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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2answers
120 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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96 views

Is there any study on the relative difficulty of native Chinese speakers with different dialects learning another dialect?

I wonder if there is any research conducted in China, on the relative difficulty of Chinese speakers learning different dialects. I'm looking for something like the research by the Foreign Service ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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
63 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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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
61 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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1answer
68 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 ...
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3answers
112 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
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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 ...
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245 views

Should the object always be placed after the verb, and is a target and an object the same thing?

I have a question about the placements of objects and targets in sentences. I am not sure if I understand the difference between "target" and "object". I have tried search for it, but they both seem ...
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Differences between 移民 and 移居

The two words 移民 and 移居 are really confusing to me, I’ve searched the dictionary but they are still vague to me. Can someone help me with the use of these 2 words and add some examples?
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Does 危机 really mean both crisis and opportunity?

A lot of people, mostly those who haven't studied Chinese, like to claim something along the lines of "In Chinese, the word for crisis 危机, also bears the meaning of opportunity." This is usually ...
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What are the differences between 本 and 版 when it comes to edition

I’ve found that 本 and 版 can be used to describe the edition of a published material, but do they have any differences between them? If they have, please give some examples
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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 ...
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1answer
60 views

Differences between 细腻, 细致, 精细 and 深入

All 4 words listed above all in some way have the meaning of fine, exquisite, detailed. So what are the differences between them? Please provice some examples
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1answer
82 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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5answers
120 views

Is Putonghua Mandarin Chinese or is it standard Mandarin Chinese?

This is driving me crazy. I've always thought that Mandarin was the common language of China and Putonghua was the term use to express this language spoken with standard pronunciation. I've often ...
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3answers
74 views

Does 害虫 and 益虫 cover different types of animals?

I’ve been looking into the word “pest”, and the dictionary showed me 害虫, but 虫 means insects, so I wonder whether the word 害虫 only means harmful insects or it also can be used to refer to other pests ...
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1answer
38 views

What are the differences between 违犯 and 违反?

Both 违犯 and 违反 share the meaning to violate. What are the differences between these two?
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1answer
72 views

What book is this passage from?

I found this passage on 北京大学's website but I can't even go back to the page of contents. I want to know the name of the book。it's the 阅读 section of the site.
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Does Taiwanese Mandarin have the neutral tone?

So I'm trying to learn Taiwanese Mandarin, and apparently they don't really use the neutral tone, but if that's the case how do you say things like 子,了, and 的?
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Errors and Unnatural Language in a Translation Challenge

I was recently challenged to translate the following sentence from English into Chinese: You should stay away from that bar. A friend of mine went there before, and he ended up in the hospital after ...
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5answers
622 views

Two “question words” in one sentence

One of my teachers asked us the example question: 你有什么安排吗? I asked her why there would be two "question words", 什么 and 吗, when I believed you should only have one question word (in this case, 吗 ...
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Asking for right answers for 中级 questions

I just wanted to ask for the right answers for these questions...  In these 2 paragraphs, are my 标点符号 right?  我家有五口人,爷爷   、奶奶、爸爸、妈妈和我。爸爸在电脑公司工作,他是一名工程师;妈妈在一所学校教数学,爷爷和奶奶早就退休,但他们也有很多活动;爷爷在老年大学学习书法,...
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What's the difference between 主任 and 主管?

As per title, what's the difference between these 2 terms? My teacher said that in China, 主任 is considered as low position, and 主管 is higher. But looking at the translation 主任 means director, which ...
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632 views

What is an idiomatic way to say “This is not good” in Mandarin?

The title mostly covers the question, but some elaboration might help. In English, there is a common construction of ideas whereby the speaker makes a statement about an action or event, and follows ...
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How do I say 'excuse me'?

So, I just found myself in a spot of bother. I decided to go to learn how to make some Chinese knots, but everything there was Chinese, so I had to speak Chinese. I understood the instructions that ...
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63 views

Why do we use 做 in this sentence as “being”?

Sentence: 我太喜欢和他做朋友了 How can we use 做 in this meaning in other sentences? Where can I read more about it and what is the name of this "rule"? And what is the meaning of the 了 in this sentence?
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Is this translation English to Chinese translation correct or close?

An unprecedented look into the food and culture of ice, from Iceland's premier chef and the owner of Reykjavik's Restaurant Dill. 一个史无前例的食物和冰岛的文化,从冰岛总理厨师和雷克雅未克的所有者迪尔餐厅。
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Why do native speakers often say a character has “no meaning”?

