Questions tagged [mandarin]

Question specifically about the Mandarin dialect. (Not for arbitrary questions that happen to involve Mandarin.)

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170 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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156 views

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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3answers
153 views

Difference between 學識 and 知識?

According to these dictionary links, both 學識 and 知識 mean knowledge: 學識 - CantoDict 知識 (zi1 sik1 | zhi1 shi5) : knowledge; learning - CantoDict What's the difference between 學識 and 知識? Which one ...
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346 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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3k views

“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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2answers
577 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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1answer
412 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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239 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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234 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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1answer
77 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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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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305 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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99 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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131 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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612 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
158 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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1answer
108 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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87 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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98 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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6answers
361 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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646 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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591 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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231 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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59 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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243 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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73 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.
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595 views

Mandarin: tongue placement when pronouncing ü words like 學 and 去 that begin with q, x, j?

Many Mandarin pronunciation guides suggest pronouncing the ü vowel with a tense tongue in mid-mouth as when pronouncing the "yi" sound. However, for words starting with q, j, x, many sites suggest ...
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4answers
146 views

Natural translation for “Everything worth doing requires self-discipline and effort”

What would be the most natural way to say, "Everything worth doing requires self-discipline and effort?" 每個值得的事情都需要磨練和努力 feels like English crammed into Chinese. Would 每件值得的事都需要磨練和努力 be better? 1) ...
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0answers
49 views

Which is correct: 一 (yao1) or 幺 (yao1)? [duplicate]

In many sources I have come across the explanation that 一 is pronounced yao1 instead of yi1 when used in things like telephone numbers. For example, my HSK textbooks use 一 (yao1), and I have seen it ...
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4answers
161 views

Mandarin equivalent to 話事?

In Cantonese, people often say 話事 to indicate someone is "the boss" (e.g., 你話事) or can decide some matter (e.g., what to eat, what to watch). This page says the Mandarin equivalent is 作主, but 作主 ...
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154 views

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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103 views

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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1answer
279 views

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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1answer
209 views

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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3answers
270 views

Why does 他没看书 use 没 and not 不 in this dialogue?

I was reviewing some old Anki cards that I created from HSK Standard Course 1 by Jiang Liping and I came across this dialogue: A: 喂你在做什么呢 B: 我在看书呢 A: 大卫也在看书吗 B: 他没看书。他在学做中国菜呢 A: Hello, what are you ...
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4answers
558 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
114 views

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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5answers
442 views

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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45 views

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, which ...
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1answer
44 views

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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58 views

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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2answers
149 views

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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424 views

Is the pinyin of 「操」in「情操」and「步操」the same in Mandarin?

Originally posted at http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/phorum/read.php?4,130404 由細到大,自己同身邊嘅人都將「劉備」個「備」字讀成與(比)字同音 而「曹操」個「操」字就讀成與(粗)字同音 但最近睇港版,『三國 』(2013) 「劉備」個「備」字讀成「預備」個「備」 而「曹操」個「操」字就讀成「...
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137 views

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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3answers
431 views

When should I use 地 with an adjective and when should I not use it with an 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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1answer
204 views

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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2answers
302 views

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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2answers
108 views

What does 與 mean in 對我來說她的存在是與現實之間的邊界綫?

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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3answers
188 views

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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1answer
758 views

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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