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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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Jin tian ji hao?

I learnt to ask weekday as, "Jin tian xing qi ji?" With an optional "shi" after jin tian. So I want to know if the shi in "Jin tian shi ji hao?" is also optional. Also, can I say, "Jin tian ji ri?" ...
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Politeness 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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Is the position of 都 in a sentence important? (example inside)

In this instance i'm trying to communicate "every" or "each" What do you usually do on weekends? 你週末通常都做什麼 Vs 你週末都通常做什麼 Is there a meaningful difference in the position in this sentence? or is ...
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What is the word to emphasize the 最~ (“by far the best”) in Mandarin?

I would like to know an equivalent word for "by far" in Mandarin, when it comes to the superlative degree (最~). For example: 有的人之所以不吃早餐是大概为三种理由而划分了。第一个是来不及,第二个是减肥,而第三个是很麻烦。但是第一个理由是最多的。 In this ...
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What Chinese languages are spoken in South East Asia?

With the abundance of immigration and emigration in Asia it would be interesting to know where the Chinese languages moved to as well. The effect of Chinese characters on Japan and Korea goes ...
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Where can I find a list of chinese characters and their transcription in the 5 stroke classes used in the 五笔画 (wǔ bǐhuà) and Wubixing input method?

For a personal project I want to create a (huge) graph that contains some (as many as possible) chinese characters along the paths of their corresponding keyboard input using the 5 stroke classes ...
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“an” final pronunciation

I have had eight mainland Chinese teachers over the time I have spent studying, and I am still confused, because I find there are inconsistencies between my textbook's audio CDs, my teachers' ...
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Why does Mandarin differentiate 发[發/髮] fa1/fa4 when most topolects don't?

發 and 髮 have been simplified into one single character: 发. 发 contains the separate meanings of 發 and 髮 but differentiates by tone: fa1 (fā) and fa4 (fà). Most topolects (西安,武汉,洛阳,乌鲁木齐,贵阳,济南,柳州,万荣,...
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What does 老外 mean if the Chinese speaker is in a foreign country?

In the following answer over 知乎 to the question 在西班牙生活是怎样的体验?: 8-中西文化差别很大,前几天,我废了好多力气去解释什么是mianzi,还有因为文化差距,也很难跟老外走的很近,大部分都是中国人跟中国人,老外跟老外。老外很喜欢夜店,迪厅,什么的,答主还是不喜欢这些。这里karaoke 都是中国人开的,打不过的顾客也是中国人 I ...
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Correct grammar for “While speaking Cantontese with my mom, I accidentally said one half of a sentence in Mandarin and the other half in Cantonese.”?

The goal is to translate the following: Mandarin has sure enough affected my Cantonese. "While speaking Cantontese with my mom, I accidentally said one half of a sentence in Mandarin and the ...
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Is it acceptable to omit the main clause in 只要~ phrase?

Is the following sentence over 人民網: 朝鲜最高领导人金正恩在20日举行的劳动党中央委员会第七届第三次全体会议上宣布,朝鲜将从21日开始,不再进行任何核试验和洲际弹道导弹发射,废弃朝鲜北部核试验场。只要朝鲜不受核威胁挑衅,朝鲜绝对不使用核武器,不泄露核武器和核技术。 When you use 只要~, it needs a main clause, ...
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Is there any other language intelligible to Mandarin Chinese speakers?

Can native speakers of Mandarin Chinese readily understand speakers of neighbouring regions such as Korea, Japan, Mongolia, or Canton? Are Mandarin Chinese and any of these languages mutually ...
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What does 的 mean in 表示对某人某事的亲近和关心?

In the following sentence which explains the usage of ~长~短 phrase: 中间嵌入两个相同的名词,表示对某人某事的亲近和关心。 I don't understand what the 的 here means. Does it refer to "of ~" but what should be after 的 is ...
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Using those characters only/with out adding, replacing, or removing is my sentence structure and grammar correct?

Can someone please help me? I suck at forming sentences in Chinese. I know if I practice I would get better but I have no one to check if my sentence structure is correct. Hopefully, it is! 一)...
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How to say, “Let's test your sense of direction. How do we get to the car from here?”

