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14 votes

Is “文化” borrowed from Japanese?

The usage of the characters 文化 as the translation of the modern, Western concept of culture does come from Japanese usage. Although the word 文化 existed in Chinese, its meaning was related but not ...
xngtng's user avatar
  • 837
12 votes

Chinese words with non-Chinese letters / characters?

There are lots of them, here's what I can recall: T恤衫,T-shirt X光片,X ray image 卡拉OK,karaoke K线图,Candlestick chart A型血,Blood Type A P图(v.),Photoshop an image 维生素C,Vitamin C O型腿,Blount's diseas ...
Amyas Marshall's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Is this Chinese and what is the meaning: 阿ㄘㄟˊ

It is Amis/Pangcah (阿美族語), the language of one of the Taiwanese aborigines (台灣原住民). 阿ㄘㄟˊ ( ā céi ) means "ridiculous; crazy; unreasonable; nonsense; goofy; outrageous; nuts". 阿ㄘㄟˊ: You are nuts! ...
user-487's user avatar
  • 1,974
11 votes
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Is “文化” borrowed from Japanese?

Japanese people created many new words consisting of morphemes of Chinese origin, and created new meanings of some pre-existing words of Chinese origin. Some of these words, or new meanings, were ...
Arfrever's user avatar
  • 306
8 votes
Accepted

How are new element names/characters decided?

4 new elements = 4 new Chinese characters? I also know that 4 new elements = 4 new English words. Actually these new elements have no relationship with China: 113: Nihonium (Nh) is from Nihon, ...
Travis Hu's user avatar
  • 366
7 votes

Loan words borrowed from the middle/end of original word?

This article (p. 60-61) provided the reason 氡 (radon) is based on the latter syllable. In summary, this was the result of an argument between Chinese chemists appointed to element naming in the early ...
L Parker's user avatar
  • 5,605
6 votes
Accepted

Can the term "老大" be used to call "Boss" in video games nowadays?

“老大” is not often used as the "boss" in video games, but it depends. If there are other smaller enemies around when this "boss" appears, to distinguish between the "boss" ...
Wilde's user avatar
  • 344
6 votes

Are there loanwords from Portuguese used in Macau Cantonese?

Mostly food? The below examples are from Words.hk: 马介休 loanword from "bacalhau" in Portuguese; Portuguese-style salted fish 馬介休撻 maa5 gaai3 jau1 taat1 bacalhau tart 亞東 「亞東」喺澳門叫法, ...
Mou某's user avatar
  • 36k
5 votes
Accepted

History of the pronunciation of 辰

There is no contradiction. The formal Sino-Vietnamese readings of 辰 are thần [tʰən˨˩] and thìn [tʰin˨˩], which correspond nicely to the Middle Chinese [d͡ʑin] (Pulleyblank-Miyake), Old Chinese [djɨn] (...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
  • 1,031
5 votes
Accepted

Is 邏輯 a phono-semantic matching of the English word logic?

No, it's a transliteration. The Chinese term「邏輯」first appeared in a Chinese translation of John Stuart Mill's A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive. The Chinese translation title is 《穆勒名學》 ...
dROOOze's user avatar
  • 22.7k
5 votes
Accepted

The origin of 水母

Wow it's a fascinating question. I have never thought about that before and this question intrigues me. Because it's a two characters word, meaning that it definitely has an origin, not like the word ...
An Chin's user avatar
  • 248
4 votes

Chinese words with non-Chinese letters / characters?

I'm not totally sure if this is what you are looking for but apart from A-Z, there are examples like: π节 Where the pi symbol is used. Alpha is also often used: α其 (alpha phase) α状态 (alpha state) ...
Mou某's user avatar
  • 36k
4 votes
Accepted

Chinese words with non-Chinese letters / characters?

We can obtain the entries in CC-EDICT using the command awk '$1 ~ /^[0-9a-zA-Z]/ { print }' cedict_ts.u8. The following is the results (CC-EDICT timstamp 2020-01-03T04:26:45Z). It follows the format ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
  • 16.6k
4 votes
Accepted

Did the Chinese 獅子 = "lion" originate from the Persian شیر (šīr)?

The mainstream consensus is that the Chinese word for lion was earliest attested as 「師子」 (Zhengzhang OC: /*sri ʔslɯʔ/) in literature roughly contemporary to the Book of Hàn: 《漢書・西域傳》 烏弋地暑熱莽平,其草木、畜產、...
dROOOze's user avatar
  • 22.7k
4 votes

Is 泵 the only transliterated loanword with its own logogram in all of Chinese?

a related example may be 砼, but even more complicated in terms of the etymology and phonology. 泵 is wholly made up for the word pump, defined to sound like it, but the composition of the character is ...
Farter Yang's user avatar
4 votes

Is the Cantonese word 冧巴 a loanword from English?

