5
votes
2answers
203 views

How to Translate 江湖?

I've always wondered how to translate the word "江湖“ in a context such as that in Du Mu's poem: 落魄江湖载酒行, 楚腰纤细掌中轻。 This link clearly explains what 江湖 means, but "underworld" isn't particularly ...
6
votes
5answers
770 views

Resources for learning Cantonese

I'd like to learn Cantonese, does anyone know some good resources (books, websites) that provide a thorough introduction into the language? I know that the pronunciation is a lot harder than in ...
15
votes
5answers
300 views

Question about “很好”

I've read that when asked the simple question 你好吗? ("How are you?"), answering 我很好 is the standard form, while 我好 is simply not used. 很 means "very", but 我很好 is simply translated as "I'm fine." and ...
1
vote
3answers
163 views

Radical meaning vs characters in use

The radical 阜 and its other form 阝, used on the left, supposedly means mound or dam. Looking at image web search hits for 阜 or 阝, I get nothing related to dam or mound. When I look up the Chinese ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

How can you appropriately use “延长”?

So, over the past hours, I‘ve been trying to figure out the proper usage of 延长。 I know that it refers to extending a period of time, but I'm trying to think about ways to use it (exact collocation) ...
1
vote
2answers
82 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
548 views

How do native speakers structure their essays?

When analyzing Chinese speeches or essays, I often have difficulty understanding how their the authors organized their ideas. In North America, for example, a common template for writing an essay is ...
8
votes
2answers
405 views

The origins of “AA制”

Every since I learned the expression AA制*, I have been curious as to its origins. The morphology seems clear enough: AA + 制(定) = "to draw up (the bill) in an AA way". What is not clear is how AA ...
1
vote
3answers
102 views

Difference between 捞 and 拿?

So, recently I bumped into the word “捞” - which, as I've seen translated - means “to grab from a liquid。 (Somewhat similar to “ladel") I thought this looked like a really useful verb, but I wanted to ...
-1
votes
2answers
131 views

How to spell these words in Chinese alphabets? [closed]

since there is a wide range of letters in Chinese language , I need your best offers on spelling (pronounce) these words by use of only Chinese Characters in its most accurate form ? the spelling ...
1
vote
3answers
107 views

Understanding/Translating: 空无

What is the best understanding and (English) translation of 空无? 汉语大词典: 佛教语。谓一切事物从因缘生,唯心所造,了无自性 《维摩经菩萨行品》: "观於空无而不舍大悲。" There are a lot of religious, if you will, concepts in here that I ...
1
vote
5answers
115 views

Are 民谣 Songs? Or are they saying?

Recently, I was trying to understanding what 民谣 exactly means. I know that it is often translated as "Folk Rhyme or Ballad". This implies to me that it is an old, traditional song. I recently saw a ...
3
votes
10answers
640 views

What is the difference between “我还没打算” and “我还没决定”

In a question-response practice, the question is "你暑假要去旅游吗"? Why is the right response "我还没决定", not "我还没打算"?
2
votes
3answers
83 views

grammar sentences

I have been learning Mandarin since beginning of this year. I also learn from song. Then today I read some lyrics from song. I read some sentences : "我看不清楚", then I just think why it should be like ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Difference between 帐篷 and 大棚?

Recently, I read a story that said “于是他让弟子们搭起大棚”。 I translated this roughly to "ordered the kids to set up a tent". But this had me confused. Isn't 帐篷 also tent? And can't you also 搭起帐篷? What is ...
2
votes
2answers
183 views

吃午饭了, should 了 be right after 吃?

I saw this sentence from a text book: 你吃午饭了没有? Have you had lunch yet? Does the 了 have to be right after the verb 吃 though? 你吃了午饭没有? Have you had lunch yet? I learned that 了 with verb ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

Hokkien pronunciation of `白头偕老`

白头偕老 is a set expression in Mandarin, meaning to get old together, in a loose translation. I found it in a Hokkien song called 牵阮的手 (Mandarin 牵我的手, English While you hold my hand). In the linked ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

Specially formatted Xiehouyu: What are they? What others are there?

