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

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
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
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
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
4
comment Why are intermediate cardinal directions read differently in Chinese?
@congusbongus How could the tones be caused by the character order?
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
Oct
2
comment Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?
I think #1 is the main reason. The reason isn't really unknown though; the historical phonology of Chinese is well studied.
Oct
2
comment Are there any readability measurement tools for Chinese?
NewLong, he's asking you to summarize the algorithm, not cut&paste the whole article. As congusbongus linked, it's part of Stackoverflow/Stackexchange's philosophy to prefer summaries+link over just-a-link.
Oct
1
comment How Archaic is James Legge's Written Chinese in this Side by Side English/Chinese Book?
@congusbongus Written Mandarin is worlds apart from 文言文 in many respects.
Oct
1
comment Are there any readability measurement tools for Chinese?
Whatever you method you invent, it will certainly be better than the Flesch-Kinkaid method for analyzing English (which literally just counts words/sentence and syllables/word).
Sep
30
comment Usage of the phrase '不错用' in Taiwan Mandarin
Great answer. It's not "transliteration" though; it's calquing--i.e., morpheme-by-morpheme translation--from Min to Mandarin. Transliteration would be trying to use characters to imitate the sound of the original Min.
Sep
26
comment Difference between 部门 and 系
If a university/college is large enough to distinguish the two, 学院=college/school and 系=department. E.g., "English department" (which might belong to the "College of Letters & Sciences" or something). Many institutions don't have the distinction, i.e., there are only departments, and there are no administrative groupings of them.