Questions tagged [meaning]

Questions concerned comprehension and understanding the finer aspects of individual words or phrases, with or without a context in which they are expressed.

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2answers
435 views

How to interpret the explanation of '巧夺天工‘?

I had the phrase '巧夺天工‘ in my text, so I 百度 it. 百度 explains it thus: 专指人工的精巧胜过天然制成,形容技艺十分高超。, which is clear. However, they say '巧夺天工‘ comes from 古代成语,“微妙在智,触类而长,玄通阴了,巧夺造化。” and that is more ...
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4answers
3k views

How does the particle word “呢” work?

My teacher said that a particle word in Chinese is a function word, but don't quite understand what is means. How does the particle word such as "呢" work? Also, are there any other Chinese particle ...
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3answers
2k views

Different Ways to Say “Hometown”

I have encountered both 老家 and 家乡 for referring to one's hometown. What are the differences? That is: When should each one be used? When should one or the other be avoided? When can they both be ...
4
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3answers
295 views

Are 改正 and 纠正 interchangeable?

Both 改正 and 纠正 mean "to correct" or "to make right." What is the difference between these words? Do they have different connotations? Are both words acceptable in sentences like the following? ...
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1answer
461 views

Why does 牛车水 mean Chinatown?

I saw a video where people referred to to Chinatown in Singapore as 牛车水. What does this literally mean?
4
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2answers
292 views

What is the difference between 人才 and 人材, and which should I use?

Are they truly identical? If so, which is more commonly used and/or considered the default/standard/preferred usage (versus an alternate variant)? Elsewhere I've found conflicting answers (that they ...
4
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4answers
201 views

What does '来' means when it is used to describe age?

For example: someone who is '二十来岁' Does it mean: Someone in his twenties (20-29) Someone in his early twenties (20-23 or 25) Someone who is about twenty years old (might be 19, 20, 21 etc.) (sorry ...
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1answer
155 views

What does the use of 'verb 了 verb' indicate?

This text is 囊萤照读。 In this short text I found 5 'verb 了 verb' repetitions: 擦了擦汗,晃了晃头,揉了揉脖子,挪了挪屁股,灯在耳边摇了摇 Do these just indicate repeated action? Or is it 'verb 了 noun': 擦了擦: wipe a wipe 晃了晃: shake ...
4
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2answers
190 views

What is the original meaning of 匈 (besides “chest/breast/thorax”)?

The Wikipedia article on the 匈奴 gives a literal translation as 'fierce slaves'. Did 匈 mean 'fierce' in former times? What is the etymology of this character?
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3answers
277 views

How to translate the following grammar-pattern: 让/叫 N+V —— N还/ 就真 V (呀)

I know that this is a pattern that expresses a reverse meaning of what is really expressed (some kind of rhetorical question) - and that the speaker is somehow showing a negative attitude. I suppose ...
4
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3answers
78 views

“他们之间不再会有什么友谊”:在这个句子里"会“贡献什么意思?

我的问题就对于这个句子: 他们之间不再会有什么友谊。 我的英语翻译是: There can no longer be any friendship between them. 为了了解“会”的贡献,我就试试删除它,后来翻译一下: 他们之间不再有什么友谊。 我的英文翻译成为: There is no longer any friendship between them....
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2answers
176 views

到 vs 至, what is the key difference?

As if them sharing a common appearance isn't enough, yabla shows that they can for the most part be used interchangeably. Since they mean nearly the same exact thing with a few caveats, what is the ...
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2answers
273 views

What does 三声无奈 mean?

There is this Min song called 三声无奈, lit. "three sounds helpless". This seems to be an idiomatic expression. I am not totally sure what it means though. It seems to mean "completely helpless". This is ...
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1answer
170 views

What does “蕊屁” mean?

At https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyNNvgW1dSg&lc=z13jt1khfxr4zzw0k225sjfzzyn1hhebs04, someone wrote: 看完電影後整晚都在蕊屁OST Another person wrote in reply: +1 瘋狂蕊批 What does "蕊屁" mean?
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3answers
118 views

Understanding “話之”

CantoDict: 話之 regardless of; no matter what; "I don't care" | Std. Chin.: 不管; 無論 | Syn.: 唔理 | Usu. in the form of 話之你; 話之佢 etc. ~ 粵典: 話之 / 話知 (yue) 唔理唔顧;無視 (eng) to ignore; to ...
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1answer
111 views

Why is there a village called “Cat Cat Bamboo” (猫猫箐)?

