Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
38

Some real life examples to help identify the differences: In general, "做" is almost always a verb that has some real meanings. It is very close to English word "do" in its verb form and "make". E.g. "Do your job!" = "做好你的工作!", "do nothing"="什么也不做", "make love" = "做爱", "make some cakes" = "做些蛋糕", etc. For the word "作", in my personal opinion for now, acts ...


27

Both of them refer to the same thing, "dog". “狗” is used much more in oral speaking, and “犬” is a formal word that you would see in books. For the words expressed in a classic(formal) way, you won't see "狗" but "犬". An idiom: 一人得道,鸡犬升天 When a man becomes an Immortal(God), even his pets like chickens and dogs go to the heaven. An analogy that when ...


19

Huang's answer is great, some addition information here. 犬 usually can be used to say categories of dogs. 警(jǐng)犬(quǎn) -- dogs serve in police forces 导(dǎo)盲(máng)犬(quǎn) -- dogs to assist people with eyesight problems. 狗 usually can be used to refer a specific dog or dogs. 我(wǒ)们(men)家(jiā)的(de)小(xiǎo)黑(hēi)狗(gǒu)。 The little black dog of ...


17

账户 is the correct form, and 帐户 is a common typo seen a lot in online services. 账 or 账本 means "books", and 记账 is the action of "accounting". The word 账户 means a "bank account", and is also used as "online account" nowadays. 帐 has meanings related to cloth, like "mosquito net"(蚊帐) or "tent"(帐篷). P.S. There is no entry for 帐户 in The Standard Dictionary of ...


16

Flake has a really good answer, but I thought I'd add a favorite example of mine. 工作 and 做工 Having a job that you do is 工作 not very specific, rather abstract. You go somewhere to think thoughts and do things that makes the counter in your bank account go up once every month. A part of your identity; an occupation. Carving a spoon out of a piece of wood, or ...


16

I gather that 中文 is maybe more like "written Chinese," and 汉语 is "spoken Chinese." This is correct as you would expect, however there are subtle nuances caused by the different spoken Chinese languages and issues of cultural identity, and that Mandarin is often considered the standard spoken Chinese language. Before I digress here are some examples where ...


16

的 in its function as a particle is attested in the 四大名著 Four Great Classical Novels, which are written in a vernacular Mandarin-type language, dating from the Ming dynasty. The particle use of 的 is also attested from the Yuan dynasty, when it seems it was adopted for the grammatical particle of the emerging new literary language. Its earliest attestation is ...


15

In my opinion, they mean the same:"if". "要是" is a little informal and more common in oral speaking, while "如果" is formal, I think, but you will see both of them in books. I could only catch up with one differences in use between them. For "要是“, because there is a "是" inside, when the verb in the "if-clause" is "是(to be)", "是" can be ommitted, however, "是" ...


14

There are differences in meaning between 明白 and 懂, but they are somewhat subtle. Several Chinese-language websites record Chinese speakers asking the same question, so the difference is certainly not obvious. Nevertheless, the long and short of it is that, for practical purposes, they are interchangeable: people use 懂 and 明白 to mean "I understand" in many ...


12

To understand the differences properly, you need to know what is 面 and what is 边. 面 is a face whereas 边 is an edge. An edge is like a line guiding you the direction. A face is what is facing you giving you a sense of position. 前/后面 is used to describe the position of something within your visual range. Whereas, 前/后边 is more appropriately used to describe ...


11

You have 3 methods when talking about the seven days of the week. 星期[X] 礼拜[X] 周[X] Here, "X" represents "一,二,三,四,五,六" for "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday". For case 1 and 2, X could be "日" or "天" for Sunday,for case 3, X should be "日" for Sunday. What' the difference? Well, I think the 星期 and 周 are common to see, ...


11

Stepping in for my Chinese to Australian translations: Also a couple of other phrases that are good to keep in your toolkit Thank you 谢谢 Xièxiè Is the most basic and common way of saying thank you Australian Translation: Cheers Thanks 谢谢你 Xièxiè nǐ This is a more sincere or formal way of saying thank you Australian Translation: Thank you Thanks Heaps 多​...


9

人民 is translated as "(the) people". You can find it in popular expressions like: 人民共和国 = People's Republic; as Huang said in the comments, if we include China it becomes "中华人民共和国" 人民币 = Renminbi (the Chinese currency. 币 means "money, coins, currency".) 人民日报 = "People's Daily" (a newspaper) 民族 means "ethnic group, nationality", for example: ...


9

Yes. The two words are actually applied differently. 活 is applied in a more abstract sense. Such as to live in fear (活在恐惧之中), to live in this world (活在这世上). This has more to do with survival or staying alive. 住 is applied in a physical sense. Such as to live in this house (住在这屋里), to live in this place (住在这地方). "Stay" would be a good alternative to "live" ...


