Questions tagged [mandarin]

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

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1answer
93 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
320 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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4answers
457 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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549 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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1answer
165 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
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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3answers
199 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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2answers
70 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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539 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
127 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
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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
155 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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2answers
140 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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98 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
256 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
188 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
250 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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528 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
107 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
370 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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55 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
147 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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2answers
417 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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2answers
132 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
373 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
198 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
264 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
106 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
175 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
642 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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1answer
85 views

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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2answers
218 views

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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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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1answer
58 views

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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4answers
159 views

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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4answers
821 views

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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2answers
197 views

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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2answers
84 views

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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344 views

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 ...
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2answers
1k views

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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1answer
219 views

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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3answers
530 views

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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3answers
476 views

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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2answers
1k views

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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1answer
65 views

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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3answers
1k views

What do these two characters on cufflinks signify? (Characters identified: 福 and 壽/夀)

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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2answers
220 views

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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2answers
69 views

The use of “、” in more than three items

In the following sentence: 沙溢、胡可与安吉、小鱼儿一家四口集体亮相,同时《捉妖记2》视效制片人Ellen Poon也透露了电影幕后制作的花絮。 I think the use of "、" should be A、B、C与D. In other words, it should be put between each word except the last ...

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