9
votes
2answers
528 views

Fast-written forms of 草书 characters

Are they frequently used? Which one of the three is applied more often: is it the 章草, the 今草 or the 狂草? Are they different in comparison with the 行書? Are there any online resourses to learn more ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are intermediate cardinal directions read differently in Chinese?

I am referring to the fact that in English, we say "northeast", whereas in Chinese, the equivalent direction is called 东北, which literally translates to "east-north". One could say the same about ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?

Classical and Middle Chinese are often considered monosyllabic languages - most words are single syllables. Modern Chinese however is considered disyllabic - most words are two syllables. For ...
5
votes
2answers
416 views

Meaning of 白 in words for “nonsense”?

There are a number of Chinese words containing the 白 character that all mean "nonsense" or "speaking nonsense": 白呼 夸白 白话 What's the significance of 白 in these words? 白 usually means ...
3
votes
3answers
771 views

Different Ways to Say “Hometown”

I have encountered both 老家 and 家乡 for referring to one's hometown. What are the differences? That is: When should each one be used? When should one or the other be avoided? When can they both be ...
5
votes
2answers
242 views

Usage and meaning of “占我的便宜”

My understanding of 占我的便宜 means something similar to 吃豆腐 and I have never heard it used outside of taking sexual advantage. Can this be used in other contexts? Google translate suggests it means "take ...
5
votes
2answers
315 views

Are there any readability measurement tools for Chinese?

For English (and some other languages), it's quite easy to find online tools that give a readability index of a specific text. Naturally, this doesn't necessarily match actual experience of reading ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

How Archaic is James Legge's Written Chinese in this Side by Side English/Chinese Book?

I'm not sure if this is even an appropriate question for this venue, but here's hoping. I want to read the translated works of Zhuangzi on this site, but I'd like to know how archaic the original ...
7
votes
5answers
365 views

Informed sources for videos of Chinese movies

I have gotten two videos of Chinese movies at Amazon and in fact both had Mandarin soundtracks with a choice of Chinese (simplified or traditional) or English subtitles. That is what I wanted. But ...
2
votes
5answers
342 views

“我们过去了” was he joking?

One man and I were crossing a busy Beijing intersection and were almost across when tour buses cut us off from both sides and we stood between them as they passed. He smiled at me and said "我们过去了!' ...
1
vote
2answers
178 views

How to translate the parts of Chinese university

How to distinguish "大学", "学院", "系". "专业"? As myself, I'm in "中国海洋大学数学科学学院数学系信息与计算科学专业". How to translate it properly? And another question: What is "国家保密学院"? Is "国家" describing "保密: or "学院"? I ...
1
vote
2answers
176 views

What does 企業 mean: property of the person or business company?

Is (in traditional chinese) "企業" - noun or adjective? Is this menaing closer to "readiness and willingness to take initiative" or to "a company"?
5
votes
5answers
937 views

What is the most common word in use to describe 'DVD' and what is its measure word

I've heard the Chinese are fine to use the English word DVD, rather than the chinese word. What is more common, and what measure word do they use with it?
5
votes
3answers
151 views

Difference between 部门 and 系

Does any difference exist between 部门 and 系? These are the two different results I get from Google translate: I work in the university Chinese language department 我的工作在大学中国语文系 I work in ...
5
votes
2answers
603 views

Need help understanding 爱慕虚荣

I came across this phrase 爱慕虚荣 today in a piece of writing. When I use Goggle translate it tells me 爱慕虚荣 means "vain", but 虚荣 by itself also means "vain" and when I search for "vain" and ask for the ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What does the Twitter hashtag #壕 mean?

I'm guessing it's slang and it looks like it has a positive connotation. Like 加油? Or maybe it sounds like 好, it means good? The dictionary says it means air-raid shelter / trench. Here are some ...
6
votes
2answers
242 views

Regional variations of “柴米油盐酱醋茶”

When I was very small, my grandparents mentioned there are regional variations of the phrase 柴米油盐酱醋茶 which is widely known to the local population (instead of made up by nobody and only used by a ...
6
votes
3answers
343 views

病了: Function of 了

I came across the following sentence: 我病了。 I know 了 has many functions, and I believe one of them is a completive marker (past tense). But this sentence is apparently in the present, based on the ...
3
votes
2answers
460 views

What is the Chinese word for “home office”?

What is the correct Chinese term for "home office"? 办公室 is an office in an office building, and would not be correct.
3
votes
1answer
399 views

Children's play equipment and 儿童乐园

On the weekend I asked my mother-in-law how to say "children's play equipment" in Chinese, the answer I received was 儿童乐园. I want to get some clarification on this and want someones help on ...
3
votes
3answers
127 views

有一天: past as well as future?

I'm told that to express something as "one day" in the future, it's 「有一天」. For example, 「我希望有一天能够说好华语。」"I hope that one day I can speak Chinese well." Would you also use this to the English idiom ...
5
votes
1answer
358 views

What traditions do people follow when naming a second child in Chinese?

What traditions do Chinese people follow when selecting names for consecutive (2nd, 3rd etc.) children? In the case of my own children the second child was given the same middle character as my ...
8
votes
1answer
635 views

V + 到。。。。头上来: Exact meaning and how to use?

