Questions tagged [mandarin]

Question specifically about the Mandarin dialect. (Not for arbitrary questions that happen to involve Mandarin.)

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4
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1answer
139 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 ...
0
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1answer
173 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.
5
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1answer
722 views

Selecting resources to improve reading for upper-intermediate level? [closed]

There is a great question on 'how to practice reading for beginners' at the moment that's got a lot of really useful answers, and so I figured I'd ask for some useful things closer to my level. Does ...
10
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6answers
2k views

Are there rules about the differences between pinyin spelling and pronunciation?

I noticed that sometimes certain finals in Chinese sound differently when combined with different initials. For e.g., what is spelled "u" sometimes is pronounced "ü". Other times, ...
7
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2answers
160 views

How do expressions like “二嫂” work in Mandarin?

From what I've known from watching Chinese dramas, siblings or fellow disciples may refer to each other as: "big brother/sister" (oldest/first) "2nd/3rd brother/sister" (in-...
2
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1answer
137 views

Besides the radical, what meaning does the rest of a Chinese character have (especially when it was originally created)?

I am a beginning student of Mandarin Chinese. There is a key thing about Chinese characters that I am trying to understand. Besides the radical, what purpose does the rest of a character have? Was it ...
6
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3answers
239 views

Why is the Pinyin for 波 bo1 not buo1? And why is 多 duo1 instead of do1?

Recently I started to learn Pinyin. The system is relatively easy to follow but some ambiguity does exist. For example, I found the usage of finals o and uo confusing: why the Pinyin for 波 is bo1, not ...
3
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2answers
347 views

How can I get exposure to Mandarin usage and pronunciation?

I have been taking Mandarin classes at university. Due to illness I have missed a lot and fallen way behind. Now I wish to continue learning on my own. I find it very hard to remember the characters. ...
2
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2answers
152 views

What's the difference between 逼, 迫, and 逼迫?

Do 逼, 迫, and 逼迫 all carry the same connotation of "to force"? Is there a difference? If there's a difference, when should you use each one? Which is the most common to use in speaking and ...
3
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1answer
59 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?
3
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3answers
2k views

How do you politely ask for things in Mandarin?

I like to say please sometimes when I want to be polite to someone when asking them for something. Is this customary in Mandarin? For example, if I wanted to ask for some water, I might ask my ...
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1answer
65 views

What does this beautiful Chinese lady and her (assumed) man sing about? [closed]

https://youtu.be/x5T5Bu-IZwo?t=12 It's ~3 minutes long, but you don't need to listen to/translate it all. I'm just curious as to what the song is about, especially what the lady sings in the beginning ...
5
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3answers
284 views

How do you say “You mean …?” to respond to what you don't understand enough?

In English, it is common to ask "You mean XXX...?" when a person does not understand enough what the conversation opponent said. I'm now in China, and to express the same thing I usually say ...
8
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4answers
2k views

How to pronounce 儿 in conjunction with other characters

The textbook I'm reading now has liberal sprinklings of the 儿 character suffixing words that I have not previously seen suffixed. For example: 空儿。 How should this be pronounced? Are there any rules ...
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0answers
34 views

Cangjie code for Simplified Character 麦

Three resources indicating Cangjie codes pointed to QMHE as the code for麦 。Traditional 麥 (JONI) worked.Unfortunately this resulted wrong in two of the input methods I use Sugou any Google zhuyin/...
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2answers
402 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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5answers
37k views

What is the exact meaning of 吃豆腐, and where does the expression come from?

I'm not talking about eating tofu, but the expression that means something more like taking advantage of someone. What exactly does 吃豆腐 mean, and where does this expression come from?
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9answers
3k views

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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3answers
866 views

Does Chinese require more context to avoid ambiguities than English?

After some time learning Chinese, I feel Chinese language is more ambiguous than English or Spanish, in the sense that a single sentence without some context can easily have multiple distinct meanings,...
2
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1answer
65 views

Is it normal to not use abbreviation for titles in Mainland China?

I notice people in mainland China use abbreviation for almost all titles. Example: 習總裁 --> 习总 郎(平)教練 --> 郎教 任隊長 --> 任隊 This kind of abbreviation even appears in Hong Kong's TV dramas. ...
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4answers
101 views

How do you refer to multiple people with the same surname?

I was wondering if Chinese people ever get confused addressing multiple people with the same last name. For example, let's say you are at a gathering and you meet many people who are from the same ...
2
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1answer
62 views

Is “就快下雨了” correct Mandarin?

I've been watching Peppa Pig to improve my Mandarin, but here at 1:59, the mama pig says “就快下雨了” meaning to say that it will rain soon. However I thought that the phrase "就快" was Cantonese ...
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3answers
125 views

Is this a valid riddle in Mandarin?

I came up with this 看图猜謎 based on Cantonese jyutping. Is it a valid riddle in Mandarin? 猜一句詩 (guess a verse in a poem) Answer:
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5answers
713 views

Which verbs DO NOT go with 了 and or 过?

I remember reading that some verbs don't accept 了 or 过. Side question: When I use a word like 昨天 or 以前 do I use 了 or is it redundant? e.g. 昨天我去买了一台电脑 or 昨天我买一台电脑
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1answer
56 views

Resources for Chinese in formal situations [closed]

I am looking for a comprehensive guide of formal Chinese for business emails, memos, laws, newspapers, etc. I am aware that some sentence patterns are only used in a formal context. For example, ....均....
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2answers
333 views

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 ...
10
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5answers
1k views

Are people's names always pronounced the same in Mandarin?

