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Questions tagged [meaning-in-context]

Questions concerned understanding of individual words or phrases, considering a context in which these words and phrases are expressed.

4
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73 views

A better translation of 假作真时真亦假,无为有处有还无。

In the Chinese classic 红楼梦 ("Dream of Red Mansions"), there is a famous couplet: 假作真时真亦假,无为有处有还无。 Pinyin: jiǎ zuò zhēn shí zhēn yì jiǎ, wú wéi yǒu chù yǒu huán wú. This has been translated into ...
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2answers
59 views

Could somebody explain the meaning of the sentence to me?

In my textbook there's an exercise where you're supposed to fill in the gaps: 今天的菜____________________到明天就没有人买了。 I'm a bit confused with it. What is meant here by "到明天就没有人买了"? P.S. The task is to ...
3
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2answers
155 views

What is the “ba” that 周恩来 used when speaking to Kissinger?

Dr. Michael Pillsbury, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Chinese Strategy, testified before the US Senate (p. 9) on Nixon's visit to China: But there were glimpses even then that the Chinese ...
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3answers
54 views

What kind of appearance does 丰泽的肌肤 have?

“宝钗生得肌肤丰泽,宝玉看着她雪白的胳膊,不觉动了羡慕之心。” '丰泽的肌肤' looks like what?? Maybe just like her 雪白的胳膊?? Edit Thanks for the answers. So if we slip into a Yorkshire brogue: 宝钗生得肌肤丰泽, Bao Chai 'ad become a ...
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1answer
42 views

What is the meaning of 奴 this poem from 红楼梦?

Poetry is never easy to understand. 奴 is used twice in this poem. I think this 奴 means I or me, in a sense of 'me, this poor slave'. 怪奴底事倍伤神?半为怜春半恼春。 怜春忽至恼忽去,至又无言去不闻。 昨宵庭外悲歌发,知是花魂与鸟魂。 花魂鸟魂总难留,...
3
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1answer
68 views

Meaning of 的 and 之 when both are used in the same sentence

I’m reading a text in which 的 and 之 are sometimes used in the same sentence, in seemingly equivalent or exchangeable function and position. But I’m sure the author had good reasons to choose the ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Reduplication of the noun 小时 in this sentence

Chinese uses reduplication of verbs and adjectives all the time, but I can't find any explanation of reduplication of nouns to explain 小时小时 in this sentence: (from a Mandarin Companion reader, 地心游记, ...
3
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1answer
107 views

“Everywhere” as 到处都 or 到处都是

From this Mandarin Corner video: https://youtu.be/2JttZXFJrNg?t=28 (Transcript provided on their website:) 00:00:24,000 –> 00:00:28,000 Dàjiē shàng hěnduō shù bèi guā dǎo le, 大街上很多树被刮倒了,...
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3answers
81 views

Meaning of 如何 as a single-word declarative sentence?

In a 1933 silent movie, a guy is rejected by a girl who instead marries a rich guy. His friends tell him the marriage won't last long because rich guys have "easy come, easy go" lifestyles. Months ...
4
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2answers
72 views

How do expressions like “二嫂” work in Mandarin?

From what I've known from watching Chinese dramas, siblings or fellow disciples may refer to each other as "big brother/sister" (oldest/first), "2nd/3rd brother/sister" (in-between), or "little ...
2
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2answers
81 views

What does the word “于” mean when it's used along with "不容'?

Because of the word "于" here, I have a hard time understanding this sentence. 这是天地不容于此的缘故. In my attempt to understand it, I've searched for a few similar sentences to be compared. Unfortunately, ...
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3answers
83 views

What does 惊鸿 mean in this context?

I've read from Baidu that '惊鸿' has three meanings. However, I still don't understand what it means in this sentence: 惊鸿剑方向一变,竟然不理会儒袍修士,化为一道惊鸿,只是一闪就出现在白颖脚下,同时剑身一个狂涨,化为数丈大小。 "惊鸿" word in 化为一道惊鸿 is ...
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1answer
117 views

need help me translate this title and signature?

can someone help me with what this says, i've tried google image search and even looking for different signatures but no luck so far.
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1answer
35 views

Artistic characters?

Came across characters which appear to be written on parchment. Any idea why it’d be framed or the meaning of it? All I can tell is that it seems to be a [poetic] story. (The characters in red are a ...
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0answers
42 views

我 or 我的 to show possession? [duplicate]

你们好, In several language learning books for Chinese, I have seen 我 (wǒ)used rather than to mean “I” to mean “my.” Check the following example: 这是我爱人。 Literally: this be I love person. Meaning: This ...
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3answers
56 views

What does 都挺 indicate here?l

What does 都挺 in this sentence mean/indicate? 我一直都挺想学滑板的 The whole sentence is translated as : "I've always wanted to learn skateboard(ing)". I then opened my online dictionary and tried to look for ...
2
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1answer
79 views

Help me translate the red signature seal on this picture?

