I've only heard it used in describing sexual situations, and wiktionary.org describes its usage as follows:
This idiom usually only refers to a man taking advantage of a woman in a sexual situation.
A typical example would be some creepy guy pinching the flight attendant's backside as she walks past.
There's also a good discussion at wordreference.com.
The meaning is: 我爱你.I love you. 爱(ài, love) sounds like the English "I"; 老虎(lǎohǔ, tiger) sounds like "love"; 油（yoú, oil) sounds like "you".
It originally comes from the movie 狮王争霸. In the movie 十三姨 teaches 黄飞鸿 (played by 李连杰 (Jet Li)) how to say I love you. 黄飞鸿 pronounces it as 爱老虎油. Afterwards 黄飞鸿's father overhears it and asks what it means. 黄飞鸿 says it ...
Victor Mair has an essay answering your question directly:
Danger + opportunity ≠ crisis, how a misunderstanding about Chinese characters has led many astray.
[...] Like most Mandarin words, that for “crisis” (wēijī) consists of two syllables that are written with two separate characters, wēi (危) and jī (機/机).
[...] While it is true that wēijī ...
Stepping in for my Chinese to Australian translations:
Also a couple of other phrases that are good to keep in your toolkit
Is the most basic and common way of saying thank you
谢谢你 Xièxiè nǐ
This is a more sincere or formal way of saying thank you
Actually, "好包了" does not mean "I'm full".
You may see "...打好包了..." in the Google hits. It refers to "have made something into a package.
If your friend say "这顿饭我包了". That means your friend will get the bill, and you don't pay the bill.
You will see "7天包退" on some goods's package, that means "7 days to cancel purchase for non-faulty goods".
The dog refers to the son. The term 犬子 originally meant "puppy":
So calling one's son 犬子, would have been in essence referring to a child as "my little pup". That was not originally a self-deprecation. Instead, it was a childhood nickname for a famous poet, Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju:
Here are some more examples of this style of adjective:
好吃 = 不错吃
好玩 = 不错玩
好用 = 不错用
好喝 = 不错喝
These terms are extremely common in Taiwanese Mandarin, however their origins are unclear. I suspect it's due to a mix of Taiwanese terms and errors in translation.
Let's take one example, the 不錯吃 phrase. At first glance it seems to be an incorrect ...
問訊 is composed of two synonyms, 問 and 訊.
Both are verbs, meaning "comfort and ask".
If 訊 is a noun, it can still be used in non-Buddhist cases.
Such as: to inquire about something.
Mair's essay is great but perhaps tl;dr. Here I just give two simple examples to illustrate the absurdity of trying to transliterate every individual character in Chinese - it may sometimes work but not always.
Each character can mean very many different things in many different contexts, and when paired together with other characters. The two characters ...
no "危机" doesn't mean danger + oppuntunity. It means dangerous times or crisis. It only means danger (危) + opportuniy (机) when we artifically separate the two words and attempt to interpret each word on its own.
An easy example off the top my head is "小心". It means "be careful". It is incorrect to separate the two words and re-interpret their meanings as "小"...
吃豆腐 refers to sexual harassment or men being frivolous with women.
Apparently it refers to a Tofu-shop a long time ago where the husbands rubs the tofu at night and the wife sells it during the day. To sell more tofu the wife flirts with her customers and the customers even grope her. The jealous wives of these "customers" will afterwards complain to their ...
Yes there are. Such language in Chinese is referred to as 回回话 Huíhui huà.
Thanks to user xiaohouzi79 for pointing out the book Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People's Republic By Dru C. Gladney, which is partly viewable on Google Books.
This book contains a large appendix, A Select Glossary of Hui Chinese Islamic Terms on pages 393 to 421.
my preference: "很不起眼儿" can be translated into “unimpressive”,while "其貌不扬" into "unimpressive-looking". The reason is that "unimpressive" can refer to many aspects such as his appearance, his achievement, and etc. Compared with"很不起眼儿", ""其貌不扬"is more specific to the appearance, so "looking" is added to "unimpressive".
废柴码农 means something like incompetent programmer. Usually 废柴 is used as a noun, for example, many fans of Man United say Darren Fletcher is 废柴. 码农 is a self-deprecating name for programmers, and its original meaning in Chinese is coding peasant.
拜了个拜 derives from 拜拜 by treating the first 拜 as a verb and the second 拜 as the object of the first 拜 and then adopting the verb+(quantity)个+object pattern.
拜拜 is just a loan word from English bye-bye and mean the same thing.
拜了个拜 is just a novel usage of the word.
I think is a slang in Taiwan
乾掉了 mean something is turning into boring(usually use after someone say a not funny joke) or the situation that people don't know what to say or react to it
You just meet someone new to you
after greeting, you don't know what to say to him, and so does he
this embarrassed situation can be said "乾掉了"
you are ...
As you had said, 所 is not redundant. But to me, "有帮助" and "有所帮助" doesn't have that much differences, especially when you are in an oral conversation with Chinese people.
As for your explanation for "有所謂", the translation for "这件案子有所谓" is "This case matters." You are correct. But I don't think that it has the meaning of "has something that it says". Yes, "謂 =...
No, "你是哪个人" doesn't make much sense here. It translates into "Which one you are?".
Instead, you shall say "你是哪里人" as you have put.
If you are looking at the picture and you cannot recognize which one is your friend. You will probably ask "哪个人是你" literally means "Which one (in the picture) is you?"
“哪里买票”(1) sounds perfectly native to me.
The difference between these two sentences lies in: (1) doesn't address the likely scenario where you can't get a ticket even if you tried to buy one.
Whereas “哪里可以买到票”(2) clearly states “Where (can I) buy and get a ticket?”
There are several ways to ask someone's age and they vary from neutral to very polite. "他几岁" implies that the answer is within 1-9 range, since 几 should not be used for numbers greater than 9.
As for other ways to ask the age question (all of them apply to adults):
你多大? - neutral
您多大年纪? - polite, usually used for eldery people
您贵庚？ - very polite and very ...
The “进” part is called directional complement.
Rather simply, as we do in English, you can add a directional word to the verb, to describe where the verb is going. The most common words to indicate a direction are:
上, up and 下, down <== notice how they kind of look like arrows?
进, in and 出, out
过, to cross over
回 to come back.
I can only give some possible translations based on your explanation of "For all I know":
For all I know, he might have gone abroad.
For all I know, she doesn't even work there anymore.
For all I know, the test hasn't even been written yet.
We would use "说不准" "没准" and things like that to ...