2
votes
2answers
173 views

Which term and which counter to use when ordering simple meals?

When ordering food at a cheap simple eatery in China, which words with which counters should I use that would be something vaguely like English "serve", "serving", "helping", "plate", "bowl". For ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I type bopomofo on Windows without converting to hanzi?

I've just finished my two months travelling in China and have arrived to spend one month in Taiwan. I now want to learn as much as I can about how Mandarin Chinese is used here. One thing different ...
5
votes
4answers
162 views

Can 太久 be used to refer to time past between two dates?

As an example, if I am making plans to meet with a friend, and I say I am free on a specific date, say 2 weeks from now, and then I follow up by asking my friend "Or is that too far ahead?" To ...
3
votes
4answers
385 views

去出回 Where is it appropriate to use each

So these three have always threw me through a loop 去 - Qù - Means to go to a place 出 - Chū - Means to go out 回 - Huí - Means to go back The only case I know to not use 去 (Qù) as a way of going ...
9
votes
2answers
311 views

Why is “steak” 肉排?

肉排 is Chinese for steak (e.g. 牛排 or 猪排 for beef steak and pork steak), but where did the 排 come from? As a Western cuisine dish, did the word have some roundabout origin? 排 means row/rank, which has ...
3
votes
3answers
518 views

Regional pronunciations of standard Mandarin [closed]

When I first came to China, I was quite disappointed to find out that, in so many places, the colloquial pronunciation was so greatly different from the one I've studied so far. The phonological ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Videos for learning Chinese Mandarin

I am well aware there of posts such as this, but I am specifically looking for videos that would be on youtube, for example. There are many videos on youtube, but I have been able to find anything ...
7
votes
2answers
194 views

Are “身份证” and “身分证” totally interchangeable?

When wanting to learn the word for "ID card" I seem to find both "身份证" and "身分证". They both have the same pronunciation "shēnfèn zhèng". I don't think they differ by being traditional vs simplified? ...
9
votes
2answers
234 views

Purpose of duplicating measure words?

I came across the following sentence in New Practical Chinese Reader 2, lesson 21, paraphrasing: 南方的花园 中国人常说: ...
2
votes
3answers
197 views

Are there multiple translations for 不上边?

Trying to translate this: 始终是碰不上边的... From the beginning, not able to meet (in agreement) with those above? I searched on "不上边" in 百度 and it seems there are multiple ways to interpret it - ...
5
votes
2answers
123 views

“便利商店” (biànlì shāngdiàn) vs “便利店” (biànlì diàn)

Earlier when I was in China I learned "便利店" (biànlì diàn) to mean "convenience store". I think from looking it up in the English Wiktionary. But now that I'm in Taiwan when I used it people didn't ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

“不客气” (bù kèqì) vs “谢谢你” (xièxiè nǐ)

At home in Australia my neighbouring shop owners are from Shanghai and taught me some Chinese. From them I learned two ways of responding to "谢谢" (xièxiè): "不客气" (bù kèqì) "谢谢你" (xièxiè nǐ) So I ...
7
votes
1answer
293 views

Is there a tone sandhi rule that “4 3” changes to “4 0”?

This is a followup to my earlier question about the tones in the word "豆腐": On their own "豆" and "腐" have the tones 4 and 3: dòu, fǔ As a two-syllable / two-character word, "豆腐" has tone 4 but "fu" ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Which term is used for “oyster” in Taiwan?

According to the English Wiktionary there are four Chinese terms equivalent to English "oyster": mǔlì : 牡蠣 / 牡蛎 hǎilìzi : 海蠣子 háo : 蚝 háozi : 蚝子 Is one of these standard or most common in Taiwan? ...
4
votes
1answer
253 views

non-standard tone pronunciation

After carefully listening to the tapes of Assimil "Chinese with ease", I noticed that the pronunciation by the native speakers of a few characters differs from the standard tones: 多 pronounced with a ...
5
votes
3answers
211 views

Where does 馬上 originate from?

馬上 can be used as an adverb that roughly means "at once" or "immediately", for instance in: 我馬上來幫你. It can also mean "on horseback". Where does the usage with the sense of "at once" originate from, ...
12
votes
3answers
646 views

足: why is “foot” also “enough”?

