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20 votes
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Very frequently used word in Mandarin that sounds like "nica" or "nigah"

The word your hear is probably 那個 (in traditional characters) / 那个 (in simplified characters). It is pronounced nàge or nèige (in the Pinyin transcription), and it's basic meaning is ‘that’ or ‘that ...
米好 '-''s user avatar
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16 votes
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What is the difference between 王 and 皇?

The generic way to refer to the highest ruler of any country/region is「君主」, corresponding to monarch. If we talk about an English translation, specifically avoiding how these terms are used in China, ...
dROOOze's user avatar
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15 votes

What is the meaning of 冒 in 感冒?

According to 《汉语大词典》, 感冒 means: 犹感受。 一种传染病。多因气候变化,人体抵抗力减弱时为病毒感染所致。 清代官员请假的托辞。 The entries 2 and 3 seem to be somewhat related. Two entries imply two different stories. 水巷孑蠻 talks about ...
hinen's user avatar
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15 votes

What is this 给 doing in this sentence?

給 6 用於動詞前,表示加強「被動」或「處置」等語氣。 在這裡是「加強處置的語氣」。 沒有「給」,也可以,但是語氣較弱。 Used before a verb, to enhance the "passive" or "to deal with" and other tones. It is the tone of "to deal with" here (in your ...
user3a's user avatar
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15 votes
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Why does 我是长头发 mean "I have long hair" and not "I am long hair"?

There is no "why". "是" in Chinese does not equal "be" in English. This is just how languages work. In Chinese, almost anything can follow "是". The part after &...
Betty's user avatar
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13 votes

How does a body with no arms mean finished? 了子

(東漢)許慎《說文解字》 了,尦也。从子,無臂。象形。凡「了」之屬,皆从「了」。盧鳥切。 (清)段玉裁《說文解字注》 了,尦也。 了 means 尦 [ ㄌㄧㄠˋ | liào ]. 尦,行,脛相交也。 「尦」的意思是,行走時,小腿相互交叉。 尦 means the shanks cross each ...
hinen's user avatar
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13 votes
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What does 尽信书不如无书 mean?

尽 (jìn) = "completely" 信 (xìn) = "believe in" 书 (shū) = "book" 不如 (bùrú) = "better off" 无 (wú) = "without" 书 (shū) = "book" "尽信书不如无书&...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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13 votes
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Does 「你的中文是在哪里学的?」mean "How did you study Chinese?" or "Where did you study Chinese?"

中国人:你的中文是在哪里学的? 我:在北京语言大学学的。 Without other context, this dialogue indicates a normal conversation sequence. '在哪里' just means 'where'. In some context, 你的中文是在哪里学的? could be used as a rhetorical ...
dan's user avatar
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13 votes
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Why say 少说两句 to break up a fight?

「兩」 here is basically a synonym of 「幾」 (several). 「少說兩句」 means 「少說幾句」, that is, the argument arose out of speaking too much (more likely to drag up disagreements and past grievances), so speaking less ...
dROOOze's user avatar
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12 votes

The translation of "I never said she stole my money."

You want 7 stresses? Well, one could (though one doesn't really need to) insert a few words into your sentence: I never said (that it's) she (who) stole my money. And get: 我 从没 说过 是她 偷了 我 的钱。 Viola! ...
Frenzy Li's user avatar
  • 399
12 votes

What does 家 mean in 家医院?

家 is the measurement word for 医院
炸鱼薯条德里克's user avatar
12 votes
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How to understand "你怎么了?"

It's one of those fixed expressions whose otherwise regular meaning is significantly and conspicuously altered by the modal 了, that introduces change semantics. The phrase 「你怎么(样)~」 in itself means &...
blackgreen's user avatar
  • 5,452
11 votes

What does 一不留神 mean ...还写了不少东西,一不留神写了不少军报头条?

留神 means "pay attention" 一不留神 means " not paying attention for just an instance" In the sentence, "一不留神" implies " before I notice it" 一不留神写了不少军报头条 "Before I noticed it, I had already written ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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11 votes
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What is the difference between 鸡蛋 and 鸟蛋?

鸡蛋 is a specific term. 鸟蛋 is a general term. When we know what kind of bird it is, we use a specific term. Otherwise, we use a general term. For example, we call the eggs of 鸭 (duck), 鸽子 (dove), or ...
user3a's user avatar
  • 1,511
11 votes

What is the meaning of this expression (落了下乘)?

