3
votes
1answer
259 views

What's the significance of 家 in 国家?

国家 and 国 both mean "country" or "nation". However, what's the significance of the character 家 in the word? Does it really add the meaning of "home" or "family"? Is there a cultural or historical basis ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

How were Chinese characters taught to Chinese children before the introduction of pinyin?

Before schools started to use pinyin for teaching characters to Chinese children, how and/or what was used to teach it instead? And what about how dictionaries showed the pronunciation of characters?
3
votes
1answer
152 views

Meaning of 差 in sentence

I have difficulties understanding sentence. What is meaning of 差 in the following sentence? 我看一下,现在差一刻九点。 Thanks
3
votes
6answers
245 views

What's the word for 'human quality'?

For example when someone jumps the queue, I might tell them they lack good manners / human quality, what's the word in Chinese (Mandarin)?
8
votes
2answers
338 views

Writing in Chinese - What rules are there for handwriting vs printed

I've recently found out that I've been incorrectly writing a lot of Chinese characters Examples: 口日目 I've been writing them with the little feet (not sure of a better name for them) but have ...
3
votes
3answers
203 views

Asking a cafe/restaurant if they have Wi-Fi *and* electricity for using a device

In my travels in China I've found myself in need of a place to use my internet device. Its battery has recently ceased to hold a charge so I also need to be able to plug in my AC adaptor. My Chinese ...
7
votes
2answers
174 views

漏拆 - Meaning & usage?

I tried several sources & can't find a translation that seems correct. An example sentence & my attempt at translation: 嘴里漏拆了一根线怎么办? mouth inside left behind remove a strip of thread what ...
2
votes
4answers
350 views

What are the most usual Chinese terms for permanent markers vs. whiteboard markers

Today in Chengdu I wanted to buy a replacement permanent marker pen for writing on cardboard. I don't like nonpermanent markers because the ink can sometimes wipe off and stain your clothes. I find ...
5
votes
2answers
315 views

Etymology of 二百五?

二百五 is Chinese slang for an idiot, but how did it come about? What's the earliest recorded usage of this term in this meaning? There are many theories for its origin, this page lists as many as 6 ...
9
votes
2answers
142 views

Does a dictionary exist that goes from full word -> abbreviation? Many only offer abbreviation -> full word

My question is about 简称 ("abbreviations"). The question is simple: where can I find a dictionary that includes abbreviations in its definitions? For example, the NDRC here in Beijing is technically ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

When breaking down a character, what do you do for parts where no radical exists?

For example, 留. 刀 and 田 are obvious, but the top left? 匚 厶 come close but no match. Pleco says 卯, but I don't see this in many radical charts.
3
votes
2answers
769 views

What does 看得开 and 看不开 mean?

This sentence is very hard for me to translate. 许多事情,看得开是好;看不开,终归也要熬过去。别以为看不开就不会过去 My try: "Have a lot of problems, Kan De Kai is good; Kan Bu Kai, in the end will still be angry (??). Don't ...
4
votes
3answers
247 views

Difference between 什么,什么呢,什么吗 and 什么了?

What is the difference between 什么,什么呢,什么吗 and 什么了? For instance: 你要什么? 你要什么呢? 你在做什么吗? 你做什么了?
6
votes
3answers
162 views

What's the difference between “大衣” (dàyī), “外套” (wàitào), and “外衣” (wàiyī) - which can all be translated to “coat”?

As I need to buy some cold weather clothes now that I'm heading further north than Xi'an I tried to look up the word for "coat". I found there are at least these three terms: 大衣 (dàyī) 外套 (wàitào) ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

What does 大秀香肩美背mean?

Got this off Weibo. What does 大秀香肩美背 mean? Particularly that 大 seems odd there.. 【熊乃瑾秀香肩美背 性感造型女人味十足】女星@熊乃瑾xiong 近日在意大利为某杂志拍摄了一组复古时尚大片,大秀香肩美背。 Thank you
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Why are there so many 与 here?

In the following passage there are a lot of 与. Please let me know if I understand each of them correctly. 公关人是客户*与*市场受众的纽带, 公关公司职员通过*与*媒体编辑或记者的联系和沟通,将客户的需求软性地传递给目标客户群。 Public Relation are customers' ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

unix(apue) 高级程序设计理解问题 [closed]

下面是英文的干活: Second, whenever input is requested through the standard I/O library from either (a)an unbuffered stream or (b)a line-buffered stream (that requires data to be requested from the kernel),all ...
9
votes
3answers
361 views

What grammar makes 同 品 項 第 2 仵 6折 mean “Buy one, get the second at 60% of base price”?

