Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

22

If you compare Chinese with English, you will find a lot differences and similarities. Similarities may help you learn Chinese a little bit easily, while differences are the things you need to keep in mind and to get used to. Here are the ways how English/Chinese sentences are constructed. English: Letters ----------------- Words ---- Sentences Chinese: ...


16

Even for educated Chinese people who know English fairly well, they do not use the same method that native English speakers use (the one mentioned in your question). The common methods Chinese use include: 1 - Read a small sequence of letters from the alphabet that contains the letter in question. “Theodore怎么拼?” “T-H-...” “等一下,是T还是P” ...


14

This is a very interesting question. I am sure you can understand that even in English there are tons of ways to greet one single friend. It also differs from regions. Below I am listing some of the typical/common ways we greet people. People you've just met: 你好!= hello. 很高兴认识你! = very glad to meet you. For acquaintances: 你好吗?= how are you doing? ...


14

Just as @Flake said: In general, "小X" should be used to a person who is younger than you while "老X" to an older person. And here is some additional usages: Generally speaking, 老X is often used to address a male, and 小X can be used for both male & female. 老X can be used to a person who is an acquaintance to you(usually both of you have almost the ...


14

My friends use 谢谢 all the time, so even if someone pours them a drink for the 10th time they will still say 谢谢. One thing I noticed when I first started learning was that how I said it sounded too exaggerated, so it was coming across like I was trying to thank someone for saving my life when it was just supposed to be a simple thanks. So maybe try toning it ...


13

This does happen every now and then. It is just a way of expressing enthusiasm to see you. And from experience it won't go on forever, usually just a second time, but sometimes people will say "你好, 你好" or even "你好, 你好, 你好" in a row. Think of it as a handshake, it is not going to go on until it is awkward, just showing some enthusiasm with a couple of extra ...


12

Roughly speaking, 洗手间 = bathroom/restroom and 厕所 = toilet. 洗手 literally means wash hands. It's not feminine, it's just more polite as you mentioned. You can use either in most cases. You would use 洗手间 while eating or when talking to someone you don't know very well.


10

Well, not sure if this answers your question or not, but I've played a game before involving using idioms (aka 成语) where you have to carry on using the same sound (not including tone) from whatever 成语 the previous person said. For example, if I started with 骑虎难下 (qi hu nan xia - something like stuck between a rock and a hard place) the next person might say ...


10

Cantonese really has a nice distinction here, between "thanks for doing that", 唔該 (m4 goi1), and 多謝 (do1 ze6) for receiving something of great or tangible value. You'd say 唔該 to a waiter and 多謝 to a co-worker who recommended you for a promotion. In Mandarin, I've always erred towards too polite, saying 谢谢 or 多谢 for everyday interactions and 非常感谢 when I ...


10

I can't even imagine this scenario - but supposing they say 你好, and you replied that is where it should end. If they went on to say 你好吗? You could obviously reply 我很好,你呢? or words to that effect, but that should really be the end of any 你好 exchanges. I've never had a never ending 你好 exchange, and I'd be pretty confident in saying it isn't common. Hope ...


9

May I suggest checking out the ChinaSmack glossary? They have a huge array of colorful language, and there is sure to be something that meets your needs in terms of a curse word there. Just to add, I always hear Chinese girls saying 讨厌 (taoyan) when they are annoyed or frustrated, but it's not exactly the most masculine of statements. 烦 (fan) also seems to ...


8

Yes, there is a game like "Crossword". I played such a game in this site. The site is a little famous since it provide this game for the famous newspaper Southern Weekend. Here is a screenshot:


8

Your teacher was probably not very good. The typical Chinese word for "liberation" is 解放, and it has been used in the same sense of political liberation for many years. Apart from its use in Communist Chinese apparatus (i.e. People's Liberation Army), you also have examples like: 婦女解放運動 - women's liberation movement 奴隸解放運動 - slavery abolitionism 民族解放運動 - ...


7

I have not watched this drama so my interpret may not be accurate. From what is said, this line is self-mockery and ironic, but in a humorous and relaxed tone. 门墩、胖狗、肥丫头 concludes the modest values of Chinese countrymen with a ragged verse. It doesn't look like from any specific reference, at least I am not aware of. However, in modern Chinese literature ...


7

yes, it is common for many Asia countries that "lodging" (typically dormitories) is provided by the companies and often these "factories" form cities on their own. A famous (or maybe better to say notorious) example is Foxconn. From wikipdia: Foxconn's largest factory worldwide is in Longhua, Shenzhen, where hundreds of thousands of workers (varying ...


