Skip to main content

Questions tagged [loanwords]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1 vote
2 answers
128 views

For loanwords like "Facebook", which type of pronunciation is more common?

If I understand correctly, there are two approaches to pronouncing borrowed, non-transliterated words: either err on the side of approximating the foreign pronunciation, or adjust the pronunciation so ...
Georgy Ivanov's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is “文化” borrowed from Japanese?

Perusing the Wiktionary entry for 文化, I was not surprised to find the same character pair means “culture” in Japanese too. What did surprise me is that the entry for the Japanese word has this as its “...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
189 views

Is the Cantonese word 冧巴 a loanword from English?

To my ear, 冧巴 (lam1baa2, meaning "number") sounds a lot like the English word "number". Is this a coincidence, or is this a loanword from English? If it is a loanword, what word ...
T Hummus's user avatar
  • 331
2 votes
3 answers
258 views

Was the term 民國 wholly coined by the founders of the Republic of China?

By the time the Republic of China was founded, the terms 民主國 and 共和國 had been firmly established as translations for the English term "republic". Despite that, founder Sun Yat-sen insisted ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
267 views

Is 泵 the only transliterated loanword with its own logogram in all of Chinese?

Phonetic transliterations of foreign words are not uncommon in Mandarin, e.g. 沙发 for "sofa", 逻辑 for "logic", etc. Much less common are what I would call "transliterated ...
Sanchuan's user avatar
  • 762
1 vote
1 answer
127 views

erhua in loanwords — 模特兒 mótèr?

OK, so I was browsing Wiktionary — as one does — and found out about the word 模特兒 'model', which is apparently pronounced mótèr, with just 2 syllables. there's also an alternative pronunciation, mótè'...
matias's user avatar
  • 11
2 votes
2 answers
120 views

Why does "meta-" translate to “元-”?

Why does "meta-" translate to “元-”? For example, metadata=元数据, meta-analysis=元分析, metaphysics=元物理学。 I understand meta-X to mean "X that is about/of/concerning X". But 元 tends to ...
Benjamin Wang's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
106 views

What is the origin of 名堂?Compound or loanword?

Does anyone know of the origin of this word? It feels like it must be a loan word from another language as I can't find the semantic connection to 名 and 堂。Any ideas?
Buddy L's user avatar
  • 892
1 vote
5 answers
901 views

How to translate "meme" in social media in Chinese?

According to Wikipedia, A meme is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads by means of imitation from person to person within a culture and often carries symbolic meaning representing a particular ...
User10519069's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
431 views

Did the Chinese 獅子 = "lion" originate from the Persian شیر (šīr)?

There's Wikipedia page List of loanwords in Chinese (listed as "incomplete" at the time of writing) which contains the entry: 獅子 (shīzi) "lion" شیر (šīr) "lion" So the ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
  • 16.5k
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can the term "老大" be used to call "Boss" in video games nowadays?

I remember as a child, us children would say "老大"/lǎodà to describe the boss, or final enemy in a video game. If I am guessing correctly, it is probably like comparing a "boss" ...
Monokuma's user avatar
  • 241
3 votes
2 answers
179 views

Loan words borrowed from the middle/end of original word?

I was thinking about 氡, radon recently. The pronunciation: dōng (dong1) seems to suggest that sound was borrowed from the ending of the English word. Wiktionary corroborates this theory: Etymology ...
Mou某's user avatar
  • 36k
5 votes
2 answers
275 views

Which came first? Chinese 蘑菇 or Mongolian мөөг?

Wiktionary isn't certain whether the Chinese 蘑菇 (mógū) is a loanword from Mongolian мөөг (möög) or vice-versa. Both mean "mushroom" and are pronounced very similarly so there's clearly some ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
637 views

Are there loanwords from Portuguese used in Macau Cantonese?

I'd like to know if there are some words from Macau Cantonese that are from Portuguese. As HK Cantonese has some words from English, I think Macau also can have some words. Thank you for any examples ...
Alberto Ribeiro's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
130 views

In which dialect of Mandarin can I see or hear 乳酪?

In this website they write "乳酪 ru3 lao4" is a word which is used in Taiwan to describe cheese. But my Taiwanese friend told me they don't use this word, they use "nai3 lao4" or &...
musialmi's user avatar
  • 850
1 vote
1 answer
186 views

History of the pronunciation of 辰

Today, it is pronounced chén in Mandarin. However, in Chữ Nôm, this character is used for the sound thì. This is surprising, since most Chữ Nôm characters either borrow the meaning of existing ...
Axel Tong's user avatar
  • 1,658
7 votes
1 answer
360 views

Is 邏輯 a phono-semantic matching of the English word logic?

