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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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2answers
480 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 ...
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60 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 ...
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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?
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108 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 ...
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2answers
118 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 ...
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3answers
76 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 ...
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7answers
639 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 ...
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5answers
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Confusion about bian 邊 and miàn 面

I'm having a little trouble with learning directions and positions. It seems that most often the word bian is being used to indicate a position: front side 前邊, back side 後邊, etc. But then I see stuff ...
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What is the difference between 通常,经常,and 常常?

What is the difference between 通常,经常,and 常常? I hear them a lot in conversational Chinese, but I can't pick out the difference in meaning. The dictionaries I've checked don't seem to agree on their ...
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94 views

Difference between “游泳” and “游水”

I've been learning with a course, and one of the lessons said: 这个男人在游泳, but the same sentence with a dog was: 这只狗在游水. I presume that both were doing the same thing: swimming. So, can I use 游泳 with ...
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4answers
527 views

Difference between 製作 and 製造?

Both 製作 and 製造 mean "to make" according to this dictionary: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/2913/ http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/6021/ It seems like 製造 might ...
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3answers
61 views

Difference between 學識 and 知識?

According to these dictionary links, both 學識 and 知識 mean knowledge. http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/6078/ http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/6078/ 1) What's the ...
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90 views

Difference between 偏見,偏私,and 偏心?

偏見,偏私,and 偏心 all seem to mean biased in some form or another. Is there a difference among the three, or are they interchangeable?
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從上次我們去那個咖啡店這次是第一次去了: This is the first time at the coffee shop since the last time we went?

Trying to translate This is the first time at the coffee shop since the last time we went produced these two sentences, which feel incorrect for Chinese grammar. 從上次我們去那個咖啡店這次是第一次去了 從上次我們去那個咖啡店,...
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1answer
36 views

Single-worded verbs being repeated when use in a sentence

So in Mandarin there are verbs like 数 means count and 试 means try but I usually them being doubled when use in a sentence (I.e: 请数数 = Please count). Can somebody explains for me?
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The use of 部 as a classifier in Mandarin

So I’ve read that 部 is used for machines, films and literature. So does that mean I can use 部 for words like 书,词典, etc even though they usually go with 本?
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Could 看不起 work as the Mandarin equivalent of 睇唔起?

This dictionary entry says the Mandarin equivalent of Cantonese's 睇唔起 is 瞧不起. http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/15825/ Some Mandarin speakers seem to use 看不起. Is 看不起 a valid way of ...
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560 views

“I will,” “I can,” “I will (probably)” A fundamental problem with 會

I've always been a little wary of talking about the future in Chinese using the character 會, my early teachers made it ambiguous or demanded that I use a 的 at the end of every 會 sentence, but then ...
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1answer
80 views

Difference between 儘量 and 盡量?

Both 儘量 and 盡量 seem to mean, "try your best," according to these dictionary entries: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/sentsearch.php?word=%E7%9B%A1%E9%87%8F https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/...
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2answers
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Is 看怎麼理解? a generalized expression for “it depends” in Mandarin? How about for Cantonese?

A movie used the phrase 看怎麼理解 to mean, "it depends." The context was character A asking character B if something is good or bad. Character B responded with 看怎麼理解. 1) Is 看怎麼理解 a generalized phrase ...
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“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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178 views

Mandarin vs. Cantonese: 令 vs 讓 for making something happen

In Cantonese, it's common to hear someone say 令 when referring to making something happen. Example: 妳咁做令我開心 (You make me happy when you do this.) Some friends claimed Mandarin doesn't use 令 this way ...
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210 views

Why is there such a difference between “first name” and “last name”?

I'm learning how to translate "What's your last/first name?" with Duolingo and Google Translate. Both apps indicate that the correct translations are 你的姓是什么? and 你叫什么名字 There are many differences ...
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3answers
3k views

What font size for reading simplified characters on screen?

I realize this sounds like a very subjective question, so I will try to ask it very carefully: I'm learning to speak, read, and write Mandarin. A lot of times (particularly on the web or in e-mail) I ...
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2answers
90 views

Could you please correct my sentences?

Could you please correct my text ? 虽然我会说一口流利的法语,但是我想说一口流利的汉语。 我的职业 是律师。 律师 的责任很大,因为他必须解决严重得实情。然后压力大。 可是在巴黎 律师逐渐增加。 因此招聘越来越少。
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82 views

Would 反駁 be the Mandarin equivalent to 駁嘴?

駁嘴 in Cantonese means to "answer back" or "argue" often in a disrespectful way. URL: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/16019/ Would 反駁 be the Mandarin equivalent to 駁嘴?
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1answer
145 views

Which is the more polite way to ask for permission: 能 or 可以?

According to this site, both 能 and 可以 can be used to politely ask for permission. 1) Which is considered more polite? 2) Which is more formal? 3) Is it the same for Cantonese?
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2answers
112 views

Safe to always use 之後 instead of 以後, and 之前 instead of 以前?

