
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
407 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!
2
votes
3answers
152 views

不然 when it occurs at the beginning of a sentence

不然你逛那边的时候,我逛电子商品区. I came across this but none of the dictionary meanings for 不然 seem to fit when it's at the beginning of a sentence. What's the meaning here as are this a common usage?
2
votes
3answers
199 views

Can you 离开 a person? (as in physically separate from them?)

I'm interested in the usage of the term 离开 as in " to leave". If, for example, I was traveling with another person on the underground (train) and I left them/we separated (to take different trains) ...
2
votes
3answers
222 views

combining noun and measure word

I have read article which show this sentence 一本书, then if want to make it plural, it becomes 书本, so my question is it for all noun and measure word ? Example : 一首歌 becomes 歌首
2
votes
2answers
464 views

the meaning of 算什么 in 《我爱台妹》

I have recently been listening to MC Hotdog's seminal 2006 hit 《我爱台妹》 I am a little confused by the second and fourth lines of the chorus 我爱台妹,台妹爱我 对我来说,林志玲算什么 我爱台妹,台妹爱我 对我来说,侯佩岑算什么 I understand ...
2
votes
3answers
158 views

How do I say “right at that time”?

I'm trying to explain a situation I was in recently in written Chinese. How would I say "Luckily, right at that time Mark heard my voice" Would it simply be 幸亏, 她正好那时候听到我的声音,马上叫了起来“ Thanks for ...
2
votes
3answers
103 views

Construct: X都不X一下, Mandarin?

I've come across the following construct recently: X 都不 X 一下 Specifically what I heard was: 痒都不痒一下 (Bonus points to anyone who knows where that comes from...) Is this a mandarin construct? Can X ...
2
votes
5answers
352 views

(Better) Translations of: 稀罕/稀奇?

In Chinese 稀罕 and 稀奇 are often used negatively to express disdain, e.g.: ABC 我不稀罕你的钱。 Wǒ bù xīhan nǐ de qián. I don't care about your money. And 你以为我稀奇你的东西? Dictionaries often ...
2
votes
3answers
249 views

Chinese: Old Wives Tales

A long time ago I heard someone say: "玩火会尿床" Which I instantly recognized is very similar to some 'old wives tales' in English. In English there are things like: from Wikipedia: Cracking ...
2
votes
2answers
333 views

When to use ’啦‘ and "嘛‘?

I've learned two question ending: 吗 in 你好吗? and 呢 in 你呢? But my question is When to use ’啦" and "嘛"?They seem to be question ending also, are they common in Chinese?
2
votes
3answers
182 views

What's the English expression that means 感叹词:“坏了”

In Chinese there is a 感叹词:"坏了", means something went unexpected wrong. Example: 坏了,下雨了 坏了,手机忘带了 坏了,迟到了 What are the common English expressions that can express that "astonishing strike"? ...
2
votes
2answers
278 views

Is “佳能” the standard translation for “canon” in a religious sense?

Apparently "巴利佳能" is the translation of "Pali Canon." When referring to the foundational documents of other theological or philosophical schools, will I be understood if I use the term "佳能"?
2
votes
3answers
247 views

Books or websites listing *polysyllabic* Mandarin terms with same pronunciation differing only by tones

I'm interested in finding any webpages or books that list words and phrases of more than one character that share the same pronunciation but not the same tones. For instance, here are some terms I've ...
2
votes
3answers
377 views

list of Chinese language country name abbreviations

In watching CCTV-4 news, I frequently see country names abbreviated but miss the leading character before I can look it up carefully (I know the major ones). Is there a list anywhere of those ...
2
votes
3answers
138 views

How to say X were said to do Y?

Example: The hijackers were said to demand the plane to fly to Iran The only think I could think of was 有人告訴 (somebody said), and putting it at the beginning, like: 有人告訴劫機者... Is this ...
2
votes
4answers
138 views

What's the difference between 保育院 and 孤儿院?

Per title. Both describe an institution for children who have no parents. I've looked around on the Internet and asked several people about this, but no one seems to have a definitive answer? Does it ...
2
votes
3answers
335 views

How to write “bei wu long” in Chinese and what is its origin?

Bei Wu Long in Cantonese means to make a big mistake. What are the Chinese characters for this? Is there a story for this?
2
votes
2answers
637 views

How to come from 二百五 to 二百九?

I know 二百五 stands for foolish/stupid and I assume I have to add up 二百五, 三八 and 二 to it to obtain 二百九. Is this right and if so, what does 二 mean and where did it get it's meaning?
2
votes
3answers
957 views

The Chinese equivalent phrase of 恋の予感

I saw the phrase Koi no yokan described on a website: http://www.hightowerflashes.com/untranslateablewords.html The Japanese phrase means a feeling that you will fall in love with someone, which is ...
2
votes
2answers
358 views

What is the difference between 們 and 们 for marking plurals?

