3
votes
4answers
168 views

Prefacing questions with 请问

When I ask a stranger for directions or other information I begin with 请问. It is especially important for me to use some opening phrase since people do not expect a foreigner to speak Chinese to ...
3
votes
4answers
136 views

Is there a difference between “几点” (jǐ​diǎn) and “什么时候” (shén​me​shí​hou)?

Both "几点" and "什么时候" seem to mean "what time?". Here are two examples that contain "几点" or "什么时候": 我们什么时候开会? (My interpretation: "When is the meeting?") 现在几点? (My interpretation: "What time is ...
4
votes
5answers
215 views

What is Mandarin's conversational equivalent of English's “How interesting!” or “That's cool”

In the course of a conversation in (American) English, I often respond to casual observations and statements using a neutral phrase such as "Oh, interesting" "Oh, I see" or "That's cool." I've ...
4
votes
1answer
561 views

勇 character on soldiers' uniforms in movies

I don't know much about Chinese military history, but I do see this character appearing on historical uniforms (fictitious or actual) worn by soldiers in movies, some are set in the Qing dynasty some ...
-4
votes
1answer
108 views

Can someone translate this chinese letter? [closed]

I received this letter from my crush. Please help me translate this.
5
votes
3answers
175 views

或: how did “region” become “either”?

The character 或 is used today for the meanings "or", "either", "maybe", and "perhaps". Historically, it had the meaning of "region", and it is this meaning that characters like 國 and 域 derive from. ...
2
votes
1answer
182 views

I need help translating >how< a word would be spoken

I am trying to find someone that will help me take words that are spoken in Spanish, such as Hola, and represent the sounds made by hola in Chinese Pinyin so someone who doesn't speak Spanish could ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

Greeting in an Email Autoresponse: 您好, 亲爱的 or something else?

It's a pretty specific situation, so I hope you can help me.
0
votes
3answers
218 views

What is the function of in this 为 sentence?

实行24 小时工作制。车队利用夜间进行运输,及时为卡车卸货,保证在18个小时内完成整个运输过程。 I think it must be ‘把’
5
votes
1answer
60 views

Why the change in tones of the words in some phrases?

I am a native Cantonese speaker. I found that we have to change the tones of some words, when used in particular phrases. But I don't know why. It seems that it doesn't follow any "rules of changing ...
0
votes
3answers
106 views

Colloquialisms: “(Please) Take a Seat”

English has take the weight off your feet or cop a squat as a colloquialisms meaning take a seat. I've heard Canadian-French has the expression to grab some wood, or more literally to pull oneself a ...
3
votes
4answers
176 views

不得不, 必须, 只好, 应该: what's the difference?

This is what I'm thinking: 不得不 pm. "cannot but, have to" this seems colloquial, and the fact that dictionaries think of this as a set phrase/fixed expression makes me think so. Also feels like ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

Difference between alveolars and alveolo-palatals in Cantonese

I would like to understand the difference in distribution between the alveolar consonants s, ts, tsʰ and the alveolo-palatal consonants ɕ, tɕ, tɕʰ in Cantonese. One source told me that the ...
1
vote
4answers
103 views

The word order of co-existing adverbs in a sentence

I am wondering whether there is a commonly accepted rule about the word order of co-existing adverbs in a sentence. For example, in the following sentences, 果然,昨天,直接,从学校 are adverbs. Which of the ...
1
vote
5answers
116 views

What is the Difference Between 讲解 and 解释?

I've seen both of them used as "to explain" or "to interpret", but I am not sure if there are differences in connotation or anything else?
0
votes
2answers
71 views

What is the right word order?