足 is an ancient character meaning "foot". However, it also means "enough" or "sufficient", and this second definition is also very old. Consider this excerpt: 兵甲已足。——诸葛亮《出师表》 This is from ...
13
votes
3answers
599 views

How does foreign word transliteration work in the context of Cantonese vs Mandarin?

If I understand correctly, Cantonese sounds very different from Mandarin, despite being written in the same way (omitting some small differences, which are irrelevant for the question). If it is the ...
7
votes
4answers
752 views

Where can I find a list of commonly mistaken characters?

I want to quickly identify potential mistakes created by OCR software. Where can I find a list of all Chinese characters that visually look very similar and might often be confused?
6
votes
1answer
648 views

“A pair of mandarin oranges” as a homophone of “the gold”

image courtesy of Today, when Chinese people celebrate the New Year, there's a tradition to offer each other Mandarin oranges. As many sources say, the Mandarin oranges should be offered in pairs, ...
4
votes
3answers
397 views

So when should I use 旅舍,旅社,宾馆,酒店, or 旅馆?

I've heard or seen all of them in real life situations, some of them seem to be exclusively for hostels, others only for larger hotels, but some verification would be nice.
3
votes
2answers
390 views

Issues with machine translation from Traditional to Simplified (not vice versa)

I'm trying to translate my website into Traditional and Simplified Chinese. I have a full human translation for it into Traditional Chinese and I was wondering about what errors and inaccuracies can ...
8
votes
5answers
288 views

Are there sentences where 跟 and 和 are interchangeable?

For example: 我跟朋友去公园了。 我和朋友去公园了。 Are both of these sentences correct? Are there any subtle differences in the meaning conveyed? If they are not entirely interchangeable, how do we know which one ...
1
vote
4answers
205 views

Is “酷比” an actual used word in any Chinese-speaking location? (Including colloquial and slang)

I've been looking at some very cheap tablet computers made in China and one goes by the English brand name "Cube" or "Alldocube" or "cube51". Their Chinese brand name is "酷比魔方" (Kù bǐ mófāng). I see ...
6
votes
3answers
230 views

When to use “下一个” and when just “下一” to translate English “next”?

When I looked up how to say "next" some time in the last couple of months I found "下一个". So I was using that and seemed to be mostly understood. But then I started noticing that just "下一" was used by ...
1
vote
3answers
110 views

Translation of 我想会吗? - I thought, is it possible?

Is my translation right? Here's the context (conversation about Snowden): A: 未证实的意思呢就是还没有去证实、证明它是一个事实。 B: 嗯。我想,会吗?他可能已经在暗中做安排了吧。 A: 这个只是他们的官方说法嘛,呵呵。 Does it mean different things in ...
6
votes
2answers
265 views

About Confucius' Ta-Hio

In many books about Confucius' Analects, 大學 is transliterated as Ta-Hio. Why is this? 大學 is dàxué in Pinyin, da hsüeh in Wade-Giles, da sywe in Yale, and daai hok in Cantonese, so where does this ...
5
votes
4answers
153 views

How to translate 实时新闻定制和推送系统 to English?

I once worked on a project called 实时新闻定制和推送系统. Now someone translated it to English as Real-time News Ordering and Pushing System. However I feel strange with the word Ordering. I often hear the word ...
3
votes
2answers
781 views

How to say “beginning of the month?”

I've tried google translate, but it doesn't seem like what I'm trying to translate is quite right (at least I'm not sure if it's correct). To say "end of the month", I have heard people say "这月底“,but ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there some free fonts for the small seal, large seal, and even oracle bone script styles?

I'm very interested in the old forms of Chinese characters that you still see in many contexts including historical, artistic, and design contexts. So I'm wondering if there are free fonts for these ...
5
votes
4answers
455 views

How is the currency of Taiwan referred to in Mandarin?

(I'm not going to use the hanzi or even proper pinyin for some terms because I only know them from speaking as an absolute beginning learner.) In Mainland China the currency is the "yuan" but in ...
8
votes
1answer
336 views

Pronunciation of 和 in Taiwan

This is something that I noticed in Taiwanese Mandarin TV series and films. It seems that they pronounce this character as hàn instead of the commonly accepted hé. For example, 我和你 is pronounced wǒ ...
9
votes
1answer
678 views

Analog of Hong Kong grade level for Chinese characters?

