6
votes
1answer
302 views

What is the etymology of 放我一马?

I've heard this a couple times now and most recently in a movie "钢的琴". It's an idiom that means "cut me some slack"; "let me off the hook". I couldn't make sense of the Baidu encyclopedia so I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
616 views

Advice on Mandarin Chinese passive learning

What are the best Chinese online tv channels with english subtitles for passive Mandarin learning. I find Chinese a rather musical language and would love to watch subbed tv (news, documentaries, ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

Chinese for “patch” in the sense of “software patch”

The dictionary lists many words for "patch" but none that explicitly state they mean patch in the software sense of the word. EDIT: Dictionary has now been updated
9
votes
2answers
544 views

How will translate “谁让你” into English?

How will translate "谁让你" into English? For example, 我不得不服从你的安排。 谁让你是我的老板呢?
3
votes
3answers
331 views

Why is Economic translated to “經濟”?

I know that it's a translation from Japanese, but I do not know why it becomes this. Could someone explain it in detail?
5
votes
1answer
110 views

Is the expression 学识渊博 usually used in a pejorative sense?

For example, as a sarcastic remark in the sense of "pedantic" or "know-it-all"?
5
votes
2answers
173 views

Could 恭喜发财 sound inappropriate?

I sent new year greetings to my Chinese teacher last week, writing "新年快乐! 恭喜发财!". When I saw her today she thanked me, but said I should never write 恭喜发财 to a teacher, because it's a greeting only ...
8
votes
5answers
473 views

What is the meaning of 真是的

What is a meaning of 真是的. I heard for many times in context something like 你真是的! And yet I have doubts about proper meaning of this expression.
5
votes
2answers
307 views

Is the character 年 (or its etymology) related to the mythical beast in Chinese mythology?

Premise: According to the mythology related to the Chinese New Year, a creature called 年 (also referred to as 年兽 — pinyin: nián shòu — 年獸 in Traditional chinese) was a mythical beast that "lived under ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Is 级 necessary in 优先级

From the dictionary I gather that 优先 by itself means "priority" and so 优先级 means "level of priority". In a phrase such as 高优先级,or 最高优先级,is the 级 necessary to sound correct, or is it an optional ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

'Simplification' of 夠

Why did 夠 get 'simplified' into 够? I'd like to know whether these existed as orthographic variants before simplification (such that the first round simplifications just standardised on one variant) ...
6
votes
2answers
113 views

How to use 凭 as a preposition

I understand 凭 as a verb to mean rely. But I often read it and the seemingly related 凭着 in familiar contexts but still do not know what function it serves. Seeing example sentences doesn't make it any ...
3
votes
4answers
304 views

When to use 家 vs 师 vs 员 vs 者

I'm translating my resume into Chinese so I can maybe apply for a Chinese job. There are a number of items on there where I'm not sure when to use 家, 师, 员, or 者. Example, I developed a comics ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

What greetings or sayings are there that are used during the new year, specific to the Year of the Snake?

At the New Year, there are some sayings or greetings that are lucky or considered "好听", which are especially fitting since they have to do with the upcoming new year. For example, at the New Year of ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Origin of the word “娘惹”

I know what 娘惹 means (wikipedia), however, I couldn't find any reference on its origin. Is it a Chinese transliteration of a Malaysian word, a Cantonese/Hokkien word or a Mandarin word? What's the ...
5
votes
2answers
195 views

Is there a list of characters specifically used for western proper nouns?

When learning country/place names or reading about non-Chinese people in the media I see the same characters used for similar phonemes (see these celebrities). What rule or list do the writers follow ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

Is there an abbreviation for the 黑海/地中海 combo?

In Chinese, related region names are often abbreviated. For example, Sino-Japanese is known as 中日 and Sino-African is known as 中非.  Does anyone know whether there is a corresponding abbreviation for ...
8
votes
3answers
431 views

Can 下次 mean “again”?