乘,梵语 Yāna,旧译为“衍”。有一乘、二乘、三乘、四乘、五乘之别。 以五乘来论,五乘也有多种说法;其中较常见的是指:人乘、天乘、声闻乘、缘觉乘、菩萨乘。这是由下品到上品的顺序。 文中先提到“虽为杀人事, 亦是菩提心”。 “菩提心”是度众生之心、成佛之心,属“菩萨乘”,也就是最上品之心。 “杀人念”是“人乘”的念头,是五乘中最下品之心。 因为有了杀人的想法,就由最上品的“菩萨乘”...
hinen's user avatar
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11 votes
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What did my wife write?

No Value Personal Time Improve work skills Spend time on photobooks Know more friends Spend less time on meaningless housework (literally, maybe means home affairs?) 《Invest myself》
Bruce Huang's user avatar
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11 votes
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What is the meaning of 子 in words like 菓子(과자), 帽子(모자), or 獅子(사자)?

「子」originally meant child. By extension, through the following sequence, it was further used: To emphasise the smallness of an object. As a diminutive suffix, conveying a sense of intimacy/endearment....
dROOOze's user avatar
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11 votes
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What is the meaning of 死 in 死搬兵书上的理论?

I think "inflexibly" is a better choice than blindly. 死搬兵书上的理论 - Inflexibly apply(transport) the theory in the book on the art of war. The opposite word is "活用" - apply (knowledge) ...
r13's user avatar
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10 votes
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How was 辣 used before the Columbian Exchange?

in ancient time, "辛" was used, in lieu of 辣. e.g. in 洪範: 潤下作鹹﹒炎上作苦﹒曲直作酸﹒從革作辛﹒稼穡作甘 http://ctext.org/shang-shu/great-plan/zh?searchu=潤下作鹹,炎上作苦,曲直作酸,從革作辛,稼穡作甘%E3%80%82&searchmode=showall#result ...
水巷孑蠻's user avatar
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10 votes

What is the correct meaning of "孩子帶財"?

種瓜得瓜,種豆得豆。 As one sows, so shall one reap. 依據佛法,我們前世都修了一些福,今生才能投胎做人。這些善行的果報會在一生當中不同的時段出現。年輕時期出現的這部分是要用來成長和受教育的。 On the basis of Buddhism, all of us have done some good deeds in our past lives so ...
vuluvsa's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is the correct meaning of "孩子帶財"?

容我用《雜寶藏經》中的一個公案來解釋。 Let me explain with an instance in the 《Miscellaneous Treasure Sutra》. 昔,波斯匿王於臥眠中,聞二內官共諍道理; 一作是言:「我依王活。」 一人答言:「我無所依,自業力活。」 When King Pasenadi (6th century B.C.E.) ...
hinen's user avatar
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10 votes
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Difference between 兵法 vs 武術

兵法 Art of War 用兵作戰的策略和方法。 strategies and methods of warfare. 兵書。 military books, which discuss the strategies and methods of warfare. 武術 Martial Arts 軍事技術。 military technology. 中國民族體育之一 (one of the ...
user16115's user avatar
  • 1,599
10 votes

What does it say on this coin?

獎牌 Medal 農工商部 Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce 製 make (made) 二等 2nd Class/Grade 農工商部是清朝政府於光緒三十二年(1906年)設立的中央機構。 "Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce" was the central ...
hinen's user avatar
  • 5,896
10 votes
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How to say that you were accepted/rejected from a college in Mandarin?

reject: 拒绝, 驳回, 否决, 否认 Harvard rejected me. 哈佛拒绝了我。 哈佛大学拒绝了我的申请。 accept: 接受, 答应, 采纳, 采用, 接纳, 录取 Harvard accepted me. 哈佛录取了我。 哈佛录取我了。 哈佛大学接受了我的申请。
young99's user avatar
  • 1,463
10 votes
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What is "qiou"?

The character is made up for a dialectical word qiǔ. Constructed as「⿱穷土」, the definition is dirt-poor (「穷」到吃「土」), and the prescribed reading qiou is a Fanqie-like combination of 「穷」(qiong, poor) and「...
dROOOze's user avatar
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10 votes

What does "你舒服吗" mean in a relationship context?

歪了歪了…… I can see why 你舒服吗 will be easily interpreted as sexually comfortable. Because without any context, we will not use 舒服 to describe relaxation of mind. And extremely structurally simple ...
Toosky Hierot's user avatar
10 votes
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What's the logic behind the word 从事?

事 can also be a verb for 'to serve; to work for' e.g. 忠臣不事二主 (a loyal vassal does not serve/ work for two masters) Since 从 itself has many different meanings, just say 从 is not specific enough. ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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