10
votes
1answer
191 views

Three-digit year in date on Chinese document

For work, I occasionally have to translate foreign language documents. I've been running into a lot of Chinese (simplified) documents that have a date listed as YYY/MM/DD. Why is the year only 3 ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Why 就范 means “to give in”?

What is etymology of this word? As far as I know 就 means: to start or to enter which sometimes is being interpreted as to take some thing (to enter a position of ...) So I just can't see why ...
84
votes
13answers
17k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
743 views

Proper letter writing etiquette

I've recently been writing a lot of letters in Mandarin and I have several questions regarding the form. Chinese has many salutations in letters. For the most part, is it okay just to use 亲爱? If ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How to say “giving someone the benefit of the doubt” in Chinese?

This expression connotes that one is willing to not insist on accusing someone of a mistake despite most evidence pointing to that someone as being responsible. As in a legal proceeding where the jury ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

How do I pronounce romanised Chinese names which lack tone marks?

In the West, Chinese names almost never seem to be written using pinyin tone marks or numbers. For example, the current president's name will simply be written as Xi Jinping. I had to Google to ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Parts of speech question.

Parts of speech are always dicey in Chinese. What is a verb, what is an adjective etc. So, In the sentence 你好!, what part of speech is Hao?
3
votes
5answers
320 views

Help to translate “红烧肉” to a foreigner

How to translate "红烧肉" to a foreigner. The braise in soy sauce meat?
1
vote
2answers
292 views

Roots of the difference between 谈,论,说,讲,议, 叙,言,报,告,述

All those talk, discuss, chat and ect. In any language there are a lot of words expressing different connotation of people speaking. In my own language (russian) there are lot's of them BUT I can ...
0
votes
5answers
133 views
3
votes
4answers
125 views

What is the difference btween 看样子 and 看起来

I just learned that you could use 看样子 to mean something similar to 看起来. Is there a difference in usage? Is one more formal than the other? From Iciba.com 好天气看样子要过去了 他看起来很生气
2
votes
5answers
163 views

What is the difference between “比照” and “比较”?

I started learning Chinese not too long ago but have come across these expressions (比照 and 比较) when comparing things. I am confused as to whether I'm using it correctly. Would anyone be able to help ...
8
votes
7answers
314 views

Regional variations on 三更半夜

A couple years ago, I was at a Chinese(-American) gathering and the topic of 成语 came up. One of them was 三更半夜. My family is from Hangzhou, and previously I had always known of it as 深更半夜. On the other ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

When to use of 买

I teacher mine told me that 买 could be use to buy/purchase but also to "to decide to buy", or "go shopping", other teacher told me the first one was wrong. Who is right?
1
vote
3answers
91 views

不比 vs 没有 comparison usage

If my understanding is correct, then: 他没有我高。= he's not as tall as me, i.e. he is shorter. 他不比我高。= he's either as tall as me or shorter, i.e. he's at most as tall as me. Is that correct? If so, in ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

比 comparison structures: positive adjectives?

In some textbook materials, I read that comparisons in Chinese should be used with "positive adjectives". For example: This is correct: 我比他高。 This is said to be incorrect: 他比我矮。 It should be: 他没有我高。 ...
2
votes
2answers
121 views

Chinese Speaker

What's the best way to say "Chinese speaker" in Chinese? There are the terms 母语者 and 非母语者; there are 华语学者 and 中国通 and 能说中文的人. None of these terms seems to encapsulate the simple "Chinese speaker," ...
0
votes
3answers
105 views

Apple Tablet Dictionary that Supports Drawing Input

I am trying to find an Apple tablet dictionary that supports drawing input. What I mean by that Is that you are able to draw the character you are looking for and then it suggests a number of ...
0
votes
3answers
136 views

What is the Mandarin term for great godparents?

What does my child call my godparents? Do my godparents become "great godparents" now that I have a child, similar to my parents becoming grandparents?
10
votes
7answers
513 views

Differentiating between 收 and 受

I've noticed a lot of people have trouble differentiating between 收 and 受. Both their pronunciations and meanings are similar. How to differentiate between the two? What tricks and tips are there ...
2
votes
2answers
407 views

Help translating 海南鸡饭 - 3

I've come across Zhang Shaolin's Hoi-nam kai-fan (characters 海南鸡饭, lyrics only in subtitles), a song in Hakka. It is split into three parts. This question concentrates on part 3, part 2 being here and ...
2
votes
3answers
100 views

How does 行 evolved to mean industry?

I was interested in differentiatig between different usages of obj+业,for example: 企业,商业... and there it was - 行业. So the question is "why 行 means industry and does it have something to do with it's ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Are there concrete rules of conversion between “homophone” English and Chinese proper names?

Recently, I have come across quiet a few English names which sound very similar in Chinese Mandarin. To quote a few examples :- English : Chinese ( Pinyin ) Australia : 澳大利亚 ( Àodàlìyǎ ) John : 约翰 ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Tips for pronunciating tone value “21”?

Any tips for pronunciating tone value "21"? It seems to be, fairly, common in Chinese topolects. Kind of hard to get a grasp on the whole starting low and dropping lower thing, though. Some have ...
-3
votes
1answer
98 views

Chinese hieroglyphs to English [closed]

What is the best place to translate Chinese hieroglyphs to English in case when I have hieroglyphs picture? Google translate not helps a lot in this case. UPD. Was trying to OCR using One Note. It ...
3
votes
2answers
109 views

What's the difference between 可 and 可以?

I've seen threads for 可以 as opposed to 会 and 能, but what about 可以 with its component, 可? Wiktionary seems to use them interchangeably: 白银可以指:银,贵金属,用做货币时可称为白银 Is there a difference in nuance, or flow ...
1
vote
2answers
206 views

Decipher particular short cursive inscription (is it really 习近平's signature?)