I found a sentence on tatoeba that isn't quite the translation I would expect. I will not do it again. Is translated as... 下次我不做了。 I checked mdbg.net to be sure, and 下次 is only translated ...
8
votes
4answers
662 views

What does the expression “孤男寡女” mean?

What does the expression "孤男寡女" (gū nán guǎ nǚ) mean, exactly? Does it have inherently negative connotations? As an aside, why does Google translate it as "Needing"?
3
votes
2answers
141 views

In “我只喜歡你一個” what does the “一個” do?

If I were to translate "I only like you" I'd say 我只喜歡你 Wǒ zhǐ xǐ huan nǐ However I have seen the following 我只喜歡你一個 Wǒ zhǐ xǐ huan nǐ yī ge Translated as I like you alone ...
2
votes
3answers
223 views

做 as the verb “to be”

Can someone please clarify how and when 做 is used to mean "to be" e.g. 不愿做奴隶人们 I am familiar with 做 meaning "to do" or "to make", and I would expect that if I was saying "I am a slave", “我是一个奴隶“ ...
5
votes
5answers
507 views

Another meaning of 同志

Is it true that 同志 have some different meaning. Like gay (as in homosexual) or something. I know that during the XX century in China and communist Russia it was very common to call people 同志(товарищ). ...
5
votes
2answers
226 views

Why is 土著人 used for Aboriginal people in Australia?

In Australia it is quite common to talk about Aboriginal people as they feature quite often when talking about sports, Olympics or politics. The word that is used to describe Aboriginal people by ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

给我站住: Idiom or common meaning

给我站住 I assume this means something like "wait for me!". But I still have a couple of questions. Google translate gives the meaning "Nothing to say" which implies that 给我站住 may be an idiom. If ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Is there a logical explanation why 非得不 and 非得 means must?

I understand that 非 and 不 have negative meanings by themselves, and 得 means "must" by itself. So with a double negative, which means affirmative positive. So far so good. But 非得 by itself is also ...
2
votes
4answers
392 views

Expressing “Fair enough”

The English expression "fair enough" can be used to concede a point in an argument, or acknowledge the other person's position, without expressing complete agreement. To take an example from ...
2
votes
3answers
262 views

How to say incoming president (国家主席)?

Strangely the Wikipedia article for president 中华人民共和国主席 doesn't mention 习近平 anywhere. I also asked my mother in law just now if she spotted any articles where it mentions him as the incoming ...
6
votes
1answer
602 views

What's the grammatical structure for “<subject> <verbs> like a <noun>” style simile in Chinese

I am fond of the simile structure "I eat like a wolf" or "The light flickered like a candle" in English. I never know how to express these thoughts in Chinese though, even if I know the underlying ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

What does 'twitter/facebook Town Hall' mean in Chinese?

I watched the video ' Obama's Twitter Town Hall- Full Video ' in Youtube.But I knew the Town Hall means '市政厅',and what does it mean here?
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I say “damn!” or “bloody hell” in Chinese?

The phrase 他妈的 has been explained in this question. Since I'm a no-expletives guy, I don't feel comfortable so close to the f-word. :) I was wondering what would be the correct way to use some of the ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

Pronunciation of 比较

On a CCTV 9 show shot in Shanghai, a couple of people who were certainly speaking Putonghua have made comparisons and if I heard right they were pronouncing 比较 as "biao." Am I wrong? Is that a common ...
-2
votes
1answer
84 views

Help translating [closed]

Not sure this is the correct forum for this post as I'm not a student, but I need help translating this a error message I keep getting. I'm hoping it's Chinese. ...
7
votes
1answer
178 views

Difference between 更好 and 比较好?

