Questions tagged [meaning-in-context]

Questions about understanding words or phrases within a given context.

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67 views

What does 态度 mean in 她礼貌不礼貌是她的态度?

I wrote this (Kong Lin has just met a non-binary person, and the narrator describes her mental process): 反而孔琳觉得无所谓,别人的性别不是她的选择,不过她客气还是不客气就是她的选择。 It's intended to mean something along the lines of:...
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Why is 跟 in 陈叶可以直接拿跟胡灵阳的钥匙?

I wrote this: ...陈叶可以直接借她的钥匙。 I intend for it to mean "Chen Ye can directly borrow her [Hu Lingyang's] keys", as in, he doesn't need to ask---the keys were on the table, and he just took them and ...
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What is the meaning of 之 and 当 in the phrase “比之当初战火蔓延的速度有过之而无不及”?

The sentence looks like this: 乱葬岗大围剿刚刚结束,未及第二日,这个消息便插翅一般飞遍了整个修真界,比之当初战火蔓延的速度有过之而无不及。 I do not understand the meaning of 之 here and also do not know how to read 当 in this context (and what is the ...
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How to translate “transparent communication” to Mandarin?

I was writing an email for work and was trying to translate the term "transparent communication" to Chinese, but realized I didn't know the term at all. I'm pretty sure 透明的 isn't correct, but closest ...
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161 views

What does “格” mean in “爾國臨格”?

Matthew 6:10 of the Bible is translated as the following in the Delegates Version: 爾國臨格、爾旨得成、在地若天、 The context was Jesus was teaching how to pray and gave an example of a prayer. I fail to ...
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2k views

Clipping the Emperor’s wings

Background In Liang Qichao‘s 戊戌政變記 (pdf) pretty much at the beginning of the second chapter (pp. 129 and 130 of the linked pdf) mention is made of the Emperor trying to promote several able people of ...
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5answers
84 views

What does “吹” in “她在冷风中吹了好一会儿” mean?

I could not determine which one the "吹" in this sentence means. From what I understand, it generally means "blow" and "fail" 我们吹了= We broke up (fail) 他吹了一声口哨= He whistles (blow) Then it could also ...
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51 views

How does Rosa Lee's 0614 song relate to hyperbolas?

I don't fathom why this popular Hong Kong mathematics author is discussing hyperbolas and the song lyrics discussed. How do they relate? The song is called 0614 by Rosa Lee Ka Yee. My Chinese is too ...
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762 views

Confusion about 要 and 药

Both of these are pronounced in the same way. In latin they are spelt Yào and Yào. I thought each word had four tones. So now I'm confused at how to approach things like this Am I looking at this ...
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What does 背着 mean in the novel 活着 (pp.10-12), e.g., …让她背着我回家…?

I encountered 背着 thrice in quick succession in the novel 活着 (pages 10 through 12): 我年轻时吃喝嫖赌,什么浪荡的事都干过。我常去的那家妓院是单名,叫青楼。里面有个胖胖的妓女很招我喜爱,她走路时两片大屁股就像挂在楼前的两只灯笼,晃来晃去。她躺到床上一动一动时,压在上面的我就像睡在船上,在河水里摇呀摇呀。...
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132 views

Which one is correct? “犯賤” or “泛賤”?

At 5:35, Louisa Mak (麥明詩) says 女孩是_賤. Is the blank 泛 or 犯?
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116 views

What does 原配手撕小三 mean?

In fact, rather than asking the meaning, I want to know which components this phrase consist of. 原配手撕小三: Is it: 原 - 配手 - 撕 - 小三 原配手 - 撕 - 小三 原配手撕 - 小三 I know 小三 mean mistress and 撕 mean to tear, so ...
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130 views

What does 开题 mean here?

I'm supposed to write a thesis for my 成人教育 course. A teacher has been appointed. I can only contact him by email and I think he only looks at his email once a month, there is a long latency period. I ...
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1k views

What does “射個三分波” mean?

I was watching a video from Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper, and they mentioned the phrase in question as such: “港鐵就射個三分波 叫我們問政府”. My guess is that 三分波 refers to an action in some sport, possibly ...
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Why did she choose 姐姐?

Parents in China routinely introduce me to their children as 爷爷.  Okay.  Adults usually do not use family terms with me.  There was one case that I wonder about.  In a fish restaurant where they had ...
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Meaning of “绽开来” in 这句话让她脸上的皱纹菊花般绽开来?

她的话音刚落,一直在旁边默默无语的老公说道:“我们就是后一种。”这句话让她脸上的皱纹菊花般绽开来。" Just after she spoke, her husband who'd been staying in silence beside her said, "We're the latter kind." This remark made the wrinkles on her face.....
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What does the first part of 它一把拉着我跳回了家,我成了兔子,而它成了我的模样 mean?

I've taken to reading short essays written by grade-five children (五年纪作文). In 沙发上的兔子 (Rabbit on the Sofa), there's an image of a rabbit on the sofa, and when the child falls asleep, the child turns ...
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Operational Procedure = liu shui; which characters?

I hear the term "liu shui" often which means something like business procedure, or procedure (a row of actions). now I am wondering what the correct characters for this (slang?) term may be. 流水 ...
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51 views

Why does “these aren't the droids you're looking for” translate to 这些不是你要找的机器人?

这些不是你要找的机器人 These aren't the droids you're looking for. Chinese Class 101 Question: Why does "these aren't the droids you're looking for" translate to 这些不是你要找的机器人? I have two particular points ...
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2k views

What does “你舒服吗” mean in a relationship context?

I was practicing speaking Chinese with a native-speaking learning partner and used the phrase “你舒服吗” while referring to whether one is stressed out or relaxed. The partner told me that it's unusual ...
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What does 我们已经帮您踩过了 mean in this peculiarly translated escalator sticker?

I have this funny image which I believe says: 这块位置 我们已经帮您踩过了! I took this photo in Tianjin, nearby an escalator. Google Translate says it means: This location. We've helped you step over! ...
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150 views

《庄子》人间世篇名读音及其解释讨论(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篇名作人间社会,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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151 views

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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41 views

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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453 views

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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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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51 views

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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82 views

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 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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216 views

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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77 views

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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107 views

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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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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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,你怎么穿这么多? ...
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183 views

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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51 views

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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48 views

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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649 views

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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96 views

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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108 views

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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92 views

What part of speech is 到 (to) when used in 两只饿到眼绿的老鼠正在房梁上打架?

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 ...
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164 views

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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62 views

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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142 views

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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196 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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1answer
62 views

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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133 views

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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1answer
61 views

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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45 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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