Would the following be the appropriate translation for "Let's test your sense of direction. How do we get to the car from here?" It feels awkward, like English grammar forced into Chinese grammar. :) ...
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Usage of 的要 in this sentence

I am having difficulty understanding how 的要 is being used in the second sentence 頭髮太長囉 該剪的要剪一剪了 The first sentence makes sense, [Your] hair [is] too long However I don't understand at all how 的 ...
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Mandarin equivalent of 轉行 (zyun3 hong4), which means to switch industries?

In Cantonese, you often say 轉行 (zyun3 hong4) to say "switch industries". What's the Mandarin equivalent?
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When should I use 地 on an adjective and when not as an use for adverb (and why do some adverbs require 地)?

I got quite confused these days with the grammar rule that adds 地 to an adjective to make it work as an adverb. My basic understanding is that you must add 地 to make an adjective work as an adverb, ...
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How to say “here you go” when giving a gift?

I believe you can informally say "gěi" when handing something over like the soy sauce during dinner, right? But what can you say when you give a gift? Like "Here you go" instead of just "Here". Or ...
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Difference between 大兄弟 and 小伙子

Difference between 大兄弟 and 小伙子. Under which condition should we use one of them?
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Why is Húnán pronounced with an F?

I traveled to Hunan province and stumbled across something interesting. I was speaking to a taxi driver and asked him, 'where are you from'? He responded, 'Funan'. I then realized he actually meant '...
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二 Mandarin pronunciation vs. other dialects and Japanese

Since I started learning Japanese a while ago, I always found the onyomi pronunciation of 二, being 'ni', unusual compared to the Mandarin pronunciation of 'èr'. The Old and Middle Chinese ...
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Usage of 與 in this sentence

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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招待人 for “host” of guests or visitors (e.g., our “host” was kind)?

主持人 means the host of a show or event. What is the right word for someone who entertains or hosts guests? 招待人? For instance, assume this sentence: Alice thought Bob was a kind and hospitable host. ...
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Is '我还需要多加练习' okay as a dance video caption?

I want to upload a video of me learning a dance but I make several mistakes so I want to say something like 'I need more practice' or 'more practice needed'. is 我还需要多加练习 a natural way of saying this ...
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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 the ...
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Can you say "好久不看“ in written conversation?

大家好, I know the expression "好久不见". In written conversation (chatting to Chinese people I have never met in person but am regularly chatting with), is it possible to use "好久不看" (~"long time no read")? ...
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Mandarin dialect pronouncing sizzling consonants differently

Sometimes when people speak Chinese they pronounce "zh" more like "z", "ch" like "c", "sh" more like "s", etc. In other respects (sentence structure, words), it seems to be proper mandarin. An example ...
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How to say “small cat”, when 小猫 is “kitten”?

I would like advice on how to properly say phrases like "little kitten", "small cat". While I can say "小猫", as I understand it that either means "kitten", or is ambiguous. And to me saying "小小猫" seems ...
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Is the word “恶犬” trending IRL?

I’m seeing pet shops around hanging up signs with: 恶犬 in many places. This is not something I’ve noticed on quite a large scale, like this, before. It’s real world data, so harder to track ...
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Meaning of 祝愿 as wishing or congratulating

I wrote 哇,祝愿碰运气,能碰上这个组啊. By this I meant I wish I can be lucky and end up in that group. I am worried it will be taken as congratulations on you being lucky ending up in that group (which sounds like "...
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What is the difference between 妳 (nǐ) and 他 (tā)

Wiktionary gives the meaning "you" for the character 妳 (nǐ), and tā (either 他 or 她). Is there a formal / informal difference? Which should I prefer in general usage?
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Could a translation error lead to squares to not be considered as rectangles? (Mandarin)

I'm reading a certain set of kindergarten/lower primary maths textbooks that is written by American authors for an Asian company. Whenever students are asked to identify the number of rectangles in a ...
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How to express “until ~” in Chinese?

Suppose that I want to express the following (sample) sentence: There is still 3 hours until the departure of the flight. If you use a dictionary, the matched entries for "until" would be ...
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How much did the Cultural Revolution change the Chinese language on the mainland?