I inherited these pictures from my grandmother who bought them in China in 1980-81. I have had a difficult time trying to translate the red artist signature seals. I have tried image translator app, I ...
0
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2answers
78 views

What does 到 mean in this sentence?

What does 到 mean in this sentence : 哪里可以买到正版的这本书? Does 买到 here serve as a verb-object word? I doubt it though.
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1answer
131 views

How to understand “喝茶”?

In northern China, we can say "喝茶了吗?" to ask someone if they have already eaten. However, there are also 3 means of "喝茶":      1. drink hot water      ...
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2answers
57 views

How would I go about saying: “I am not at liberty to say” or “I am not at liberty to discuss”

It occurs to me that this would be an useful phrase to politely decline someone who is trying to pry. I'm l a beginner, so it's hard for me know how to translate this.
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1answer
58 views

The meaning of 开 in this sentence

When I was looking for a word in my dictionary, I found this sentence : 会开完了。which (in the dictionary) translated as "The meeting is over". I wonder what 开 means here... because when the sentence is ...
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2answers
103 views

What does this phrase mean?

What does this phrase mean? 我在包里。 In English this is slang for being drunk, but I wonder what it means in Chinese. I was told this last night, by my girlfriend last night and I am wondering if it ...
3
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3answers
84 views

In what circumstances can 呢 be interchangeable with 吗?

I a new to the Chinese language and something that really confused me is that in some circumstances 呢 and 吗 could be used interchangeably, but in others they cannot. For example you cannot say 你吗? ...
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6answers
171 views

Why 了 is not used in this sentence? And what's the meaning of 玩 in this sentence?

The sentence is : "上个星期天,我跟好朋友一起去林学院的农场玩。". I wonder why the writer doesn't add 了 after the verb to indicate that this action took place in the past. Also, what's the use of 玩 in that sentence? And ...
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2answers
79 views

How to ask for response and closing statement in a letter in cantonese and in traditional chinese?

I need help in writing a closing paragraph to my letter. What I need to write in cantonese is: Please, don't forget to reply back my postcard and letter I'm looking forward to get soon news from you. ...
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1answer
67 views

What does 会 mean in this sentence?

“为什么我((会))觉得历史课很无聊?”. The translation of the sentence is "Why do I think history lessons are boring?". I don't get why 会 is used since 会 means "to be able to" or is used to indicate future tense.
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1answer
62 views

Why is there 比率 in this sentence?

Chairman’s Bao has an article containing this sentence: 在上海淮海路K11购物艺术中心 , 一家名为 RATIO 比率的店面备受关注 。 I don’t understand the presence of 比率 here. I know it can mean rate and I am fairly certain the ...
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2answers
89 views

What does 再 mean if it's added after 后?

I wanted to chat my friend with "Let's chat together when (after) you are home!". First, I wrote this sentence : "你回家后咱们一起聊聊吧~" // But then when I tried to check my sentence with translation tools (...
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3answers
90 views

Why is 叫 (“call”) in 叫我马上到北极?

In the children's book 七色花, the girl 珍妮 (Jenny) instructs the magic flower as follows: 吩咐吧,叫我马上到北极! Fēnfù ba, jiào wǒ mǎshàng dào běijí! Command it, call me to the North Pole right away! [...
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1answer
74 views

How do i write Erobee in Chinesse?

I want to use Chinese writing of Erobee in my logo. Does someone tell me please?
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150 views

Difference between 学, 校 and 学校

你好! What's the difference between 学 (xue2), 校 (xiao4) and 学校 (xue2 xiao4)? I know the definitions but the thing with context is quite hard. The first one simply means 'to study' or 'academic'. ...
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3answers
83 views

Does 屁股 refer to the womens' bottoms in 几个包着头巾的女人正将棉秆拔出来,她们不时抖动着屁股摔去根须上的泥巴?

From the book 活着 (audio book, about 7 minutes 40 seconds into 第01集): 几个包着头巾的女人正将棉秆拔出来,她们不时抖动着屁股摔去根须上的泥巴。 I translate this to: Several [几个] women [女人] wearing [包着] headscarves [头巾] are [正将] ...
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4answers
132 views

What is the most appropriate English word to describe '面' in phrase like '看在A的面上, B…'

I think the form is the same with '份' in '看在A的份上, B...' which had been asked before. However, I'm not sure 'for one's sake', which is the preferable answer for '份', is the appropriate word to ...
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3answers
65 views

What does '根筋' in '一根筋' and '少根筋' mean?

The phrase I'm trying to understand is in fact '没那根筋', but I can't find the description for '根筋' in any dictionary. The search result only came up with '一根筋' and '少根筋'. If '一根筋' means one-track ...
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4answers
183 views

Why is both 盐 (salt) and 咸 (salty) in 尝尝他们的盐一样咸的咸菜?

From the book 活着 (on my Kindle): (large image) Transcribing this: 我最喜欢的是傍晚来到时,坐在农民的屋前,看着他们将提上的井水泼在地上,压住蒸腾的尘土,夕阳的光芒在树梢上照射下来,拿一把他们递过来的扇子,尝尝他们的盐一样咸的咸菜,看看几个年轻女人,和男人们说着话。 I'm interested in ...
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2answers
198 views

What are the prefixes for animal genders?

