5
votes
4answers
508 views

Chinese idiom for “tilt at windmills” or “fighting against windmills”

Is there a Chinese idiom for "tilting at windmills"? This expressions stems from "The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha". In that book, Don Quixote attacks windmills, incorrectly (and ...
1
vote
1answer
268 views

Trying to think of creative name for beginner Chinese class

I'm creating a beginner level curriculum to teach middle school students the foundations of Chinese language and culture. I do not have a solid foundation in the culture, but wanted to impart what I ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

simplified characters not derived from chart 1 and chart 2 of 简化字总表

I just came across 汹 which is the simplified version of 洶. I was quite surprised as 汹 is not mentioned in neither Chart 1 and Chart 2 of the structural simplification of characters. Another example is ...
6
votes
2answers
247 views

What's the most accurate translation for “copping a feel”?

Absolutely the best first question I've ever asked on any site, ever. I've considered: 吃豆腐 (but I don't think this is limited to physical actions) 偷偷亂摸 猴子偷桃 (but I think this is too specific?) Is ...
6
votes
3answers
560 views

Is there on-line Corpus for Chinese language?

Like Brown Corpus for English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Corpus
4
votes
1answer
140 views

“以来” - Chinese dictionary says noun. “Since” in English dictionary says preposition, conjunction. Distinction?

A couple of Chinese dictionaries I used says for 以来, part of speech is 名 (noun). Since in an English dictionary says preposition first. Is it incorrect to assume a direct correlation between parts ...
3
votes
1answer
520 views

Something like “turning lemons into lemonade”

Is there a Chinese saying roughly equivalent in meaning to "turning lemons into lemonade"? From Wikipedia, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" is a proverbial phrase used to encourage ...
9
votes
4answers
228 views

Difference between 同一 and 一样

I would like to know when to use 同一 and when to use 一样 when describing items or people as similar? What is the difference in usage between these two phrases?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What does the word pronounced as “ma” in cantonese chinese mean in English? [closed]

What does the word pronounced as "ma" in Cantonese Chinese mean in English? I understand that this syllable has five different meanings according to how it is inflected. What are the five different ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

is 趁早 the same as saying as soon as possible? Can I use it by itself?

is 趁早 the same as saying as soon as possible in English? The dictionary defines 趁早 as "as soon as possible", but can I use it by itself in a sentence? For example , if someone asks me "你什么时候想去吃饭?" ...
3
votes
3answers
191 views

What is na4zi4pang2 (pinyin) in the decomposition of na4 (那)?

The New Practical Chinese Reader introduces the following decomposition: na4 (那) = na4zi4pang2 + yi4 (阝). I understand that 阝 represents radical 163 (yi4). Na4zi4pang2 (pinyin) looks close to ...
4
votes
2answers
608 views

What is a one-character translation of the English word “Freedom”?

I've been trying to find a single-character translation of the word "freedom," but I can't seem to find one anywhere. The best translation I can find is, of course, 自由, which seems to be a fairly ...
3
votes
3answers
356 views

Is there a Chinese equivalent of the German “Mut zur Lücke”?

In German, we have the expression "Mut zur Lücke", in English something like "courage to have a gap" - a knowledge gap. It is used between students, when they skip to learn something for an exam. ...
4
votes
3answers
187 views

Refreshing and bubbly

What would be the english equivalent of bubbly and refreshing to describe something like a soft drink? What other words could be used to describe aspects of a soft drink, like the fizz and pop?
5
votes
1answer
208 views

Why is 汉子 measured in 条?

汉子 (son/person of Han) was - in ancient China - a term used by various people north of China to refer to the Chinese, but over time has been used by the Chinese to refer to themselves, and by the Qing ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

What are the translations of these IT-related terms: app, service, consulting?

What are the right translations of these IT-related terms into (simplified) Chinese: app (as in iOS apps) service (as in application service) consulting (as in IT consulting) Is there a reliable ...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
153 views

What does “ backtick escapes ” mean in chinese?

