0
votes
3answers
180 views

Why in some contexts does 走 mean “walk”, but in others “go”?

I was practicing the usage of prepositions and made the sentence 我走通过城市。 This sentence was intended to translate back to "I walk through the city.", which it did. However, adding the word 怕 with the ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

What is the grammatical function of 到 in 这些的确是铁匠会用到的老式钉子 ?

How does 到 contribute to the meaning of the expression: 这些的确是铁匠会用到的老式钉子. Is there a difference between sentences with and without it: 这些的确是铁匠会用到的老式钉子 这些的确是铁匠会用的老式钉子
1
vote
5answers
255 views

Does it matter if I use 要 or 想 for this sentence?

他是一个不负责的人,(要/想) 当我们的经理。 Which is the right optative verb to use?
2
votes
2answers
94 views

Chinese idiom to describe a long line

What is the idiom to describe a really long line of people (waiting in line to buy tickets, for example)? I know one of the words is 龙. I tried googling it, but couldn't find it.
2
votes
4answers
114 views

Difference between 沒轍, 莫可奈何,沒辦法

Can anyone help me with any differences between those words? C-E dictionaries say "there's no way out" or "nothing can be done" for all of them, C-C dictionaries say about the same. However, I was ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

Meaning of 甜-Z (Z is the upper-case English letter)

This is apparently a jargon engineering term for something to do with frequency (Hz). I'm guessing it might be something to do with resonance ("sweet spot"?) but I've not run into it, and neither ...
0
votes
5answers
167 views

Is 我携带我的猫 grammaticaly correct?

I've been writing Chinese sentences just to get myself used to the language, and I tried writing the sentence I carry my cat. I translated this to 我携带我的猫 (Pinyin: wǒ xié dài wǒ de māo). It sounds odd ...
1
vote
4answers
163 views

Does this sentence sound natural?

I'm self translating common phrases in English, and I tried to translate "Excuse me, do you have the time?" and came up with “劳驾、做你有那个时?”. Is this a natural sounding sentence and is it correct?
1
vote
3answers
98 views

Possessive and plural: usage of 们 and 的

This is a very basic question about a simple topic that is not really clear to me (curiously, my book doesn't address it, or, more probably, I don't get it). There are rules to: to pluralize ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

How do I make the most of my Chinese language course? [closed]

I'm currently taking an intensive language course in a Beijing university and, as of late, I've incurred some difficulties, namely that the course itself is providing to be a challenge to me. As ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

Which is the most frequently used tone?

The most difficult for me in learning Chinese is memorizing the correct tone. I tried to find on web what the most frequently used tones are, but it seems to be hard to find. I suppose if one tone ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do the names of some Chinese companies consist of “repeated” words?

I'm referring to the repetition of names such as "Dangdang" and "Renren." Why is this the case?
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Original Chinese text to Lau Tzu's quotation

I read this quotation when I was reading some English paper, I am really curious to know what is its original Chinese text: In pursuit of knowledge, every day something is acquired; in pursuit of ...
1
vote
3answers
68 views

Is the phrase 南狩之志,乃大得也 ironically ?

A random phrase from 周易 is 南狩之志,乃大得也. I tried to translate it using the following thoughts. 乃 is probably a conjunction and renders to "in fact, actually" to stress something not as expected. 大得 ...
0
votes
3answers
103 views

Is there an “official” translation of Malcom X's You can't hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree"?

Malcom X once said: You can't hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can't hate Africa and not hate yourself. It is a fairly well known quote. Are there any “official” ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

What is translation for 或作譈懟,亦書作憞 ?

In the sentence from the Kang-Xi Dictionary 或作譈懟,亦書作憞, I looked up the characters 譈,懟,憞 all are pronounced dui4 and all are translated as to hate. I am confused and do not know how to deal with ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Is “girdling root” *really* 环根 in Chinese?

Baidu translates girdling root as 环根. Icibia quotes Baidu with the exact same entry. Baidu images returns nothing resembling a girdling root upon 环根 search. Baidu also returns very little about 环根 ...
2
votes
3answers
135 views

How to write keys with keyboard?

