Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

12

的 in its function as a particle is attested in the 四大名著 Four Great Classical Novels, which are written in a vernacular Mandarin-type language, dating from the Ming dynasty. The particle use of 的 is also attested from the Yuan dynasty, when it seems it was adopted for the grammatical particle of the emerging new literary language. Its earliest attestation is ...


11

The 月字旁 was originally '肉' & not '月' - 肉 has the meaning of 肉体 meaning 'flesh' or having to do with the 'human body' so it's often seen with body parts. Wikipedia: 肉字旁:臺灣標準中,凡肉字旁的字,都寫作「提肉旁」即,使其不會與「月字旁」相混。《字形表》中,肉字旁只在字的左旁時才寫作「提肉旁」,在字的右旁時採用首筆豎的方式與「月字旁」區分(「月字旁」在右方時,首筆為撇)。但在下方時,則「肉」與「月」首筆都作豎,兩者會相混。


10

Actually they all came from their pronunciation. America: 美利坚 ("美国" for short) England: 英格兰 ("英国" for short)


10

This radical is called the 双耳旁 or 双二刀, due to it looking somewhat like an ear or the 刀 character. There are actually two radicals depending on whether it's placed to the left or right: 左耳刀 if on the left, 右耳刀 if on the right. The two radicals have different origins and different meanings. http://baike.baidu.com/view/457766.htm The left version is derived ...


9

The dog refers to the son. The term 犬子 originally meant "puppy": 【漢·列仙傳·邗子】邗子者,自言蜀人也,好放犬子。時有犬走入山穴,邗子隨入。 So calling one's son 犬子, would have been in essence referring to a child as "my little pup". That was not originally a self-deprecation. Instead, it was a childhood nickname for a famous poet, Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju: ...


9

角 came from 銀角, which was historically a currency that represented a fraction of the silver coin (銀元). 元 came from 圓, a description of the coin's circular shape. A theory for 角's use is that since the basic meaning of 角 is a horn; by extension it came to be used to describe "things that looks like horns". And from there, "corners" 角落, "angles" 角度, etc. ...


8

There's no difference in meaning. They are not actually all that distinct: both words came from 哪, a generic interrogative character used for indicating a question. Given an appropriate context (e.g. 在哪), the character expresses the meaning of "where". Both 哪儿 and 哪里 builds upon that. The suffix 儿 is generally meaningless, and reflects the northern ...


8

In Classical Chinese, the word 乎has several other uses besides as an interrogative marker. In Ch 27 of ‘Classical Chinese, A Basic Reader’ by Yuan, Tang and Geiss, it occurs with an adjective: 巍巍乎若泰山 ‘solemn and majestic like Mount Tai’ (referring to lute playing). They describe 乎 here as ‘an enclitic particle attached to an adjective to intensify or ...


7

They are not really called beautiful kingdom and hero kingdom. When Chinese come up with phonetic names of foreign things, they try to find a character that come close enough in sound while having a good meaning. Luckily 英 and 美 happen to correspond well with "Eng-" and "-me-" while having suitable meaning. Just like France 法兰西 (法国) has meaning of 法 Law. ...


7

Actually this association comes from Japan, as written in 百度百科:招财猫. The article says there are stories of cats repaying their masters in Japan since Edo period and this is the origin of different kinds of 招财猫s. There is also a movie Neko no ongaeshi about this kind of stories.


7

一二三 should be self-evident, they are equivalent to Roman numerals, that is, simple enumeration symbols. Then it gets murky, but note that even numbers 二四六八十 are all symmetrical, whereas the odd numbers (一三)五七九 are not. 四 is defined by this symmetric property, as an even number that can be halved. 六 is actually a 四 with a dot above, using old seal script. 八 ...


7

Modern Chinese has underwent many pronunciation changes since characters were first invented and phonetic components often reflect words as they were pronounced in Old Chinese rather than modern Chinese. The pronunciations of 的 and 勺 were much more similar in Old Chinese. This link explains: 的 and 勺 had roughly similar pronunciations in Old Chinese; ...


7

氫's pronunciation qīng comes from 輕. According to this article, chemical elements were translated in more descriptive way in the 19th century, and hydrogen was named 轻气 (輕氣) "light gas". Later, the names were crippled to one character for each, so hydrogen became 轻 (輕). Finally, in 1919, every element was decided to be named systematically, where gases were ...


7

How was it pronounced in older times (i.e. Middle Chinese)? I haven't found a record of 瞓 in classical Chinese, but since 瞓 and 训 are both read as fan in Cantonese, I'll take 训 instead. It is read qhuns in reconstructed Old Chinese that is before the 1st century B.C. In Middle Chinese it is pronounced as hyonh. How did the pronunciations ...


6

In Old Chinese, it is generally thought that some words followed regular morphological alternations (which are preserved in a few places in MSM, but "frozen", i.e., no longer productive). For instance: Verb/Noun 处 chu3 "to dwell" / chu4 "a place" 数 shu3 "to count" / shu4 "a number" 知 zhi1 "to know" / (also 智) zhi4 "knowledge" Similarly: ...