7

Alter words: 谢谢:多谢,感谢,谢恩(古代臣子百姓对君王说的) 对不起:抱歉,有愧,歉仄 As your case, 對不起現在才回覆您。 謝謝你的幫助! rephrase: (非常)抱歉现在才回复您。 (十分)感谢您的帮助!


7

Generally putting XX is fine unless formal. People use that a lot orally. X is usually pronounced as 叉, but can vary based on region. Formally and also very commonly for missing name is using 某. 王某 (someone with surname 王 and one-character given name) 王某某 (someone with surname 王 and two-character given name) 某某/某某某 (very general, someone with unknown ...


6

In general, "小X" should be used to a person who is younger than you while "老X" to an older person. Such nicknames are often used by a specific group of people. This makes the cases that a person is called "小X" if major members in the group are older than him/her, or vice versa. However, in such a situation, let's take an example: a guy is about 30 years ...


6

For cursing: "操" is pretty similar to "damn" or "sh*t" in such situation of cursing. Also similar as they should not be used in very formal situations. However, the meaning of "操" is same as the f word in its verb form. "操" should be quite acceptable (or at least ok) in informal scenarios. "靠" has very very close meaning as "操" in this situation. ...


6

It means seven years after marriage, both husband and wife would face numerous temptations that would harm their relationship. The seven years is a vague expression, sometimes a couple gets trouble earlier, sometimes later. There is a movie about this. Wikipedia has some hints too. Its Baidu page tells that it's borrowed from foreign country. Case Study ...


6

Here are loose translations: 好的 = alright! 好吧 = okay, fine... (Kind of like... going along with it) 好啊 = sure! (As Wendy said... a bit more of an upbeat tone) 好 = Okay. 行 = Sure. I guess that works 恩 = Colloquial form of grunting in agreement... kind of like a verbal nod of approval 可以/可以啊 = I can/Sure! Or, if you agree with what someone said... You ...


6

There are Chinese-language-only reasons like the many mutually-unintelligible dialects/topolects, the huge difference between spoken and written Chinese languages, but this doesn't explain why subtitling is ubiquitous, even when the entire show is in perfect Mandarin. This is because subtitles are somewhat required under PRC state authorities, so there are ...


5

This kind of case is usually occurs on these occasions: When you are standing at top of the mountain, you feel very exciting, and shout out with prolonging the each word(like niiiiiii haooooooo maaaaaaa) or just the last word(like ni hao maaaaaaa). Mum, so exciting! :p It usually occurs in young people, especially the female. Some cute girls will often ...


5

This is not a complete answer, but will probably supplement others you get. While working in Beijing I always heard colleagues greeting each other in the morning with just 早 (zǎo) instead of the full 早上好 (zǎo shang hǎo). This is quite similar to what we do in English, using "morning!" as a greeting instead of "good morning!"


5

Though they are similar in significance they happen on two different dates, and therefore are not interchangeable. 七夕节 is a festival based on a very old myth. The story has many variations but simply put it tells of a young cow herder who is separated from his true love, a weaver maiden by a silver river. On the 7th day of the 7th lunar month they are ...


5

From what I have learned, the most proper and respectful is to use 服务员. There are many people that find 小姐 not appropriate or too traditional, I met several people who feel that 小姐 has some sexist note. The same goes for 美女 that many people use but not everyone feels comfortable to hear. 帅哥 for male 服务员 is less a problem as long as they are at the same age ...


5

□ (white square) is used to indicate that some characters are missing or unrecognizable. Each white square correspond to one such character. See 虚缺号的用法.


4

Above answers provide a few Chinese word games, but I think most of them are a little too hard for beginners. Here I suggest an easier word game I played with my wife. At the beginning of the game, you thought (usually) two letters, for example "SC". Then all players must say Chinese words whose “声母” meets SC. Player A: 市场 Shi Chang -> SC Player B: 生存 ...


4

I find that at least in Taiwan, people tend to go with the less formal and more fluent 谢啦. A silent politeness favorite of mine is lightly tapping your fingers against the table, thus thanking someone for pouring tea (or similar) without interrupting the conversation.


4

There is a game very similar to Shiritori in Japanese. It's called "文字接龙" And for more advanced Chinese speakers, all the words need to be idioms. It's called "成语接龙".



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible