Questions tagged [word-choice]

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

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1answer
71 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
61 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
126 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
115 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 ...
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3answers
265 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
84 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
128 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 ...
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1answer
56 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) ...
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3answers
167 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
78 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? ...
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2answers
101 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
450 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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6answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
850 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
357 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
100 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" ...
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5answers
201 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, ...
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1answer
115 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
69 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'...
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8answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
77 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。
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2answers
130 views

What's the difference between 都 and 对? [closed]

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 the ...
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5answers
577 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
693 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
5k 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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
71 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
112 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 ...
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4answers
132 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 ...
2
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2answers
145 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 ...
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1answer
3k 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
81 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。 ...
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2answers
481 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?
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3answers
254 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?
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3answers
442 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
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5answers
284 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) ...
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5answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
198 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
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2answers
364 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?
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2answers
617 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 ...
6
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2answers
601 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?
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2answers
187 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 ...
4
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1answer
250 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
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2answers
271 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
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1answer
1k 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.
3
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2answers
62 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
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4answers
98 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 ...
2
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2answers
64 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 ...
4
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1answer
55 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'...
2
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3answers
112 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 ...

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