6

This is 协和语, it used to help Japanese officials and soldiers to communicate with Chinese in Manchukuo and the Second Sino-Japanese War(中国抗日战争). “协和语”中的“干活”、“新交”,这是两个动词,“干活”是汉语“工作”的意思,在协和语中汉语干活就变成许多意的动词了。 "干活", "新交", which are the two verbs, "干活" is the Chinese "work" means, so in 协和语 "干活" becomes a verb of many meanings. see ...


6

About the "乔" part of "George[dʒɔ:dʒ]", you can find some material in the 译音表(the Form of Ttransliteration). Besides, "奇" should be instead of "治" following the form. However, "约定俗成(the convention)" is one of the important rules of 《英文人名翻译准则》. Everybody often use "乔治" refer to "George", so that "乔治" is agreed upon gradually. Anyway, I don't know why did ...


6

Some says that "乔治" is very close to George in Shanghainese (上海話) since Shanghai was the big harbor allows international trades in 17th century. Lots of phrases are created/translated at that time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Pidgin_English


6

It's not a classifier here. From dictionary: 列车 lièchē (1) [train]∶众多连续的车辆。一般指火车,尤指由牵引机车和运货或载客的车厢组成的连挂成列的火车 So you can see, 列 is short for 成列的 (lined up in a row), therefore it's put before 车 as an adj.


5

爱不释手 is idiom in Chinese. You cannot split and use it. In most time, we use it as adjective or adverb to describe that you love something very much. Common Usage: 爱不释手的{Object} 他对他的{Object}爱不释手 {Object}让我爱不释手 Sorry ,I miss the etymology: 南朝·梁·萧统《陶渊明集序》:“余爱嗜其文,不能释手。”


5

The discussion on zdict basically explains that the Oracle bone script morphed (讹变) into its current form, but this transformation did not follow standard rules. The original Oracle bone script shows a man riding a horse, which means "to ride" (i.e. what 骑 means today), but when small seal script was developed, the horse morphed into 可, which violates the ...


5

This is that Chinese fakes Japanese Accent of speaking Chinese. Most of usage in Chinese TV/Movies about anti-Japanese war: Chinese actor playing a bad Japanese solider on TV may speak like in this way, so the Audience will know this people is a bad Japanese solider and the actor might not even required to speak Japanese. The actor playing Chinese ...


5

According to one of the rumours, the first cellphone was used and introduced by Sammo Hung, which is the elder kung-fu brother of Jackie Chan. Since at that time Hong Kong entertainment was fairly respected in nearly the whole East and Southeast Asia, most people showed their respect to call Jackie Chan as 大哥 and his elder kung-fu brother Sammo Hung as 大哥大. ...


5

As @50-3 has mentioned, the 难 is the simplification of the traditional character 難. Most Chinese characters are phono-semantic compounds (形声字), in which the radical hints at the meaning while the phonetic hints at the pronunciation. In the case of 難, the phonetic component is 堇 while the radical is 隹. In modern Chinese, the pronunciation of 堇 has diverged ...


5

theory 1: Coffin is made up of three long and two short pieces of wood. And Coffin means death, dangerous. you also can find some clues in the wikipedia article about "使用筷子禁忌". theory 2: Taoist forecasts through burning incenses. It is the most dangerous condition that there are three long incenses and two short incenses after burning five incences in some ...


5

About morphology: 列車 is a compound noun made up of two morphemes, with the head being 車. According to Chaofen Sun’s ‘Chinese: A Linguistic Introduction’ (p. 50), about 90% of compound nouns in Chinese have the head (nominal formant) on the right. Thus the structure of 列車 is not unusual at all. The morpheme on the left tells us what kind of car it is, as ...


5

You can consider radicals as affix and suffix, and when you see a common english word, most time you will not consider what's the affix and suffix means, because you know the word meaning, only when you consider on the word's source, you will discuss with the affix and suffix, that's same to Chinese. And, when you encounter a word that you don't familiar or ...


5

及 means to reach. Some examples: 及格: to pass a test. Literally 'to reach the bar'. 长发及腰: 'long hair reaching waistline'. 涉及: to involve. Literally 'intervention reaches to'. 提及: to mention. Literally '(the scope of) mentioning reaches to'. 力所能及: within grasp. Literally 'capability that (one) can reach'.


5

The Japanese wiki page mentions that the claim is a "folk theory" that is "denied by academics". An alternative etymology for Cantonese hai6 comes from 系/繫. I don't have this book, but apparently Jerry Norman suggests this in Chinese (1988). This word had a very early meaning of 'to be connected', was used as a copula in later texts, and the phonological ...


4

The qu4 去 tone class in Middle Chinese is generally understood to derive from an OC suffix –s. Sagart regards the whole class as deriving from this process (Roots of OC, p. 131). This results in word pairs of plain root and root + s that in Middle Chinese and later differ by tone. If the –s is applied to a root that ends in a stop, it seems to efface that ...



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