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Questions tagged [mandarin]

Mandarin is a group of Chinese dialects that are considered the official language in many Chinese-speaking communities. The Beijing dialect is considered as standard pronunciation of Mandarin. Thus, when people say the "Chinese language", they implicitly refer to Mandarin.

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Understanding 了: difference between 她上个月去了北京 and 上个月我去台湾了?

This grammar page tries to explain when to use 了 after a verb and when to use 了 after an object. https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Expressing_completion_with_%22le%22 It claims ...
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Could 看不起 work as the Mandarin equivalent of 睇唔起?

This dictionary entry says the Mandarin equivalent of Cantonese's 睇唔起 is 瞧不起. http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/15825/ Some Mandarin speakers seem to use 看不起. Is 看不起 a valid way of ...
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Difference between 儘量 and 盡量?

Both 儘量 and 盡量 seem to mean, "try your best," according to these dictionary entries: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/sentsearch.php?word=%E7%9B%A1%E9%87%8F https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/...
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Is 看怎麼理解? a generalized expression for “it depends” in Mandarin? How about for Cantonese?

A movie used the phrase 看怎麼理解 to mean, "it depends." The context was character A asking character B if something is good or bad. Character B responded with 看怎麼理解. 1) Is 看怎麼理解 a generalized phrase ...
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Difference between 學識 and 知識?

According to these dictionary links, both 學識 and 知識 mean knowledge. http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/6078/ http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/6078/ 1) What's the ...
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Mandarin vs. Cantonese: 令 vs 讓 for making something happen

In Cantonese, it's common to hear someone say 令 when referring to making something happen. Example: 妳咁做令我開心 (You make me happy when you do this.) Some friends claimed Mandarin doesn't use 令 this way ...
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我 or 我的 to show possession? [duplicate]

你们好, In several language learning books for Chinese, I have seen 我 (wǒ)used rather than to mean “I” to mean “my.” Check the following example: 这是我爱人。 Literally: this be I love person. Meaning: This ...
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“Baby” vs “宝贝” - coincidence?

I am interested if the phonetic similarity between the English "baby" and the Chinese "宝贝" (baobei) is purely coincidental.
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Why is there such a difference between “first name” and “last name”?

I'm learning how to translate "What's your last/first name?" with Duolingo and Google Translate. Both apps indicate that the correct translations are 你的姓是什么? and 你叫什么名字 There are many differences ...
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Which is the more polite way to ask for permission: 能 or 可以?

According to this site, both 能 and 可以 can be used to politely ask for permission. 1) Which is considered more polite? 2) Which is more formal? 3) Is it the same for Cantonese?
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Would 反駁 be the Mandarin equivalent to 駁嘴?

駁嘴 in Cantonese means to "answer back" or "argue" often in a disrespectful way. URL: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/16019/ Would 反駁 be the Mandarin equivalent to 駁嘴?
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Safe to always use 之後 instead of 以後, and 之前 instead of 以前?

According to this grammar page, it appears like 之後 can always replace 以後, whereas 以後 cannot always replace 之後. However, these grammar pages are not always reliable. 1) For simplicity, is it safe to ...
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Do Mandarin people use 補鑊 as slang to represent fence-mending or damage control?

Cantonese people often use 補鑊 to mean fence-mending or damage control. Do Mandarin people use this phrase as well? If not, what phrase would be the Mandarin equivalent?
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Would 怎麼知道 or 怎麼知 be the right Mandarin equivalent to the Cantonese phrase 點知?

Would 怎麼知道 or 怎麼知 be the right Mandarin equivalent to the Cantonese phrase 點知? If not, what would be the right equivalent?
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Translation of 追番

What would 追番" translate to? It was displayed next to a heart icon on bilibili. From consulting a dictionary I believe hui in this context is pursue and fan is a measure word? I assume it means ...
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Proper grammar: 生活 中 不是 缺少 美 ,而是 缺少 发现的?

This grammar page lists the following example: 生活 中 不是 缺少 美 ,而是 缺少 发现 美 的 眼睛 。 Shēnghuó zhōng bù shì quēshǎo měi, ér shì quēshǎo fāxiàn měi de yǎnjing. Would it be correct grammar to omit ...
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Mandarin/Cantonese translation of “it depends on your definition of 'good'”

Alice takes Bob to a new steak restaurant. Alice: Do you think the steak here is good? Bob: It depends on your definition of "good." 1) What is the natural translation for Bob's statement? ...
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Would “mutual acquaintance” in Mandarin be 共同朋友 or 相識朋友?

