5
votes
1answer
367 views

Why 意大利 and not e.g., 意国

I always wondered why all main European countries are spelled in chinese with a Hanzi that identifies them or some about their origins more the 国 morpheme, Italy has a uncontested importance in ...
7
votes
2answers
881 views

How does CJK Decomposition compare to the Wikimedia Commons Chinese characters decomposition data?

I found two public databases that describe the composition of Chinese characters. 1 - CJK Decomposition Data 2 - Chinese Characters Decomposition on Wiki Commons I can see how the formats they use ...
3
votes
3answers
345 views

Is it 說 /说 / shuō or 講 / 讲 / jiǎng for “to speak a language”?

I've realized that I still don't know the way to talk about "speaking a language", for instance the Chinese equivalents to sentences like these: Do you speak English? I can speak a little Chinese. ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

When to use [time of day]+饭 vs [time of day]+餐?

I see both used seemingly interchangeably, what is curious to me is that the same person will sometimes use one over the other. Example sentences: "我想吃晚饭" or "我在煮早餐" Looking into the roots of the ...
13
votes
8answers
966 views

How to translate: 人是铁,饭是钢,一顿不吃烦得慌. What is the logic?

人是铁,饭是钢,一顿不吃烦得慌 I can not really figure out to translate this sentence. I guess it basically means that not eating is a bad thing. The first sentences - do they indicate that "iron" and "steel" ...
1
vote
2answers
268 views

Are there words in Mandarin written by characters for other words that mean the same thing?

For example, in written Chinese 给 is used a ideograph for "to give" and is read with whatever the word for "to give" is in the various languages, even if the word is not cognate or in any way related ...
8
votes
5answers
622 views

What is a good form of address for a male friend who is too old to be 小, too young to be 老, and too humble to be called 大?

I have a male "friend", last name 柯 (kē) who is over 30. From ages 18-30 or so, he went by 小柯, but that seems less and less appropriate as he gets older. Always going by his full name seems overly ...
10
votes
1answer
292 views

Stroke order of 力 vs 九

I'm curious as to why the stroke order of 力 is different to the stroke order of 九. One page I found (力 and 九 stroke order) theorises that the reason is because 力 has "touching" strokes and there is a ...
1
vote
4answers
340 views

When submitting forms on the web, you often click a button label 'submit'. I was wondering how to express the word 'submit' in chinese [closed]

At the bottom of a web form, you might click update, or submit. I was wondering what the Chinese word for 'submit' is, and if this is correct: 提交. Similarly, if there is a distinct word for 'update'.
3
votes
2answers
172 views

When should 之 be used as a particle?

When should 之 be used as a particle? There doesn't seem to be a straightforward answer on Nciku. On Wiktionary, the entry states: Indicates that the previous word has possession of the next one. ...
2
votes
3answers
253 views

Books or websites listing *polysyllabic* Mandarin terms with same pronunciation differing only by tones

I'm interested in finding any webpages or books that list words and phrases of more than one character that share the same pronunciation but not the same tones. For instance, here are some terms I've ...
1
vote
2answers
766 views

“C'est la vie” (such is life) in Chinese

On Wiktionary there are two ways listed for saying "such is life" / "c'est la vie" in Chinese. Both look like literal translations: 這就是生活, 这就是生活 (zhè jiùshì shēnghuó) 生活就是這樣, 生活就是这样 (shēnghuó jiùshì ...
1
vote
1answer
279 views

What is the difference between the suffixes 面 and 边? [duplicate]

What is the difference between 面 and 边 when they are used as suffixes, e.g. 前面 and 前边? Is one preferred over the other? Please provide examples of their different usages in both written and spoken ...
3
votes
4answers
315 views

Is it possible to use 过 with specific time words?

This is somewhat similar to this question: When to use 了 and when to use 过 to express past actions or events. I understand that the 过 particle helps express the idea of having had the experience of ...
7
votes
4answers
869 views

What's the title for addressing an unknown young person the same age as you?

