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Sep
22
comment Do people use 但愿 nowadays?
Both of your sentences sound very weird to me. We don't put any subject before 但愿, and besides, the omitted subject should be "I". So "我但愿上哈佛的商学院" should be "但愿 我 能 上哈佛的商学院", and you can't use 但愿 in "他们但愿我也是从湘西来的". "他们希望我也是从湘西来的" will sound perfect.
Sep
22
comment What is the difference between 概念 and 观念?
Concept in English can mean 1) view/idea of people; 2) abstract principle. But in Chinese, 1) is 观念, 2) is 概念.
Sep
21
comment Help translating 海南鸡饭 - 2
Let us continue this discussion in chat.
Sep
21
comment Help translating 海南鸡饭 - 2
And 晒=>哂 should be a typo.
Sep
21
comment Help translating 海南鸡饭 - 2
Wow. For 3, I guess 佢丟=佢地 just from the context (and also the similarity in pronunciation): the singer first lists some stars in Taiwan and all over the world, and then he says "看下大马有几只人 同佢丢争两餐" which means "let's see how many singers in Malaysia, can compete with them佢丢 on the stage" -- "同sb.争两餐" is a folk idiom which means "compete with sb. on the market (or any stage where can make money)". And though I don't know Hakka, I'm almost sure 同佢丢=同业兜=同业们="my colleagues" doesn't make sense in that sentence. Anyway, Let's wait for somebody who speaks Hakka to answer your question :)
Sep
20
comment Help translating 海南鸡饭 - 2
(only know Cantonese but they are similar.) 1. Not exact. 叻 basically means doing well in something, not necessarily "clever". And it's awful to translate it as 敏 in Mandarin, because the single character 敏 sounds too archaic. 2. Correct. 哂 is similar to 了 (le). It marks the "perfect tense". 3. "同 佢丢 争两餐" here 佢丢 should mean they (like 佢地 in Cantonese). 4.5. "人客爱招呼冇态慢 明星或歌星日日来帮衬". Here, I don't clearly understand what 态慢 means but I catch it as "怠慢" in Mandarin. And 帮衬 means "be his guest". So this sentence means "I like greeting guest and never slight; stars would like to be my guests."
Sep
20
comment Is the phrase “on a scale of 1 to 10” used often if at all?
I would say 在十分制中 ...
Sep
15
comment If Confucius came back to life today and scribbled a message, could most modern Chinese people understand it?
What Confucius would write is even more difficult to understand than the seal scripts in Shuowen. Shuowen described it as 古文 (孔子壁中書), which did not follow Qin's style (Qin's style became the standard 小篆 at last), and was a little similar to 籀文, and would probably be like some 蝌蚪篆 we can see today.
Sep
10
reviewed Close What does this symbol mean on my ring?
Sep
10
reviewed Leave Open Explaining “condescending” in Chinese?
Sep
10
comment How formal is 如何 in the context of 最近如何?
I've been living in mainland China for 20+ years before staying in HK. I understand "formal or not" is a question that can have an objective answer, but differently, "feeling natural or not" is quite subjective. I can't see any difference between HK and mainland for the usage of "如何". And I just voted for "natural in a conversation", just a personal choice.
Sep
9
comment Is there a difference between 教训 and 论点 ?
I'm wondering: do English speakers consider there're few distinctions between word "lesson" and word "argument"?
Sep
9
comment How formal is 如何 in the context of 最近如何?
I don't feel any unnatural in a conversation, though yes, it's formal.
Sep
9
comment 快: why does “fast” also mean “happy”?
Anyway there're too many theories for the explanation of 夬, but most of them have nothing to do with "quick". So I tend to consider 夬 is only the phonetic part in 快.
Sep
9
comment 快: why does “fast” also mean “happy”?
I'm afraid it's difficult to find a convincing answer for this question. 快,喜也。从心,夬聲 is the original text in Shuowen, so the core is why it can evolve to have a meaning "quick". I think there may be two possibilities: 1) some other character with a similar pronunciation had a meaning related to "quick", 快 was mistakenly written for that character, and then became popular; 2) 《說文新證》:“【夬】射箭時套在指上的扳指,分決為引申義。甲骨文从又,○形象扳指。" So if 夬 had a meaning related to a shooting arrow, it would be a reason for why 快 could have the meaning "quick".
Sep
5
comment How to exclude an ingredient when ordering food?
@ah_hau Of course. See the history of Mandarin, and the history of Cantonese. Well I must declare I'm not an expert at phonology, so I can't endorse all the details in Wikipedia, but the statement "Cantonese has a longer history than Mandarin" is true to the best of my knowledge.
Sep
5
comment How to exclude an ingredient when ordering food?
@ah_hau No, most of them are not from Mandarin. Cantonese has a longer history than Mandarin.
Sep
5
comment How to exclude an ingredient when ordering food?
@HenryHO Good example. The best way to disprove "鼻塞 comes from English" is citing 𪖵:鼻塞曰𪖵 in 廣韻, which is a dictionary in Song Dynasty. I understand sometimes it's difficult to dig material evidence for folk phrases; in that case, circumstantial evidence will tell which hypothesis is better.
Sep
3
awarded  Nice Answer
Sep
2
reviewed No Action Needed How to express: Get