Questions tagged [word]

For questions about a discrete unit of written or spoken text of the smallest size to convey distinct meaning. In English but not Chinese will usually be separated from other words by a space when written or printed. Other tags that may be more appropriate include [word-choice] and [word-requests].

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What is the proper way of saying "if" in Cantonese?

I know in Mandarin, it is easy to say something like "if" by using a statement akin to this: 如果我要去北京的話,我就用飛機。 When I looked up the word "if" in Cantonese, my dictionary brought ...
3 votes
2 answers
56 views

Most common term for hanfu in Cantonese?

What is the most common term for hanfu (as in 'Hanfu movement'), i.e. modern clothing inspired by historical costumes? Is 漢服 (or 漢裝) used in spoken Cantonese, or maybe it is more of a Mandarin/Written ...
4 votes
8 answers
2k views

What does 摆烂 mean?

The meaning seems obvious but could not be expressed in an exact word of English. For example, 卡纳瓦罗为了获得赔偿金,目前看起来是在摆烂。It may mean that guy tries to get his compensation to act even like a dirty man (he ...
4 votes
2 answers
140 views

旮旯 in 緣路山旮旯 (a film in Hong Kong)

There is a film produced in Hongkong in 2021. The name is 緣路山旮旯. I would like to ask about the construction of some sentences with 旮旯 except 山旮旯. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why does someone in our apartment complex yell something like "dòuhé" at around 8am?

Basically every morning at around 8am, there's someone outside my apartment in Beijing yelling something that sounds like dòuhé, which is audible in everyone's apartment. I managed to record him ...
2 votes
3 answers
60 views

What is the difference between 财政 and 金融?

Both phrases are synonym in my opinion and can be interchangeable, until one day I realized I might be mistaken when I saw in an official document of a city, that there are two government agencies ...
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

What does GG mean here?

Saw this FB post about this unfortunate taxi accident in HK: However I have never heard the term GG before and was wondering if its supposed to be shorthand for something else?
1 vote
3 answers
57 views

"Set the priority straight" in Chinese?

What is Chinese for "Set the priority straight" ? Or is there any Chinese fable or ancient story that relates to the idea of setting the priority straight?
3 votes
5 answers
1k views

Why does 发工资 mean "get paid", such as in 男的现在没发工资?

The correct answer to this HSK5 listening question is: 男的现在没发工资 The question indicates 男的 hasn't yet received his salary, so it took me by surprise that 发 is used here: CC-CEDICT: 发 (fā​) to send ...
1 vote
1 answer
416 views

What is the man saying in this Cantonese cartoon?

I started watching Old Master Q today and came across this scene where they try to get an interview, but I couldn't quite understand what was being said here: https://youtu.be/OR8nxtw8GjY?t=502 ...
2 votes
1 answer
380 views

What does 飄過 mean in this context?

Was playing some game that usually has a decent amount of Chinese speakers and at the beginning of the match somebody spammed this: What would 飄過 mean here? I know it can mean to float but otherwise ...
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

What is an example of a word that is different in definition in the Kangxi and Zhengzitong Dictionaries?

What is an example of a word that is different in definition or more clarified in the Kangxi dictionary than in the Zhengzitong dictionary?
2 votes
4 answers
98 views

What's the equivalent of "nice" (said like the Reddit meme) in Chinese?

How do I say "nice" as a response, in a kind of positive, "that's cool" tone, in Chinese? Like how it's said on Reddit (or elsewhere on the internet) as a response to the numbers ...
2 votes
1 answer
109 views

Puzzling Chinese conversations

Puzzle 1: A: 張先生還在人事部上班嗎? - Does Mr. Zhang still work for HR? B: 不在, 昨天上調了. - No, he was promoted and moved to somewhere else yesterday. A: 啊, 他死啦!? 我前天還見到他, 怎麼這麼快就走了呢? Ah, he was dead?! I have only ...
2 votes
3 answers
63 views

Understanding 落实政策

I've often read about 给 XXX 落实政策。This thing seems to be very flexible. For example, 落实疫情防控政策 and 给烈士子女落实政策。 How to contextually translate this phrase into English?
5 votes
3 answers
391 views

Why is 参差 pronounced cēncī?

CC-CEDICT: 参差 (cēn​cī​) uneven / jagged / snaggletooth / ragged / serrated CC-CEDICT: 参差不齐 (cēn​cī​bù​qí​) (idiom) variable / uneven / irregular Judging from Pleco, outside of 参差, the character 参 is ...
1 vote
1 answer
51 views

What is the difference between 旅, 留 and 驻?

