Questions tagged [mandarin]

Question specifically about the Mandarin dialect. (Not for arbitrary questions that happen to involve Mandarin.)

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2
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1answer
138 views

Besides the radical, what meaning does the rest of a Chinese character have (especially when it was originally created)?

I am a beginning student of Mandarin Chinese. There is a key thing about Chinese characters that I am trying to understand. Besides the radical, what purpose does the rest of a character have? Was it ...
-1
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1answer
65 views

What does this beautiful Chinese lady and her (assumed) man sing about? [closed]

https://youtu.be/x5T5Bu-IZwo?t=12 It's ~3 minutes long, but you don't need to listen to/translate it all. I'm just curious as to what the song is about, especially what the lady sings in the beginning ...
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0answers
34 views

Cangjie code for Simplified Character 麦

Three resources indicating Cangjie codes pointed to QMHE as the code for麦 。Traditional 麥 (JONI) worked.Unfortunately this resulted wrong in two of the input methods I use Sugou any Google zhuyin/...
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4answers
101 views

How do you refer to multiple people with the same surname?

I was wondering if Chinese people ever get confused addressing multiple people with the same last name. For example, let's say you are at a gathering and you meet many people who are from the same ...
2
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1answer
62 views

Is “就快下雨了” correct Mandarin?

I've been watching Peppa Pig to improve my Mandarin, but here at 1:59, the mama pig says “就快下雨了” meaning to say that it will rain soon. However I thought that the phrase "就快" was Cantonese ...
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1answer
65 views

Is it normal to not use abbreviation for titles in Mainland China?

I notice people in mainland China use abbreviation for almost all titles. Example: 習總裁 --> 习总 郎(平)教練 --> 郎教 任隊長 --> 任隊 This kind of abbreviation even appears in Hong Kong's TV dramas. ...
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3answers
125 views

Is this a valid riddle in Mandarin?

I came up with this 看图猜謎 based on Cantonese jyutping. Is it a valid riddle in Mandarin? 猜一句詩 (guess a verse in a poem) Answer:
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3answers
866 views

Does Chinese require more context to avoid ambiguities than English?

After some time learning Chinese, I feel Chinese language is more ambiguous than English or Spanish, in the sense that a single sentence without some context can easily have multiple distinct meanings,...
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1answer
56 views

Resources for Chinese in formal situations [closed]

I am looking for a comprehensive guide of formal Chinese for business emails, memos, laws, newspapers, etc. I am aware that some sentence patterns are only used in a formal context. For example, ....均....
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2answers
67 views

How would I say 'what …' in Mandarin

I think the French ce qui/que says it better. This is what I mean: I do what I want. (Je fais ce que je veux, in French) How would the 'what' be translated?
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3answers
53 views

“Still better than” informal translation — X 还是比 Y 好 abbreviation

I want to say "X is still better than Y :)" in a kind of joking/offhand manner. This is just a simple text message, so I would further like to abbreviate it like: "still better than Y :)" My ...
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1answer
74 views

Is there a difference between 夂 and 夊, radicals 34 and 35 and 攵, Kangxi 66?

The excellent Olle Linge asked the similar question "Is there a difference between 夂 and 夊?" about seven years ago. The learned answers at that time missed the fact that 攵 appears more commonly in ...
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1answer
71 views

What is the Chinese lady in this 5-second video clip saying?

https://streamable.com/e/n5fhft?autoplay=1 I finally cut it out, uploaded and asked about it after wondering about it for years. What is she saying?
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2answers
124 views

Help with a Taiwanese expression

I had friends from Taiwan many years ago who often used an expression that seemed to mean something like "praising an idol, or bowing down" not sure. Sometimes said with a bowing down motion. It was ...
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3answers
91 views

When can nouns be used as verbs?

I’ve heard quite a few people from Mainland China say something like this: 每个周末我都会和我的父母一起视频。 I video call my parents every weekend. Now, 视频 just means “video”, which means it is a noun. The ...
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1answer
69 views

Can 得 be used as a stand alone answer?

The following question/answer combinations are correct to my knowledge. 他能去吗?能。 他会去吗?会。 他可以去吗?可以。 What about the following question/answer combinations ? 他应该去吗?应该。 他该去吗?该。 他必须去吗?必须。 他得去吗?得。 ...
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1answer
160 views

What is the meaning of the tone numbers shown in Wiktionary's Mandarin pronunciation?