I learn Mathematica on the site StackExchange Mathematica,I encountered a problem?(on the picture) backtick escapes The result that the dictionary gives is "那些逃离",Obviously,it is wrong. So my ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

Resource for quality translations of famous American English speech/writing into Chinese? [closed]

I want to keep my study of Mandarin fun and engaging. One way I thought might be helpful is if there was a resource that held quality translations of famous American speeches or writing. By studying ...
1
vote
3answers
180 views

Could somebody help fill in these blanks [closed]

这个汤_______么_______么酸啊? 我可喝不_______? There is no context for these fill in the blanks. I do have a few more, but this was the hardest question because my initial guess is that its the grammar pattern ...
9
votes
2answers
481 views

Fast-written forms of 草书 characters

Are they frequently used? Which one of the three is applied more often: is it the 章草, the 今草 or the 狂草? Are they different in comparison with the 行書? Are there any online resourses to learn more ...
8
votes
2answers
909 views

Why are intermediate cardinal directions read differently in Chinese?

I am referring to the fact that in English, we say "northeast", whereas in Chinese, the equivalent direction is called 东北, which literally translates to "east-north". One could say the same about ...
6
votes
3answers
803 views

Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?

Classical and Middle Chinese are often considered monosyllabic languages - most words are single syllables. Modern Chinese however is considered disyllabic - most words are two syllables. For ...
5
votes
2answers
359 views

Meaning of 白 in words for “nonsense”?

There are a number of Chinese words containing the 白 character that all mean "nonsense" or "speaking nonsense": 白呼 夸白 白话 What's the significance of 白 in these words? 白 usually means ...
3
votes
3answers
561 views

Different Ways to Say “Hometown”

I have encountered both 老家 and 家乡 for referring to one's hometown. What are the differences? That is: When should each one be used? When should one or the other be avoided? When can they both be ...
5
votes
2answers
206 views

Usage and meaning of “占我的便宜”

My understanding of 占我的便宜 means something similar to 吃豆腐 and I have never heard it used outside of taking sexual advantage. Can this be used in other contexts? Google translate suggests it means "take ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

Are there any readability measurement tools for Chinese?

For English (and some other languages), it's quite easy to find online tools that give a readability index of a specific text. Naturally, this doesn't necessarily match actual experience of reading ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

How Archaic is James Legge's Written Chinese in this Side by Side English/Chinese Book?

I'm not sure if this is even an appropriate question for this venue, but here's hoping. I want to read the translated works of Zhuangzi on this site, but I'd like to know how archaic the original ...
7
votes
5answers
334 views

Informed sources for videos of Chinese movies

I have gotten two videos of Chinese movies at Amazon and in fact both had Mandarin soundtracks with a choice of Chinese (simplified or traditional) or English subtitles. That is what I wanted. But ...
2
votes
5answers
327 views

“我们过去了” was he joking?

One man and I were crossing a busy Beijing intersection and were almost across when tour buses cut us off from both sides and we stood between them as they passed. He smiled at me and said "我们过去了!' ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

How to translate the parts of Chinese university

How to distinguish "大学", "学院", "系". "专业"? As myself, I'm in "中国海洋大学数学科学学院数学系信息与计算科学专业". How to translate it properly? And another question: What is "国家保密学院"? Is "国家" describing "保密: or "学院"? I ...
1
vote
2answers
173 views

What does 企業 mean: property of the person or business company?

