2,950 reputation
819
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 26
visits member for 2 years, 1 month
seen 1 hour 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

Jul
22
comment What do you do when the dictionary doesn't give you a meaning that fits your sentence?
What is the context of the sentence fragment? Is 直接 standing in for 有直接的关系?
Jul
22
comment When can I use 透?
@XL_at_China Reading some of the other answers is a good prerequisite for adding your own...
Jul
22
reviewed Reject suggested edit on When do I use 着 to indicate action in progress?
Jul
21
comment Any difference between 早安 and 早上好?
Edit more information into your answer please! At the very least, whether you're from the mainland or taiwan.
Jul
20
reviewed Reject suggested edit on Deciphering a seal
Jul
20
comment Difference between 學習 and 學
@NS.X. Interesting! 1. Certainly don't want to confuse anyone, so I'll leave 读书 out. 2. Agree to disagree :)
Jul
20
comment Difference between 學習 and 學
Hmm. Actually 读书 would have been fine. You can say 读英文课 = study English, and 读书 = study (in general, 书 as dummy object). I'll leave it out though, as 读 and 念 confusingly mean both "read aloud" and "study", even though I mean "study" in this case for both transitive and intransitive.
Jul
20
comment Difference between 學習 and 學
@NS.X. I disagree about 蝴蝶. If you think that 蝴 and 蝶 existed as independent words and were later combined, please provide evidence (use in classical works would be a good start). Also, the these pages do not lend credence to the idea that 连绵词 are multi-morpheme. The examples and explanations (that I can understand) point to 连绵词="polysyllabic monomorphemic words". So I'm sticking with 蝶 = 蝴蝶 - 蝴, and not 蝴蝶 = 蝴 + 蝶
Jul
20
comment Difference between 學習 and 學
@NS.X. I replaced 读书 with 跑步 (which is definitely V+dummy object). I clarified what I mean by "dummy" objects. I was completely wrong about 盖头 (I was looking for something with a -头 suffix and picked 盖头; no idea it was a veil whoops).
Jul
20
revised Difference between 學習 and 學
Fixed some stuff.
Jul
19
answered Difference between 學習 and 學
Jul
19
comment Why are intermediate cardinal directions read differently in Chinese?
@Stan Yes, you are right.
Jul
19
comment Why are intermediate cardinal directions read differently in Chinese?
I think you're absolutely right that 东西 is the primary axis and 南北 the secondary one, although you missed that north-south is also reversed. :)
Jul
19
comment How to say “politically correct” or “political correctness” in Chinese?
@congusbongus Well I can't really go back and choose a better phrase in English to represent that concept. When you're translating, you have a little more leeway.
Jul
19
comment How to say “politically correct” or “political correctness” in Chinese?
@congusbongus It seems to give an inaccurate impression of what it's supposed to mean. Perhaps it is the best translation you can get (given that at least some people already use it), but "political correctness" has almost nothing to do with 政治.
Jul
17
comment What is the correct pronunciation of 垃圾?
@Stan It is entirely reasonable to look at the character 圾 and say "I think that's probably pronounced jī". The point is that the word for garbage was originally pronounced lèsè, so lājī is a mispronunciation.
Jul
3
comment Were the choice of characters in compound words based on their intrinsic meaning, or are their meaning derived from their use in compound words?
Minor quibble--some words in Chinese have always been multiple characters (although it's obviously much less common than the case you describe).
Jul
3
comment Which Chinese dialect is it rewarding to learn?
Again, where will you be / who will you be interacting with? My limited experience in HK was that many people's Mandarin was often worse than their English. On the mainland, I found Mandarin to be more than enough to get by with except in one small town where many locals had limited Mandarin proficiency.
Jul
3
comment Which Chinese dialect is it rewarding to learn?
I think a language is rewarding if you can speak it with other people. Who might you be speaking this with? If you're living in Taiwan, then Taiwanese Min could be fun and rewarding to learn. In HK or Guangdong, Cantonese. In Shanghai, Shanghainese. In Italy, Wenzhounese (lol).
Jun
30
answered Where is 蛮 used, as in the meaning of 'quite'?