Many times I will know all the characters in a name but one & I'll ask what that one character means. 9 times out of 10 the response is, "That character has no meaning". While it might be true ...
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Is there a proverb that means “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”?

Is there a Chinese (Mandarin or Classical Chinese) proverb equivalent to the American proverb "the squeaky wheel gets the grease"? I looked it up in the Cambridge English-Traditional Chinese ...
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2answers
246 views

Is the pinyin of 「操」in「情操」and「步操」the same in Mandarin?

Originally posted at http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/phorum/read.php?4,130404 由細到大,自己同身邊嘅人都將「劉備」個「備」字讀成與(比)字同音 而「曹操」個「操」字就讀成與(粗)字同音 但最近睇港版,『三國 』(2013) 「劉備」個「備」字讀成「預備」個「備」 而「曹操」個「操」字就讀成「...
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1answer
94 views

Are the “h” in pinyin always pronounced as “[x]” in IPA?

Chinese (Mandarin) use [x] to pronounce h sound. It does not have any sounds such as [h] and [ɸ]. However, I'm not sure if it is fine to assume that all the h in pinyin are pronounced as [x]. ...
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344 views

What are a few alternative ways to say “to expect”?

There are many situations I'd like to say the following in Chinese: "That phone call was unexpected" "I did not expect that meeting to be so difficult" The only approach I know of is: "我没想到那个电话“ ”...
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406 views

How to say job offer in Mandarin/Cantonese?

Google Translate says job offer is 工作機會. This doesn't feel right. How do you say job offer in Cantonese and Mandarin?
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1answer
87 views

Is referring to Mandarin as just “Chinese” problematic?

I am living in Taiwan learning Mandarin Chinese (with traditional characters). When speaking in English I try to refer to the language as Mandarin both for clarity, and because I imagine people who ...
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What is the idiomatic way to say “clothing fits”?

There are various ways to express the verb "fit" in Mandarin, such as 適合,配合,對 and so on. I'm not sure which one to use when expressing sentences like: The clothes no longer fit me. I need clothes ...
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Error in Book? Need help

I was reading Assimil Chinese with Ease and came across this. 你见过他? Since this is a question, is 吗 necessary for the question? Perhaps an error? Or can you omit 吗?
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What derogatory terms are there for Chinese people?

What derogatory terms are there for Chinese people in Mandarin? In particular, I am looking for derogatory terms that apply to any person of Chinese ancestry regardless of birthplace, nationality, ...
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2answers
104 views

Differences between 访问,面试 and 采访

All 3 words seem to mean to interview, interview but what are the differences between them?
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160 views

Differences between 条 and 根

Both of these two words 条 and 根 in the dictionary are said to be measure words for long and thin objects. What are the differences between them?
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1answer
426 views

What 蛋 is referring to in “完蛋了”

完蛋了 means: Done for; ruined; finished; goose is cooked. It is the Mandarin counterpart of a Cantonese term "玩完" (game over) I am curious about what 蛋 is referring to. Without any reference, I can ...
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1answer
52 views

Touch: difference between 碰,碰觸,觸碰, and 觸

There appear to be multiple ways to say touch according to YellowBridge. 1) Is there a difference between 碰,碰觸,觸碰, and 觸, or are they interchangeable? 2) In Cantonese, 點 seems to be the right way to ...
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3answers
68 views

Which is used more often, 日没 and 日落

Both 日没 and 日落 express sunset but which one is often more widely used?
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515 views

Difference between 小吃 and 零食

Both of these words in the dictionary have themselves defined as “snack” but what are the differences between these 2 words?
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1answer
63 views

What is this proverb?

I met someone who told me a proverb which in English read as follows: Wake up late and you lose the morning. Wake up early and you lose the whole day. She repeated it in Mandarin very quickly ...
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2answers
69 views

How can I ask for extra ingredients in a dish?

How can I ask for more of an ingredient in a dish? like add extra cheese, extra meat, etc. Not that it matters but I specifically want to know this for 手抓餅.
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1answer
84 views

Differences between 摔,落 and 掉

The 3 words all have a meaning of fall but what are the differences between the 3 of them?
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Is “biang” a phonologically possible syllable in Mandarin Chinese?

One of the local specialty favourite dishes in Shaanxi province where I am now is Biángbiáng miàn. Photo by hippietrail The hanzi character for "biáng" is usually the focus of discusssions of this ...