2
votes
1answer
107 views

Why Have Modern *duilian*'s become 成语+3 Random Characters?

I keep seeing parts of modern duilian's made of one 成语 + three random characters. Something like: 国泰民安 + 增财富 How did duilian evolve to this level?
2
votes
3answers
136 views

Expression 不见不错 / 不见不散

Could someone please explain me how and when to use these expressions? Is there any difference between the two of them? Is it something like "see you later/see you there/see you soon"?
2
votes
2answers
117 views

How do I say that something is “negative”?

I'm trying to explain to a Chinese penpal that certain word and phrases in English carry a negative connotation and so shouldn't be used in specific situations. I want to say "that phrase is very ...
2
votes
3answers
134 views

So I was reading this in an online dictionary

I can translate it word by word but is it a saying/quote??? 别把这天的彩虹, 放在明天的天空
2
votes
2answers
233 views

Translation: “To Say The Least”

Looking for a colloquial way to translate: to say the least into Chinese. Hujiang says: to say the least的意思是: 至少可以这样说,退一步说 至少可以这样说,退一步说 英语句子 The logic of this was weird to say ...
2
votes
2answers
288 views

What is the difference between “吗 (mǎ)” and “么 (ma)”?

Both seem to be question particles. What's the difference between them (in meaning & usage)?
2
votes
2answers
198 views

List of Chinese characters not used in Mandarin/putonghua

Is there any convenient list of all of these characters? Examples of such characters being: The Hokkien (Min) 𪜶 (which is the pronoun 'them/they/theirs') The Cantonese/Hakka/Gan 佢 (which is the ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Small Red Vase W/ Chinese on bottom?

Can someone help me decipher these characters? These are on a small red vase with a small "wick" attached to the top. Thanks!
2
votes
2answers
251 views

Oral Tradition: Chinese Folktales, Sayings, Ballads, Songs, Chants, Etc

With the first translation and publication of the first edition of Grimms' Fairy Tales into English recently, I've been wondering a lot about Chinese and/or Sinological oral tradition. The Wikipedia ...
2
votes
2answers
192 views

What is the difference between 写完 and 写得完 ?

According to my textbook 简明汉语语法 the parts after the verb 写 are so called complements, they are strictly differentiated from adverbs. both complements are called: complement of result 完 complement ...
2
votes
4answers
208 views

How to say copycat?

I posted a status on Facebook and 20 minutes later someone else posted the exact same one. Google translate spits out 复印机 for copycat which looks pretty weird to me (the 机 at the end). Nciku gave me ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Can 去 be used as a 介词(Preposition)?

I don't think 去 in the example below is necessary since 走 already implies, "go", unless the 去 in used as a 介词(preposition). 去故宫(我)怎么走? How should I go to 故宫? I also do not think that that ...
2
votes
1answer
404 views

How do you say “mentor” in Chinese?

I've been trying to figure out if Chinese has a similar concept to the idea of "mentor" in english. I know 导师 and 良师 are both options that have been thrown out. But, I'm not sure if they imply the ...
2
votes
3answers
246 views

Chinese Contractions (缩约)

While speaking to Chinese Speakers, I sometimes notice that words are left out of a sentence. I have also read this thread on Chinese Contractions. When longer phrases are shortened in Chinese is this ...
2
votes
2answers
218 views

What is the meaning of 用支 in this setence?

支 usually means support or branch, but here it seems to take on a different meaning. Unless it means they plan the support they use in their life on money? I also tried to replace 用支 with 用之 and 用纸, ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

Translation Gaps On Comic Conversation : 1

As always: I appreciate any help provided. Thanks again. Background I am reading Doraemon (or at least I am trying to read it) and sometimes I can't quite see the character while other times I have ...
2
votes
3answers
124 views

How to ask whether you left A in B

I'm trying to figure out how to say "to leave" as in to leave something behind somewhere. Would you say one, two, or three? How to say “left my bag in the car” 1. 丢了我钱包在出租车里 2. 留了我得钱包在出租车里 3. ...
2
votes
2answers
143 views

Translate: 荒谬时代要吃得好玩到老经常想母猫

What's the meaning of this sentence? 荒谬时代要吃得好玩到老经常想母猫。 荒谬时代 means ridiculous age, i think. 好玩 means amusing, fun But i couldn't understand the whole sentence. Can anyone help?
2
votes
2answers
172 views

追 as in 追剧 (chasing a TV series)

I am native speaker but I haven't yet figured out the exact meaning of 追 as in 追剧 - 'chasing a TV series'. Does it mean 'stay on top', 'catch up' or simply 'actively watch'? In other words, Does it ...
2
votes
2answers
203 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
85 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
250 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"
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?
2
votes
3answers
110 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
144 views

CH-E Name Translation Etiquette

Is there any official way to translate Chinese names into English? Chinese is of course: surname + name, usually when translated into English why is the same formatting kept? 毛泽东 is usually written ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

过道/走廊 what's the difference?

It seems to me that these two are pretty interchangeable for 'hallway' - at least in the writing I've read before. My question is, though, is there any difference in meaning? Any difference when to ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

NY Times 翻译: He presented the choice in binary terms - 他用非此即彼的二元论来表述这个选择. Too complex?