According to this grammar page, it appears like 之後 can always replace 以後, whereas 以後 cannot always replace 之後. However, these grammar pages are not always reliable. 1) For simplicity, is it safe to ...
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2answers
122 views

Translation of 追番

What would 追番" translate to? It was displayed next to a heart icon on bilibili. From consulting a dictionary I believe hui in this context is pursue and fan is a measure word? I assume it means ...
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2answers
62 views

Would 怎麼知道 or 怎麼知 be the right Mandarin equivalent to the Cantonese phrase 點知?

Would 怎麼知道 or 怎麼知 be the right Mandarin equivalent to the Cantonese phrase 點知? If not, what would be the right equivalent?
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1answer
55 views

Do Mandarin people use 補鑊 as slang to represent fence-mending or damage control?

Cantonese people often use 補鑊 to mean fence-mending or damage control. Do Mandarin people use this phrase as well? If not, what phrase would be the Mandarin equivalent?
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1answer
82 views

Proper grammar: 生活 中 不是 缺少 美 ,而是 缺少 发现的?

This grammar page lists the following example: 生活 中 不是 缺少 美 ,而是 缺少 发现 美 的 眼睛 。 Shēnghuó zhōng bù shì quēshǎo měi, ér shì quēshǎo fāxiàn měi de yǎnjing. Would it be correct grammar to omit ...
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2answers
94 views

Mandarin/Cantonese translation of “it depends on your definition of 'good'”

Alice takes Bob to a new steak restaurant. Alice: Do you think the steak here is good? Bob: It depends on your definition of "good." 1) What is the natural translation for Bob's statement? ...
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3answers
553 views

Would “mutual acquaintance” in Mandarin be 共同朋友 or 相識朋友?

Which would be the more authentic Mandarin translation for "mutual acquaintance": 1) 共同朋友 2) 相識朋友? Is it the same for Cantonese?
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4answers
132 views

What is the Chinese Homophonic Group?

Equivalent question: What Chinese letters won't equal 1? (If I need to specify, then I guess I'll pick Mandarin) From: the homophonic group: a mathematical diversion --> This is an exercise from ...
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4answers
470 views

Is 个 acceptable for all nouns?

My Chinese teacher says she doesn't care. But for future reference, is 个 acceptable as a measure word for all nouns?
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1answer
97 views

What to use when referring to the character 格

In Chinese, you can use 博士的博 to indicate the character 博 instead of other bó. Like a for apple or b for baby. What about for the character 格, what do most Chinese people commonly use in practice to ...
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1answer
72 views

Mandarin Chinese Alphanumerical Ordering

I'm attempting to create a small, multi-lingual multiplayer game that uses a single-character alphanumerical ordering system. For example, the player's rank would start at their language's first ...
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1answer
79 views

Is “光轮” for “Nimbus” as in “Nimbus 2000 broomstick” just a transliteration?

In a translation of the second Harry Potter book: "All Harry's spellbooks, wand, cauldron and top-of-the-range Nimbus 2000 broomstick had been locked in a cupboard under the stairs by Uncle Vernon ...
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4answers
186 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。
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3answers
158 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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2answers
920 views

Where are you? What are you doing?

So I translated it like: "Ni zai nar? Ni zuo shenme?" But I found "Ni zai zuo shenme?" online... How is it zai zuo (in + to do)??? And is it correct if I just say zuo (to do)?? Does it express the ...
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5answers
897 views

Duoshao vs shenme

Is it ok to ask, "Nide dianhua haoma shi shenme?" (What is your telephone number) Or do I have to say, "Nide dianhua haoma shi duoshao?" which is the translation on duolingo. Also, Can I just say, ...
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2answers
402 views

How to say, “Could you please move over?” (Cantonese and Mandarin)

Assume Bob is sitting on the couch. In Mandarin, how would Alice politely ask Bob to move over and make room for her? Is this different for Cantonese?
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4answers
452 views

“How are you this morning” in Chinese?

Is "Ni jin tian zao shang zen me yang?(你今天早上怎麼樣?)" ok? Can we also say, "Ni zhe ge zao shang zen me yang? (你這個早上怎麼樣?)" Cux we do say, "Ni zhe ge xing qi zen me yang? (你這個星期怎麼樣?)" for how are you ...
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3answers
71 views

Are they in Britain?

In Chinese it will be "Tamen zai ying guo ma?" But I studied that we use shi to connect nouns, so can we also say: Tamen "shi" zai ying guo ma? Is it also grammatically correct? It's just easier for ...
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1answer
71 views

Question about the use of “零” in money

If I spent 100.50, would I have to say, "一百块零五毛" if yes, why do I have to put the "ling" after the "kuai" since "yibaikuai" already establishes the number 100?
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2answers
57 views

How can I improve my translation?

拥有豪华的住宅和一批在菲律宾。 开放的外国护照持有人。 拥有您梦寐以求的房子在该国的,而不仅仅是一座公寓式的! ENGLISH Own luxurious house and lot in the Philippines. Open for Foreign passport holders. Own you dream house in the country and not just ...
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1answer
174 views

How do you say “Where is Beijing?”

In Chinese will we say, "Beijing zai nār/nali?". Because I just learned to say, "Lundun zai Ying Guo." Plus, "Where is your home?" is, "Nide jia zai nar?" So using these rules, is it acceptable? ...
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2answers
62 views

What are these Chinese character stamps?

I found these stamps in an old book, what are they I can hardly make them out? And what do they mean.