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7 votes
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'it cant be helped' translation in cantonese

(件事/佢)冇得救: (the thing/he) cannot be salvaged (literally 'rescued') (我)想幫都幫唔到: even if I want to help, I cannot (我)冇計/冇辦法: literally, I do not have any tricks for / solutions to a problem 我都愛莫能助: ...
L Parker's user avatar
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5 votes
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I wonder is there a Mandarin term for " jump the shark"

That should be "江郞才尽" "江郎才尽" means someone was always writing good articles, but one day, his article is not that good anymore.
Teddy's user avatar
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4 votes

Care yields fine products

I believe 慢工出细货 is good enough. Although it doesn't mention about care explicitly, it is strongly implied as much care have to be given to produce a delicate product (as 细 means 细緻 here), and it ...
Kathy's user avatar
  • 101
4 votes

Mandarin equivalent of 返 in Cantonese? Is it 回?

As a verb particle, the Mandarin equivalent of 返 in Cantonese is indeed 回 俾返你一啲好處(C) = 給回你一點好處 (M) = give you back some benefit Edit: First, the term 還返 is uniquely Cantonese, "我要還返本書俾佢" in ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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4 votes

Why is 我的朋友今年住在美国 translated to both "my friend [is living in / lived in] America this year"?

Chinese language doesn't have tense. To indicate event happened in the past, you need to add time reference in the context or verb particle that indicate past verb Example: 我的朋友今年在美国(住过) = My friend ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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4 votes
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Why is 我的朋友今年住在美国 translated to both "my friend [is living in / lived in] America this year"?

My friend is living in America this year. 我朋友今年住在美国。 My friend lived in America for a while this year. 我朋友今年在美国住了一段时间。 Does 'for a while' count as extra info??
Pedroski's user avatar
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4 votes

Would it be considered rude to describe my Australian passport as having 优势 ("superiority"), and is there a better phrasing?

To be more 委婉, I may use 方便 (convenient) instead of 优势.
mhcpan's user avatar
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3 votes
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What is the most succinct way of explaining that I have an older sister and a younger sister?

我有一个姐姐和一个妹妹 This is good. 我是三个姐妹中中间的一个 This is usually expressed in another way: "我家一共姐仨,我是老二", or "我妈(我爸)有三个闺女,我是老二". 我有两个姐妹 It might work, but I don't often hear it. And by the way, maybe ...
fefe's user avatar
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3 votes
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Does 慢一点 mean "be careful" even in a general context?

I don't think that 慢一点 is the same as 小心一点. I am from Manchuria, and as far as I know, sometimes when people are gonna leave each other, a person may say 慢走 or 慢点走 as an expression for "Goodbye". ...
魏小淇's user avatar
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3 votes

How to translate “路人缘” or “观众缘” in English

Edit: After reading my take on the comments, I have convinced myself that 观众缘 means audience appeal 人缘(n) = popularity 路人缘 = general appeal /popularity among common folks 观众缘 = audience appeal / ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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3 votes
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来不及爱你 Too late to love you

The break down: 「來」(come ) 「及」implies 「及時」 (in time) here. 「得」or 「不」 are the two potential particles that indicate " "able , or "unable" *You either able or unable to come in time. That's why ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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2 votes

Could you repeat that?

A version with only one word: 啥?
LiuYan 刘研's user avatar
2 votes
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Idiomatic translation of "passive aggressive"

To literally translate " passive aggressive" as 「被動攻擊」or 「消極攻擊」cannot capture the essence of this phrase. It is better to use interpretation that truly express the meaning of it. My choice is " 陰損" ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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2 votes

What are some well-known "magic" terms, phrases, or incantations in Chinese?

about incantations / mantras / "咒", there's no confucian counterparts. meanwhile, there're numerous in taoism and buddhism. only those of taoism are native chinese, when relevant ones of buddhism are ...
水巷孑蠻's user avatar
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2 votes

How to translate “路人缘” or “观众缘” in English

缘 here means an ability or qualification to build up a good relationship. 观众缘 can be an ability or qualification to build up a good relationship with the audience. I don't know if you can find a fixed ...
dan's user avatar
  • 24k
2 votes

Some doubts about "copulative sentences" in Chinese

The same structure exists in Chinese Jenny (is) Jenny --> 珍妮(就是)珍妮 Money (is) money --> 錢(就是)錢 ~ She's (not being/ not like) herself today --> 她今天(不是/ 不像是)她本人 Silver and coin (was ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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2 votes

Does 慢一点 mean "be careful" even in a general context?

