2,954 reputation
819
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 26
visits member for 2 years, 1 month
seen 3 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

Nov
8
comment How to distinguish the difference between the pronunciation of different erhuayin?
Although this has useful information, I don't think this really answers the question, which is, as far as I can tell, "How do you tell the difference between ger/genr/gengr (or any series of -r/-nr/-ngr)?". If you look at the chart, it suggests that the -r and -nr syllables are always pronounced identically, but the -ngr syllables have nasalized vowels. I personally have never been able to hear a difference. But then I moved south and it didn't matter any more :)
Nov
8
reviewed Approve suggested edit on How to distinguish the difference between the pronunciation of different erhuayin?
Nov
8
comment How to distinguish the difference between the pronunciation of different erhuayin?
@shuangwhywhy As much as I hate 儿化音, even CCTV newscasters use it (although much less than the average northerner), so I think it's greatly exaggerating to say that standard Mandarin "doesn't have" any 儿化音.
Nov
7
revised Similar pronunciations of tea/茶 across languages
Added an interesting map i found
Nov
5
answered In Dao De Jing, 常 should be translated as “eternal” or as “common”?
Nov
3
comment What does “&” (Ampersand) means in Chinese language?
I think this must be the explanation. It's part of an artist's self-chosen "name" (Iain Baxter&) who has an exhibit at the garden in question. His works of art all seem to have an ampersand in them.
Oct
31
comment Why is the 車 in Chinese chess pronounced jū?
@user58955 The Latin is unrelated (it derives from PIE *krsos). The Burmese might be related, but in general, you need to provide good, systematic reconstructions to prove relation ("sounding similar" is not good evidence).
Oct
30
comment Complimenting someone on their appearance
I feel like example words are important (you can't mix and match all of these at random).
Oct
30
comment Why is the 車 in Chinese chess pronounced jū?
@user58955 Baxter gives distinct MC and OC for the two pronunciations of 车 (here and here), but both OC pronunciations do end in -a. Your explanation is actually different and much better than this answer--it's not an "ancient" pronunciation that's been retained. It's a(n initially small) distinction that has become larger through phonological change.
Oct
29
comment Why is the 車 in Chinese chess pronounced jū?
I'm not sure this is a good explanation. Historical reconstructions suggest that there have been two very different pronunciations of 車 for a long time (MC & OC).
Oct
27
reviewed Approve suggested edit on Usage of word 到 in 我很高兴见到你
Oct
23
comment How do you say 'dates back to' in Mandarin?
The dictionary pronunciation for 溯 is su4, not shuo4, although I'm sure they're both used in practice (My pinyin IME recognizes zhuisudao and zhuishuodao as "追溯到")
Oct
23
comment Where to start learning mandarin
Ahhh they're not hieroglyphs!
Oct
22
comment Meanings and pronunciation of 截
@MinimusHeximus I can understand why you are mishearing. The pronunciation is jiéquándào (pinyin) = [tɕjɛ tɕʰyɛn tɑʊ] (IPA) = "jee-a choo-en dao" (how an american might approximate it by spelling). You are presumably hearing the beginning of the next syllable (quán ~ "choo-en") as a "t".
Oct
22
comment Where to put the time phrase
What are you trying to say? I don't think I quite understand the intended meaning.
Oct
21
answered Does “simplification” relation reflect “traditionalization” relation in Unihan?
Oct
19
answered Meanings and pronunciation of 截
Oct
18
revised Chinese idiom for “tilt at windmills” or “fighting against windmills”
Explaining the English expression and its origin in Don Quixote better
Oct
18
comment Chinese idiom for “tilt at windmills” or “fighting against windmills”
The full story of the Mantis seems to be an admonishment to not think your abilities greater than they actually are. Don Quixote is not falsely believing himself to be more powerful than he is--he falsely believes the windmills are giants!
Oct
17
comment Teaching Pinyin and Characters together vs Teaching Pinyin then Characters
@商榮沛 IMHO, it's useful to get to "I can have a conversation" as quickly as possible, even if you have to memorize a bunch of stuff to get there. Of course you need a comprehensive approach to grammar and vocabulary to get beyond the basics, but I see it as best to start from both ends (phrase-book approach and building-block approach) and meet in the middle.