So in the convenience store, there were bottles of iced coffee with the slogan: 同 品 項 第 2 仵 6折 I was told that this meant: "Buy the first item, get the second item at 60% of base price." I was ...
4
votes
1answer
380 views

Is there a term for the noisy bringing up of phlegm in preparation to spit?

There's a colloquial term in some regions in English I've seen spelled hoik and hoick to refer to the noisy act of clearing the throat/nasal cavity of mucus/phlegm, usually just before spitting it ...
5
votes
2answers
571 views

What does 二货朋友 mean?

Another Weibo post. This one has a lot that i dont understand. I think 有天二货朋友看到我的说说 Means “one day two friends said to me..." But that structure is very strange. I would have written 有一天两位朋友对我说。。。is ...
5
votes
2answers
123 views

Doesn't 被 mean “by”?

I've always thought of 被 as "by." I understand the following phrase means "deducted 10 points" but I don't understand the structure. Thanks for your help. 整整要被扣十分
7
votes
3answers
263 views

What's the relationship between 炮 and 砲?

炮 and 砲 both mean "cannon", but it seems the former is much more common, and the latter only really seen in Xiangqi. Is there a difference in meaning? For example, on wikipedia it is said that 砲 ...
3
votes
3answers
123 views

我住宅在一座橋樑 的 附近。Does this sound idiomatic and natural, or stilted and artificial?

I want to convey the idea: My residence is in the neighborhood of a bridge. Initially I got: 我住宅在附近的一座橋樑。 Wǒ zhùzhái zài fùjìn de yīzuò qiáoliáng. But after listening to myself saying that, I think ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Questions on usage of 可

I have this sentence: 同学们,我的新家安电话的时侯还是几年前,可现在想起来可真是记忆犹新呀!不信?那我就讲给你听听,我可要出点丑了! Could you please explain? 1 可现在想起来可真是记忆犹新呀!why is there a second 可here? 2。我可要出点丑了!what is the meaning of 可here and what ...
6
votes
2answers
328 views

Never understood the usage of 弄

I never understood the usage of 弄 for example in this sentence 婶婶找来几片叶子,给雪弄了一双耳环 why is there a 弄了? The sentence makes sense without it.
6
votes
2answers
365 views

Dot vs. slash in Chinese computer fonts

We have been working with a new character system that differentiates between a dot and a slash in Chinese characters. The issue I have is being able to instinctively tell which one I should use. When ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

What is the conclusion of this article?

I am not clear on the usage of 偏上 in the following sentence: 此前,《时代》周刊和皮尤研究中心也分别做过类似国家形象的调查。结果均显示,中国的受欢迎程度排名中偏上,但都远远落后于日本的排名。 My translation: Prior to this research, ShiDai publication and Pew ...
3
votes
4answers
157 views

Does 住 人 mean “people living in the area” or “real live people, as opposed to puppets and fictions”?

I see various written sentences that refer to 住 人 . The dictionary says this means "living people," but 住 seems to be "live" in the sense of "I live in Beijing," or "I reside in Beijing." So if the ...
2
votes
3answers
311 views

Meaning of 之 in this sentence

Why is 之 used in this sentence? 忍耐是幸福之门的一把钥匙. Cant it just as easily be substituted with 的? Please help me understand. Thanks.
3
votes
2answers
178 views

Is my interpretation of this sentence correct?

http://economy.caijing.com.cn/2013-11-07/113534884.html 在这一重大的历史时点, 和讯网 对 著名经济学家张维迎就改革的 发展问题 进行了 一次非常深入的访谈。 "At this important historical point, Hexun.com has conducted a very in-depth ...
5
votes
3answers
315 views

Is 去 (qù) pronunced /tɕʰu/ or /tɕʰy/?

I'm a struggling very beginner having difficulties with both pronunciation and Pinyin. I dabble in linguistics so I'm accustomed to dealing with IPA pronunciations. For this reason I have been ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

What does 嘰咿— mean?

I'm reading a Chinese manga translation and have come across this note above a panel: 嘰咿— I'm not sure what it could mean or say in English. Can anyone help me? Thanks!
9
votes
3answers
871 views

How do Chinese spell English words over the phone?

