6
votes
7answers
1k views

How to distinguish between rat and mouse in Chinese?

I know there are two words here: 老鼠 and 鼠. However, the dictionary states that 老鼠 (rat) can also mean mouse; how do you specify rat? I imagine that 仓鼠 (hamster) and 沙鼠 (gerbil) are often abbreviated ...
2
votes
2answers
52 views

In what context would I use 见怪不怪?

怎么用见怪不怪? 请给我一个例子。谢谢! Could I use this idiom do describe another culture that once seemed foreign? Also, does the idiom have good or bad connotations?
7
votes
1answer
579 views

Expressing “tea is not just a drink”

I encountered a misunderstanding today due to my poor Chinese language skill. What could I have done better? I was standing in a German hospital and a native Chinese asked me if I wanted tea or ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

Meaning and origin of 小確幸

小確幸 is a newly popular word in Taiwan. It supposedly comes from a Japanese novel. Is this right? If so, who was the author, and what was the book? Does anyone have any suggestions for a translation? ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

小姐 and similar terms before the cultural revolution

I have listened to a lot of controversy about the modern usage of 小姐 and similar terms. Here I just want to know whether what I thought as a child reflected the usage prior to the cultural revolution. ...
2
votes
2answers
124 views

Is this Chinese sentence grammatical? I'm unsure about a few words and phrases

I've been trying to translate this sentence but there are a few points I'm puzzled on: 市场调查部就最近为针对Quest公司在市场策略上对'以客户为主以雇员为本'所作出的调整而拟定的方案发表了分内整和外扩的两个方面的建议,其目的为促使本公司在相应策略上能够与时并进,从而得到市场竞争力的提升. This is ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What does “更生” in “自力更生” mean?

I've seen the phrase 自力更生 used to mean self-reliance, but am confused by what the function of the last 2 characters is.
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What does “须发皆张” mean?

须发皆张 须 - Beard 发 - Hair 皆 - All 张 - Spread/Open up If it was directly translated, it would be something like "[someone's] beard and hair all spread open", but what does that even mean? I ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

Resources for the Chinese section of the Gaokao?

The entrance examination for universities in mainland China includes a Chinese section. I'm looking for three things about this. 1) A source for questions that have been asked in previous years. For ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

Writing Chinese Characters is Sloppy

Since learning Mandarin through Rosetta Stone, Youtube videos, and friends, I've begun to keep a journal of mandarin characters and phrases. I first draw the character, along with the pinyin and ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

What is this 某 doing after the names?

What is this 某 after the names? Could it be some kind of rank in the Air Force? Listening to the mp3, it sounds like 'mao' not 'mou' to my ear. 陈某和刘某都曾在空军部队。
1
vote
1answer
58 views

啰 vs. 囉 in Old Texts

啰 seems to be the simplified version of 囉 these days, but....these are two examples from 《四川方言词典》circa '87 that I found: 要飞啰 我是乌梢蛇打店——长客囉! Most the entries I've seen in these 八零后 books ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

Clarifying usage and definition of 怀疑

怀疑 means (1) to doubt, and (2) to suspect. This seems to lead to some confusing translations. For example: 我怀疑这张百元钞票是假的 could have two very different translations. If I use "to doubt", then it ...
7
votes
3answers
751 views

Is Hakka spoken the same in Guangdong and Taiwan?

In Taiwan Hakka is the 3rd most popular language, and the MRT in Taipei makes all announcements in 4 languages; Mandarin, Minnan, Hakka, and English. It is also a minority language in Hong Kong and ...
4
votes
2answers
324 views

Hokkien pronunciation of `白头偕老`

白头偕老 is a set expression in Mandarin, meaning to get old together, in a loose translation. I found it in a Hokkien song called 牵阮的手 (Mandarin 牵我的手, English While you hold my hand). In the linked ...
3
votes
2answers
514 views

differences between: 过来, 起来, 下来

i encountered this multiple choice question: 这件事情说__________简单,做__________难 Where among the choices there are: 过来,起来,下来。 I always thought that their meaning was the same, but in this case the right ...
6
votes
4answers
510 views

