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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
3answers
208 views

What comes after 不愁 is it negative or positive?

So, I know that 不愁 means to "not worry about" but I'm trying to figure out its exact usage. In particular, I'm trying to figure out if the phrase after 不愁 is always negative? For example, I know ...
1
vote
2answers
517 views

Frequency of hanzi by use in Chinese words

I can easily find a lot of lists with the most frequently used hanzi. But I think the frequency is linked to the use in sentences, independently of words. I need the frequency of used hanzi linked to ...
0
votes
2answers
124 views

Looking for the right way to combine concepts of (smart) investment and metadata

in simplified Chinese. 'investment' I believe is 投资 meta 元 as in metadata 元数据 The concept I am looking for in Chinese is 'making a smart investment based on (knowledge from) metadata' I was told by a ...
0
votes
2answers
181 views

Ways to write “strength”

What is the difference in writing strength as 力 or 力量 ? I have seen it both ways and am not sure of the difference.
5
votes
5answers
178 views

Pairs which are of the form AB / BA

I need help with 实现 v.s. 现实 and 罪犯 v.s. 犯罪. I find it hard to remember the distinction between these pairs which are of the form AB / BA. Can anyone help me grasp the underlying ideas/logic/feeling? ...
1
vote
2answers
144 views

Can 丢 refer to people?

I'm looking for the right word to use in the situation where you are looking after a child and they wander off. In English I would say "I lost my child!" Is 丢 the proper word? Google wants to say "...
4
votes
5answers
369 views

“不应” vs. “不该”: Which is used in formal writing?

Recently I've been writing "should not" in Chinese a lot. But, I've been confused. What is the difference between "不该“ and "不应“? Are they both used? For example, I know we can say 对不起,我不该说那么难听的话。 ...
0
votes
2answers
176 views

钻法律的空子和钻法律的漏洞有差?

我上课时遇到了这两个词, 但我还不太理解这两个有没有差别? 我知道它们在英文里指的都是”loophole“ I'm still not clear on what the difference is between these two! If you could give an example of how to use either, that would be really ...
1
vote
2answers
291 views

Does xiang (third tone) mean “want” or “echo”?

I am reading this set of poems for my humanities class. One of the lines is: Supposedly, the last character is xiang with a third tone and it means to "sound" or "echo". But I thought this character ...
1
vote
2answers
156 views

What do 为至 and 即随之而至 mean?

First phrase: 身死无名为至愚. Second one: 他的犯罪记录即随之而至. What would be a good way to translate those phrases?
5
votes
2answers
407 views

How to say replica as opposed to fake

The only difference between a replica of a van Gogh painting, and a fake van Gogh painting, is that the replica claims to be a replica while the fake claims to be real. This is a subtle distinction, ...
3
votes
1answer
588 views

Translation of “Baller”?

Was trying to explain to my one friend what does it means by "He's a baller". The closest I got is "他很酷" but that's just the same meaning as "He's cool". Is there a more...descriptive translation? ...
7
votes
1answer
294 views

Politeness in referring to a recent death

Some people in the US normally avoid saying a person has "died." They say the person "passed on," or "has left us." Are there similar, gentle ways in Chinese to avoid saying a person died? Would it ...
4
votes
1answer
710 views

What are the continents according to Chinese schemes?

In the United States, I was taught a geographical scheme comprising seven continents: Africa (非洲), Antarctica (南极洲), Asia (亚洲), Australia (澳洲), Europe (欧洲), North America (北美洲), and South America (...
0
votes
2answers
108 views

Which version is correct, 脚趾甲 or 脚指甲?

My question is as the title. I have seen both versions as the Chinese equivalent of "toenail". Which one is correct? Or are both right?
5
votes
1answer
252 views

What difference(s) does it make to use the citation tone instead of the neutral tone, for the tail character in these words?