I was going through the 四川方言词典 the other day and came across this: ...and my transcription... 冲起屁——[股] cong1 qi3 pi4——[gu3] 这是歇后语的一种特殊格式。这种歇后语的“引”和“注”合起来是一个完整的四字格词组, 运用时, 只说“引”, ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

What's the Most Likely Chinese Version of this Odd “Chinglish”?

This Language Log post is an entertaining discussion of some possible explanations for an unidiomatic English phrase, "Suffered We Protect They", that has appeared on some Liuzhou SWAT posters. My ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Usage of direction and location (destination) complements (衣服都装进箱子里去了 vs. 衣服都装到箱子里了)

In some situations, it is not clear to me when to use a direction complement or a location (destination) complement. For instance, I read from a book that the sentence "衣服都装进箱子里去了" is correct. This ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Meaning of 莫逮 in Classical texts?

Some examples of 莫逮 found in Classical texts: 三國志.卷二十一.魏書.王粲傳:「昔伯牙絕絃於鍾期,仲尼覆醢于子路,痛知音之難遇,傷門人之莫逮也。」 《南齐书·周盘龙传》 形甚羸訥, 而臨軍勇果, 諸將莫逮。 《宋史•朱弁传》:“叹马角之未生,魂销雪窖;攀龙髯而莫逮,泪洒冰天。” 《荀子·尧问》 ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Is knowing how Chinese Characters are formed common knowledge?

Are Chinese taught in school how Chinese characters are formed (mainly phono-semantic compounds) or do they just bruteforce remember them? At least I know Japanese people don't learn phonetic parts of ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

Difference between 人和 and 仁和

In Lao She's novel Rickshaw Boy, the protagonist works at place called "人和厂“. To be very literal that is people's unity shop, in contrast to the protagonist's individualism. But two thirds of the ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Difference between 剧本 and 脚本?

Is there a clear difference between 剧本 and 脚本? I know that 剧本 can also be the more formal “screenplay”。 But beyond that I'm not sure if there is a difference
1
vote
1answer
64 views

殊: Why 歺(歹)+朱? How did it get to mean special (in a good way)?

How did 殊, as in: 特殊、殊技、殊荣、殊勋、殊遇、殊遇 come to have it's meaning of special? 歺(歹)+朱 paint out a rather, more, grim meaning if anything... 說文解字: 死也。从歺朱聲。漢令曰:“蠻夷長有罪,當殊之。”市朱切 How did 殊 get to mean ...
0
votes
3answers
86 views

Why is there no 了 in 以前我住在这儿

I am used to hearing phrases like this: 我住在这儿 To say "I lived here [before]", however, it seems you can't use 了 at all: 以前我住在这儿 Why is this not "以前我住了在这儿"? Is there a formal reason why 了 ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

一眼之念 一念执着 meaning

I want to translate lyrics for 步步惊心 intro song. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj8kElvozBY) 一眼之念 一念执着 - My Chinese friend told me that meaning is "I fall in love with you from first look" 一眼之念 - ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

What abstract things can you 吸收?

So, I recently learned 吸收 can be used abstractly. Looking around example sentences we have 吸收知识 吸收A的思想 吸收B的信念 吸收A的经验 Two questions: 1. How common are these collocations? How colloquial? 2. ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

How to properly say “World's fair”

I've read that there are a couple of different ways to say "World's fair" including "世界博览会" "世博会“ or “万博”。 Would anyone like to comment on common these terms actual are? Is saying 世纪博览会 in ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

What is important to consider while building an adverbial phrase?

As far as I know, in Chinese, the adverbial phrase is put right in front of the verb and its purpose is to describe the verb. Sentence pattern: S adverbialphrase V O What are the rules to put a ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Can someone, please, help to translate name of this Chinese dish? [closed]

Some days ago I had a dinner with partner from China, we were at native China restaurant, where even menu has no english. He ordered some dishes and I liked them so much! I asked him to write me down ...
5
votes
3answers
397 views

What's the correct classifier for `房子`?

In my little bit of Mandarin experience, I have got that the classifier for 房子 is 座, and also felt that 座 is usually used to refer to a building. However, I have just read that someone here over ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Medieval Chinese Pronunciation

It's here! The A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese dictionary is finally out! Language Log says: A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese All of the ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

How do I ask for a refill for my acrylic nails?