I was scrolling through the map when I stumbled across a village called: 猫猫箐 Baidu Baike has an entry on the place but it doesn't talk about where they got their name from. It seems quite ...
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1answer
100 views

Meaning of 道生一,一生二,二生三,三生万物

During one class we talk about how Chinese families give name to their children, however the conclusion is a little bit confusing for me. Context: they give to a child the following name -> 冯一 Can ...
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1answer
62 views

What's the function of 到 in 今天的考试要用到词典?

When I was reading a text, I encountered this sentence: 今天的考试要用到词典,请大家把词典也放在桌子上。 I know what the whole sentence means but what's the function of 到 in this sentence?
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3answers
293 views

Differences between 征, 伐, 讨, 侵, 袭?

These characters all mean "to attack" or "to invade", but what are the differences between them? When should one be used and not the others?
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6answers
463 views

How to parse 没得 + Verb constructions

I've heard phrases of the form 没得V, where V is a verb. Sometimes, the 没得 appears to function like 没, e.g., 我没得选: I don't have a choice. Sometimes, it appears to function like a softer, colloquial ...
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6answers
165 views

Can 偷工减料 be used to describe the intentional and open purchasing of somewhat inferior product?

I know that 偷工减料 is frequently used to describe intentionally (and perhaps secret) shoddy construction. When I translate it, I usually say "Cut corners". However, I think 偷工减料 has a very negative ...
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1answer
75 views

Are there Escher sentences in Chinese? [kinda technical]

I'm a linguist with an extremely superficial knowledge of Chinese, so I'd like to query some native speakers about a grammatical phenomenon I've been thinking about for some time. In Indoeuropean ...
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2answers
115 views

What do the characters I've found on this old gun mean?

On an antique shotgun I was told had Korean origin I found the following (what I presume are Hanja?) characters†. Four out of five I believe I have correctly identified. One character I could not find ...
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2answers
70 views

The correct way to parse “就打赢了” in this sentence

I was reading an excerpt from story, and I'm having a discussion with my friend over the correct way to parse this line said by a certain character, let's call him 1, about character 2. ...
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2answers
253 views

What is the true pinyin pronunciation for this radical?

I'm trying to learn a new method for learning and understanding chinese characters. So, I decided to start with memorizing every chinese radical. I'm use two different source but both wrote two ...
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1answer
73 views

Does the job title 弼马温 really signify 辟马瘟 'avoid horse fever'

猪八戒说,“你这个弼马温!" baidu.com: “弼马温”不过是辟马瘟的谐音而已。 Someone else told me, 弼马温 might really be 弼马翁。 弼马温 was 孙悟空's job in heaven. baidu.com here has: "这样能有效的趋避马瘟。" "古人们在马厩中养猴子" Was Sun Wu Kong's job really ...
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1answer
142 views

What's this “O<” (capital O and subscript less-than sign) Sinological IPA transcription?

So I'm seeing this capital o (O) + subscript less-than sign (<) combination in my list of finals in this book I just got: O<5 iO<5 The book also has fake Chinese IPA to real IPA ...
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1answer
331 views

演 = 氵+ 寅 but what's it got to do with water!? How did it get its modern meanings?

氵+ 寅 = 演 zisea 拼音:yan3 ①根据事理推广发挥:推~。讲~(亦作“演讲”)。~义(以史书及传说的材料为基础,增添一些细节,用章回体写成的小说)。~绎(一种推理方法,由一般原理推出关于特殊情况下的结论)。 ②依照程式练习:~练。~示。~算。~武。~习。~兵场。 ③不断变化:~变。~化。 ④把技艺当众表现出来:表~。~出。~播。~奏。主~...
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1answer
498 views

What's the difference between 称赞, 表扬 and 夸奖?

They all have a meaning of "praise", but do they have a difference?
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1answer
126 views

Why curse the unborn to be without an anus?

There is a common curse for the parents of the unborn & their babies saying that they will be born without an anus: 生儿子没屁眼 and it comes with variants like 生孩子没屁眼, as well. I get the purpose ...
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2answers
596 views

Polysemous disyllabic words

I would like to know whether in chinese there are polysemous disyllabic words made up of disyllabic morphemes, that is a word made up of two characters and which when (at least one of) its syllables ...
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5answers
536 views

What is the meaning of …不断向产业链的高端提升是发展趋势的要求?