For example, you are a 20 year old male/female. You are walking on the street, then you see a male stranger who seems to be the same age as your. He is in hurry, you see him drop his wallet. You pick ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

What are popular Chinese songs for toddlers? [closed]

I am trying to teach my daughter Chinese. Since she loves to sing songs in English, I believe that teaching her to sing Chinese songs will help her to learn more Chinese. Unfortunately, because I did ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Should the term 廁所 (bathroom) be used for both a home and public toilet?

I found this word, 廁所 (Cèsuǒ). Does it mean a toilet outside house like a toilet in the mall? However, for a bathroom in a house which has only a toilet and a shower and there is no bathtub. How can ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

What is the difference between 很 + adjective and adjective + 得很

Since learning the adjective + 得很 rule I have only seen it once in writing with a two syllable adjective。 What are the differences in register and/or meaning between 很 + adjective and adjective+得很?
1
vote
3answers
398 views

Tamen dou1 hen3 hao3

As I am reading the New Practical Chinese Reader From: Resources for learning Mandarin Chinese And I got to the translation of Tamen dou hen hao and I was wondering something. The translation of "...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

Correct/Polite way of asking “Can we speak in chinese?”

I would like to preface this by saying I'm Australian and speak with an Australian accent when I'm speaking English which can be hard to digest for a lot of people new to Australia. A lot of 1st gen ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Effective and polite way to end a phone conversation

What are some ways that I can let the other speaker know I want to finish a phone conversation and am going to hang up. I frequently come across as too abrupt. Usually something along the lines of ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

How to politely ask someone to please be quiet

There are particularly loud Chinese fellows working together in the university study room I'm working in. How do I politely ask them to quiet down? I found a literal translation on Google Translate (...
2
votes
2answers
930 views

Politeness in Mandarin

I like to say please sometimes when I want to be polite to someone when asking them for something. Is this customary in Mandarin? For example, if I wanted to ask for some water, I might ask my ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

What is a polite way to ask “may I ask who is speaking?”

A man I don't know calls me and starts talking to me in Chinese. All is fine, except I don't know who he is. I sense I'm not the person he's looking for. How do I ask who he is without being too blunt:...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I call for a male waiter?

For female waiters, my dad taught me to use the phrase "小姐 ". But for male waiters, my dad doesn't know how to properly call them. I discussed the possibility of using "da ge", "小ge", "da di", "小 di"...
4
votes
2answers
329 views

How to address fellow students junior to oneself (学妹,学弟)?

I have sometimes wondered what would be the appropriate way of addressing (fellow) students that are junior to oneself. Given name? Full name? Name + 妹/第? Are there even cases where one can use 哥/兄 ...
8
votes
2answers
342 views

Where is the correct place to use 您 when addressing others?

Almost every foreign text book I've seen mentions 您 as a polite or formal address to others, however I rarely hear it said and rarely see it written except when addressing customers and occasionally ...
12
votes
6answers
639 views

When is it appropriate to address a lady as 先生?

Chairman Mao addressed Soong Ching-ling as 宋庆龄先生. Yang Jiang was also addressed as 杨绛先生 by the public. My dad used to tell me to address some of his female colleagues as 先生 too. I wonder why a lady ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Difference between 特色, 特點, 特性, 特質, and 特徵

Looking up these five words in dictionaries gives results that are almost identical. In Chinese-English dictionaries, I find explanations identical or very close to: a characteristic; a ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

Where to start learning mandarin [closed]

I'm about to start learning mandarin chinese myself, without any teachers but with a help of textbooks and video (audio) lessons. My question is: where do I start, I mean, is it better to start with ...
1
vote
4answers
740 views

Are Chinese language equivalent of English /p/ and /b/ sounds the same? [closed]

As per my knowledge, both these sounds are considered the same in Mandarin. Do Chinese speakers them have difficulty in distinguishing between say Paul and Ball? How do they deal with it?
8
votes
7answers
429 views

Is 了 optional when a time word is present?