According to Wiktionary, the word 游泳 is pronounced as /joʊ̯³⁵ jʊŋ²¹⁴⁻²¹⁽⁴⁾/. What exactly is the meaning of the numbers 214-21(4)? The first three numbers indicate the standard falling then rising ...
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3answers
240 views

Why is the Pinyin for 波 bo1 not buo1? And why is 多 duo1 instead of do1?

Recently I started to learn Pinyin. The system is relatively easy to follow but some ambiguity does exist. For example, I found the usage of finals o and uo confusing: why the Pinyin for 波 is bo1, not ...
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5answers
106 views

How to say “the fourth floor of that building”?

My doubt is in translating this sentence: "That apartment is in the fourth floor of that building." Is there a grammatical structure to say things like "the fourth floor of that building" in Chinese?...
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4answers
88 views

How to write date and number in Chinese?

I need to fill a part of a form in Chinese, does anyone here could help me? I've tried to use google translate, but unfortunately, I know nothing about Chinese and I'm afraid I was wrong, please help ...
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3answers
117 views

Does the chinese letter mean the number, one?

As I browsing around on the internet, I was looking at what a sentence meant in English. But the issue is that I was not sure if this is the Chinese letter for "1" or does it have a different ...
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2answers
151 views

-uan pinyin pronunciation

It seems to me that in Mandarin, two different vowel sounds are used for words whose pinyin ends with -uan. In some words, like 全 (quán) and 元 (yuán), the vowel sounds like "oo-en" (the nucleus/coda ...
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1answer
53 views

What happens when you use the individual characters in 姓氏 and 名字?

姓氏 refers to surname, and 名字 refers to personal name. But I’ve heard people using the separate characters to talk about surnames and personal names. For example: 我的中文老师姓姚 林氏集团 (Lin’s Corporation, ...
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3answers
143 views

Does 一个 mean *exactly* one? Or can it mean *at least* one?

If someone (truthfully) says "I have a car" then they have at least one car. If someone says "I have one car" then they have exactly one car. How does this idea work for "我有一辆汽车" ? Could someone say ...
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1answer
51 views

In Mandarin Chinese, what is the correct pronunciation for three or more third tones in a row? [duplicate]

只有我想了解你 zhíyǒu wǒ xiǎng liáojiě nǐ OR Zhíyǒu wó xiǎng liáojiě nǐ 我很好 wǒ hén hǎo OR wó hén hǎo 我也很好 wó yě hén hǎo OR wó yé hén hǎo OR wǒ yé hén hǎo 我也很想你 wǒ yé hěn xiáng nǐ OR wǒ yé hén xiǎng nǐ ...
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1answer
100 views

Difference between 不了 and 不到

This question focuses on the differences between 了and 到. What's the difference between verb + 不了 and verb + 不到? Do the differences also apply to Cantonese? Examples: 收不到 vs 收不了 幫不到 vs 幫不了 來不到 vs ...
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1answer
163 views

Is there any way to detect dialect automatically?

For current task I need to create a solution how to detect if some video or audio of Chinese speech is Mandarin or Cantonese (for now I do not need others dialects). For example, there is almost ...
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1answer
105 views

Why does the Chinese name for Poland mean “abandoned honour”?

I don't speak Mandarin at all, but I have a Chinese coworker who told me that Mandarin doesn't have nouns per se, it prefers to describe things with their most obvious properties. I was curious how ...
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1answer
111 views

Is there a Mandarin equivalent of the Cantonese term “手尾”?

手尾 is a very common Cantonese term, I would like to know what Mandarin term can be the equivalent of it. The following are from CantoDict dictionary: 手尾: (to tie up) loose ends 冇手尾: fail to finish ...
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2answers
101 views

What is the hidden meaning of 来打我呀?

I saw a lot of people using "来打我呀" online, for example in video comments or WeChat stickers. I was wondering what is the hidden meaning of this sentence (if there is one)? I guess it does not only ...
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4answers
55 views

Is 我认为保护环境将为子孙后代保证未来 correct? Does it make sense?

我认为保护环境将为子孙后代保证未来 I am trying to say that saving the environment will guarantee a future for future generations. Does it actually mean that or have I made mistakes?
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4answers
195 views

What is the difference between 能 vs. 会? [duplicate]

What is the difference between 能 and 会? Don’t they both mean “could”? What is the difference between them?
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1answer
89 views

When is “得” pronounced “de” and when is it pronounced “dei”?

I have noticed that there are two different pronunciations of 得: - Usually it's pronounced "de". - in some situations it's pronounced "dei" as in: 老百姓想自强 那就得学习点别人先进的东西。 When is “得” pronounced “de” ...
3
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1answer
62 views

Idiom/成語 for “Worrying Doesn't Change the Outcome”

Is there an Idiom/成語 for "Worrying does not change the outcome"? To be used when someone is spending a lot of time / energy worrying about something that they have no control over. Thanks for any ...
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2answers
2k views

When is “了” pronounced “le” and when is it pronounced “liao”?

