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votes
1answer
89 views

A joke involving 忆苦思甜

I ran into the following wordplay: That's your dad! [...] I heard he has two wives, one back in the countryside, and a new one. Why do you think one's called Sitian and the other is called Yiku? I ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

可以 order structure?

I have some confusion about the grammar structure of 可以 Kěyǐ. I found in this website the basic usage is: Subj. + 可以 + Verb + Obj. But then I came across a dialogue where they put it after the verb: ...
1
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3answers
85 views

真心 VS 认真 difference

I was trying to say “He made this with all his heart” and then looked for how to say “with all one’s heart” in Chinese. I found a lot of ways to express the sentence but I’m still not sure which one ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

What’s the difference between 善于 vs 擅长

What’s the difference between 善于 vs 擅长? I know they both mean “being good at” but can they be used interchangeably? When should you use one over the other and why? For example, how should I say: “I ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

When does an adjective require 的 to describe a noun?

In this post on the omission of the possessive 的,I came across an explanation of the adjective suffix 的 by Tang Ho. An example was: 强大勇敢 (brave + strong) = correct without 的 强大勇敢的人 (brave and ...
3
votes
4answers
131 views

What is the function of “根本” in 这杯咖啡根本不值得花四十元人民币?

In this sentence: 这杯咖啡根本不值得花四十元人民币 What is the function of "根本"? As far as I can tell, this sentence would translate the same if it were removed. Is it being used like an adverb, like someone in ...
2
votes
5answers
107 views

What is the function of 就是

What does 就 是mean and how do we use it I have seen many times people using like in this sentence 就是关于爱情的 so what does 就是really means
2
votes
1answer
36 views

时量补语:modal and verb 了

Is there any difference between these two sentences: 我们已经分别了十年了 and 我们已经分别十年了 , the question is regarding 了 in these sentences, should we put one or two 了? Thanks.
1
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1answer
66 views

Is there any difference between 我给你不买 and 我不给你买?

Is there any difference between these two sentences: 我给你不买 and 我不给你买? Chinese grammar says we should put 不 in front of the preposition in these types of sentences... But I saw a lot examples when ...
1
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2answers
102 views

Where does this quote come from? “How can you say you have no clothes? I’ll share my robe with you”?

Where does it come from? Google can’t help me
1
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3answers
49 views

“Still better than” informal translation — X 还是比 Y 好 abbreviation

I want to say "X is still better than Y :)" in a kind of joking/offhand manner. This is just a simple text message, so I would further like to abbreviate it like: "still better than Y :)" My ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

- 古伦木! - 欧巴! Meaning in this context?

I'm watching the movie "in the heat of the sun" and very often groups of people seem to greet this way: a guy says "古伦木!" and the other one says "欧巴!". Now, I'm trying to figure out if this has some ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Which Qing Dynasty Poem/Prose is this?

From A Concise History of Chinese Literature by Yuming Luo, Chapter 18 (Poetry and Prose of the Qing Dynasty), pg. 836, I found this piece of poetry/prose. I don't know if that is the first line or if ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Is there a difference between 夂 and 夊, radicals 34 and 35 and 攵, Kangxi 66?

The excellent Olle Linge asked the similar question "Is there a difference between 夂 and 夊?" about seven years ago. The learned answers at that time missed the fact that 攵 appears more commonly in ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

What is the meaning of 去想?Does it have to do with movement?

In this sentence, I don't understand the meaning of 去想: 但是学生们看到快餐就会买。他们只知道快餐好吃,不去想这些食品是不健康的。 I have never seen it before (去想). Is it that when the students go to the cafeteria, they don't think? Or ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Difference between 那 vs 呢 and when to use it [closed]

What is the difference between 那 vs 呢 and where should I use it?
5
votes
3answers
376 views

Percent: 成 vs 百分之

Is there any difference between 成 and 百分之 when it comes to telling about percentage? I've just encountered 成 for the first time and started wondering.
1
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3answers
64 views

中国有的地方都下雪了 some places in China

中国有的地方都下雪了 How may translate this sentence, why the translation is “some places are ...”? 中国有的地方都 means “all the places which are in China...”, doesn’t it? Thanks in advance.
0
votes
1answer
52 views

What is the English translation of my chop? Is it right side up? [closed]

I bought calligraphy supplies in a Chinatown and talked with the owner of the store. I told the person (who had her uncle carve this) that I was an artist/painter. I also told her my name in English ...
0
votes
3answers
57 views

Is it okay to use multiple degree-intensifiers in a sentence?