冧把/lam1 baa2/ is a loanword for "Number" In Hong Kong If a term is used in Hong Kong, it would inevitably spear to Guangdong 冧把 is the noun for 號碼 or 號數. Wherever you can use the word "...
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 79.7k
3 votes

Can the term "老大" be used to call "Boss" in video games nowadays?

I remember in my childhood we used the word 大老板 (big boss). Not sure if it's still in use among youngsters. And now I have switched to "大boss".
dan's user avatar
  • 24k
3 votes

Loan words borrowed from the middle/end of original word?

The most famous example, I believe, is 美利堅。America used to be transliterated to 亞美利堅。Pretty soon, it is shortened to 美利堅。亞 was dropped. It is further shortened to just 美, 美洲、美國。
joehua's user avatar
  • 1,000
3 votes

Chinese words with non-Chinese letters / characters?

In Hong Kong, most imported terms are officially transliterated, there's no need to use any English alphabet in these terms. For example: store = 士多 toast = 多士 taxi = 的士 bus = 巴士 Also in Hong ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 79.7k
3 votes

Why does "meta-" translate to “元-”?

A basic meaning of "元" is "primary/first". "metadata" - a set of (existing/primary) data that describes and gives information about other data. "meta-analysis" -...
r13's user avatar
  • 13.4k
3 votes
Accepted

For loanwords like "Facebook", which type of pronunciation is more common?

So do native speakers prefer to violate Mandarine phonotactics for such words, or do they try to shoehorn the foreign pronunciation into Mandarin's phonetic inventory? People prefer to speak in a way ...
kyc's user avatar
  • 741
2 votes

The origin of 水母

in the book "嶺表録異" by 劉恂 of 唐 dynasty (618-907) 水母 廣州謂之水母﹒閩謂之蛇[疑駕切]﹒其形乃渾然凝結一物﹒有淡紫色者﹒有白色者﹒大如覆帽﹒小者如盌﹒腹下有物如懸絮﹒俗謂之足而無口眼﹒常有數十蝦寄腹下﹒咂食其涎﹒浮汎水上﹒捕者或遇之﹒即歘然而沒﹒乃是蝦有所見耳 which gives a clear description of ...
水巷孑蠻's user avatar
  • 15.9k
2 votes

The origin of the word chopstick

The original character is actually 箸, not 著. The latter is a derivative character of the former, and the former is not used anymore in Mandarin Chinese as a word for 'chopsticks', but is still used in ...
dROOOze's user avatar
  • 22.7k
2 votes

Chinese loanwords whose characters also carry the corresponding meaning

Here are some examples of those 基因 - gene 嬉皮士 - hippies 脱口秀 - talk show 霸凌 - bully 流明 - lumen 黑客 - hacker 对偶 - dual 蕾丝 - lace 费 - fee And some others 席梦思 - Simmons 可口可乐 - Coca Cola 必应 - Bing 翡冷翠 - ...
zyy's user avatar
  • 3,089
2 votes
Accepted

Why does 哆啦A梦 use an alphabet instead of an equivalent Chinese character?

Why not simply use a word equivalent for ‘A’, such as: 哆啦欸梦 IMO that's because 欸 is rarely used in Chinese writings, despite its very common use in spoken language. I've never seen any foreign word ...
zypA13510's user avatar
  • 1,084
2 votes

Why does 哆啦A梦 use an alphabet instead of an equivalent Chinese character?

Why is the use of Chinese characters and letters mixed in the rare translation of Doraemon? This is a set of katakana and hiragana shuffling from the original text. So, why is the original name of ...
Steve Yang's user avatar
2 votes

Which came first? Chinese 蘑菇 or Mongolian мөөг?

Thanks to @水巷孑蠻, I've updated this answer. Anecdotal My Mongolian teacher thinks 蘑菇 is borrowed from мөөг. After a brief search in Chinese, all I see is that 蘑菇 is borrowed from Mongolian. But those ...
lilysirius's user avatar
  • 4,485
2 votes
Accepted

In which dialect of Mandarin can I see or hear 乳酪?

乳酪, pronounced ru3 luo4 (not lao4) in Taiwan, is kind of the official technical term for cheese, it would be on an ingredients list, for example, but this term is not commonly used in casual speech, ...
Curiosity's user avatar
  • 531
2 votes

In which dialect of Mandarin can I see or hear 乳酪?

Your Taiwanese friend said 奶酪 is more popular than 乳酪 in Taiwan, then it is probably true. When I say '芝士' is the term Hong Kong Chinese most commonly use to describe 'cheese' you should believe me ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 79.7k
2 votes

Chinese words with non-Chinese letters / characters?

I would be thrilled if anyone found examples that included something other than the Roman letters as used in English (i.e., A-Z). On the other hand, I doubt there are such cases. The Japanese ...
Flux's user avatar
  • 801

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