Questions tagged [word-choice]

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

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8
votes
4answers
488 views

Does Chinese have a phrase equivalent to “For all I know”?

There is an expression in English: "For all I know, ...." The following clause often has a modal expressing uncertainty or the hypothetical nature of the assertion, like "might", ...
0
votes
4answers
507 views

你 vs. 妳 for second person

When writing to a female, is it appropriate to use 妳 for “you”? Could it be misunderstood as a reference to breasts or milk? Example: 我见过你面带笑容,我见过你面带愁容。
3
votes
3answers
150 views

Why is 人口 in this sentence 多, not 大?

中国是世界上人口最多的国家. Why is 人口 in this sentence 多, not 大? In English way of thinking (or my English way of thinking), a population is something that can be "huge" rather than "much"/ "many". Is Chinese way ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Why in the multiplication table, different characters such as 如,得,歸,中 are used?

It seems to me that the following rules apply: When the answer is a one-digit number, the character 如 is used. When the answer is 10, the character 得 is used. When the answer is a multiple of 10, ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

What's the difference between shǐ yòng 使用 and yòng 用?

Both mean to use. However, sometimes you need both and sometimes you can simply say yòng 用. Examples: 謝謝你使用拼音 , thank you for using pinyin 謝謝你用鉛筆 , thank you for using a pencil
8
votes
7answers
7k views

What's the most usual way to say “hand sanitizer” in Chinese?

I'm finding in the non-touristy places in China where I'm spending my time in cheaper places etc that there's often no place to wash your hands, or it's dirty, or there's no soap. I've been ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Why is 当然 the correct choice in 我学了10年汉语了,汉语水平 [一定 / 当然] 很高?

I recently had to select the correct answer for a homework assignment: 我学了10年汉语了,汉语水平 。。。 很高 I chose 一定,but the correct answer turned out to be 当然 Was my answer incorrect, why? How do these two ...
4
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1answer
290 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 英鎊 for the pound ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there any differences between these Chinese terms for “French fries” / (hot) “chips”?

I just felt like some French fries for the first time since I've been in China so I bought some from a Dico's here in Zhangjiakou. I ordered by pointing at the menu becuase I'm just beginning at ...
3
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6answers
263 views

Is「天佑美國」the correct translation for “God Bless America”?

Look at this mural from Chinatown, San Francisco: Attribution: American flag in Chinatown San Francisco by Pedro Lozano. License: CC BY 2.0 It says「天佑美國」, but is that correct? Shouldn't it be「天祐美國」...
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3answers
127 views

When speaking, how would one say “cannot study”? E.g. 不能学习 or 学习不了 or 无法学习

Recently, I've been turning my Chinese learning towards speaking and listening, rather than reading and writing. Now, I might say "cannot study" in a few ways: 不能学习 学习不了 无法学习 The sentence I have in ...
3
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2answers
484 views

Correct use of 惹人心烦: is 然而我不要惹人心烦 a suitable way to say you don't want to be a pain in the neck?

I am not sure if I used the idiom 惹人心烦 correctly. This is the sentence I used: 好啊,然而我不要惹人心烦。 Would that be a good use of it or is there a better way of saying you don't want to be a pain in the ...
-2
votes
2answers
132 views

Please critique my short story: Liǎng ge jiǎozi

I have written a short story in pinyin for a special person. As for grammar/vocab, feel free to suggest corrections. More importantly, what was your interpretation of the story? The recipient knows I ...
2
votes
3answers
571 views

The word “why”: what's the difference between 为什么 and 怎么?

In Mandarin, usually 为什么 is used to express "why". Sometimes 怎么 is also used to mean the same thing. What makes them different? Most grammar books I beleive introduce 为什么, but I feel many Chinese use ...
1
vote
4answers
151 views

Is the “to” in “Let's meet from 4 _to_ five”, 到?

A simple question, trying to say, let's have a lesson from 4 to 5 -- want to make sure that "to" is indeed 到.
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3answers
3k views

What is the difference between 必须, 得, 必需, and 需要?

I know that all of them mean "to have to" in some form or another, but are they interchangeable?
2
votes
3answers
209 views

Translating “很快就有人去了.” ? Confusing word order

Can anyone help me translate this sentence properly? 很快就有人去了. My attempt is “Very quickly and soon, some people left.” However I don’t really understand the 很快就 part. Like i thought if these were ...
2
votes
3answers
105 views

Is 'Tamen “shi” zai ying guo ma?' a grammatically correct way to express “Are they in Britain?”