I've always had an inkling that the Cultural Revolution drastically changed the Chinese language (think: TW 国语 vs. mainland 普通话). [Some even claim TW doesn't even have the concept of 书面语 pk 口语, it's ...
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Is 交替更迭 redundant? Would this be proper grammar: 雨天與晴天交替?

This page lists an example sentence for 交替: 雨天與晴天交替更迭 According to the site, 交替 means to replace; alternately; in turn. However, 更迭 means to alternate; to change. Isn't 交替更迭 then redundant? If ...
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Does the word '攬' in Mandarin carry the meaning of “to loop ~ around”?

This question reminded me the different ways Cantonese say "fasten the safety belt" Cantonese only say: "攬安全帶" (loop the safety belt around oneself) "綁安全帶" (tie the safety belt) "扣安全帶" (buckle ...
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What phrases in Cantonese are thought to be colloquial but are actually used in Mandarin?

I only learnt HK Cantonese from my mother, and did not have the environment to speak or use it otherwise. She would tell me that certain Cantonese words are only spoken colloquially, but would not be ...
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What is the meaning of 機歪?

I was listening to a Chinese song the other day. The song name is 謝謝妳愛我, sung by R.chord(謝和弦). In the second line of the first chorus, which goes "脾氣壞 固執任性機歪 還有點變態 ", I don't understand the word Ji ...
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Is there any way to make a Chinese speech transcribed to written format?

Here is my situation: I have learned Mandarin mostly from reading news articles and chatting with friends, as well as reading a grammar book and memorizing vocabulary. That makes only my reading and ...
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Is there a difference between “几点” (jǐ​diǎn) and “什么时候” (shén​me​shí​hou)?

Both "几点" and "什么时候" seem to mean "what time?". Here are two examples that contain "几点" or "什么时候": 我们什么时候开会? (My interpretation: "When is the meeting?") 现在几点? (My interpretation: "What time is it?") ...
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Dali si ci jiu kan-le san ben shu ‘Dali read three books in only four times'

Is the following sentence grammatical? Could sb. please explain it, with a paraphrasis? Dali si ci jiu kan-le san ben shu ‘Dali read three books in only four times' Unifying Two General Licensors of ...
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Grammar structure for “which do you like more?” questions [duplicate]

This page explains how to state simple comparisons, but doesn't address how to ask about more complex comparisons. For instance, what's the right Mandarin equivalent of the English question structure:...
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Assistance Please [closed]

Please tell me the appropriate mandarin character for the word, warrior. I want to use the character on our Special Olympics banner and shirt.
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What is the meaning of 忽爾間 in the song “說散就散”?

I just learn Mandarin from songs whenever I find the time. I have recently discovered this JC's song called Shuo San Jiu San. In the last sentence of the last paragraph of the song, which goes"因為成長 ...
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有一點 can only be used for bad things, but how about 一點?

I've learned that 有一點 can only be used for negative things, such as 有一點累, 有一點不好吃 etc but not 有一點漂亮, 有一點好。 But how about if I say only 一點? Is that the same? For example, are the following sentences ...
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Has 咖啡色 replaced 茶色 in everyday use for “brown”, or can I use both?

I've learned that 咖啡色 now is the most common way of saying "brown". Does that mean that saying 茶色 now is outdated, and not used any more, or are both words still used? Would also be interesting to ...
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Only two characters but I have no idea what they signify

I was given a pair of gold cufflinks by my grandfather who was in Shanghai 100 years ago. Each shows a Chinese character (Mandarin, I guess) and I would like to know what these mean. However I have ...
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Does “这很大钱! 再见大学钱…” make sense? Or have I written it wrong?

For my Chinese class, I have to make a film recording an exchange in a restaurant. I'm trying to say "This is a lot of money! Goodbye college money..." in reference to someone spending too much on ...
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Differences: 别的 vs 其他 vs 另外 (other)

Well, the question is in the title... I'd be very thankful for an explanation, but also: Could you give examples of cases where they are and are not interchangeable? Can I use them for "where are ...