I know that the abovementioned formula expresses a negative result, but I am not exactly sure how to translate it. Some questions: 1 How to translate it well into English? 2 Can I use it ...
9
votes
3answers
479 views

您 vs 你 for parents?

Having studied French, I'm aware of the subtle social intricacies of the formal vs. informal "you." I figured Chinese was at least similar, i.e., informal for people of your generation, people you ...
9
votes
2answers
455 views

How to use 也好. Not meaning 'also good'

My non-Mandarin colleagues have been using 英文也好,中文也好 lately and I assumed from their context they meant both languages are equal in whatever comparison they were making. When I looked it up I ...
4
votes
2answers
821 views

What are the corresponding titles for “Dr.” (in the sense of MD and PhD) in Chinese?

The prefix Dr. in English refers to both medical doctors, and PhD graduates. What are the correct titles for these in Chinese? I believe that 医生 is correct to use as a title for a medical doctor, but ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Modern vocab. “selfie”, “troll” and “spam”

Do the following modern English words have Chinese equivelants that are understood by most young people: selfie troll / trolled spam phishing scam
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Does chinese songs have a natural word order?

In English, it is hard to rhyme. So writers sometimes resort to rather awkward sentence structures, just to get the song to rhyme. Recent example from Maroon Five: I'm at a payphone trying to call ...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

Are there any good reverse transliteration strategies?

So I've been watching a lot of international news in chinese. I find that I have problems putting things in context because there are a whole lot of names of people and places which I don't know the ...
6
votes
2answers
278 views

The mysterious role of 占 in a sentence

I know that 占 means "to occupy/to take up". But in this following sentence, I can not figure out what it adds to the meaning as a whole: "对占人口绝大多数的民众来说,还是觉得有钱应该省着花" If I take "zhan" away, ...
6
votes
5answers
713 views

What is the difference between 看不起 and 看不上?

The two have very similar meanings and can both be used to mean "detest, despise, look down upon" but there seems to be a subtle difference. According to these entries: 看不起 ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

中文 vs. 汉语: What's the difference?

Apparently, both of these mean Chinese, and the Chinese language. I gather that 中文 is maybe more like "written Chinese," and 汉语 is "spoken Chinese." Is this correct? I've often looked at BBC ...
9
votes
3answers
681 views

What's the actual difference between 文 and 语?

Both mean "language" with some other related meanings. A friend of mine told me that while 文 refers more to the written language, 语 is more related to the spoken one. Is this a difference and is it ...
6
votes
4answers
561 views

该 - How do you know when to use it? Nothing to do with 应该

In the sentence below, why do you need 该公司? Chinese is contextual, right? 公司 talked about previously is 苹果. Instead of 该公司, why not use 它? Or 这个公司? 也有一些分析师和投资者为苹果辩护,他们说,该公司 完全清楚自己在做什么,设定的价格也符合 该公司 ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

How to estimate your score for an HSK practice exam?

I'm preparing for my first HSK exam in October - probably level 1 - so I completed a practice exam. I know the number of correct answers, but I don't how to convert these into a score. From what ...
4
votes
3answers
402 views

娘炮 - how do you pronounce this word/phrase?

娘 is clearly niang2, but 炮 is a multiple pronunciation character; it can be bao1 or pao2 or pao4 according to the dictionaries I consulted. I tried searching Baidu for "娘炮拼音" but didn't find anything. ...
3
votes
3answers
599 views

Learn to type in Pinyin for a Zhuyin user

After years of frustration about not being able to distinguish ㄥ ㄣ, and nearly no improvements on iOS Zhuyin keyboard layout. I decided to switch to Pinyin for both mobile usage and daily desktop (I ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

Is there any authoritative works related to measure words?

I know that the Chinese ministry of education did release a lot of authoritative books on how characters should be simplified, how their stroke orders should be, and other similar stuff. But it ...
6
votes
1answer
436 views

Describing a person that can speak Mandarin

Yesterday I met a person that can speak Mandarin. We had a nice chat and I was going over it in my head today. I want to tell another friend that I met someone that can speak mandarin, but I'm having ...
3
votes
1answer
173 views

不要多给: not a single cent more?

I'm reading a weird story about a myna (八哥儿,是一种鸟儿) that speaks and is quoting the price for himself, since he's a talking bird. Is what he adds after his price idiomatically translated as something ...
5
votes
2answers
495 views

How come 驚 evolves to 惊 in mainland China

Isn't it more intuitive to just replace 馬 with 马 at the base of 驚 to get a well inductive simplified one? Quite weird, uh? Any historical, geopolitical, or other reason for the simplification of 驚 ...
-2
votes
1answer
102 views

Is there on-line Thesaurus of Association for Chinese language? [closed]

Where one can find for chinese words a list of associations. That is for linguistics purposes. Here is Association Tesaurus for russian language: http://tesaurus.ru/dict/dict.php
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a Chinese WordNet?

WordNet is a database of English words, which includes semantic relationships of words too. It includes synonym and antonym-relationships, as well as "categories". For example, it will tell me that ...
7
votes
3answers
411 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
582 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
631 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
255 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
541 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
191 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
583 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 ...

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