8
votes
5answers
282 views

Why use 了 in saying I'm hungry?

Why do you use 了 after 我饿? I thought it was used to denote completion or the past tense of something, but isn't being hungry present tense?
23
votes
7answers
1k views

Can Chinese readers scan large amounts of text faster/more accurately than their alphabet-using counterparts?

I was browsing one day and came across this comment in this discussion(italics mine): I feel English is a reading language, if you are reading an English book, you watch the word and make sound in ...
2
votes
1answer
284 views

Are there any differences between these Chinese terms for “French fries” / (hot) “chips”?

I just felt like some French fries for the first time since I've been in China so I bought some from a Dico's here in Zhangjiakou. I ordered by pointing at the menu becuase I'm just beginning at ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

How would you say 绵延不绝的小山 and 一望无际的田野 in English [closed]

How would you say 绵延不绝的小山 and 一望无际的田野 in English? Continuous mountains, and large and large fields? Thanks!
2
votes
4answers
137 views

What's the difference between 保育院 and 孤儿院?

Per title. Both describe an institution for children who have no parents. I've looked around on the Internet and asked several people about this, but no one seems to have a definitive answer? Does it ...
2
votes
2answers
404 views

Proper translations on manager titles on business cards

So far I have President • 总统 FOUNDER • 创办人 CEO • 主席 CMO • 营销总监 Are these the correct characters to use on a business card for each title listed above?
7
votes
3answers
352 views

冰雪聪明… only for girls?

Is the expression 冰雪聪明 (bīng xuě cōng míng) really only used for girls? The literal translation is "snow smart" and I understand it means something along the lines of "extremely smart" but the times ...
0
votes
2answers
182 views

how do you type a Chinese Character in computer? [closed]

What software do most of you using for typing Chinese characters, and is it developed by someone Chinese? I am using Sougou.
3
votes
2answers
145 views

四航奋进: This ship's name is translated as “Four Aircraft Endeavour”, but is it?

The name of the ship below is given as: 四航奋进 I've seen it previously*** translated as "Four Aircraft Endeavour", which seems peculiar, as it's not an aircraft. The 四 I can understand: it has two ...
1
vote
1answer
259 views

Chinese symbols on a Murakami painting? [closed]

Recently at an art gallery, I was introduced to some works of Takashi Murakami. On quite a few of his paintings were symbols which looked like Chinese, some sort of a seal perhaps. There was a ...
11
votes
2answers
384 views

Which period in Chinese history produced the most chengyu?

There are tens of thousands of chengyu, many of them are historical in nature, whilst others are loaned from foreign sources such as Buddhism. Which period or dynasty in Chinese history produced the ...
4
votes
4answers
717 views

Difference between 我饿了 and 我很饿?

Someone tried to explain the difference in this answer http://chinese.stackexchange.com/a/43/38 saying that 我饿了 means "I became hungry", but I don't see the difference because we don't say I became ...
2
votes
6answers
297 views

Meaning of 脏话 in 这里能说脏话吗

I just came across someone asking this in online chat: 这里能说脏话吗 I've taken that to mean, is there anyone here who can speak x?. It's the x bit I'm unsure of. If I look up 脏话 in a dictionary it says ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

What does “你什么都不是” mean?

Literal translation: 你 - You 什么 - what / who / something / anything 都 - entire / all 不是 - blame My guess - It's all your fault?
2
votes
5answers
228 views

再一次地, why is 地 used?

Here are some sentences for context. To me, leaving out the 地 preserves the meanings: 再一次地感谢大家 让我再一次地想你 微笑,再一次地让我们微笑 Is 再一次地 a set phrase/固定短语? Here's one w/o the 地: 再一次战胜自己
3
votes
4answers
315 views

What does 卡了壳 mean?

Here's the context. I am guessing it means stumble. 其他选手则要么在微妙的措辞上卡了壳 Other contestants stumble on delicate phrasing But according to this it means quiet/silenced? Q: 步枪卡了壳是什么意思? A: 步枪卡了壳 - 不响 咯咯 ...
8
votes
7answers
761 views

Two terms for “According to” - What are the differences between 根据 and 按照?

根据 and 按照 can both function as a preposition that can be translated as according to. I imagine that the translation does not capture the individual character of each term. What nuances do the two ...
3
votes
2answers
306 views

How common are three-character or five-character words/terms in Standard Mandarin?

