Questions tagged [culture]

Questions about the Chinese language which are influenced by culture.

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1answer
43 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
81 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
49 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
204 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
727 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
70 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
80 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
198 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
86 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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120 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
84 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
271 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
96 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
99 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
140 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
143 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
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
109 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
597 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
183 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
110 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
54 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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70 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
378 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
96 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
141 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
150 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
300 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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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
276 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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51 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
474 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
1k 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
163 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
8k 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
58 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
154 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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127 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
65 views

What sorts of essays do school-age children (and test-takers, generally) in China have to write?

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 ...
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4answers
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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5answers
847 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
125 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
239 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
124 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
542 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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1answer
356 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
466 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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1answer
111 views

What are the types of 剧 (theatrical work, opera, drama) in modern China?

When studying Chinese, the Chinese learner journal had a section to talk about the various kinds of 剧 (theatrical work, opera, drama), for example 北京剧, etc. It almost seems to me like every city had ...