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Jun
22
comment Equivalent phrase to “Bon Appetit”/“Enjoy (your food)”
@NS.X. Would you hear it at a restaurant?
Jun
21
comment Equivalent phrase to “Bon Appetit”/“Enjoy (your food)”
Is this actually used in everyday life?
Mar
18
comment Why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese?
European politics does not favour separation. Look at all the countries, like France---possibly the most notorious example, that forcibly stamped out any non-standard language, dialect or variation ... What you're very right about is that all this is just politics, driven by political aims. It has not much to do with linguistic reality (other than trying to change it).
Jun
20
comment Are there any online etymological dictionaries of Mandarin (not for characters but for spoken words)
Oh, this looks like it might be something very interesting! I'll definitely try to obtain a copy some way to check if it's what I'm looking for.
Jan
17
comment What is the rule for forming chinese names diminutives?
Since the confusion and misuse of the term "diminutive" is ongoing in the answers, I'll add that the literal meaning of diminutive is "[a word] that makes something small" (think "diminish").
Jan
14
comment What is the rule for forming chinese names diminutives?
... now in Chinese there's no such thing as suffixes or inflection, but there may be another way to indicate the same thing. This is what I believe the question is about. I'd like to point out that diminutives are not honorifics (they're different). It may be that Chinese, like English, simply doesn't have this thing, or people don't use it (though name-doubling, like 俊俊 in @Huang's answer below, reminds me of it very much). In English the suffixes -ie or -y are quite similar, but not used nearly as widely as in other languages. Think bird vs birdie. I hope this explanation will help
Jan
14
comment What is the rule for forming chinese names diminutives?
@Huang & everyone else. I see from the answers you don't know what diminutives are. Many languages (including mine, but not English!) have a way to change a word (usually by adding a suffix) to make it sound smaller, cuter, more loveable. This can usually be applied both to names of people (typically used with children) and names of things. Example from my language: "alma" = apple, "alma" + suffix "-cska" = "almácska" = a small apple. It also implies that the apple is cute or loveable in some way. It's very common with names: "Kata" ("Cathy") -> "Katácska" ...
Jan
14
comment What is the rule for forming chinese names diminutives?
I think you should explain what a diminutive is. From the answers I can tell most people do not know this (the answers are not about diminutives). That's probably because English doesn't really have diminutives. The closest thing in Chinese that I know of is doubling single-character given names, but then I'm a beginner.
Jan
11
comment Searching for characters by parts
What I was saying is that if I am searching for 木米女, I want to get 楼 (of course!!) but I don't want to get any of the rest of the character that page returns, because none of them have 木 separately from 米. Yes, of course decompositions are not unique, and it's not always as clear how to do them as in the case of 楼 ...
Jan
11
comment Searching for characters by parts
Regarding building my own tool, I'm using this which is both more usable and has more flexible licensing.
Jan
11
comment How are new words added to the Chinese language?
Most countries in Europe have a central agency (usually the national academy) that regulates that language (of course people will not always follow :) English is more like the exception that there's no regulation whatsoever, and there's no official authority that will say what is correct and what isn't. I'm also wondering how this works in China, and how much the language is officially regulated, especially since there are several countries which have Mandarin as an official language.
Jan
11
comment Searching for characters by parts
Thanks, this is the same as Don Kirkby's reply. The search is a bit simplistic (i.e. it doesn't handle the special situation that 米 already contains 木, and we're obviously looking for something that's contained in both separately), but it works.
Jan
11
comment Searching for characters by parts
Great finding @Don! I knew it was worth asking here. To explain why it returns so many that don't seem to contain 木: well, 木 is part of 米, and the site doesn't seem to handle this situation. I have corrected this in my own program (very easy to do), so it's a bit disappointing that a deployed dictionary site won't do it.
Jan
10
comment Characters which have several different shapes
Thanks @fefe, sorry for the deleted comment
Jan
10
comment Characters which have several different shapes
I accepted this answer because you gave me the key term to search for (异体字) as well as the corresponding encyclopaedia entry.
Jan
10
comment Characters which have several different shapes
As with any other script (may it be Roman, Greek, Cyrillic), I expect that Chinese characters have several ways to write them as well. You said that the shapes are standardized in mainland China. Do you know if this is the case in Taiwan, Hong Kong or Japan as well? Is there a standard for which variant should generally be chosen?
Jan
10
comment Is there a Chinese WordNet?
+1, looks interesting. I'll need to take a deeper look before accepting any answer to this question.
Jan
10
comment Searching for characters by parts
Thanks, I do use nciku often, even if drawing with the mouse is a bit inconvenient!
Jan
10
comment Characters which have several different shapes
@景洛弘 Huang's comment above your answers the question: I can ignore stylistic differences safely. This is not true if you're learning the Roman alphabet: both forms g (gg) are commonly used, and need to be learned.
Jan
10
comment Characters which have several different shapes
Re point 3., I mean the first image, not the second. I was wondering if this is regularly encountered when say, you're reading a newspaper in China, or can I safely ignore them and assume that I'll only see the standard variants if my computer is configures correctly and I don't start studying Japanese :-)