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1
vote
1answer
138 views

Unknown painting of a lady

I bought a painting on a French flee-market and and I would very much like to know who the painter is. The text is translate by someone who is very good at translating Chinese text and seals, but she ...
2
votes
1answer
181 views

Explanation for simplification of 遙

Why is 遙 simplified into 遥? The second does not really look simpler - except in this unfortunate digital form that I now see that certainly was of no consideration to those who enacted simplification -...
4
votes
5answers
654 views

What is the meaning of …不断向产业链的高端提升是发展趋势的要求?

I can't quite get the last part of this 专家:这个问题不能一刀切。对于东部的企业,因为起步较早,有一定产业规模和资金积累,所以调整产业结构,提高技术含量,不断向产业链的高端提升是发展趋势的要求。 Can I rewrite the last bit thus: 不断向产业链的高端提升是发展趋势的要求。= 发展趋势的要求是不断向产业链的高端的提升。 ...
2
votes
2answers
168 views

番薯 as an insult

In Cantonese, I've heard people use 番薯 as an insult to people or objects before, like calling a stupid person 大番薯 or calling a useless object 生番薯. Can someone whom speaks Cantonese enlighten me on why ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

What's the difference between 遭到 and 遭受?

The verbs 遭到 and 遭受 both mean to suffer harm. Which one is the most commonly used? Are these two sentences both correct? 生态平衡遭到破坏。 生态平衡遭受破坏。 What's the difference between this two sentences? Can I use ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Chinese character decomposition

I found that many (most?) Chinese characters look like they're composed of more primitive ones, like: 做 = 亻十口夂 你 = 亻尔 吃 = 卩乙 and so on. I this a real phenomenon or just my European imagination? If it ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Is there any proof that the Taishanese language is related to Gan? Is it from a linguistic perspective?

The Taishanese language is known to be a branch of Siyi (Sze Yup or Seiyap) which is part of the Yue subfamily branch of the Sino-Tibetan family, and related to Cantonese. This article that I was ...
1
vote
3answers
106 views

How does this 不像 work?

I’m struggling to understand how to parse the first part of the following sentence. 門口不像日本有隔出玄關範圍的高低差,但是通常會有打開門之後無法接看到裡面的屏風或隔間。 It is talking about houses in Taiwan. I understood the first part as ...
-1
votes
5answers
247 views

Any mnemonic for 摔 shuāi = fall & etymology for 率

The word 摔 means fall: 摔 shuāi to fall, tumble, lose one’s balance Generally the fall action comes with leg, although hand also related. any mnemonic or story to remember this? Gugg had given good ...
0
votes
2answers
120 views

What is the difference between 碰,触,碰触 and 触碰

difference between 碰,触,碰触 and 触碰?The dictionary differences are not clear. Thanks!
14
votes
4answers
365 views

Character Pronunciation Clues

Is there any way to know what a character's pronunciation or tone is, based on the strokes or radicals that make up the characters?
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Pronouncing Pinyin “-an” [duplicate]

It seems like Pinyin "an" is pronounced differently in different contexts: Context Pronunciation Example yan/-ian /ɛn/ 言 yuan/-üan, -an /an/ 元, 三 Is this correct?
4
votes
5answers
310 views

Why -ian instead of -ien and -üan instead of -üen?

Why are words like 天、面、先、盐 romanized in pinyin as tian, mian, xian, and yan, even though the ending is pronounced [iɛn], and would be better represented as -ien? Likewise, why are words like 卷、全、选、元 ...
3
votes
4answers
503 views

When is a 方言 a language and not a dialect

I have always thought, perhaps wrongly, that it was mutual intelligibility that was the deciding factor as to whether a 方言 would be considered a dialect or it's own separate language. Wikipedia's ...
5
votes
1answer
376 views

Pronunciation of 什么

什么 (shénme) sounds to my ears more like (shéme). Assuming I'm hearing correctly, is this just a common contraction of this word, or is the sequence "-n" + "m-" generally contracted ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Still about the filler word 很, after 得

I just learned that an adverb or quality describing how a verb (action) is performed must be preceded by the filler word 得, which introduces an "expression of degree" ("well", &...
1
vote
2answers
36 views

