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

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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
42 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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2answers
92 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
81 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
125 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
53 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
165 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
191 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
63 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
172 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
86 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
671 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
98 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 ...
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3answers
90 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
146 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
89 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
112 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 ...
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3answers
161 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
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1answer
96 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
80 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
73 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 ...
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6answers
151 views

What does 能得以 mean?

In the following sentence: 这就是中国书法千百年来之所以能得以传承的缘由。 能 means "can", "be able to ~" 得以 also means "can", "be able to ~" So this is in conflict with each other. For me it seems that one word is ...
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1answer
37 views

Does this box in the movie 妖猫传 (Legend of the Demon Cat) say 鳳栖樓 on its lid and 私人必死 inside, and what do they mean?

I'm watching the movie 妖猫传 (yāomāo zhuàn) = Legend of the Demon Cat. About 10 minutes into the movie, a man secretly enters a room named 御宬 (yùchéng) = "imperial storage" (I think) and searches for a ...
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3answers
59 views

Does 好 + adjective with negative connotation reinforce the negative connotation or mitigate it?

Sometimes I heard 好 precedes an adjective which includes negative connotation (e.g. 无聊, 累). Example: 好无聊啊! 好累了。 In these cases, do speakers have good or bad intentions? Specificall: Does it ...
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3answers
102 views

What does 拜 mean in 拜在俄做生意的中国有钱人所赐,他们的入境手续都不合法?

In the following sentence over 知乎: 最后,特别特别重要的提示!!!出门的时候记得带上护照,遇到警察,在他没有发现你之前躲开他!俄罗斯的警察待遇非常低,所以几乎90%的警察都会勒索外国人,尤其是中国人(拜在俄做生意的中国有钱人所赐,他们的入境手续都不合法,所以一查就给钱,一查就给钱,一来二去警察都知道中国人好给钱了),当然如果你懂语言且签证合法的话,...
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2answers
41 views

What does 翻了个儿 mean?

In the following sentence: 可毒瘾一发作,他就不停地流眼泪,流口水,哈欠连天就,接着便浑身冒冷汗,颤抖,肌肉疼,骨头疼,心呀、肝呀、肺呀什么的,全都翻了个儿,真是求生不得,求死无门。 In this sentence, what does 全都翻了个儿 mean? The words before that all mean the bad deseaces ...
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2answers
108 views

How do I resolve dictionary ambiguities when looking up words/phrases?

More often than not, looking up a simple word in a dictionary brings up several translations. It's pretty obvious that a lot of people have problems with this since a lot of questions here are "what ...
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2answers
67 views

Does 的话 in 这句常挂在嘴边上的话,便点点头答应了 create “If~” subclause?

In the following sentence: 小姐见他有点儿犹豫,便有声有色地向他介绍吸粉的妙处。这时,他想起了,“在社会上混,什么都得尝试尝试” 这句常挂在嘴边上的话,便点点头答应了。 Regarding this usage of 的话, the first I came up with is the use of "If ~, then ..." structure. But ...
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2answers
99 views

Why is 做 in the sentence 不知道大家觉得做女人最大的悲哀是什么?

From a MandarinCorner.org video I Hate Getting My Period (audio and transcript link; video is also searchable on YouTube), we have the following sentence: Bù zhīdào dàjiā juédé zuò nǚrén ...
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1answer
63 views

What does 合痕类的个数 (hé hén lèi de gè shù) mean in this mathematics article?

From the mathematics article 拉丁阵的枚举和计数(Ⅱ):情形n=4,k〈=4, we have the following first paragraph: I'm confused about what 合痕类的个数 (hé hén lèi de gè shù) means here (it's used twice). Google Translate says ...
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2answers
98 views

What does 这样才不白来世上一回 mean?

In the following sentence: 他说:“人往高处走,水往低处流。我没有满足的时候。没见识过的东西还多着呢。我什么都想试试,这样才不白来世上一回。” I think the sentence means: He says: "People go higher, water flows into lower. I don't feel satisfied, have ...
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6answers
2k views

Why are people writing 打井 (dǎjǐng) = “to dig a well” on this construction site wall?

Near campus, there are construction sites for apartments, and one of them has this writing on it: Repeatedly written is 打井 (dǎjǐng) = "to dig a well", along with a phone number. It's possible that ...
4
votes
5answers
90 views

How to express “Now, …” in Chinese (the usage of “now” to draw attention to a particular statement)?

In the following example sentence in English: Suppose that you buy the product in $10 in the store A. The store A is located in 3 miles away. Now, you found out that the store B sells the same ...
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3answers
165 views

What does 有一千零一种用处 mean?

In the following sentence: 西藏人之所以能适应这样的环境,是因为他们从小父母就要用牛油(据说,这种东西可以有一千零一种用处)给他们擦身,并想方设法让他们接受烈日和狂风的锻炼。 The verb on the sentence should be 有, but I don't understand what it means after that. I first ...
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3answers
107 views

What does 在来自中 (zài láizì zhōng) mean in 在来自中、俄、美、英、韩等五国, …?