Here’s my list: 队伍, 成分, 身分, 才力, 呼噜, 亮堂, 好处, 种子, 妥当, 爽快, 痛快, 记性, 出息, 佩服, 分析, 哈欠, 寒毛, 活泼, 鼻涕, 道理, 滑稽, 考究, 讲究, 打算, 正经, 裁缝, 得罪, 意识 (and also意识 形态), 熟识, 见识, 体谅, 兴趣, [东/西/南/前/后/那/上/下/头/里/外/左/右]边, 知道, 父亲 and ...
3
votes
7answers
315 views

和 or 或? When to use “and”s and “or”s

A very short, isolated question: No hopes or dreams In English, it's very clear that this is "neither hopes nor dreams" i.e. there are no hopes, and also no dreams. In Chinese, which word, 和 or 或 (...
1
vote
4answers
155 views

How to translate “coming along?”

I was recently writing a letter to a Chinese colleague and wanted to wish her luck on a book she is writing. In essence, I wanted to say I hope your book is coming along well. Unfortunately, I ...
2
votes
3answers
821 views

How to describe something as a 'work in progress'

What's a good idiomatic way to tell a Chinese speaker that something is a 'work in progress' - as for example, "my Chinese language skills are still a work in progress'. Would it be similar to ‘...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How would you translate 魔都 in English?

I know it is referring to Shanghai, and Baidu has a handy explanation of its origins here, but how would you translate it? "The Mystic Capital"? "The Devilish Capital"? In the theme of 帝都 to describe ...
2
votes
3answers
802 views

What is the meaning of 看在 and 分上?

看在孩子的分上,夫妇二人没有离婚。 In the phrase above, what do they mean? Neither is found in a dictionary. The sentence is said to translate to "The pair would not divorce because of the children".
6
votes
1answer
224 views

words where it is important to distinguish between the neutral tone and the citation tone

I'm working through the HSK vocab lists, and sometimes I find it hard to remember if a character should be pronounced with the neutral tone or with the citation tone. It would help if I knew when it'...
1
vote
3answers
101 views

Email as noun and verb

Could you guys and gals clarify how you use Email as noun and verb please? My textbook uses 电子邮件 as a noun and 发电子邮件 as a verb (send an Email). I have also found 伊妹儿 in a dictionary, which looks like ...
1
vote
3answers
257 views

Is “谐仿” an actual word in Chinese?

The English Wiktionary lists "谐仿" (xiéfǎng) as a translation for the English word "parody". But my other dictionaries don't list it and also my friends here in China say they don't know it, not even ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Chinese word for X chair in a musical group when it isn't 1st or 2nd chair

In English, in an orchestra one might say that one's chair position is 2nd Violin, 5th chair. The 2nd Violin part is easy to say: 第二小提琴. But the 5th chair part is troubling. My question is the Chinese ...
1
vote
5answers
372 views

many ways to say Today

I've seen "today" translated in several ways: "今日", "今天", "本日". Are they all official words? What's the difference among them? Are those words more or less interchangeable in common language? Are ...
2
votes
2answers
494 views

Is this a correct usage of “來日方長”?

I want to say: You still have a long way to go, wish you have a memorable secondary school career And here's my translation to Chinese: 來日方長, 希望你有個難忘的中學生涯 I'm wondering if it is correct to use ...
1
vote
3answers
687 views

“Immediately” 立即, 即時, 立刻, 馬上 etc

I'm trying to find a suitable translation for the word immediately. The dictionary has all of these words (I limited it to 4 in the title but there are over 10 results from what I can see). Could ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

meaning of “然後三個三個分成小組”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n38D7DCDtbk http://southworks.com/blog/2009/06/21/the-cookie-experiment/ So,when Liu Anting refers to "然後三個三個分成小組" does she mean something along the lines of "And ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

枕头 versus 垫子, are these different?

I've come across these two words in a picture-book. Are 枕头 and 垫子 the same kind of pillow or are they different kinds of pillow?
13
votes
4answers
600 views

What's the difference between 帐户 and 账户?

To my understanding, both mean "account", as in a bank account or online account. 账户 also appears to be the more common (100M search results) compared to 帐户 (about 50M results). What is the difference,...
5
votes
3answers
630 views

When to use 世界 and when to use 国际

These two terms are broadly speaking translations of "world" (世界), and "international" (国际). Recently, I've been reminded that "international" in English can be used to mean "many nations" rather than ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)?

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)? The article http://www.hainan-today.com/2012/201201/web/201201_28.htm uses “未長未短”: 但与大门前的“翻天覆地”相比,作为景区主体之一的“雨林谷”变化却“含蓄”许多,景观还是两年前的样子,没多没少,...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

Ways to politely insult somebody's intelligence in Mandarin?