People often regard Chinese, including Standard Mandarin, as a monosyllabic language. Classical Chinese apparently was a monosyllabic language, where words consisted of a single syllable (a single ...
3
votes
3answers
261 views

Which characters typically occur only within names?

Does anyone know where I can find a list of characters that are, at least in common usage, found only as a component of names (especially of persons) in modern Chinese? I have in mind characters such ...
4
votes
3answers
211 views

In Dao De Jing, 常 should be translated as “eternal” or as “common”?

I'm doing a translation of the Dao De Jing, using some originals and some translations to english and portuguese. I've noticed that 常 chang is almost always translated as "eternal", "fixed", ...
2
votes
5answers
203 views

What is the etymology and usage of 爱不释手

爱不释手 be so fond of something that one will not let it out of one's hand So I'm guessing 爱 would be the being fond of something and the 不释手 would be the not letting go. I feel like it's missing ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

忠美聖愛仁義利義好哀恕 -I believe this is a proverb relating to Confucian values, but I can't break it into separate words

I saw a single row of characters with no punctuation. 忠美聖愛仁義利義好哀恕 Zhongmei might be loyalty. Sheng-ai is probably love between humans and gods. Ren-yi is compassion. Li might be benefit. I can't ...
10
votes
2answers
451 views

What should a beginner be looking for when selecting a movie in Chinese? [closed]

To enhance my Chinese language skills I am looking for some Chinese movies or series that fit a beginner's level. Currently I know around 1000 Hanzi. Is watching movies or series too early with this ...
3
votes
3answers
270 views

Translation help:: How to translate 我们经常会怎么说 into English?

假如我们现在碰到有个人,觉得他实在太不争气,实在太让我们失望,我们对他又爱、又恨、又急,那么我们经常会怎么说? We often do what/as we say? This is from an ancient text so I'm not sure if the style of language back then is different from today's. ...
1
vote
2answers
149 views

List of historical Chinese currency terms

Does anyone know where I can find a list of terms used for units of currency throughout the history of China? I am especially interested in finding those terms that can function as 量词, like 文 and 贯. ...
3
votes
2answers
136 views

Not clear what or who the subject of these sentences is

My translation: 当你长大,你慢慢学会几件事情;有些人不必理会,无论他说什么做什么,多么幼稚又多么讨厌,真的不需要在乎。有些人永远成不了你的敌人,不必抬举他,这种人太看得起自己了,以为拼命攻击你伤害你,就能够被你所恨。有些人不必等待,你心里其实清楚得很,这个人不必再等了,只是你放不下. As you grow up, you slowly learn a few things; ...
2
votes
3answers
326 views

How to write “bei wu long” in Chinese and what is its origin?

Bei Wu Long in Cantonese means to make a big mistake. What are the Chinese characters for this? Is there a story for this?
2
votes
4answers
526 views

What do these 将 and 为 mean?

警方将小印度一带规划为受管制区,不许任何人在管制区内公共场所喝酒。 Not sure how these 将 and 为 are used grammar wise. If I were to break it down: (警方)(将)(小印度一带)(规划)(为)(受管制区) (police)(towards/把?)(little india) (plans) (???) (area ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

Use of polyphonic characters in transliteration

The pronunciation of polyphonic character is usually deduced from the semantic of the context. In a transliterated word, there is no such context, the character only stands for its pronunciation, so ...
7
votes
4answers
192 views

Using 都 when refering to both subject and objects

I saw this in a lesson: 你都会去吗? In this context, 都 refers to islands, as in "Will you go to all of them [the islands]?" But, when I hear that my brain thinks 都 refers to the subject, as in "Will all ...
4
votes
3answers
812 views

How to address a teacher one knows well (in conversation and emails). Is 亲爱 “dear” ever appropriate?

Can one use 亲爱 "dear" in a letter to a teacher one knows well? In the specific case that triggered this question, the student, who is a male student in his late 20s, is being addressed 亲爱的[name]兄弟 ...
2
votes
4answers
670 views

"不甘心“ in English?

How shall we say "不甘心“ in English? For example, "经历多次失败后,仍然不甘心放弃过去的种种努力和自己的理想”. Note that "is not willing to" means "不愿意“, still not exactly "不甘心“. Consider an example, "经历多次失败后,仍然不甘心放弃自己的理想”, ...
8
votes
4answers
210 views

What's the origin of 外子?

