Questions tagged [culture]

Questions about the cultural side of China and Chinese.

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680 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
64 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
63 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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4answers
154 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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0answers
67 views

Why learn to handwrite characters? [duplicate]

I find that it is much easier to recognize characters after I meticulously learn each individual stroke/radical through constant and repetitive handwriting. In a sense, I have effectively "mastered" a ...
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2answers
79 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
111 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
76 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
263 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
78 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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51 views

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

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
105 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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121 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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2k 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
101 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
438 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
175 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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2k views

Thank You : 谢谢 vs 感谢 vs 跪谢 vs 多谢

While expressing gratitude in spoken Mandarin , I believe people use 谢谢 and 感谢. For example 谢谢你的时间 OR 谢谢你带我来这里 . Does 感谢你的时间 OR 感谢你带我来这里 imply a higher level of gratitude ? Is there a difference in ...
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1answer
85 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
53 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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69 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
315 views

Does the word proud exist in Chinese?

I know this is gonna get closed because it's more philosophical in nature but it's something that's brought up (subtle Asian traits, if curious) the word proud is rarely used in Chinese culture and so ...
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1answer
94 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
138 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
146 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
281 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
64 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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2answers
273 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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49 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
458 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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848 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
162 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
7k 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
57 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
142 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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126 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 ...
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1answer
52 views

Essays in school

In the US, there is this thing called the "five paragraph essay" consisting of an introduction (1 paragraph), a body (3 paragraphs), and a conclusion (1 paragraph). Basically, you say what you are ...
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1k views

中国人 vs 华人 which should I use?

I think 中国人 only refers to people having Chinese nationality while 华人 can be referred to any Chinese-descent people. If one person is China-born and has Chinese nationality, should I always use 中国人? ...
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2answers
3k views

Size of vocabulary of highly educated Chinese person

I've read in various places on the internet that the average vocabulary of a Chinese person is around 5,000 words. How about highly educated Chinese people? E.g. those with PhD's or holding top ...
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4answers
634 views

What is 吐槽? How should I translate it?

I am having a hard time explaining the concept of 吐槽 to a foreigner. How can I explain the nature of 吐槽? I tried something like this but it doesn't seem to convey the art of 吐槽 in full: 吐槽 is the ...
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1answer
122 views

What was the relationship between 诸葛亮和周瑜?

Why does 周瑜 not help 诸葛亮? 现在在读‘草船借箭’的故事。 诸葛亮和周瑜的关系怎样? 周瑜说:“我得吩咐下属,造箭用的材料,不要给他准备齐全,也不能供应充足,故意给他拖延时间。” 周瑜和诸葛亮不是敌人,战在同样的军队。为什么周瑜不帮诸葛亮?
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227 views

What is the connotation for gay蜜 and 闺蜜?

What is the connotation for gay蜜? Is the connotation literally that the two guys that it refers to are gay, or is it like the english 'man-date' where it is just two close friends going to do ...
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3answers
118 views

What is the translation express (adjective meaning fast) in Chinese?

I want to know the translation of the word "express" (both characters and pinyin) as you would describe an express courier service? Also, is there a new-invented word (maybe by the youth) that is ...
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4answers
482 views

Is Southwestern Mandarin different from Mandarin?

I'm moving in two years to Yunnan. I'm learning Mandarin. But I've read that in Yunnan the official language is "Southwestern Mandarin". What's the difference? Will they be able to understand me?
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318 views

Rockwell's Chinese Newspaper

Note: I've seen prior translation questions closed, but I think this is different--as it is a matter of public interest and possible disinformation--as opposed to "found a piece of paper in the attic, ...
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2answers
452 views

天干、地支、八卦和六十四卦 Heavenly Stems, Earthly Branches, 8 Trigrams and 64 Hexagrams

When looking up individual characters in modern dictionaries, I often come across descriptions such as "one of the ten Heavenly Stems", "nth Earthly Branch", "one of the Eight Trigrams", etc. Is it ...
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3answers
1k views

Are Chinese people aware of the difficulty of their writing system?

How is the difficulty about the Chinese writing system viewed by native speakers? Is it a view they share with other learners around the world or do they see it the same way other speakers see their ...
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2answers
169 views

沒地X, what is the third character?

I was watching a TV show, and some of the dialogue is giving me trouble. The father is teasing his son's love intrest (the pictured girl). At least I think that's what's happening. They as her if she ...
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3answers
1k views

Can you explain the differences between the following sentences?

冬天:能穿多少穿多少;夏天:能穿多少穿多少。 剩女产生的原因有两个:一是谁都看不上;二是谁都看不上。 女孩给男朋友打电话:如果你到了,我还没到,你就等着吧;如果我到了,你还没到,你就等着吧。 单身的原因:原来是喜欢一个人,现在是喜欢一个人。 男人对一个女人有好感的原因:一是喜欢上这个女人;二是喜欢上这个女人。 男人约会迟到的原因:一是睡过了;二是睡过了。 Thanks.
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2k views

What are the continents according to Chinese schemes?

In the United States, I was taught a geographical scheme comprising seven continents: Africa (非洲), Antarctica (南极洲), Asia (亚洲), Australia (澳洲), Europe (欧洲), North America (北美洲), and South America (...