Questions tagged [culture]

Questions about the Chinese language which are influenced by culture.

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3answers
102 views

What is the counterpart of self-respect in Chinese?

I think "self-confidence" and "self-esteem" are universal concepts. For example "self-confidence" is 自信 and they basically have the same meaning, the same goes to "...
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1answer
131 views

汉长安城的未央宫中的“前殿”是一幢房屋,还是几幢建筑在面积宽大的布局里?

首先得说,我明白现代人对古代的殿、殿堂、皇宫等建筑的样子只不过是考古上的推测。那么,根据某几个词典(现代汉语规范词典、汉语大词典、萌典、两岸通用词典),一个“殿”绝对是单独的房屋;“前殿”是“正殿”,而“正殿”就是一种殿(皇宫中的主殿)。 我在网上看到的一些对未央宫的前殿的复原设想图就大不一致。且看下面的图一和图二。 图一:陕西西安汉长安未央宫遗址前殿复原设想鸟瞰图(来源:https://...
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1answer
70 views

Slogan 社会……方何 on a Maoist poster

What is the slogan, mostly obscured by the typist, on the poster that hangs behind him, on this poster from 1956? Since the artist chose to obscure the poster, it must have been easily recognizable at ...
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1answer
98 views

what's the meaning/origin of 呲东西停不下来桑?

I came across this sentence that is puzzling me, especially the last characters: 呲东西停不下来桑 Its meaning should be "I can't stop eating" but I cannot really understand where is coming from. ...
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1answer
71 views

Why foreign movies have multiple Chinese dubs?

I wanted to re-watch some movies I like in Chinese so I got Toy Story 1 and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The thing is both of them have 3 audio tracks, 1 Cantonese and 2 Mandarin. I don'...
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3answers
612 views

警察 vs 武警 difference

So I'm trying to understand the first sentence from the book 三体. The original: 汪淼觉得,来找他的这四个人是一个奇怪的组合:两名警察和两名军人,如果那两个军人是武警还算正常,但这是两名陆军军官。 My translation: Wang Miao thought the 4 men coming to him ...
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4answers
151 views

How to properly translate "to deserve" while preserving its moral implication?

Over the course of my studies and practice in Chinese, there's one particular type of sentence that I always get wrong: the one with the verb to deserve. In English — and several other neo-latin ...
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2answers
108 views

Is "华彧" an acceptable name for males? Any other boy names with "华"? [closed]

I have been learning Chinese for several months now, and I would love to have a Chinese name to facilitate conversing and learning, mainly for my own enjoyment. I feel that whatever my name will be, ...
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2answers
330 views

Understanding the glyph origin of 占

I have the following etymology from Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters: 占 depicts cracks (卜) in a turtle shell and a hole (口) drilled into the shell during the divination process. Its original ...
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5answers
1k views

Is it allowable in Mainland China to use Traditional Characters?

I study Mandarin as I enjoy the language and especially characters themselves and I've considered pursuing a future in China but I'm really a steadfast supporter of Traditional Characters. While I don'...
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5answers
191 views

What does 「產」 in 「資產」 actually mean?

This question stems from some thoughts I've been having while reading Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad Poor Dad". In the book, Kiyosaki defines "asset" as something that puts money in ...
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1answer
234 views

What does 江信江疑 mean?

I came across 江信江疑 in this tweet about a meme. It clearly has something to do with Jiang Zemin / 江泽民. It seems to be quite commonly used; my guess is that it's something people say on Internet that ...
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1answer
97 views

What 莲 means? does it has a "social" meaning, if it's used in everyday life?

I think that '莲' literally means "lotus" but I heard some people saying that it also has a bad meaning, if somebody calls you like that you should be offended. Can someone explain me why? ...
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1answer
67 views

Why the name 中元节 for hungry ghost festival?

Today is Hungry Ghost festival day and people prepare the food and put out in the street for the hungry ghost. I know today fest name is 鬼节 and I understand this (鬼 = ghost). Where does the other name ...
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4answers
228 views

How do Chinese people feel about the term 非中国人 to express non-Chinese people?

I have found myself using the word 非中国人 to express what Chinese people would call 外国人 or 老外. How do Chinese people feel about this word ? Just to confirm I am using it with Chinese people. Here are ...
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3answers
978 views

What does it mean for a woman to be 贤惠 (xiánhuì)?