I know the male version when describing gender of an animal or pet is 公,but I have no clue with the female version.
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1answer
68 views

How to translate these inspirational phrases correctly?

I'm trying to make a label for my workbook but I'm not very sure how to write this phrase: If you can dream it you can do it!. Using google translate (traditional chinese) renders me this result: ...
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8answers
224 views

Is it common to call a waiter “朋友”?

I'm in China and many staffs at cafes or bars call me "朋友" to get my attention, for example to bring the food to my table or ask me to hand in my AliPay screen. But on the other hand, it seems always "...
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3answers
124 views

Is the non-literal interpretation of 浪漫是她想要月亮时,你不会给她星星 that young romance is selfish, particularly of women?

This dialogue is from the book Standard Course 标准教程 HSK4 上, page 8 (JD.com): I'm interested in this part: ... 年轻人说:浪漫是她想要月亮时,你不会给她星星 ... I (literally) translate this to: Young people [年轻人] ...
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4answers
683 views

Why does 定 (dìng) disable the monsters' movement in the movie 捉妖记 (Monster Hunt)?

In the movie 捉妖记 (zhuōyāojì), called Monster Hunt in English (Wikipedia, IMDB, Baidu, iQIYI), the movie's character 霍小岚 (Huòxiǎolán) attaches the Chinese hanzi 定 (dìng) to the head of monsters, and ...
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2answers
5k views

Why did my friend write 发发发 on her note?

Today I went to an ice-cream shop with my Chinese friend, and we wrote notes to stick on the wall. My friend wrote: 开心、健康、平安、发发发 kāixīn, jiànkāng, píng'ān, fā fā fā The first three items ...
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5answers
100 views

What does 无妨 mean in 即别人都过“低碳生活”,我自己过“高碳生活”也无妨?

In the following sentence: 我们每个人都是世界公民,千万不应该有低碳生活与己无关的想法,即别人都过“低碳生活”,我自己过“高碳生活”也无妨。 无妨 means "might as well", "there is no harm", or "no matter". However, it then makes no sense, since the ...
2
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3answers
94 views

What does 的 mean in 电影展示在盲人面前的不只是一时的多彩

In the following sentence: 电影展示在盲人面前的不只是一时的多彩,电影改变着每一个听电影的盲人的人生。 It uses 的 after 面前, and the sentence would mean something like the following: The theater shows not only the splendid view ...
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3answers
240 views

How to correctly use “多” to say “more than”?

I know a similar question has already been answered but I still have a lot of doubts. To my understanding if a number is ≤9, you need to put "多" after the measure word (or after the name if it doesn'...
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3answers
100 views

What exactly does 硬 mean here?

红孩儿 thinks 唐僧 tastes nice. He wants to eat him, but 孙悟空 is onto him. Leaving aside the important question of how he knows 唐僧的味道好, what does this 硬 mean? 看来,硬捉是不行的,不如换个方法! I'd like to translate: 硬捉 ...
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5answers
123 views

What does 打着 mean in 不能打着传统文化的旗号去否认简体字?

In the following sentence: 众所周知,简体字源于历史上人们自行简化的手书体,它是以繁体字为基础的,不能打着传统文化的旗号去否认简体字。 打着 means "hit the mark", according to Pleco. 百度词典 does not have the entry for the word. I struggle to understand ...
2
votes
3answers
177 views

Are 朝鲜冷面 (Cháoxiǎn lěngmiàn) from Korea (North and South) or only North Korea?

In Tianjin, sometimes we see 朝鲜冷面 (Cháoxiǎn lěngmiàn) for sale: Breaking this down: 朝鲜 (Cháoxiǎn) = Korea or North Korea, depending on context 冷面 (lěng miàn) = cold noodles YouDao says 朝鲜冷面 ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

What does 尿尿 mean?

I was scrolling down on YouTube comments until someone wrote 老师好。新年快乐。给尿尿了。A person answered 新年快乐,不说给尿尿,哈哈. I look it up but it said that 尿尿 means piss. Is that true?
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3answers
91 views

What does 的 mean in 随着学习的深入 (a verb modifies a verb via 的)?

In the following sentence: 学习汉语的人一般都会认为汉字“难认”和“难学”,其实,这主要是在开始学习的时候。随着学习的深入,难度会降低,“难学”甚至会转化为“易学”,这是因为汉字在音、形、义三个要素之间有着不少内在的联系。 深入 is a verb, and 学习 is also a verb or noun. So it is awkward 学习 ...
1
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1answer
78 views

Why is 右助 (yòu zhù) in this Chinese translation of Qur'an 1:5: 我们只崇拜你,只求你右助?

A Chinese translation of Qur'an 1:5 (link) says 我们只崇拜你,只求你右助, Wǒmen zhǐ chóngbài nǐ, zhǐ qiú nǐ yòu zhù, I'm unclear about 右助 which YouDao translates to "the right to help". The sentence mostly ...