I've seen native speakers refer to "we" as both 我们 and 我們, so I was wondering if there's any difference in meaning or when to use one plural marker or the other.
2
votes
1answer
249 views

Semantic radical and dictionary header for 将

The Unihan standard, just like virtually every online dictionary, lists 寸 as the 部首 for 将. The 部首归部 reference published in 2009 ...
2
votes
1answer
237 views

Is this a translation of 逍遥游?

I think this is from 逍遥游, but I'm not sure. I just can't locate the following sentence. Thus, the wise man looks into space, and does not regard the small as too little, nor the great as too ...
2
votes
1answer
201 views

Using 變音 when reading Classical Chinese poetry in Cantonese

The poem 《登鸛雀樓》 (Climbing Stork Tower) has the final line 更上一層樓. If I were to read this in Cantonese, would I pronounce the final character as lau4 (without 變音), or lau2 (with 變音)? My guess would be ...
2
votes
3answers
283 views

How to say incoming president (国家主席)?

Strangely the Wikipedia article for president 中华人民共和国主席 doesn't mention 习近平 anywhere. I also asked my mother in law just now if she spotted any articles where it mentions him as the incoming ...
2
votes
3answers
259 views

How to translate/use 一巧

All of a sudden in my course we've started using "一巧" everywhere, and I really do not understand it at all. example: 尽管我很喜欢这张唱片,可是我一巧也开始喜欢它,想到以后可以跟一巧一起听音乐,我决定把这张唱片给他。 which I understand all of, ...
2
votes
3answers
553 views

Understanding the meaning of 让 in this sentence

我不但能够让外国人坐我的车,还能够让他包我的车。 This is from a Chinese reader. The voice is of a Chinese taxi-driver. The problem is the translation of 让... He's talking about going to hotels and getting customers. ...
2
votes
2answers
311 views

Ordering food from a menu in a restaurant

How should I order food from a menu in a restaurant? In English I'd usually say something like 'I'll have the beef' or 'one of these and two of those' while pointing. In the past in China I have ...
2
votes
3answers
412 views

国家 vs. 国, when can 国 be used alone?

In the Chinese book for beginners by Bellassen, it is stated that 国 cannot be used alone: it doesn't have a meaning on its own, and thus the word country/fatherland is 国家 and not 国. However... I am ...
2
votes
2answers
641 views

Cantonese 咩 (me1) vs. 嗎 (maa1)

What is the difference between 咩 (me1) and 嗎 (maa1) in Cantonese? Are they always interchangeable? Example: m4 sai2 faan1 gung1 me1? (You don't have to go to work)
2
votes
3answers
176 views

What is the most appropriate translation for this law article?

In this Skeptics answer, a user provided a rough translation of a Chinese law article — from this source — about vehicles and pedestrians using Google Translate. So I thought, why don't we provide a ...
2
votes
2answers
440 views

Why in China do they use k instead of m for the slope of a line?

In china they write y = kx + b Just wondering if there was a reason.
2
votes
4answers
286 views

How to correctly order the words in this sentence?

This is a question from an exercise book that I'm currently working through, to rearrange the given words into the correct order. I believe the format is along the lines of "The person who was [doing ...
2
votes
2answers
333 views

才 in the sense of “only”

What does 才 mean in this sentence? 妈妈说,鼻子长才是漂亮。 (Quote taken from a nursery rhyme.) After looking in the dictionary my best guess is that it means "just" or "only", so as to make the ...
2
votes
4answers
226 views

佰 vs 百: inconsistency in use

I saw a portion of a video course of Japanese tutorials aimed at Hong Kong Cantonese speakers, and notice that while introducing Japanese numbers, they translated the Japanese word for 600 as 六百, then ...
2
votes
1answer
815 views

Is the cantonese expression 五福臨門 present in Mandarin too?

A recent question prompted me to look for expressions related to the Chinese New Year and, among them, I found one that particularly stroke me as interesting: 五福臨門 = according to the poster it ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Historical Question, Possible Wade-Giles, Sichuan river name

I am currently reading an entomologists diaries from the late 19th Century - A.E. Pratt. He travelled Sichuan Province and published his journal, To the Snows of Tibet through China, in 1892. Pratt ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

In Cantonese, what is a less “childish” way to call one's own parents?

I know the standard ways of calling one's parents—"媽媽/母親" or "爸爸/父親", mother and father respectively, the former more familiar and the latter more formal; or the more familiar/childish way—"媽咪" or ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

What's the significance of Tangut?

With the preparation of the Tangut script for Unicode there seems to be extra added attention on the language, recently. Tangut being a dead, sinitic language with a script all of its own. What is ...
2
votes
5answers
186 views

What does 你要买点儿什么? mean exactly? (吗 question vs. Wh- question)

I already learned that Chinese wh- questions don't require a 吗 particle but I got stuck on this sentence: 你要买点儿什么? Which does the sentence mean, "what will you buy?" or "will you buy ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

How to translate this usage of “afford”

How does one translate the following sentences? I can't afford to lose any more time. I can't afford to lose any more sleep. I've tried looking this up, but nothing quite matches the ...

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