Questions tagged [mandarin]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
5
votes
2answers
2k views

一起 vs 一块 - what's the difference?

一起 vs 一块, are these two expressions the same in Chinese, or is there a certain situation where one is more appropriate than the other? Can anyone explain what the difference might be? For example: ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

When is “了” pronounced “le” and when is it pronounced “liao”?

I have noticed that there are two different pronunciations of 了: - Usually it's pronounced "le". - in some situations it's pronounced "liǎo" for example: 我用了很多年才了解什么是武术。 As much as I realized, ...
5
votes
3answers
301 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
393 views

Tone of 竟 and 境 in Mandarin and Cantonese

竟 and 境 are both read ging2 in Cantonese, which usually corresponds to a third tone syllable in Mandarin (as is the case for 警, which is ging2 in Cantonese and jing3 in Mandarin). However, both of ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

“Thank you” in Tibetan, Cantonese, and Mandarin

I have observed, from subtitled movies, that there seems to be an expression [tɔdʒe] in Cantonese meaning, approximately, "thank you". In Standard Lhasa Tibetan as represented by Nawang Nornang, the ...
5
votes
3answers
199 views

Differences between 条 and 根

Both of these two words 条 and 根 in the dictionary are said to be measure words for long and thin objects. What are the differences between them?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does Chinese sometimes put 儿 after verbs and nouns?

I tend to see it a lot in text books and guides: 唱歌/唱歌儿 事/事儿 But it's always listed as optional, so what's the deal with it?
5
votes
3answers
902 views

What's the correct classifier for `房子`?

In my little bit of Mandarin experience, I have got that the classifier for 房子 is 座, and also felt that 座 is usually used to refer to a building. However, I have just read that someone here over ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

In spoken Mandarin, what adjectives can be used to complement a person's appearance?

In spoken Mandarin Chinese what adjectives can be used to complement a person's appearance? I can think of a couple off the top of my head: 美丽 - Měilì - Beautiful 可爱 - Kě'ài - Cute 性感 - Xìnggǎn - ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Answering yes/no questions

I was a bit surprised at first when I discovered that Chinese doesn't have single words or expressions for "yes" or "no", and that instead we must use the verb from the question to either confirm or ...
5
votes
7answers
1k 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Which is the correct sentence? Question about birthday

I was wondering, which is the correct sentence in this case. 你的生日是几月几号? or 你的生日几月几号? (without 是) Also can I omit 的 in this case?
5
votes
1answer
414 views

Identify Mandarin word - “kiāng”

Have seen this word in video comments and cannot find a reference for it anywhere?? Some details: Always rendered in zhuyin (ㄎㄧㄤ) even in otherwise ideographic text Doesn't appear to be a native ...
5
votes
1answer
840 views

Say go team in Chinese?

Normally I would say 加油. On my city's news page this morning, they asked 10 people how to say "Go Syracuse (雪城)". There's a video of two men debating what to say, and then they say something like 雪城 ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Characteristics of Northern and Southern accents

My first language is Cantonese. I learned Mandarin as a second language. Native speakers of Mandarin often understand me with no major issues. Of course, they recognize the Southern accents right ...
5
votes
1answer
728 views

Selecting resources to improve reading for upper-intermediate level? [closed]

There is a great question on 'how to practice reading for beginners' at the moment that's got a lot of really useful answers, and so I figured I'd ask for some useful things closer to my level. Does ...
5
votes
2answers
134 views

Do 衣服 and 衣饰 carry different connotations or are they synonyms?

衣服 and 衣饰 both mean "clothing"; but are they truly synonymous or is the use of each term confined to its own specific context? Or is it simply a difference between colloquial and formal speech or ...
5
votes
2answers
213 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
884 views

Is Learning and Memorizing Chinese Characters much different than English?

Unlike English, Chinese is not a spelling language, which means there is no hint from the characters themselves for pronunciation. Therefore, we can only work on the characters individually to figure ...
4
votes
2answers
223 views

Words for 'escorting,' 'showing around': 带你出去 vs. 护送你出去 vs. 陪你去玩儿

带你出去... 护送你出去... 陪你去玩儿... I am especially interested in the difference in meaning between the first and third. The third may not be correct because I may be recalling it poorly. The first seems clear:...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Any real difference between 句子 and 句话 in Mandarin?

I have learned that both words mean "a sentence". But they behave differently: 句子 requires a measure word and can be used separately, while 句话 does not (?) need the measure word and shouldn't be used ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What qualities does Hong Kong Mandarin have?

With Mandarin making more and more in-roads into Cantonese speaking Hong Kong, I'm wondering what characteristics set it apart from Standard Mandarin or other regional Mandarin dialects and/or accents....
4
votes
3answers
824 views

Why is 儿 in different positions in “儿子” and “女儿”?

儿 [Er] child 儿子 [Érzi] son 女儿 [Nǚ'ér] daughter So, why is 儿 in different positions in each word but they are both valid?
4
votes
2answers
680 views

Are `sh` and `x` really different phonemes, or just different realizations of the same phoneme?

I can't think of any minimal pairs; like shu vs. xu probably shouldn't count as a minimal pair since the vowel is different.
4
votes
3answers
304 views

What is the Mandarin equivalent for the Shanghai term for dirty?

