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Questions tagged [vocabulary]

It's the set of words used by a language, but also all of the words within a language known by a single person.

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2
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2answers
141 views

neutral tone in a non-final syllable

Can a neutral/fifth tone appear in a word syllable other than the last one? If so, as a lexical tone, a sandhi tone or both? Adding a few examples would be helpful.
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2answers
378 views

How to Discern '降维攻击'?

The idiom '降维攻击' is quite popular in Chinese chatting room. Interestingly, it's used almost in any context. What's the origin and meaning of it?
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3answers
231 views

What does 每隔 mean?

每隔一周 means "every two weeks" or "every other week" in English. So, it looks like “每隔 x” is equivalent to "every x+1" in English. However, I noticed many online dictionaries have 每隔两天 equivalent to "...
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2answers
144 views

Verbal reading of 块?

In my open-source dictionary a contributor has suggested a verbal reading for 块: to cut/chop into pieces, noting that in this 'verbal sense' it is always reduplicated. I cannot find this in either CC-...
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2answers
106 views

Meaning of 纸 in radicals

I was asked this in my Chinese class and have to write a mini paragraph on it: 解释一下“纸”这个字部首是什么?最早纸是什么意思? I know that the first part of 纸 means 丝绸, but what does the second part of the character ...
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1answer
233 views

Details of TOCFL online?

Is there an online description of Test Of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL) in Spanish or English that's better than Wikipedia? Both Wikipedia and the official site say that the final level adds ...
3
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2answers
108 views

Did the name “白俄罗斯” exist in Chinese before 1991?

Did the name "白俄罗斯" for Belarus exist in Chinese language before 1991 or was it created only when Belarus became an independent state in 1991?
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2answers
566 views

How to use 弄 in a sentence?

On some of my Chinese school worksheets, we're supposed to use "弄" in the following sentences: Don't make the child cry. Loosen the belt. There is one more problem that has yet to be clarified. I'...
2
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1answer
42 views

What does 初期运营速度 mean when we talk about high speed railway?

When talking about the definition of high speed railway, it is often said 初期运营速度不小于200公里/小时. I don't understand what 初期运营速度 mean? I come out a few possible meanings, but not sure which is correct. ...
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5answers
214 views

Why is China National Highway called “国道”, instead of “国路”?

I know both 道 and 路 mean "road, highway", but I am always confused which one to use in a certain condition. For example, since "highway" in Chinese language is 公路. Is it more logical to call "...
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2answers
112 views

Verify/Correct my Chinese complex sentence?

I tested my simple translation skills and searched for an example English complex sentence on the internet...can someone judge my translation of this: "Although I like to go camping, I haven't had ...
2
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1answer
44 views

Why does “拒不” mean “to refuse to do something”?

http://adm21.cmu.edu.tw/news_detail.php?sn=1572 : 不聽勸告即請其出場,該科成績以零分計;拒不出場,情節重大者,取消其考試資格,並報請有關機關處理。 http://ssdo.gov.taipei/ct.asp?xItem=6344506&ctNode=46432&mp=124011 : 如拒不參加全民健康保險,是否會受到處罰? ...
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4answers
136 views

Chinese phrase for 'stripped of one's rank'

In the movie, 'Wolf Warrior 2', the protagonist was stripped of his ranks before being sent to military jail. How could the stripping of rank be described concisely in mandarin? I was thinking ...
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2answers
89 views

Why is the word “canal” called 运河 in Chinese?

My question is in the title. Does it mean, if the canal is for boats or ships (transportation), it is called "运河"? If the canal is for watering the land, is it called "渠"? I am confused.
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4answers
514 views

Difference between 製作 and 製造?

Both 製作 and 製造 mean "to make" according to this dictionary: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/2913/ http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/6021/ It seems like 製造 might ...
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2answers
106 views

What is the usage of 物 here?

From Daodejing 25: 有物混成,先天地生。寂兮寥兮,獨立不改,周行而不殆,可以為天下母。 I have seen this translated as both: "There is a being, wonderful, perfect; It existed before heaven and earth. How quiet it is! How ...
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3answers
103 views

What is “at” called when giving an email address over the phone?