Wiktionary has the following entry for the etymology of 邏輯: Phono-semantic matching of English logic. However, the Chinese Wikipedia entry states the following: 當代中文一般採取音譯方式,將其譯為邏輯。 Which ...
wang_xiao_ming's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
179 views

How is 果岭 a loanword from the English "green" (i.e.: putting green)?

MDBG has the following entry: 果岭 guǒ​lǐng​ green (golf) (loanword) 果岭 doesn't really sound anything remotely like green, 岭 especially doesn't match up with the end of green. How did green ...
Mou某's user avatar
  • 36k
10 votes
7 answers
2k views

Chinese words with non-Chinese letters / characters?

Some Chinese words mix Roman letters and Chinese characters. For example: AA制, meaning to split the bill evenly (or "go dutch" as that's often called in English). N次方根, meaning "nth root" (i.e., ...
Stumpy Joe Pete's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
85 views

Chinese loanwords whose characters also carry the corresponding meaning

A while ago, I recall coming across some Chinese loanwords that not only sounded like their foreign language (usually English) counterparts, but whose characters also carried roughly that same meaning....
Apollys supports Monica's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why does 哆啦A梦 use an alphabet instead of an equivalent Chinese character?

Doraemon is represented as 哆啦A梦 in Chinese. It includes an alphabet ‘A’. But I wonder why it uses the alphabet. Why not simply use a word equivalent for ‘A’, such as: 哆啦欸梦 I haven’t seen such ...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 5,444
6 votes
2 answers
446 views

How did "kitsch" (刻奇) come to stand for emotional contagion in a group?

刻奇 is said to be a loanword from English meaning: kitsch Kitsch in short is said to be: Kitsch is garish and sentimental art or other objects. In long it is defined as: Kitsch (/kɪtʃ/; ...
Mou某's user avatar
  • 36k
1 vote
2 answers
640 views

The origin of the word chopstick

Looking up chopstick and chop-chop (meaning 'quickly' in English), I find: the original word for 筷子 is 著 pronounced the same as 住, which has a meaning of stop. This was considered unlucky, so 著 was, ...
Pedroski's user avatar
  • 18.5k
0 votes
1 answer
207 views

The etymology of 便当 in Chinese

The following excerpt is from the top answer on 知乎: 丈夫每天吃自己做的便当(没错,是他自己做的,不是他妻子做的)她吃大餐,去一次美容院就能花4.2万。看表情就知道,这位太太毫无愧疚之心,可能还觉得自己萌萌哒。两人摊牌后,妻子没有道歉,而是要求丈夫以后更努力工作赚钱。最后以这男人跳下站台自杀,妻子改嫁结束。 The 便当 here ...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 5,444
5 votes
2 answers
607 views

The origin of 水母

I, among others, do not understand why this word would be chosen for jellyfish. Is a jellyfish held in regard as some sort of cultural/spiritual analogue ? A mother tries to be everywhere at once ...
Abe Shudug's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
314 views

Is this Chinese and what is the meaning: 阿ㄘㄟˊ

I was listening to a pop song by the Chinese singer 那英. The song is called 天生不完美. I was curious to read the lyrics and so checked them at the following address: https://mojim.com/twy100287x13x7.htm ...
zhanmusi's user avatar
  • 285
2 votes
1 answer
217 views

How are new element names/characters decided?

Saw this on Twitter: 4 new elements = 4 new Chinese characters (since every new element generally gets a newly-invented character). Then, I found this article which says: 化学元素周期表原子序113的新元素将命名为“...
Mou某's user avatar
  • 36k
0 votes
2 answers
471 views

What is the origin of the character "糬" seeminly only used in "麻糬" to translate a Japanese word which doesn't use either character?

I was just given some mochi by a Taiwanese host in Kaohsiung. So I decided to look up the local word and found "麻糬" máshǔ. It's a transliteration of Japanese "mochi", which is written 餅 in that ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 4,035
3 votes
3 answers
188 views

Email as noun and verb

Could you guys and gals clarify how you use Email as noun and verb please? My textbook uses 电子邮件 as a noun and 发电子邮件 as a verb (send an Email). I have also found 伊妹儿 in a dictionary, which looks like ...
UVV's user avatar
  • 447
4 votes
6 answers
975 views

Modern loanwords in Chinese

I've noticed that in modern Chinese there's a lot of loanwords that are translated in multiple ways: 激光 vs 雷射 互联网 vs 因特网 Generally one version will sound similar to the English pronunciation ...
Ringil's user avatar
  • 1,455
3 votes
1 answer
160 views

How is 古代汉语 defined?