I know of many words to insult people and call them stupid, but a majority of them are incredibly offensive. There are more polite phrases, such as 真笨, which I've seen used within families (as a plain ...
2
votes
3answers
171 views

Is the word “以后” in “回家以后” an adverb?

My question is as titled. Per my understanding the "以后" in "回家以后", "从此以后", etc. is a preposition. So I am surprised the textbook says 以后 is an adverb here. Can anyone find a grammar book, dictionary, ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

The real meaning of “傲嬌”

Until recently, I have known the meaning of this word as described on the wiki page. I thought it is used to refer to people, particularly female, who are cold on the outside and hot, as in intimate, ...
1
vote
2answers
262 views

Is there a word to describe “more demand than offer”?

Is there a word which is used to describe the situation when demand for some goods are so high that sellers cannot satisfy it. It usually leads to rapid growth of prices and crowds in shops, even up ...
4
votes
4answers
252 views

The slang(?) phrase “乾掉了”

As I remember, the phrase was used in response to a certain scenario. Unfortunately, as I tried to look it up on Google, all I find is drying out, which is certainly not the meaning I am looking for. ...
5
votes
1answer
353 views

Chinese Chengyu (Idiom): Refute somebody with his own argument

Is there a Chinese Idiom for "Refute somebody with his own argument"? I thought this is not quite the same as "self-contradictory" 自相矛盾. Thank you.
5
votes
1answer
1k views

“同儕” vs “同僚” vs “同事”

I know that 同事 means colleague, but I have seen 同儕 and 同僚 used in similar context. Below are random examples of each I found on google: 在同儕關係中彼此地位平等、較能相互學習。 由於他過度地自負,同僚們不喜歡他。 Are these words ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Why “保重” means “take care”?

As far as I have learnt, for each Chinese word with more than one character, its meaning is formed from that of each character which it comprises. However, I cannot understand how the meaning of 保重 is ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

Could you help me explain the meaning of “顺其自然”? [closed]

I don't know what does this phrase mean in English. Please explain it with some example sentences.
2
votes
3answers
537 views

Why is 跟他一起去不去 wrong but 跟不跟他一起去 right

I am confused about the Chinese equivalent of "Do you go with him". The sentence is a so-called yes/no question by many textbooks and grammar books. Using the VA-not-VA(Verb Adjective) to compose this ...
3
votes
4answers
210 views

再次 and 再: are they different?

Here is the context: 我于是去了这家餐厅,点了一盘蘑菇菜心,果然好吃。我对服务员说: 我再次要一盘。 The sentence "我再次要一盘" is wrong. But "我再要一盘" is correct. Can anyone explain why?
2
votes
1answer
198 views

What are the mandarin words for these Chinese altars?

I saw some various types of Chinese altars in some chinese countries: Altar that hanging on wall (I suppose this is altar for sky god): https://www.flickr.com/photos/ripi/3969597088/in/set-...
3
votes
2answers
496 views

How is 之 used in these sentences?

不能实现梦想的人都有一个共通之处,那就是:想要一样东西,却怎么也不愿意为之付出 I do not understand the usage of 之 here. What does 之处 and 为之付出 mean? Thank you.
3
votes
5answers
561 views

Difference between 中饭 and 午饭

What would be the difference between two of them? Is the first one used at all? My teacher says I should prefer the last one to be understood and to avoid confusion.
2
votes
2answers
328 views

How do I say that something is “negative”?

I'm trying to explain to a Chinese penpal that certain word and phrases in English carry a negative connotation and so shouldn't be used in specific situations. I want to say "that phrase is very ...
4
votes
1answer
409 views

Why is “连忙” wrong in the following sentence?

My question is as the title. The sentence is: 如果她来了,请你连忙告诉我。 The correct sentence is "如果她来了,请你马上告诉我". Why?
1
vote
1answer
5k views

What is the Chinese way to say “We had a lot of fun”?

I know an English sentence cannot be translated into Chinese word-by-word. So is there a idiomatic way to express the same meaning of "We had a lot of fun" in Chinese? (The context-- someone said this ...