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Questions tagged [word-choice]

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

0
votes
1answer
18 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
votes
8answers
4k 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
votes
2answers
55 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
43 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
68 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
votes
2answers
83 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 ...
0
votes
5answers
171 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
166 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, ...
3
votes
3answers
302 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
votes
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
112 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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
1answer
100 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
votes
5answers
86 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
192 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
76 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
331 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
votes
1answer
54 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
votes
2answers
86 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
votes
3answers
152 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?
0
votes
2answers
108 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”
1
vote
3answers
120 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
151 views

More common way to say “squared”, 二次方X or X的平方?

In English it's much more common to say "squared" than "to the second power", but the reverse seems to be true in Chinese. For example, m/s^2 is more commonly 米每二次方秒 (according to Google searches) ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

How to say “giving someone the benefit of the doubt” in Chinese?

This expression connotes that one is willing to not insist on accusing someone of a mistake despite most evidence pointing to that someone as being responsible. As in a legal proceeding where the jury ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

Is “空时间” a valid phrase in chinese? If not, why not?

For example, "你有没有空时间呢"? In my intuition, 空时间 is most likely a physics terminology (though it isn't).
6
votes
2answers
324 views

What is the difference between 主菜 and 主食?

What is the difference between 主菜 and 主食 in terms of food items?
1
vote
2answers
98 views

If you can use Chinese nouns as verbs, or vice versa

In English you have words like "badge" which are typically a noun, but they can also be verbs, "They need to badge in" to use their keycard to get in. Shortly, "Badge in please". You can have other ...
5
votes
2answers
502 views

Difference between 小吃 and 零食

Both of these words in the dictionary have themselves defined as “snack” but what are the differences between these 2 words?
0
votes
1answer
61 views

也许 vs 或许 vs 可能 usage

I checked the meaning for all 3 words and it appears that: 也许 = maybe, perhaps, probably / 或许 = maybe, perhaps, probably"/ 可能 = possibly, possible, maybe, perhaps. It seems to me that 也许 and 或许 have ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

演唱会 vs 音乐会 difference

Based on the dictionary, it seems that both 演唱会 & 音乐会 means concert. I did further research and read somewhere that 演唱会 = concert (outdoor & indoor) with many ppl and lots of shouting and ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Differences between 摔,落 and 掉

The 3 words all have a meaning of fall but what are the differences between the 3 of them?
5
votes
2answers
221 views

The origin of 水母

I, among others, do not understand why this word would be chosen for jellyfish. Is a jellyfish held in regard as some sort of cultural/spiritual analogue ? A mother tries to be everywhere at once ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Does this sentence make sense?

I'm trying to write a piece about sexism, that specifically discusses the gender wage gap and how it's affected by race. The sentence I'm trying to say is, "Latina women have to work until Nov. 20 in ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Difference between 一共 and 总共 [duplicate]

The English meaning for 一共 and 总共 is "altogether, in total". Is there any difference in usage of both words? If there is difference, what situation must I use 一共 and when do I use 总共?
1
vote
1answer
129 views

What is the difference between 可是, 但是, 但, 而, 不过, and 然而?

What is the difference between 可是, 但是, 但, 而, 不过, and 然而? All of these mean "but" and I can't find any information in my dictionary on what differentiates them.
2
votes
2answers
47 views

Why is my translation different from theirs?

So, I was was reading something and they provided me a translation. Here's the first one: 我不想要你因为我变得消极 I won't want you to become pessimistic because of me. Why didn't it translate to "I don't ...
0
votes
4answers
74 views

To express surprise with disappointment, if 卧槽 is vulgar, is 苦也 considered a decent alternative?

Many people say 卧槽 when something unpleasant happens surprisingly. However, this word is considered as vulgar. So how to express such feelings decently without using offensive words? Is 苦也 a good ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Chinese honorifics + thanking familiar elders

From here. Honorific Verbs Like nouns and proper nouns, some Chinese verbs can also be complemented with an honorific modifier. For example, the verbs 告gào ("to tell"), 还huán ("to return"),...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

If 衔 means 'hold in the mouth', why bother adding '在嘴里'?

I was looking up 醒酒石. I found: 醒酒石:所谓醒酒石,即喝醉酒后,衔在嘴里可以醒酒解渴的石头。 When I look up 衔 I find: 用嘴含,用嘴叼:衔枚。燕子衔泥。 If 衔 means 'hold in the mouth', why bother adding '在嘴里'? (Also, I'd be ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

Most appropriate word for proxy/substitute/surrogate

Please forgive my lack of knowledge of Chinese. I'm doing book research and am looking for the most appropriate word for 'proxy' in the sense of a substitute or surrogate. For the sake of clarity, let'...
4
votes
4answers
213 views

What's the best translation to 「要看两千年的中国,去西安;要看一千年的中国,去北京;要看一百年的中国,去上海;要看十年的中国,去深圳」?

What's the best translation to 「要看两千年的中国,去西安;要看一千年的中国,去北京;要看一百年的中国,去上海;要看十年的中国,去深圳」? My version is To find two thousand years of China, go to Xi'an; To find one thousand years of China, go to ...
2
votes
3answers
105 views

Uses of interrogatives as pronouns

In English, interrogatives are occasionally used as not as interrogatives but as adverbs and relative pronouns. For example: I don't know why we moved; I don't know how that machine works; I know ...
3
votes
4answers
136 views

What is the meaning of 一看 in this sentence?

打开盒子一看,里面是一只小猫 Is it the same as 看看 or 看一看?
0
votes
2answers
76 views

Can a Good Listener Help Me Translate?

I am translating a paragraph from English into Chinese, going by a recording a native speaker made. I am trying to use the same characters that they are using in their spoken translation, but am ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

What is the difference between “博览会”, “交易会” and “展销会”?

I know there are 3 phrases used to describe exhibition/fair, namely "博览会", "交易会" and "展销会". Can those phrases be used interchangeably or is there any difference for each specific phrase?
4
votes
3answers
563 views

“吃飽了” versus “ 吃好了”

One friend advised that after a meal it is more polite for a guest to say "我吃好了" than "我吃飽了." That makes sense but I suppose it could depend on context. Searching the two phrases on Google I see ...
3
votes
3answers
166 views

Difference between 一般 and 一样 meaning “same”

I want to know if there are any differences between 一般 and 一样 in expressing “same”?
1
vote
2answers
88 views

必/会, 这个句子为什么用”必“?必 vs 会? Why does this sentence use "必“?

我读圣经的时候看了这个: 你不要害怕,因为我与你同在;不要惊惶,因为我是你的神。我必坚固你,我必帮助你,我必用我公义的右手扶持你。(以赛亚书 41:10) 我看懂它的意思,可是我不看懂 “必”。我知道它想说“我会坚固你,我会,等等“,可是它为什么用“必”?我查资料了它和知道“必”的意思是“需要”或者“会”。”会“是比较简单的吗?还是是一样的?对不起我的中文不好! I was ...
2
votes
7answers
192 views

Does “女朋友” work for older couples?

I'm going to be visiting China next year, along with my father. My parents are divorced, but my dad is now dating someone who will likely be coming with us. They aren't married, so I'm not sure what ...
6
votes
4answers
227 views

Using phrase 打不死

I recently encountered 打不死 as the title of a column in a US Chinese language newspaper. Asking my Chinese language teacher, she gave the literal translation of "beaten but not dead", meaning something ...