Which would be the more authentic Mandarin translation for "mutual acquaintance": 1) 共同朋友 2) 相識朋友? Is it the same for Cantonese?
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What is the Chinese Homophonic Group?

Equivalent question: What Chinese letters won't equal 1? (If I need to specify, then I guess I'll pick Mandarin) From: the homophonic group: a mathematical diversion --> This is an exercise from ...
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Could you please correct my sentences?

Could you please correct my text ? 虽然我会说一口流利的法语,但是我想说一口流利的汉语。 我的职业 是律师。 律师 的责任很大,因为他必须解决严重得实情。然后压力大。 可是在巴黎 律师逐渐增加。 因此招聘越来越少。
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What to use when referring to the character 格

In Chinese, you can use 博士的博 to indicate the character 博 instead of other bó. Like a for apple or b for baby. What about for the character 格, what do most Chinese people commonly use in practice to ...
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Mandarin Chinese Alphanumerical Ordering

I'm attempting to create a small, multi-lingual multiplayer game that uses a single-character alphanumerical ordering system. For example, the player's rank would start at their language's first ...
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Is “光轮” for “Nimbus” as in “Nimbus 2000 broomstick” just a transliteration?

In a translation of the second Harry Potter book: "All Harry's spellbooks, wand, cauldron and top-of-the-range Nimbus 2000 broomstick had been locked in a cupboard under the stairs by Uncle Vernon ...
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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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你 vs. 妳 for second person

When writing to a female, is it appropriate to use 妳 for “you”? Could it be misunderstood as a reference to breasts or milk? Example: 我见过你面带笑容,我见过你面带愁容。
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How to say, “Could you please move over?” (Cantonese and Mandarin)

Assume Bob is sitting on the couch. In Mandarin, how would Alice politely ask Bob to move over and make room for her? Is this different for Cantonese?
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Question about the use of “零” in money

If I spent 100.50, would I have to say, "一百块零五毛" if yes, why do I have to put the "ling" after the "kuai" since "yibaikuai" already establishes the number 100?
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Question words at the end or beginning? Shei (very confusing)

So far, question words in Chinese have always appeared at the end.. but with "shei" I saw sentences like "Shei shi nide baba?" So it can be used at the start or end of a sentence? We could say, "Nide ...
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Where are you? What are you doing?

So I translated it like: "Ni zai nar? Ni zuo shenme?" But I found "Ni zai zuo shenme?" online... How is it zai zuo (in + to do)??? And is it correct if I just say zuo (to do)?? Does it express the ...
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How can I improve my translation?

拥有豪华的住宅和一批在菲律宾。 开放的外国护照持有人。 拥有您梦寐以求的房子在该国的,而不仅仅是一座公寓式的! ENGLISH Own luxurious house and lot in the Philippines. Open for Foreign passport holders. Own you dream house in the country and not just ...
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How do you say “Where is Beijing?”

In Chinese will we say, "Beijing zai nār/nali?". Because I just learned to say, "Lundun zai Ying Guo." Plus, "Where is your home?" is, "Nide jia zai nar?" So using these rules, is it acceptable? ...
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Are they in Britain?

In Chinese it will be "Tamen zai ying guo ma?" But I studied that we use shi to connect nouns, so can we also say: Tamen "shi" zai ying guo ma? Is it also grammatically correct? It's just easier for ...
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Difference between “游泳” and “游水”

I've been learning with a course, and one of the lessons said: 这个男人在游泳, but the same sentence with a dog was: 这只狗在游水. I presume that both were doing the same thing: swimming. So, can I use 游泳 with ...
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What are these Chinese character stamps?

I found these stamps in an old book, what are they I can hardly make them out? And what do they mean.
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“How are you this morning” in Chinese?

Is "Ni jin tian zao shang zen me yang?(你今天早上怎麼樣?)" ok? Can we also say, "Ni zhe ge zao shang zen me yang? (你這個早上怎麼樣?)" Cux we do say, "Ni zhe ge xing qi zen me yang? (你這個星期怎麼樣?)" for how are you ...
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Mandarin: tongue placement when pronouncing ü words like 學 and 去 that begin with q, x, j?

