3,065 reputation
820
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 26
visits member for 2 years, 4 months
seen 15 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

Oct
9
comment What is 德国 and naming history in China?
This is wrong. Almost all of these are 音译, and they have nothing to do with the meaning of the characters. The exception in your list would of course be 中国, which actually does mean "middle country" (often translated as "middle kingdom").
Oct
9
comment Pronunciation of “因为”
Go to the south. All the 南方人 I know say yin1wei4, and no one says yin1wei2.
Oct
9
comment Understanding the meaning of 让 in this sentence
Yeah, allow seems like a bad translation. I think "get" is more appropriate. 'Not only can I get foreigners to take my taxi, I can get them to rent my taxi [for an extended period of time].'
Oct
8
comment Is there a Chinese WordNet?
Dictionaries are not the same as Wordnet.
Oct
7
comment Is this correct: “一个游戏有四个季度”
This is not what the question is asking.
Oct
7
comment Why do Chinese translations of English names sound very inaccurate?
A couple other points: 1. Sometimes transcriptions follow historical precedents (which might not be very good). For instance, 约翰 = John (which presumably was targeting some non-English language pronunciation). 2. The transcriptions are not particularly regular or consistent. One syllable will be transcribed one way in this word, and another way in another. Also, as pointed out above, sometimes Taiwan and Mainland transcriptions differ.
Oct
5
comment What are some ways that I can be self-deprecating about my Chinese speaking ability?
@JamesJiao You're right that "Where got" is weird, but I'd like to point out that 哪里 is quite normal.
Oct
5
revised Dog radical (犭) for non-Han ethnic groups
Added more info about 犹太's first character
Oct
4
comment How to say “a beneficial insect”?
Ok, got it. Advantageous vs beneficial. Close but distinct. Anyhow, I think the original point that they're both opposite of 有害 still stands.
Oct
4
comment What are some ways that I can be self-deprecating about my Chinese speaking ability?
+1 for the last ones.
Oct
4
comment How to say “a beneficial insect”?
@MikeManilone How are those substantially different?
Oct
4
answered What are some ways that I can be self-deprecating about my Chinese speaking ability?
Oct
4
comment What are some ways that I can be self-deprecating about my Chinese speaking ability?
These seem rather formal to me.
Oct
3
comment Regional pronunciations of standard Mandarin
I think the poster's goal is to understand what people say, regardless of their accent. I don't think they're trying to learn how to speak with a Xiangyang accent.
Oct
2
comment Regional pronunciations of standard Mandarin
To clarify what I mean by merged: I mean that the two phonemes have merged, and the two sounds are no longer used in contrast. For instance, in several of my friends' speech, they use both h and f, but which one to use is completely determined by the rest of the syllable. E.g., they have fu but no hu.
Oct
2
answered Regional pronunciations of standard Mandarin
Sep
29
comment “If you say so”: Dismissive agreement
Very complete answer. A couple things: 1. 随你的便 can also be 随便你 in oral chinese. 2. I'm sort of especially interested in scenarios where people express opinions which I disagree with, they expect me to agree or say something, and I don't really want to have a real argument.
Sep
27
awarded  Organizer
Sep
27
revised Translation for “sorry” as in “I am sorry to hear that”?
edited tags
Sep
27
asked “If you say so”: Dismissive agreement