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20

I think it would be easier to learn Chinese after learning Japanese and vice versa, because too many Chinese characters are used in Japanese. I would like to talk about this from three points. Pronunciations Usually, in Japanese, one character has 2 types of pronunciations, "音読 おんどく ondoku or 音読み おんよみ onyomi" and "訓読 くんどく kundoku or 訓読み くんよみ kunyomi". The ...


17

The Story of 没 As other commenters have noted, looking for logic in language is almost always futile. No natural language is logical. But there is a historical logic to language development; even if the existence of a phrase is a historical accident, it's sometimes interesting to see when that "accident" took place, and why. Such is the case with 没. One ...


15

Based on my own experience, Not! Although the schools are asked to use the Mandarin in classroom, there are still many schools that doesn't follow this rule. I was born in a little city in west China, and I had never spoken in Mandarin, before I went to the university. In big cities, schools follow this rule, while in small cities, especially in the poor ...


14

Usually 了 is used to indicate past tense (or the completion of). Such as: 我吃了 了 is added to the end of the sentence that change the statement to past tense. You can add 过 before 了 to add emphasis. E.g., 我吃了 (I ate) vs. 我吃过了 (I have (already) eaten.) but 了 may be used for different reasons, some of which have nothing to do with past tense. ...


14

Not sure if listening skill to tones in Chinese songs has its own implication, I get the impression that songs are generally harder than daily conversations for a non-native language. To answer the first part of your question: native speaker can not tell the lyrics all the time. One particularly interesting case is the songs by Jay Chou, who is one of the ...


13

For the most part both dialects use the same words and phrases (primarily with differences in slang terms). While some phrases are used more frequently in one dialect than another to express the same idea, the meanings are preserved across dialects (they don't mean different things, just people who use one dialect may prefer one saying to another). In ...


13

When 的 is used for possession or 's, it is often omitted in speaking when it's the subject of a sentence. For example: 她(的)家很漂亮/她(的)家很漂亮 = Her house/home is beautiful. 你(的)電腦很慢/你(的)电脑很慢 = Your computer is really slow. 他(的)新車很貴/他(的)新车很贵 = His new car is quite expensive. But 的 is usually kept when it's the object of a sentence. 我喜歡他的車/我喜欢他的车 = I like his ...


13

It's your name and you can arbitrarily pick characters to be your name. We Chinese generally select characters with positive meanings (of course, I think characters with negative meanings would not be the choice for most people) and avoid possible bad meanings from the words with the same or similar pronunciation with the name. For example, it's common to ...


13

No. In songs, most tones disappear. The syllables are sung along the melody of music. We only tell the tone because we can catch what the whole word or sentence is. In songs, usually the melody should be written to convey the tones of syllables (or syllables chosen to match the melody). Mismatch of melody and lyrics can result in misunderstandings. ...


12

“而已” is always used at the end of a sentence and with words like “仅仅”,"只","不过". A similar word in Chinese is "罢了"(actually, this word comes from 满语). You use the structure "......(part A),不过......(part B)而已" to emphasize the expression that A is just limited within B. You could only use "不过", also, and "而已“ weakens your mood and sometimes expresses that you ...


12

This is actually a common problem in newspapers and television in Singapore, where the original report may have been filed by a reporter who did not or cannot use Chinese. In these cases, the author simply chooses phonetically matching characters to fill in the name of the person, then add (音) or (译音) to indicate that the name shown is only a phonetic ...


12

"这么" means "so", "such"; "这么多" is "so much", "so many"; "好吃" is delicious; "好吃的" is "delicious things" (food in this case). So "这么多好吃的" (note the 的 at the end) is "so much delicious food".


12

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 ...


12

There is a technique I started to use and actually, I've seen it also in other dictionaries, so maybe I wasn't that original... But anyway, the answer is colors! When you're studying new Hanzi or vocabulary, just color each character according to the tone... It's very helpful to remember the tones, because after a while, you visualize the tones in your ...


12

It means one of these dogs wears a red sweater. ...里 literally means in/among ..., and it is followed by 有一只, which means there is one. Hence the whole sentence translates literally as Among these dogs there is one wearing a red sweater.


11

There is "我非常好" I'm extremely well, or I'm extremely good. There is also "我非常开心" I'm extremely happy. Maybe if you want to aim for something a little more subtle you could try "我很开心" I'm very happy. If you are mentioning that you are this "good" you will likely be asked for an explanation!


