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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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Using phrase 打不死

I recently encountered 打不死 as the title of a column in a US Chinese language newspaper. Asking my Chinese language teacher, she gave the literal translation of "beaten but not dead", meaning something ...
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Difference between 厉害 and 利害

I see they have the same pronunciation but does they bear any differences. It seems like 利害 can be pronunced lìhài or lìhai while 厉害 can only be pronounced lìhai
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Why 你在笑什么?, why not 你笑在什么?

In English, you say What are you laughing at? I'm laughing at this situation. Here, the preposition "at" refers to "this situation" and "what", respectively. In German it's more clear, since the ...
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The difference between 规范,规则,规章,规矩,规定,规律

After seeing in class these words (规定,规律,规范,规矩,规章), I’m in trouble to recognize the difference between them. I’m aware that some are used for country law, some for rules in society etc but I need a ...
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What's the difference between 逼, 迫, and 逼迫? Do they all carry the same connotation of “to force?”

1) 逼, 迫, and 逼迫 all seem to mean "to force." Is there a difference? 2) If there's a difference, when should you use each one? 3) Which is the most common to use in speaking and writing? 4) Is there ...
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Difference between 必 and 一定

Both words kinda mean “must, necessarily, certainly”. Can someone explain the differences between the 2?
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Proper Way to Address a President in a Formal Letter

I am supposed to write a formal letter in Chinese addressing a president concerning the rise of hunger in the country. I am not sure how to address someone in the said position but I have knowledge ...
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Is 受得了 the Mandarin equivalent of 頂得住 in Cantonese?

Is 受得了 the Mandarin equivalent of 頂得住 (cannot stand this) in Cantonese? If not, what is?
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Understanding how to use 以後

This grammar article says 以後 must modify some time, action, or event. However, one of the examples is: 以后再也不来这里吃饭了,又贵又难吃. 1) In the above example, 以後 starts the sentence and modifies nothing. Why is ...
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Why is 就 needed in 美國國務院稱華府仍未就卡舒吉案下定論? If it's needed, shouldn't it precede 仍未?

This news article contains the following title: 美國國務院稱華府仍未就卡舒吉案下定論 1) Why is the 就 needed? If it's needed, shouldn't it precede 仍未? 2) Is 仍 the literary version of 還? In other words, if you were to ...
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Asking close friends what they like as souvenirs/gifts

I want to ask close friends (both in Cantonese and Mandarin) what they'd like for souvenirs. “What/do you like anything from (Japan)?” How do I say this in both languages? Thanks
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How do non-Mandarin speakers type Standard Chinese Writing System?

As far as I know, people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese but use Mandarin when writing official documents or homework using Mandarin. 粤语白话字 is not allowed in such cases. How does this work? Does this ...
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Grammar for 看來妳忘了發一個訊息。還是妳有用一些避忌的說話所以中國政府阻擋的

This message was not understood by a friend: 看來妳忘了發一個訊息。還是妳有用一些避忌的說話所以中國政府阻擋的。 The goal was to say this: It looks like you forgot to send a message. Or else you used some taboo words blocked by the ...
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Best translation for “confused”: 迷惑,困惑,弄混,搞亂,搞混?

This page lists multiple entries for confused: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/dictionary.php What's the best translation for confused in these contexts: 1) English: "What you just said ...
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Differences in “surprise” translations: 驚奇, 吃驚, 驚喜

This page lists multiple entries for surprise: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/dictionary.php 1) What's the difference among 驚奇, 吃驚, and 驚喜? 2) Are the meaning and uses the same for Cantonese?
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Mandarin equivalent of 同 when the meaning is “for, on behalf of”

As the dictionary entry below lists, 同 in Cantonese means for, on behalf of. http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/characters/215/ In Cantonese, you might say something like this (slightly ...
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Do you change your voice when you're surprised, unsure etc. in Mandarin?

In English you sometimes pronounce words in very different pitches/tones to express your emotions. For example when you're offended, surprised or when being sarcastic. Depending on the situation you ...
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51 views

How to express psychological insecurity (not physical insecurity)?

These two dictionaries seem to offer translations for insecurity that capture the physical sort, not the psychological sort (i.e., insecurity about your looks, weight, smarts, etc.). http://www....
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Appearance should be 現象, 跡象, or 表面?

This dictionary page lists many options for appearance: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/scripts/wordsearch.php?level=0 現象, 跡象, and 表面 all seem like good candidates. 1) Which one is the most common ...
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Difference between 偏見,偏私,and 偏心?

偏見,偏私,and 偏心 all seem to mean biased in some form or another. Is there a difference among the three, or are they interchangeable?
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從上次我們去那個咖啡店這次是第一次去了: This is the first time at the coffee shop since the last time we went?

Trying to translate This is the first time at the coffee shop since the last time we went produced these two sentences, which feel incorrect for Chinese grammar. 從上次我們去那個咖啡店這次是第一次去了 從上次我們去那個咖啡店,...
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Single-worded verbs being repeated when use in a sentence

So in Mandarin there are verbs like 数 means count and 试 means try but I usually them being doubled when use in a sentence (I.e: 请数数 = Please count). Can somebody explains for me?
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The use of 部 as a classifier in Mandarin

So I’ve read that 部 is used for machines, films and literature. So does that mean I can use 部 for words like 书,词典, etc even though they usually go with 本?
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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. It claims when the time is specified, it's acceptable to use 了 after a verb and before the object as ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
66 views

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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1answer
60 views

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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3answers
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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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4answers
143 views

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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174 views

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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61 views

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?