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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902 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?
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773 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 ...
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1answer
128 views

Role of 在 in this sentence

I was using a text editor in Chinese, when I tried to exit without saving the currently opened file it showed me this sentence: 您要在关闭文件前保存吗? What is the role of 在 here? Is it related to the usage ...
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296 views

What does 触控 mean in this sentence?

I was busy reading about Apple's new textbook announcement on Engadget China, and I came across the following sentence: 使用者将可轻松地以触控的方式浏览教科书内容. What is the meaning of 触控 in this sentence? (My guess ...
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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 ...
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7answers
920 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. ...
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420 views

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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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?
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Complimenting someone on their appearance

In Spoken Mandarin Chinese what adjectives can be used to complement a persons 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 - ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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204 views

How to say 'protect x from y'?

In my routine HSK vocab study, I recently came upon the word 保护; to protect. Obviously, it works easily like any other verb in statements simply of protection, but I have no idea how to translate the ...
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788 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 ...
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834 views

How to differentiate moods, characters, temperaments, etc?

It seems like there are way more words for these things than in English, and I am having a hard time figuring out the difference between them. Some adjectives can only be used to describe mood, while ...
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695 views

Selecting resources to improve reading for upper-intermediate level?

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 ...
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Why do we have to say 一百 一千 but not 一十?

This has always stumped me as all other base 10 numbers (>10) in Chinese you declare 1 through 9 for the quantity [1] of these units but you only have to declare 2 through 9 for 十 as 1 is implied [2] ...
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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....
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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 ...
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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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Is this Chinese and what is the meaning: 阿ㄘㄟˊ

I was listening to a pop song by the Chinese singer 那英. The song is called 天生不完美. I was curious to read the lyrics and so checked them at the following address: https://mojim.com/twy100287x13x7.htm ...
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How to pronounce 廿卅卌 in Chinese?

I originally just wanted to ask something about 廿 (20). But as I searched on the internet I found 卅(30) and 卌(40) as well, and I have to admit that I didn't know these two. I think 廿 is pronounced as ...
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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 ...
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Difference between learning Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Hokkien for visiting Taiwan

I'm planning on visiting Taiwan as a tourist for about one week next year. Both Wikipedia and Wikivoyage say that Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Hokkien are common languages there. What advantages ...
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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 ...
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How to say job offer in Mandarin/Cantonese?

Google Translate says job offer is 工作機會. This doesn't feel right. How do you say job offer in Cantonese and Mandarin?
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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: ...
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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
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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 ...
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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, ...
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“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 ...
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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?
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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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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“ ?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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=...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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334 views

Why can't 了 be used to indicate a completed action that has yet to come?

了 is a particle that indicates the perfective--the verb has no interior composition. This is different from the perfect aspect in English which focuses on the result of an action in the past that may ...
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133 views

Query about tone and stress in Mandarin foreign transcriptions/loanwords

Chinese transcription of foreign names and countries often results in long words that (in my opinion) stick out from the native lexicon significantly. There is general agreement that Mainland ...
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375 views

Character Gaps On Comic Conversation : 4 [closed]

I am learning Chinese by reading different texts. I have some problems recognizing some characters in this older copy of a book (the Chinese character is sometimes too dark to distinguish strokes and ...
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3k 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 ...
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“Aren't you both also Americans” in Chinese ?

Nǐmen dōu ye bù shì měi guó rén ma? Is it correct? I am comfortable with this word order. Is it acceptable?
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How can I get exposure to mandarin usage and pronounciation?

I have been taking Mandarin classes at university. Due to illness I have missed a lot and fallen way behind. Now I wish to continue learning on my own. I find it very hard to remember the characters. ...
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不得不, 必须, 只好, 应该: what's the difference?

This is what I'm thinking: 不得不 pm. "cannot but, have to" this seems colloquial, and the fact that dictionaries think of this as a set phrase/fixed expression makes me think so. Also feels like the ...
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Is the phrase “slot machine” 老虎机 the same in different Chinese dialects?

Just wondering whether the phrase 老虎机 (slot machine) sounds and is written the same in all Chinese dialects, such as: Mandarin, Wu Chinese, Min Chinese, Cantonese, Jin Chinese, Xiang  Chinese, ...