The context is that of (I think?) a "visiting scholar" in France: 旅法学者 旅, 留 and 驻 all refer to a type of staying or residing abroad, but what are the exact differences in their uses? And if &...
2 votes
4 answers
59 views

Right demand = 正确的要求 in this situation?

Suppose you and your teammates are negotiating with another company B. Your teammates think your company needs to offer B $100M and ask B to do X. But you think your company needs to offer B $100M and ...
1 vote
2 answers
127 views

Is 摆有 one word or two? If two, what's their grammatical relationship?

桌上摆有一卷书 (source: example sentence in a publicly available flashcard deck - no other context provided). None of the 40+ dictionaries I consulted carry this lemma, and google offers precious little too....
2 votes
3 answers
101 views

Is the word 着数 used in Modern Chinese?

According to my dictionaries, 着数 zhāoshù means: a move (as in chess, Go etc) same as 招数 zhāoshù: "movement in martial arts or on stage; trick, plot, scheme, device" There's also a 着数 with ...
3 votes
1 answer
123 views

Segmenting Chinese words for the index of a book

I am trying to make a strict index of individual words for a large work of literature, using Chinese word segmentation, such as are found at the back of reference books. . e.g. "大星............ ...
3 votes
5 answers
284 views

What does 为 mean in 该公司目前为多达80款不同菜系提供外卖...?

In the following sentence: 发言人表示,该公司目前为多达80款不同菜系提供外卖,“这一点足以说明我们英国人是全世界菜肴的吃货。” I understand the meaning, which is something like the follows: The spokesman said that the company now provides 80 ...
1 vote
2 answers
104 views

Is 分合 a word in 最难缠的就使这类词的分合?

分分合合 gets translated as, for example "fissions and fusions" or "break-ups and reconciliations". 在这些历史的分分合合之中, Amid this flurry of historical fissions and fusions ...
3 votes
1 answer
230 views

Other than 秘密,are there two-syllable words in Chinese where each syllable is a different character with the same pronunciation?

秘密 is a curious word because both characters are pronounced mì yet they are different from each other. Given that there are so many homophonous characters in Chinese, I'm curious if there's any other ...
1 vote
3 answers
62 views

What does 班 in 工作专班 mean?

工作专班 or XX专班 has become a buzz word in recent news reports of China's media. It sounds like a task force or a group of people handling a specific matter but has never been so used earlier. The word 班 ...
2 votes
2 answers
157 views

The standard 称謂 of elder sister in mainland China

As stated in the subject title, I wonder what the standard way of mainlanders address their "older sister", whether she is called "zi zi" or "jiě jie", and how the ...
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the difference between 究竟 and 到底 ?

So, a teacher explained to me that 究竟 is a more formal way of saying 到底. However, I'm still curious if there are there any other usage differences between the two? Is 究竟 only used in examples that ...
20 votes
8 answers
8k views

What's the difference between 星期X and 周X?

When accepting an answer, I noticed that the example used the word 周三 for Wednesday, but in my grammar, the days of the week are 星期一, 星期二, etc... They seem both correct but, what's the difference? ...
2 votes
3 answers
139 views

Is 綴飾 being used naturally as a verb in 這件衣服綴飾了許多亮片?

Is the following sentence natural for native speakers of Mandarin? 這件衣服綴飾了許多亮片,適合在晚宴上穿著。 Is "綴飾" used naturally? I thought it's supposed to be used as a noun.
4 votes
3 answers
171 views

Are the words "stamp", "seal", and "chop" synonymous (all meaning 印章)?

I see these the three words "stamp", "seal", and "chop" used to refer to what seem to be almost the same thing. Image source: ThoughtCo. I'm not sure if there's any ...
1 vote
1 answer
211 views

What is this word? (Characters Identified: 招財進寶) [duplicate]

I was cleaning my room and found this pyramid thing with what I would guess a chinese character (because I'm chinese). Tried to look it up but couldn't find anything.
2 votes
5 answers
747 views

Can “懂” be used (as a verb) before a place name?

For example, could the sentence ”我懂四川“ sound natural at all? If so, could it mean you know the place very well, possibly even in a nostalgic or essential sense?
4 votes
3 answers
492 views

Are longer 4+ character Chinese words considered 1 word, or multiple words, in terms of pronunciation?