In English, if I am spelling my name for someone over the phone I can use a phonetic alphabet to ensure they get my name right. Especially for potentially ambiguous letters; d and t, b and p, c and e, ...
7
votes
4answers
288 views

How to add emphasis to sentences

Last week a kid wrote on the office white board "Give me all your cheese now!" and I attempted a translation into Chinese (mostly to practice my handwriting). I wrote 马上给我你的奶酪。 I felt like this ...
3
votes
2answers
332 views

Which is the correct sentence? Question about birthday

I was wondering, which is the correct sentence in this case. 你的生日是几月几号? or 你的生日几月几号? (without 是) Also can I omit 的 in this case?
3
votes
3answers
362 views

pronunciation of 人 - regional or gender differences?

To my English tuned ear, these audio files of people pronouncing 人 sound very different. My colleague (a native Mandarin speaker) insists they are the same sound, and thinks I am just confused ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Pronunciation differences between pinyin 'zh' and 'ch', and between 'qi' and 'xi'

Although this question states that these sounds can be often mixed (though mainly in dialtects...) Do you know where I could find a detailed description of position and movement of the tongue for ...
8
votes
3answers
215 views

How to distinguish the difference between the pronunciation of different erhuayin?

For example, 小黄儿, 小欢儿, 小花儿; 唱歌儿, 树根儿, 一横儿; What's the difference? I can't understand the difference between each phonetic symbol in the same row in the table below: The picture is from ...
6
votes
2answers
316 views

Similar pronunciations of tea/茶 across languages

The Cantonese (Yale cha4), Mandarin (pinyin chá) and Kan’yōon (cha) pronounciations of 茶 are similar to the Russian чай (IPA t͡ɕaj) word for tea. Do these have a common origin?
8
votes
2answers
212 views

Does “坊” also mean “square”, “plaza”, “piazza” like “广场”?

Where I am in Kunming there is a square that seems to go by two names: 金碧广场, Jīn bì guǎngchǎng, "Golden Square" 金马碧鸡坊, Jīnmǎ bì jī fang, "Golden Horse and Green Rooster Square" When I look ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Why were some letters like Q, X, C, chosen for Pinyin which confuse non-Chinese speakers?

A romanization system is basically a system in which roman (latin) letters are used for languages that use non-roman scripts. This has the obvious benefit that people who can (maybe only) read roman ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How is the pinyin 'iu' pronounced?

How does one pronounce the 'iu' sound (as in liu4 = six)? I have always said it and heard it to end in an [joʊ] sound, as in 'low', 'go', and 'sew'. But once I was told that it should actually be a ...
0
votes
3answers
360 views

deep meaning of 女生 [closed]

i'm trying to figure out the meaning of the term 女生. I was told it's something deeper than "school girl"/"student girl"/not married"/"beauty" or anything like that. I know that in separated one ...
0
votes
3answers
393 views

What does “&” (Ampersand) means in Chinese language? [closed]

While visiting Dr. Sun Yat-sun Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver, B.C. I noticed the sign "&" (Ampersand) is posted everywhere. The tour guide said that "&" means money in Chinese, it is ...
5
votes
2answers
126 views

“niyao” meaning strong-armer?

A comment on a New York Times article about violence towards doctors in China reads: The situation is explosive. In 2010 there were 17,234 cases of violence against medical personnel reported by ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Stroke order confusion: 妆, 装 vs 乘

Stroke order according to Nciku and Visual Mandarin for 妆 and 装, the left radical, 丬, the two ticks go before the bar. But in 乘, the radical that looks like 丬, the bar comes before the two ticks. ...
5
votes
1answer
255 views

Why is the 車 in Chinese chess pronounced jū?

The 車 in Chinese chess is pronounced jū. Why isn't it pronounced chē? Is this pronunciation used outside of Chinese chess?
10
votes
3answers
443 views

Why is 我很要… an invalid statment

Why is it that to say I very much or really want something I have to say 我很想要... and not just 我很要... So if I wanted a cup of coffee I would say 我要一杯咖啡 But if I want to say I really want coffee ...
3
votes
4answers
213 views

Usage of word 到 in 我很高兴见到你

Why do one need to write a word 到 in statement 我很高兴见到你? Can we omit it? It's like being complete without that word for me. Why do we need to use it? I found this phrase in this book.
0
votes
1answer
455 views

What is the exact meaning of 奻? [closed]

Today i saw the expression: "奻" and "女女女" are they connected is some way? And what they mean exactly? Thanks

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