I can't quite get the last part of this 专家:这个问题不能一刀切。对于东部的企业,因为起步较早,有一定产业规模和资金积累,所以调整产业结构,提高技术含量,不断向产业链的高端提升是发展趋势的要求。 Can I rewrite the last bit thus: 不断向产业链的高端提升是发展趋势的要求。= ...
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6answers
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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4answers
220 views

What is this 给 doing in this sentence?

一个农民工请了一个他不认识的女人代收他女儿要寄给他的月饼包裹。 女人说:“这个忙好帮,您不怕我把收到的月饼给吃了?” The woman said, "That's easy, but aren't you afraid that I might eat the cakes?" 她在这句话用的‘给’是什么意思? 如果写“您不怕我把收到的月饼吃了”有区别吗?
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4answers
924 views

德行:moral integrity or disgusting?

The question is quite simple, how it is possible that 德行 means two completely opposite things? And when facing this character, how can I know what it means?
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3answers
240 views

How does a body with no arms mean finished? 了子

Reading Henry's question about 了 below, I thought I would look up 了。 http://www.fantizi5.com/ziyuan/ You will have to enter 了。 了是象形字。 To my mind, a child with no arms, or its arms cut off, is '...
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4answers
1k views

Why do people say “吃飽了嗎”

I have heard my Chinese-speaking friends asking each other 吃飽了嗎? several times when they are done or almost done with their own meal. And I have wondered, "Why would they ask others such question? ...
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3answers
530 views

Which country is 岛国?

and now for a weibo post 咱们四川流行的“头上开小花”发卡已经火到国外了,还在岛国推特排行榜登上了第一,分分钟过万转……十一区网友有的表示“灰常萌应该引入动漫里”,还有的表示“大叔带上格外喜感想嫁”,当然最多的回复是“看来我已不懂时尚”[笑cry] I'm told 岛国 is either TW or HK, but how can I know which it ...
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4answers
162 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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3answers
1k views

What is the difference between 打算 (dǎ suàn) and 计划 (jì huà)

Are 打算 (dǎ suàn) and 计划 (jì huà) both synonyms for "plan," or are there some additional nuances here?
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5answers
1k views

What does “大概” mean? Are there any words with the same meaning?

I looked up in the dictionary, there are 12 meanings for it! well aiblins anywhere belike supposedly probably prob. maybe mayhap presumedly presumably ordinarily somewhere easily mainly Just wonder ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the pronunciation of 行 according to its context?

行 can be pronunced háng or xíng. As far as I have seen, it means "OK, to go, profession", and many more other meanings. Could you briefly summarize the usage of it and its corresponding ...
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3answers
296 views

Breaking down meaning of 几句话

I came across this sentence: 我想对你说几句话。 Wǒ xiǎng duì nǐ shuō jǐ jù huà. I'd like to say a few words to you. My understanding is that 句 means sentence, and 话 means "words" in general (ie 我听不懂她说的话 or "...
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4answers
364 views

What does 一不留神 mean …还写了不少东西,一不留神写了不少军报头条?

I get 'take care' or 'be careful' for 留神。 I‘ve seen '一不留神‘ translated as 'accidentally', but this guy did not write his stuff 'accidentally'. It seems to mean 'surprisingly' here. Is that right? ...
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3answers
1k views

How to say “a quarter past nine” in Chinese?

I just found this question, on which the OP asked the meaning of 差一刻九点. The answer is "a quarter to nine". Now I wonder how you can express "a quarter past nine" in Chinese? The first thing I came up ...
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3answers
2k views

Politeness in Mandarin

I like to say please sometimes when I want to be polite to someone when asking them for something. Is this customary in Mandarin? For example, if I wanted to ask for some water, I might ask my ...
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4answers
254 views

What is the meaning of 报 here?

A chinese friend asked me: 你有报语言培训班吗? I understand what she means, but I wonder what meaning 报 carries here. Anyone could help me?
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4answers
531 views

Meaning of 我知道的就这么多了 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Translation of “this much and no more” I found this sentence on Tatoeba: 我知道的就這麼多了。 (Simplified Chinese: 我知道的就这么多了。) Beyond this I know nothing. I mistakenly ...
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4answers
2k views

Difference between 晚安, 晚安安,安安, and 晚安啦

I have some friends in China and I started to learn Chinese. Nothing serious but a few phrases here and there. Due to the time difference the conversation usually ends in one of us saying good night ...
3
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5answers
252 views

Difference between 很 and 挺

As far as I know, both means “very”. I would like to know if there are any further differences that exist between them