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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.

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How does 遥望却间隔 translate to "Look at the distance?

A lyric from this song: https://mojim.com/cny111282x11x2.htm https://translate.google.com/#view=home&op=translate&sl=auto&tl=en&text=%E9%81%A5%E6%9C%9B%E5%8D%B4%E9%97%B4%E9%9A%94 遥望 ...
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1answer
27 views

Meaning in car/wiring context

Whenever I try to use any available translator I've got strange results like "special for free light". 16款自由光专用 What can this sentence mean in car or electric wiring context?
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54 views

Why do we use 做 in this sentence as “being”?

Sentence: 我太喜欢和他做朋友了 How can we use 做 in this meaning in other sentences? Where can I read more about it and what is the name of this "rule"? And what is the meaning of the 了 in this sentence?
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74 views

Translation of 白眼狼

十里桃花三生三世 To-the-Sky-King-Tang-Qi.pdf 可叹大师兄竟救了玄女,将一条白眼狼引入昆仑山。 Unfortunately, First Apprentice had looked after Xuan Nu, taken her in, and by so doing unleashed white-eyed terror upon Mount ...
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1answer
75 views

What is the meaning of 左右着 here?

How would you translate 左右着他们 here? What other phrase could I substitute for 左右着他们 here? 在古代的时候,科学水平还没那么高,人们对自然的认识也是有限的。因此,碰见灾难的时候,就会认为后神灵在左右着他们,所以人们祈求于神灵。 就会认为后神灵在左右着他们, then they might believe the ...
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49 views

Ten obligations in 三字经

Here's the final excerpt from part one of 三字经 [1]: 父子恩 夫婦從 兄則友 弟則恭 長幼序 友與朋 君則敬 臣則忠 此十義 人所同 Simplified Chinese: 父子恩 夫妇从 兄则友 弟则恭 长幼序 友与朋 君则敬 臣则忠 此十义 人所同 Translation [2]: ...
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2answers
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What does 玄机 mean?

When we were talking about chengyu 知难而上, one my Chinese friend said, 你没看出来这里面的玄机 Then he explained 知难而上 can be understood as 知男而上. By the dictionary, 玄机 means mystery. However, I think it being ...
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Is this translation English to Chinese translation correct or close?

An unprecedented look into the food and culture of ice, from Iceland's premier chef and the owner of Reykjavik's Restaurant Dill. 一个史无前例的食物和冰岛的文化,从冰岛总理厨师和雷克雅未克的所有者迪尔餐厅。
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How to distinguish PICTURE OF ME and PICTURE OF MINE in Chinese?

This is a PICTURE OF ME. This is a PICTURE OF MINE. Both can be translated to 这是我的图片
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3answers
294 views

How did 零 came to mean zero?

I understand that 零 originally meant rain, however for some reason it eventually became fragments then also zero. How did the meaning of this character shifted to become also fragments (rain drops, ...
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5answers
122 views

What does 还真别说 mean?

Some commented about a joke, 还真别说,这个笑话有点意思。 The translator gives Don't mention it I don't think it's right.
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1answer
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Meaning of 重剑 aside from the fencing sword epee

The main translation of 重剑 is epee, which is a fencing sword. However, in a novel, I saw the term used in a fighting scene. It was also described to be placed on the character's back. Since the two ...
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1answer
45 views

“以” in “敗義以求生, 豈荀巨伯所行邪”

Does "以" have the same meaning in the following sentences? 敗義以求生, 豈荀巨伯所行邪 志士仁人 無求生以害仁
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1answer
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What is 茜 in the phrase 茜纱窗下?

晴雯死了。宝玉祭文。黛玉听见了。宝玉说,”有什么不妥的地方,还请你替我修改修改。“ 宝玉写的是:红绡帐里 黛玉说,”何不说 ‘茜纱窗下’“ Is 茜 just 红色? Or is it what the window screen is made of? Is it 芦苇?
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5answers
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What does 算不上 mean in 算不上太美好的日子?

This is from the book 我是马拉拉 (the Chinese version of I am Malala). I transcribe it to: 2012年10月9日,星期二那天发生的事情,改变了一切。那天原本要大考,对学生们来说算不上太美好的日子。但和大多数同学不一样,我号称“小书虫”,感觉考试并不是什么大事。 I translate this to: ...
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How does word order affect the meaning of a sentence

A foreign friend of mine asked me the following questions and I cannot explain to him very well. So I am looking for help here. Context: I said to him: it's ok to say a sentence in different word ...
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3answers
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What tense is this sentence?

"你会不会怕我" example What tense is this sentence? It seems like future tense, but if you watch the video the person talking (the dad) is talking to his daughter. But, that makes me think it is current ...
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2answers
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Is it known to which bird species 雎鸠 refers?

关关雎鸠,在河之洲。is a very well known line. When I look up 雎鸠 in Baidu, I see pictures of ospreys, cormorants,herons, seagulls and other species. Is it known to which bird species 雎鸠 refers? According to ...
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2answers
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What does this 切 mean here?