I run on Fedora and I was wondering; is it possible to write keys with keyboard? I mean like only the left part of "说"? If yes, how to? Regards.
7
votes
9answers
2k views

Is Sunday 星期天 or 星期日?

I am using the ChineseSkill app to learn Chinese and I learned that 'Sunday' in Chinese is 星期天 (xīngqītiān). However, sometimes on the internet I see 星期日 (xīngqīrì). Are both correct? Why is there ...
1
vote
5answers
253 views

What is this 予以 doing in my sentence?

From the meanings I find for '予以 = give, grant' I can't really see what it is doing here. Maybe the Chinese is '予以推进 = give/produce advancement', but 予以 may also mean 'impose' I believe. Maybe the ...
0
votes
4answers
118 views

How to translate “coming along?”

I was recently writing a letter to a Chinese colleague and wanted to wish her luck on a book she is writing. In essence, I wanted to say I hope your book is coming along well. Unfortunately, I ...
4
votes
8answers
594 views

How does “多” work in this describing sentence “多好看啊!”?

I know 多 means many. But in some cases, it is used as in this sentence, such as this one: "多好看啊!" How exactly does it work? Thanks!
0
votes
1answer
85 views

What is the translation for 淫之以色,啗之以利,養之以味,娛之以樂?

淫之以色,啗之以利,養之以味,娛之以樂 is a sentence from 六韜 (six secret teachings), a book about strategies. There are 4 lines each containing 4 characters and the same pattern: A 之以 B, wherein A and B are semantically ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

What is the verbatim (grammatical) meaning of 不了​了之 ?

不了​了之 is a ChengYu, read as bu4liao3liao3zhi1 its figurative meaning is "to let sth. in its original state". I guess the ChengYu had some concrete verbatim meaning in literary Chinese, but I do not ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

What is the meaning of 庸 in 利之而不庸 ?

A random passage from Menzius is: 殺之而不怨,利之而不庸,民日遷善而不知為之者 The first two lines have the same structure V1之而不V2, wherein V1 is expressing someone doing something to another and V2 how this one ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

What is the meaning behind 华胄 ?

I found the sentence 他是华胄,所以气质不凡. It is been translated as "He is the offspring of a noble family, thus his character is not a common one". I also found for 华胄 the translation "offspring of the ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

What is the grammatical function of 當 and 自 in 爾男子,當自警 ?

Two lines from 三字經 are 爾男子,當自警. I understand 爾男子 as "you boys" as if asking for attention by adressing them. 警 is to warn or to guard or being in a state of attentive observation. Now as for 當 and 自 ...
4
votes
5answers
234 views

Is 起 too formal to use in day to day writing?

I read recently in a piece of poetry the sentence ”从明天起, 我会做一个幸福的人“ - what is the difference between this and, say, "从明天开始?“. Is 起 significantly more formal? Could I use it in day to day writing? ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

In which ways can I express “to make s.o. jump” ?

I would like to know if there are different ways in Mandarin or Cantonese to express the causative, examplified by the help of the sentence "to make s.o. jump".
0
votes
1answer
42 views

What is the meaning of 豫兮 in 豫兮若冬涉川 ?

A random phrase from the 道德經 is 豫兮若冬涉川 . I understand the part 若冬涉川 as "like crossing a stream in the winter" where "in the winter is used" is used adverbially, so a more verbatim translation might ...
3
votes
3answers
79 views

What is the cultural meaning of the practice 歃 when taking an oath ?

I came across the character 歃 , namely in the sentence: 葵丘之會諸侯,束牲、載書而不歃血 it is glossed as "to smear one's mouth with the blood of a victim to take an oath". I have searched for further details ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

what is the translation for 或啁之曰 ?

A random phrase from Lun-Heng begins with 或啁之曰, as far as I understand its parts mean: 或 someone 啁 to chirp, to twitter 之 objectpronoun "it,him,her" as in "I like him, I talk about it" 曰 to say ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

What is the meaning of 貪人之有者殘 ?

