Questions tagged [word-choice]

Questions about what word fits better in a certain context or situation.

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0
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3answers
47 views

Should one say “习题解答与提示” or “习题解答或提示”?

If the appendix of a textbook consists of the solutions to some exercises and hints to other exercises, should it be named as "习题解答与提示"or"习题解答或提示"? Edit: The following is from 《群表示论》by Prof. 丘维声, ...
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3answers
59 views

Metaphorical “opening” translation

I'm writing about certain historical leaders of China, and I'd like to say something along the lines of "he opened China to foreign investment" or "he opened China to foreign influence", etc. I can ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

What is the Chinese equivalent of the English morpheme 'e-' indicating “digitalization”?

For instance, "email" (or "e-mail") is one that has been essentially canonized (e.g. it has been added to various canonical dictionaries), but what about other instances of the addition of this ...
2
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3answers
131 views

Is “保守” considered derogatory in Chinese?

In English, the word "conservative" seems neutral. However, the Chinese word "保守" seems to carry a negative connotation (Am I right)? What word should I use if I would like to express the english word ...
2
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5answers
222 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....
6
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6answers
1k views

Writing “Please Recycle” in Mandarin

How can one write "Please Recycle" in the context of an office paper room? I have tried: 请回收利用 but my friend says this is only for recycling batteries.
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2answers
154 views

I looked for it “until” I found it

How do I say “I looked for it until I found it“ or “I looked for (something) until I found it” what is the word that i use for “until”?
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3answers
125 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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3answers
90 views

What exactly does 拆开 mean and is it commonly used?

I've been trying to figure out how exactly to use 拆开 and what it means since I saw it in a song: Mine, Mine by 周杰伦. In the song, the translation i got was disassembling which i would think to be like ...
1
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1answer
63 views

Why “外籍球员” is written as “外援” instead of “外员”?

"外援" literally means "foreign assistance". Why are "外籍球员" called "外援" then?
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2answers
50 views

Differences between 移民 and 移居

The two words 移民 and 移居 are really confusing to me, I’ve searched the dictionary but they are still vague to me. Can someone help me with the use of these 2 words and add some examples?
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2answers
82 views

What are the differences between 本 and 版 when it comes to edition

I’ve found that 本 and 版 can be used to describe the edition of a published material, but do they have any differences between them? If they have, please give some examples
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3answers
101 views

How to say 反常识的 in English?

How to properly translate 反常识的 to English in academic writing? I want to express a surprising and unusual phenomenon that shouldn't appear in an experiment, which is not expected and against the ...
2
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3answers
216 views

Is “繁体字” a “贬义词”?

Since "繁" means "complicated"; “繁体字” seems to have a slightly negative implication. Would "正体字" be a better translation for "traditional Chinese"?
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1answer
42 views

Fixing sentences with object and complement after a verb

While perusing an article on allsetlearning.com about complements, I came across an interesting example of an ungrammatical sentence: 回来中国, where the object and complement are both placed after the ...
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3answers
74 views

Does 害虫 and 益虫 cover different types of animals?

I’ve been looking into the word “pest”, and the dictionary showed me 害虫, but 虫 means insects, so I wonder whether the word 害虫 only means harmful insects or it also can be used to refer to other pests ...
1
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1answer
54 views

Difference between 给 and 跟

What is the difference between 我给你讲 and 我跟你讲? These two phrases both seem to translate to I told you. But when would one be preferable to another? Thanks
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1answer
52 views

Is Autumn being referred to by the female pronoun 她? Is this normal?

This is from my 3-rd grade 语文 book (there's a version here): 现在正是金秋时节。我们已经看到了她缤纷的色彩, 听见了她美妙的声音,分享了她带给我们的欢乐。 I translate this to: It's currently Golden Autumn. We already see her diverse (缤纷的) ...
4
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4answers
2k views

你好啊? or 你好吗? Which is more common?

I have recently come across the phrase 你好啊 and I was curious about its usage. It was in the FSI Chinese course with a meaning of 'How are you?', but I have only heard 你好吗 on other courses and when ...
3
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1answer
39 views

What are the differences between 违犯 and 违反?