Position of direct object in a sentence with an adverb of degree

I came across the following sentence: 怪不得法文他说得那么好。 Which translates as "No wonder that he speaks French so well". So far so good. However, this word order is intriguing to me. "He ...
4
votes
0answers
121 views

Number of phonemic vowels in Middle Chinese

How many phonemic vowels are there in Middle Chinese? I'm interested in this question because Shanghainese has 16 phonological vowel/12 phonemic vowels, and was wondering if it had innovated more ...
2
votes
1answer
276 views

This is a seal on a porcelain piece. I am not sure if it is from China or Japan. Can anyone tell me what it says? (Characters identified: 大明嘉靖年製)

I am trying to read the seal script on the base of a porcelain piece. I am not sure if it is from China or from Japan.
1
vote
3answers
100 views

The difference between 左右 and 大概

房子大概九十平方米。 房子九十平方米左右。 I believe, 大概,左右 both mean: roughly, approximately. Why should/must 大概 precede and 左右 follow?
0
votes
2answers
58 views

What is the difference of 犯不着 用不着 and 犯不上?

why in this sentence is 犯不着? e.g. 犯不着为这点小事生气。 when you use it? why not “用不着”“犯不上”? it's idiomatic ? can you give me example sentences? THANK YOU
2
votes
2answers
719 views

What is a “sound loan”?

I am going through Outlier dictionary for character 求: 求 depicts a centipede or millipede, indicating the original meaning “myriapod (a type of insect with a lot of legs).” It was borrowed for its ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

are these words commonly used?:很好 、极好 、非常好 、相当好 、特别好 、十分好、极其好

I am wondering what the differences are between these and how they could be used (example sentences would be awesome!). Thank you!
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Function of「果」in (folk, written) Cantonese?

I've started going through《男人唔可以窮》. In Chapter 1 there is the following paragraph: 阿爸佢教我好多野,放假會同我去睇精工對南華,去彭福公園睇人放風箏,直到我十六歲果年,有一日醫院打黎,話老豆於行動中,由四樓跌左落一個天井度,送去醫院果時,左腳腳底仲係插住一支八吋既生鐵釘。 I'm quite confused ...
2
votes
1answer
335 views

Do “lipstick on a pig” and “画蛇添足” share the same meaning?

Do "lipstick on a pig" and "画蛇添足" share the same meaning? 画蛇添足 means "drawing snake with feet".
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Do 看一看 and 瞧一瞧 have the same meaning?

Is 看一看 equal to 瞧一瞧 in meaning? Are they interchangeable?
3
votes
2answers
395 views

How does 稱's 2021 meanings appertain to its semantic component 禾?

CUHK doesn't expound the semantic shift from 禾. I underlined definition 4 below in green, because I know that rice and grains may need to be weighed. But I don't understand how definition 4 relates ...
2
votes
2answers
297 views

Understanding the glyph origin of 占

I have the following etymology from Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters: 占 depicts cracks (卜) in a turtle shell and a hole (口) drilled into the shell during the divination process. Its original ...
3
votes
3answers
877 views

Etymology of 奇 and 怪

I am going through the word 奇. Mandarin Temple had mentioned, learning hint as “a person riding a horse”. Is this only learning hint? Or is it also etymologically correct? What is the exact etymology ...
1
vote
3answers
149 views

How the meaning is derived for 得意忘形?

How the meaning is derived for 得意忘形? 得意忘形 déyìwàngxíng grow dizzy with success; be carried away by one's success so pleased as to lose one's sense of measure
0
votes
0answers
110 views

Are verbs more difficult than nouns in Chinese?

Generally speaking,verbs need more grammar explanations, but nouns don't. Does it mean that verbs are more difficulty than nouns or vice vasa?
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Difference between 位于, 处在, 地处 and 处于?

They are the same, they all mean “be located in (at)...” Is there any difference between 位于, 处在, 地处 and 处于? Are they interchangeable?
0
votes
2answers
41 views

Counterproductive - 起到反作用 - how to parse?

