7
votes
3answers
395 views

份, 个, 本, 两: How do they function in these sentences?

I've been working with Rosetta Stone for about 2 weeks now, and due to the immersion (from the start, the entire program is entirely Chinese—no English anywhere), they don't do any explaining of ...
13
votes
5answers
584 views

Learning how to use measure / count words properly

Chinese has measure (or count) words like “个” (一个人), “部” (三部车), etc. These always get me confused, and there way too many of them. Are there any general rules that can help me memorize them? Also, ...
9
votes
2answers
553 views

Measure Words and their English Analogue

I was taught that the closest analogue in English of Chinese measure words are 'units', e.g. "a pile of wood", "a cup of water", etc. What strikes me as a bit odd about this analogy is that the units ...
2
votes
5answers
601 views

What is the English translation for 劲爆?

I saw this word in a news headline. It isn't found in any of 4 dictionaries I checked (PLC, CC, ADS for Pleco; YellowBridge.com). 劲 jin4 means strength, energy, or enthusiasm 爆 bao4 means explode or ...
2
votes
4answers
254 views

How to say she short changed me (without negative conotation)?

For example, if I went to the bank to withdraw money from my account and my account showed I took out $50, but the bank teller only gave me $40. I don't want to imply the bank teller was trying to ...
3
votes
5answers
490 views

Proper translation of the word “confidence”

What would be the proper way of translating I don't have confidence in myself to dance on stage. I understand that this isn't a translation service, but my difficulty arises from the many ...
2
votes
4answers
188 views

What is the purpose of using 成语接龙 to learn 成语?

My son attends Chinese classes and one of the techniques they focus on is teaching the children to learn 成语接龙. From my observation this allows someone to learn a large number of 成语 as it prompts you ...
8
votes
1answer
510 views

What's the difference between 看起来 and 看上去?

I see them both used in the same way and both seem to get equal hits in Baidu. Here are some sample sentences containing each. http://www.dictall.com/st/60/37/60372038C00.htm ...
7
votes
5answers
338 views

When can 把 be used?

I know it switches the order of the verb and object and can be used to place emphasis on the object. 我把东西放在椅子上 And 把 should be used to indicate some kind of change is happening to the object. In ...
2
votes
5answers
706 views

What is the 成语 for “face like buddha, heart like scorpion”?

I was watching Raise the Red Lantern (which is an excellent movie by the way) and saw this phrase come up on the subtitles, but wasn't able to catch what the actual Mandarin behind it was. Does anyone ...
8
votes
3answers
399 views

When do I use 着 to indicate action in progress?

It seems like for some verbs (正)在 is used to indicate action in progress, but I have also encountered 着 for some, like 穿着. When should it be used, is there a rule to follow?
5
votes
3answers
427 views

Use of 而 preceding verb

I have only been studying a short while in spare time but have seen quite a few simple sentences in which 而 precedes the verb. Are there any basic ideas about the structure of such sentences? Places ...
3
votes
7answers
508 views

Should Chinese text be grid aligned in game dialogs?

Title says it all, should I have my text using a variable width font, or fixed width. I didn't know if it is easier to read if its aligned on a grid? So here is my dialog with fixed width, one issue ...
2
votes
2answers
333 views

What is the difference between 們 and 们 for marking plurals?

I've seen native speakers refer to "we" as both 我们 and 我們, so I was wondering if there's any difference in meaning or when to use one plural marker or the other.
3
votes
2answers
286 views

What does 唰 (shua1) mean?

I met the word 唰 shua1 in a Xi Yang Yang book as the sound 唰唰 one character makes while eating. Two sources agree it is "onomat. quick slick up." I don't know the English "quick slick up." Google ...
3
votes
1answer
339 views

Understanding different Chinese writing styles

Aside from the standard printing style of Chinese (what is referred to in this wikipedia article as regular script), what are the main styles that are in modern use? When looking at different styles ...
9
votes
4answers
483 views

Why does 首饰的饰 have the 饣radical?