11

The pronunciation of the two are totally different. Hong Kong people humorously call it "the chicken talking to the duck" as they cannot understand each other. The two are both tonal languages (different tones has different meanings for the same sound) and they also have different vowels and consonants, too. Cantonese preserves some older grammatical ...


11

What the online community thinks From Baidu 百科: 准确读音 xià zài   “下载”这个词,规范读音按照现代汉语词典、现代汉语规范词典等权威字典的标注应为“xià zài”。随着电脑的普及,这个词使用的频率越来越高,但可惜的是绝大多数人一开口就是从网上“xià zǎi”,就连播音员、主持人也读“xià zǎi”,如央视的晚间新闻在播送“网络侵权BT下载”时就读成“xià zǎi”。可以说电台、电视台的播音员、节目主持人对“xià ...


11

Apart from the Kanji/Hanzi, that they (partly) have in common, concerning the written part, there is nothing that can really help you with the other language: Chinese is pretty much SVO, Japanese is SOV; Chinese has tones, Japanese has no tones. When speaking, sentences do have a certain "tone", but not phonemic, i.e. it doesn't totally change the meaning; ...


11

"其实" or "其实呢" is more similar to what you wanted, casually. E.g. 其实我没有兄弟姐妹. "事实上" is not wrong, but it is literally "in fact" or "as a matter of fact".


11

This idiom comes from the famous book of 《论语》, a book recording the Confucius and his disciples' words. Here is the source: 《论语·卫灵公》:“子曰:‘当仁,不让于师’。” Explanations: 卫灵公 is the name of a chapter of that book. In that chapter, you can read this sentence(the 36th) "子曰:‘当仁,不让于师’。“ The Confucius said:" when [you are] facing 仁(see note), you should ...


11

I've only heard it used in describing sexual situations, and wiktionary.org describes its usage as follows: This idiom usually only refers to a man taking advantage of a woman in a sexual situation. A typical example would be some creepy guy pinching the flight attendant's backside as she walks past. There's also a good discussion at ...


11

The analogy to Portuguese and Spanish is a good one. Just don't forget that the writing system is a bit like Latin. In the middle ages nobody spoke Latin but many people could read and write it. Written Chinese was the equivalent to written Latin. Now, people write in Modern Standard Mandarin, which is the same as the spoken language taught in the schools. ...


11

I'm not sure where you could get an accurate count for how many there are. Considering that loanwords have been coming into Chinese for thousands of years, it definitely won't be a trivial task. There is certainly quite a few, however, not all of which is current/widespread/universal. I'll list some here, and edit more in if I think of any later: Angel: ...


11

Most languages use an alternate greeting for telephone calls; the English "hello", although originating from before the telephone, was popularised by it, so much so that it has become a common greeting outside the telephone: hello 1883, alt. of hallo (1840), itself an alt. of holla, hollo, a shout to attract attention, first recorded 1588. Perhaps ...


10

What's the pinyin for this/that character? 这个/那个字的拼音是什么? What's the character for this/that pinyin? 这个/那个拼音代表的(or 对应的)汉字是什么? I would use the words “代表(dài biăo)的” or “对应(duì yìng)的" for the second translation, because in general, you can determine the PinYin for a specific character (though some characters have two or more pronunciations). However, ...


10

A significant difference between Chinese and English is that sometimes the border between a "verb" and a "preposition" is blurred. In your case, both "去" and "到" has the meaning of "go", "go to", "reach", or "visit", and therefore can be used interchangeably. You don't need a preposition if you use a transitive verb to translate "去": 某天我去北京。 = Some day ...


10

Here's my take on it. 更好 = "even better." For example, X很好。Y更好。= "X is good. Y is even better." This comparison could be over time too: X已经很好,现在更好了 = "X was already good, now it's even better." 比较好 = "better", without an implication that the object of comparison was/is already good. So, it's acceptable to say X不怎么样,Y比较好。= "X kind of sucks, Y is better" ...


10

You're right, most foreign words are transliterated differently in Mandarin and in Cantonese. Sometimes there are even different standards in different Mandarin speaking regions. It's an interesting idea to use characters that have similar pronunciations in both dialects to unify the transliteration but it's not what has already happened. A few examples of ...


10

Learn Chinese I could just assume you mean that you want to learn to speak Mandarin Chinese, but I'd like you to take a moment to share what you mean by "learn chinese." Since it will likely be the hardest thing you've ever tried to do, I'd recommend you consider the following: Mandarin is the most popular dialect and the official language spoken ...



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