What is "@" "at" called when giving an email over the phone? Is it different in different regions? I have heard it as "XiaoLong ..." or something similar to that in Taiwan, but not sure what exactly ...
4
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3answers
444 views

The difference between 皇帝 and 皇上

I'm reading a book in which the author used both 皇帝 and 皇上 to say 'The Emperor'. I'm a bit confused about why the author would use two words (that according to my knowledge have the same meaning) to ...
3
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2answers
197 views

How come the first tone in the character of 边 in the word 东边 is not written?

I am reading my textbook and I notice that the the pinyin next to 东边 is written as dōng​bian Why is the first tone not present on the bian? The weird thing is that in my other textbook the pinyin ...
2
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2answers
203 views

Why are there duplicates in the following words 游游泳, 化化妆, 散散步, …, etc?

I am looking through my text book and I came across some words like: 游游泳, 化化妆, 散散步. What is the difference between those and their regular counterparts 游泳, 化妆, 散步?
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1answer
62 views

What's the accurate translation for: “Please queue here for takeaways.”? To be used in a restaurant? [closed]

What's the accurate translation for: "Please queue here for takeaways."? To be used in a restaurant.
3
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1answer
201 views

Why are mussels called 淡菜

The name 淡菜 would suggest a meaning like "bland vegetable" or something like that. Why are mussels called 淡菜?
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2answers
79 views

Proper form for “I would like to…”

I am in doubt about the meaning of "xiǎng" and "yào": As per my research on the web, if I want to say "I would like to ... " I would write "Wǒ xiǎng yào...". However, if instead, I wanted to say "I ...
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3answers
69 views

What does having disposition of 护短 means?

The context describe a character as having disposition of 护短. What does this means? 性格特点:护短!护短!护短! I know that 护短 means to hide own's shortcoming. Does this describe a person who does not accept ...
2
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3answers
101 views

Does the word '铬' have other meaning besides chromium/chrome?

那遍布的伤疤铬的她手指生疼 I don't think '铬' in this sentence means chromium, but I couldn't find other meaning except chromium in dictionary. Is it a typo?
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4answers
190 views

Could someone please help explain to me what '收尸' means?

Could someone please help explain to me what '收尸' means? I'm learning what this '收尸' words mean, I've looked in ichiba, ichacha and mdbg and I still couldn't understand. They all said that the ...
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4answers
87 views

Can “东西” refer to a person instead of thing?

"我找到了我一直渴望的东西" "I have found what I've been longing for" "I have found who I've been longing for" Which translation would be appropriate? Can 东西 refer to a person instead of thing in this sentence?
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1answer
51 views

Could you please explain the words in this '一边对着双桅小帆船呶呶嘴'?

I found this: 一边对着双桅小帆船呶呶嘴。“他帮我把船从巴拿马开过来。” I nodded toward the ketch. " He helped me sail her up from Panama. " What does '桅'mean here? Does 呶呶嘴 mean 'nod'?
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2answers
65 views

What is the colloquial/comman usage of '棒'

I have seen it as usage of 很棒, but I don't get how that means thumbs up as it were? Was I misunderstanding the comment on the video?? I know that on mdbg.net there is a different meaningg ...
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1answer
34 views

消费 coupled with the MW: 个

I noticed that dictionaries cite 消费 as having the MW: 个 。 Is there a reason that this this particular noun has a measure word? It doesn't seem as if it were to be a word that uses a measure word. ...
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1answer
170 views

What is the difference between 把 吧 and 巴?

What's the difference between these three and when to use them?
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1answer
204 views

Meaning of 踏破铁鞋无觅处,得来全不费功夫

I understand the overall meaning of this saying, but I don't understand the specific meaning of the characters 无觅处. It literally would mean 'unsearched location,' which semantically doesn't make ...
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2answers
46 views

Best translation for: “Frequent abuse leads to restrictions”?

My Google-fu and Cantonese brain selected these translations for “frequent abuse leads to restrictions”/“you abuse it, you lose it”: 濫用多就邀請限制 (lànyòng duō jiù yāoqǐng xiànzhì) frequent abuse invites ...
2
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1answer
145 views

What does 绝 means?

