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
4
votes
5answers
378 views

Do I drink (喝) or eat (吃) a soup in Chinese?

In English you say eat soup, not drink soup. But how about Mandarin? Drink 這個菜湯很香! 你喝喝看! (This vegetable soup is really tasty! You try it!) or eat? 這個菜湯很香! 你吃吃看! (This vegetable soup is really ...
-4
votes
4answers
2k views

When searching in Chinese, why do things always come up in traditional characters?

I noticed that after a few attempts using google to search in Chinese, every result I was getting was written in traditional characters (even despite me searching in Mandarin, simplified characters). ...
8
votes
4answers
701 views

What was this online dictionary's name with ancient traditional and simplified characters and glyph origins?

I once found a Mandarin Chinese dictionary which for each character listed the ancient, the traditional and the simplified Chinese characters. For each it described its meaning and how it developed ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is 你是哪个人 the correct way to ask where you are from in China?

I saw one of my friends used "你是哪个人" to ask where you are from in China. I thought it is the valid expression to date. However, I just used it to a Chinese people and she didn't understand it. So I ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

Tone contours along diphthongs

I'd like to know as much as possible about how tone contours (T2, T3, T4) are distributed along Mandarin/standard rhyme diphthongs, especially ai ei ao ou, with references to academic articles if ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

你 <verb phrase> 你

I have been watching a TV show set in Beijing where many of the characters keep saying things like 你別打狗了你 (probably a bad example), putting a seemingly redundant 你 at the end. What is this used for? ...
7
votes
3answers
406 views

Why can't 去 or 回来 be used with 在 or 正在 to become progressive

So first off, I feel I should specify I am a beginner at Chinese. In my Chinese class, we were asked to write down a progressive question, using the 在...(呢) format. My question was, 你们没在去吗? which I ...
10
votes
3answers
916 views

What is the equivalent of the English word 'Fail' in Mandarin?

Fail is a pretty popular term on the internet these days, and one I'm quite fond of. Looking in my Chinese dictionary I can't find a great equivalent - is there a good way to say this? What would be ...
5
votes
7answers
916 views

How to say, “In Chinese" in Chinese

If I want to tell someone they can speak to me in Chinese, how can I say it? My guess is: 你可以给我说用中文 Is this correct, and is there any other way to say it, for example using the 把 structure (i.e. ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

What's the general word for '样‘ in '这样,那样’,‘小样’, ‘怎样', ‘好样的’?

It is hard for me to find out one general or exactly English word for '样' in different contexts, it is so common in Chinese.
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Does this conversation/exchange of words make sense?

Person A: 你快乐吗? - Are you happy? Person B: 我常常是。-I often am. Person A: 有意思。- Interesting. Person B: 你没有不对。- You are not wrong. Would this exchange make sense to a 中国人? Does it sound natural and ...
2
votes
4answers
480 views

How to say “productive” in Mandarin and Cantonese? Google Translate says 生產的

效率 means efficient, but what is the word for productive in Cantonese and Mandarin? CantoDict does not have an entry, and Google lists 生產的 which feels wrong. For instance, let's say you want to ...
1
vote
4answers
120 views

Is this sentence grammatically correct? 中国的建设开始的时候,人人是不以为过环境污染的。

I'm trying to write: While construction began in China, people hadn't thought of the pollution. Is this an accurate use of the grammar: shi4 ... de
5
votes
3answers
2k views

The meaning of 牛气 and 很牛

I have seen one of my language partners use 牛气 and 很牛, but he couldn't explain it to me. The context suggested it meant something like "bullshit" or "you are kidding me", a sign or disbelief, but the ...
2
votes
3answers
262 views

What's the difference between 后 and 以后?

I was taught that so as to say "after" in Chinese one should use 以后, like this: 吃饭以后 Today I came across a bare 后, like this: 15分钟后 What's the difference between these two words?
0
votes
2answers
107 views

How to say the following phrase in Mandarin? [closed]

I'm preparing a presentation for my Mandarin class. The idea is to stage a situation. Basically the point is to create a situation which begins with a Chinese person asking for two foreigners to take ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Proper way to say “I don't know what the problem is.” [closed]

What is the proper way to say "I don't know what the problem is" in Mandarin? Not sure if this is a “问题” or a "关系“ structure.
1
vote
3answers
133 views

List of verbs followed by 給

According to this page, 給 usually precedes the verb. On this page, it says 給 sometimes follows the verb, and often these exceptions are single-syllable verbs. 1) Is there a list of these exceptions ...
1
vote
1answer
613 views

Example of grammar difference between Cantonese and Mandarin?