In sentences that already have a point in time word that indicates that the event happened in the past, is 了 optional? Or could there be some additional meaning with it present? For instance: ...
2
votes
2answers
369 views

Are “好饱了” and “好包了” both correct?

"好饱了" and "好包了" both seem to be used to mean "I'm full". I'm pretty sure that "好饱了" is definitely correct but they both get lots of Google hits and if I combine the search with the English "full" ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

How to say “I'm finished”?

When we've finished doing something like I've finished (doing my homework) what we should say. Can we say 好了 "I'm finished"? (Hǎole) How about "are you finished"? Can we say "好了吗"?. (Hǎole ma)
3
votes
4answers
182 views

Possessives in Chinese

I used Google Translate for these sentences but I'm not sure they are correct: Mom 's white dog 妈妈的白狗 My mom's white dog 我妈妈的白狗 And it is possible if I say Mom 's white dog 妈妈的白色的狗 My mom's ...
2
votes
7answers
584 views

How can I translate this correctly into English “今晚怎么意思”

I have a group of friends who regularly meet to play soccer, someone asked on WeChat: 今晚怎么意思 The reply given was the time that we start "7" (meaning 7pm). I may be missing something very ...
2
votes
3answers
124 views

Headline: “YouTube创始人从雅虎手中收购Delicious”. What is the purpose of “手中”

If you take out 手中, isn't the translation, YouTube founder buys Delicious from Yahoo, still conveyed? What does 手中 add? http://tech.sina.com.cn/i/2011-04-28/09065460713.shtml
5
votes
3answers
655 views

Some characters look different handwritten and on the computer - how to learn the differences?

I've mainly been learning to read/write Chinese using computer based software as opposed to going to lessons etc. However, I've realised that there is a small handfull of characters that look ...
7
votes
4answers
370 views

Why is the radical of 难 > 隹 and not 又

难 nan2, difficult; hard Kangxi radical 172 隹 My teacher says the radical for this character is 又 but the dictionary is clear 隹
1
vote
3answers
210 views

How can I type 吗 in Pinyin keyboard setup?

My Mac has a "Pinyin - Traditional" keyboard mapping that shows the most frequently used Chinese characters for the sound typed (i.e. "m" or "a") so I can select the Chinese character I want. This ...
7
votes
4answers
921 views

Origin of beautiful kingdom and hero kingdom

Why in Mandarin chinese, USA is beautiful kingdom and England is hero kingdom?
1
vote
2answers
142 views

what kind of gematria systems are there in chinese?

since in china culture , there is a lot of materials about astronomy and supernatural methods so i interested to know about Gematria as exist in most of languages ... like this : Gematria Calulator
2
votes
3answers
389 views

list of Chinese language country name abbreviations

In watching CCTV-4 news, I frequently see country names abbreviated but miss the leading character before I can look it up carefully (I know the major ones). Is there a list anywhere of those ...
4
votes
3answers
191 views

So technically, the correct usage of 得 for run very fast is 跑得很快 - why are there so many Baidu hits for 跑的很快 and 跑地很快?

Is there 的, 地 and 得 confusion among native speakers as well or am I missing some subtleties of the language?
8
votes
4answers
229 views

Is there any difference between 汤 and 羹?

Are 汤 and 羹 used to refer to different kinds of soup or is 羹 merely a part of the full word for soup (汤羹)? For example, is one used to refer to light soups while the other is reserved for heavy broths?...
10
votes
3answers
563 views

What is the equivalent of the English word 'Fail' in Mandarin?

Fail is a pretty popular term on the internet these days, and one I'm quite fond of. Looking in my Chinese dictionary I can't find a great equivalent - is there a good way to say this? What would be ...
1
vote
3answers
165 views

What is 猫舅 in the following sentence?

I assume this is a cultural thing that I am not aware of, but a friend just updated their status to say: 希望猫舅变成天使守护全家 Xīwàng māo jiù biàn chéng tiānshǐ shǒuhù quán jiā Who or what is 猫舅?
2
votes
2answers
188 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 ...
4
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
173 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 ...

15 30 50 per page