During his visit in the Czech Republic, the president of PRC Xi Jinping (习近平) has made a record in the castle of Lany guestbook. Its photo was posted publicly. The second line 二〇一六年三月廿八日 is obviously ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

Weird Chinese text next to the Great Wall [duplicate]

I was looking the Great Wall of China with Google Earth, and I found relly weird characters (that are the same size as the Great Wall) near it. I don't know what these characters mean, so here is ...
3
votes
5answers
446 views

What is the meaning of the last part of this sentence?

I can't quite get the last part of this 专家:这个问题不能一刀切。对于东部的企业,因为起步较早,有一定产业规模和资金积累,所以调整产业结构,提高技术含量,不断向产业链的高端提升是发展趋势的要求。 Can I rewrite the last bit thus: 不断向产业链的高端提升是发展趋势的要求。= 发展趋势的要求是不断向产业链的高端的提升。 ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Is this sentence using 是在?

I was reading this article when I came across this: 让任意的值是在一个上下文当中. 现在的情况你可以想象一个可以把值放进去的盒子 Because of the English version, I know that this is saying: Let an arbitrary value be in a context. ...
0
votes
3answers
127 views

Difference between 两 and 二? [duplicate]

I know both mean "two," but what differentiates the two? If there is a difference, when do I use 两 and when do I use 二?
6
votes
3answers
213 views

Which measure word should I use with 角色?

Nciku tells me the proper measure word is 类, but a quick search on Google garnered mostly results like "哪类角色更容易赢“小金人”?“ implying that for the most part 类 is used when inquiring about a particular type ...
5
votes
4answers
201 views

What is the difference between 受 and 收? [duplicate]

They both can mean "to receive". It seems as if 受 has a more negative connotation than 收 but I'm 100% sure about the exact usage differences.
3
votes
1answer
135 views

Radical Pronunciation - Helpful to Learn?

I'm in the process of memorizing the radicals for the purpose of character recognition. I've been making an effort to memorize the pronunciation of them as well. While some of the tones are dead on, ...
18
votes
5answers
856 views

足: why is “foot” also “enough”?

足 is an ancient character meaning "foot". However, it also means "enough" or "sufficient", and this second definition is also very old. Consider this excerpt: 兵甲已足。——诸葛亮《出师表》 This is from ...
2
votes
6answers
542 views

Could you repeat that?

I sometimes need to say the equivalent of Sorry, could you repeat that? I have found one comfortable phrase (for me) to handle this situation but would like to learn other phrases to use in this case. ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Why the long-short romanization system (长短音) for Chinese dialects?

Most Chinese dialectical/topolectical dictionaries use the long-short romanization system (长短音) to write out pronunciations. Wikipedia mostly just mentions Shanghai, Wu and Suzhou for using the ...
7
votes
1answer
626 views

What is the difference in usage between 以后 and 之后?

Today John Pasden linked to an old Sinosplice post in which he discussed how Chinese grammatical categories cannot be mapped neatly onto those of Indo-European languages. ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

What is the difference between 涉及 and 涉及到

I'm trying to figure out the difference betwen 涉及and 涉及到. I know here are two examples of each 当今世界的很多问题都涉及到全球的共同利益 - Could I say 涉及? Or 她的演讲涉及了太多敏感的话题 - Could I say 涉及到?
2
votes
2answers
119 views

了 as “perfect” aspect vs 了 as “actual” aspect theory

Couple of times in my research on Verb+了aspect, I've stumbled across really interesting nonstandard ideas about what this particle really means. Only one theory strikes some notes in my mind. Namely ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

What is the difference between 比如 and 例如

I know both can mean "for example/such as/for instance". They are most likely synonyms but even synonyms have slight subtle differences in precise meaning and usage. I know that 例 can be used alone: ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between 时候 and 时间?

When I want ask someone When will you eat?, can I use 你吃什么时间 (ni3 chi1 shen2me shi2jian1)? I used to see sentences using 时候 to ask for the time. What is the difference?
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Difference between V+着+V and 一边+V+一边+V

Is there any difference between: 他们说着话吃饭。 他们一边说话一边吃饭。 他骑着自行车听音乐。 他一边骑自行车一边听音乐。 Thx
2
votes
2answers
117 views

Translation of “fraction” in a sentence

I'm having difficulty translating the following sentence into Chinese: A fraction q of the population is smart. I was tempted to translate this as 百分之 q 的人口是聪明的。 But strictly speaking ...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

What semantic field underlies 經?

[ Wiktionary : ] 經 [...] classic works, scripture, canon pass through warp (as in "warp and weft") (Chinese medicine) energy channels of the body (geography) longitude manage, ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Which kanji is this: 氵+ 十? [closed]

氵and 十 are the left and right components and the kanji is shown in "Spirited away" but I can't find it in any dictionary. Thank you in advance
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Km/liter or liter/100km in China? 公里/公升? 公升/100公里?

In America we describe the fuel consumption of a car with miles/gallon. I know in some countries people use liters/100 km. Some countries use km/liter. Which format do Chinese people use, L/100 km or ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Ways to write “strength”

What is the difference in writing strength as 力 or 力量 ? I have seen it both ways and am not sure of the difference.
3
votes
3answers
163 views

How to indicate “long pronunciation” in writing in Chinese?

In English I can change "what the heck" to something like "what the heeckkkkkk" when writing in order to show that the pronunciation of "heck" is being dragged out. When writing Chinese characters, ...
5
votes
6answers
850 views

What's a good word for “creepy” in Chinese?

I realize that the English word "creepy" is a slang with many different meanings. I'm referring to the way someone might describe unwanted sexual advances. For example, That guy over there staring ...

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