According to dictionary, it translated as "cut short" or "disappearing" or "vanishing". However, the phrase 太绝了 which I think it means "perfectly!". I'd like to ask if 绝 can be use with meaning of "...
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1answer
158 views

Is there a comprehensive list of 语气词 or 语气助词? Or a place I can research more about them?

Is there a comprehensive list of 语气词 or 语气助词? Or a place I can research more about them? Had an idea to do my dissertation on them but having trouble finding a list of them.
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2answers
711 views

How to specify the length of a short haircut in China?

In the US you can specify the length of a short haircut by giving a number. So a "Number 2 Haircut" means using the #2 guard on a clipper to cut the hair 1/4 inch long. A "Number 4 Haircut" will cut ...
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3answers
313 views

Why do we have 好 in translation of “You're beautiful”?

When I used a translation engine to translate You are beautiful, the result was 你好漂亮. I know that 你 means you and 漂亮 means pretty. But we is there this 好 in the middle of the sentence. It means good, ...
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1answer
56 views

What does phrase 死牢 refer to?

Does it means a prison that people is left for dead? Or does it means a prison to imprison a death-sentence criminal?
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2answers
144 views

What is the usage of 有 here?

Here is the phrase, it is from Buddhist scripture: 有比丘五下分結盡 I know 有 as "to be", "to have", and as often serving as a translation for the Sanskrit bhāva. Is this usage something like "being monks, [...
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4answers
3k views

When is it appropriate to address someone as 老板 [laoban]?

I've heard laoban being used multiple times when addressing shopkeepers. But who exactly do you refer as laoban? For example, I suppose it's safe to address your boss as laoban regardless of where ...
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1answer
116 views

What are these sentences in English?

I'm currently reading some Chinese novels to improve my reading ability. There are sentences that I can understand roughly but can not describe them in English. I would love to understand the sentence ...
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2answers
52 views

下残 in text on “Jesus-sūtra” (景教)

I've been working my way through some Chinese text, I came to this line here: 祝曰   清净阿罗诃 清净大威力 清净(下残) 大秦景教宣元至本经 I can make sense of some of it, but what does the 下残 in brackets clarify in the text? ...
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2answers
2k views

Do you say “别担心” or ”不担心” for ”don't worry"?

Do you say "别担心” or ”不担心” for "don't worry"? Or something else?
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2answers
566 views

How to give a thinly veiled threat?

I want to know a phrase in Chinese that most native speakers would immediately understand to be a (thinly veiled) threat to their physical safety, very similar to "You had better watch your back" in ...
0
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2answers
113 views

Usage of 非不 in Middle (?) Chinese

I encountered this line: 色生,生故計是我,非不生。and as an amateur, I was confused by the two negatives in a row (非不), which was followed by 生, and when I tried to figure out what it might mean, I figured it ...
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2answers
133 views

Is it proper to say “她给我帮助”?

What are the ways of saying somebody helped you in Chinese? For example, I want to say, "My Chinese friend gave me some help for writing my Chinese essay." Is this correct?: "我的中国朋友给我帮助写我的中文文章”。
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4answers
241 views

What does 風雲 mean?

Many Cantonese dramas titles contains the suffix 風雲. Examples include: 法外風雲 TVB 酒店風雲 Korean What does it even mean? A google translate gives: Outrage Situation ( Makes sense) Hotel Situation?? ...
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4answers
97 views

Is the rendering of 相 into English as “mutual(ly)” sensible?

Here is the passage with a rough translation of what I believe it is supposed to be saying, it is from 3-400AD, Buddhist scripture: 少欲者,少欲俱相類相聚相應相可; few are the chaste, the few chaste are altogether ...
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3answers
161 views

Usage of 是 in 自以爲是

The phrase 自以爲是 loosely means "to think that one's self infallible". 自以为 makes sense to me, but the 是 confuses me. What does it mean here? I know it should mean "fallible", but the dictionaries I ...
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4answers
294 views

What are the common words for “clean” “dirty” “tidy” and “untidy”?

For example, how do Chinese speakers normally say: 1. Your room is so clean! 2 Your room is so dirty! 3. Your room is so tidy! 4. Your room is so untidy! 脏 Is this the most common way to say dirty?