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seen Jun 22 '12 at 8:48

Mar
29
comment Is there a noun that has the meaning of “offer” in Chinese? How to say “offer” in Chinese?
It's even worse as a verb, I think. 'He offered to carry my bags' and many other examples like it are hard to translate into Chinese.
Mar
6
comment Sheep or goat? 一只羊跑过来
I don't think that people necessarily say 山羊 when they mean 'goat' at all. Just because English speakers feel the need to distinguish doesn't necessarily mean Chinese speakers do.
Feb
24
comment How to translate “be mature” into Mandarin?
Except that the English-language examples trideceth12 gives aren't terribly idiomatic...
Feb
23
comment How to translate “be mature” into Mandarin?
Then people were right to pull you up. That's the question you should have asked. As for the answer, well I have no real answer. However, I knew a Chinese girl whose boyfriend used to tell her she was 幼稚 for being IMmature. Not much help, and not applicable to this occasion, but just a thought.
Feb
23
comment How to translate “be mature” into Mandarin?
So this is a Chinese friend studying English? Even that is useful context! She doesn't really need a translation into Chinese, she needs an explanation. To tell the truth, this is really rather off the purpose of stackexchange.
Feb
23
comment How to translate “be mature” into Mandarin?
A recent example, different but relevant. A friend asked me to look at her English translation of a Chinese-language divorce claim (international marriage). It was in American legal format but the grounds were subjective and likely to be thrown out by an American court. After lots of questioning I found it wasn't for an American court; the divorce was in China but Chinese law required an English translation to submit to the U.S. So, no need for an American format! A direct translation using Chinese format was fine -- and much clearer! To sum up, you absolutely need to know the purpose.
Feb
23
comment How to translate “be mature” into Mandarin?
If your friend is just asking an idle question like 'I wonder how someone would say this in Chinese?', without any intent to use it or send it to anyone, then the appropriate response might be to tell him/her that it would be hard to express that particular nuance in Chinese, and what situation did he/she have in mind.
Feb
23
comment How to translate “be mature” into Mandarin?
It ALWAYS helps to have context. If your friend is planning on texting a Chinese person, then there's likely no need to worry about the full connotations of 'mature'. If he/she is translating a manga, the connotations might be more important. The question is always, 'Who is this directed at? Who is going to read it? Is it for use in conversation or a written communication? Etc., etc.' These can all help in trying to figure out exactly what is needed.
Feb
21
comment Meaning of 修养­­­­
I agree. I think it has some of the nuances of 'breeding'. I also suspect the term has Confucian overtones -- it sounds like the thinking of Zhu Xi and people of that era, who talked of things like moral cultivation.
Feb
18
comment Ways to say “more”
Note that 再 can also mean 'again'. To say 'I want to ask you this question again', it can be differentiated by saying 我想再問一次這個問題 or 我想再問你一次. (Any native speakers care to comment?)
Feb
15
comment Meaning of the word 腳
Hard to believe you've never seen it. Could it just be the difference between 脚 (simplified) and 腳 (traditional)?
Feb
15
comment Meaning of the word 腳
I agree. In fact, when I said 'some dialects of Chinese', I meant 'some dialects of Mandarin in its widest sense'. Unfortunately it's hard to cover all Mandarin dialects with one word in Chinese. 北方话 would be good, except that doesn't cover Sichuan! Saying 'dialects of Chinese' includes totally different things like Cantonese and Hokkienese, etc. So, yes, I agree with you that some 'Mandarin' speakers do tend to use 腳 loosely.
Feb
9
comment Can 偷工减料 be used to describe the intentional and open purchasing of somewhat inferior product?
Upon reflection, 'cut corners' usually refers to an unwilling or undesirable kind of economising. Unwilling if you are in control of the budget but have no other choice, undesirable (and negative) if the contractor is in control of spending and is not telling you what he is doing. In the latter case it is definitely close to 偷工减料.
Feb
9
comment Can 偷工减料 be used to describe the intentional and open purchasing of somewhat inferior product?
The dictionary definition is a bit misleading as 'cut corners' doesn't have very positive connotations. It means leaving out or failing to do things that should really be done or materials that should really be used. However, while cutting corners is less than ideal, it's not necessarily seen as fraudulent or cheating others, which is where it may differ in severity from 偷工减料.
Feb
9
comment 中东 - “Middle East” or “Eastern China”?
Another word for eastern China, in the narrower sense of the area around Shanghai, is 华东.
Feb
9
comment Did phonological systems (namely bopomofo) standardize Chinese phonemes?
I agree to a point. It's true, it's very hard to change people's phonological inventories, because getting people to hear, let alone adopt, new sound distinctions is very difficult. On the other hand, schools do manage to get people to change their pronunciations of individual words. For example, the Beijing pronunciation of 办公室 is bàngōngshǐ. The school system is trying (and partially succeeding) in getting people to say bàngōngshì. In many cases they have been entirely successful: e.g., fǎguó is now universal for 法国,and wǎng is now universal for 往, despite their earlier pronunciations.
Feb
9
comment Did phonological systems (namely bopomofo) standardize Chinese phonemes?
戴洛弘's tip about fanqie also indicates that the Chinese had a very good grasp of the phonology of their language, before Bopomofo or pinyin came along. The problem with fanqie, of course, is that it refers to a much older stage of Chinese, and the pronunciation (including the phonological inventory) had changed a lot between the era of fanqie and the 20th century.
Feb
9
comment Did phonological systems (namely bopomofo) standardize Chinese phonemes?
I think phonology is actually central to this topic. You say: 'before bopomofo, there wasn't a standard way or a common phonetic base language to refer to when stating that two characters were pronounced the same'. But the whole idea of phonology is that phonemes actually exist in people's minds without needing a writing system to tell them what is what. Your question seems to assume that phonological distinctions don't exist until someone writes them down, which is a rather interesting assumption.
Feb
2
comment How common is the use of “瞧” and which region?
I heard it from a little 3-year-old boy going to a kindergarten in Beijing, so it must be pretty common! The note about Beijing dialect is well taken.
Feb
1
comment How can I express 'having' in an intimate sense?
我拥有他们 sounds completely inappropriate, as though you possess them. 还有你的儿子和你的女儿 doesn't necessarily mean 'you have your son and your daughter'; it can also be understood as 'your son and daughter are there'. 有 doesn't have to have a possessive meaning.