In Chinese it will be "Tamen zai ying guo ma?" But I studied that we use shi to connect nouns, so can we also say: Tamen "shi" zai ying guo ma? Is it also grammatically correct? It's just easier for ...
1
vote
1answer
371 views

Difference between 小老婆 and 小老太

I have been going to a Chinese restaurant a lot lately, and the owner is a very friendly little old Chinese lady. Should I call her 小老婆 or 小老太? Is it rude to call her 小? Also, I think Chinese are ...
3
votes
4answers
811 views

Is 你今天早上怎麼樣? or 你這個早上怎麼樣? okay for asking “How are you this morning?” and

Is "Ni jin tian zao shang zen me yang?(你今天早上怎麼樣?)" ok? Can we also say, "Ni zhe ge zao shang zen me yang? (你這個早上怎麼樣?)" because we do say, "Ni zhe ge xing qi zen me yang? (你這個星期怎麼樣?)" for how are you ...
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4answers
4k views

Does “Ni zai nar? Ni zuo shenme?” correctly express “Where are you? What are you doing?”

Where are you? What are you doing? I translated this to: Ni zai nar? Ni zuo shenme? But I found Ni zai zuo shenme? online. How is it zai zuo (in + to do)? Is it correct if I just say zuo (to ...
1
vote
3answers
168 views

What is a suitable Chinese name for a fictional company called “The Unity Group”?

I'm currently writing a novel featuring Chinese characters, with one being among the protagonists. Some of them are employees of a corporation, and I simply don't trust Google translate enough. The ...
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3answers
3k views

Is the “shi” in “jin tian shi ji hao” optional, and can I ask “jin tian ji ri?”

I learnt to ask weekday as Jin tian xing qi ji? with an optional "shi" after jin tian. I want to know if the shi in "Jin tian shi ji hao?" is also optional. Also, can I say, "Jin tian ji ri?" ...
0
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1answer
276 views

How do you say “Where is Beijing?”

In Chinese will we say, "Beijing zai nār/nali?". Because I just learned to say, "Lundun zai Ying Guo." Plus, "Where is your home?" is, "Nide jia zai nar?" So using these rules, is it acceptable? ...
6
votes
3answers
715 views

How to say “small cat”, when 小猫 is “kitten”?

I would like advice on how to properly say phrases like "little kitten", "small cat". While I can say "小猫", as I understand it that either means "kitten", or is ambiguous. And to me saying "小小猫" seems ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between 曾经 and 已经

In this question I was asking about 曾经 and one answer says it means 'already'. What's the difference between 曾经 and 已经? Do the two sentences below have the same meaning? 他曾经在北京学过两年汉语。 他已经在北京学过两年汉语。
2
votes
1answer
47 views

What’s the difference between 制定 and 制订?

I see both terms being used quite often, and both seem to mean “to formulate/create/come up (with a plan)”. People often say 制定计划, but many others say 制订计划 too. Both look sound to me. What is the ...
2
votes
5answers
225 views

What would a straight Chinese man say to describe another man as “very gay”?

My current story is about Kong Lin, from her husband's perspective. Kong Lin has a long-term male friend (among other friends). I want her husband (straight Chinese guy) to describe him by something ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between 公分 and 厘米?

What is the difference between 公分and 厘米? As far as I searched both of them mean centimeter, but which of them is correct in using centimeter in terms of size?
0
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2answers
61 views

Why is there a 地 in (霉)旧地席的气味?

From the second chapter in George Orwell's 1984, using the translations at Douban: Original: The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. Translation 1: 门厅里有一股熬白菜和旧地席的气味 Translation 2: ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Why did my teacher say 判断 is wrong in 她意识到朋友判断她 (“she's aware that her friends judge her”) and what's a better choice of word?

This is a sentence of my writing: 她意识到朋友判断她、对她的感觉变了、不再想跟她在一起。 It's meant to mean something like: She's aware that her friends judge her, have changed feelings about her, and don't want to spend ...
5
votes
3answers
369 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
596 views

Differentiating 着 (zhe/zháo) and 着/到

The character 着 has many readings, but I'm interested on 2 of them that have grammar usage: zhe and zháo. As zhe, 着 is used to express a continuous state, as in 门开着 (the door is opened) and 他跑着步听音乐 (...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

How do you say 黑箱作业 in English?