Is (in traditional chinese) "企業" - noun or adjective? Is this menaing closer to "readiness and willingness to take initiative" or to "a company"?
5
votes
5answers
733 views

What is the most common word in use to describe 'DVD' and what is its measure word

I've heard the Chinese are fine to use the English word DVD, rather than the chinese word. What is more common, and what measure word do they use with it?
5
votes
3answers
141 views

Difference between 部门 and 系

Does any difference exist between 部门 and 系? These are the two different results I get from Google translate: I work in the university Chinese language department 我的工作在大学中国语文系 I work in ...
4
votes
2answers
370 views

Need help understanding 爱慕虚荣

I came across this phrase 爱慕虚荣 today in a piece of writing. When I use Goggle translate it tells me 爱慕虚荣 means "vain", but 虚荣 by itself also means "vain" and when I search for "vain" and ask for the ...
10
votes
1answer
934 views

What does the Twitter hashtag #壕 mean?

I'm guessing it's slang and it looks like it has a positive connotation. Like 加油? Or maybe it sounds like 好, it means good? The dictionary says it means air-raid shelter / trench. Here are some ...
6
votes
2answers
232 views

Regional variations of “柴米油盐酱醋茶”

When I was very small, my grandparents mentioned there are regional variations of the phrase 柴米油盐酱醋茶 which is widely known to the local population (instead of made up by nobody and only used by a ...
6
votes
3answers
304 views

病了: Function of 了

I came across the following sentence: 我病了。 I know 了 has many functions, and I believe one of them is a completive marker (past tense). But this sentence is apparently in the present, based on the ...
10
votes
6answers
713 views

What's the difference between 星期X and 周X?

When accepting an answer, I noticed that the example used the word 周三 for Wednesday, but in my grammar, the days of the week are 星期一, 星期二, etc... They seem both correct but, what's the difference? ...
3
votes
2answers
381 views

What is the Chinese word for “home office”?

What is the correct Chinese term for "home office"? 办公室 is an office in an office building, and would not be correct.
3
votes
1answer
219 views

Children's play equipment and 儿童乐园

On the weekend I asked my mother-in-law how to say "children's play equipment" in Chinese, the answer I received was 儿童乐园. I want to get some clarification on this and want someones help on ...
3
votes
3answers
121 views

有一天: past as well as future?

I'm told that to express something as "one day" in the future, it's 「有一天」. For example, 「我希望有一天能够说好华语。」"I hope that one day I can speak Chinese well." Would you also use this to the English idiom ...
5
votes
1answer
267 views

What traditions do people follow when naming a second child in Chinese?

What traditions do Chinese people follow when selecting names for consecutive (2nd, 3rd etc.) children? In the case of my own children the second child was given the same middle character as my ...
8
votes
1answer
513 views

V + 到。。。。头上来: Exact meaning and how to use?

I know that the abovementioned formula expresses a negative result, but I am not exactly sure how to translate it. Some questions: 1 How to translate it well into English? 2 Can I use it ...
9
votes
3answers
333 views

您 vs 你 for parents?

Having studied French, I'm aware of the subtle social intricacies of the formal vs. informal "you." I figured Chinese was at least similar, i.e., informal for people of your generation, people you ...
9
votes
2answers
348 views

How to use 也好. Not meaning 'also good'

My non-Mandarin colleagues have been using 英文也好,中文也好 lately and I assumed from their context they meant both languages are equal in whatever comparison they were making. When I looked it up I ...
3
votes
2answers
566 views

What are the corresponding titles for “Dr.” (in the sense of MD and PhD) in Chinese?

The prefix Dr. in English refers to both medical doctors, and PhD graduates. What are the correct titles for these in Chinese? I believe that 医生 is correct to use as a title for a medical doctor, but ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Modern vocab. “selfie”, “troll” and “spam”

Do the following modern English words have Chinese equivelants that are understood by most young people: selfie troll / trolled spam phishing scam
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Does chinese songs have a natural word order?

In English, it is hard to rhyme. So writers sometimes resort to rather awkward sentence structures, just to get the song to rhyme. Recent example from Maroon Five: I'm at a payphone trying to call ...
1
vote
2answers
191 views

Are there any good reverse transliteration strategies?

So I've been watching a lot of international news in chinese. I find that I have problems putting things in context because there are a whole lot of names of people and places which I don't know the ...

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