In many languages, you can not be really sure how to pronounce a person's name, so you have to ask them first, and remember. For instance, "Broglie" can be brɔɪ or brɔˈgli, "中島" can be Nakashima or ...
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2answers
829 views

Describing a person that can speak Mandarin

Yesterday I met a person that can speak Mandarin. We had a nice chat and I was going over it in my head today. I want to tell another friend that I met someone that can speak mandarin, but I'm having ...
1
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1answer
74 views

Is there a difference between 夂 and 夊, radicals 34 and 35 and 攵, Kangxi 66?

The excellent Olle Linge asked the similar question "Is there a difference between 夂 and 夊?" about seven years ago. The learned answers at that time missed the fact that 攵 appears more commonly in ...
4
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2answers
611 views

Are `sh` and `x` really different phonemes, or just different realizations of the same phoneme?

I can't think of any minimal pairs; like shu vs. xu probably shouldn't count as a minimal pair since the vowel is different.
0
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2answers
67 views

How would I say 'what …' in Mandarin

I think the French ce qui/que says it better. This is what I mean: I do what I want. (Je fais ce que je veux, in French) How would the 'what' be translated?
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4answers
2k views

Origin of beautiful kingdom and hero kingdom

Why in Mandarin chinese, USA is beautiful kingdom and England is hero kingdom?
4
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3answers
2k views

What qualities does Hong Kong Mandarin have?

With Mandarin making more and more in-roads into Cantonese speaking Hong Kong, I'm wondering what characteristics set it apart from Standard Mandarin or other regional Mandarin dialects and/or accents....
11
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3answers
970 views

Anyone know why cellphones are called 大哥大 in Taiwan?

I was looking at Singapore Mandarin from the question here on Hong Kong Mandarin and came across the word for cellphone. I know it's popular now to refer to cellphones as 手机 but I remember in Taiwan ...
16
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4answers
3k views

“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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5answers
2k views

Why does 有机 as in 有机食品 mean organic?

有 and 机 are some of the first characters we learn in Chinese, but only recently did I find out that they mean "organic" when put together. Can anyone explain why this is?
1
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1answer
120 views

Pinyin “jiu” / “you” final pronunciation difference

In Mandarin should there be any difference between the pronunciation of the pinyin final in "jiu" and the pronunciation of the pinyin whole word "you"?
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3answers
53 views

“Still better than” informal translation — X 还是比 Y 好 abbreviation

I want to say "X is still better than Y :)" in a kind of joking/offhand manner. This is just a simple text message, so I would further like to abbreviate it like: "still better than Y :)" My ...
13
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14answers
39k views

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 ...
2
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2answers
1k views

What is the exact meaning and etymology of 拜年?

Since Chinese New Year is on the way (and thanks to Xiaohouzi's great suggestion), I've been thinking all about the new year. One term the sticks out is 拜年. I'm very curious to know the exact meaning,...
8
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4answers
452 views

Does Chinese have a phrase equivalent to “For all I know”?

There is an expression in English: "For all I know, ...." The following clause often has a modal expressing uncertainty or the hypothetical nature of the assertion, like "might", ...
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1answer
71 views

What is the Chinese lady in this 5-second video clip saying?

https://streamable.com/e/n5fhft?autoplay=1 I finally cut it out, uploaded and asked about it after wondering about it for years. What is she saying?
2
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2answers
124 views

Help with a Taiwanese expression

I had friends from Taiwan many years ago who often used an expression that seemed to mean something like "praising an idol, or bowing down" not sure. Sometimes said with a bowing down motion. It was ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Can 得 be used as a stand alone answer?

The following question/answer combinations are correct to my knowledge. 他能去吗?能。 他会去吗?会。 他可以去吗?可以。 What about the following question/answer combinations ? 他应该去吗?应该。 他该去吗?该。 他必须去吗?必须。 他得去吗?得。 ...
2
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3answers
91 views

When can nouns be used as verbs?

I’ve heard quite a few people from Mainland China say something like this: 每个周末我都会和我的父母一起视频。 I video call my parents every weekend. Now, 视频 just means “video”, which means it is a noun. The ...
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4answers
344 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。
4
votes
4answers
529 views

Where to put the time phrase? 你运动多久一次? or 你多久运动一次?

Does an adverb of frequency usually occur after the verb? How should I say "how often do you play sports?" 你运动多久一次? OR 你多久运动一次?
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2answers
1k views

In spoken Mandarin, what adjectives can be used to complement a person's appearance?

In spoken Mandarin Chinese what adjectives can be used to complement a person's appearance? I can think of a couple off the top of my head: 美丽 - Měilì - Beautiful 可爱 - Kě'ài - Cute 性感 - Xìnggǎn - ...
4
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2answers
222 views

Words for 'escorting,' 'showing around': 带你出去 vs. 护送你出去 vs. 陪你去玩儿

带你出去... 护送你出去... 陪你去玩儿... I am especially interested in the difference in meaning between the first and third. The third may not be correct because I may be recalling it poorly. The first seems clear:...
3
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1answer
163 views

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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