3
votes
2answers
131 views

Is there a tone sandhi for 2nd-tone-2nd-tone names?

I stayed in Taiwan for a few months and made friends with Tiántián (恬恬, a second tone character repeated twice). However, I heard everyone say her name as Tiǎntián (third tone followed by second ...
1
vote
4answers
175 views

很 and 最 - Questions of The Context

很 means very. 最 means truly, really. I was wondering in which context they would be most appropriate. 我最喜欢去组约。- I'd really like to go to New York. So 最 can be used as a descriptor in this ...
3
votes
4answers
106 views

Can 偷工减料 be used to describe the intentional and open purchasing of somewhat inferior product?

I know that 偷工减料 is frequently used to describe intentionally (and perhaps secret) shoddy construction. When I translate it, I usually say "Cut corners". However, I think 偷工减料 has a very negative ...
10
votes
3answers
347 views

What is the meaning of 当仁不让?

I was browsing the Chinese internet looking for a bank that supports Mac OS when I came across this site. They list a range of different banks under a range of different headings, the first of which ...
5
votes
3answers
189 views

How would I say Dominican Republic in Chinese?

Google translate gives me: Duōmǐníjiā gònghéguó. But I wondered if the chinese use a smaller word or lop-off the Republic at the end?­­­­
2
votes
4answers
160 views

What is the meaning of 捅破 in this text?

The following text is taken from the serial of 寒夜: 一直到有一天 一个偶然的机会 我的心事 或者说是我们的心事 被我们的学生捅破 感情是不能被捅破的 一旦捅破 就如同大坝破堤 汹涌而出 He's talking about his love for the heroine of the series, then ...
3
votes
6answers
195 views

Chinese version of the idiom “The word on the street”

"The word on the street" is an English idiom that basically means "rumors". The word on the street is that Bob's going to be fired. I was wondering if there was a similar Chinese idiom.
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How can one determine the radical for a given character?

Many times, when reading Mandarin, I will happen across a character that I don't know. Usually, the radical along with some context will clue me into the meaning, but if I can't determine the ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Can 会儿 be pronounced 3rd tone?

The word 会儿 means "a short amount of time." All dictionaries I have checked say that the correct pronunciation of this word is huìr (i.e., 4th tone). Nevertheless, I am fairly sure that I have heard ...
8
votes
5answers
8k views

How to say “cool” in Chinese

Basically I am looking for words in common usage which are roughly synonymous with English "cool", "wicked", "awesome", "sweet", and related positive slang adjectives. I would also like to know how ...
2
votes
4answers
172 views

What is the difference between 秀才, 进士, 举人, and 甲第?

秀才、进士、举人、甲第那些单词有什么区别?好像它们都是指在中国古代科举制度下成绩特高的考生。准确的区别是什么?哪些至今还在使用? (麻烦大家帮忙改正中文错误!) What is the difference between 秀才, 进士, 举人, and 甲第? They all seem to refer to students who did particularly well ...
5
votes
4answers
459 views

What is the rule for forming chinese names diminutives?

In alphabetical languages, diminutives are easily made by adding a suffix (e.g. -ito, -ino, -ine, which belong to some Romance languages) and sometimes contemporaneously changing the ending of the ...
1
vote
0answers
210 views

How do I learn basic Mandarin for free without a teacher? [closed]

I'm playing a Chinese MMORPG (http://ff.163.com) and I have some people to help me understand it, but I would love to actually learn the language. As it's a game, I don't need to be able to pronounce ...
5
votes
4answers
284 views

What is the function of 了 in the sentence “她会杀了你的”?

What is the function of 了 in the following sentence? Does it imply a sequence of actions? 她会杀了你的。"She will kill you."
0
votes
2answers
362 views

What are the most common mistakes when pronouncing Pinyin? [closed]

For example, 'shuo' is sometimes mistakenly pronounced 'shou'. 'Juan' is often pronounced 'zhuan'.  Can anyone think of any others? I want to highlight some common mistakes to teach pinyin ...
5
votes
1answer
172 views

In Cantonese, what does 多到 (do1 dou3) mean?