This page lists the following sentence in Mandarin: 现在 不要 给 我 打 电话 However, in Cantonese it feels like the grammar would be more like: [now do not]打電話被我 In other words, the "target" part of ...
1
vote
1answer
153 views

What is the difference between colloquial and literary readings of characters?

This CantoDict page for 熟 says: Pinyin shu2 is literary reading; shou2 is colloquial. What does this mean? More importantly, how are you supposed to pronounce 熟 in Mandarin? :)
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Mandarin equivalent of 後尾 (in the end)?

In Cantonese, you often say "後尾" to mean "in the end." What's the Mandarin equivalent of 後尾? Is it 最後?
0
votes
2answers
92 views

How to say tradeoff in Cantonese and Mandarin?

The word tradeoff is not listed in Google nor in CantoDict. Is it 折衷? What's the Cantonese translation? What's the Mandarin translation?
1
vote
2answers
351 views

How to say throw away: 扔掉?

CantoDict lists 扔掉 as the translation for "throw away" as in "throw away the can," but I often hear people use 扔 by itself or 掉 by itself. Is 扔掉 the formal way of saying "throw away"? Is there a ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

Understanding how to use 多 properly

My grammar could be wrong, but it feels like in Cantonese you would typically say something like 食多啲 to mean eat more. But this Mandarin grammar page says you should usually put 多 before the verb, ...
0
votes
1answer
115 views

Which one to use: 搞笑 vs. 攪笑 and 搞亂 vs 攪亂?

For "amusing/funny," CantoDict lists these two variations: 搞笑 and 攪笑. Similarly, these two words are listed as variations of each other for "to confuse, to mess up": 搞亂 and 攪亂. In Cantonese they are ...
1
vote
1answer
643 views

How to say “slang” in Cantonese and Mandarin?

This excellent answer explains the differences between 成语, 俗语, and 谚语. However, it doesn't discuss which one -- if any -- translates into "slang." Do any of these mean "slang" in Cantonese and ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Difference between 商店 and 店舖?

Can someone explain the difference between 商店 and 店舖? The dictionary differences are not clear. 1) For instance, if you want to say, "My friend works at a store in the downtown area," which would you ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

洩氣 for frustrating?

Google Translate says frustrating translates into 洩氣. CantoDict doesn't list an entry for frustrating. 洩氣 doesn't seem very natural, at least from a Cantonese perspective. Is Google Translate ...
0
votes
2answers
233 views

Using 也 (ye3) vs. 又 (you4)?

What's the difference between 也 (ye3) vs. 又 (you4)? These two links, link1 and link2, discuss them individually but do not contrast them. This last link contrasts 又 with 再 (zai4).
0
votes
2answers
238 views

Difference among 走去 vs 走路 vs 步行?

Are 走去, 走路, and 步行 interchangeable? Specifically, are they all valid variations of saying "to walk?"? For instance, are all these identical? 我們走去了三分鐘 我們走路了三分鐘 我們步行了三分鐘
3
votes
2answers
208 views

Flexibility of word classes in Chinese

I have just started learning Chinese and I know that 姓 can be both a verb and a noun. I wondered whether there are a lot of other Chinese verbs that can also be used as nouns. For example, is a ...
9
votes
3answers
284 views

Pinyin of 車 in idioms

In Cantonese, 車 has two pronunciations: [ce1] and [geoi1]. In Mandarin, 車 also has two different pinyin: [che1] and [ju1]. [ce1] corresponds to [che1]. [geoi1] corresponds to [ju1]. In most idioms,...
4
votes
2answers
879 views

Advice on Mandarin Chinese passive learning

What are the best Chinese online TV channels with English subtitles for passive Mandarin learning. I find Chinese a rather musical language and would love to watch subbed TV (news, documentaries, ...
1
vote
3answers
646 views

How to pronounce the Mandarin third tone

I've started to learn Chinese about a month ago (as a foreign language) and I'm a little bit confused about how to pronounce the third tone (while dropping aside the tone sandhi rules). I'm confused ...
6
votes
2answers
318 views

Is it correct to use 首都 for capital of province?