Both 违犯 and 违反 share the meaning to violate. What are the differences between these two?
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3answers
89 views

忍耐 vs 忍受 usage/difference

Based on the dictionary, 忍耐 = endure, bear with, restraint oneself while 忍受 = bear, endure. But when I look at sample sentences, the usage of both words sort of overlap each other. So how do I use ...
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2answers
53 views

Various uses of the English “for” to indicate purpose

The sentences below all use the word "for" to indicate purpose. I tried to think of a few sentences that may use "for" a little bit differently. Can you help me understand how to use "for" in Chinese? ...
2
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2answers
77 views

Why is 弄 (nòng) in 他终于弄明白了?

I found the following sentence in a grade three 语文 school book in China (transcript). 他终于弄明白了,这块大石头是从遥远的秦岭被冰川带到这里来的。 [My translation] He finally understood, this big rock is from the distant ...
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3answers
402 views

Errors and Unnatural Language in a Translation Challenge

I was recently challenged to translate the following sentence from English into Chinese: You should stay away from that bar. A friend of mine went there before, and he ended up in the hospital after ...
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7answers
1k views

How are ambiguous “brother” and “sister” typically translated into Chinese?

Like several other languages, Standard Chinese has different words for "older brother" (哥哥), "younger brother" (弟弟), "older sister" (姐姐) and "younger sister" (妹妹). However, many languages don't ...
9
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3answers
638 views

Two-character homonyms with same meaning

This is question about synonymous homonyms in Chinese, in particular, two-character words with same sound, tone. Edit: to keep the question simple and broad, I am using the word "homonym" in a non-...
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5answers
260 views

Saying 不是很多人 or 没有很多人 sounds clunky; how can I say “not many people” smoothly?

Sometimes I say 不是很多人 to mean "not many people"; it's basically a direct translation from English. But it feels clunky to me, and I don't recall a native-Chinese speaker saying this. I found an ...
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2answers
89 views

快 vs 快点, what's the point of “点” in this case?

快 is one of the HSK level 2 vocabulary words which means "quick". Issue is this: I know online translators are unreliable but each translator I've used translates "快点去开门" as "Go and get the door" ...
12
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3answers
29k views

What is the formal/polite way to begin and end an email in Chinese?

In English, formal emails, e.g. emails to a professor, often start with "Hi", "Hello", "Dear" followed by the receiver's name (and title, if applicable). The ending is usually "Best", "Regards", "...
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5answers
184 views

How to say “make money”?

I'm trying to say "the Song Dynasty used this invention to make paper money". So far I've got "宋朝用了这个发明做纸钱“。 The "make money" part is messing with me- I know "做钱“ can mean to print counterfeit money, ...
2
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6answers
238 views

Why does this sentence use 东西?

There’s this sentence in one of DuChinese’s readings : 首先,我们要涂粉底液。如果你的黑眼圈很严重,你可以再用一点遮瑕的东西。 It makes me confused why the writer doesn’t add “的东西” when they mentioned “粉底” in the first sentence but ...
1
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1answer
108 views

Why does the second sentence use 个?

I read this sentence today : 每天给自己的手机充电, 也不要忘了给自己的口语充个电! I wonder why the second sentence use 个 between 充 and 电 while the first one doesn’t. Could anyone please explain it to me?
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3answers
64 views

尚活 can still work without 着?

Can this two hanzi alone "尚活" support the meaning "still alive" without this last one "着"? And if yes, what does "着" add to the general sense? I mean, what's the difference between "活着" and "活"? I'...
3
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8answers
5k views

How do I say 'excuse me'?

So, I just found myself in a spot of bother. I decided to go to learn how to make some Chinese knots, but everything there was Chinese, so I had to speak Chinese. I understood the instructions that ...
0
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2answers
74 views

Is this translation English to Chinese translation correct or close?

