2
votes
1answer
43 views

箭牌 vs 诏书: emperor's decree

I'm thinking about a mnemonic for 令, and my wife mentioned that in former times the emperor's orders were written on tablets called 箭牌. However, I cannot find any information about this word, and the ...
2
votes
4answers
124 views

串 vs 丳: which one is used more often for “skewer”?

I've seen that both 串 and 丳 are supposed to mean "skewer". Which one is more regularly used? Are there other common use cases for 丳?
2
votes
3answers
237 views

Open Software Two-Line Add Pinyin To Characters

Is there any open software that adds a second line of pinyin to a line of characters? i.e.: converting “你好” to: nǐhǎo 你好 Converting to ni3hao3 would be fine to. Open, namely, so that I ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

How do you say “Do you speak Chinese?” in Mandarin and Cantonese?

I realize that it's fairly easy to Google it but I'd never know how to pronounce it. Are there any audio recordings out there? Thanks!
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Alternative notations for Cantonese tones

What is the list of diacritics used to denote the seven Cantonese tones (in pinyin or similar notation)? Is there a standard (or even, more common) convention?
2
votes
4answers
413 views

Email salutations for mother / father

Wikipedia lists many honorifics for one's own family, but I don't see any for one's own (living) mother or father. How would an adult write the equivalent of "Dear Mom" or "Dear Dad" in an email? Does ...
2
votes
3answers
139 views

When to use 住在 and when to use just 住?

I have encountered the following sentences: 以前人们住这样的房子 现在人们住这样的房子 Why do these sentences NOT use 住在? I have learned that 住 takes 在 in order to take the location noun after that. Or maybe ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

meaning of “然後三個三個分成小組”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n38D7DCDtbk http://southworks.com/blog/2009/06/21/the-cookie-experiment/ So,when Liu Anting refers to "然後三個三個分成小組" does she mean something along the lines of "And ...
2
votes
3answers
233 views

What is the meaning of this 征 in this sentence please

What is 征 here please? I guess it is either 征求 or 征集。Would either fit the bill? Maybe 征名 is a word? I think it is really '征集名字‘。 The background is, 兰州的‘读者文摘’ had to change the name of their magazine, ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

What is in 侧面 this sentence?

I can't quite see what 侧面 is doing in this sentence, any tips please? I'll put the previous sentence for clarity. 今天,杨先生的银行存款很少,绝大部分都用来投资股市,一年下来,收益远远高出利息。 实际上,市民理财概念的变化,侧面反映了金融市场在入世以后逐渐与国际接轨。 Could ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Does “些” Work As A Suffix (Ever) In Mandarin Similar To “们”?

些 xiē 【名】 [方言]:们〖-s〗——表示复数的词缀。如:婆娘些;娃儿些;老师些 Although marked as dialect (read: topolect), I'm curious to know if this usage is ever acceptable or found in MSM (Modern Standard Mandarin)...
2
votes
2answers
235 views

Differentiating Between Dove And Pigeon In Chinese

鸽子 is used interchangeably for both dove and pigeon. How to differentiate between the both of them in Chinese? Even 白鸽 which I would totally imagine would mean dove, both ABC and KEY just define it ...
2
votes
3answers
256 views

Why is 跟他一起去不去 wrong but 跟不跟他一起去 right

I am confused about the Chinese equivalent of "Do you go with him". The sentence is a so-called yes/no question by many textbooks and grammar books. Using the VA-not-VA(Verb Adjective) to compose this ...
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
144 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
235 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
307 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
202 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
86 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
253 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
193 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
215 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
439 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
249 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
221 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
155 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
127 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
173 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
210 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
86 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 don'...
2
votes
2answers
261 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
98 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
111 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
147 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
275 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
185 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
249 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
201 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
189 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
183 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
2k views

Is there a Chinese equivelant of the word stress

I don't remember hearing anyone use an equivalent of "stress" or "stressed" in a conversation, what I usually here is something like 压力很大 which in English would translate roughly to "I have a lot of ...

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