3,063 reputation
820
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 26
visits member for 2 years, 4 months
seen 9 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

May
28
comment Semantic radical and dictionary header for 将
@Stan I say that etymology doesn't really matter (to the question of what the 部首 is) because that's a factual question about how dictionaries are organized. The dictionary organizers could be terribly mistaken about the etymology, and it would still be true that dictionaries are organized that way. Great answer by the way.
May
28
comment Semantic radical and dictionary header for 将
If we take the quoted text at face value, it would seem that it really is a 会意字 and doesn't have a phonetic component. I think the question of what 部首 it should be listed under in a dictionary is a separate question--I'm sure there's a "right" answer for modern PRC dictionaries, but that doesn't necessarily say anything about the etymology.
May
26
comment Is there a Chinese equivalent of the German “Mut zur Lücke”?
FYI, "courage to have a gap" doesn't make sense in English, so searching for a translation of "knowledge gap" might not be helpful.
May
23
comment What does it say on the stamp?
@QuestionOverflow Put it in an answer, you might get 100 points :)
May
21
comment How to say properly translate “circulation”?
In the first example, is that any different from, say, a ceiling fan? I'm not familiar with the term "circulation fan", although it's easy to imagine what it means.
May
20
comment Did a king ask for a ball? How did 王 + 求 become 球?
Brilliant answer.
May
15
comment How is pronunciation discussed in Chinese?
@孤影萍踪 天(tiān), 跹(xiān), and 圆(yuán) do all end in [ɛn], while 山(shān) and 关(guān) do not. The rhyming rules for classical chinese poetry are complex and do not have much to do with Mandarin pronunciation. See this for a lengthy exposition of rhyming rules in Classical Chinese poetry.
May
15
comment How is pronunciation discussed in Chinese?
@NS.X. It's entirely possible you both perceive them as rhyming; but that would be a product of your "feeling" for Chinese phonology. If you were a foreign language learner, it would not be helpful to think of 煙 as being 一 + 安.
May
15
comment How is pronunciation discussed in Chinese?
@孤影萍踪 "An" is pronounced [an], while "yan" (or the "ian" in words starting with consonants) is pronounced [jɛn]. They're both spelled the same, and it's entirely possible you perceive them the same, but the vowels are different (e.g., pot = [pat], pet = [pɛt])
May
14
comment How is pronunciation discussed in Chinese?
How do you know what a "K" sound is? Is that any more illuminating than saying that "cow" starts with the same sound as "kid"? Also, I disagree with your casual switch from "Learner" to "children". Learners of a foreign language need to be taught how to pronounce things. Children generally don't.
May
14
comment How is pronunciation discussed in Chinese?
I find it somewhat humorous to see broken down as 七-衣-安 because the "an" in doesn't even rhyme with the "an" in 浅. Of course, the point still stands that you can indicate initials and finals by comparison with other characters.
May
13
comment How do we describe a “sophisticated person”?
@孤影萍踪 I'd love to see you give an answer w/examples. You always give a lot of attention to detail in your answers.
May
12
comment Are tones sometimes glossed over?
@OlleLinge My take: If you have a small change, edit it into the answer. If the answerer really disagrees with you, they can reject the edit. If it's a big enough change (in your own opinion), make your own (complete) answer.
May
11
comment Are tones sometimes glossed over?
@OlleLinge I'm not entirely sure when it's "OK" to edit someone's answer. Worst case, you can always make your own. In any event, it's better to have answer-information in an answer, rather than in comments.
May
11
comment Are tones sometimes glossed over?
@OlleLinge I hear there's this thing where you can post answers. And then people can upvote them. Nawww, probably not a real thing.
May
10
answered how to translate 大脑迅速转动起来?
May
9
comment Correct usage of “behind schedule”
Thanks for all of the really great examples! I only have one upvote to give, unfortunately.
May
7
revised What is the correct pronunciation of 垃圾?
corrected pronunciations for the wu dialects.
May
7
comment What is the correct pronunciation of 垃圾?
@deutschZuid Oops. Somehow I didn't see it there (I was looking at the translations at the bottom). The si->xi transition is indeed quite common (Mandarin did it after all); not sure the "femininity" of Suzhou dialect has much influence on sound change though.
May
7
comment What is the correct pronunciation of 垃圾?
@deutschZuid Interesting. That's pretty similar to the 苏州话 pronunciation given by Wiktionary: [lɒ³¹⁻²²si⁴⁴]. If you can find a link, please edit in the pronunciation ^_^