According to my sources 饣 means "food" or "eat". Since when do people eat jewelry?
9
votes
1answer
422 views

Rules for saying numbers

I just wondered what are the rules of saying numbers... For example: 10 = 十 19 = 十九 100 = 一百 1,000 = 一千 10,000 = 一萬 but 119 = 一百一十九 then 110 = 一百一 1,100 = 一千一 11,000 = 一萬一 and then 10,110 = ...
3
votes
1answer
334 views

What does 七年之痒 mean?

I looked it up and something about the Seven Year Itch but I'm kind confused. Does it have any deep meaning in Chinese culture?
3
votes
2answers
209 views

How do you translate “hover over”?

I would like to say something like "Please use your mouse to hover over the attribute icon," but I do not know the Chinese equivalent for "hover over" in terms of technology. Would 停留 be understood, ...
4
votes
2answers
145 views

What is the difference between 试验 and 实验?

Both 试验 and 实验 seems to be translated into "experiment". What is the difference between the two words? Can they be used interchangeably or not?
23
votes
11answers
72k views

How to describe differences between Cantonese and Mandarin?

When I tell people I speak Cantonese I'm often asked, "What's the difference between that and Mandarin?". This inevitably leads to a very poor explanation that includes references to the differences ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Usage of 吗 vs 嘛 in Informal Questions [duplicate]

A friend wanted to know what I was doing so sent a message with this question: 你在干吗呢, then immediately corrected herself by typing: 你在干嘛呢. I found it interesting that Google translate seems to do a ...
3
votes
1answer
506 views

Is the meaning of this symbol “longevity”?

I'm trying to determine the meaning of a particular character. Sparing the boring details, I'm trying to figure out what the meaning of this character is: As near as i can tell it might be a symbol ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

What is the difference between 依偎 and 偎傍?

I looked them up and they both have relatively the same meaning. So what's the difference between the two?
5
votes
2answers
294 views

What is the difference between 七夕节 and 情人节?

First off... 七夕节快乐! For those who are wondering, today is the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar meaning it is Chinese Valentine's Day! Actually something that I have been wondering ...
2
votes
4answers
594 views

how to say ”(尤为)难得“ in English?

How would you say "难得“ and ”尤为难得“ in English? For example, 他在自己生活困难的情况下,资助老弱病残,尤为难得。 Thanks!
3
votes
3answers
190 views

How can I express the concept “There's nothing of which I'm absolutely sure” in Chinese?

Scientists and philosophers have at various times been quoted as saying: "There's nothing of which I'm absolutely sure" or "I'm not absolutely sure of anything". (Richard Feynman, for example.) How ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Input of Simplified Chinese on Windows

What options are available for input of simplified Chinese on Windows computers? Is it possible to draw characters using a mouse or stylus, or perhaps input using speech recognition?
2
votes
3answers
99 views

What do you do when the dictionary doesn't give you a meaning that fits your sentence?

For example, in a dialogue about global warming, this sentence fragment: 这个在中文就特别的直接... I would translate to, "In Chinese, this is especially relevant". But 直接 translates to immediate/straightforward ...
3
votes
3answers
370 views

Difference between 而, 但 and 和

和 means 'and', and so does 而. What is the difference between the two. I also know that 而 means 'but', and the second question is what is the difference between 而 and 但. Give me an example sentence, ...
4
votes
2answers
221 views

What's the origin of the proverbial phrase, “Sky falls/does not fall big pancakes”?

I know a Chinese proverbial phrase. Translated literally into English, it says something along the lines of "Sky falls big pancakes". When used negatively in the phrase, "The sky does not fall big ...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

Difference between 學習 and 學 [duplicate]

I used Google Translate to translate "learn" to Chinese, and the first result was: 學習 I noted that another suggested option was: 學 So, I wonder: what's the difference between the two ...
5
votes
7answers
526 views

What does 土 mean in this sentence 这个名字有点土?

I heard this mentioned about someones name recently. Can someone explain the meaning and any connotations of "土" in the sentence: 这个名字有点土
3
votes
3answers
171 views

How do I use a pattern like in 一年有春夏秋冬四季?

