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13

Thumb: 拇(mŭ)指(zhĭ) or 大拇指 or 大拇哥. The first two words are common while the last one is less common. You would hear it more in oral speaking, in some regions(I heard of it from one of my relatives in HeBei province). Watch the shape of "拇". The left part refers to "hand", and the right part is "母“, meaning "mother". I think it gets this name because of ...


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 ...


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

清水 clear water; 淡水 fresh water (contrast to salt water); 自来水 Tap water, 30 years ago most of the chinese people had to fetch water from nearby rivers, lakes or wells by using buckets (挑水). Tap water goes through pipes to homes, people think these water go to their home automatically (without 挑水), they created the word 自来水


10

I am Taiwanese, and I have even had this "餅乾" once. Generally, we can refer to almost every snack that is made with flour and "cracks" in your mouth as 餅乾. So when you say you want some 餅乾, people will not only give you crackers, but also cookies, potato chips, wafer cookies, wafer rolls, mille feuille, etc. These things have their own specific names, of ...


9

相声 is a form of Chinese traditional stand-up comedy where two two performers talk back and forth to each other, telling a funny story or just chatting about a humorous topic. Because it's a traditional Chinese art form and originates in northern China, it has a higher political status than other Chinese art forms. This means that it gets broadcasted across ...


9

You have 3 methods when talking about the seven days of the week. 星期[X] 礼拜[X] 周[X] Here, "X" represents "一,二,三,四,五,六" for "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday". For case 1 and 2, X could be "日" or "天" for Sunday,for case 3, X should be "日" for Sunday. What' the difference? Well, I think the 星期 and 周 are common to see, ...


9

铁观音 Tie Guanyin Tea / tat-kuan-yin Tea / Iron Buddha Tea 乌龙茶 Oolong Tea 黑茶 Dark Tea 红茶 Black Tea 龙井茶 Longjing Tea / Lungching Tea / Dragon Well Tea 君山银针 Junshan Silver Needle Tea 碧螺春 Biluochun Tea 牡丹绣球 Peony Jasmine Tea 黄山毛峰 Huangshan Maofeng Tea 岩茶 Rock Tea 冻顶乌龙 Dongding Oolong Tea 菊花茶 Chrysanthemum Tea 台湾阿里山乌龙 Taiwan Alishan Oolong Tea 大红袍 Dahongpao Tea ...


9

My closer Chinese friends do use the terms 白人 and 白种人 neutrally in the same way we use "white people", but by and large I find Chinese people avoid these terms, and are set slightly on edge when I drop them casually into conversation. One friend told me she doesn't use 白人 because "听起来有种族歧视,不是吗?". Instead she and other Chinese usually use "美国人/法国人/英国人 etc." ...


8

I think translating 铁饭碗 as "guaranteed lifetime employment" gets the point across quite well. There's also a phrase, "cradle-to-grave socialism" -- it's a little more political than guaranteed lifetime employment, but it accurately reflects the use of the word in Chinese history. Neither phrase has the English resonance of the Chinese original, but I think ...


8

Depending on context, 暧昧[pronounced as ài mèi] can take on a few meanings. The following is quoted from Baidu with some explanations in English: (态度、用意)含糊;不明白。(attitude or intent is unclear or incomprehensible) (行为)不光明;不可告人。(behavior is dishonorable or secretive, like having an illicit affair) 男女或同性肉体关系还处于想象段。(at the non-physical stage of a relationship, ...


8

"大衣" usually refers to a specific type of garment, it should be longer and more formal, something you will certainly take off when you stay indoors. No one would call a tracksuit top("运动外套") "大衣", but you can definitely call it "外套" or "外衣". I think a better translation for "大衣" is "overcoat" or "topcoat". "外套" and "外衣" are pretty much the same, if ...


8

In a literal sense, 加油 means to step on the gas pedal when you drive a car. Imagine what happens when you step on the gas pedal? More gasoline is added to the engine. What happens when more gasoline is added to the engine? The engine roarsssss! If someone is having a hard time, they are like a car being stuck in the mud or a similar situation and unable to ...


7

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 ...


7

Direct translation of fail would be 失败 However, in internet context, I think 糗(qiǔ) is more suitable. 糗 means embarrassing, usually as a result of you failed something... When used as verb, you would say 出糗, means you did something embarrassing. For example: 我出糗了


7

There is a Wikipedia article dedicated to this, Numbers in Chinese culture; it states that numbers are divided in two categories, lucky and unlucky numbers. Lucky Numbers: 二, the number 2: There is a saying that states "Good things come in pairs", for this reason many things in China seem to be "presented" in pairs of two, since this is considered a ...


