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seen Sep 7 '13 at 8:42

Sep
7
comment Why are 成语 (idioms) four characters long? Are there 成语 with more or less than four characters?
I think Chinese have a thing for symmetry, although this might be my misconception. They will often print English in ALL CAPS. I like to think that is because it more closely resembles Chinese characters, which usually take up more space. With 成语 the phrase is perfectly balanced & symmetrical. If it had 5 characters, you've got an odd man out. Maybe someone can correct me if I'm full of BS, but this is a thought I've had.
Sep
2
comment 娘炮 - how do you pronounce this word/phrase?
This was the translation for "pussy" on an episode of Walking Dead.
Sep
2
comment 娘炮 - how do you pronounce this word/phrase?
This was in Pleco. I'm using the free version. A quick Baidu produced this: zhidao.baidu.com/question/164536391.html
Aug
3
comment What is the origin of the proverbial phrase, “Drink the Northwestern winds”?
Interesting! I asked a Chinese coworker why we don't say "读万本书" instead of "读万卷书" and she told me that you can't change those set phrases! Seems like some are fixed & some are changeable afterall.
Aug
3
comment What is the English translation for 劲爆?
Makes some sense, but strangely if you search for it on baidu.com almost all of the results that come up seem to relate to music or DJs. Breaking news about DJs? I dunno.
Aug
3
comment What is the origin of the proverbial phrase, “Drink the Northwestern winds”?
Great answer & thanks for the example sentence. Just one request if possible, why did "吸风" turn into "喝西北风"?
Apr
29
comment How would you translate 细腻 into English?
The 4 character phrase "细腻入微" translates as "nuanced" via Google translate. That seems like the perfect word to me! Is "细腻" used by itself as shorthand for this? Is it safe to say the 2 characters have the same meaning as the 4 characters in some contexts? Thanks for your help!
Apr
8
comment Translation of Chinese word is not an English word?
Strange. Only the ADS definition appears when I search for it in my phone. I'm using only the free version, do you have purchased dictionaries?
Apr
8
comment Translation of Chinese word is not an English word?
I'm pretty sure that it is not a real English word. I'm curious where Chinese came up with it & how it has come to be used so broadly (over 96,000 hits on Google).
Apr
8
comment The origin of 鸡贼
I tried this in Japan last week & they just gave me less of the drink, plus it was lukewarm!
Aug
26
comment Tips for multiple-pronunciation characters (多音字)
Looks like you're right after all. A Google search for "define:heteronym" only mentioned spelling, but on Wikipedia they say: "In linguistics, heteronyms (also known as heterophones) are words that are written identically but have different pronunciations and meanings." Since 多音字 are written identically, I'd say they fit the bill.
Aug
26
comment Tips for multiple-pronunciation characters (多音字)
Can you call them that in Chinese? There's no spelling so they can't really be spelled the same. I mean characters that are written the same but have different pronunciations depending on the context, meaning, etc.
Aug
26
comment Tips for multiple-pronunciation characters (多音字)
Ah, very interesting! I had no idea it was 2 characters merged into 1.
Aug
25
comment Tips for multiple-pronunciation characters (多音字)
Good point about the interchangeability. I asked 3 of my Chinese coworkers & they repeatedly said that 尽快 is pronounced "jin4kuai4" while my dictionary says it should be jin3kuai4. This reminds me of the controversy surrounding 下载.
May
24
comment How can I translate “非语言表达方式”?
Not at all James, I appreciate your input!
May
24
comment How can I translate “非语言表达方式”?
I used 思想 in a conversation with a Chinese friend and she said, "Don't use that, Chinese people don't say that." So I asked my teacher and she said 想法 is thoughts but 思想 is a special kind of thought, like the sort of thing people will quote 100 years from now. So for example, 孔子 had 思想 but I don't have 思想 regarding what I should eat for dinner, I have 想法. Does that mesh with your understanding?
May
23
comment How can I translate “非语言表达方式”?
Thanks for your input. Maybe next time I should specify, I am not translating to make it sound like English or to make it seem beautiful, but just to verify my understanding. I think studying Chinese has corrupted my English grammar to the point where my English is sometimes unwieldy. I understand the distinction you're making by separating language as an umbrella topic & spoken language (or words, as you translated it). I guess I was mostly just confused by the dictionary, which does not make that distinction.
May
22
comment How can I translate “精神需要”?
What do you think about translating it as "non-material"? This clarifies that it isn't a physical need like housing, clothing, etc. but also leaves it broad enough that I can understand what the Chinese is getting at. The word "spiritual" is just confusing to me, I'm not even certain what it is supposed to mean in English, and I'm a native speaker.
Mar
18
comment What syntax is acceptable for classifier + noun + adjectival phrase
I know when you are writing a notice for a lost item, you invert the order of the MW and the noun, so you would say something like: "丢失了眼镜一副”
Mar
18
comment How to differentiate moods, characters, temperaments, etc?
Maybe my question was unclear. I know these words above are all nouns. I want to know how to know what adjectives they can take. For example, my teachers have said "性格很实在” can I also use the other nouns in that group, for example, "脾气很实在”?Is the meaning identical?