I'm having problems figuring The NY Times' translation. Why so complex? 他用非此即彼的二元论来表述这个选择. He presented the choice in binary terms So Google Translate gives me: 他用非此即彼 - He used one or the other. ...
2
votes
2answers
272 views

How to write “BiángBiáng麵” using pinyin?

Alternatively, can you write the character by strokes (that the pinyin input recognizes it and that the character can be found among all the other stored characters)?
2
votes
2answers
182 views

Keeping track of words learned [closed]

I'm looking for a good online site to keep track of chinese words I've learned. I've looked at memrise.com, but found it lacking in features since its not linked to a dictionary and I have to manually ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Any easy way to transfer traditional Chinese to simplified Chinese on Mac?

I am using OS X 10.9.2, is there any easy way to transfer traditional Chinese to simplified Chinese? Like some apps? I don't really like using website to do this.
2
votes
2answers
248 views

Correct context for 大河向东流哇

As part of my immersion process I am studying Chinese lyrics of songs that I like. Many times I find Chinese phrases that I understand all of the words but none of the context. In this case 大河向东流哇 ...
2
votes
2answers
200 views

Alternative name for moon cakes?

The standard name for moon cakes in Chinese is 月餅. In Thailand they are called ขนมเปีย or roughly ‘khanom pia’. The first element is a general word for baked goods, so the operative term is ‘pia’ ...
2
votes
2answers
177 views

Correct use of 惹人心烦

I am not sure if I used the idiom 惹人心烦 correctly. This is the sentence I used, 好啊,然而我不要惹人心烦。 Would that be a good use of it or is there a better way of saying you don't want to be a pain in the neck ...
2
votes
2answers
187 views

Which term and which counter to use when ordering simple meals?

When ordering food at a cheap simple eatery in China, which words with which counters should I use that would be something vaguely like English "serve", "serving", "helping", "plate", "bowl". For ...
2
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
120 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
100 views

What do you do when the dictionary doesn't give you a meaning that fits your sentence?

For example, in a dialogue about global warming, this sentence fragment: 这个在中文就特别的直接... I would translate to, "In Chinese, this is especially relevant". But 直接 translates to immediate/straightforward ...
2
votes
3answers
355 views

When can I use 透?

I came across these sentences 我浑身都湿透了。 这些芒果熟透了。 And MDBG lists these: 坏透,烂透,恨透,干透。 Should 透 only be used with these adjectives?
2
votes
2answers
406 views

Differentiate 不错 and 没错 in these situations [duplicate]

I have been having problems knowing when to use either 不错 or 没错. I think 不错 means 'great'; and 没错 means no mistake. Which should be used to: (a) praise somebody's work? (b) indicate nothing wrong ...
2
votes
1answer
276 views

How would you translate 细腻 into English?

My Chinese coworkers were describing Korean drama TV shows & said that the actors faces are "细腻" xi4ni4. When I look this up in my dictionary, I get 2 definitions "fine & smooth" or ...
2
votes
2answers
258 views

Is it possible to use the verb particle 过 for future events?

I know it's possible to the use perfective aspect particle 了 for future events, eg: 你家少爷长大了准能当个二流子。 I have yet to find example of similar occurrences with 过. Is it even possible to use it in ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

'Simplification' of 夠

Why did 夠 get 'simplified' into 够? I'd like to know whether these existed as orthographic variants before simplification (such that the first round simplifications just standardised on one variant) ...
2
votes
1answer
215 views

What greetings or sayings are there that are used during the new year, specific to the Year of the Snake?

At the New Year, there are some sayings or greetings that are lucky or considered "好听", which are especially fitting since they have to do with the upcoming new year. For example, at the New Year of ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

How can I distinguish between Western style spirits and Chinese style spirits (liquor)?

I have tried to have this conversation a few times in China. The problem is when trying to explain the difference between beer, wine and spirits. People assume that spirits means something similar to ...
2
votes
2answers
200 views

“一块” versus “一块儿” in Beijing

From some experience in Beijing, some on CCTV 9, and some reading, I begin to suspect that in Beijing the pronunciation "一块" is more often used for the count noun, and "一块儿" is more often used to mean ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

What website will speak Cantonese to me? [closed]

My parents are born in Hong Kong so I can speak Cantonese semi-fluently, although I cannot write. I've been learning Mandarin and I find that my cantonese has been useful because if the word is used ...
2
votes
3answers
339 views

How can I translate “精神需要”?

This is an example sentence in my textbook: "建立良好的人际关系,是每个社会人的精神需要" 精神 is translated in the dictionary into "spirit, mind, consciousness". Here I believe it must be modifying 需要, which is acting ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

What does “想問伊人何處” mean?

There's this song in Chinese with these lyrics. 起雲動劍下虎嘯龍吟 誰知成敗早已是天定 想問伊人何處 離愁漸遠漸生 但願人長久情常在 無悔無憾 What does the phrase "想問伊人何處" mean and connote? I understand this song to be sad.
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Does qin1 cai4 translate to bok choy?

I'm pretty sure celery is 芹菜. qin2 cai4 I heard people referring to bok choy as qin cai as well, but I believe it was qin1 cai4. Is this correct? When I look up bok choy, it is 白菜 bai2cai4 which ...
2
votes
3answers
300 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."

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