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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125 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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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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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
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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) ...
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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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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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What is the correct style/format when including Chinese translations in academic articles?

For instance, I would like to write the following sentence about China: "Many songs were written to praise the Chinese Communist Party and the 'Motherland' ". By "Motherland", I mean 祖国 ( zuguo / ...
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135 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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409 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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Is 一 not omitted in Mandarin when it comes to measurement classifiers followed by '半'?

The other day I went to a Chinese supermarket in Toronto to buy one and a half pound of minced meat. I told the meat department operator that I want "磅半碎肉" in Cantonese. That guy gave me half a pound ...
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382 views

What are a few alternative ways to say “to expect”?

There are many situations I'd like to say the following in Chinese: "That phone call was unexpected" "I did not expect that meeting to be so difficult" The only approach I know of is: "我没想到那个电话“ ”...
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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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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, ...
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How common are three-character or five-character words/terms in Standard Mandarin?

People often regard Chinese, including Standard Mandarin, as a monosyllabic language. Classical Chinese apparently was a monosyllabic language, where words consisted of a single syllable (a single ...
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Is there a term for the noisy bringing up of phlegm in preparation to spit?

There's a colloquial term in some regions in English I've seen spelled hoik and hoick to refer to the noisy act of clearing the throat/nasal cavity of mucus/phlegm, usually just before spitting it out....
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Is there any study on the relative difficulty of native Chinese speakers with different dialects learning another dialect?

I wonder if there is any research conducted in China, on the relative difficulty of Chinese speakers learning different dialects. I'm looking for something like the research by the Foreign Service ...
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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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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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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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What phrases in Cantonese are thought to be colloquial but are actually used in Mandarin?

I only learnt HK Cantonese from my mother, and did not have the environment to speak or use it otherwise. She would tell me that certain Cantonese words are only spoken colloquially, but would not be ...
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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, ...
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How do I word a polite notice about toilets in Mandarin?

My friend has asked me how to translate a sign asking people using a bathroom (toilet) at the tourist attraction where she works. She wants to ask that they do not to throw toilet paper in the ...
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What is the difference between 他, 它, and 她

What is the difference between 他, 她, and 它? I want to know when you use one and when not to. It seems pretty basic language because I hear 他, 她, and 它 everywhere in Chinese language. Anything else ...
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How do I say 'excuse me'?

So, I just found myself in a spot of bother. I decided to go to learn how to make some Chinese knots, but everything there was Chinese, so I had to speak Chinese. I understood the instructions that ...
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421 views

“an” final pronunciation

I have had eight mainland Chinese teachers over the time I have spent studying, and I am still confused, because I find there are inconsistencies between my textbook's audio CDs, my teachers' ...
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899 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 ...
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My Chinese Character Writing is Sloppy

Since learning Mandarin through Rosetta Stone, Youtube videos, and friends, I've begun to keep a journal of mandarin characters and phrases. I first draw the character, along with the pinyin and ...
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What is the Mandarin equivalent of Cantonese's 麻麻地 (so-so)?

How do you say "so-so" in Mandarin? In Cantonese, you would say 麻麻地. What's the Mandarin equivalent of 麻麻地?
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Politeness in Mandarin

I like to say please sometimes when I want to be polite to someone when asking them for something. Is this customary in Mandarin? For example, if I wanted to ask for some water, I might ask my ...
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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 ...
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“我们过去了” was he joking?

One man and I were crossing a busy Beijing intersection and were almost across when tour buses cut us off from both sides and we stood between them as they passed. He smiled at me and said "我们过去了!' ...
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Difference between 很 and 挺

As far as I know, both means “very”. I would like to know if there are any further differences that exist between them
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581 views

Difference between 厉害 and 利害

I see they have the same pronunciation but does they bear any differences. It seems like 利害 can be pronounced lìhài or lìhai while 厉害 can only be pronounced lìhai.
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Are Sinitic languages mutually comprehensible?

According to this map, there are different Chinese "languages" (Sinitic languages) in the Chinese area. Is my understanding correct that the "official" Chinese language is the Mandarin? In other ...
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-uan pinyin pronunciation

It seems to me that in Mandarin, two different vowel sounds are used for words whose pinyin ends with -uan. In some words, like 全 (quán) and 元 (yuán), the vowel sounds like "oo-en" (the nucleus/coda ...
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二 Mandarin pronunciation vs. other dialects and Japanese

Since I started learning Japanese a while ago, I always found the onyomi pronunciation of 二, being 'ni', unusual compared to the Mandarin pronunciation of 'èr'. The Old and Middle Chinese ...
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Using 色 with colors

I'm making something to teach students Chinese colors... Let's say they have to match a color to a square- Is it okay to just use 红, 蓝, 紫, etc on each block just as long as they know 色 means color... ...
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Does 上嗨 work as a pun for 上海?

While riding the subway in Shanghai last week, I glanced at the TV playing some commercials and saw what looked like a slightly off spelling of the city's name (上海). I could not get a very good look (...
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Is Putonghua Mandarin Chinese or is it standard Mandarin Chinese?

This is driving me crazy. I've always thought that Mandarin was the common language of China and Putonghua was the term use to express this language spoken with standard pronunciation. I've often ...
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What's the difference between 主任 and 主管?

As per title, what's the difference between these 2 terms? My teacher said that in China, 主任 is considered as low position, and 主管 is higher. But looking at the translation 主任 means director, which ...
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How do I use 着呢 correctly?

So 着呢, from the book I am currently studying (汉语教程) says it uses it at the end of a sentence to express “very”. However, my teacher said this is incorrect and said 着呢 is used to express something is ...
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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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Why does the `请` take two duplicate words on its verb occasionally (e.g. `请洗洗你的袜子`)

I've read these sentences in my Rosetta Stone courses: 请洗洗你的袜子 请洗一下楼梯 However, why does the first sentence use two 洗 consecutively before taking the object? Also, how can I tell when to use one verb ...
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Does 一个 mean *exactly* one? Or can it mean *at least* one?

If someone (truthfully) says "I have a car" then they have at least one car. If someone says "I have one car" then they have exactly one car. How does this idea work for "我有一辆汽车" ? Could someone say ...
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Empathy and Sympathy use same characters in Chinese 同情?

Any alternative characters to clarify the difference, as the English words and their Greek roots have different meaning. Thanks!
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Is 家婆 the term for a woman's “mother in law” in Mandarin too?

In Cantonese, a woman would call her mother in law her "家婆" or her "奶奶", and address her only as "奶奶". My understanding of the same terms in Mandarin is, a woman would call her mother in law her "婆婆" ...
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Why is 就 needed in 美國國務院稱華府仍未就卡舒吉案下定論? If it's needed, shouldn't it precede 仍未?

This news article contains the following title: 美國國務院稱華府仍未就卡舒吉案下定論 1) Why is the 就 needed? If it's needed, shouldn't it precede 仍未? 2) Is 仍 the literary version of 還? In other words, if you were to ...
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692 views

How do non-Mandarin speakers type Standard Chinese Writing System?

As far as I know, people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese but use Mandarin when writing official documents or homework using Mandarin. 粤语白话字 is not allowed in such cases. How does this work? Does this ...
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280 views

How to express psychological insecurity (not physical insecurity)?

These two dictionaries seem to offer translations for insecurity that capture the physical sort, not the psychological sort (i.e., insecurity about your looks, weight, smarts, etc.). http://www....

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