3,023 reputation
820
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 26
visits member for 2 years, 2 months
seen 18 mins 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
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.
Oct
17
reviewed Approve suggested edit on Teaching Pinyin and Characters together vs Teaching Pinyin then Characters
Oct
16
comment How to say "歪打正着“ in English?
I would call this situation a "happy accident"
Oct
14
comment Special meanings applied to numbers 0 - 10
@Gapton I would expect LOL to be in the dictionary.
Oct
14
reviewed Edit suggested edit on Special meanings applied to numbers 0 - 10
Oct
14
revised Special meanings applied to numbers 0 - 10
The writer had implied that the character 拜 was pronounced like the number 8 (ba) instead of the pronunciation bai.
Oct
9
comment About Confucius' Ta-Hio
@Claw (Using Baxter's Middle Chinese notation) It seems lots of [jqx]ue and [jqx]iao words started with -æwk endings in MC. Baxter doesn't make any notes that one is regular or irregular though, so I expect it's a 白/文 distinction. This info + chart implies that -iao is regular Mandarin and -ue is literary (Beijingified Nanjing chinese?). Perhaps xiao~hio was the normal pronunciation in Beijing a long time ago?
Oct
9
comment Is there a Chinese equivelant of the word stress
+1 for multiple alternatives, w/real examples of appropriate use
Oct
8
comment Refreshing and bubbly
@NS.X. e.g., "The sparkling water made fizzing and popping noises as the dissolved CO2 came out of solution"
Oct
8
comment Use of polyphonic characters in transliteration
My guess is that there isn't any logic, and it's totally by convention. I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone has some useful information to share though :)
Oct
8
comment About Confucius' Ta-Hio
@user58955 and Claw What (and when) was the Legge transcription based on? Beijing court mandarin? Nanjing court mandarin? That's totally answer material you guys have got!
Oct
7
revised About Confucius' Ta-Hio
deleted 27 characters in body; edited tags
Oct
7
answered What does “ backtick escapes ” mean in chinese?
Oct
4
comment Why are intermediate cardinal directions read differently in Chinese?
@congusbongus How could the tones be caused by the character order?
Oct
3
answered Meaning of 白 in words for “nonsense”?
Oct
2
comment Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?
Perhaps I should rephrase: Some sound changes are much more likely than others. The sound changes from Middle Chinese to Mandarin all are quite plausible and resulted in greater homophony.
Oct
2
comment Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?
+1 for a scholarly answer