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Founding Engineer at FutureAdvisor.


Nov
21
comment Oral Tradition: Chinese Folktales, Sayings, Ballads, Songs, Chants, Etc
While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes.
Nov
21
comment What does 民以食为天 mean?
@MatthewRudy马泰 The other requirement to be a true couplet is that the tones of the corresponding characters in each line should be the "inverse" of each other according to the traditional 平/仄 tone categorization.
Nov
18
comment Differentiating: 肚 and 胃 in English?
Note that "tummy" is derived from children's attempt to pronounce "stomach": etymonline.com/index.php?term=tummy
Nov
16
comment Is 勺 really the phonetic component of 的?
@DrunkenMaster Your question is covered here: chinese.stackexchange.com/a/1551 In my opinion, the currently second highest voted answer there is the actual correct one.
Sep
24
comment When saying Japanese place names like “秋叶原”, do people always use the respective Chinese pronunciation?
I would add that some transit systems in Japan have stop announcements in Chinese, and they read place names using the Mandarin pronunciations. For place names that have non-Kanji components, they are simply left out of the Mandarin reading (e.g., 西ヶ原 Nishigahara becomes 西原 Xīyuán). One exception to this is ノ no, which is translated to 之, a Chinese character of equivalent meaning (e.g., 丸ノ内 Marunouchi becomes 丸之内 Wánzhīnèi).
Sep
19
comment What does the `的` mean in `我是九点去上班的`?
+1 for the correct analysis of the sentence structure.
Sep
16
comment What is the word for “they/them”?
There's also 祂, with the radical 示, which is almost exclusively used in Chinese translations of the Christian Bible to refer to God.
Sep
16
comment What is the word for “they/them”?
牠 is not the strict traditional form of 它. Rather, both 牠 and 它 were merged into 它 in simplified Chinese. Traditionally, 牠 referred to animate objects whereas 它 referred to inanimate objects.
Sep
16
comment Tone three sandhi
possible duplicate of 我(也)很好 and tone sandhi
Aug
27
comment Chinese countable/uncountable nouns (How do they work? Examples?)
You may find this answer to this other question helpful as well: chinese.stackexchange.com/a/3664/166
Aug
14
comment Why is the 会 in 会计 pronounced kuài?
There's another point of data that indicates that the alternation is due to a much older distinction and it is that it exists in other modern varieties of Chinese. For instance, in Cantonese, the alternation is wui6 vs. kui2. There's a slight irregularity here too in that the expected tone for kui should be 3 rather than 2, but that could be explained by the tone change phenomenon that Cantonese exhibits.
Aug
13
comment Why is the 会 in 会计 pronounced kuài?
@user54609 The alternation did exist, but with expected sound changes it should have been hui vs. gui rather than hui vs. kuai.
Aug
13
comment Why is the 会 in 会计 pronounced kuài?
@user54609 It's actually kuai that's the irregular reading. The expected pronunciation following regular sound changes should be gui (mentioned as an alternate pronunciation here), but the older kwai pronunciation ended up getting preserved rather than following the expected sound changes (probably because it was only used in limited contexts).
Aug
11
comment What happened to the Old Chinese coda -p of 拉 in Cantonese?
@OmniBus I think you misunderstand what jogloran means by 'strict formula'. Sound changes are generally regular. The diversity of languages comes about because different sound changes occur among different groups, but the changes themselves are generally fairly regular and consistent. This notwithstanding, exceptions can be found. In this case, the Cantonese pronunciation of 蠟 and 臘 came about via regular sound change from OC *lop, but this did not occur for 拉, so jogloran is asking why this is the case; often the answer uncovers something interesting about the history of the language.
Aug
11
comment What happened to the Old Chinese coda -p of 拉 in Cantonese?
This is an interesting hypothesis, though if it were the case, we'd find some documentation for it. For example, both 內 and 對 are documented in 《康熙字典》 as 去 tones (內:奴對切,餒去聲;對:都內切,𠀤音碓), with the alternative 入 pronunciation being listed for 內 (奴荅切。同納。). The entry for 拉, however, only recognizes the 入 form (落合切,𠀤音菈。讀與臘近。). If the modern pronunciation came from the OC *-s final, you'd think the 去 form would have made an appearance by the time 《康熙字典》 was compiled.
Aug
11
comment What happened to the Old Chinese coda -p of 拉 in Cantonese?
Great question... I was actually going to ask this myself too but you beat me to it. :)
Jul
25
comment How to say “being” as in “Being jewish”
@200_success I suppose it depends what you are trying to convey. 当 can denote a hypothetical condition, so it could be used if you weren't Jewish but were talking about what it would be like being Jewish.
Jul
22
comment Third tone sandhi: when (if ever) does 3 3 become 3 0 instead of 2 3?
possible duplicate of Is there a tone sandhi rule that "4 3" changes to "4 0"?
Jul
22
comment Third tone sandhi: when (if ever) does 3 3 become 3 0 instead of 2 3?
@chapka You can refer to the answer in this very similar question: chinese.stackexchange.com/a/5753/166
Jun
30
comment What does 非也 mean?
也 is not a modal particle; rather, it is a copula (similar to the word 'to be' in English or 是 in Modern Chinese) that appears at the end of a sentence in Classical Chinese. 非 means "not so", so 非也 as a whole means "it is not so".