3,107 reputation
1820
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 26
visits member for 2 years, 6 months
seen 1 hour 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

Dec
9
comment How Does One Pronounce/Define the *Chinese* Character 𦨻
Could you update the question w/an image? The character's uncommon enough that it's being rendered as a box in my browser.
Dec
8
comment Why is Zhenya Wang's surname in English “Wang” but sometimes pronounced “Wong”?
@倪阔乐 Hmmm... In France, my name would be Pierre. In Russia, Пётр (Pyotr). In Mexico, Pedro. In Greece, Πέτρος (Petros). While a Pinyin-based standard for transcribing Chinese names is convenient for me, saying that "regional spellings" do not exist for Western names is not really correct.
Dec
8
comment Why is Zhenya Wang's surname in English “Wang” but sometimes pronounced “Wong”?
This question would be greatly improved if you clarified the actual pronunciations in question. "Wang" and "Wong" are spellings, and the way English-speakers pronounce them vary greatly (e.g., vowel /a/ vs /ɒ/ vs /æ/ vs /ɔ/). This confuses the issue and leads to people talking past one another.
Nov
25
comment Is there a difference in meaning between 那年夏天 and 那个夏天
@MattChambers Completely orthogonal to your question, 年 doesn't need a measure word (e.g., 三年 and not 三个年). Also, 一 can always be put between 那 and an MW+object, (e.g., 那一年, 这一个夏天). Often, the 一 is not written but shows up in the pronunciation of 那 or 这 (as nei4 or zhei4).
Nov
24
comment Old Mandarin vs. Mandarin Chinese?
If I spoke Latin, I could probably still communicate just fine with highly educated people in the Renaissance. I think the case with (written) Classical Chinese is basically the same. It's not the vernacular of either party, but it's a common 3rd language that has a high-level of standardization and prestige.
Nov
10
comment What is the difference in pronunciation between saying “jin” and “jing”?
I'm talking about the English words "pin" and "ping", not the Mandarin ones. The vowels are identical in both US and UK pronunciation: [pʰɪn] vs [pʰɪŋ]. If you want to understand the difference in the consonants, I think English words provide a great set of words for doing discrimination exercises.
Nov
9
comment What is the difference in pronunciation between saying “jin” and “jing”?
The distinction between the English pin/ping, sun/sung doesn't have to do with the vowels. The consonants at the end of the words sound different. -n sounds different than -ng.
Nov
8
comment What is the difference in pronunciation between saying “jin” and “jing”?
It's true that Jiangsu people often don't distinguish -n vs -ng. But it also seems to be true that you speak English, and English has this exact distinction. Can you hear the difference between the English words "pin" and "ping"? How bout "sun" and "sung"?
Nov
8
comment What is the difference in pronunciation between saying “jin” and “jing”?
It is quite common for people in Jiangsu to not distinguish final -n vs -ng.
Nov
5
comment What Chinese characters are rare in modern but common in classical Chinese?
Question is about Classical (文言) vs Modern (国语/普通话), not Traditional (繁体) vs Simplified (简体)
Nov
5
comment How to say 'protect x from y'?
Upvotes for you!
Oct
30
comment Having trouble translating this: 多是不跑步的替跑步的操心
@S.Rhee Make that an answer?
Oct
30
comment Other than ChinaSMACK, do any other glossaries of acronyms used in Chinese, like PK, ZF, GCD, TMD, JC, etc exist?
The ChinaSMACK glossary is probably the best, most up-to-date such glossary available in English. I'd be curious to see what better Chinese-language resources there are, but I'd be surprised if you found a better English-language one.
Oct
29
comment What is the translation of 托业考试必备 ?
@meireikei It is a fixed term. That's like asking "if 北大 wasn't a fixed term, would it mean North-big?".
Oct
28
comment What is the word in majiang equivalent to suits in cards?
@倪阔乐 Why don't you improve your own answer to be better than NS.X.'s if you disagree with his.
Oct
28
comment Help translate these two sentences with 也未必 and 更何况
@NS.X. Good idea.
Oct
28
comment Help translate these two sentences with 也未必 and 更何况
@Ming The whole construction is something like "连 NP 也 VP, 更何况 NP VP". The 也 is part of it, but it's connected to the first of the two clauses. Jeff: That's a good observation about how "much less" works. I honestly can't think of a good-sounding translation for #2 ("let alone" sounds weird to me and "much more" isn't a real phrase).
Oct
28
comment Help translate these two sentences with 也未必 and 更何况
未必 = not necessarily; 连…更何况 = even ..., much less ... Does that give you a clue?
Oct
26
comment Which non-sinitic languages contributed to the wordstock of common chinese words before 1800?
For posterity's sake, can you give a source?
Oct
25
comment Which non-sinitic languages contributed to the wordstock of common chinese words before 1800?
Almost all of these are native Sinitic words.