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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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16 views

What is the difference between 能 vs. 会?

What is the difference between 能 and 会? Don’t they both mean “could”? What is the difference between them?
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How do I join more than one adjective together?

I've seen "敦厚老实", where the two adjectives are simply put together, but I've also seen things like "x而x", "x又x" and "又x又x". What do these mean, are there any other ways, and which are the most ...
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Where can I find some Chinese resources for my kid?

Where can I find some Chinese resources for my kid? My daughter is 6 years old, I want to teach her Mandarin Chinese. Thank you guys
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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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Tense and use of 了

I struggle a bit to get my head around tenses in Mandarin, and in particular when I need to use 了 (le). Do you have any tips, examples or resources to help me out with this?
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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” ...
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100 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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Learning Traditional first with the goal of learning both

I found this in the Mandarin wikibook: "It is considered easier for people who learn Traditional to read both sets than people who learn Simplified only, but Simplified characters are less ...
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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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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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Proper term 劝合不劝散

Came across this, old(?), term today: 劝合不劝散. A quick baidu gives me a lot of variants on this term though: 劝合不劝离 劝合不劝分 And 劝和不劝散 劝和不劝分 劝和不劝离 I would imagine anything with 和 would be a more ...
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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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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,我需要你们的帮衬。 若有人知道,就告诉我啊。 多谢!🙏
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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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Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?

I already have a hard time distinguishing tones in normal speech. This gets significantly worse when I listen to Chinese songs, since the melody masks tones even further. Yes, I understand that ...
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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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Is Southwestern Mandarin different from Mandarin?

I'm moving in two years to Yunnan. I'm learning Mandarin. But I've read that in Yunnan the official language is "Southwestern Mandarin". What's the difference? Will they be able to understand me?
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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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“Thank you” in Tibetan, Cantonese, and Mandarin

I have observed, from subtitled movies, that there seems to be an expression [tɔdʒe] in Cantonese meaning, approximately, "thank you". In Standard Lhasa Tibetan as represented by Nawang Nornang, the ...
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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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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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157 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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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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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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65 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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625 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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635 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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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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111 views

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 ...