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22

This is actually not one character, but a stylistic conglomeration of the characters in the phrase 招財進寶, meaning "ushering in wealth and prosperity". The characters 財 and 寶 end up being represented with the same 貝 component in this "character". While the left side of 招 (扌) and the right side of 財 (才) are technically not the same component, they look similar ...


15

For people to understand better...


15

Voicing and Aspiration Stop consonants can fall into the following categories (roughly): Voiced stops: Vocal chords start vibrating before stop is released. E.g., English "b" as in "bat" (/bæt/ in IPA), French "b" as in "bon" = /bɔ̃/. Unvoiced unaspirated stops: Vocal chords start vibrating almost exactly when stop is released. E.g., Chinese "b" as in ...


11

一 in 一线 has two kinds of tones, and two corresponding meanings: yi1 xian4 (1st tone), means front line / 1st line, such as 一线城市 (first-tier city), 亲临一线, 一线队. yi2 xian4 (2nd tone), means a gleam of / a ray of, such as 一线光明, 一线生机. Basically, before the word with 4th tone, 一 should be pronounced as the 2nd tone (“一”的音变), such as 一样, 一辈子. But if it is used ...


9

There have been conflicting claims on whether the second tone and the "raised third tone" are distinct, but according to Jerry Norman's 1988 book, Chinese, "Perceptual tests done by Dreher and Lee (1966) and Wang and Li (1967) established that native speakers are unable to make a consistent distinction between second tones and raised third tones" (147). So ...


8

Welcome more questions Thomas. Very good answer above. It is a Spring Couplet 挥春/揮春. 招財進寶 is an auspicious saying to wish families more wealth and treasure. Chinese paste this on the front door or wall before the Chinese New Year. And they renew it annually. Some companies hope like this lucky saying so they paste it too. Besides, "福"(fu) is very popular ...


7

一 is First tone here, meaning first class, the best. Other examples: 一等奖, first prize; 第一, first.


6

As a Mandarin native speaker I pronounce 道 exactly same as 到,稻。 I pronounce the initial d exactly same as in dog or dad. I also pronounce t exactly in the same way for stop. The native English pronunciation of dog and stop might be different, but to my ESL ears, they are exactly same. Added: Here is a video teaching Pinyin Mandarin Chinese Pinyin ...


5

They're called 合文! (combined characters ) or 合书! http://baike.baidu.com/view/2915764.htm ( Good question - I was also curious about this a while back ) :)


4

An excellent resource for answering questions like this is 漢字古今音資料庫 at http://xiaoxue.iis.sinica.edu.tw/ccr/. Unfortunately it doesn't have Song or Yuan reconstructions, but it does list the 攝, which is a Song era classification. 祯 was in 梗攝, and 蒸 was in 曾攝 so they shouldn't have been complete homonyms. The difference, however, was probably in the vowel, ...


4

Zhuyin is commonly encountered in Taiwan and Taiwan-centric overseas communities. Not sure about its prevalence in other overseas communities a la Singapore, but I've found zhuyin easier to use with vertical text Chinese as is printed commonly in Taiwan and elsewhere, and suspect Zhuyin/bopomofo/bpmf would be more popular in those regions due to the better ...


4

My observation is that there is a trend in the internet that some people, especially the youths, intentionally alter the "Han Zi" expression of some frequently used words. It is a way they make fun of their text and want to be more attractive. The reason is not because the tone in the language is less important or has any change. It is simply a technical ...


4

Standard Cantonese's 陽平 tone is definitely pronounced with a falling contour (21). Modern Cantonese Phonology by Robert S. Bauer, p. 144 appears to acknowledge, but did not find, a low-level contour for this tone though: For the Mid-Low Falling tone both Yuan (1983:181) and Zhan (1985:168) also recognized a variant low level contour of ˩11 in addition to ...


3

Mandarin 你会说汉语吗? (Ni3 hui4 shuo1 han4 yu3 ma5) Or polite form: 您会说汉语吗?(Nin2 hui4 shuo1 han4 yu3 ma5) Of course, you can say 中文 (zhong1 wen2) instead of 汉语. That is not the big question here, but rather that you have to include 会, which underlines that you ask if the person you are speaking to, can speak Chinese or not. Only asking 你说汉语吗? is not ...


3

If you'd ever seen Mathews' Chinese-English dictionary (rev. American ed. Harvard UP, 1957 and a million pirate editions), this would ring a bell. "Chiai" goes back to the OLD National Pronunciation system of 1920 and can also be found in a system used by the missionaries of the China Inland Mission, of whom R. H. Mathews was one. The revision of Mathews ...