9

为 has a lot meanings, and so does 是. A common meaning between 为 and 是 is "to be" or other variations of "to be", like "being". 为 is used more for its other meanings than "to be", while 是 is used more for "to be" than its other meanings. When meaning "to be", in some cases, 为 and 是 are interchangeable. For example: 我们今年的工作目标 为 ... 我们今年的工作目标 是 ... ...


9

"大衣" usually refers to a specific type of garment, it should be longer and more formal, something you will certainly take off when you stay indoors. No one would call a tracksuit top("运动外套") "大衣", but you can definitely call it "外套" or "外衣". I think a better translation for "大衣" is "overcoat" or "topcoat". "外套" and "外衣" are pretty much the same, if anything,...


9

冬季 is more formal than 冬天. When used to refer to the season itself, the former is more commonly found in literature, the latter in vernacular. However, when used to refer to something of that season, i.e. in a noun phrase, the 冬季 form is almost always used. For examples, "winter fashion" is 冬季服装, "Winter Olympics" is 冬季奥运会*. You would never use 冬天 for these,...


9

The historical reason behind it is kind of surprising though. From a Chinese Characters Roots book: The earlier form [of the character] looked like a yoke and a pair of saddles of a two-horse carriage. The initial meaning was two or double. It was also a unit to count vehicles and written as 辆 later. That is why we have: 一辆车 ― yī liàng chē ― a car ...


9

Originally, 晚 could be written as 莫 (in ancient form): 艹(草, grass)+ 日 (sun), referring to when the sun is below the grass -- sunset. In modern Chinese, we can understand or memorize it in this way: 日 (sun) + 免 (cancel), without the sun, sunset. Then its meaning extends to night and evening. So 晚 does mean night and evening, and they are its original ...


9

Basically they have the same meaning and could be used interchangeably. The subtle difference is, 抽烟 is used in spoken language more than 吸烟. As you said, when asking people we usually say 你抽烟吗; of course 你吸烟吗 is correct too. On the other hand, 吸烟 is more formal and used in written language more. As you've seen, for a slogon 吸烟 is used usually; 禁止抽烟 is ...


9

The definitions given by the dictionary are correct. 严禁 sounds more serious, but you can use them interchangeably. By the way, 撞击 means to hit or to strike.


9

严禁 is short for 严格禁止,which means strictly forbid. 禁止 is kinda suggestive,严禁 indicates something is obliged not to do by the rules or law. Actually in everyday use, there is no obvious distinction between them.


8

I like to think of 碰到 as the equivalent of the English "bumped into" And 遇到 as the English "came across" or "encountered". The later being more formal and first being more oral in both the English and Chinese.


8

实验 is used for operations and activities done to test a scientific theory or hypothesis. An example: 经过反复实验,证明这一结论是正确的 试验 is used to inspect the function or effect of some physical thing (something that already exists). It's typically done in some lab. Some examples: 新农药要经过反复试验才能推广 试验新机器 新办法试验后推广


8

Generally, 同一 means identical and is usually used on identities. 一样 means equivalent and is usually used on properties or results. Examples: 我们去过同一个商店。We've been to the same store. 这两个商店卖的东西是一样的。These two stores sell the same stuffs. 同一首歌,不同的人唱,感觉是不一样的。The same song doesn't sound the same when it's sung by different singers. Note there are ...


8

A little digression: adding to the complexity is the phrase “同样” So, I think the first step to distinguishing between 同一 , 同样, and 一样 would be breaking them down into characters. meaning of '样' is “appearance, kind, type, sample”. as user58955 mentioned, things with the same appearance/kind/type/sample do not have to be the identical thing. (However, "同一" ...


8

马铃薯 (commonly known as 土豆 in Northeastern China) is the general term for potato. (炸/马铃)薯条 is commonly understood as French fries (hot chips). By default, both 炸 and 马铃 are redundant. 土豆条 and 炸土豆条 are the less common terms for French fries. Other related terms: 薯片 - potato chips / potato crisps / packet chips 薯泥 - mashed potato 薯餅 - hash brown 烤马铃薯 - baked ...


8

I don't think you guys are completely understanding it, there is a philosophical difference in the two words. It's possible to 有方法但是没办法. 方法 refers to the general method or way something can be done. 方 means prescribed, 法 here can be understood as way. So 方法 is the general or prescribed way something is done that humanity has discovered. 办 means doing,法 ...


8

'Obscene' is not 下流(no class/ bad taste) or 輕佻 (frivolous) One definition of obscene is 不堪入目 , it is used to describe perverted, immoral act or behavior For example: Taking a child from his mother and claim it is all for enforcing the law (which is not true) is an obscene (不堪入耳- too perverted and immoral to the ears) argument Another definition of ...


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