In Cantonese, what does 多到 (do1 dou3) mean in this context? 你可以想像罪案多到幾咁嚴重嘞! nei5 ho2-ji5 soeng2-zoeng6 zeoi6-on3 do1 dou3 gei2-gam3 jim4-zung6 laak3! My guess is that the sentence ...
2
votes
3answers
97 views

How is 儿化 represented in other romanization systems like Wade-Giles, Zhuyin Fuhao, etc.?

I just realized that I have no idea how other romanization systems (besides pinyin) deal with 儿化 (er hua). What would be the Wade-Giles or Zhuyin-Fuhao equivalent to 电影儿 (diànyǐngr)?
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Classifiers for rooms

What is the best classifier to use for rooms? 一 _____ 卧室 两 _____客厅 三 _____洗衣房 What about houses or buildings? I know there is 一层楼 for a floor / level / story of a building, what about ...
3
votes
2answers
108 views

Use of 蓝 (Blue) in a Specific Context?

There is a song sung by William So whose title is 《有人喜欢蓝》 (Yǒurén xǐhuan lán - There are people who like blue.) What does 蓝 (blue) mean in this context? Is it a reference to the sky, sea, a mood, or ...
3
votes
2answers
294 views

Deciphering a seal

I have a friend who bought a buddha figure on a Chinese market. On its bottom there is this seal, written in seal script, that has an original size of 1.5cm × 1.5cm. Any idea what it means? The ...
5
votes
2answers
530 views

How to differentiate moods, characters, temperaments, etc?

It seems like there are way more words for these things than in English, and I am having a hard time figuring out the difference between them. Some adjectives can only be used to describe mood, while ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

What is the significance of the phrase “二十五,糊窗户”?

The phrase “糊窗户” refers to the practice of pasting paper cutouts (similar to the one seen here) on one's windows. There's a common larger saying, “二十五,糊窗户”, which I assume means that this is usually ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

How to translate “doesn't lift a finger” and “without lifting a finger”?

I recently same across this stumbling block in conversation; in one case I wanted to say "doesn't lift a finger" and in another "without lifting a finger". These phrases mean that someone is extremely ...
5
votes
2answers
207 views

What is the difference between 人民 and 民族?

What is the difference between 人民 and 民族, for example in 中华人民 vs. 中华民族?
1
vote
2answers
125 views

Does the use of 就 and 便 vary by region?

就 and 便 are synonymous in many sentences: 这儿(就、便)是我们的学校。 我看了报纸(就、便)扔了。 如果你去,我(就、便)不去了。 I believe that 便 is more formal than 就; I've seen it in writing but never heard it in speech. However, ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Which classifier for window (窗户) is regularly used?

The dictionary lists two classifiers for window (窗户) 个 and 扇. Are both of these in common usage? If so is there any difference in the register? Does one sound more formal, etc?
2
votes
5answers
122 views

Is 解决 a common euphemism for going to the bathroom?

In the novel 《天机》, passengers on a bus become ill after eating an unfamiliar dish. They ask the driver to stop the bus, and the male passengers, including the protagonist 叶萧, descend: ...
2
votes
3answers
230 views

How to say “all the usual X” in Chinese?

How do I say "all the usual ..." in Chinese, for example." "At my school we play all the usual school sports." "The pharmacy had all the usual junk."
2
votes
3answers
112 views

What is the difference between 演奏, 弹 and 奏?

There are several words that seem to be related to playing musical instruments (specifically 演奏, 弹 and 奏), and I would appreciate an elaboration on the nuances between them. Are some used in specific ...
8
votes
2answers
214 views

Where can I find recordings of people reading things now that mp3.baidu.com is dead? [closed]

Baidu's MP3 search engine used to be my first stop when studying anything Chinese. Absurdly, even recordings of relatively rare poetry (for instance) were easy to find. These recordings were not ...
5
votes
4answers
448 views

How to pronounce 儿 in conjunction with other characters

The textbook I'm reading now has liberal sprinklings of the 儿 character suffixing words that I have not previously seen suffixed. For example: 空儿。 How should this be pronounced? Are there any rules ...
2
votes
4answers
191 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
229 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
139 views

How do I interpret 铁饭碗 concisely?