I found this example sentence in Pleco's dictionary entry for 厲害 : 他的聲音真的很厲害。His voice is amazing. Why isn't 真的 included in the translation to make it "His voice really/truly is amazing"? More ...
3
votes
3answers
75 views

Are 叫 and 让 actually used in place of the passive marker 被?

I have long been familiar (~10 years) with the passive marker 被. A new textbook that I've purchased introduces 叫 and 让 as alternatives to 被. It says that for the most part they work the same, but 叫 ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Translating Teapot lid [closed]

This lid is from a 'Japanese' cast iron teapot lid. I was told the Japanese used Chinese Characters on cast iron teapots. Can anyone verify this? Could I also please get a translation.
1
vote
1answer
70 views

What is the role of 和 in “很高兴和您见面”

I am fairly new in learning Mandarin, and I am having a bit of trouble understanding the role of 和 in "很高兴和您见面" . From my understanding, 和 means "and" or "together with"; ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

How would we more accurately translate 那胸前凸起的完美弧度 (published translation: “perfect curve of the convex in front of her chest”)?

Reddit's /r/MenWritingWomen laughed at this awful-sounding description of a female character's appearance (original translation): Her long and thin eyebrows, water-like eyes, tall and beautiful ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

Meaning of 图像 in this sentence: 图片可作为单独的图像

500万像素,带LED灯(图片可作为单独的图像) This is the description of the resolution of a digital camera. So it says 5 million pixels and an LED light included, and I don't really understand what it says between ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Eleven 把-related sentences containing grammar errors (e.g. 我把作业已经交给老师了): how do we explain these errors?

This post on Reddit gives eleven 把 sentences containing grammar errors (original image). It looks like a worthwhile exercise. (A native Chinese speaker /u/Lvguichen gave corrections without ...
1
vote
1answer
168 views

Meaning of a text on a teapot (Characters identified: 石泉槐火)

I have a teapot which has been in my family for about a century. Not knowing the Chinese language I tried to make something of the five characters text which is marked on it. With Google Translate I ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Does a good equivalent of “pitch” not exist?

I've been wondering if there is a good Chinese equivalent of the word pitch. Pitch is short for sales pitch and it is another term for a sales presentation (presentation, another word without a good ...
0
votes
0answers
63 views

How to rhyme (押韻) when translating poetry?

I found the following traslation of Psalm 1:3-4 of the Bible amazingly elegant: 譬彼林木、植於溪旁、隨時結果、其葉青蒼、百事允臧、維彼惡者、猶之粃糠、爲風飄揚。 English (KJV): And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of ...
3
votes
1answer
168 views

Position of 提供 in 这椅子是专为老年人提供的

这椅子是专为老年人提供的. This chair is provided for the old man. I don't understand why 提供 is at the end of sentence. I thought 提供 could be placed before 专为.
2
votes
0answers
71 views

Chinese Audiobooks with TRANSCRIPT please [closed]

I am struggling quite a lot to find Audio Books with transcriptions in Chinese. I know that there are quite a lot of amazing audiobooks apps in Chinese, such as Ximalaya, but it is very difficult to ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is 刻 used to mean ''a quarter of an hour''?

刻 means ''to carve'' but my dictionary also says it means ''to set a time limit''. What is the connection between 刻 and a quarter of an hour ?
1
vote
5answers
123 views

“How's that sound?” in Mandarin

What would be an appropriate way to end a sentence after making a suggestion/offering an opinion in anticipation of the response? For instance, while talking to a friend, I share something with them ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Different consecutive (therefore) and causative (because) conjunctions

I have learnt a few conjunctions and am trying to categorise them systematically so that they stay in my head! I believe I have a number of consecutive conjunctions, which introduce the result of an ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Noun translations from Classic of Mountains and Seas?

I'm looking for an authoritative English list of people, places and things from Classic of Mountains and Seas. Anne Birrell has apparently done a translation The Classic of Mountains and Seas. I ...
0
votes
4answers
227 views

How should I understand 虱子多了不咬,债多了不愁 (“lice much stop biting, debt much ignored”)?

