4
votes
1answer
215 views

Looking for official specification of Putonghua in English

There has been some confusion here between different senses of "Putonghua." So to clarify: article 19 of the constitution of the PRC says "The state promotes the nationwide use of Putonghua (common ...
2
votes
2answers
200 views

pronunciation: j/q/x/y + ün

Here in the south (mainland) ün has a similar pronunciation to the English -ean as in 'wean' or even the -een in 'ween', though it seems like northerners pronounce it more like -uin in 'ruin'. jün, ...
2
votes
1answer
190 views

Characters used to specify low/standard/medium/high quality/definition in video sharing websites

I wonder what are the most common characters used in video sharing websites to specify options for the vide reproduction quality, in particular for this one.
16
votes
6answers
1k views

Difference between 如果 and 要是?

In the Pimsleur Mandarin course it uses 如果 (rúguǒ) to mean 'if', but the dictionary shows 要是 (yàoshì) to have a similar meaning: 如果: if; in case; in the event that 要是: if Are there any ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What's the meaning of “不见面也有不见面的好”?

I really couldn't understand the meaning of this sentences. 见面 means to meet, to see 不见面 means not meet, not see. 不见面也有不见面的好。 But I really couldn't get what it is saying.
3
votes
2answers
212 views

How to say “Catch a plane”

I'm interested to see if there is a translation for "catch a plane". I know that 赶不上飞机 is an expression - but could you say "今天我有很多事。 最要紧的是赶上飞机“
1
vote
4answers
290 views

How to translate game difficulty level terminology: “noob level”, “mature level”, “mad level”

I have a game that has 3 levels of difficulty: "noob level", mature level", "mad level". How can I translate these 3 terms into Chinese? (I don't use "easy", "normal", "hard" in my game because they ...
5
votes
1answer
608 views

How to say “A Person's Strength”

Is there a good translation for "strengths" in Chinese? I am trying to say strengths as in 'We should try to improve our strengths, not our weaknesses'. I know that 强项 is one phrase that has a ...
2
votes
4answers
185 views

Should you ever repeat the subject "我“ in a sentence?

So, I struggle with a common construction in Chinese where I don't know whether I should use the subject twice or not. For example, in the sentence "After I finished talking with her I went to ...
4
votes
3answers
510 views

Can you 关心 an object?

So, I've used 关心 consistently with people - 关心别人, 关心我的妹妹, but can 关心 be used for object or a phrase?? Example for a phrase 我们关心的应该是房子应该有几间屋子? Example for an object 吃饭时, 我关心的是调味。 长得怎么样, 我都不管。 ...
1
vote
3answers
154 views

What does 飘然而至 mean?

My context is an old, untranslated flashcard I've found. My guess it means "like a feather", referring to low weight and/or susceptibility to outside force. What are meaningful contexts and according ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

In soccer commentary, what do Chinese say when a player scores a Goal?

In English and in Spanish they say "Gooaaaaaalllll" after a player scores. How do the Chinese say goal? (My poor guess: méééééén ?)
3
votes
2answers
154 views

How to say “had a child”

So, I know that 出生 means to birth or "To give birth" - but what if I want to casually say that my friend (who is a male) recently had two kids. Could I say 他最近生了两个小孩 。 Or does that imply that he ...
3
votes
3answers
203 views

How to translate the famous saying “欲成大器,必先退之”?

The famous saying "欲成大器, 必先退之" is first said by Han Yu's wife, which is the origin of his courtesy name. How to translate this sentense into English though? My first try is: One should first learn ...
3
votes
2answers
214 views

Difference between 月 and 月份 for the noun “A month”

So, I'm trying to figure out what is a better way to simply translate "An important month". For example if I wanted to talk about the month of Ramadan I originally said "斋月是穆斯林非常重要的一个月“ but a ...
6
votes
2answers
130 views

What happened to the Old Chinese coda -p of 拉 in Cantonese?

Baxter's Middle Chinese reconstruction has 拉 as *lop, which surprised me given that the Cantonese reflex is laai1. Other characters with the rime -op such as 合, 答 and 雜 end up with the rime -ap or ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Where does the 4th tone go on wan3shang (evening)?