I was reading a news article (about Trump canceling his meeting with Kim Jong Un, 25 May, 2018) on a flight: I don't understand the use of 在来自中 in the second sentence: 当天早些时候,在来自中、俄、美、英、...
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3answers
73 views

What does 听得见摸得着了 mean?

In the following sentence: 最初的体验便是心跳加速,仿佛有一只小锤不停地捶打你的喉咙。不吃饭时,这种感觉时轻悠悠的,吃了饭,这个小锤便从喉咙升到头顶,产生轻微的震动,震得头有些疼。不知为什么,我觉得这是一种生命的体验。在这样的反应中,生命好像听得见摸得着了。 I think the bold part uses a degree particle, and ...
3
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2answers
77 views

Chinese literature database 中文文学作品资料库

Suppose I have a phase like 说得很好, and I want to know how this phase is normally used (that is, what usually comes before or after, e.g. maybe it's most commonly used in conjunction with the phase 说英文)....
2
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4answers
72 views

What does 是 mean in 因为比读书有趣味的事情实在是太多了?

In the following sentence: 在我的心目中,一个好的作家是长生不死的,他的肉体当然也和常人一样,迟早要化为泥土,但他的精神却会因为他的作品的流传而永垂不朽。在今天这种人人都想致富的社会里,说这样的话显然是不合时宜 —————— 因为比读书有趣味的事情实在是太多了。 Looking at the Pleco, I found the following: [...
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5answers
151 views

What does 老外 mean if the Chinese speaker is in a foreign country?

In the following answer over 知乎 to the question 在西班牙生活是怎样的体验?: 8-中西文化差别很大,前几天,我废了好多力气去解释什么是mianzi,还有因为文化差距,也很难跟老外走的很近,大部分都是中国人跟中国人,老外跟老外。老外很喜欢夜店,迪厅,什么的,答主还是不喜欢这些。这里karaoke 都是中国人开的,打不过的顾客也是中国人 I ...
0
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3answers
52 views

What does 如此 mean in 表示显然如此或确实?

In the following sentence that explains the usage of 明明: 表示显然如此或确实,下文的意思往往转折。 The meaning would be something like the following: It shows obviousness or such, or certainity. After the word ...
2
votes
2answers
129 views

What is the implied meaning of 社会人

So I know that 社会 is society, so I'd assume that 社会人 means people that contribute to society However, for some reason for the past few weeks I've actually heard it used a few times in different ...
0
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6answers
80 views

What does the woman know when she says 后来才知道 (hòulái cái zhīdào)?

(Edit: It looks like I originally excluded some important content, so I expanded the snippet below.) This question is about 后来才知道 in the following sentence, where a woman describes her developing ...
0
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3answers
79 views

Was 司马懿 a crossdresser?

I'm reading an abridged version of 三国演义。(I don't think I could read the original, too difficult for me.) (诸葛亮)故意激怒司马懿,派人送了一套女人的衣服,并辱骂他像女人一样,缩头不战。司马懿心里恼怒,但却穿上衣服,文使者:“诸葛亮忙吗?吃饭睡觉情况怎么样?” Did 司马懿 put on ...
2
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1answer
66 views

Did the man lock up his 6-year old son at home overnight? (把6岁大的儿子一个人锁在家里整整一夜)

This question is about 后来才知道 in the following sentence: 他为了帮我,把6岁大的儿子一个人锁在家里整整一夜,彻底感动了我,交往不到一年,我们结婚了。 ... bǎ 6 suì dà de érzi yīgè rén suǒ zài jiālǐ zhěngzhěng yīyè ... 嫁给离婚带孩子的男人 我的生活只剩下两个字, ...
0
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3answers
61 views

Why is there no conjunction between 健康 and 有活力的生活状态 in 无法保持健康有活力的生活状态?

In the following sentence: 那些不注意身体的人,到时候,无法保持健康有活力的生活状态,白白留下人生的遗憾,也让爱你的亲友感到痛苦。 The sentence above should mean something like the following: Those who don't care about their health cannot keep ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

What do 即 (jí) and 已 (yǐ) do in the sentence 病征在成年早期即已显露 (“symptoms become visible at early adulthood”)?

In a document about 边缘性人格障碍 (biānyuán xìng réngé zhàng'ài) = "Borderline Personality Disorder", we have the following sentence: 病征在成年早期即已显露,但随年龄增长趋于缓和或稳定。 Bìngzhēng zài chéngnián zǎoqí jí yǐ ...
1
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2answers
85 views

Does 汉语书 (Hànyǔ shū) “Chinese book” only mean “a book for learning Chinese”, or can it also mean “a book in Chinese”?

In English, a Chinese book could mean either: a book for learning Chinese, or a book which is in Chinese, but (without additional context) we'd ordinarily consider the former interpretation as more ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

What is the meaning of 臭石头 (slang)?

I remember that my dad used this occasionally when he was arguing with my mom. Google translate just returns smelly rock, but I know it's gotta be some sort of slang, as whenever my dad said it, my ...
1
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2answers
60 views

Whom did this happen to? 发生 and friends in sentence

Beginning of an article on qiushibaike.com: 这是一件发生在楼主身上的糗事,事情是这样的: ... (the story is explained) My initial semi-literal translation: This embarrassing story happened to the OP (original poster) ...