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3answers
98 views

Possessive and plural: usage of 们 and 的

This is a very basic question about a simple topic that is not really clear to me (curiously, my book doesn't address it, or, more probably, I don't get it). There are rules to: to pluralize ...
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2answers
140 views

Why do some overseas Chinese restaurants translate broccoli as “芥蘭”?

I have seen 芥蘭 listed in overseas Chinese restaurants several times as a translation of "broccoli". This has generally struck me as odd, as I have always referred to broccoli, at least in Cantonese, ...
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2answers
171 views

What's Baidu doing with all these crazy characters everywhere?

What's Baidu doing with all these crazy characters everywhere? Seems kind of meaningless to me.
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3answers
126 views

Are there differences between 朋友 and 我朋友 in modern Chinese?

When a friend sends me a photograph of a vase, saying 是朋友的, and some months later presents it saying: 我朋友的 should I then usually assume, that the friend became a girlfriend/boyfriend ...
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5answers
253 views

What is this 予以 doing in my sentence?

From the meanings I find for '予以 = give, grant' I can't really see what it is doing here. Maybe the Chinese is '予以推进 = give/produce advancement', but 予以 may also mean 'impose' I believe. Maybe the ...
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2answers
231 views

Why chinese people always use chinese subtitles ¿?

This is my question, almost every program, TV Show, movie... everything has subtitles, one reason could be that there are many different accents in different provinces but I don't really find that ...
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5answers
204 views

Translation/Colloquial Equivalents: “There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat”

I've come across a few, very poor, literal translations for the English, “there's more than one way to skin a cat”: 给猫剥皮不止有一种方法 (谚)达到目的的方法不止一种 到达目标的设施多得很。 What colloquial ...
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3answers
449 views

“that” in Mandarin joining clauses or sentences?

Can someone help me understand how to say "that" in the following uses? Please provide pinyin in your answer, since my characters aren't so good :( He is the one THAT I saw. It's the one THAT I ...
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3answers
277 views

translation for “melee” in Mandarin

How do you translate "melee" (as in close hand to hand combat)? I keep getting translations such as "collection of diamonds or diamond fragments", 碎钻. I've also gotten "乱斗", but this means ...
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2answers
103 views

Colloquial way to express the concept of “默写”

Say you've read a poem by William Shakespeare. You liked it very much so you remembered it by heart. Now you can recite it, i.e., read it aloud from your memory, or, you can write it down accurately ...
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4answers
181 views

How appropriate is “拜拜”?

How appropriate, in terms of casualness and/or childishness, is "拜拜"? Is it as childish as "Bye-bye" would be in English, or is it more acceptable? In case location matters, I'm mainly interested in ...
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3answers
183 views

What exactly does 意 mean?

If I'm not mistaken, this 300 BC Chinese philosophy is strikingly modern. 世之所贵道者,书也。书不过语,语有贵也。语之所贵者,意也,意有所随。意之所随者,不可以言传也,而世因贵言传书。Source: 轮扁斫轮 http://baike.baidu.com/view/238082.htm For example, ...
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4answers
221 views

When can 尔 (er3) be used instead of 你 (ni3)?

I got a letter from a new penfriend in Hong Kong, written in 普通花. I think their first language is Cantonese. Mostly the letter uses simplified characters, with the occasional traditional one. It ...
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4answers
285 views

How to translate game difficulty level terminology: “noob level”, “mature level”, “mad level”

I have a game that has 3 levels of difficulty: "noob level", mature level", "mad level". How can I translate these 3 terms into Chinese? (I don't use "easy", "normal", "hard" in my game because they ...
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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
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2answers
155 views

Learn Chinese Step 1: Sounds (Pinyins). How different is it to English sounds and are there any good tips to learn? [closed]

Many Mandarin Chinese teachers claim that the step 1 for Learning Chinese is: Sounds (Pinyins). How different is it to English sounds and are there any good tips to learn?
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2answers
99 views

Usage of the word 欠 and 了 in 那我一分钱也不欠你的了

I've been struggling to get my head around how to properly use the word 欠. The dictionary has to lack, as a meaning, but I can't find any example sentences with it used that way, only owe. ...
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4answers
289 views

What is the difference between 激动 and 冲动?