In the Shanghai dialect dirty is pronounced something like "o co" with the o pronounced like the "o" in cot and the "c" pronounced like the usual c in pinyin (kinda like an 'ts' sound). Which ...
4
votes
4answers
512 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?
4
votes
5answers
911 views

What is the difference between 课 and 班级?

Is there any difference between 课 and 班级? As far as I know, both mean class in school. Some of example sentences I read are below: 这个班级上数学课的时候用计算机 他正在准备历史课的作业 这是一个高中的班级 他们正在上法语课 我的班级是在学习念英文 我想要教画画课 ...
4
votes
4answers
360 views

What's the difference between 雕像 and 雕塑?

I've read the two sentences that used the word 雕像 and 雕塑, respectively. However, I don't see what's the difference between the two words. When you look it up in a dictionary, both say "it is statue". ...
4
votes
4answers
532 views

Where to put the time phrase? 你运动多久一次? or 你多久运动一次?

Does an adverb of frequency usually occur after the verb? How should I say "how often do you play sports?" 你运动多久一次? OR 你多久运动一次?
4
votes
7answers
1k views

What does “整块的时间” mean?

I have a sentence in my textbook I've mostly translated, but I can't piece this part together. "交通不是很便利不说,还需要整块的时间" Google translate spits out: "Traffic is not very convenient, you also need the ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

What are the differences between 本 and 版 when it comes to edition

I’ve found that 本 and 版 can be used to describe the edition of a published material, but do they have any differences between them? If they have, please give some examples
4
votes
4answers
989 views

Expressing “Fair enough”

The English expression "fair enough" can be used to concede a point in an argument, or acknowledge the other person's position, without expressing complete agreement. To take an example from ...
4
votes
2answers
280 views

How do you say 'dates back to' in Mandarin?

What is the best way of expressing 'dates back to' in Mandarin? e.g. the family's lineage dates back to 1720..etc
4
votes
1answer
957 views

Difference between 孩子 and 儿童 (and 孩童,少儿,…)

There are several words that mean "child" in Chinese, e.g. 孩子, 儿童 and a few others. When can they be used interchangeably and when not? For example: The children are playing: 孩子们在玩呢 or 儿童们在玩呢 or both ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

How to say ‘run for office’ in Mandarin?

I’ve searched dictionary and found 2 words: 参选 and 竞选. I’m a bit confused, since it seems that 参选 is used more, but in Vietnamese (my mother tongue) we used the word “tranh cử” (爭舉). So what is the ...
4
votes
3answers
586 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?
4
votes
2answers
510 views

How to translate “I hope I didn't embarrass you”?

"I hope I didn't embarrass you" 怎么翻译? 是不是:”希望我没让你没脸“ ?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What does the last `点` mean in `玩得开心点`?

I've read the following phrases: A: 妈妈,我可以和新邻居一起玩吗? B: 可以,玩得开心点。 In the two sentences above, what does the 点 mean? I think this is something like the following: A: Mam, can I play together with ...
4
votes
3answers
110 views

A city is located east/north/west/south of a country; what is the correct Chinese grammar for that?

For example: I want to say that Freiburg (in Germany) is located east of France. My sentence was this: 弗莱堡在法国的东边。 This is also how we did it in class. But I'm starting to worry this sounds like it's ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

吃 and 食 difference

I'm a native Cantonese speaker, so in Cantonese I use 食 as a verb and hardly ever use 吃, but in Mandarin, 吃 replaces 食 as the verb "to eat". Because of that I'm not sure when to use 食 in a correct ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What does this woman say in Chinese? (From the new Daredevil tv show)

I was watching the new Daredevil show and noticed this bit. I was hoping somebody might be able to explain what the elderly lady is saying...Thanks. Here is the clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
4
votes
1answer
348 views

屌丝“ seems to be a ”dirty word" but also accepted and openly used. Am I missing something? [closed]

Since 屌 means "genitals" and 丝 means "hair", 屌丝 basically means "pubes". But then Mandarin speaking audiences seem to accept and openly use this dirty word. What am I missing? If it's a dirty word ...
4
votes
1answer
143 views

Differences between 摔,落 and 掉

The 3 words all have a meaning of fall but what are the differences between the 3 of them?
4
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
624 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
3answers
388 views

How to translate: have you finished doing the homework (which) our teacher gave us last week?

I'm mostly confused about the sentence structure. Would this be correct? 你做完上个星期老师给我们的作业了吗
4
votes
2answers
834 views

Why is “感恩” frequently used as a verb?

In the last two years or so I began to see people frequently using 感恩 as verb meaning "thank (you)", such as "感恩大家" or "感恩领导". But I thought "感恩" is a verb-noun phrase, meaning "thank (you for your) ...
4
votes
1answer
262 views

Looking for official specification of Putonghua in English

There has been some confusion here between different senses of "Putonghua." So to clarify: article 19 of the constitution of the PRC says "The state promotes the nationwide use of Putonghua (common ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the Mandarin equivalent of 對 XXX 嚟講?

In Cantonese, 對我嚟講 more or less means "speaking for myself", for instance, in: 對我嚟講,行政長官選舉唔重要。 Speaking for myself, the chief executive election isn't important. 我 can also be replaced with ...

1 2 3
4
5
12