I asked this earlier, which talked about:
- Giraffe 長頸鹿：long neck deer
What is still not clear to me was discussed a little in the comments, but I still don't get it. How do you say "long neck deer" and not mean giraffe? In English you might say "the black bear" as a casual description of a black-colored bear, or "the Black Bear" to mean the formal black bear species. But you are still allowed to say "black bear" when talking casually about black-colored bears.
Meanwhile, the comments seem to suggest you are not allowed to say "long neck deer 長頸鹿" in a casual way, and mean some long necked deer over there.
Clearly this is not a giraffe, but it is a long necked deer. So how can we say "long neck deer", but not mean Giraffe?
Please include English transcriptions/glosses for any Chinese script you include as I'm not a Chinese expert but would really like to understand. Maybe even pinyin if possible.
since 长颈鹿 is specifically the name for giraffe, no reasonable people will use it to mean deer unless they are trying to mislead on purpose.
A deer that has a long neck is a phrase that translated into Chinese would be 長頸的鹿, e.g. "長頸的鹿不單只有長頸的鹿" ( deers that have long necks are not just giraffes"
Does this mean that you must be extremely verbose to be descriptive in a casual way? What if a bunch of people were talking about "yellow-bellied frogs" casually, and they used "黄腹蛙 Huáng fù wā" (I pulled from google translate). Well then it turns out there was an actual scientific term for 黄腹蛙, does their usage now not make sense or is otherwise invalid?
Basically, how can you use the same descriptive terminology that is used in a formal name, but in a casual way? Or if not the same, then close to the same? What are the basic rules?
Like I said, in English you can talk about "blue whales" and have it mean any blue colored whale. But you can also talk about the formal scientific "Blue Whale" and no harm no foul. How do you do this similar sort of thing (or close to it) in Chinese?