Many Mandarin pronunciation guides suggest pronouncing the ü vowel with a tense tongue in mid-mouth as when pronouncing the "yi" sound. However, for words starting with q, j, x, many sites suggest ...
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Natural translation for “Everything worth doing requires self-discipline and effort”

What would be the most natural way to say, "Everything worth doing requires self-discipline and effort?" 每個值得的事情都需要磨練和努力 feels like English crammed into Chinese. Would 每件值得的事都需要磨練和努力 be better? 1) ...
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Which is correct: 一 (yao1) or 幺 (yao1)? [duplicate]

In many sources I have come across the explanation that 一 is pronounced yao1 instead of yi1 when used in things like telephone numbers. For example, my HSK textbooks use 一 (yao1), and I have seen it ...
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“Aren't you both also Americans” in Chinese ?

Nǐmen dōu ye bù shì měi guó rén ma? Is it correct? I am comfortable with this word order. Is it acceptable?
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Jin tian ji hao?

I learnt to ask weekday as, "Jin tian xing qi ji?" With an optional "shi" after jin tian. So I want to know if the shi in "Jin tian shi ji hao?" is also optional. Also, can I say, "Jin tian ji ri?" ...
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Mandarin equivalent to 話事?

In Cantonese, people often say 話事 to indicate someone is "the boss" (e.g., 你話事) or can decide some matter (e.g., what to eat, what to watch). This page says the Mandarin equivalent is 作主, but 作主 ...
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Duoshao vs shenme

Is it ok to ask, "Nide dianhua haoma shi shenme?" (What is your telephone number) Or do I have to say, "Nide dianhua haoma shi duoshao?" which is the translation on duolingo. Also, Can I just say, ...
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Is the position of 都 in a sentence important? (example inside)

In this instance i'm trying to communicate "every" or "each" What do you usually do on weekends? 你週末通常都做什麼 Vs 你週末都通常做什麼 Is there a meaningful difference in the position in this sentence? or is ...
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What is the word to emphasize the 最~ (“by far the best”) in Mandarin?

I would like to know an equivalent word for "by far" in Mandarin, when it comes to the superlative degree (最~). For example: 有的人之所以不吃早餐是大概为三种理由而划分了。第一个是来不及,第二个是减肥,而第三个是很麻烦。但是第一个理由是最多的。 In this ...
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What Chinese languages are spoken in South East Asia?

With the abundance of immigration and emigration in Asia it would be interesting to know where the Chinese languages moved to as well. The effect of Chinese characters on Japan and Korea goes ...
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Where can I find a list of chinese characters and their transcription in the 5 stroke classes used in the 五笔画 (wǔ bǐhuà) and Wubixing input method?

For a personal project I want to create a (huge) graph that contains some (as many as possible) chinese characters along the paths of their corresponding keyboard input using the 5 stroke classes ...
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Why does 他没看书 use 没 and not 不 in this dialogue?

I was reviewing some old Anki cards that I created from HSK Standard Course 1 by Jiang Liping and I came across this dialogue: A: 喂你在做什么呢 B: 我在看书呢 A: 大卫也在看书吗 B: 他没看书。他在学做中国菜呢 A: Hello, what are you ...
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411 views

Is 个 acceptable for all nouns?

My Chinese teacher says she doesn't care. But for future reference, is 个 acceptable as a measure word for all nouns?
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Correct grammar for “While speaking Cantontese with my mom, I accidentally said one half of a sentence in Mandarin and the other half in Cantonese.”?

The goal is to translate the following: Mandarin has sure enough affected my Cantonese. "While speaking Cantontese with my mom, I accidentally said one half of a sentence in Mandarin and the ...
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What does 老外 mean if the Chinese speaker is in a foreign country?

In the following answer over 知乎 to the question 在西班牙生活是怎样的体验?: 8-中西文化差别很大,前几天,我废了好多力气去解释什么是mianzi,还有因为文化差距,也很难跟老外走的很近,大部分都是中国人跟中国人,老外跟老外。老外很喜欢夜店,迪厅,什么的,答主还是不喜欢这些。这里karaoke 都是中国人开的,打不过的顾客也是中国人 I ...