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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
5
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

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?
2
votes
2answers
109 views

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, ...
2
votes
2answers
116 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?
4
votes
3answers
163 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?
6
votes
1answer
433 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
55 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
69 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?
5
votes
2answers
520 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?
1
vote
1answer
64 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
74 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.
3
votes
1answer
85 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?
11
votes
6answers
3k views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Abbreviations for Parts of Speech

I learned in another thread (Chinese Dictionary Question) that 助, 形 are abbreviated forms of 助动词, 形容词. Is there a reference, online or in print, that lists all parts of speech and their corresponding ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

Chinese Dictionary Question

What do the characters in angle brackets signify? Examples: http://www.zdic.net/z/15/xs/4E48.htm "〈后缀〉" "〈助〉" http://www.zdic.net/z/16/xs/54C1.htm "〈形〉" "〈名〉" "〈动〉"
2
votes
2answers
116 views

when is the suffix 边/面 required?

I have learnt location words such as 上/下/前/后etc. and understand they can modify a noun such as -桌子上,宿舍前 . I also know the suffix 边 or 面 can be added (doesn't really change the meaning). When do i need ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Curious about different ways of swearing in Mandarin

I'm not sure if this is considered an appropriate conversation or question but I've had conversations with Cantonese speakers before who've mentioned that it's so easy to swear in Cantonese, but there ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Not sure what I should use for “when”?

Could I say 当我回家的时 for "when I was coming home"?
1
vote
2answers
101 views

'To revise for an exam' idiom

In English, its natural to say the following sentence: 'I will revise for my exam.' In the above case, it could be argued that the word 'for' is being used as an idiom since you are revising for ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the format of official “online” HSK tests?

Some HSK test centres give the option of taking an online test (albeit supervised under exam conditions). What format does this take? Is the audio played on a CD player to the whole room or do you ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

Identify Mandarin word - “kiāng”

Have seen this word in video comments and cannot find a reference for it anywhere?? Some details: Always rendered in zhuyin (ㄎㄧㄤ) even in otherwise ideographic text Doesn't appear to be a native ...
2
votes
1answer
237 views

Which is better, 其他所有 or 所有其他?

其他所有 or 所有其他,which word order is more natural and ”合乎中文的习惯” ? For example, as in 其他所有内容 or 所有其他内容, 其他所有人 or 所有其他人, etc.
3
votes
2answers
319 views

How do I use 着呢 correctly?

So 着呢, from the book I am currently studying (汉语教程) says it uses it at the end of a sentence to express “very”. However, my teacher said this is incorrect and said 着呢 is used to express something is ...
0
votes
4answers
188 views

What is 了 doing in the sentence 我出发了?

Consider the sentence 我出发了。 with the translation I'm leaving. This was given to me in a list of examples demonstrating the putting 了 after a verb expresses a completed action (perfect aspect, I ...
4
votes
7answers
888 views

What does “整块的时间” mean?

I have a sentence in my textbook I've mostly translated, but I can't piece this part together. "交通不是很便利不说,还需要整块的时间" Google translate spits out: "Traffic is not very convenient, you also need the ...
6
votes
4answers
243 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

What is the difference (and english translation) between 风浪 and 涌浪?

As far as I can tell, 风浪 is waves created by wind, and 涌浪 would be waves created by tidal movements or surge waves. However, this is a very bulky way to describe them. What is the English for this ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

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?
2
votes
3answers
281 views

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 pronounced lìhài or lìhai while 厉害 can only be pronounced lìhai.
3
votes
5answers
208 views

Difference between 很 and 挺

As far as I know, both means “very”. I would like to know if there are any further differences that exist between them
2
votes
3answers
144 views

Difference between 必 and 一定

Both words kinda mean “must, necessarily, certainly”. Can someone explain the differences between the two?
7
votes
2answers
805 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
221 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
212 views

Is there any proof that learning ones own dialect will improve ability in Mandarin?

There were many topolectical surveys done and data collected in the 70’s and 80’s under the reasoning that a person more familiar with their own dialect would be readily more proficient at Mandarin. ...
2
votes
2answers
345 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
156 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
51 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
4k views

My Chinese Character Writing is Sloppy

Since learning Mandarin through Rosetta Stone, Youtube videos, and friends, I've begun to keep a journal of mandarin characters and phrases. I first draw the character, along with the pinyin and ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
117 views

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
0
votes
1answer
84 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
302 views

Question words at the end or beginning? Shei (very confusing)

So far, question words in Chinese have always appeared at the end.. but with "shei" I saw sentences like "Shei shi nide baba?" So it can be used at the start or end of a sentence? We could say, "Nide ...
2
votes
2answers
462 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

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?
1
vote
1answer
102 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
114 views

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
75 views

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 ...
20
votes
7answers
633 views

Question about “很好”

I've read that when asked the simple question 你好吗? ("How are you?"), answering 我很好 is the standard form, while 我好 is simply not used. 很 means "very", but 我很好 is simply translated as "I'm fine." and ...