I'm confused about the difference between 更好 and 比较好. Since both seem to mean "better", how are these used differently? In what cases would you use them?
2
votes
1answer
900 views

Where can I find sample Simplified Chinese mailing address data? [closed]

I need to populate a database with Simplified Chinese mailing addresses. Where can I find some test data? Edit Since I'm trying to work with these addresses in a computer program, it would be nice ...
8
votes
4answers
465 views

Pronounce ellipsis 《●●● ●●●》 in Mandarin

When I'm reading ellipses in English out loud I usually say et cetera or and so on. What should I say in Mandarin? 等等?
6
votes
3answers
142 views

What is the function of 了 in the sentence 我最怕去西单了?

Received this in a text from a Chinese friend. I want to say that "了" here is not part of the verb phrase but instead just an emphatic particle, same as if you said something like "我最怕蜘蛛了"。Then again, ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What font size for reading simplified characters on screen?

I realize this sounds like a very subjective question, so I will try to ask it very carefully: I'm learning to speak, read, and write Mandarin. A lot of times (particularly on the web or in e-mail) I ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

Meaning of “网络驿站”

I've come across the phrase "网络驿站" a couple of times recently, but don't understand precisely what it means (see Hbjjrb.com for an example). The only translation of 驿站 that I can find refers to a ...
0
votes
2answers
185 views

How to say “用斜杠包围逗号” in english? [closed]

Is this sentence "encircle the comma using slash" right? Actually, I want to figure out this situation \,\ I doubt the word 'encircle' is not accurate.
2
votes
1answer
159 views

How should I understand 集合?

I looked up the definition for 集合 in Baidu but I'm not sure how to use it. My example is like this: 其博大宽泛的特性集合,~ The context of this sentence is that it's describing PHP, a popular programming ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

What is the significance of 吃秋葵时过世?

I found this on nciku.cn and after searching around I could find no other references or even mention. Is this a translation error or some sort of dictionary blip? I asked a few Chinese friends but ...
3
votes
3answers
632 views

What are the relative literacy rates in for simplified and traditional characters?

I'm trying to decide whether it would be better to use traditional or simplified characters for an iPhone game I'm making. If something is written in traditional, how many people will be able to read ...
0
votes
2answers
238 views

How do I translate a definition for inheritance (computer science)?

I'm trying to say this in Chinese: Inheritance allows for reuse of code where common behavior is defined once for a number of related classes and unique behavior is implemented only in classes ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

How to mix Latin and Chinese script with style?

I am currently writing a Chinese translation for a webpage about a Go meeting. The section about how to get there contains a lot of mixed Chinese and Latin text: 地點 社團處所在 Lehrter Straße ...
2
votes
2answers
718 views

Resultative complement 到

Is using the resultative complement 到 generally equivalent to saying "at the time this action was finished"? Can 你走到车站的时候已经很晚了吗? be translated as "By the time you reached the station were you ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Are 明白 and 懂 synonymous?

Are 明白 and 懂 synonymous? If not, could anyone please elaborate on the difference along with some examples of usage?
2
votes
1answer
347 views

Poetic two-character words of the form: Verb + Natural Noun?

I was looking for examples in Mandarin of poetic two-character words. What words have the following form... Verb + Noun ...where the noun is something that occurs in nature? The first examples ...
7
votes
2answers
241 views

Is the measure word optional in 这件毛衣?

I've heard the sentence 这毛衣, (so without measure word), but my chinese manual always use a measure word after 这: 这件毛衣 这件苹果 Is the measure word optionnal in after 这 ?
3
votes
1answer
148 views

What's the Eye of a Hurricane called in Chinese/Pinyin?

For a role playing game I'm joining, my character is a monk of Chinese origin. Trying to come up with a name I thought of "Eye of (the) Hurricane/Typhoon" as the monk is a very calm character caught ...
9
votes
7answers
648 views

What is the difference between using 光 vs using 只?

What is the gramatical difference between 光 and 只? 光剩下2毛钱 does not have the same meaning/context as 只剩下2毛钱 It seems there is more emphasis to the part that comes after 光. When is the right time to ...

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