When I was young, I read Traditional Chinese Reader's Digest. I noticed that the translation of husband is 外子. That's the first time I noticed this usage. Anyone has any clue about why this is being ...
-3
votes
1answer
173 views

Is there a single English word for “苦笑”? [closed]

“苦笑” is usually defined as a forced smile, a sickly smile, a wry smile, and a bitter smile. Is there a single English word that means the same or closest to “苦笑”? Thanks!
4
votes
3answers
256 views

Differences between 征, 伐, 讨, 侵, 袭?

These characters all mean "to attack" or "to invade", but what are the differences between them? When should one be used and not the others?
7
votes
3answers
215 views

我一字一字地学习汉语 OR 我一个字一个字地学习汉语

Which is the correct use of this grammar pattern? 我一字一字地学习汉语。 我一个字一个字地学习汉语。 The first one feels correct to me. The pattern is: 一{MW,N}一{MW,N} + 地 + V
5
votes
5answers
312 views

Difference of 余 and 我

They both mean I。 But I still can't understand the real difference. Also, I want an example sentence. When I use Google Translate and Bing Translator, the result is same.
5
votes
4answers
254 views

Does 从来 translate to “always”?

Does anyone know if 从来 translates to "always"? And if it is, is it used in the same way? For example if I want to say: "I always buy oranges", would that be “我从来买橘子”?
1
vote
2answers
182 views

How to say "自身的兴趣“ in English

How do you say something is your "自身的兴趣“, instead of being forced by the outside, in English Is "inherent interest" fine? Thanks!
8
votes
3answers
331 views

How to properly use 掉?

I am referring to the usage as defined on zdic.net 用在动词后表示动作完成:改~。戒~ Does 掉 often have the connotation of falling or missing? What is the difference between (verb)掉 and (verb)了 and(verb)掉了? ...
3
votes
3answers
532 views

“Four-part” composition of characters

I would like to compile a list of characters where you can draw two lines in a + shape, running through the center of the character to cleanly separate it into four "components." Some leeway must be ...
-2
votes
2answers
152 views

“某些事实被别有用心的人断章取义和利用” in English? [closed]

How do you say “某些事实被别有用心的人断章取义和利用” in English? How is the following translation: Some facts have been (断章取义) and (taken advantage of) by some (别有用心) 的人? Thanks!
3
votes
1answer
361 views

Does a similar system to a pangram exist for handwriting practice

Question Does Chinese have sets of phrases that cover both basic and complex strokes that are memorizable? Situation Within Alphabetic based languages we would be able to practice handwriting ...
0
votes
1answer
212 views

Translation of: “How many people are you?” [closed]

Can anyone please tell me the correct Chinese translation of the following sentence: "How many people are you?"
8
votes
2answers
277 views

Are there Chinese approximations for the colloquial/slang English terms “snot rocket” or “bushman's blow”?

In English I know of two colourful terms for blowing your nose without use of a handkerchief or tissue by holding one nostril closed and expelling mucus from the other: bushman's blow [1][2] snot ...
7
votes
1answer
483 views

Graded Mandarin Chinese podcasts or e-books

Are there any resources for students of Mandarin Chinese that allow them to listen or read Chinese news or literature in simple versions, preferably in podcast or e-book format respectively? By that ...
2
votes
2answers
338 views

How to congratulate someone on getting a new job?

How would I congratulate someone on getting a new job? In English I would say something like: Congratulations on your new job! I've done a bit of research and came up with these: 祝你找到一个好工作 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to say things are different from one another

Lately I have been confused on how to say different in Mandarin. I learned 不同 and 不一样 but am not confident on their usage. I am also unsure of the grammar. I found 与众不同 but this seems to also have the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

In Chinese typesetting, is there a version of Lorem Ipsum?

I know relatively little about typography but I know that Lorem Ipsum or other similar bodies of text appear a lot in the world of typesetting. Because Chinese characters are pretty much square, is ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

What is the grammar of “用餐曅請隨手整理桌面 座位有限請勿休憩估用”?

In a cafeteria, there is a sign which presumably means something like, "There are a limited number of seats, so please don't sit down with just one person to a table; plan your seating arrangements so ...

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