I see the character for evening are wan3 and shang4, but when the word is written in pinyin, the fourth tone disappears from shang and it becomes neutral. I've read the rules of tone change but I ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Help deconstructing parts of 點唱機 - 按年份後,當年的流行曲就出來了,一按即點

A Chinese family relative sent me this message (I am not Asian). I need some help deconstructing the message because at times the word sequence or implied idea is lost on me (even when I know most of ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Pinyinated 'm' with four tone marks?

I know 'm' is a pinyin pronunciation. Looking through my dictionaries I've seen it listed in first, second and fourth tones. I can't seem to find the correct accented lower-case 'm's anywhere ...
2
votes
4answers
237 views

追忆 vs。怀旧 how to say “To reminisce”?

For a while, I've been trying to express a good translation for the english "to reminisce". Reminisce means, in general, to spend time with friends/family thinking about happy things that had happened ...
2
votes
2answers
242 views

Difference between 尊敬 and 尊重

So, I know that chinese has (at least) two common words for "Respect" - 尊敬 and 尊重 . Is there a clear way to divide the two ? What if I wanted to say "Respect a teacher" or "Respect the law"
6
votes
3answers
355 views

Difference between 层 and 楼?

What is the major difference between 层 and 楼? I know that 层 can refer to other things like layers, etc. but I've heard that it could also refer to floors (just like 楼)。 Could I say something like ...
2
votes
3answers
109 views

How to say “to found”?

I've been struggling for a while with how exactly in Chinese to say "to found". Recently, I learned that 创办 could have that meaning? (I.e. 北大是1898年创办的) - but, I also know that words like 创始 also ...
1
vote
3answers
98 views

Translation of “you cut I choose”

I'm trying to give a presentation to my Chinese class on fair division procedures, and I want to describe the simple method of "you cut I choose". I think a literal translation would be something like ...
2
votes
4answers
78 views

I did (Something) as much as I would in (X amount of time)

In english there is a common expression that is "I did (something) as much as I would in (A period of time)". Generally in this pattern the period of time is a large period of time - and the ...
5
votes
1answer
172 views

怎么… with 的 and 了

So it is said that if you find 的 after 怎么, the sentence represents 'How', and if you find 了 after 怎么, the sentence represents 'Why'. How : 你怎么来的? "How did you come?" Why : 你怎么来了? "Why did you come?" ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Would you say 当动词 or 是动词?

I am back to the classic 当 vs。 是。 I've heard some people say “这个词也可以是动词” however could I also say "这个词 也可以当动词“ - if so, which sounds more common/colloquial?
8
votes
3answers
722 views

What is the difference between 免费 and 无偿?

I'm trying to sort out the difference between 免费 and 无偿 as adverbs. Would you say 水果店的老板免费送了我六个苹果。 or would it be 无偿送了?
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Translation English Expression “You can tell … by …”

I'm translating an English song in an exercise to learn Chinese One of the lyrics is You can tell he means it by the look on his face This is English expression. A less expressive lyricist ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

Meaning of these sign [closed]

What is the meaning of this symbol? Is it even a chinese sign?
4
votes
4answers
144 views

How to express: I wish…

大家好! I had a question that I have often asked my native-Chinese speaking friends, but I have not been satisfied with the answer. In English, I find myself often saying, "I wish..." For example: I ...
0
votes
2answers
197 views

Translating an English menu

I am getting married in a month's time and my Chinese-speaking father has invited some of his Chinese friends to my wedding. He is and his friends are elderly and their English is almost non-existent. ...
2
votes
3answers
77 views

How do you use the phrase 留宿 (liu2su4) (i.e. “To stay over at someone's house")

I've been trying to figure in what contexts it is appropriate to use the term 留宿。 Is it simply staying at another person's house for the night (like in english "crashing at someone's place") or is it ...
4
votes
1answer
208 views

How should this painting's title, signature and yin (chop) be correctly translated?

This is the title, signature and chop from a painted silk screen. I think the upper characters translate as hǎi táng huā [Chinese flowering crab-apple (Malus spectabilis)]. I think the lower ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

Phrases with most popular characters?