The origin of 鸡贼

I speak Mandarin Chinese, but it is the first time that I stumbled upon the word 鸡贼. According to 百度百科 (Baidu wiki), it means being stingy. The wiki page also says that it comes from the Beijing ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How to use jyutping as an input method on windows 8.1

Is there a way to use Jyutping as the input method on Windows 8.1?
3
votes
3answers
95 views

洗尘: why is a welcome banquet “washing dust”?

洗尘 refers to the traditional Chinese custom of holding a banquet to welcome visitors from afar. However, the literal translation is "to wash dust", which has nothing to do with eating, and I'm also ...
0
votes
4answers
116 views

What are these 2 的s doing here?

I have 2 的s in my text which are confusing. "可以明确的是实习生与企业间不是劳动关系,。。。“ "我九月份进的这家公司,老板说前面几个月是作为实习期的。“ In 1. I think '的‘ nominalizes, but I'm not sure what it nominalizes. Maybe there is a ‘所’ ...
5
votes
2answers
387 views

How can I improve the speed of my spoken Chinese?

I'm currently trying to learn '听妈妈的话' on SingChineseSongs, and I'm having trouble keeping up with the fast parts. I also have trouble trying to speak terribly fast in Mandarin anyway. Does anyone ...
35
votes
9answers
6k views

How many characters do I need to learn?

How many Chinese characters would I generally need to learn to be able to handle most text in typical every day circumstances? How many would be required to be considered fluent? Are there any good ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

What is the meaning of 变现?

I have this sentence, but I'm not sure what '变现‘ means. I think it's 'assets', but baidu has 'realize' and 'liqidate'. Is '变现‘ an abbreviation for a longer phrase? 三是租赁行业,利用虚假身份证明,骗取汽车租赁公司汽车进行倒卖变现; ...
4
votes
2answers
70 views

Learning written forms of dialects

I've looked for this question on the site but can't seem to find it. I'm interested in learning Chinese, well, Cantonese specifically, and I want to focus on both the written and spoken components. ...
3
votes
4answers
622 views

德行:moral integrity or disgusting?

The question is quite simple, how it is possible that 德行 means two completely opposite things? And when facing this character, how can I know what it means?
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Fast dictionary lookups while reading text

I am looking for a program for google drive (or for a PC, perhaps a word plugin or something like grammarly), so that I can highlight chinese text and have a bubble show up with a dictionary ...
5
votes
4answers
327 views

written characters: yuē vs rì

I have some troubles in distinguishing written characters 曰 yuē (to speak) and 日 rì (sun). Although they singularly look different on computers (maybe yuē look a bit wider, while rì is taller), I find ...
2
votes
4answers
116 views

Email salutations for mother / father

Wikipedia lists many honorifics for one's own family, but I don't see any for one's own (living) mother or father. How would an adult write the equivalent of "Dear Mom" or "Dear Dad" in an email? Does ...
2
votes
2answers
213 views

Is this a correct usage of “來日方長”?

I want to say: You still have a long way to go, wish you have a memorable secondary school career And here's my translation to Chinese: 來日方長, 希望你有個難忘的中學生涯 I'm wondering if it is correct to ...
6
votes
3answers
78 views

Different kinds of writing paper

What is the suggested pattern on paper to learn handwriting? On the web, I've found many kind of paper, such as those named 九宫格 jiǔgōnggé, 米字格 mǐzìgé, 田字格 tiánzìgé, etc. I've got a book of chinese ...
3
votes
3answers
246 views

Meaning of 泡­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

I first encountered this word in the brand of a kid's drink, O泡. When I looked it up I saw that it meant something like "bubble", and was (ironically for the name of a drink) the classifier for ...
1
vote
3answers
85 views

Synonyms of (不会)少块肉?

