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Questions tagged [culture]

Questions about the cultural side of China and Chinese.

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1answer
93 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 ...
3
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2answers
84 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
432 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
65 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
155 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
133 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 ?” ...
3
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4answers
952 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
64 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
52 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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0answers
73 views

Do the patterns in this New Year card have a meaning?

Do the circled patterns in this Chinese New Year card have a meaning? Are the horizontal rectangles beams? Irrigation canals? Mobiles? Or just some random decoration by a graphic artist. I suppose ...
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1answer
66 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
234 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 ...
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1answer
83 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
124 views

One more painting signature, ink + gold

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 ...
3
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1answer
135 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 ...
2
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3answers
158 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
62 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 ...
3
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2answers
247 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
47 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
404 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
551 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,...
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1answer
155 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
5k 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 ...
3
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1answer
54 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
112 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
121 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
48 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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4answers
887 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
2k 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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2answers
101 views

In Chinese culture, who should sit at the most honorable seat during meals? [closed]

A. The oldest person B. The oldest male C. The host D. The hostess The question is in this pdf: http://www.houstonisd.org/cms/lib2/TX01001591/Centricity/Domain/17318/chi_1.pdf
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4answers
326 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
114 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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3answers
211 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 ...
1
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3answers
96 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
347 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?
2
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1answer
254 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
416 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
916 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
165 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 ...
3
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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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0answers
138 views

Why do Chinese people give their guests tea to drink? [closed]

My question is as the title. In China, 给客人沏茶 is considered hospitality and courtesy, especially right after guests come in. Is there a reason or a story behind the practice?
4
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1answer
747 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 (...
6
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4answers
646 views

Where does the middle name go in a name that has been translated into Chinese?

Many westerners (like I) possess a three-part name in full. given + middle + family [名·中间名·姓] It's understood that―in China―middle names typically don't exist. Usually, westerners only translate ...
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1answer
192 views

What is the title of this song? [closed]

At the end of http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zyDqrkZxco8 update: the song title is probably on the 4th line from the bottom in the credits, but I cannot read it
2
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1answer
259 views

What is the meaning of the phrase 铁血丹心 ?

This is the title of a famous wuxia-novel, whose full title is 射鵰英雄傳之鐵血丹心, it is also a the name of a Cantonese song. I have searched for an explanation of this phrase. I thought, maybe it is a ...
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5answers
288 views

Could saying “慢慢吃” to a stranger cause offence?

I learned that the equivalent to "bon appetit" in Chinese is "慢慢吃" (perhaps also "请慢用"). This is a polite thing to do in English. But since it literally means "eat slowly", I'm wondering if some ...
12
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2answers
973 views

How are blanks indicated for placeholders in Chinese (like ???)

In English, in the middle of a sentence if data is being left blank (such as an unknown date, or a name to be filled in at a later time), commonly you see ???, ___ (underscore(s)), or -- to mark this. ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

小姐 and similar terms before the cultural revolution

I have listened to a lot of controversy about the modern usage of 小姐 and similar terms. Here I just want to know whether what I thought as a child reflected the usage prior to the cultural revolution. ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Resources for the Chinese section of the Gaokao?

The entrance examination for universities in mainland China includes a Chinese section. I'm looking for three things about this. 1) A source for questions that have been asked in previous years. For ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Writing direction on seals

I am experimenting with an online seal generator, the text I have entered is 一千五百 and I have noticed that the characters go first from top right to bottom right, then from bottom left to top left. Is ...