I am prepairing to my Chinese exam and have a doubt in using of 有 in describing of things in loction. Could you please correct my word order and explain 有-Usage rules? The task for me is to translate ...
4
votes
3answers
91 views

Describing Characters: AB的A/B

When trying to describe what specific character one is talking about, people often use the following method: AB的A/B For instance: 包: 书包的包 宇: 宇宙的宇 My questions: What is this thing ...
5
votes
4answers
379 views

Chinese Words that Accurately Reflect English Phonemes

I'm a retired computer science professor who helps Chinese graduate students master English. The students have a good background for reading and writing scientific papers but struggle with their ...
3
votes
6answers
166 views

How to translate “For all you know”?

What are the best ways to translate For all you know? For example: For all you know, she could be lying to you. In response to a friend getting upset that her friend isn't picking up her ...
0
votes
3answers
103 views

Difference between these words [closed]

What's the difference between these pairs of words? My book doesn't give a clear distinction between them. 如果 - 要是 必须 - 要 报名 - 注册 查 - 检查 读书 - 看书
3
votes
4answers
189 views

酵: jiào vs. xiào

I'm always hearing the pronunciations jiào and xiào being used interchangeably by native speakers for the character: 酵. What's the deal? Is there a standardized pronunciation for 酵? What's the ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

How to say “Your eyes whispered:'Have we met?' ”in Chinese? [closed]

It's from Taylor's songEnchanted.I need an answer as close to it as possible.
2
votes
3answers
428 views

Why does the order of 人口 change?

One of the first questions in my book is 你家有几口人? But the book highlights the word "人口" as people. Why does it change? Is it because 口 is the measure word for 人? Could you say 三口人口? When do you use ...
1
vote
3answers
124 views

Meaning/Usage/Translation: 耳膜 vs. 鼓膜?

What's the difference between: 耳膜 and 鼓膜? Apparently they both check out to eardrum in English. 汉语大辞典, even, defines 耳膜 as 耳中鼓膜。 Can 鼓膜 be used in other places then?
1
vote
3answers
195 views

Translation: couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery, etc

Looking for a colloquial Chinese translation of the English: Couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery Wiktionary: Presents an example of a minimally simple project that the person or group ...
5
votes
2answers
177 views

Chinese words for “accent”

The English word accent, as in the flavor of one's speech, is typically translated as 口音 or 腔调. What is the difference between these two Chinese expressions?
1
vote
1answer
146 views

What is the Chinese word for a Chinese lantern?

What is the Chinese word (/ what are the Chinese words if more than one) used to describe the Chinese lanterns which the Chinese use to celebrate (Chinese) New Year (those that go flying up in the air ...
0
votes
3answers
207 views

What is my name?

I am not Chinese, and know very little of the language, but I was born in China since my parents happened to live there at the time, and somebody gave me a Chinese name, which, unfortunately, I do not ...
6
votes
3answers
186 views

Phases to acknowledge being corrected in Mandarin

When I lived in China, I was often corrected for using grammar improperly or translating too literally. I don't think I ever learned a good response to this. I usually wanted to be courteous and ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

Is this funny way of saying things some dialect?

本身明明长患上丑还说[...]那鸣一个惨呀! 长患 should be 长相 and 鸣 should be 叫, but they appear too many times that the possibility of them being typos is close to nil. [...]以是在贬低他人的时辰就出格不留人情,以是咱们见到这类人时可以绝不夷由地上往打。 ...
2
votes
3answers
182 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
1answer
74 views

Confucius quote: what's the original?

The man who moves a mountain starts by carrying away small stones. This is (reportedly) a quote from the Analects of Confucius. I have tried looking for 山 in the whole Wikisource text and found ...
1
vote
3answers
199 views

Why is the 了 here after 错 not after 投?

The agent says the customer should insure all risks, he wants normal insurance. Agent: 万一货物出了问题,就有可能因为投错了险而无法得到赔偿,那麻烦就大了。 I imagine '投了险' is short for '投保了保险' and I thought '错‘ is an adjective for ...
1
vote
3answers
206 views

How does 平均 differ from 均匀?

