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seen Jul 21 at 0:21

Jan
11
comment What is the difference between 做番 vs. 做返?
Just thought you should know that Cantonese speakers in Mainland China often refer to the Cantonese dialect as 白话. This is not widely known to northerners or even to people in Hong Kong, but it's a very common usage in those parts. The official standard language is known as 普通话, which is largely based on the written form of the northern colloquial (which is the more usual sense of 白话).
Jan
11
comment Why is 有 (yǒu) the only verb that requires 没 while other verbs can use 不?
Perhaps 'modal auxiliary' is a slightly better explanation, but applying a label doesn't really explain much. To explain why they are defective verbs, you would probably have to go back to proto-Germanic or further. To explain 没 you would probably have to go back to early modern Chinese (since, AFAIK, 没 isn't used as a negative in Classical Chinese). To compare the usage of 没 to character taboos related to emperor's names is really just nonsense.
Jan
11
comment What does 糗大 (qiǔdà) mean?
I think that if someone wants to add pinyin that is fine. One big problem with Chinese (as opposed to, say, Japanese) is that there is no tradition of showing pronunciation, making Chinese highly inaccessible to non-speakers, and even hard for Chinese speakers at times. Characters are rather opaque when it comes to pronunciation (why not 糗 chòu, for instance?). Any help we can give should be given, not withheld 'on principle'. True, with Google Translate, etc., things are far easier than in pre-Internet days, but I can't see why we should make a point of not supplying pronunciation.
Jan
11
comment Why is 有 (yǒu) the only verb that requires 没 while other verbs can use 不?
I don't know why this would get an upvote. It is actually worse than baseless speculation; it makes the spurious claim that asking 'why' is gibberish in the context of a lot of Asian cultures. If I ask why you can say 'I didn't want to go' but not 'I didn't can go' in English, do you really think that pointing out that 'can' is a modal auxiliary is a 'logical explanation'? The fact that modal auxiliaries are 'defective verbs' is a fact of English, in the same way that 有 is negated with 没 is a fact of Chinese. To claim that one is logical and the other isn't just doesn't make sense.
Jan
9
comment Number two in chinese: 二 vs 两
In Mainland China, when reading out numbers, 幺(yāo) is almost always used. I think this may have a military origin. Taiwanese people apparently find it quite strange.
Jan
9
comment Is any simplified character also a traditional character?
Very well sought out!
Jan
8
comment Why does Chinese lack some level of abstraction in some idioms? (e.g. 兄弟姐妹)
Levels of abstraction in vocabulary can differ significantly between languages. For example, the Chinese word 汽车 is broader than the English word 'car' or 'automobile' since 汽车 can include trucks. Of course, English can use words like 'motor vehicle', but this then includes motorbikes and tractors. 'Motor vehicle' is thus probably closer to the Chinese 机动车.
Jan
8
comment Why does Chinese lack some level of abstraction in some idioms? (e.g. 兄弟姐妹)
It's my fault for using the word 'fault'. I think my point is that this particular situation isn't a special feature of Chinese. Until very recently (one hundred years isn't such a long time) English was exactly the same. (German on the other hand, has 'Gebrüder', which does not appear to be a newly coined term, for 'brothers and sisters').