I have noticed that there are two different pronunciations of 了: - Usually it's pronounced "le". - in some situations it's pronounced "liǎo" for example: 我用了很多年才了解什么是武术。 As much as I realized, ...
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2answers
121 views

What's the meaning of “刀不长眼”? Is it proverb or something like that?

I was watching the movie "fearless (2006)" starring Jet Li and the character said to his friend "After all these years of friend ship, you still don't know me?" and then he goes with this phrase : "...
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3answers
195 views

How to say “self-fulfilling prophecy” in Mandarin/Cantonese?

This dictionary lists prophecy as 預言, but it doesn't list an entry for self-fulfilling prophecy Example sentence: If you remain this negative, your thoughts will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. ...
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1answer
79 views

What's the Cantonese/Mandarin equivalent of “condone”?

These two dictionaries don't have entries for "condone." https://www.yellowbridge.com http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/scripts/wordsearch.php?level=0 The Google translate answer is 縱容, which seems ...
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1answer
127 views

Translations of 主编 and 总编 in French

大家好, 我想翻译这些词。背景是一个杂志社的。 我知道 总编 就是 rédacteur en chef 可是 关于 主编 我莫名其妙。我早想到把它翻译成 éditeur 或者 éditeur en chef 不过我不太肯定。原来,对记者的专业词汇不太熟悉。因此,我需要你们的帮助。 若有人知道,就告诉我啊。 多谢!🙏
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1answer
324 views

How did 秘 “bi” become “mi”?

I came across this comment just now: “秘”声符是“必”没问题,但是并不是说“秘”和“必”一定同音,“秘”这个字是北京话读错了,其实应该读bi,“秘鲁”一词还残存bi的读音 Which got me thinking. 秘 is still read "bi" in: surnames transcriptions (e.g.: Peru) ...
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2answers
80 views

How widespread is the idiom 蘑菇?

I have seen the word for mushroom [蘑菇, mógū] to be an action such as dilly dally. Is this an inherent idiom in the written language apparent across a large spectrum of dialect, whereas the word ...
3
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1answer
101 views

Question about third tone sandhi in two specific cases

I know of the commonly cited rules for third tones, which are the following (copied from somewhere else, so excuse the grammatical errors): "When word with the 3rd tone is used alone, or used at the ...
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1answer
71 views

Correct word for shiver 打颤 or 打战

Both 打颤 and 打战 mean shiver but I saw that in 兩岸詞典 they say that 打战 in the Mainland is not used “陸:今不用”. So which is the correct word to write for Mainland Mandarin?
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3answers
508 views

Empathy and Sympathy use same characters in Chinese 同情?

Any alternative characters to clarify the difference, as the English words and their Greek roots have different meaning. Thanks!
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1answer
71 views

Writing-out numbers in mandarin till 19999 algorithm

My current task includes writing-out numbers in different languages, also mandarin. I have never grappled with mandarin but I checked several resource and tested my algorithm to the best of my believe....
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2answers
97 views

How to say “Hopefully we can treat each other with more X”

Is there a general template for translating, "hopefully we can treat each with more X" where X is some noun. Examples: Hopefully we can treat each other with more consideration. Hopefully we can ...
3
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3answers
289 views

Is 家婆 the term for a woman's “mother in law” in Mandarin too?

In Cantonese, a woman would call her mother in law her "家婆" or her "奶奶", and address her only as "奶奶". My understanding of the same terms in Mandarin is, a woman would call her mother in law her "婆婆" ...
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4answers
114 views

What are the Chinese characters for the American English word “Dishonored”?

Related to the video game Dishonored. I'm not looking for the characters for 'Ashamed' or 'Insulted', words that would not work to properly describe in English the game title :D. Any other choices? I ...
4
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3answers
109 views

A city is located east/north/west/south of a country; what is the correct Chinese grammar for that?

For example: I want to say that Freiburg (in Germany) is located east of France. My sentence was this: 弗莱堡在法国的东边。 This is also how we did it in class. But I'm starting to worry this sounds like it's ...
4
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1answer
140 views

How to say ‘run for office’ in Mandarin?

I’ve searched dictionary and found 2 words 参选 and 竞选。I’m a bit confused since it seems 参选 is used more but in Vietnamese (my mother tongue) we used the word “tranh cử” (竞选). So what is the correct ...

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