I already knew that 平均 means "average", 均匀 means "even" or "evenly distributed". But how to distiguish these two phrases? Can you give me some examples? Thanks a lot!
4
votes
2answers
153 views

How to describe 陈省身's name

Shiing-shen Chern, 陈省身 (1911--2004), is a famous geometer. When taking about him with Chinese people who do not study math and have not heard of him, how can I best describe which characters 陈, 省, ...
3
votes
7answers
190 views

How would you translate “hard” in “squeeze my hand as hard as you can”?

Odd question, perhaps, but I'm stumped. I know that to say 'as fast as you can' you can say 尽可能快, but what about for other adjectives? For example, if you were to say 'Squeeze my hand as hard as ...
7
votes
3answers
140 views

How Cantonese and Mandarin writing can be identical

Forgive any ignorance on my part - I am a beginner, studying Mandarin. If "Apple" in Mandarin is "苹果" (píngguǒ), then I guess in Cantonese it is also "苹果", though no doubt pronounced completely ...
2
votes
4answers
179 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
1answer
122 views

Translation: “世界上,治疗心脏病最好的方式就是不要开刀。” [closed]

Looking for another retrograde translation. Here's the excerpt: 美国有一个心脏病之父,他一生开过,开胸开一万多人。他,美国的心脏科医生都知道,尊称他为心脏病之父。他死掉以后呢,在他的墓碑上面,刻了......了一句话在上面:“世界上,治疗心脏病最好的方式就是不要开刀。” This obviously comes from ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Whats the difference between the usage of 个, 只, 张, and 条

Whats the difference between the usage of 个, 只, 张, and 条? I know that 个 is used for counting fruits and 只 is for counting animals but what should each counting word be applied?
6
votes
2answers
81 views

Should names in idiomatic expressions be capitalised?

As the title indicates, I'd like to know the proper way of writing Pinyin for idiomatic expressions that contain names. Should those names be capitalised? Some dictionaries say that they should (Pleco ...
2
votes
2answers
194 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
5answers
435 views

Is there a difference between 有趣 and 有意思?

They seem to mean the same thing, but I've seen 有意思 quite a few times in my books, and never 有趣. When is 有趣 used and why (especially in comparison with 有意思)?
0
votes
1answer
93 views

What does this mean? It is on the bottom of a strange coffee mug [closed]

Please let me know if you can tell me what this means. I posted a pic of the mug too.
1
vote
1answer
64 views

成語 with 鮑魚, grammar structure?

so i stumbled upon this 成語: 如入鮑魚之肆久而不聞其臭。 it's like staying in a fish market and getting used to the stink long exposure to bad surroundings or bad company accustoms one to evil ways (source ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

When not to split up the VO verb?

虽然是坑爹了,但是认错态度很好。 (He got his father in trouble, but it's good for him to admit his bad attitude.) I see the verb 认错 a VO verb(verb-object). So shouldn't it be something like this as follow? ...
2
votes
3answers
161 views

What is the difference between 日 and 号?

Right now I am taking Mandarin 1 in Brooklyn Tech. From my understanding, 号 and 日 both mean "day." I took it upon myself to check Google Translate and find out what they both mean for confirmation. I ...
5
votes
5answers
346 views

which do I use , 喜欢不喜欢 or 喜不喜欢?

I know that 喜不喜欢 and 喜欢不喜欢 have the same meaning, but in a sentence, which would look more appealing or make more sense in the sentence? In other words, which one is grammatically correct?
3
votes
1answer
186 views

What does 'chee' mean in the following quote?

I read a very interesting book called 'China in War and Revolution' about the period from 1900-1949 in China. I am curious about the meaning of the word 'chee' in the passage below. I don't speak ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

How should I interpret 最大限度 in this sentence?

我们最大限度地利用现有港口条件运货。 I think I should treat 最大限度地 as one word, namely 'maximally‘. Does that fit? 我们最大限度地利用现有港口条件运货。 we maximally exploit current harbour conditions transport goods (rough draft, not ...

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