What is the difference between "激动" and "冲动"? So for example, what is the difference between: 先别激动,冷静一下。 and 先别冲动,冷静一下。 Thanks.
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1answer
152 views

招财、招福, why cats?

I have heard the phrase "猫来穷, 狗来富" before but everywhere people have 招财猫s and 招福猫 ornaments, bracelets and the like. So what's the deal? What's the association between cats and good fortune and/or ...
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3answers
291 views

What's “Mao Li” (Cantonese) in mandarin?

I've read an article which says that "Mao Li" in cantonese means "fool" in English. What is the mandarin equivalent of "Mao Li"? MandarinTools does not seem to return any useful results for ...
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4answers
413 views

How to translate “给力” in English? [closed]

The word 给力 is often used on Chinese social networks. What is the correct meaning of it in English?
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2answers
223 views

Is '明天你都六点起床不起床?' a correct question?

I want to ask: Will you wake at 6:00 tomorrow?
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2answers
360 views

What is the equivalent of “冒昧打扰” in English?

In Chinese, we have the expression "冒昧打扰" màomèidǎrǎo. To put it into a sentence: 冒昧打扰,请您见谅。 màomèi dǎrǎo, qǐng nín jiànliàng Is there a similar expression in English?
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3answers
176 views

Difference between 最高领导人 and 主要领导人之一?

I've just been looking at the wikipedia entry for Xi Jinping and the word used for the position he will be taken on Wikipedia is incumbent "paramount leader" with paramount leader pointing to this ...
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2answers
115 views

Why is 语 used so much when describing the language media is presented in?

It seems that the "language" descriptor on a movie, tv show, or comic is always listed using 语 instead of 文. (国语, 英语, 德语, etc) instead of 英文. This is common even when listing the subtitles (although ...
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9answers
304 views

Why “校车来了“, not ”校车来着“ and ”校车正来"?

My question is as the title. The sentence "school bus is coming" is translated as "校车来了". I understand this translation because "了" here indicates a new situation. But why are "校车来着" or "校车正来" WRONG? ...
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3answers
206 views

What is the etymology of 餵?

I was surprised to find out about the character 餵 (wei4, 喂) because it doesn't seem to have a meaning other than an expression to answer the telephone. Since the telephone was only invented in the ...
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3answers
188 views

How many Chinese characters have multiple readings/pronunciations in Mandarin?

I'm wondering how many Chinese characters have more than one pronunciation in Mandarin. I understand this could be a difference in tone, initial, final, or some combination of these. Has anyone come ...
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2answers
178 views

Can people carry on a conversation with each side speaking a different form of Chinese, like in some movies?

For example, in the movie Ip Man, the "northerner" martial arts fighter who comes to Foshan to challenge the local martial arts fighters always talks in Mandarin, while everybody he talks to (the ...
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3answers
223 views

Is “谐仿” an actual word in Chinese?

The English Wiktionary lists "谐仿" (xiéfǎng) as a translation for the English word "parody". But my other dictionaries don't list it and also my friends here in China say they don't know it, not even ...
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2answers
211 views

Can I change this '下‘ for '前面‘?

I have this in my text: 在绿色、环保已成为全社会共识的大背景下, 。。。 ‘背景下’ says to me ‘under a background' which seems odd. I would rather locate things 'in front of' a background. Can I change '背景下‘ for '背景前‘ or ...
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5answers
218 views

English equivalent for 辛苦了 when the speaker is not the person being helped out

Per the answers to this question, it is clear that you can say 辛苦了 to express gratitude for someone else's help. But suppose you are working or studying, and somebody else (who is not related to the ...
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3answers
82 views

What is the meaning of this?

I was on the internet, and I found this slogan 我待国足如初恋. Does this mean "I treat national soccer like first love?"
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4answers
61 views

Why did they write a comma here?