I learned that in Chinese counterproductive is 起到反作用 or 起反作用 I'm trying to figure out what the characters or words mean in this phrase. I know 作用 means result or effect here, 反 means opposite. How ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

What is the difference between 弯身, 弯腰, 俯身, and 屈身?

Are the following four statements correct? Is one of them better? 1屈身行礼 2弯腰行礼 3弯身行礼 4俯身行礼
0
votes
2answers
63 views

When 亏 is kuī ? when yú?

The dictionary entry for 亏 is: 亏 kuī(or yú) lose, fail, damage, deficient When will 亏 be pronounced as yú?
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Please show me example sentences with 如、若、像、似

How often are 如、若、像、似 used in Chinese? Please show me example sentences with 如、若、像、似.
1
vote
3answers
184 views

What is the function of 得 in words like 覺得、記得、顯得、值得、懂得、免得、認得…?

First of all, does 得 have the same meaning in those examples? I'm familiar with 得 in other senses like 得到 and 聽得見, but those meanings seem distant. Is it more related to usage like “我唱得不好”? The main ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

What is the difference between 讯息 and 消息 and 信息?

I'd like to know what is the most common word for a "message", like a SMS or just a message you receive on internet
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Is it true that the tones of some of the most common words are glossed over in regular speech/turn into neutral tone?

Examples include: 是、去、在、要、就、但、没有、如果 Not sure how to back up this question, except to mention that I've received feedback from natives that I tend to overdo these words' pronunciations (especially 是). ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

What’s the difference between 费解 vs 难懂?

What’s the difference between 费解 vs 难懂? I know they both mean “hard to understand” but can they be used interchangeably? When should you use one over the other and why? Are these sentences right? ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

很 as a filler word?

Beginner's question here. If I understood correctly, all descriptive words in Mandarin can work both as an adjective and a "descriptive verb", which would be equivalent to the construction &...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Understanding glyph origin of 勤 better

I have the following etymology from Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters: 勤 qín is composed of 堇 jǐn “a type of ancient punishment in which fire was used to dry a person out” and 力 “force, power, ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Glyph origin for 㐆 and Mnemonic for 殷

Came across through the word 殷勤. could you please help with Glyph origin for : 㐆yǐn to follow, to trust to, to put confidence in, to depend on, to turn around Any any mnemonic to remember this? 殷 yīn ...
0
votes
3answers
39 views

了解, 理解, 讲解 usage in the same sentence

This is from a native speaker: 完整讲解请至官网收看. Would 了解 and 理解 be suitable to be used in place of 讲解? for example: 完整了解请至官网收看 完整理解请至官网收看
13
votes
3answers
4k views

What is known about the new HSK 3.0 (2021) format?

I found a brief note on Wikipedia that since 2020, HSK is going to be restructured. It links to a tweet, which shows a page in Chinese. Is there any more information compared to what Wikipedia ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Pronunciation of 妨碍 (fáng'ài)

For any pronunciation the tone is on the vowel in sequence of a, e, i, o,u which appears first.If it is a two character word, there will not be any symbol between two characters. But in 妨碍 (fáng'ài), ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

What is the difference between 折磨 and 煎熬?

the meaning are almost the same,but 她折磨我✔ 她煎熬我✘ 我的内心很折磨✘ 我的内心很煎熬✔ 我被受中文折磨✅ 煎熬✅ 中文让我感到十分煎熬✅ 十分折磨❓ is a bit strange 为什么会这样?
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Difference between 一点也不and 一点都不

Is there any rule in the phrase "一点也/都不..." when you should use 都 instead of 也 or can you simply use them interchangeably?
1
vote
2answers
259 views

Difference between 柱体 and 圆筒

I get the impression that 柱体 is more mathematical and 圆筒 is more about general "drum shaped" things. Are they interchangeable or is there a distinction?
0
votes
2answers
166 views

How to pronounce 你是什么意思 in spoken Chinese?

Looking up the Chinese translation of 'What do you mean' in my (pocket) dictionaries and in some translation engines on the internet results in 你是什么意思. In spoken Chinese I hear sounds like 'si mi si' ...

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