It is literally translated as ”black-box operation(s)”. It refers to actions within an organization which are not transparent to the general public or the “masses” within the organization, which ...
0
votes
1answer
213 views

Translating the last verse of “Si maritau Rosa” into Chinese

Background I am making a Chinese singable version of a Sicilian song called "Si maritau Rosa" (Rosa has gotten married). I have three questions about how to best render the last verse. Here are the ...
4
votes
2answers
170 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
185 views

What does 即 mean in …Google在ICML文中描述的非常清晰,即在每次SGD时…?

According to the top answer over 知乎 on the question 深度学习中 Batch Normalization为什么效果好?: 顾名思义,batch normalization嘛,就是“批规范化”咯。Google在ICML文中描述的非常清晰,即在每次SGD时,通过mini-batch来对相应的activation做规范化操作,使得结果(...
4
votes
4answers
186 views

Can I rewrite 德里克.帕腓特有一个极端得空前绝后的假设 using 的 or 地 instead of 得?

I'm not too sure what this 得 is doing here. If I rewrite as in 2. or 3. is that a) correct and b) still the same meaning? 德里克.帕腓特有一个极端得空前绝后的假设,。。。。。 德里克.帕腓特有一个极端的,空前绝后的假设,。。。。。 德里克.帕腓特有一个极端地空前绝后的假设,。。...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between 一只狗 and 一条狗?

I've been told by native speakers that the former refers to little dogs while the latter is for bigger dogs. I also have been told that the latter has a negative connotation. I'm wondering: how ...
3
votes
3answers
279 views

What is the difference, if any, between 开心 and 快乐

Dictionaries will give "Happy" for both. A Mandarin song has the title 你开心所以我快乐 https://youtu.be/Sb1ojccxvyw Question therefore is whether there is any signifying difference in usage? That is, ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

Meaning of 一挺 in 雪人大肚子一挺,他顽皮地说:“我就是冬天。” [duplicate]

雪人大肚子一挺,他顽皮地说:“我就是冬天。” What is the meaning of 一挺 in this sentence? I know 挺 can describe something as straight or erect, but I am confused why 一 is said before it.
4
votes
7answers
94k views

What should I use to say “I love you”: “wa ai lo” or “wo ai ni”?

Some of my Chinese friends speak Chinese. I asked them how to say "I love you" in their language, but most of them said "wa ai lo" not "wo ai ni", how can this be? I look for google translate, it ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Expressing “Both A .. and B”

I came across the following sentence: 我既是一个语言的从教者,也是一个语言学习的爱好者。 I understand that "既 A , 也 B" is a sentence structure for expressing "both .. and ..". I was wondering about what effect 既 has on ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Why such a bizarre placement of 关于 in 请问关于解释《里》和《内》的区别?

I came across this: 请问关于解释《里》和《内》的区别. I have googled and "请问关于解释" happens on the Internet. However, according to what I have read here, it's always placed after the verb. Is 解释 not a verb here? Why ...
1
vote
6answers
258 views

Why 了 is not used, and what is the meaning of 玩 in 上个星期天,我跟好朋友一起去林学院的农场玩?

The sentence is: 上个星期天,我跟好朋友一起去林学院的农场玩。 I wonder why the writer doesn't add 了 after the verb to indicate that this action took place in the past. Also, what's the use of 玩 in that sentence? And ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

什么事 vs 什么: what’s the difference

Both 什么事 and 什么 seem to mean “what” (well, maybe literally 什么事 means “what thing”). So why is it that in this sentence we employ 什么事? 发生了什么事? What happened? Is it incorrect to write instead: 发生了什么? ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Why characters with “口字旁” were chosen in this transliteration?

In 神天聖書 (a classical translation of the Bible to Chinese), the Fifth Book of Moses was translated as: 摩西之第五書名曰吐嘚咡挼咪啞譯言復講法律傳 I guess that 吐嘚咡挼咪啞 is a transliteration of Deuteronomy. But I failed to ...
5
votes
4answers
515 views
0
votes
3answers
171 views

Using 到底, how could we naturally complete the sentence 虽然这是两棵不同的植物,…?

标准教程HSK4下 (p.79) has a "complete the sentence" exercise: 虽然这是两棵不同的植物,...。(到底) Although these are two different plants, ... Basically, the task is to complete the sentence using 到底 in a natural ...
2
votes
4answers
148 views

Does 与 change the meaning of 用中文与我联系不是一个好主意?

I ended up writing such a sentence, with some help of Google Translate: 用中文与我联系不是一个好主意。 I tried to say: Contacting me in Chinese is not a good idea. Since my Chinese is pretty basic, I was ...

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