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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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83 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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〉"
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Not sure what I should use for “when”?

Could I say 当我回家的时 for "when I was coming home"?
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'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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
239 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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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.
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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
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Difference between 必 and 一定

Both words kinda mean “must, necessarily, certainly”. Can someone explain the differences between the two?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...