3
votes
3answers
301 views

Clarification on 师 meaning

I am trying to learn some vocabulary thanks to memrise.com. In the word list, 师 is mentionned two times, once meaning "teacher"(pinyin: shi1), the second one as an adjective meaning "handsome, smart" ...
6
votes
2answers
340 views

奇 is a strange character

Lost Etymology 奇 ( jī | qí ) is a character that means strange but the etymology appears to have been lost. At least as far as I can tell after researching offline books, zhongwen.com, and ...
1
vote
1answer
181 views

Using variants of 那

When to use variations of 那? 那 (nà,nǎ, nèi, núo) has multiple pronunciations. Can someone explain when to use the different sounds? (images courtesy of www.zhongwen.com)
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Characters to pinyin for names?

I am aware that there are some difficulties in automatic conversion of characters to pinyin, because the same character can be pronounced in different ways depending on the context. Do these problems ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

How to show exasperation?

If I were to write "aiyaa, 这是太贵了!“ Wondering how to show exasperation in writing? Or how to write the aiyaa?
1
vote
1answer
189 views

How and when to consider 面子 when speaking Chinese?

Avoid Losing Face ( 沒面子 ) As a student of Chinese I would like always maintain a respectful tone. It can be very easy when speaking a second language to make mistakes that offend others. I would like ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

How do Chinese judge the right sound quality (softness, awkwardness, respectfulness (面子), negativity)

Please note that I have re-written this question for clarity. Subjective Comprehension In a number of questions asked here on CLSE, I have noticed answers that include responses about how ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Pronounciation of pronouns

Is there an old way of pronouncing 牠? I remember learning to pronounce it as "tuo" when I was in primary school, which was more than 40 years ago. I know it is pronounced as "ta" now.
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Zhuyin IME and tone 0/5 syllables

I'm teaching myself bopomofo/zhuyin keyboard while I'm in Taiwan. My Chinese level is raw beginner too. I just came across the word for tofu: Hanzi: 豆腐 Pinyin: dòufu Zhuyin: ㄉㄡˋㄈㄨ· (or ㄉㄡˋㄈㄨ˙) We ...
6
votes
1answer
220 views

Why is tofu used in 心急吃不了热豆腐?

Why is tofu, among all foods that can be enjoyed hot, used in the expression "心急吃不了热豆腐"? Why not "心急吃不了热饭" or "心急吃不了热牛肉"?
1
vote
3answers
148 views

跟到: 方言? Or what?

Is the word 跟到, as in 我们跟到就走, part of MSM? If not, what topolect is it from? Is there any documentation on it? (Dictionary entries, etc.) In case it's not clear the meaning of 跟到 is pretty much the ...
3
votes
4answers
373 views

Graceful ways to break away from a conversation

Closing a Conversation I was just in a telephone call with a Chinese person and I attempted to say something like: xiè xiè nín de lái diàn 谢谢您的来电 Had I said this in English, the caller would have ...
3
votes
2answers
370 views

Chinese Metaphor 八字沒見一撇

Simple Words I recently came across this phrase: 八字沒見一撇 I understand each character but the meaning was still lost on me. So I asked someone about this and they informed me that it is somewhat ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Does ancient Chinese have tones (声调)?

This question has puzzled me since I have no training in ancient Chinese and ancient phonetics. What is puzzling me is the following facts: The tones in different regions are quite different. If ...
6
votes
2answers
514 views

What is considered to be the most difficult sound for native English speakers to pronounce?

When I was first learning Chinese, I found the e4 - 饿 & ü3/ü4 - 女/绿 sounds to be the most problematic. Has there been any research into this? If so, what sounds are generally the most problematic ...
1
vote
1answer
497 views

Is it easier to learn Chinese or Spanish? [closed]

I'm a native English speaker as well as a native Spanish speaker. I speak Spanish to my family members most of the time at home. It didn't really take me too much effort to learn it. So I believe ...
3
votes
3answers
202 views

Are These Equivalent Grammatical Syntax?

Chinese Grammar I am studying many sources for Chinese grammar. I understand that literally these two sentences mean slightly different things. Are there any implications or reasoning for using one ...
1
vote
1answer
399 views

How to say “I got disconnected” and “I'm lagging”?

I'm playing an online game on a Chinese server, and I sometimes get disconnected when the VPN gets congested. When this happens, I have to restart the game and re-enter the map, while the rest of my ...
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. ...
1
vote
4answers
258 views

Pronunciation of 山 (in Taiwan)

I'm a newbie Chinese student and I have a question about the pronunciation of the word shān (山), meaning mountain. When I went to Taiwan recently, friends there pronounced it as sān, not shān. For ...
-1
votes
1answer
54 views

News “Digest”: Resources

Sorry if this is a bit off-topic not sure where else to ask this & I know you guys will have answers. I used to read 蛮子文摘 back in the day, till man zi got busted. The "digest" (if we can even ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

What is “Chinese Culture”? [closed]

What is Chinese culture? What does it consist of? How would you describe it? I've been asked what American and British culture is - and I really have no idea what it is or how to even explain it ...
10
votes
9answers
3k views

I'm dying to learn Chinese [closed]

I'm new on this website and my only objective is to get some answers. But the main question I have is How and where to start learning Chinese? How to begin?
3
votes
1answer
225 views

大风绝尘而去 in idiomatic English

"大风绝尘而去" In a weather report document, such as http://news.163.com/14/0528/18/9TBR0KOI00014Q4P.html, does this phrase mean that the gale is going to 'stay away and leave' ? or 'A large storm will ...
7
votes
5answers
292 views

地 pronunciation variation

May I know how the rules governing the pronunciation of 地? In the song, 吻别, the singer pronounces 地 as di. 冷得连隐藏的遗憾都那么地明显 leng de lian yin cang de yi han du na me di ming xian However, a ...
5
votes
3answers
320 views

pronunciation of 着 in 怎么着

As most of you will probably know, 着 can be pronounced in many ways (depending on the context). I'm wondering how the 着 in 爱怎么着就怎么着 (meaning: do as you like) should be pronounced. Is it zhe or zhao1, ...
3
votes
8answers
224 views

My patience is running out

How can I say my patience is wearing thin or my patience is running out. I guess if I were to translate it, I'd say 我的耐心越来越少 That doesn't seem right
4
votes
5answers
616 views

How do you translate “start”?

I'm trying to ask, "Are you sure you want to start a new game?" My best guess is, 你確定要开始新遊戲? I'm not sure whether I used "start" correctly.
2
votes
2answers
175 views

Mandarin Equivalent of 啥子树子招啥虫?

Heard 啥子树子招啥虫 used in the same sense as "不是一家人,不进一家门" - I was wondering if there is a similar phrased expression in Mandarin for the first, mentioned, expression.
1
vote
2answers
138 views

Morning greeting difference

What is the difference between 早 and 早晨. I hear people say 早晨好 sometimes. Does it refer to a different time in the day, it both say morning in my dictionary. Thank you.
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
196 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
269 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
65 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
359 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
640 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
376 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
178 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
355 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
592 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
127 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
265 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
61 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
188 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
297 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
311 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
305 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
220 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
127 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
914 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 ...

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