3

the usage is classical and shows up at least as far back as mencius: 吾豈好辨哉?吾不得已也。Here the meaning is quite literally "I cannot (不) achieve/obtain (得) an end (已)" to my argumentativeness. In other words, i have no choice but to argue. You might compare it with the much more colloquial 不得不. By the way be careful about the whole multi-character words thing. ...


3

Originally, you had two separate characters (zdic links): 粘 = zhan1 = (v.) to stick 黏 = nian2 = (adj.) sticky The usage distinction still remains, but it is now acceptable to use 粘 for either word. Unihan lists the characters as semantic variants.


3

There are official lists for this. See the following pages in the Chinese Wikipedia: 普通话异读词审音表 for mainland China 國語一字多音審訂表 for the ROC (Taiwan) Neither of the lists is complete; they are basically there to provide standard answers to test students on correct pronunciation. How many characters have variant readings is actually quite hard to answer; one ...


2

The correct answer to this question is in the comment (by @neubau) of the question, not in the form of an answer. So I guess I reiterate it here so other people would know it has been answered. Regarding the pronunciation, the standard tone for 期(period of time, date) in Mainland China is the 1st tone and in Taiwan it is the 2nd tone. (Any mainlander who ...


2

Woo6-yi5 户珥 From this pdf pg. 14 户珥 is pronounced Woo6-yi5 (Jyutping should be something like: Wu6-ji5).


2

From a native Chinese perspective: 粘(zhan) = 粘 (nian1) = to glue, to stick = verb. 粘(nian2) = 黏 (nian2) = sticky = adj. Although 黏 is more used in written, while 粘(nian2) is more oral.


2

I was taught at class, that zhan is the reading when 粘 is used as a verb, 'to stick, to glue'; the more common reading nian covers almost all the other cases, when its used as an adjective, 'sticky'. But I think this is not entirely correct. Here's a long list with compound words. In most cases the reading is nian, in some cases zhan. Try to see if you can ...


2

一线城市 is the first tone Rule number 1: If "一" is for "order", then it is the first tone. However, 一线天, is the second tone. Rule number 2: If "一" is for "quantity", then it is the second tone. Again, in oral Chinese, sometimes rules above are not always right, e.g. 一辈子, usually ppl use second tone for that, because that can give this word a special ...


2

I don't agree wpt's answer. I'm a native speaker and most of people won't pronounce nèiyǒng unless you speak very very very fast(this phenomenon will happen on many many Chinese words). And for mandarin, it is considered as non-standard pronunciation, you should avoid such pronunciation in formal condition. And in my hometown and many other places, ...


2

Traditional Chinese poems involve some complicated concepts, which can be written for a big book. In general, both sound of syllables and tones concern. But it could be very different from modern Mandarin, depending on the characters. In addition, both sound and tones could be different. Now here's the short (but far away from complete) story: ...


2

Have you had problems noticing the difference between "sheer" and "cheer", or "jeep" and "cheap"? If not, then your problem is solved. For European people, it is strongly recommended that they read articles with Pinyin (literally "Spelled Pronunciation"). Why characters are not relevant to their pronunciations? Chinese has so LONG a history that ...


2

1235/3000 or 41%, by using grep '[.].[.*' on Wenlin's frequency list. 1 的 [de] (grammatical particle) [dì] 目的 mùdì goal [dí] 的确 [dī] cab 3 是 [shì] to be [tí] 4 不 [bù] not [bú] [fǒu] [fōu] [fū] 5 了 [le] (particle) [liǎo] 了解 comprehend [liào] (=瞭) [liāo] [liáo] 9 有 [yǒu] have; there is; 没有 haven't; 有的 some [yòu] (=又) [wěi] 10 中 ...


2

说着 could be either a verb (said) or an adverb (while saying). But as I understand it these are pronounced differently. In most cases 说着 reads 'zhe' and means while saying. 说着(zhao2) is a rare usage only in colloquial language in the Northern dialects, where 着 means hit the target, e.g. '被你说着了' means 'spot on'. The non-dialectal version is '被你说中了'. ...


2

This is an interesting question, and it got me thinking for the last couple of days. Here's my two cents. Rather than try to match your pitches to some model recordings, have you tried matching them to your personal highs and lows when speaking English? Try to notice how high and low you can go in different language contexts. An example that comes to mind ...


1

See this question about the pronunciation of "一". To be simple, in 一线城市, 一 is used as an ordinal number, so it is the first tone. Here 一 means first. In general, 一 is used as a cardinal number, its prononciation varies in function of the context.



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