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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《庄子》人间世读音及其解释讨论(Zhuangzi discussion)

《庄子》内七篇,曰:逍遥游、齐物论、养生主、人间世、德充符、大宗师、应帝王。 吾见今主流皆解人间世作人间社会,而亦有异见作人处社会解,甚以为然。 庄子善寓言、重言、卮言。人间世多假人口而述己,略可剖为:颜回请行孔子,叶公子高使齐语孔子,颜阖傅太子而问蘧伯玉,匠石不顾栎社,南伯子綦异大木,孔子适楚遇接舆 等章。 纵观南华,庄子喻人以处己,而非论世以砭弊,故也人间世作人处世,读去声,明矣。 ...
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Can 九十 = “ninety” also mean “nine or ten” (like how 三四 means “three or four”)?

It's normal in Chinese to say something like: 他大概三四岁左右 (source) he is probably around 3 or 4 years old This is called Approximating with sequential numbers on the Chinese Grammar Wiki. However, ...
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How should I translate 载体 here?

This text is talking about 苗族人酷爱银饰。 When I look up 载体 I find things I don't really understand, like: vector, carrier. I find: 用来承载软体的媒介。 银饰早已不是单纯的装饰品,而是植根于苗族社会生活的文化载体。 I'd like to translate 文化载体 as ...
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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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Do 自 and 起 work together here?

This text is talking about the lights in 广州湛涌村。 由于如秋后,广州的日照时间缩短,自花苗上盆起,花农们就会利用电灯补光来延迟花期。 This bit confused me (I'm easily confused). Is it right that 自 ... 起 work together as 'from when' or '...
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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 ...
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Does 到了现在我才清楚了解当时的情况 imply that the situation is completely clear, or just that it's clearer than before?

This question is related to Writing critique request: Zhou Ziwang's father takes her to the "doctor". In particular: English version: These days I have a clearer understanding of the ...
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What does 打着饱嗝 and 嫌缸沿脏 and 踩上去蹲在上面 mean in the novel 活着 p.7?

I've started reading 活着 which is supposedly a good book for new readers. However, I'm having trouble understanding this part on page 7 (my translation). [Warning: it's about poop.] 我爹走到了城里,...
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What does 上 mean as in 抱歉我没帮上忙?

I could roughly understand the meaning of the sentence. Sorry, I didn't help much. By the simple Chinese-English dictionary, 上 means up get on good superior There are tons of meanings by the ...
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What does 老得 mean?

我老得麻烦同事。 What does 老得 means in here? Does it mean I'm too old and have to bother colleagues constantly. I find an example, 我老得不能养猫了。 I'm too old to have a cat.
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What tense is 你会不会怕我?

"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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Translate 主播 in this context

This article is talking about speaking books, e-books. 与国外相比,中国的有声书产业尚处于起步阶段,行业规模和标准亟待统一。此外,优秀主播的培养也是一大缺口。 Normally, 主播 refers to a TV or radio anchor person, the host of a show. That makes no sense ...
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What is 装 and 连 doing in this paragraph about a newt in a glass from Matilda? E.g. 她再看那装着蝾螈的玻璃杯

This is from the Chinese version of Matilda (p.182): 那蝾螈仍旧在那个高玻璃杯装的水里扭来扭去,看起来让人极不舒服。杯子对它来说太小了。玛帝尔达看着特朗奇布尔,她多么恨她呀。她再看那装着蝾螈的玻璃杯,恨不得跑过去把它拿起来连蝾螈带水泼在特朗奇布尔的头上。她想到她真这样做了的话特朗奇布尔会怎样对待她,不禁发起抖来。 The original ...
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How does 你的健康都难得到保证,就更别说幸福了 work?

From 标准教程HSK4上(p.124; nearly finished this book!): 当你生病了,如果由于缺钱而不能及时去看医生,你的健康都难得到保证,就更别说幸福了。 I translate this to: When you're sick, if because of lack of money [you] cannot promptly visit the ...
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Literal versus contextual translation of 斷腸

I saw in the translation of a set of Chinese lyrics that 斷腸 was translated into 'heartbroken' or 'broken heart'. This is a curious case where there is already a common expression for heart broken - ...
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What does the word 'field' mean in this context?

