3
votes
3answers
1k views

Where can I find Chinese IPA transcriptions?

Since I have some experience of using IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), I thought Standard Chinese transcriptions could be a good resource for practicing my pronunciation. Is such a resource ...
5
votes
4answers
217 views

How do I practise grouping characters into words? At which stage of learning should one expect to be good at this?

I just got the following sentence in a newsletter: 请问我可以跟你借支笔吗? Being a beginner that I am, I read it as "Can I please get one pay-check in advance?" because I saw this in my dictionary: 借支 = ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

Differentiating “to do a burnout” and “burning tyres”

"To do a burnout" is 烧胎, so I assume a reasonable sentence would be: 昨天晚上我在停车场烧胎。 How would one distinguish this activity from piling up tyres and setting fire to them, for example in this news ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Which fonts show the stroke order of all characters?

For academic purposes, I need to print out some pages of characters with stroke orders shown. Which computer fonts (e.g. TrueType or OpenType) are available which show the stroke order of each ...
1
vote
4answers
250 views

Better translation for 春节联欢晚会 than New Year's Gala

On the night of New Years Eve in China many people watch the annual New Year's Gala. This in Chinese is called 春节联欢晚会 in English this is translated as New Year's Gala. So what exactly is a 联欢晚会? Can ...
5
votes
3answers
229 views

What does 嘞 mean

I actually suspect that this character may be a typo for ”了“, but I'll ask nevertheless. What is the second character in this snippet?: I managed to write it into my pocket dictionary, it simply ...
6
votes
1answer
270 views

Is the traditional character for 雪 the same as itself?

Is the traditional character for ? Or are both and considered the same character (汉字) with simply different font styles?
6
votes
5answers
452 views

What was this online dictionary's name with ancient traditional and simplified characters and etymology?

I once found a Mandarin Chinese dictionary which for each character listed the ancient, the traditional and the simplified Chinese characters. For each it described its meaning and how it developed ...
6
votes
3answers
188 views

Early childhood Chinese language immersion accent exposure

Is it important for young children (4 or 5 years old) in a Chinese language immersion program to be exposed to more than one type of Mandarin accent? If the child only hears one accent (and one that ...
5
votes
2answers
790 views

Who exactly is a 干妈

This dictionary translates 干妈 as "Godmother", and my pocket dictionary also gives "nominal mother". In English, "Godmother" and "Godfather" are very specific titles - Your Godparents are the people ...
1
vote
3answers
205 views

Chinese tattoo help [closed]

I want a tattoo saying 時間 (time). However I was told this is not suitable for a tattoo. I wanted to know how to say time in chinese with a deep meaning. Is there a way to add a character so that it ...
6
votes
1answer
300 views

What is the etymology of 放我一马?

I've heard this a couple times now and most recently in a movie "钢的琴". It's an idiom that means "cut me some slack"; "let me off the hook". I couldn't make sense of the Baidu encyclopedia so I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
596 views

Advice on Mandarin Chinese passive learning

What are the best Chinese online tv channels with english subtitles for passive Mandarin learning. I find Chinese a rather musical language and would love to watch subbed tv (news, documentaries, ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Chinese for “patch” in the sense of “software patch”

The dictionary lists many words for "patch" but none that explicitly state they mean patch in the software sense of the word. EDIT: Dictionary has now been updated
9
votes
2answers
523 views

How will translate “谁让你” into English?

How will translate "谁让你" into English? For example, 我不得不服从你的安排。 谁让你是我的老板呢?
3
votes
3answers
323 views

Why is Economic translated to “經濟”?

I know that it's a translation from Japanese, but I do not know why it becomes this. Could someone explain it in detail?
5
votes
1answer
109 views

Is the expression 学识渊博 usually used in a pejorative sense?

For example, as a sarcastic remark in the sense of "pedantic" or "know-it-all"?
5
votes
2answers
173 views

Could 恭喜发财 sound inappropriate?

I sent new year greetings to my Chinese teacher last week, writing "新年快乐! 恭喜发财!". When I saw her today she thanked me, but said I should never write 恭喜发财 to a teacher, because it's a greeting only ...
8
votes
5answers
441 views

What is the meaning of 真是的

What is a meaning of 真是的. I heard for many times in context something like 你真是的! And yet I have doubts about proper meaning of this expression.
5
votes
2answers
287 views

Is the character 年 (or its etymology) related to the mythical beast in Chinese mythology?

Premise: According to the mythology related to the Chinese New Year, a creature called 年 (also referred to as 年兽 — pinyin: nián shòu — 年獸 in Traditional chinese) was a mythical beast that "lived under ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Is 级 necessary in 优先级

From the dictionary I gather that 优先 by itself means "priority" and so 优先级 means "level of priority". In a phrase such as 高优先级,or 最高优先级,is the 级 necessary to sound correct, or is it an optional ...
2
votes
1answer
111 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) ...
6
votes
2answers
109 views

How to use 凭 as a preposition

I understand 凭 as a verb to mean rely. But I often read it and the seemingly related 凭着 in familiar contexts but still do not know what function it serves. Seeing example sentences doesn't make it any ...
3
votes
4answers
290 views

When to use 家 vs 师 vs 员 vs 者

I'm translating my resume into Chinese so I can maybe apply for a Chinese job. There are a number of items on there where I'm not sure when to use 家, 师, 员, or 者. Example, I developed a comics ...
2
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

Origin of the word “娘惹”

I know what 娘惹 means (wikipedia), however, I couldn't find any reference on its origin. Is it a Chinese transliteration of a Malaysian word, a Cantonese/Hokkien word or a Mandarin word? What's the ...
5
votes
2answers
183 views

Is there a list of characters specifically used for western proper nouns?