I think I understand this sentence correctly, but the 4th comma puzzles me. Is it necessary?? 在当当网,“创新”是全方位,而俞渝就像心脏一样,源源不断地把创新的血液,输送到企业每一个环节。 I think this is: ...
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2answers
213 views

How do you say "probably''?

How do you say "probably" in Chinese as in: "probably we will start having lessons next month"......can you use 可能 or 有可能? Can you give me an example of where these are placed in a sentence and how ...
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2answers
103 views

Can I use 的 between the name and 他们

I had this sentence which was a bit difficult for me to understand at first because of the name + 他们. I understand it now. 郭高林他们决心用实际行动证明自己。 My questions is, can I write it like this: 郭高林 的 ...
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2answers
130 views

How does one best translate 老在 into english

I couldn't find any translation in my dictionaries. Though. In context it seems to mean 'always'?! 这孩子老在班上捣蛋。 Is this correct. Cheers
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1answer
128 views

Meaning/Translation: 熟肉 [TV Series]

I've seen the word 熟肉 associated with TV Series'. For example: What does it mean? What's a good English translation?
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5answers
129 views

What is the Difference Between 讲解 and 解释?

I've seen both of them used as "to explain" or "to interpret", but I am not sure if there are differences in connotation or anything else?
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3answers
139 views

Meaning/Usage/Translation: 耳膜 vs. 鼓膜?

What's the difference between: 耳膜 and 鼓膜? Apparently they both check out to eardrum in English. 汉语大辞典, even, defines 耳膜 as 耳中鼓膜。 Can 鼓膜 be used in other places then?
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2answers
307 views

Capitalization in Chinese

Many languages have uppercase and lowercase forms. English for example has lowercase a and uppercase A. Letters written in uppercase are known as being capitalized. Chinese, also, does have a form of ...
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4answers
204 views

How to say lived vs. have been living somewhere?

I want to say 1) "I lived in Beijing for six months." As in, I was there last year for six months but I am not living there anymore. Furthermore, how can I distinguish it from 2) "I have ...
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3answers
201 views

怎么用汉语说 ”early/mid/late 20's“ 或 “low/mid/high” 20's"?

比如,如果我要翻译: The temperature in Beijing tomorrow will be in its low/mid/late 20's 或者 I'm guessing she's in her early/mid/(high or upper) 20's 要怎么翻译? 更新: 1.)一般来说,early/low 等于 20-23, mid 等于 ...
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2answers
108 views

Is there any difference in pinyin between bia and ba in pronunciation?

Is there any difference in pinyin between bia and ba in mandarin? I noticed that some of the pin yin is the same pronunciation but some pinyin, for instance, bia, never be used in Mandarin
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4answers
133 views

Meaning & Etyomology: 博眼球?

The only meaning of 博眼球 I've been able to come across is the following from a 百度知道 answer: 回头率高,吸引人的意思 but is it really that simple, is that all it means? 'An eyeball-turner?' What does 博 mean ...
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2answers
67 views

does 并未 have to go with a pairing of words?

So, I recently learned that 并未 is a formal way of saying 并没有. However, whenever I see it in writing it is always paired with a two word set. (i.e. 并未解决, 并未提出, 等。 ) Is this a hard and fast rule? I've ...
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3answers
96 views

Translation of “you cut I choose”

I'm trying to give a presentation to my Chinese class on fair division procedures, and I want to describe the simple method of "you cut I choose". I think a literal translation would be something like ...
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2answers
256 views

Please sign in to send a message

How would I translate the phrase, "Please sign in to send the message". I would think it's something like, "Qing 登录 fa xin" -- is that correct?
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2answers
113 views

Which one is correct?

这家餐馆菜都很好吃的 这家餐馆的菜都很好吃 What's the correct form to say "all the food of that restaurant it's delicious" ?
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3answers
279 views

What is the difference between 假如 and 例如?

What's the difference between 假如 and 例如? As far as I know, their usage is the same.

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