How am I supposed to put "铁饭碗" in simple words, and not a paragraph worth of explanation? I can't seem to find suitable adjectives or nouns to concisely interpret the implication of "铁饭碗" (Suppose to ...
4
votes
6answers
310 views

How to parse 没得 + Verb constructions

I've heard phrases of the form 没得V, where V is a verb. Sometimes, the 没得 appears to function like 没, e.g., 我没得选: I don't have a choice. Sometimes, it appears to function like a softer, ...
3
votes
2answers
280 views

What is the difference between 别人 and 别的人?

What is there difference between these two expressions, or are they synonmyous?
6
votes
2answers
94 views

Syntax of 'Number Number MeasureWord'

What are the rules governing expressions such as 七八成 (seventy or eighty percent) or 一两个 (one or two)? Must the numerals be monosyllables? What are the restrictions on the measure words? Can there be ...
2
votes
3answers
162 views

Is 菜心 used in Mandarin?

Is the vegetable 菜心 (Choy Sum - English rendering of Cantonese) called 菜心 in Mandarin? Is it pronounced "cài xīn" or is it pronounced as it would be in Cantonese?
9
votes
2answers
547 views

Using 的 at the end of a sentence

I'm looking for confirmation of the way I'm parsing a sentence with 的 at the end, and I'd appreciate some background or other examples of this usage. I found this sentence on tatoeba.org: ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

What is the difference, if any, between 即使 and 無論?

Is a big difference between 即使 and 無論? I was working on a couple of fill-in-the-blanks exercises and the following sentence came up: 你的畫很有特色,(blank)是畫家也不一定能畫德比你好。 I think the right answer ...
5
votes
1answer
101 views

Role of 在 in this sentence

I was using a text editor in Chinese, when I tried to exit without saving the currently opened file it showed me this sentence: 您要在关闭文件前保存吗? What is the role of 在 here? Is it related to the ...
3
votes
2answers
196 views
1
vote
2answers
756 views

What is the correct pinyin for 哪儿?

I've seen both Nǎ'er and Nǎr. The first form looks more like a literal transcription of each character, while the second one might be the way it's pronounced (assuming there is a difference) I do ...
-3
votes
2answers
240 views

How to translate “be mature” into Mandarin?

How do you say "be mature!", as in "grow up!" (a command or suggestion telling the listener to take a more adult, responsible attitude to the issue) "Don't lie to your boss about being late, just ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

englisg to simflified mandarin maths dictionary [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are some good dictionaries about Mathematics? I'm searching without success for a downloadable English to Mandarin simplified maths dictionary for my 12 year old ...
0
votes
1answer
683 views

How to use 指 when giving a definition?

How is 指 used, what is it's role in definitions such as this (from Wikipedia): 研究生是*指*获得学士学位后继续深造.
1
vote
3answers
205 views

Chinese words that are their own antonyms

Are there (m)any Chinese words that are their own antonyms? Similar to English "terrific", "wicked", etc. (which originally had negative meanings and now have positive meanings). I imagine that as ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

Do some (prestige?) accents swap /v/ or /f/ for /w/?

I have only a layman's grasp of phonology and a poor ear to boot, but it seems to me that for many Chinese whom I am told have markedly standard pronunciation, /w/ and some type of labiodental ...
4
votes
2answers
269 views

What words are used to express the sincerity when texting your friends in festival period,such as the Spring Festival?

In the Chinese New Year period, many people will send text messages to their friends on the phone(via the SMS). I will also do that. When writing English letters, you may use "Yours," or "Sincerely," ...
2
votes
3answers
122 views

Ways to say “more”

I know a few ways to say "more" or "in addition", and I'm wondering which to use when translating this sentence. I came across the following English sentence and its Chinese translation on ...

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