I am trying to do a cultural project on the city of Harbin. However, I'm not sure if it is correct to say this. I found out that Harbin was the capital of the province of Heilongjiang. If I said, ...
6
votes
5answers
397 views

寻 找 , 就 寻 见: I do not understand the second “xún”

At the website http://learnchinesethrubible.org/ I find the following phrase: seek and you will find 寻 找 , 就 寻 见 I do not understand the second "xún". In the dictionary http://www.mdbg.net ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to say “in my opinion” in chinese?

For example, "In my opinion, this music is very good". The translation indicated by Google, 在我看来, seems rather dodgy to me.
3
votes
4answers
675 views

How do I say “Why not both” in Mandarin?

Specifically, how would I say "Why not (choose) both?" or "Why not (do) both?" Ex. "Do you want to go to the park or go watch a movie?" "Why not both?" I tried to do some searching and found two ...
0
votes
3answers
102 views

Is this sentence correct? 打扫大客厅这么多累的啊

If not how would it be corrected using the exact same characters? And what is the issue with the original sentence? Struggling a bit with word order!
1
vote
5answers
188 views

Which is correct, “我对我的妈妈说很多话” or “我对我的妈妈说很多”?

Can someone explain me which one is correct and why?
6
votes
1answer
510 views

Meaning of 差 in sentence

I have difficulties understanding sentence. What is meaning of 差 in the following sentence? 我看一下,现在差一刻九点。
1
vote
2answers
174 views

Mandarin: different ways of asking if someone prefers A to B

This question is similar but doesn't address this question of comparing different ways to express the notion of preferring A to B. Are all these ways valid grammar for asking if someone prefers A to ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

Parsing “你如此特别,如此与众不同,是那样的特别。” into words

你如此特别,如此与众不同,是那样的特别。 I have no idea how to properly separate this sentence into words. I want to understand it word by word. 你 / 如此 / 特别, // 如此 / 与众不同, // 是 / 那样的 / 特别。 你 / 如此 / 特别, // 如此 / ...
3
votes
3answers
303 views

質: when to pronounce in 2nd tone or 4th (Mandarin)?

In Mandarin, sometimes 質 is pronounced with the 2nd tone (e.g., 質地, 特質) and other times it's pronounced with the 4th tone (e.g., 質疑, 質量, 品質). Here are two words pronounced with the 2nd tone: 質地 http:...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

Hesitation noise and how to write it?

In English when thinking (and sometimes when unsure) we use the filler word "uhh" (sometime written as the variant "er"), pronounced as a prolonged /əː/. What sound is used in Mandarin, and how is it ...
3
votes
3answers
531 views

Should I pronounce “er” as [ɚ] or [aɚ̯]?

What I learned growing up was that words with the pinyin “er”, like 儿, 二, and 耳 were pronounced [ɚ], but younger/more native speakers of Standard Chinese seem to pronounce it as [aɚ], and I was ...
3
votes
4answers
121 views

會講國語 vs. 講國語: when to use one or the other?

When explaining to someone if you can speak Mandarin, there are people who suggest saying 我會講國語 and others who suggest 我講國語. Appparently, 會講 suggests a higher level of competence whereas 講 alone ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Mandarin equivalent to 而家做嘢做成點?

In Cantonese, you often hear people say this phrase 你而家做嘢做成點. What would the Mandarin equivalent be for this phrase?
2
votes
5answers
398 views

Mandarin: when to use 面 (mian) or 臉 (lian)?

In Cantonese, you usually use 面 to mean face. However, it seems like in Mandarin, people use 臉 (e.g., 我的臉很紅) sometimes and other times use 面 (e.g., 面對面). What are the guidelines around using 面 or 臉?
1
vote
5answers
567 views

When do I use 儿 to modify a word?

I've noticed that for words like 饭馆 (fànguǎn), 一点 (yīdiǎn),and 玩 (wán) natives add 儿 (er) to the end while speaking. A Wikipedia article about the character says that the phenomenon is called "r-...