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61 views

phoneticity up to 90%

According to DeFrancis' "Visible Speech", Chinese "phoneticity" reaches up to 90% for the two thousand or so that are necessary for basic literacy. Are these figures true?
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Unusual looking characters at a temple in Hong Kong?

(source) It's from the Tsz Shan Monastery in the New Territories in Hong Kong. And I reading it up-down, left-right, or simply left to right on both levels? Many thanks to whoever can help.
2
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4answers
170 views

Using 反切 to determine readings of characters in modern varieties of Chinese

From my understanding, 反切 is presented in the format XY 切, where a pronunciation of a character is determined from the inital of X and the rime of Y. However, there are still some points that are ...
0
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1answer
77 views

How do you pronounce Erjie?

I have an interview and the interviewer's name is Erjie. I'd like to be able to pronounce when I get there. Can anyone give me guidance on how to pronounce his name? FWIW, the person is from ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

Why did the actor pronounce 程, “du” instead of “cheng”?

To improve my Chinese listening, I decided to watch 天下一碗 (Tian Xia Yi Wan), as actors tend to speak with very precise and clear tones. In the link, Liu laoye says: "如果是一时意气用事的话, 岂不是耽误了子女的前程了吗". I ...
2
votes
3answers
715 views

Hanzi pronunciation by radicals

I got into learning Chinese recently and since I already speak Japanese I find myself in a weird spot of being fairly familiar with a writing system, yet barely being able to read more than 30 ...
4
votes
2answers
570 views

Polysemous disyllabic words

I would like to know whether in chinese there are polysemous disyllabic words made up of disyllabic morphemes, that is a word made up of two characters and which when (at least one of) its syllables ...
0
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3answers
157 views

Would it be incorrect to not include 儿 here?

For example, what's the difference between 那边儿 and 那边? When writing in Chinese do I need the 儿 because I've heard people say both.
-1
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1answer
117 views

Can traditional and simplified counterparts have different pronunciations?

Can traditional and simplified counterparts have different pronunciations? For example, 兄 [xiōng] (elder) brother becomes 儿 [ér], right?
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How many Chinese characters have multiple readings/pronunciations in Mandarin?

I'm wondering how many Chinese characters have more than one pronunciation in Mandarin. I understand this could be a difference in tone, initial, final, or some combination of these. Has anyone come ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Why some characters have different sounds? [duplicate]

My translator (Pleco) says that 乐 is pronunced as le. However, 音乐 seems to be pronunced as yīnyuè. Why? Is it possible to know if a character has different sounds depending on the context?
1
vote
3answers
166 views

How is the meaning of 不得已 formed?

I am under the impression that Chinese multi-character words form their meaning from that of the characters that form these words. (Let me know if I am mistaken!) I know that 不得已 means "to have to". ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

The pronunciation of 的 [duplicate]

I have always pronounced 的 as "dė", regardless of the context, but I have heard people pronouncing it as "di"(fifth tone). For instance, 我的(di)姑娘 暖暖的(di) 漫長的(di)歲月 I do not remember the ...
6
votes
2answers
407 views

Character 瞓: where did the pronunciations come from?

The character 瞓 is a Cantonese character meaning "sleep". It is pronounced xùn in mandarin and fan3 in Cantonese. I was wondering how two so different pronunciations (I would expect xun to match syun ...
1
vote
1answer
176 views

Tips to remember pronounciation of these words: 旅,斿,施,旋,族?

I often misread these words and got mistaken between each other: 旅 = Lǚ 斿/游 = Yóu 施 = shī 旋 = Xuán 族 = zú as each of them doesn't have related phonetic indicator that I can use as clue to remember ...
18
votes
7answers
8k views

How do Chinese speakers pronounce unknown characters?

I'm wondering what do Chinese speakers do when they are reading aloud and encounter a character they don't know (sometimes it happens, isn't it?). In phonetic languages, there is a possibility to ...
1
vote
4answers
331 views

Does 上嗨 work as a pun for 上海?

While riding the subway in Shanghai last week, I glanced at the TV playing some commercials and saw what looked like a slightly off spelling of the city's name (上海). I could not get a very good look (...