11
votes
8answers
2k views

How should I introduce my wife?

It just seems that 太太、老婆、妻子 are all either overly formal or make my wife sound older than she is (she's not even 30). Maybe one of those terms is actually more acceptable than I think it is; I don't ...
2
votes
2answers
190 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
248 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
64 views

Relative strength of 很笨 and it's variants

很笨 I have heard my doctor refer to his employees on some occasion using the phrase hen ben (I assume he meant 很笨). When I first heard it I was a bit bothered. Should I be upset when this term is used ...
1
vote
2answers
322 views

What does 软文 and 小号 mean in internet slang?

Just like the title said, what does 软文 and 小号 mean in intenet slang?
7
votes
8answers
597 views

Neutral Terms for “White People”

This is always a difficult topic because racial and ethnic identities are so complex, sensitive, and dynamic: what are the best (as in the most precise and neutral) terms for "White" people? I've ...
7
votes
2answers
364 views

What is the difference between these two words 叫做 and 叫作?

What is the difference between these two words 叫做 and 叫作? The dictionary definition is quite similar and when I use this term in conversation I am unaware of which character combination I am using.
2
votes
2answers
166 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
339 views

How strict is pronoun gender applied in writing

I noticed that my sougou pinyin program doesn't even have 她们的 in the choices, how strict is this gender difference applied in writing, Maybe some specific questions. If I refer to a group of people ...
9
votes
3answers
581 views

What is the origin of '日' as a curse word?

I read a bunch of answers on 百度知道 but they are all very vague, indecisive and unauthoritative. 1 ...
3
votes
3answers
126 views

Are these two Chinese words the same ( 更容易,才能)

Could someone tell me if these two words in the image below are equivalent? The top word I grabbed from an image, the bottom word I am creating in photoshop by typing in what I believe is the correct ...
5
votes
1answer
261 views

Why is “小小” pronounced as “xué xiǎo”?

In the classic 相声《卖马》, near the beginning is a line that goes: 在下王老好的便是,就在这潞州天堂县开了一个*小小*的店房 but in that line, "小小" was pronounced as "xué xiǎo". Here's a clip: ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Distinct terms for 'authentication' and 'validation'? Both seem to be 验证

Could someone point me to distinct, accurate terms for 'authentication' and 'validation' in Chinese? This is in a web development context, and I can only find 验证 as the best word for both of them. ...
5
votes
2answers
181 views

Stroke direction of the 舌 radical in 舒

In the 舌 radical the first stroke is right to left but inside 舒 it is left to right. Why? I know some characters where the stroke order changes when it is a radical (e.g. the 牛 in 物) but I haven't ...
3
votes
1answer
281 views

How do we translate the Chinese slang “抠脚大汉” into English?

And are there any proper ways to translate the action “抠脚”? Update: Thanks for your comments and answers. Although there is an "引经据典的"answer, 我本来是想知道它的字面意思。 Also, I tried Google translation ...
5
votes
2answers
305 views

Chinese [Topolectical] IPA Placeholder: Ẓ

I've asked this elsewhere before but without much luck so I'm just gonna paste what I wrote before: I ran across "Ẓ" use some what in some old texts used as a sort-of "IPA" then to make sure I ...
4
votes
3answers
293 views

ㄍ一ㄥ? What dialect? What character?

I know ㄍ一ㄥ[gīng] is used extensively in Taiwan and in Taiwanese media, but my question is what dialect/topolect does this come from and what exactly is the character for this word? I know a lot of ...
6
votes
1answer
199 views

How to say “craving for something”? (Food Related)

I remember there is something that translates closely to "mouth itches", you say it when you want to express a craving for a certain food.
2
votes
4answers
126 views

The Chinese of “Browse Teachers” : 访问老师?

I have a tutoring website with many teachers on it. On the front page, there is a button to browse the profiles of all the teachers. Is 访问老师 the correct translation?
18
votes
4answers
874 views

How do I decide whether to use 可以, 会 or 能?

According to every dictionary I've seen so far, there is a big overlap in these: 可以 = can, may, be able to 会  = can, be able to, able 能  = can, may, able, capable How do I properly choose which ...
-1
votes
3answers
207 views

Explanation of why 棋 is included in 琴棋书画?

I feel like this is a case of One of these things is not like the other. The Four Arts of the Chinese Scholar are 琴、棋、书、画 ... Therefore, 琴 : Musical instrument = great 书 : Calligraphy = ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

荷兰猪、天竺鼠、豚鼠 ——What's the deal?

So these terms for Guinea Pig all seem to be fairly common and in use, at least as far as I know, but the question(s) are: where do the different terms come from? is there any actual difference ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

why 秋千? Where does the name come from?

Had a look around in my dictionaries wondering if anyone has any input as to why a 秋千 is 秋+千, what's the significance?
8
votes
1answer
161 views

Difference between 实际, 现实, 确实, and 实在

These 4 words (实际, 现实, 确实, and 实在) all mean different combinations of 'real', 'indeed', 'practical', 'really', and 'reality'. Is there any easy way to distinguish, remember and understand the ...
3
votes
3answers
158 views

Phonetic clue of characters in languages or dialects other than Mandarin?