I am on the hunt for simple yet "long" words in Chinese. I found this word for "Tablet" (like iPad), as 平板电脑 (píng bǎn diàn nǎo). Is this considered one word in Chinese, like ...
5 votes
1 answer
121 views

Official definition of (單)字, (單)詞, 片語, 成語

As stated in the title, is there an official, or unified, definition of these terms?
2 votes
2 answers
308 views

List of 3-character Chinese words and longer words?

Are there any Chinese words larger than 2 characters? I haven't found any. I looked through the Wikipedia word frequency list, and it's all 1 and 2 character words. If there are larger words, is there ...
6 votes
2 answers
375 views

Are there large discrepancies between what Chinese consider to be words?

Looking into the Chinese dictionary I have on my phone, I noticed that 我是 (I am) is listed as a word, while I as a non native speaker would consider this to be two separate words. Whether or not 我是 is ...
2 votes
1 answer
104 views

Can 出神 be split by something other than an aspect marker?

The Pleco dictionary indicates that 出神 is a separable verb (离合词). Yet, is it possible to separate 出 from 神 in 出神, by something else than an aspect marker (了, 过, 着)? For instance 出几次神.
4 votes
3 answers
128 views

What is 国之大者 as appears from time to time in the words of Chinese leader?

This seems to be a buzz word of the top leader of China and it does sound important. But what does it really mean?
2 votes
2 answers
129 views

What does 科 in 本科教育 or 本科学历 mean?

This question is triggered after reading the post "What does 本 in 本科教育 or 本科学历 mean?" In which, the word 本 was well explained, how about 科?
1 vote
4 answers
140 views

What is a word for a person who pretends to work but is really just waiting for others to give them their share when the work is done?

Similar to moocher and shirker in english, but with their meanings combined and with an element of trying to be sly. Looking for something that would work in a basic sentence, to identify/label a ...
3 votes
3 answers
152 views

What does 一块牌子,两套人马 mean?

Does that mean a brand name can have two types of production teams? As in the automaking industry, whole work is divided into smaller sections, with different teams doing separately their own ...
2 votes
2 answers
179 views

How can we identify gender if a female can be called 先生?

Today I am surprised to learn that 俞大絪, an authoress of an English textbook, is known as a 先生 (and it is very unlikely a Mr. as the word indicates because she is a real her). After searching this ...
2 votes
4 answers
120 views

A word for "dating", "game", "seduction"

I'm trying to learn some new words and it came to my mind this word we use in English "game", not like videogames or games to have fun but this "game" that involves talking to ...
2 votes
2 answers
183 views

What does 丑八怪 mean?

I have a gaming group in which this term "丑八怪" is being used a lot along with the 眼皮底下, anyway all the letters look similar.
3 votes
1 answer
130 views

On what basis are word classes in Chinese defined?

Since Chinese words are non-inflecting, word classes in Chinese have to be defined based on syntactic behaviour: "verbs" are words that behave like verbs in a sentence (i.e., can fill the ...
3 votes
7 answers
2k views

What does “你给我” mean?

I know the phrase “你给我” means "you give me something", but when people say “你给我出去”, do they mean "You cannot keep me here and let me out"? It looks like there are many variations ...
1 vote
1 answer
120 views

What does 本 in 本科教育 or 本科学历 mean?

The equivalent in English for 本科教育 is undergraduate education, but in China this phrase may imply it is a university course that lasts four years, different from 专科教育, which is the type of college ...
0 votes
1 answer
98 views

Database of Chinese words mapped to Radical / Component parts?

Is there a database that breaks down each Chinese word into radical or component parts, sort of like this blog post does? One of the first words you will learn in Chinese is 你好 nǐhǎo meaning “hello”. ...
1 vote
4 answers
86 views

Can 同学 really be used as a separable verb?

Online, you can find this example of 同学 being used as a separable verb: 我和他同过三年学。 He and I were classmates for three years. I'm skeptical this is correct. (Sometimes databases have errors, and ...
0 votes
3 answers
93 views

Is there a simple antonym for 好在 = "fortunately, luckily"?

CC-CEDICT: 好在 (hǎo​zài​) luckily / fortunately I really like how simple this word is to use (and write!) when compared to 幸亏 and 多亏. Some sentences from Jukuu (my translation): 好在老师没看见他迟到。 Luckily ...

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