There is a particular context in which 慢一点 may be interpreted (functionally) to be the equivalent of 小心一点. As is often the case with languages, a lot of the nuances comes from the way the speaker and ...
Michael Lai's user avatar
2 votes
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What did you think? 你觉得呢 vs 你觉得啥

No they don't mean the same thing. 你觉得呢? This translates to "What do you think? (about the topic we just talked about)" 你觉得啥? This does not sound natural. It can mean "What did you just say (about ...
Siyi Deng's user avatar
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2 votes
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Ordering the same thing again, would I use "再來"?

To order the same thing again, the basic form is [再來(again/ additionally)+number+classifier+noun], therefore, 再來一杯拿鐵 is correct You can often omit the object in conversation, so 再來一杯 would be enough. ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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2 votes
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Exact Meaning of 左挑右选 and 前看后看

While...imaging he is in a free market (yes, there used to be free market in the old time I believe), and in front of a shoes peddler's booth that have all the shoes displayed there. 左挑右选 means he ...
Weishan Yang's user avatar
2 votes

Exact Meaning of 左挑右选 and 前看后看

左挑右选 and 前看后看 - Pick up the item on the left, pick up the item on the right, look and examine the item in the front, then look and examine the item on the back. Depending on the situation, it can mean ...
r13's user avatar
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2 votes

Trying to understand the meaning of 起 in the context of this sentence from the 道德经

起 is quite an oral expression, you can understand it as 取 in 取名字. It is not the meaning of "presented". It is similar to naming. When you name an object or a person, you give them a name, ...
hnyls2002's user avatar
  • 133
2 votes
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Translating "You wanna bet?"

Google: You wanna bet? = 你想打賭嗎? My translation: "You wanna bet?" = "你敢打賭嗎?" (do you dare to bet on it? --> Don't bet on things you don't know for a fact) "You wanna bet?&...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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2 votes

Translating "You wanna bet?"

It can be 赌吗 or 赌不赌, although it’s not rare if this ends up with actual betting. You can even include your bet. It can be unrealistic (if you don’t really want to bet or you’re emotional/childish) ...
kyc's user avatar
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1 vote

Why is 我的朋友今年住在美国 translated to both "my friend [is living in / lived in] America this year"?

The most common interpretation of your sentence, ”我的朋友今年住在美国。”, is “my friend is living in America this year.” That is the literal meaning of the sentence, before any other particles are added. To ...
Axel Tong's user avatar
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1 vote
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Ancient Chinese Saying #437: ... 10,000 days for the sword

Conceptually, this is not that new. The Tang-dynasty poet Jia Dao (779-843) had a famous poem starting with this phrase: 十年磨一劍 "For ten years I have been polishing this sword" The "polishing" ...
YChi Lu's user avatar
  • 149
1 vote

What is the most succinct way of explaining that I have an older sister and a younger sister?

You can say 我有一姊一妹 (I have one older and one younger sister) In general, using literary form reduce the length of a sentence Example: "I have three older sisters, one older brother and one ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 79.2k
1 vote

Some doubts about "copulative sentences" in Chinese

I don't get the meaning of syntactic structure but I guess yes there is equivalent in Chinese: (1) Jenny 就是 Jenny (2) 你/她不太像你/她(it's not that like you/she) (3) 是他们吗? (4) 他是我,她是你(but we would ...
igonejack's user avatar
  • 105
1 vote

Does 慢一点 mean "be careful" even in a general context?

慢一点 means take it easy or slow down on what you are doing. Eg. 做慢一点。
Kitty's user avatar
  • 41
1 vote

What is the equivalent phrase of the figurative 'red meat' in Chinese?

I believe the verb 「挑動」, 「煽動」 or 「蛊惑(人心)」 might match the definition "to stir the emotions" in your dictionary, if you need derogatory terms. 「投其所好」 and 「奉承」 are about flattering someone.
KH.Lee's user avatar
  • 164

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