When learning country/place names or reading about non-Chinese people in the media I see the same characters used for similar phonemes (see these celebrities). What rule or list do the writers follow ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Meaning of 泡­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

I first encountered this word in the brand of a kid's drink, O泡. When I looked it up I saw that it meant something like "bubble", and was (ironically for the name of a drink) the classifier for ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

Is there an abbreviation for the 黑海/地中海 combo?

In Chinese, related region names are often abbreviated. For example, Sino-Japanese is known as 中日 and Sino-African is known as 中非.  Does anyone know whether there is a corresponding abbreviation for ...
8
votes
3answers
421 views

Can 下次 mean “again”?

I found a sentence on tatoeba that isn't quite the translation I would expect. I will not do it again. Is translated as... 下次我不做了。 I checked mdbg.net to be sure, and 下次 is only translated ...
8
votes
4answers
626 views

What does the expression “孤男寡女” mean?

What does the expression "孤男寡女" (gū nán guǎ nǚ) mean, exactly? Does it have inherently negative connotations? As an aside, why does Google translate it as "Needing"?
3
votes
2answers
140 views

In “我只喜歡你一個” what does the “一個” do?

If I were to translate "I only like you" I'd say 我只喜歡你 Wǒ zhǐ xǐ huan nǐ However I have seen the following 我只喜歡你一個 Wǒ zhǐ xǐ huan nǐ yī ge Translated as I like you alone ...
2
votes
3answers
221 views

做 as the verb “to be”

Can someone please clarify how and when 做 is used to mean "to be" e.g. 不愿做奴隶人们 I am familiar with 做 meaning "to do" or "to make", and I would expect that if I was saying "I am a slave", “我是一个奴隶“ ...
5
votes
5answers
476 views

Another meaning of 同志

Is it true that 同志 have some different meaning. Like gay (as in homosexual) or something. I know that during the XX century in China and communist Russia it was very common to call people 同志(товарищ). ...
5
votes
2answers
205 views

Why is 土著人 used for Aboriginal people in Australia?

In Australia it is quite common to talk about Aboriginal people as they feature quite often when talking about sports, Olympics or politics. The word that is used to describe Aboriginal people by ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

给我站住: Idiom or common meaning

给我站住 I assume this means something like "wait for me!". But I still have a couple of questions. Google translate gives the meaning "Nothing to say" which implies that 给我站住 may be an idiom. If ...
3
votes
1answer
135 views

Is there a logical explanation why 非得不 and 非得 means must?

I understand that 非 and 不 have negative meanings by themselves, and 得 means "must" by itself. So with a double negative, which means affirmative positive. So far so good. But 非得 by itself is also ...
2
votes
4answers
361 views

Expressing “Fair enough”

The English expression "fair enough" can be used to concede a point in an argument, or acknowledge the other person's position, without expressing complete agreement. To take an example from ...
2
votes
3answers
256 views

How to say incoming president (国家主席)?

Strangely the Wikipedia article for president 中华人民共和国主席 doesn't mention 习近平 anywhere. I also asked my mother in law just now if she spotted any articles where it mentions him as the incoming ...
6
votes
1answer
566 views

What's the grammatical structure for “<subject> <verbs> like a <noun>” style simile in Chinese

I am fond of the simile structure "I eat like a wolf" or "The light flickered like a candle" in English. I never know how to express these thoughts in Chinese though, even if I know the underlying ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

What does 'twitter/facebook Town Hall' mean in Chinese?

I watched the video ' Obama's Twitter Town Hall- Full Video ' in Youtube.But I knew the Town Hall means '市政厅',and what does it mean here?
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I say “damn!” or “bloody hell” in Chinese?

The phrase 他妈的 has been explained in this question. Since I'm a no-expletives guy, I don't feel comfortable so close to the f-word. :) I was wondering what would be the correct way to use some of the ...
3
votes
2answers
187 views

Pronunciation of 比较

On a CCTV 9 show shot in Shanghai, a couple of people who were certainly speaking Putonghua have made comparisons and if I heard right they were pronouncing 比较 as "biao." Am I wrong? Is that a common ...
-2
votes
1answer
81 views

Help translating [closed]

Not sure this is the correct forum for this post as I'm not a student, but I need help translating this a error message I keep getting. I'm hoping it's Chinese. ...
7
votes
1answer
166 views

Difference between 更好 and 比较好?

I'm confused about the difference between 更好 and 比较好. Since both seem to mean "better", how are these used differently? In what cases would you use them?
2
votes
1answer
771 views

Where can I find sample Simplified Chinese mailing address data? [closed]

I need to populate a database with Simplified Chinese mailing addresses. Where can I find some test data? Edit Since I'm trying to work with these addresses in a computer program, it would be nice ...
8
votes
4answers
441 views

Pronounce ellipsis 《●●● ●●●》 in Mandarin

When I'm reading ellipses in English out loud I usually say et cetera or and so on. What should I say in Mandarin? 等等?
6
votes
3answers
139 views

What is the function of 了 in the sentence 我最怕去西单了?

Received this in a text from a Chinese friend. I want to say that "了" here is not part of the verb phrase but instead just an emphatic particle, same as if you said something like "我最怕蜘蛛了"。Then again, ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What font size for reading simplified characters on screen?

I realize this sounds like a very subjective question, so I will try to ask it very carefully: I'm learning to speak, read, and write Mandarin. A lot of times (particularly on the web or in e-mail) I ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Meaning of “网络驿站”

I've come across the phrase "网络驿站" a couple of times recently, but don't understand precisely what it means (see Hbjjrb.com for an example). The only translation of 驿站 that I can find refers to a ...

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