I edit a manuscript for non-chinese-speakers. The writer was an expert in Chinese language and literature. I want to learn, but I am not a native speaker. So, I have difficulty in interpreting how ...
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Is “事出必有因” the most accurate translation for “everything happens for a reason”?

Is “事出必有因” the most accurate translation for "everything happens for a reason"? If not, what is it?
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Why does 兴奋 (excitement) not mean what I think it means?

I wrote this: 我觉得小夏后悔过去的比赛,小夏回忆没进球也也许让一个好机会错过。所以小夏在房间里老坐着。马克想帮助小夏带他去足球比赛再体验足球的兴奋,让小夏高兴点儿。 My teacher made the following corrections (my question relates to the 5-th item below): she deleted the ...
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What role does 成 (chéng) play in the sentence 我把十块美元换成人民币?

A jukuu.com example sentence for 人民币 is: 我把十块美元换成人民币 I change ten dollars into Renminbi (Wǒ bǎ shí kuài měiyuán huàn chéng rénmínbì) Question: What role does 成 play in the sentence ...
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Why is Little Lin's nose bleeding? 还不习惯北方的气候,估计是天气太干。

This snippet is from 标准教程HSK4上 chapter 7 (my translation): 小李:你的鼻子怎么流血了?快用纸擦擦。 Little Li: Your nose is [how] bleeding? Quickly get a tissue and wipe [it]. 小林:我还不习惯北方的气候,估计是天气太干。今天天气不是很冷,...
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Is 让 more [make] than [let]?

Based on someone’s answer on question regarding how to state unpleasantness in Chinese: 让 (to make) implies "to force/ to order". If something has to be forced upon you, that something is most ...
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How to state unpleasantness in written form? let becomes make

In English, unpleasantness can be stated by changing let to make. Classmate sharing pleasant things to classmate: My parents let me eat chocolates. 我父母让我吃巧克力 Classmate complaining to classmate: ...
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How to interpret 重地上,轻地下?

I think this is an oblique reference to 孙子兵法,but in a modern context it just means: 'the government only cares about what is above ground, what is beneath the ground is unimportant' 女:...
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The correct usage of 大约 vs. 差不多

I am a bit confused by the appropriate use of 大约 and 差不多. I have learned to use 差不多 in many cases where I am talking about an approximate amount, value, extent, etc. of something, or speaking about ...
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Meaning of 閒日 (cantonese)

In the sentence 唔知佢點解,佢閒日唔會打電話嚟。 What is the meaning of 閒日? The official translation given by my reference is “weekdays”, but when i searched this in the dictionary, the meaning given is “free time”. ...
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What does 足有 mean?

I found this in Matilda (p.13): 这本书的这一版本足有四百一十一页。 that edition contained four hundred and eleven pages. [original English (ref.)] the book's [这本书的] edition [这一版本] has (?) [足有] 411 pages [...
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Is the 健 in 健忘 (“forgetful”) ironic?

The word 健忘 looks like a contradictio in adiecto: "healthy" + "forget". Am I missing something?
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Does 差不多 (chàbùduō) imply “slightly less than” when comparing quantities?

差 implies a kind of deficiency, so I expect A比B差不多 to mean A is slightly "worse" than B in some way. For example, I would expect 我比你差不多高 to imply I am slightly shorter than you. I'm not sure ...
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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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What part of speech is 到 (to) when used in this case?

I was having trouble with the sentence "两只饿到眼绿的老鼠正在房梁上打架" because I could not understand the usage of 到 here. After I spent some time thinking I figure the meaning is that the rats were hungry to the ...
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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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What is 给 doing in 你给宠坏了 and 一个人给丢在家里 (Matilda 玛蒂尔达, p.7)?