Many characters are made up of a semantic and a phonetic part. Is the phonetic part only valid with regards to Mandarin pronounciation? Or not even for Mandarin in all cases? Or does it work with ...
-4
votes
1answer
190 views

English text to it's “online slang” equivalent [closed]

I'm looking for the translation of 28 short sentences to their "online" equivalent which can not be found by simply using a dictionary (The big text is mostly context clarification) The forms that ...
5
votes
2answers
511 views

Pattern in the Chinese numbers 1 to 9

I know a lot of Chinese characters are either a symbol of something or a combination of symbols in the space of one character, so what's the origin of the symbol for numbers 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9? since ...
0
votes
2answers
159 views

chinese essay review? [closed]

I just started to learn Chinese a few years ago but I find essay-writing especially difficult. For example, the following essay took me about 45 minutes to an hour and I was told that it had poor word ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Character or Word Etymology Resources

I know this topic has - kind of - been discussed over here: What etymology dictionaries are available? (In order to avoid seeming like I'm advertising for anyone I will refrain from ...
3
votes
6answers
225 views

“an” final pronunciation

I have had eight mainland Chinese teachers over the time I have spent studying, and I am still confused, because I find there are inconsistencies between my textbook's audio CDs, my teachers' ...
5
votes
5answers
598 views

When to use 想 versus 喜欢?

Could someone please give we a hint when to use either of those?! My take is that 想 is used for actions and 喜欢 for things!? Am I right?
6
votes
6answers
361 views

Using 老头 / 老头子 when speaking to others

I'm trying to get some clarification on whether or not it is impolite to use 老头 / 老头子 when speaking outside a group of friends when referring to a third party. From my understanding 老头 is quite ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

What is the difference between 形成, 构成, 组成, 养成?

According to the dictionary, 成 has meanings of to become or to form, what is the subtle difference between 形成, 构成, 组成 and 养成? Thanks!
1
vote
3answers
894 views

What does “yellow face wife” (黄脸婆) mean?

I looked online and couldn't find an answer. I was told it means something similar to "poker face" here in Taiwan. Do you know what this might mean?
4
votes
3answers
159 views

Any Phrases About Trees Growing From Peoples Graves?

I'm looking for any phrases (成语/俗语/谚语, 等) that talk about the meaning of tress growing out of graves/tombs/resting places (of the dead). Apparently having a tree growing out of someones grave is ...
7
votes
5answers
284 views

Equivalent expression to: “I don't give a f***”

Is there something in Mandarin like "I don't give a f***", something that expresses the same sense of "I don't care" but with more force.
3
votes
2answers
253 views

How do you pronounce 盛开?

The phrase 盛开 means to bloom, as in, "池塘里的荷花盛开." Is this pronounced as "shèng kāi", or is it pronounced as "chéng kāi"?
1
vote
2answers
130 views

一片空地 and 一片草原 - what's the difference/relation

Can anyone explain what the difference or relation between 一片空地 and 一片草原 might be? Are these two expressions the same?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How to use 一点儿 and 一下儿?

They both mean "a little bit" according to the dictionary. However, does the meaning both apply in V and Adjective? i.e. V + 一点儿/一下儿 (吃一点儿/吃一下儿,快一点儿/快一下儿) and Adj + 一点儿/一下儿 (美一点儿/美一下儿, 好一点儿,好一下儿) ...
3
votes
4answers
263 views

Is 帮忙 and 帮助 interchangeable?

I looked up in the dictionary, 帮 means help, and 忙 means busy while 助 also means help, so is 帮忙 (help busy) and 帮助(help help) interchangeable? Or what is the subtle difference between them? Thanks!
4
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you say “some people” in Chinese?

Like, if I wanted to say "Some people think I look like...." how would I say that? Would it be: some 人觉得我长得像....?
5
votes
5answers
283 views

How do you say “walked from…to…”

For example, would it be: 我从我的家到教室走路。? I know how to say simply "from somewhere to somewhere" but I'm not sure where you put the verb if you want to say like "walked from somewhere to someone"
1
vote
7answers
246 views

Correct way to say “each person”?

If I wanted to say, "Each person's monthly rent is $650", what is the correct way to say it? 每个月各人的房租是六五十钱。 Or 一人的每个月房租是六五十钱。 Or something else if neither is right Thanks!
4
votes
7answers
559 views

When you use 在 with a time, where does 在 go in the sentence?

So, if I wanted to say, "Last week I saw my friend in Japan," where would the location (Japan) go in this sentence? I thought it would go like this: 在日本,我上个星期看朋友。 Is that correct or does the ...
18
votes
7answers
936 views

How do native speakers of Chinese pronounce Latin characters?

I hear that "Windows XP" is commonly called "Chā P" because the letter "X" may be pronounced "Chā". Are there other Latin characters that have similarly peculiar pronunciations?
0
votes
1answer
610 views

Letters for chinese wedding invitation

I'm looking for the (traditional) Chinese letters for 'he fu tong qing' (pin yin transcription), which should mean something like 'the whole family invited' in the context of a wedding invitation.
1
vote
2answers
166 views

Difference between 换钱 and 挽钱

My take is that 挽钱 (wǎn qián ) would mean to withdraw money from an ATM and 换钱 (huàn qián) to change money ... or am I mistaken?a
8
votes
3answers
472 views

When do I use 确定 versus 决定?

The two words mean approximately the same thing but I find that there is a nuance I'm missing in terms of the appropriate context to use one or the other. How should I think about the difference ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

Is there a word in Chinese to mean “mostly”? Is “大多” appropriate?

As title, is there a word in Mandarin Chinese to mean "mostly" ? For example, I am going to tell my friend who wrote a letter to me that "I mostly got what you man", is it appropriate to say "大多" that ...
10
votes
3answers
521 views

Do 之 and 的 come from the same word?

In modern Chinese 之 is thought of as the literary genitive particle and 的 as the colloquial. In most reconstructions of Old Chinese 之 looks very similar to the way 的 is pronounced now. For example in ...

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