Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

How is 一举两得 pronounced?

My teacher said I pronounce this wrong: CC-CEDICT: 一举两得 (yī​jǔ​liǎng​dé​) one move, two gains (idiom); two birds with one stone On paper, the tones are 一(1) 举(3) 两(3) 得(2), but then we need to ...

pronunciation sandhi  
asked by Becky 李蓓 3 votes
answered by fefe 6 votes

Why can't we say 谁是她?

I'm a native speaker. I know this sentence is wrong (I think it's wrong, if not, please let me know), but I don't know why. Yesterday, I read example sentences on 《HSK1》 to make sure they can all be ...

asked by AwwPan 2 votes
answered by dan 6 votes

非 at the beginning of a sentence - Classical Chinese

I have a problem with the following sentence in Zhu Xi's commentary to Mencius: 非孟子造道之深,不能形容至此也 How one should translate 非 at the beginning of this passage? From what I understand it is something like ...

asked by McCzajnik 2 votes
answered by Tang Ho 5 votes

How does Classical Chinese deal with vertical numbered lists and punctuation marks?

So I want to create a document in Chinese but there's just one problem: How do ancient and modern day chinese deal with numbered lists while in vertical format and how do they use punctuation marks in ...

classical-chinese punctuation  
asked by Anon 2 votes
answered by Betty 4 votes

“What is Standard Mandarin?”, and How was it "Standardized"?

I hope my question is answered / commented upon in the spirit of a dispassionate academic discourse.

etymology linguistics  
asked by Wayne Cheah 1 vote
answered by Giuseppe Romanazzi 3 votes

Purpose of 是 in 我是问

What is the purpose of 是 in the sentence 我是问? If it is for emphasis, I guess it would be 我是问的. What's the purpose of 是 before a verb?

asked by Mohammad Talebi 1 vote
answered by Tang Ho 4 votes

Can you translate this writing and red seal signature?

Here is an old ink on paper painting - can you identify the red seal signature and the text? Thank you.

asked by Crypto Takers 1 vote
answered by Aristolochic 4 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

How do you say "Do you speak Chinese?" in Mandarin and Cantonese?

I realize that it is fairly easy to Google it but I'd never know how to pronounce it. Are there any audio recordings out there?

asked by user11417 2 votes
answered by imrek 5 votes

Is it possible to type traditional characters with a pinyin IME in Windows 7?

I am now used to typing Chinese using a pinyin IME from my time in mainland China. But as far as I know the pinyin IMEs usually generate simplified characters. I'm now in Taiwan and having trouble ...

pinyin traditional-chinese input-methods characters  
asked by hippietrail 2 votes
answered by hippietrail 2 votes

What does 已出口直封 mean?

My first question here, sorry if it's not a good fit. I am tracking a parcel in Chinese, but I do not know what 已出口直封 means. I know that 广州互换局 means Guangzhou exchange bureau/office, and 已出口开拆 means ...

asked by George 5 votes
answered by Z.D.Chen 4 votes

How did 黃 (yellow) come to mean "pornographic"?

In my dictionary it defines 黃 (Huáng) - yellow - pornographic - to fall through - surname Huang or Hwang Imperial China and the robes of the emperor are commonly associated with the colour yellow. ...

meaning-in-context slang  
asked by Matthew Rudy 马泰 24 votes
answered by 杨以轩 18 votes

Special meanings applied to numbers 0 - 10

From what I understand: 4 or 四 means death 8 is similar to 发 as in 发财 9 is somehow related to the emporer or is the emporer's number Can someone please provide the meanings (if they exist) for each ...

vocabulary meaning  
asked by going 14 votes
answered by Alenanno 11 votes

What is the correct way to write 'niu bi', and how did it get its meaning in Chinese?

'niu bi' (牛逼? like the bees knees in English) is one of the more amusing expressions I learnt in my time in China. The literal meaning in English is quite colourful, so I won't describe it here, but I'...

mandarin etymology simplified-chinese mainland-china  
asked by Ciaocibai 5 votes
answered by Rannnn 6 votes

How is 就 (jiù) used?

Pimsleur's Mandarin course teaches "I'm leaving very early tomorrow morning" as: 我明天早上很早就走 (wŏ míngtiān zăoshàng hĕn zăo jiù zŏu) It says that 就 (jiù) doesn't have a corresponding meaning in ...

asked by Cocowalla 11 votes
answered by BertR 8 votes
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