According to Hanyu Wailaici Cidian (Dictionary of Chinese Loanwords), bóshì (博士) with the modern sense "doctor" is derived from the Japanese hakushi, which in turn is of "Ancient Chinese" (古代汉语) ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
155 views

What kind of food is 漢巴德? (from 官場現形記)

In the Qing dynasty novel 官場現形記, there is this passage: 三荷包接過看時,只見上面開的是:清牛湯、炙鰣魚、冰蠶阿、丁灣羊肉、漢巴德、牛排、凍豬腳、橙子冰忌廉、澳洲翠鳥雞、龜仔蘆筍、生菜英腿、加利蛋飯、白浪布丁(10300620)、濱格、豬古辣冰忌廉、葡萄乾、香蕉、咖啡。另外幾樣酒是:勃蘭地、魏司格、紅酒、巴德、香檳,外帶甜水、鹹水。 ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,567
2 votes
3 answers
677 views

Is it appropriate to use 喂 by text?

喂 is used to answer the phone, but is it accepted over text? If not, is there an alternative to 你好 that's in common use (informally, like "hi", "hey", or "yo" in English). Is 嗨 widely accepted in ...
sqrtbottle's user avatar
  • 1,445
4 votes
3 answers
269 views

Transliterated Loanwords From Two Seperate Languages Of The Same Thing

Request for (at least) 2 loanwords, transliterated, from separate languages meaning the same thing. Horrible example: 埃默拉尔德 - English transliterated loanword for emerald 祖母绿 - Arabic transliterated ...
Mou某's user avatar
  • 36k
5 votes
4 answers
5k views

What are the differences in usage and nuances between 现在,正在 and 还在?

I think it's pretty hard to tell the differences between these three words, and here's the dialogue: A: 你现在在干什么? B: 我正在做作业。 A: 你怎么还在做作业呀! Can you help me to understand and remember these words? ...
Kathy Tang's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
164 views

Query about tone and stress in Mandarin foreign transcriptions/loanwords

Chinese transcription of foreign names and countries often results in long words that (in my opinion) stick out from the native lexicon significantly. There is general agreement that Mainland ...
James's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the verb for "hacking" (as in computing) in Chinese?

Using my dictionary and some research, I've found that there seems to be three words for "hacker" in Chinese. 黑客,骇客,and 红客. The first two look to just mean "hacker," while the third is a word for the ...
user9657's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
83 views

Does anyone known a source where find from which characters the modern one borrowed their loaned meanings?

Like I said in the title I would really like to know if anyone knows where to find the original characters that gave to the modern one their loaned meanings.
Marvoch's user avatar
  • 87
1 vote
3 answers
432 views

How does 平均 differ from 均匀?

I already knew that 平均 means "average", 均匀 means "even" or "evenly distributed". But how to distiguish these two phrases? Can you give me some examples? Thanks a lot!
Fern White's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
697 views

How appropriate is "拜拜"?

How appropriate, in terms of casualness and/or childishness, is "拜拜"? Is it as childish as "Bye-bye" would be in English, or is it more acceptable? In case location matters, I'm mainly interested in ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
854 views

Loanwords with Chinese Equivalents

How many loanwords in Chinese have Chinese equivalents? Example: 三文鱼 is a loanword, borrowed from English, meaning salmon, but Chinese also has the word 鲑鱼 meaning salmon. Are there a lot of these ...
Mou某's user avatar
  • 36k
6 votes
4 answers
392 views

Is there a limited character set for European loanwords?

In Japanese, there's a set of 48 characters called katakana that is often used for transliterating words of European origin. (This is a slight simplification - katakana is used for other purposes as ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
549 views

Why is "steak" 肉排?

肉排 is Chinese for steak (e.g. 牛排 or 猪排 for beef steak and pork steak), but where did the 排 come from? As a Western cuisine dish, did the word have some roundabout origin? 排 means row/rank, which has ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,567
15 votes
2 answers
19k views

The origins of "AA制"

Every since I learned the expression AA制*, I have been curious as to its origins. The morphology seems clear enough: AA + 制(定) = "to draw up (the bill) in an AA way". What is not clear is how AA ...
Stumpy Joe Pete's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
437 views

What is the origin of the word 雪茄 (cigar)?

I assume 雪茄 (cigar) is a loanword. Who can tell me what language this word was loaned from and, if appropriate, how it was transcribed? My own guess is that the word was transcribed from English and ...
Bjorn's user avatar
  • 1,386