I like having pretty acrylic nails: Roughly once a month, I need to get a refill. (Basically, they take the color off, and fill in the part of the nail where it's grown out, and paint them again.) ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

How common is the phrase “同乡”?

I recently read the word “同乡” (i.e. person who lives in the same village as you). I'm trying to figure out if it is something that people say. Could I say 在飞机上我竟然认识一位同乡? If not, how is it used ...
2
votes
1answer
592 views

Do people use 刻苦 nowadays?

I'm trying to figure out two things. 1. is 刻苦 still commonly used in China? Is it colloquial? ex: could I say “他那一年刻苦的学西班牙文” If it is used, are there any clear differences with “认真”? Or are they ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Help me please to identify this Chinese plant/dish?

Can you kindly help me translate and/or identify english name for this plant/dish http://www.foodreport.cn/nutrition.php?action=view&id=228 http://www.nipic.com/show/1/55/5740675k344c9c09.html
1
vote
1answer
89 views

What is the translation of 熱鬧?

I came across this word 熱鬧 (In this case, it means very crowded, noisy, lively) in an exercise and it tells me to change it into English. But I can't really find a suitable and precise word to ...
7
votes
3answers
189 views

How is 青 and 苍 used in classical Chinese to denote colors?

Here is what the dictionary says about 青:  1. 深绿色或浅蓝色:~草。~苔。 Dark Blue or light green.  2. 靛蓝色:靛~。~紫。 Indigo blue.  3. 黑色:~布。~衣。 Black. Similar case is 苍:  1. 深青色,深绿色:~翠。~天。 Dark ...
-2
votes
1answer
53 views

Where do i put adverbial expressions and other phrases in a sentence?

I know Chinese use the sequence S O V. I also know place follows time, for instance in these ways: t(ime),p(lace) S tp V O tp S V O t S p V O Where do i put further phrases, like adverbial ...
-5
votes
1answer
81 views

How to write this in chinese [closed]

I want my girlfriend name tattooed in Chinese but unable to know how to write it in Chinese calligraphy. The name is HALDER(pronounced as HALDHER), can someone please let me know how it is in Chinese. ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

How Should I Pronounce the Character 說 In This Lyric?

Reading the following lyric (詞) of Nara Singde (納蘭性德), set to the tune 念奴嬌, where rhyming characters are enclosed in parentheses according to this reference: 怕見人去樓空,柳枝無恙,猶掃窗間(月)。 無分暗香深處住,悔把蘭襟親(結)。 ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

How to interpret '开始起步' in this sentence

In this sentence, IT企业的电子商务也在1999年开始起步。how would you translate '开始起步'?
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Is 是 being used as a measure word in this sentence?

现在,中国网民总数已经超过美国人口总数,但美国网购人数占其全部人口的75%,中国则只有25%左右,而且,中国网购消费者年均消费额仅为美国消费者的1/5。于刚认为,这是差距, 更是中国电子商务的潜力。 Is '是‘ in 这是差距 working as a 量词?Or should I read 'this is a disparity'?
7
votes
4answers
286 views

Differentiating between 收 and 受

I've noticed a lot of people have trouble differentiating between 收 and 受. Both their pronunciations and meanings are similar. How to differentiate between the two? What tricks and tips are there ...
0
votes
3answers
80 views

Through which processes became words in classical Chinese that tautological?

There are a lot of different words for many concepts in classical Chinese, for instance for the personal pronouns. Due to which circumstances could this happen?
2
votes
2answers
164 views

List of Chinese characters not used in Mandarin/putonghua

Is there any convenient list of all of these characters? Examples of such characters being: The Hokkien (Min) 𪜶 (which is the pronoun 'them/they/theirs') The Cantonese/Hakka/Gan 佢 (which is the ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

How do you say “snap judgment” in Cantonese?

There isn't a translation in the Cantonese dictionary. Is there a way to say "snap judgment" or the equivalent?
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Online resources for meanings and examples of radicals in simplified Chinese

I've done a brief search through CSE, but found nothing too helpful. Are there any online resources that explain the meaning of the radicals followed by some examples in simplified Chinese?
2
votes
4answers
227 views

Is the symbol in the images a chinese letter?

Is the symbol in the images a chinese letter, and if it is, what does it mean?

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