I found a table of characters (about 3000) in which most popular characters go first. Here are first 20: 我的 高的 是的 目的 的确 不 不是 人 在 有 他 这 中 大 来 上 国 自个 到 说 道 子 为 和 and I would like ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Tone Sandhi: Sichuanese 四川话

Been trying to find the rules of tone sandhi in Sichuanese - but not having a lot of luck. Wikipedia Talk:Sichuanese Mandarin Tone Sandhi Great improvements to the original article! Can we ...
2
votes
5answers
201 views

difference between 为难 and 矛盾?

Recently, I ran into the word "为难“ which means roughly that someone is in a dilemma/is having difficulty deciding . The sentences that was used as an example was 离开还是留下, 他很为难。 Could some explain ...
4
votes
3answers
397 views

What does 自个 mean: “since a” or “onself”

As a title, I have found to meanings for 自个: "since a" or "oneself", what is correct and how to translate it?
7
votes
3answers
834 views

What is the polite way to respond to a sneeze in Chinese?

In English, one might say "bless you" or "gesundheit" in response to a friend sneezing. Is there a Chinese equivalent? If so, what is it?
4
votes
2answers
190 views

How do you describe a vegetarian item? As in a vegetarian burrito?

So, in english when describing whether something is friendly for vegetarians or not we say "vegetarian object_____". Is there an equivalent in Chinese? For example could you say "素的墨西哥卷“?
2
votes
3answers
182 views

信子 meaning “tongue”

信子apparently can mean (snake's)"tongue" but only if 吐 also occurs near it (s. all examples below) http://news.sina.com.cn/s/p/2014-08-03/051130621113.shtml headline:半夜如厕 小臂粗大蛇 蜷缩地上吐信子 within ...
4
votes
4answers
129 views

Can 斋戒 vs. 禁食 which one is used for “Fasting for ramadan”

Yesterday, I celebrated Ramadan with a couple of friends and I was trying to explain what the celebration entailed in my diary. Could I use the term 斋戒 - the translation I found for "to fast" or is 禁食 ...
4
votes
4answers
379 views

Loanwords with Chinese Equivalents

How many loanwords in Chinese have Chinese equivalents? Example: 三文鱼 is a loanword, borrowed from English, meaning salmon, but Chinese also has the word 鲑鱼 meaning salmon. Are there a lot of these ...
4
votes
6answers
451 views

What does 糗大 (qiǔdà) mean?

What does 糗大 (qiǔdà) mean in the following phrase? 那才真的糗大了。 From context, I think it ought to mean something like "that would really be terrible" or "that would be far worse," but I can't find ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

What does 厉害 mean, and in what context does it mean what?

This has to be one of the more ambiguous words I have struggled with. 厉害 can be: very well performed = 玩得很厉害; harsh = 骂得很厉害; severe = 生病得很厉害; probably a bunch of other stuff... Can anyone give a ...
5
votes
2answers
418 views

How to say “unsurprisingly” as in “Someone unsurprisingly did something”

I'm trying to figure out how to say unsurprisingly; I know that 果然 generally implies that you expect that something is going to happen, but in some contexts I'm not entirely sure if it is most ...
3
votes
3answers
175 views

What does it mean to 按时收听?

I've been listening to a great mandarin podcast recently called "imandarinpod". At the beginning of every podcast the host says something like this "谢谢大家按时收听我们的节目“。 I've looked up the translation of ...
3
votes
3answers
121 views

When do I need 的?

Why do I need 的 for 爸爸 but not for 爸 ? me: So if I said "your father is....", it would be 你的爸是.... me: Right? friend: No 的 if you use 爸 friend: we say 你爸是。。。 friend: Or 你的爸爸是。。。。
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Resources: Chinese Minority Languages

China has a lot of minority groups and each group has its own language, if not a bunch of them. What resources are there for learning Chinese minority languages? For example: Naxi Dongba script : ...
1
vote
1answer
225 views

Toneless Sinetic Dialects/Topolects

One of Mandarin's biggest characteristics is its tones. Other Sinitic dialects/topolects aren't any different: Cantonese, Hakka, etc. Question: Are there any toneless Sinitic dialects/topolects? ...

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