I recently encountered the word 随着, which was translated by my text as a figurative "following", as in "Following X, Y". At first glance, this "following" translation sounds very formal, almost too formal for conversational English, but it was unclear to me if my text author had intended to convey this connotation.
When learning a new word, how can I tell if it's used more in written or spoken speech? When a word is used predominantly in one register, how can I find what words substitute for it in other registers?
I've considered using corpora for this, but publicly accessible corpora for spoken Chinese are few and far between.
I ask in part because I've previously studied Japanese, where the distinction is strong enough that major references will distinguish written and spoken expressions, see the discussion here. Are there any Chinese references that make this distinction? Or are the registers similar enough that separate word choice is rarely necessary? This blog post seems to suggest otherwise.
I should be clear that I'm not talking about elasticity here, I'm thinking of cases where 2 synonyms or grammatical constructions have non-overlapping distributions of felicity.