Judging from what I've read, Chinese culture honors women who are 贤惠 (xiánhuì), e.g. a man would want a 贤惠 wife (this actually arose in my recent question). However, I get the feeling there's not ...
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1answer
74 views

What kind of party is 黑灯舞?

I heard that in the past, around the 1980s, people could be executed for this. But what does it consist of? Is there an english/american equivalent or something similar?
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1answer
106 views

先进个人奖, what is this?

I'm not really sure this is the correct website to ask for this, I'm sorry if it is not. Anyway, I'm trying to understand what this honour/award is (in English I often see it translated as "...
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5answers
481 views

How do friends use each other's name?

How do people (especially in Taiwan) use their names when talking among friends, for example, in University? I've previously heard that some people always use the complete name when addressing other ...
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2answers
114 views

What does 一起 imply about a romantic relationship?

In stories I see 一起 used to describe a romantic couple being "together", but I would like to understand what it implies. For example: “……要是我能和她在一起该多好啊!” in this context the boy has just seen a very ...
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2answers
141 views

Are the Asian girls in this music video Chinese or Malaysian, and are they singing in Chinese?

https://youtu.be/BuAULI7PbRw?t=7 They are obviously Asian, and I seem to recognize some of the letters as being Chinese. Also, the song itself seems to be a famous/classic Chinese song which I've ...
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1answer
92 views

A culture shock for me, what is in this alcohol?

I bought some Chilean red wine on Taobao. Very nice! The company sent me a little, flat bottle of something containing 35% alcohol as a free gift. On the label of the bottle it says: 至宝 特质三鞭酒 Among ...
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1answer
285 views

What exactly is an ancient Tang dynasty 壺?

Note: I have now asked this question on the History Stack Exchange also. There are at least 33 types of ancient sacrificial, wine, food and water ritual bronze vessels of ancient China, none of which ...
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1answer
110 views

What is the origin of 火黑暗?

What is the origin of 火黑暗? According to wikipedia it comes from the Zangshu, "Book of Burial", but no where in that book (or anywhere else) can I find this supposed phrase: "Qi vapors in the fire, ...
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3answers
314 views

Can it be considered rude to start speaking to a stranger in mandarin in a western country? [closed]

I will preface this with the fact that I have some symptoms of asperger's and so, it's easy for me to make faux pas social situations, and difficult for me to judge what would be rude or not. I think ...
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1answer
273 views

Does (western) humor exist in Chinese culture? How do you use the language to make friends with Chinese?

Some Chinese, especially those in China, have no concpets of western humor and their interpretation could be unexpected. Satire can be interpreted as personal attack and self mocking can be ...
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2answers
266 views

how to translate this slogan '向前一小步,文明一大步' and the like in almost every public toilet in China

the other one is '靠近方便, 贴近文明', both of which have different versions of English translations, most of them, though, suck. they go like: One small step forward One giant leap toward civilization A ...
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3answers
4k views

What do Chinese write on a condolence card?

I was wondering what Chinese people would write when they write a condolence card. Is it just a translation from the English or are there specific sentences?
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1answer
120 views

A song called "Lu Hua"

I recently heard a live performance of an amazing song by a Chinese woman in the United States. She said the title of the song is "Lu Hua", and I was able to find a version on YouTube: https://www....
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3answers
1k views

Usage of 理由 vs 原因

What is the difference in the usage of 理由 vs 原因? Both seem to translate to "reason." According to my understanding, 理由 is more like the rationale behind a decision, behind a move, etc. and 原因 is more ...
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1answer
215 views

How to formally say : "I am yyy calling from xxx company, how can I help you ?"

From a customer service standpoint , how to formally say : "I am yyy calling from xxx company, how can I help you ?". 1:“我是客服 yyy,从 xxx 公司 打过来的。请问有什么可以帮助您 ?” 2: “我叫 yyy , 从 xxx 公司给您打电话了。请问怎么能帮助您 ?” ...
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1answer
205 views

How to say "If you would like to know any updates , you can always call or message me"

According to my understanding, “update” is translated to “更新” . But this seems to be in the context of Software。 Eg. Software update, OS update ,etc. But how would you convey update in the following ...
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1answer
55 views

Were women not allowed to honour their ancestors?

