Questions tagged [mandarin]

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

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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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1answer
245 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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2answers
170 views

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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140 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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4answers
777 views

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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1answer
108 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
392 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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545 views

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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2answers
2k views

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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1answer
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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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127 views

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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167 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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408 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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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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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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3answers
683 views

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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4answers
5k views

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 you politely ask for things 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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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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434 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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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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7answers
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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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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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5answers
513 views

“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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503 views

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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791 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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2answers
188 views

-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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5answers
872 views

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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2answers
271 views

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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3answers
4k views

What is the difference between 看来, 看起来, and 看出来 ?

Please help, I'm not getting this, 听来我不懂! Could you please use examples in your answer?
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351 views

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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138 views

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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4answers
147 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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305 views

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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148 views

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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661 views

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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361 views

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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61 views

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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776 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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348 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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1answer
218 views

How do I join more than one adjective together?

I've seen "敦厚老实", where the two adjectives are simply put together, but I've also seen things like "x而x", "x又x" and "又x又x". What do these mean, are there any other ways, and which are the most ...
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2answers
1k views

Taiwanese Mandarin vs Mainland Mandarin [closed]

A reference request. Is there any good source of the differences word choice/meaning between Taiwan and Mainland Chinese? Not asking about Chinese Characters, but usage. Spain have different ...
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3answers
786 views

What is the difference between 演奏, 弹 and 奏?

There are several words that seem to be related to playing musical instruments (specifically 演奏, 弹 and 奏), and I would appreciate an elaboration on the nuances between them. Are some used in specific ...
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1answer
181 views

What is the meaning of the tone numbers shown in Wiktionary's Mandarin pronunciation?

According to Wiktionary, the word 游泳 is pronounced as /joʊ̯³⁵ jʊŋ²¹⁴⁻²¹⁽⁴⁾/. What exactly is the meaning of the numbers 214-21(4)? The first three numbers indicate the standard falling then rising ...
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100 views

How to say “Hopefully we can treat each other with more X”

Is there a general template for translating, "hopefully we can treat each with more X" where X is some noun. Examples: Hopefully we can treat each other with more consideration. Hopefully we can ...
3
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1answer
191 views

Is referring to Mandarin as just “Chinese” problematic?

I am living in Taiwan learning Mandarin Chinese (with traditional characters). When speaking in English I try to refer to the language as Mandarin both for clarity, and because I imagine people who ...
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2answers
196 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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334 views

質: when to pronounce in 2nd tone or 4th (Mandarin)?

In Mandarin, sometimes 質 is pronounced with the 2nd tone (e.g., 質地, 特質) and other times it's pronounced with the 4th tone (e.g., 質疑, 質量, 品質). Here are two words pronounced with the 2nd tone: 質地 http:...

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