Looking at 诗经,第一首诗: 求之不得, 寤寐思服。 悠哉悠哉, 辗转反侧。 in 现代的普通话 追求的姑娘却总得不到, 日日夜夜心里想着她。 时常思念情意切, 翻来覆去难入眠。 In the 3rd line, what does 切 mean? true? ? sure?
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Whats the difference between 抛弃,放弃,舍弃, 丢弃?

I know they all mean to give up, or abandon but what would be the different meanings and context these words are used in? Thanks!
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3answers
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Whats the difference between 毁灭,销毁,和烧毁?

I know they all mean to Destroy to some extent, but was told 烧毁 is specifically to use fire. What are the different contexts or situations you would use them in? Thanks!
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1answer
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meaning and function of 使 as in “不如小决使道,不如吾闻而药之也”

What is the meaning and function of 使 in the following? 大决所犯,伤人必多,吾不克救也;不如小决使道,不如吾闻而药之也。 道 means 導, meaning "to lead" or "to guide," but how does it combine with 使, meaning "to cause"?
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Meaning and function of “以” in “子路,人告之以有过,则喜”?

What is the meaning and function of 以 in the following? 子路,人告之以有过,则喜。 According to an online dictionary, 以 as a preposition has the following senses: [介] 1 因為、由於。《論語.衛靈公》:「君子不以言舉人,不以人廢言。」《韓非子....
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What is the meaning and function of 幸 in “则幸分我一杯羹”?

What is the meaning and function of "幸" in the following sentence? 吾翁即若翁。必欲烹而翁,则幸分我一杯羹
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39 views

Adding emphasis to “you”

Consider the following situation. I'm with two friends. Alice is a bad driver. Bob is not. Bob says to me, "why don't you give Alice the keys and let's go home". I say to Bob, "why don't I just give ...
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Could someone tell me if I interpret this sentence correctly?

I'm reading a web novel called "凤凰仙尊,刁妻萌娃好难训." There's a sentence which confused me, so I hope someone could tell me if my interpretation's already correct. “凡物只所持,不外乎三种,神念、灵气、元血。只是,一旦错了。就不知会如何了。” I ...
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65 views

Meaning of 惹人嫌?

The full sentence is 唇上 唇下 留着 不长不短 但 总之 很 惹人嫌 的 髭须。 Which I've translated as 'His facial hair was not short or long, but overall the beard was suspicious. Is 'suspicious' a good ...
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163 views

In this dialogue, why does 一米八几 mean “more than 180cm tall”?

My HSK 2 textbook contains the following dialogue and translation: 他多高 How tall is he? 一米八几 He is more than 180 centimeters tall. The second sentence is not explained in the book and I am ...
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4answers
271 views

Meaning of 上不上下不下

What does 上不上下不下 mean as an idiom? (Not the riddle) Here is the sentence where the phrase came from. 可惜,她越是这样,楚野就越是觉得被一根刺卡在喉咙处,上不上下不下,非常的不爽。
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What does the 月 (moon/month) in the Taiwanese MRT platform's 月台 refer to?

On a recent trip to Taiwan, I noticed that the MRT platforms there are labelled 月台 (yuetai / yuètái). Asking a professional tour guide (Taiwanese local, native Chinese speaker) only revealed that he'd ...
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How to understand “有理数贯逼近实数”?

In this article, the phrase “有理数贯逼近实数” is used (see the second last paragraph). How to understand this phrase?
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What does 管 mean as in “他管我借钱.”?

And how do you translate 他管我借钱,但我没借给他 ?
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1answer
65 views

Difference between 余 and 多; the use of 岁 and 年

1. If I want to say "more than a hundred years", which one is correct? a. 百余年 b. 一百多年 One of the example in ichacha "五十余年: fifty odd years" makes me wonder why 余 is used instead of 多. So, when ...
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如何把名词形式的 'Nothing' 翻译成中文 How to translate the English noun form of Nothing into Chinese?

Here are 2 English sentences, both have the word 'Nothing' in it in the noun form. I am wondering if it can be translated into Chinese while preserving as much of its original meaning as possible. ...
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139 views

What is the meaning of 一看 in this sentence?

打开盒子一看,里面是一只小猫 Is it the same as 看看 or 看一看?
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Is “投个好胎” a proper set phrase/idiom? What does it mean?

I'm trying to understand it by finding the meaning behind each word but failed miserably. What I got from MDBG: 投 (tóu): to cast / to send / to throw oneself (into the river etc) / to seek refuge ...
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4answers
139 views

Does the word 肉 always mean pork (unless preceded by another word which means a different animal) in Chinese menus?

红烧肉、回锅肉、芹菜炒肉,肉夹馍…… Without the name of a different animal mentioned before 肉 (such as 孜然羊肉), does the word 肉 always mean "pork" without any exception? Edit: I have found the following ...
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What is the meaning of 一草一木 here?

宝钗说:“这么说,我也是和你一样的。” 林黛玉 did not agree. Part of what she said is: 我是一无所有,吃穿用度,一草一木,都和他们家的姑娘一样,那些小人岂有不多嫌的。 What does she mean with “一草一木”?
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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
73 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 ...
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2answers
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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
59 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
48 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,...
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1answer
79 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 ...
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1answer
48 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, ...
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1answer
150 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
82 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 ...
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2answers
99 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 ...
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2answers
98 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
97 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 ...