祭祖的时候,贾敬是主祭,贾赦是陪祭,贾珍献爵,贾琏贾琮献帛,宝玉捧香。青衣奏乐,献爵三次,焚帛奠酒。 As far as I know, 贾敬、贾赦、贾珍、贾琏、贾琮、宝玉都是男人。 青衣,I'm not sure if this is a woman or a man. 没有什么贾氏的女人。 Were women not allowed to make offerings to ...
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1answer
78 views

Identifying Chinese tea [closed]

Can someone help me identify this tea? I received it as a gift and would love to know what I am drinking. It looks rather refined.
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2answers
546 views

Does the usage of the word "proud" (骄傲, 自豪, or 而荣) in Chinese differ from that in English?

I know this is going to get closed because it's more philosophical in nature but it's something that's brought up (subtle Asian traits, if curious) Is the word proud is rarely used in Chinese culture ...
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1answer
103 views

Asking for a small business favor (whom and how)

Let's say my current job requires me to contact a certain hardware manufacturer in China and request technical documentation. But they don't speak English and I don't speak Chinese. Hiring a ...
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1answer
150 views

Translation of a painting's signature, ink + gold (Characters identified: 日本製略曆) [duplicate]

I am very grateful for helping me with signature on lovely Chinese painting, I have one more in my collection, judging by the back of it it has at least 100 years. It is painted with ink and gold, the ...
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1answer
176 views

Antique Chinese painting

Before I ask I'd like to say how much I admire Chinese culture and art. Hence I always dig in antique shops for something from China. A few years ago I bought these beautiful twin paintings (not ...
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6answers
393 views

Do many Taiwanese self identify as Mandarin speakers and if not, why?

I was chatting with a Taiwanese student the other day and asked him what language they speak there. He just answered "Chinese" and didn't know about a dialect or variant of Mandarin. Even the words ...
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1answer
67 views

Are witches/wizards the equivalent of a devil in China or which cultural thing am I not getting here

A Guy in my brawl stars clan said 狗男巫 is a delusional name. Is there a cultural string plucked with having witches/wizards, another guy said it also wasn't a good name. Just how bad are is that, and ...
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1answer
77 views

How many days does a 节气 last for?

People usually say there are 24 Solar Terms (24节气) in a year, and each lasts 15 days. If so, 24x15 days = 360 days. But a year has at least 365 days. Does it mean some 节气 have more than 15 days?
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2answers
283 views

Do 男人 and 女人 have an unfavourable connotation?

I've sometimes earned laughter when I used 一个女人 or 一个男人. Does it have a derogative connotation? Is it better to use 女的/男的 or 女生/男生? Are there regional differences in the usage?
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2answers
59 views

Longjing tea in English [closed]

In China there is a kind of tea called Longjing. But can we call it Dragon Well tea? Because I heard that in foreign countries a dragon does not have a positive image.
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1answer
507 views

What could be the meaning of 主治陳進陽草菅人命, 插管插到死, 腎臟料 and 人命?

What could be the context of banners put up in front of a hospital with the following text: 主治陳進陽草菅人命 插管插到死 腎臟料 人命 For the name and location of the hospital, or a high resolution version, see ...
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4answers
2k views

Who should be counted when responding to 你家有几口人 (nǐjiā yǒu jǐkǒurén) "how many people are there in your family"?

An early question in Chinese people learn is: 你家有几口人? How many people are there in your family? (nǐjiā yǒu jǐkǒurén) My Chinese text book contains these example responses: 五口人。他们是我爸爸,我哥哥,我弟弟和我。你呢?(...
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1answer
168 views

What is this 喜迎十九大 event all over the recent Chinese news?

A few days ago, I was browsing around CCTV and I found this page labeled "喜迎十九大", with the hammer and sickle next to it and I was immediately interested. http://news.cctv.com/special/xysjd/index....
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4answers
10k views

How do Chinese people call each other?

In China, most people have one of 100 most common surnames (老百姓). So it is common that people have the same surname in a classroom. I wonder how Chinese people call each other in a case where there ...
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1answer
64 views

Jean Pasqualini's book Prisonnier de Mao

I found this citation in wiki: Jean Pasqualini's book Prisonnier de Mao: "Prison is not prison, but a school for learning about one's mistakes" I wonder if it is a Chinese slogan of ...
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2answers
277 views

Does 意思意思 have an English translation?

In this context,someone wants a promotion and someone needs to 意思意思 his superior;意思意思 means bribery and it is supposed to invoke nepotism。 Does English have a word or idiom like 意思意思?
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3answers
130 views

乐谱 Chinese music tablature

Looking at some guitar music in Chinese, I noticed that a notation system called 简谱 jiǎnpǔ "simple (numbered) tablature" is quite widespread. Is there any particular reason why this way of ...