I understand the meaning of the sentence, but I have difficulties grasping the pattern and how I could extend it to other phrases. Could you please come up with other example sentences with similar ...
2
votes
3answers
161 views

Translation for “things you don't agree on”

I attended a wedding last weekend and wanted to say something along the following lines: "In the first year you will probably find there are many things that you don't agree on". I couldn't think of ...
4
votes
2answers
255 views

What's the difference between 不停 and 不斷?

What's the difference between 不停 and 不斷 (不断) ? Both mean incessant or unceasing. According to what I know, 不停 is an adverb, while 不斷 (不断) can be an adverb or adjective. However, this sentence seems ...
4
votes
3answers
321 views

What does 乃 mean here?

On a particular forum is a banner reading: 此乃舊貼唯讀區 which I imagine is a highfalutin way of saying that this thread is read-only. Now, 乃 has many senses in my dictionary. What is the sense of 乃 ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Is it gan3 ding3 she is saying in this sentence? Audio clip

https://soundcloud.com/menevets/chinesepod-museum-clip Around 3 seconds in, it sounds like gan3 ding3, but I can't figure out what it means. I think gan3 is 感. Could ding3 be 顶? na4 wo3 men jiu4 ...
9
votes
1answer
251 views

How to differentiate “radical plus 0 strokes” characters?

There are (at least) six characters that consist of radical 102 plus 0 strokes: 田 由 甲 申 甴 电 In each of the variants the middle vertical stroke is made shorter, longer or twisted at the end. Is there ...
3
votes
1answer
243 views

Segmentation of Pinyin syllables with diacritics

Does anyone know of any open source code for segmenting Pinyin syllables that has diacritic tone marks? Example: yìrúfǎnzhǎng -> yì rú fǎn zhǎng C#, Python, or Lex is preferred but any language ...
5
votes
3answers
324 views

Can 曾 be used alone instead of 曾经?

曾经 has already been well explained here, but I sometimes see ...曾 verb... as opposed to ...曾经 verb... Is there a difference in meaning or usage?
11
votes
2answers
642 views

Where should I place the comma in large numbers?

If writing for an exclusively Chinese audience, would the number 五萬 be written as 5,0000 or 50,000? To flesh out the question, we could consider: 五千 5000 or 5,000 五萬 5,0000 or 50,000 ...
2
votes
3answers
352 views

When can I use 透?

I came across these sentences 我浑身都湿透了。 这些芒果熟透了。 And MDBG lists these: 坏透,烂透,恨透,干透。 Should 透 only be used with these adjectives?
3
votes
1answer
288 views

Difference between 觉得 and 认为

I know both 觉得 and 认为 can be used to mean "to think", like: 你认为这篇文章怎么样? 你觉得这篇文章怎么样? But most people would translate 觉得 to "to feel". Does 觉得 express more of what someone thinks based on ...
1
vote
1answer
393 views

Chinese proverb: If you want happiness for a lifetime, help the younger generation? [closed]

Is the following indeed a Chinese proverb and if so, is the author known, is it still commonly used and how is it spelled in Chinese? If you want happiness for a lifetime, help the younger ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

山火 vs 野火 vs 丛林大火: Chinese for “bushfire”

I would imagine that 山火 meant "a fire in the mountains", but the dictionary lists "wildfire / forest fire". Is 山火 then a generic word for an out of control fire? What about 野火? I saw 山火 on the news, ...
3
votes
1answer
374 views

What is the origin of the proverbial phrase, “Drink the Northwestern winds”?

I know of a Chinese proverb that warns against something along the lines of idleness. Translated literally into English, it would be something along the lines of "Drink the Northwestern winds." What ...
5
votes
2answers
633 views

How to say “politically correct” or “political correctness” in Chinese?

A lot posts online use 政治正确 to mean "politically correct" or "political correctness" in English and I can say it is wrong. A few posts use 政治委婉语, but it doesn't sound good to me either, because 政治 in ...
2
votes
3answers
307 views

Japanese 気分転換 in Cantonese?

Is there an expression in Cantonese with roughly the same meaning as the Japanese 気分転換 (I guess it's 氣分轉換 in Chinese characters)? I would include an English translation but something might get lost in ...

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