7

I guess you have known the "old fashioned" terms like 宝贝(baby), 亲爱的/亲亲(darling), 心肝(heart and liver), 乖乖(well-behaved) etc. Here's some other terms: 孩子他爸,孩子他妈(Father/Mother of our children). Used for spouses who have children. Some words for depreciating one's lover literally. 笨蛋、傻瓜、呆子、笨笨⋯⋯(fool,idiot). I guess it means love make a person blind and fool. ...


7

As far as I know, 小姐 (xiao3jie3) is not very appreciated anymore by waitresses, even in Beijing; they might even be offended because that is how girls who sell their bodies are addressed. That is how Chinese people explained it to me. Waiters, be it male or female, are addressed as 服务员 (fu2wu4yuan2) and it is safe to call them that.


7

冬季 is more formal than 冬天. When used to refer to the season itself, the former is more commonly found in literature, the latter in vernacular. However, when used to refer to something of that season, i.e. in a noun phrase, the 冬季 form is almost always used. For examples, "winter fashion" is 冬季服装, "Winter Olympics" is 冬季奥运会*. You would never use 冬天 for ...


6

屋: In standard Mandarin, 屋 is not commonly used as a noun by itself. Though, 房屋 is a common word, which is very similar to real estate in English. e.g. 房屋中介 = Real estate agency. Another common usage of 屋 is in forming a name of a special kind of house. In such usage, it normally has a quite cozy feeling, e.g. 小屋 is a hut, 淑女屋 is a female clothing brand ...


6

This is just a selection based on things I've heard - I'm not sure if these are the concrete meanings, or just what I've heard from friends, but here goes: 1 - 要 - at least on occasions, for example there is a job website called 51job meaning '我要job' 2 - 二 - in the north where I used to live, this commonly means stupid, shortened from 二百五 (also ...


6

立春 Lìchūn "Beginning of spring" 雨水 Yǔshuǐ "Rain Water" 惊蛰 Jīngzhé "Awakening of insects" 春分 Chūnfēn "Mid spring" 清明 Qīngmíng "Clear and bright" 谷雨 Gǔyǔ "Rain for the grains" 立夏 Lìxià "Beginning of summer" 小满 Xiǎomǎn "Partially filled grains" 芒种 Mángzhòng "seed sowing" 夏至 Xiàzhì "Summer Solstice" 小暑 Xiǎoshǔ "Slight Heat" 大暑 Dàshǔ "Great Heat" 立秋 Lìqiū ...


6

Strictly speaking, the word formations between 加载 and 载入 are a little different; however, as Alex has said, both are acceptable in your case. 加载(verb) = 加(verb, add) + 载(verb, load) 载入(verb) = 载(verb, load) + 入(preposition, in/into) EDIT Notice: both 加载 and 载入 can be used as a transitive verb or an intransitive verb. In most cases, they are ...


6

老外 and 洋人 are the general terms for foreign people, not specific to white people. 老外 is more often heard in oral Chinese. In formal situations, 外国人is more likely used. 洋人 is a somehow out of date word, seldom used today. 鬼佬 has an implicit negative meaning, don't use it. And yes, Chinese refers to white people as 白种人 or 白人. But the words are not often seen ...


6

Oh, get you a Taiwanese news (at 0:18 by the anchor, 0:58 by a student and 1:24, 1:56 by himself) about that, where it's pronounced as "niáng pào". I can tell that we use this word in mainland China too, here is the proof. It refers to a sissy (a boy that other boys dislike because he prefers doing things that girls enjoy).


6

It's a kind of analogy. Originally, 卡壳 (qiǎ ké) meant "a cartridge got jammed inside the gun." When people are talking very fast and fluently, they are like a gun continuing shooting without any interruption. Words are "shot" (spoken) fast and continuously. There is also an expression "说话像机关枪一样," the literal meaning of which is that someone "speaks like ...


5

It's hard for average Chinese to answer the etymology of the words, I think. Why isn't "son" 男儿? For me, I would say because "男儿" has another meaning in both classic and modern Chinese. 男儿 young man, vital man. 男儿何不带吴钩,收取关山五十州. By the poet 李贺 in 唐 Dynasty nán ér hé bù dài wú gōu ,shōu qŭ guān shān wŭ shí zhōu. As a man, why not I take ...


5

It might be a bit hard to explain it in English. I may sounds incoherently. First to clarify, '子' is a magic character. It's not fair to put it after one but not the other. Some usage of '房子' could be replaced with '屋子', but very few with just '屋'. So I will just discuss 房 and 屋. As many synonym characters, their origins had different specific usage. 房: ...


5

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:


5

Check out this page: 3 ways to say 'but' in Chinese - difference between 不过 bù guò - 可是 kě shì - 但是 dàn shì. That page says that: 不过 is softer. 可是 is usually associated with something unfortunate. 但是 is more formal and stronger.



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