貪人之有者殘 is a phrase from 素書, I am not able to understand the grammatical structure of this sentence. for instance: 貪 does it mean greedy or make s.o. greedy, or consider s.o. greedy , or greed ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Asterisks in Jyutping Cantonese

I have come across a couple of Cantonese words transliterated in Jyutping which had * in the tone number. For example, on CantoDict, the word 广东话 is transliterated as gwong2-dung1-waa6*2. What does ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Asking Someone How Their Chinese Studies Are Going

I have a friend who has started learning Mandarin, and I want to ask them how their Mandarin studies are going. The first phrase that comes to mind is this: 你中文学习得怎么样? I'm not sure, however, if 怎么样 ...
1
vote
3answers
167 views

Difference between 能 and verb + 得了(de liao3)

I remember once being told that there are differences in usage and meaning between 能 and verb + 得了. 他能来。 他不能来。 他来得了。 他来不了。 EDIT: Maybe my examples above weren't that good. Here are some new ones: ...
2
votes
1answer
67 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?
3
votes
2answers
297 views

“Thank you” in Tibetan, Cantonese, and Mandarin

I have observed, from subtitled movies, that there seems to be an expression [tɔdʒe] in Cantonese meaning, approximately, "thank you". In Standard Lhasa Tibetan as represented by Nawang Nornang, the ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

What is this book called? 汉说文

I am beginning Chinese speaker, but I watch this documentary on Chinese characters and they talk about origins of the characters from ideograms. They refer to a book called "Roots of Characters" but ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

What is the role of 没 here?

How can these sentences be translated into English? Are they questions or afirmative sentences? 1-洗没洗衣服 2-听没听音乐 3-复习没复习课文
1
vote
3answers
185 views

How many Chinese characters have multiple readings/pronunciations in Mandarin?

I'm wondering how many Chinese characters have more than one pronunciation in Mandarin. I understand this could be a difference in tone, initial, final, or some combination of these. Has anyone come ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Why 干菜类 was mistakenly translated to Fuck Vegetables?

In the following famous sign which appeared in some supermarket in China: why 干菜类 was mistakenly translated to Fuck Vegetables instead of Dried Vegetables? Is there any hidden meaning in it? ...
-1
votes
1answer
99 views

Is this Chinese and which character is written here if yes? [closed]

Background story: small office with ~20 people, a pretty girl saying in office chat room: "Hey, something strange. Someone put a small amount of money and this piece of paper with text in a pocket of ...
17
votes
8answers
12k views

How is the “r” sound pronounced?

One of the most trickiest sounds to pronounce correctly in Mandarin seems to be the "r" sound, as in 日本 (rì běn). It's not uncommon to hear people pronounce that like "urban." I have been told it's ...
0
votes
3answers
71 views

What's a good way to review what I've learned? [closed]

I am taking a Chinese class and I keep forgetting certain words and characters like 照片, 贵姓, 老师, 女孩, 谁, etc., because we never/rarely use them after we move onto the next chapter. Is repetition the ...
0
votes
5answers
310 views

What does 冒了出来 mean here?

通过网络写作,很多年轻的写手冒了出来,然后重新回归到传统的出版方式出书,这是好事。 Many young writers emerge on the internet and later turn to more traditional forms of book publishing, which is a good thing. I think 冒了出来 means 'emerge', ...
4
votes
3answers
420 views

What's the difference between 只 and 才?

What's the difference between 只 and 才?When should I use 只 and when 才?Can you give me some example? Thank you
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Fill in the Blanks/Grammar error

两个队的分数_都很_近. The spaces are where words/phrases are supposed to go. Are there such words that fit in these spaces? I've been going through google trying to find similar sentence structures but to no ...
3
votes
4answers
298 views

How to say, “In Chinese" in Chinese

If I want to tell someone they can speak to me in Chinese, how can I say it? My guess is: 你可以给我说用中文 Is this correct, and is there any other way to say it, for example using the 把 structure ...
13
votes
8answers
23k views

Special meanings applied to numbers 0 - 10

From what I understand: 4 or 四 means death 8 is similar to 发 as in 发财 9 is somehow related to the emporer or is the emporer's number Can someone please provide the meanings (if they exist) for ...

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