2,575 reputation
314
bio website
location Vancouver, BC, Canada
age 40
visits member for 1 year, 8 months
seen Oct 6 at 23:17

Mother Tongue: Mandarin (Northern China)

Learning Language: English


Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer
Jul
31
revised 说服: shuìfú vs. shuōfú
added 1 character in body
Jul
31
answered 说服: shuìfú vs. shuōfú
Jul
15
comment Is there a comprehensive list of separable verbs/离合动词 anywhere?
Actually, the verbs you listed are not pure verbs, they are phrases consisting of verb + noun. I would say most of this kind of phrases are separable, meaning you can put additional stuff in between. For pure verbs, I don't think we can add any stuff in between, like 参加, 运动, 演出, 歌唱, 朗诵, 抄写, 支付, 羡慕, and a lot others.
Jul
15
comment Is there a comprehensive list of separable verbs/离合动词 anywhere?
I don't think it helps much even when you have this list on hand, because it is very hard to memorize the list. Do you also need a list of all nouns, a list of all verbs, etc.? No, you don't need those lists. My suggestion is that you look up a new verb and most dictionaries will tell you if it is separable verb or not. You can also pay attention to how other people use verbs. E.g. you know 睡觉 already, and if you hear someone says 睡一觉, then you know 睡觉 is a separable verb. You will collect those verbs over time.
Jul
15
answered Why does the usual Verb-Object order seem to have been broken here (很高兴为您服务)?
Jul
14
comment Why so many definitions associated with each word?
@JackM In order to learn Chinese well, you will have to learn characters, but you DON'T have to learn pinyin, just like if you want to learn English, you will have to learn the words like "main" or "mane", but you don't have to learn their IPA /meɪn/. Pinyin was created 60+ years ago, and before then (and now still in Taiwan) Chinese people used Bopomofo (ㄅ ㄆ ㄇ ㄈ ㄉ and a lot others) as phonetic notation for spoken Chinese. So Pinyin is replaceable, but characters are not. Characters are the core of written Chinese.
Jul
14
comment Why so many definitions associated with each word?
@JackM Chinese characters are NOT words. You look up a character in a dictionary, there will be quite a few meanings for character, but most of those meanings are restricted for certain words containing this character. Pinyin (like IPA) just shows how to pronounce characters. Pinyin itself is not words. So jiǎng is not a word. If you want to learn Chinese well, you will have to learn characters. Pinyin is for pronunciation and we use characters to "spell out" Chinese sentences. Just like in English, /meɪn/ is for pronunciation, but main or mane are for spelling.
Jul
14
answered Colloquial Translation: Dynamics
Jul
14
comment Why so many definitions associated with each word?
@JackM If someone says jiǎng to you without any context, of cause you won't know what the speaker means. Just like in English, if someone says "pee-s" you don't know if it is piece or peace. Just think about how you work out "pee-s" in English, then apply the same idea to Chinese. Note that Chinese sentences heavily rely on context for the info you need to understand the meaning of the sentences. E.g 我去看电影。 This sentence is just a generic statement and it has no tense at all. Its tense could be in the past, at present, or in the future. So the tense has to be drawn form the context.
Jul
14
comment Why so many definitions associated with each word?
Another example: in spaceship each syllable (space or ship) has its own meanings, and when combined together both syllables contribute their own meaning to the new word. I will say most of Chinese disyllabic or trisyllabic words are formed in the "spaceship" way. But this rule doesn't apply to the Chinese words transliterated from other languages, like 奥林匹克 for Olympic.
Jul
14
comment Why so many definitions associated with each word?
Let's take the syllable stu for an example: student, stupid, study, studio, stubble, stubborn, stucco and etc. If those words were Chinese, the syllable stu would have a few meanings on its own, and other syllables like dent, pid, dy, dio, bble, bborn, cco would have their own meanings as well. We would combine stu and dent to make a new word student where stu and dent contribute something to the compounded word.
Jul
14
comment Why so many definitions associated with each word?
If we have to compare Chinese characters with something similar in English, I will say one single Chinese character is equivalent to a syllable. In English, sometime the syllables in a word have meaning, sometimes not. E.g. unfair has 2 syllables, un for not, and fair for impartial. Another example: stupid has 2 syllables, but both stu and pid have no meanings. But in Chinese, each character (syllable+tone) has its own meanings, and we combine characters to form disyllabic or trisyllabic words. In most cases (maybe 90%) each character contribute something to the meaning of the whole word.
Jun
1
revised How do Chinese judge the right sound quality (softness, awkwardness, respectfulness (面子), negativity)
added 4 characters in body
Jun
1
comment How do Chinese judge the right sound quality (softness, awkwardness, respectfulness (面子), negativity)
Usually we say 你有病 (you are sick), which has 2 meanings depending on how you say it and the context. It could mean "you are ill (as suffering from a disease or not feeling well)", or "you are gross or disgusting.
Jun
1
revised How do Chinese judge the right sound quality (softness, awkwardness, respectfulness (面子), negativity)
added 304 characters in body
May
30
answered How do Chinese judge the right sound quality (softness, awkwardness, respectfulness (面子), negativity)
May
30
comment Are These Equivalent Grammatical Syntax?
@ Tommie C. Level 1 is for the main structure, like Subject + Verb Phrase. Level 2 is for the substructure, so in level 1 structure, Verb Phrase can be decomposed further into Verb + Complement, which is on the second level in terms of analyzing sentence structure in different layers.
May
30
revised Are These Equivalent Grammatical Syntax?
added 310 characters in body
May
30
answered Are These Equivalent Grammatical Syntax?