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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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6answers
229 views

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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Are these two form of “I live in…” both correct? 我在意大利住 and 我住在意大利

While studying I came across a useful expression to say "I live in..." which is "...在...住" such as in this sentence: 我在意大利住。= I live in Italy. Wǒ zài Yìdàlì zhù. But then I saw a different one ...
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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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Descriptive / generative grammar of Mandarin?

Does anyone know where I can find a descriptive grammar and a generative grammar of Mandarin, in English or French?
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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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Ways to politely insult somebody's intelligence in Mandarin?

I know of many words to insult people and call them stupid, but a majority of them are incredibly offensive. There are more polite phrases, such as 真笨, which I've seen used within families (as a plain ...
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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 ...
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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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What is the role of 在 in 您要在关闭文件前保存吗?

I was using a text editor in Chinese, when I tried to exit without saving the currently opened file it showed me this sentence: 您要在关闭文件前保存吗? What is the role of 在 here? Is it related to the usage ...
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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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What does 與 mean in 對我來說她的存在是與現實之間的邊界綫?

I was curious about this sentence: 對我來說她的存在是與現實之間的邊界綫 I don't quite understand the meaning of 與 The dictionary I use gives the following definitions: 與 yú variant of 歟|欤 與 yǔ and; to ...
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Why there is no 的 after 你 in 你国家的医院好吗?

I got a translation of “Are hospitals in your country good?” from a native speaker of Mandarin as: 你国家的医院好吗? Why there is no 的 after 你? It is after a pronoun for instance in such a sentence: ...
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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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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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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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278 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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2answers
354 views

Is it correct to use 首都 for capital of province?

I am trying to do a cultural project on the city of Harbin. However, I'm not sure if it is correct to say this. I found out that Harbin was the capital of the province of Heilongjiang. If I said, ...
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4answers
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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
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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2answers
639 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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1answer
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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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358 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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4answers
375 views

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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2answers
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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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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
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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
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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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3answers
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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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2answers
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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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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
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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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1answer
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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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5answers
262 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 ...