The Unihan database lists a kGradeLevel for each entry. This is the primary grade in the Hong Kong school system by which a student is expected to know the corresponding character. Is there a similar ...
5
votes
2answers
351 views

What does 餅乾 mean in Taiwan?

I'm unfamiliar with the variety of Mandarin spoken in Taiwan, so I was surprised to see a chilli-snack 香脆椒 referred to as 餅乾: http://mall.tw100years.com/goods.php?id=9 ...
5
votes
1answer
494 views

Usage of the phrase '不错用' in Taiwan Mandarin

I heard my Taiwanese friends use the Mandarin phrase 不错用 more than once, but didn't have a chance to ask them: Is it widely used in Taiwan, or is it used by a certain circle/type of person? What's ...
3
votes
4answers
415 views

how to say It's a deal

When you make an agreement with someone, how do you say, both formally and informally, "it's a deal."? Like, formally "Do you agree to the contract?" "Yes. It's a deal." Informally, "I'll make you ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

The meanings of 不好意思

In response to kindnesses I sometimes say "不好意思了" and I don't think there has ever been a misunderstanding. But as an English speaker I feel unsure how this is different from saying "不好意思" for a bad ...
4
votes
4answers
172 views

Difference between 新 and 生?

Until now, I thought 新 meant 'new' in all contexts. In class recently, our tutor showed a slide in which he used 生词 for 'new words'. My dictionary gives the meaning of 生 when used as an adjective as ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Do this for me and then we'll be even

I'm trying to convey "If you do x, we'll call it even." So my sentence is: 我们可以互相学习,我教你滑雪,作为回报你可以教我什么呢? we can both learn from each other... I teach you to ski... and in return what can you teach ...
2
votes
1answer
174 views

Common (and good) ways to ask for hand in marriage

The popular song goes, "今天你要嫁给我好吗" but I feel something like "你愿意嫁给我吗" sounds more like a question, rather than just adding "好吗" at the end of a statement. Does anybody have any critiques or ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What does the sound “app” mean in Chinese?

I noticed that Chinese sometimes prefer to say "ay pee pee" rather than just "app" when referring to a computer application. I infer there is a chance that "app" already had a meaning in a Chinese ...
8
votes
9answers
1k views

What's the correct translation for 1.5 months? Is it “一个月半” or "一个半月“?

What's the correct translation for 1.5 months? Is it "一个月半" or "一个半月“?
3
votes
4answers
298 views

Is “我爱辣” (Wǒ ài là) a correct/understandable/idiomatic way of saying I like my food spicy?

When I'm buying food in China, especially in the street but sometimes also in restaurants, people often ask me if it want "là". I know that means "spicy" and I really enjoy spicy food. As there's not ...
1
vote
2answers
169 views

The origin of pinyin [duplicate]

Pinyin is really strange. It is like the English word, but with different meaning and pronunciation. I want to know the origin of pinyin. If someone can give a clear answer, I will be very ...
10
votes
4answers
252 views

Origin of 乎 as a bound morpheme in words such as 热乎

Here are a couple compound words that end with 乎: 热乎,温乎,確乎,玄乎,忙乎,晕乎,近乎,热乎乎,傻乎乎 Is there an understanding of how 乎 became used in these words? Does it have any relation to the classical usage of 乎 as ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

difference between two words for balance of account

I want to pay off the remainder of my credit card bill. Can someone help me differentiate between 余额 and 尾数 Thanks
7
votes
3answers
473 views

Difference between 各 and 每?

I'm used to using 每 for every. However, 各 came up one day and appears to me to have the exactly same meaning. Is there a contextual difference between the two that I am missing or can they be swapped ...
6
votes
2answers
261 views

Questions on “的话”

What is the etymology behind "的话" in the common construct 如果...的话 or 要是...的话? In addition to wondering about it's meaning, what exactly is the 的 doing? Is it modifying the 如果? Is it modifying the ...
10
votes
6answers
685 views

What is the difference in use between 完 and 了?

If I understood correctly, both 完 and 了 can be used to indicate a completed action, so what is the difference in use? How do we properly use 完 in a sentence? Which contexts would be valid?
2
votes
3answers
243 views

Naming siblings with same sounding chinese characters [closed]

I would like to name my baby daughter "嫣" which is written as "yān", per pinyin. However my elder daughter's name is "彥" which is pronounced as "yàn". Is it considered taboo to give my daughters the ...

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