3,173 reputation
1820
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 26
visits member for 2 years, 7 months
seen 8 hours ago

I lived in China for a couple years. My Chinese isn't too bad, but I'm always trying to get better. Special interests in:

  • Etymology
  • Historical phonology
  • Winning arguments in other languages

1d
comment How to write and say 'people' in Mandarin Chinese?
Generally, translation requests get closed, especially if they don't show signs of previous research. You might want to work on your "finding things on the internet" skills
1d
comment 或: how did “region” become “either”?
@WangDingwei 会意字 (characters whose meanings are determined by the meanings of the component parts) are very rare. In order to argue that a character is a 会意字, you need to rule out more likely explanations (e.g., phonetic borrowing). This answer does not do that. Master Sparkles suggested a plausible derivation involving 惑. In 5 minutes of looking around on zdic, I was able to find another plausible derivation involving 域.
1d
comment 或: how did “region” become “either”?
Another explanation is that 或 was the original character for 域 (and presumably the borrowing was phonetic? They're both "hok" in some dialects). Not sure which is more likely.
2d
comment 或: how did “region” become “either”?
I think the obvious guess is that it's a 假借字, borrowed for it's phonetic value alone. After all, "or" (like many grammatical words) is not well suited to drawing a picture of.
Jan
23
comment Chinese Words that Accurately Reflect English Phonemes
You'll be disappointed to learn that the surname "Wu" is pronounced /u/ (i.e., "oo") in Chinese.
Jan
22
comment How to translate “For all you know”?
"As we all know" means something very, very different from "for all you know".
Jan
22
comment How to translate “For all you know”?
chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/2500/for-all-i-know
Jan
7
answered How to transliterate and pronounce English letters in Chinese?
Dec
29
comment The origins of “AA制”
Thanks for the answer. As you say, they could all be wrong. It's annoying that the article quotes them as if they were common sayings in English, when in fact they are not.
Dec
28
comment How to spell these words in Chinese alphabets?
1. Voting to close as "off-topic -- translation request". 2. The Chinese writing system is not an alphabet, and transliterating words or names into Chinese is not a mechanical process.
Dec
15
revised How can I negate time and when to place 在 before time?
Explained that the given answer is an instance of a general construction
Dec
9
comment How Does One Pronounce/Define the *Chinese* Character 𦨻
Could you update the question w/an image? The character's uncommon enough that it's being rendered as a box in my browser.
Dec
8
comment Why is Zhenya Wang's surname in English “Wang” but sometimes pronounced “Wong”?
@倪阔乐 Hmmm... In France, my name would be Pierre. In Russia, Пётр (Pyotr). In Mexico, Pedro. In Greece, Πέτρος (Petros). While a Pinyin-based standard for transcribing Chinese names is convenient for me, saying that "regional spellings" do not exist for Western names is not really correct.
Dec
8
answered Why is Zhenya Wang's surname in English “Wang” but sometimes pronounced “Wong”?
Dec
8
comment Why is Zhenya Wang's surname in English “Wang” but sometimes pronounced “Wong”?
This question would be greatly improved if you clarified the actual pronunciations in question. "Wang" and "Wong" are spellings, and the way English-speakers pronounce them vary greatly (e.g., vowel /a/ vs /ɒ/ vs /æ/ vs /ɔ/). This confuses the issue and leads to people talking past one another.
Dec
8
awarded  Electorate
Nov
25
comment Is there a difference in meaning between 那年夏天 and 那个夏天
@MattChambers Completely orthogonal to your question, 年 doesn't need a measure word (e.g., 三年 and not 三个年). Also, 一 can always be put between 那 and an MW+object, (e.g., 那一年, 这一个夏天). Often, the 一 is not written but shows up in the pronunciation of 那 or 这 (as nei4 or zhei4).
Nov
24
comment Old Mandarin vs. Mandarin Chinese?
If I spoke Latin, I could probably still communicate just fine with highly educated people in the Renaissance. I think the case with (written) Classical Chinese is basically the same. It's not the vernacular of either party, but it's a common 3rd language that has a high-level of standardization and prestige.
Nov
11
revised How to translate “I have always been”
making a bulleted list
Nov
10
comment What is the difference in pronunciation between saying “jin” and “jing”?
I'm talking about the English words "pin" and "ping", not the Mandarin ones. The vowels are identical in both US and UK pronunciation: [pʰɪn] vs [pʰɪŋ]. If you want to understand the difference in the consonants, I think English words provide a great set of words for doing discrimination exercises.