I bought the Chinese version of Matilda, and I'm confused about this: Specifically, I'm confused about why 给 (usually meaning "to give") is in these phrases: 你给宠坏了 You're getting spoiled [...
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168 views

What does 我正好是诗情勃发 mean in the Chinese translation of Roald Dahl's Matilda (p.2)?

I went to a library the other day and found Roald Dahl's Matilda. I started reading, and I found what I think might be a typo (but maybe not---Roald Dahl has a quirky writing style): My ...
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What should I picture when I read 终端?

I have a text talking about a GPS system. 北斗卫星 导航 系统 北斗系统终端不仅可以为船只导航,还能通过其特有的短报文通信技术,报告船只位置和随航人员的情况。 Should I just picture a computer terminal when I read 终端? A screen where I can see information ...
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Function of “也” in “一点儿也不喜欢”

In the sentence "我一点儿也不喜欢这件衣服", translated as "I don't like this piece of clothing at all", what is the function of "也"? Is it valid to think of this syntax as "not even a little bit [do I like this ...
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230 views

Can 吃 be used for liquids?

I was confused by the lyrics of the children's song 三个和尚: 一个和尚挑水吃 两个和尚抬水吃 三个和尚没水吃呀 三个和尚没水吃 没水吃呀 I've seen other versions of the song that use 喝 instead of 吃, which makes more sense to me....
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How to use 走勢 in finance/tech industry

I'm struggling to clearly understand how to use the term 走勢. I've been told that this translates to "trend" but I'm not clear if this suggests trend in terms of general popularity, or trend in terms ...
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42 views

Lost Postcard Shop

I travelled to Shanghai a long time ago and recently got to come back for CPhI. I returned to Tianzifang, where I bought these beautiful poscards, and though I can speak and read some Chinese, I ...
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190 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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How widespread is the idiom 蘑菇?

I have seen the word for mushroom [蘑菇, mógū] to be an action such as dilly dally. Is this an inherent idiom in the written language apparent across a large spectrum of dialect, whereas the word ...
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146 views

How does do (做) mean become (成)?

In the sentence ‘I want to be[come] a policeman’, why is the verb for ‘become’, ‘do’? 我想做一个警察。 Wǒ xiǎng zuò yīgè jǐngchá. I have seen one of the dictionary definitions of 做 to mean become, ...
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109 views

Is 香气袭人 only ever used for a good smell?

I was reading about 雪莲。 It says “雪莲花香袭人,” I'm pretty sure that ’香气袭人‘ is used to indicate a good smell, not a stench. Is that correct? However, 袭 seems to mean 'attack, assail'. In English, if a ...
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89 views

What does 经济生活 mean here?

I'm a bit stuck translating these 6 characters. What does he mean with : 经济生活途径? (Probably not 'economic life way') 记者对社会学者进行访谈。 记者:您认为目前人们交友的目的是什么? 学者:。。。。 在他们看来,现代都市的人际关系应该务实,...
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Does the single character 神 refer to “God” (the unique God, such as in e.g. Christianity) or just “god” or “deity”?

Some people get the single Chinese character 神 (shén) tattooed on them (e.g. 1 2) thinking it means "God". I suspect most of them are Christians, where it's a fundamental part of their beliefs that ...
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292 views

What does 高举旗帜 mean?

In the latest document of the 19th National Congress of CPC, 高举。。。旗帜 was translated as “hold high the banner of...", and the translated work was said to have been revised and finalized by experts who ...
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What's a good translation for 说法?

在我们这边是有这种说法——混血儿会比较聪明。 I know several meanings for it. 官方说法, Official statement; 讨说法, seek explanation or justice. 今日说法, talk about law. However, here 说法 means a kind of public opinion. Can it be ...
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53 views

What does 东突之敌 mean here?

I am reading the article titled 沙场骁将浩气长存——沉痛悼念杨勇同志 in 人民日報, published on 1983/01/22. It describes the combat tactics of PRC general 楊勇, who had just passed away. A passage reads: 第一旅在西关向城内进行主要攻击;...
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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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32 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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151 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 ...