An unprecedented look into the food and culture of ice, from Iceland's premier chef and the owner of Reykjavik's Restaurant Dill. 一个史无前例的食物和冰岛的文化,从冰岛总理厨师和雷克雅未克的所有者迪尔餐厅。
2
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2answers
98 views

What's the difference between 都 and 对?

I've seen these two sentences on Duolingo: 我们都是老师。 (We are all teachers.) 他们对不是美国人。 (None of them are American.) (Not sure if this was exactly the one that I was supposed to translate...) But ...
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5answers
250 views

How to express a hairdresser in Mandarin?

Recently my Chinese friend rephrased my use of 美容院 with 理发店 during the conversation, on which I said I'm looking for a hairdresser. In Japanese there are two types of hair salons - 美容院 and 理容院. Both ...
3
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3answers
339 views

Usage of 万 (wàn): ten thousands or just a great number?

I noticed that very often the word 万 (wàn) occurs in poetry (e.g. poetry of the Tang dynasty). My dictionary reports its meaning as "ten thousands", but it looks like it's used in place of a generic "...
11
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6answers
3k views

What is the Difference Between 方法 and 办法?

Both have comparable definitions of "method", "manner", "means", etc. and describe or define a way of doing something. The phrase 没(有)办法 is often used to deflect responsibility by claiming ...
3
votes
3answers
120 views

生抽 vs. 酱油- differences?

I was looking at this recipe here: https://www.xinshipu.com/zuofa/9787, and noticed the word "生抽“. After inputting it in various online translators, they all said it meant soy sauce. However, the ...
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2answers
60 views

衰落:decadence or decline?

I'm trying to describe the plot of the work 红楼梦 using the phrase "the 贾 family's decline". The word for decline, though is confusing me. After putting "decline" through a few online translators, I've ...
2
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1answer
103 views

“The people” translation?

I'm trying to express the idea of a government shifting to democracy. The sentence I'm trying to say is "that forced the government to listen to the people", and I can translate it all except "the ...
2
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4answers
95 views

Words for “thing”? Different usages? 办法说“事情“或者”东西“?用的时候是一样的吗?

I know a few words for "thing“, including 东西 and 事情. I've looked online, and haven't found any other commonly used words, or indication of when to use which. Are they the same? Is one more formal than ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

What is the difference between 元 (圓), 幣, and 金?

In currency exchange booths, and in conversation, I've noticed this: US dollar = 美元, 美金. Hong Kong dollar = 港幣 Japanese Yen = 日元 Singapore dollar = 新幣 Euro = 歐元 There's also 英磅 for the pound ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

What is the difference between 華誕 and 誕辰?

Both 華誕 and 誕辰 are more respectful ways of saying 生日 (birthday). For 華誕, I have seen: "最高元首華誕", "蘇丹華誕", "日本皇華誕". For 誕辰, I have seen: "國父誕辰", "先知默罕默德誕辰". Sometimes, within a text, I see 華誕 being ...
2
votes
1answer
359 views

What's the difference between 恭喜發財 and 恭禧發財?

Today I visited a house that had Chinese New Year banners all over. On the stairs, one banner reads 「恭禧發財」, and above a door, another banner reads 「恭喜發財」. Both of these are pronounced exactly the same ...
0
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1answer
61 views

Usage advice: 什么时候vs哪个时候

I am writing a formal business email to a client, and at the end I would like to ask him when would be his most convenient time to have a phone call. The sentence goes like this: 请您让我知道哪个时候您最方便接电话。 ...
2
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2answers
107 views

Differences between 访问,面试 and 采访

All 3 words seem to mean to interview, interview but what are the differences between them?
4
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3answers
162 views

Differences between 条 and 根

Both of these two words 条 and 根 in the dictionary are said to be measure words for long and thin objects. What are the differences between them?
1
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3answers
157 views

What is the difference between「唐人」and「漢人」in Cantonese?

I have noticed that people speaking Cantonese use the term「唐人」. I am unsure about the definition of「唐人」in Cantonese. Does「唐人」in Cantonese mean exactly the same thing as「漢人」, or are there subtle ...