After describing various urgent or overdue matters I should be dealing with yet ignore, my teacher said this: 虱子多了不咬,债多了不愁。 Shīzi duō le bù yǎo, zhài duō le bù chóu. I think she used it to mean ...
1
vote
2answers
309 views

Why is 秘书 (lit. “secret book”) the Chinese word for “secretary”?

For some reason 秘书 (mìshū) is the Chinese word for "secretary"; it breaks up into: 秘 (mì) = secret (long version: 秘密 (mìmì) = secret); 书 (shū) = book. I feel like there's a etymological story here. ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Pronounciation of unstressed vowels

In San Duanmu's Standard Chinese phonology it goes over unstressed vowels and mentions that they change in unstressed syllables. e.g. a, e, (a, ɤ) > ə [报上 pau ʂaŋ > pau ʐəŋ] ou > o [木头 muthou > muto]...
0
votes
3answers
105 views

What does 你们已经干得够多了 mean?

I read an opinion piece regarding the US response to the coronavirus: 哥伦比亚大学教授质问美国高官:用谎言攻击中国可能导致冲突,“你们没有羞耻感吗?” (7 May 2020). I don't understand one part: 特朗普先生、蓬佩奥先生,你们收到了很多警告。到目前为止,...
0
votes
0answers
67 views

Why Chinese add 子 into Monosyllabic words [duplicate]

I notice there are many monosyllabic words that own their meanings already. Then they are added 子 but their meanings are still the same. For example, 箱 => 箱子 (box) 孙 => 孙子 (grandson) 枣 => 枣子 (...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

Is 金口难开 an idiom, and if so what would be a suitable CC-CEDICT definition?

I stumbled upon 金口难开, and I think it's a 成语. I think it describes people who are pretentious (金口 = gold mouth), which makes it hard for them to speak (难开 = difficult to open). Examples: ...
4
votes
5answers
96 views

What does 呢 do in 他在睡觉呢?

I can't get my head around the 着 在 正在 呢 grammar. I have a lot of questions regarding this grammar but I'll just focus on one here. If anyone wants to expand then you are more than welcome. 他在睡觉呢。 ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

What semantic field underlies 即?

I can grasp how卩 (“to kneel”) relates to definitions 1-3 below. But how does 皀 + 卩 compound to mean definitions 4-14 that don't relate to food or kneeling and that all differ from each other? ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

What semantic notions underlie 妥 (suitable') with 爫 (爪 or claw) and 女?

Reading 穩妥's etymology spurred me to read 妥's. I screenshot Yellowbridge. I truly hope this etymology doesn't relate to the inhumane barbarism of foot binding in China! Translingual Han character 妥 (...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

What does 泉 mean in 道具泉, in the context of a handbill?

At 33:41, the Chinese Univ. HK Philosophy student below asks Dr Samson Kwok Pak-nin (in Cantonese) to hand him Dr Kwok's placard. He calls it 道具泉. I know 道具 means prop, but how does 泉 - Wiktionary ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

What semantic notions underlie 吳 (shouting) with 夨 (man with tilted head)?

Reading 誤's etymology spurred me to read 吳's etymology. Shouting doesn't require you to tilt your head, so why was 夨 used? Why not just use 人? Glyph origin Ideogrammic compound (會意): 口 (“...
0
votes
1answer
146 views

How does 殳 resemble a hand holding a tool?

After reading the etymology of 設, I read that of one of the underlying ideograms: 殳. Pictogram (象形) or Ideogrammic compound (會意): 几 + 又 – a hand holding a tool, hence activity. How does 几 resemble ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

What semantic notions underlie 駁 (to rebut) with 馬 (horses) and/or 爻 (I Ching's hexagrams)?

I'm trying to understand the etymology for definition 3 (to rebut) below in 駁 - Wiktionary. Yellowbridge: Han character 駁 (radical 187, 馬+4, 14 strokes, cangjie input 尸火大大 (SFKK), four-corner 74340, ...
0
votes
8answers
124 views

What is the correct way to ask “How do I get to your school” in Mandarin?

Here my focus is to understand the correct usage of 怎么走 and 到. The English sentence is, "How do I get to your school". This is in terms of asking the directions to reach the school. I found three ...
1
vote
3answers
305 views

What semantic notions underlie 頁 ('page') with '預' ('beforehand')?

I'm especially baffled because 'page' is physical, but 'beforehand' isn't physical. I screenshot Yellowbridge and quote 預 - Wiktionary. Phono-semantic compound (形聲, OC *las): phonetic 予 (OC *la, *...

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