I'm quite fond of the phrase 少块肉, as in 又不会少块肉 or 能少块肉吗?. What synonyms of 少块肉 exist in Chinese?
2
votes
1answer
119 views

What does “大开大合” mean?

I checked this out, but I couldn't really understand the meaning behind it. 形容文思跌盪,放得開,收得攏。 Does it mean good introduction, and good conclusion or something similar?
3
votes
2answers
93 views

How to say “That looks delicious”

In company, or at someone's house, how might I say "That dish looks delicious?" or "That looks good"? My inclination is to say 那看起来好吃, or maybe 那看地好吃, but both seem like too much of a direct ...
1
vote
4answers
68 views

Correct/natural way to say “在我的咖啡可以加糖吗?”

I'm wodering about the correct, or natural, way to say "could you please add some sugar to my coffee?" My unnatural-sounding way would be 在我的咖啡可以加糖吗, but I feel like a Chinese speaker is unlikely to ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

written characters: bèi vs jiàn

I have two books displaying different meannings for characters that look the same to me: What is the difference (if any) among the character for "bèi" (shell, money) and "jiàn" (to see)?
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Comparing intensifiers

There are a lot of intensifier in Chinese, like 很,真,挺,非常,相当,极为 ,太,and recently I found out about 蛮. So how can I use them effectively? In particular I want to compare the differences in degree of ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Measure words for music

I'm aware of the construct: 一首歌曲。 However, what's the difference between the following 声音 constructs? 一张音乐 一曲音乐 一段音乐
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Alternative notations for Cantonese tones

What is the list of diacritics used to denote the seven Cantonese tones (in pinyin or similar notation)? Is there a standard (or even, more common) convention?
0
votes
0answers
36 views

When should I say 你多大 or 你几岁 when asking age? [duplicate]

When should I say 你多大 or 你几岁 when asking age? Is one more formal than the other? are there any other alternatives, too?
2
votes
2answers
34 views

Cantonese Pronunciation of 户珥 (Hur)

Hur (Ex. 17:12) in the Bible is translated as 户珥. Does anybody know for sure how to pronounce 户珥 in Cantonese? 珥 has two variants (Jyutping) nei6 餌, 鈮, 膩 and ji6 二, 樲, 潩 I just wonder ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

解 Read as Jiai?

from《四川方言词典》: 解 jiai3 Originally, I just figured it was a topolectical reading but then I found this: “解”的准确读音是“jiai” ...
2
votes
7answers
155 views

What's the difference between 载体 and 媒介?

They both mean medium, so they are probably the same. Are they?
4
votes
3answers
181 views

The two pronunciations of 粘

粘 can be read as either "nian" or "zhan", but in both way it can be translated as "sticky", so what is the difference? In other words what should I take in mind, when reading a text , in order to ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

What's the Mandarin equivalent of the Hardcore History podcast?

So I'm looking for an very interesting and in-depth history podcast, in Mandarin, for native speakers. It's doesn't have to be about Chinese history, or any particular place or period. Any ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

的 with nouns which classify other nouns

Should the particle 的 be omitted among nouns that refer to other nouns, such as phrases like "the plot of the film", "the head of a giraffe", etc.? Thanks!
0
votes
2answers
64 views

Chinese/English/Pinyin Books For Young Adult Readers

I'm looking for some medium level Chinese books to read. Most of the books I can find in Chinese are aimed at more fluent speakers or for the very beginners but I'd like somewhere in between. Ideally ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

What Possible Pronunciations of 也 exist in Suzhou Dialect?

I was looking at old Kunqu opera the other day and was interested by the fact that the singers seemed to be pronouncing 也 as "yi" instead of "ye", for example in ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

What Does Unicode 8.0 Mean For Chinese?

Was reading Unicode 8.0 Brings 7,716 New Characters Including 36 New Emoji and 5 Skin Modifiers on iClarified, the article also mentioned: 5,771 new ideographs for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

15 30 50 per page