3,063 reputation
820
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 26
visits member for 2 years, 4 months
seen 5 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
16
comment “an” final pronunciation
Presumably you're not a native english speaker though... I pronounce the mandarin as /a/ and the english short-u as /ʌ/. Although there is variation within both languages, this distinction is normatively correct, relative to "standard" pronunciations. See: here and here.
May
10
comment Do 之 and 的 come from the same word?
I agree with hippietrail's assessment. This is a thoughtful, well-written answer that happens to be wrong. I look forward to future answers that distinguish between Chinese the language and Chinese the writing system :)
May
8
comment How do current Mandarin speakers usually pronounce 阿Q正传?
Please give some background on the scope of your answer (Where you're from, who--e.g., fellow students, teachers--you've heard pronounce it that way).
May
7
comment How do current Mandarin speakers usually pronounce 阿Q正传?
@user58955 That would be a good start to an answer.
Apr
18
comment Is Learning and Memorizing Chinese Characters much different than English?
@Harry.Chen Thanks!
Apr
16
answered Is Learning and Memorizing Chinese Characters much different than English?
Mar
18
comment How do Chinese speakers pronounce unknown characters?
I think the problem is your assumption that Chinese is "ideographic". Very few characters are either pictographic or ideographic. Most of them are, as others have mentioned, 形声字 which combine a phonetic with a semantically suggestive radical.
Mar
12
awarded  Necromancer
Mar
4
reviewed Reject suggested edit on Is there more than one way to pronounce “knee” in Chinese?
Feb
27
comment How do you idiomatically transate 你这个人?
Why, you little <insert word of varying level of insult>, how can you say that messed up stuff?!
Feb
25
comment 三长两短: what's long and what's short?
It's very common in 成语 to have adjacent numbers (e.g., 乱七八糟、七嘴八舌). I don't think there's a deep reason, although the specific numbers end up with certain connotations (e.g., the examples with 7/8 are disordered).
Feb
22
comment Are there words in Mandarin written by characters for other words that mean the same thing?
I think this is rarely the case. Chinese characters aren't really "ideographs", at least within Chinese. Characters are usually chosen based on etymology or pronunciation. There might be some examples in, say, HK Cantonese, where the norm is diglossia. People will write in (basically) Mandarin, but they might read the sentence in literally-translated Cantonese.
Feb
19
comment Why does 拉倒 mean “forget about it”?
If it's from Shanghainese, can you help us figure out what the etymologically correct characters are? For example, in Shanghainese, "thing" is sometimes written as "么子" (to imitate the pronunciation). The etymologically correct characters are "物事".
Feb
14
comment Are Chinese language equivalent of English /p/ and /b/ sounds the same?
It's worth pointing out that the IPA is [pʰi] and [pi] (excluding tones). This may or may not seem "the same", depending on the listener's native language.
Feb
14
comment Are Chinese language equivalent of English /p/ and /b/ sounds the same?
@50-3 It's pretty relevant to the phonology of Mandarin.
Feb
14
answered Are Chinese language equivalent of English /p/ and /b/ sounds the same?
Feb
10
reviewed Approve suggested edit on Is there any difference between 汤 and 羹?
Feb
10
reviewed Approve suggested edit on What is 猫舅 in the following sentence?
Feb
10
reviewed Approve suggested edit on What is the equivalent of the English word 'Fail' in Mandarin?
Feb
8
comment What qualities does Hong Kong Mandarin have?
@Claw Good catch. FYI, for things like that, you can directly edit answers.