3,060 reputation
820
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 26
visits member for 2 years, 5 months
seen 19 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

Mar
22
comment Translating the idiom “thinking outside the box”
@AngelLeliel Please write this as an answer! "框框" is used the same way as "box" is (in a metaphorical context).
Mar
22
comment Is it possible to use the verb particle 过 for future events?
@孤影萍踪 I agree, and that's why I commented. Chinese doesn't have grammatical tense, it has grammatical aspect. That's why it's important to show that and are not about tense.
Mar
21
comment Is it possible to use the verb particle 过 for future events?
Deserves upvotes, not downvotes! The distinction between aspect and tense is a major reason that Chinese particles can be difficult to learn (coming from an English-speaking background), so showing examples where particles that could be misunderstood as "past tense" are used in the future is useful in explaining the distinction!
Mar
14
comment Difference between 喜乐 and 快乐?
tao, many people have pointed out that 喜乐 is a much less common word than 喜悦. Was 喜乐 a mistake? Or were you intending to ask about it.
Mar
13
comment Why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese?
To give an example in 上海话:侬今朝下半天有辰光伐?. 侬 doesn't mean anything in MSM (and the morpheme is unrelated to 你). 今朝 and 辰光 aren't words in MSM, even though they're made of existing characters. 下半天 is in the dictionary, but I've never heard anyone say it. 有 is the same. And 伐 is just a phonetic representation of the shanghainese morpheme (also written w/the uncommon character 𠲎--that' 口+伐 if it doesn't show up). So... not sure how useful the common script is in terms of mutual intelligibility.
Mar
13
comment Why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese?
The similarity can be pretty superficial though. Common words are very different, and many morphemes don't even have equivalent characters.
Mar
13
revised Why does 首饰的饰 have the 饣radical?
Improved it
Mar
13
answered Why does 首饰的饰 have the 饣radical?
Mar
12
comment Why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese?
English and Finnish are also unified by a common script.
Mar
3
revised What is the classical Chinese meaning of 或?
traditional --> classical
Mar
1
comment Where can I find Chinese IPA transcriptions?
@Alenanno No one is claiming Pinyin is "valid for any language". If you look again, you'll see both BertR and I only made claims about Pinyin w.r.t. (Mandarin) Chinese. The claim is that Pinyin unambiguously represents the pronunciation of Chinese words, no less so than IPA. It's a claim that's very close to accurate.
Mar
1
comment Where can I find Chinese IPA transcriptions?
@JimmyCallin Jimmy does have a point though that pinyin letters don't have a 1 letter : 1 phone relationship. Some might argue that it is (almost) 1 letter : 1 phoneme, but that really depends on your phonemic analysis of Mandarin (There's a lot of things in complementary distribution, so it's not clear at all which phonetically distinct vowels should be collapsed into a single phoneme.). Also, I said "almost" because there are some spelling things that mess it up (only writing umlauts when it's ambiguous, initial y- and w- spelling rules, etc.)
Mar
1
comment Where can I find Chinese IPA transcriptions?
@Alenanno I tend to agree with BertR (mostly). You could just as well make the same point about IPA. In IPA, ç is a voiceless palatal fricative. In french, it sounds like [s]. Oh no! Is something wrong with IPA? No, of course not. IPA is not just symbols--it's also a bunch of rules for pronouncing those symbols. The same for pinyin. I think BertR is making the point that pinyin is "universal" for chinese in that you can write down spoken Mandarin in pinyin unambiguously, and (following the established rules for pronouncing pinyin) read it back.
Mar
1
comment Where can I find Chinese IPA transcriptions?
@JimmyCallin No problem!
Mar
1
answered Where can I find Chinese IPA transcriptions?
Feb
26
comment Differentiating “to do a burnout” and “burning tyres”
Yeah, I've heard "peel out" for situations where you are accelerating rapidly.
Feb
26
answered Differentiating “to do a burnout” and “burning tyres”
Feb
24
comment Why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese?
@MikeManilone I agree. I think the underlying idea is 1 ethnic group : 1 language. So all the Chinese languages are "dialects", but all the minority languages are languages.
Feb
23
comment Which fonts show the stroke order of all characters?
@juckele Yeah, i was confused too. You have to look things up in the character dictionary (not the word dictionary). Then, click on the button with the arrows to the right of the resulting character, and then click the button with the brush. Then, i think it comes up with a java applet showing stroke order.
Feb
23
comment Why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese?
@MikeManilone That sort of undermines your answer that "Cantonese is a dialect of Chinese" for objective, non-political reasons.