28

In traditional Chinese, 乾 means "dry", 幹 means "to do", and has the slang meaning of "f**k". Both words are simplified to 干.


20

「在」in「你在笑什麽」is not equivalent to English at in what are you laughing at?. To demonstrate by analogy: 你在吃什麽 - what are you eating? 你在做什麽 - what are you doing? 「在」is actually equivalent to the suffix -ing in laughing, eating, doing. It is English which grammatically requires something as a target for the verb laughing; this requirement is redundant in ...


18

Voicing and Aspiration Stop consonants can fall into the following categories (roughly): Voiced stops: Vocal chords start vibrating before stop is released. E.g., English "b" as in "bat" (/bæt/ in IPA), French "b" as in "bon" = /bɔ̃/. Unvoiced unaspirated stops: Vocal chords start vibrating almost exactly when stop is released. E.g., Chinese "b" as in "bu" ...


17

Basically they have the same meanings. Now let's focus on the difference, but first wrap your head in duct tapes in case it explodes. 往往 is usually used with conditions supplied. Without any condition it is usually wrong: 我常常加班。 -- Good. 我往往加班。 -- Wrong. 北京常常下雪。-- Good. 北京往往下雪。 -- Wrong. 北京往往在冬天下雪。-- Good. Notice the constraint. 努力的人常常会成功。-- Good. 努力的人往往会成功。...


16

The characters read: 忠于毛主席 Zhōng yú Máo zhǔxí 忠 means faithful; 于 is a multi-use preposition which, to me, sounds a bit archaic/formal, and here means "to", but can also mean "in" or "on"; 毛 is Mao Zedong's surname; 主席 means "chairman". So this translates to "Faithful to Chairman Mao". By the way, if you give the correct characters to Google, the ...


15

Negative numbers are simply read 负xxx, for example: -5 负五 -1234.5 负一千二百三十四点五 (-3) x 5 = -15 负三乘以五等于负十五 2^(-3) 二的负三次方 When applied to certain domain, there might be domain specific way to read it. For example for temperature, it's more common to read it as 零下 (literally 'below zero'): -10°C 零下十(摄氏)度 Reading as 负十度 is also correct, just less common. ...


15

I think your Chinese counterpart got confused because you mentioned the importance of drinking tea as part of your lifestyle, yet refusing the tea she offered. Your subsequent clarification on your preference to drink mediocre coffee rather than mediocre tea helps clear the air. You could have expressed it unambiguously in this manner: 我对喝茶比较讲究,咖啡就好。 I ...


14

Actually the literal translation of English sounds natural in this case: 你们有Wi-Fi和电源吗? or 你们有Wi-Fi和插座吗? Here 电源 means power source, and 插座 means electric socket.


14

I'm not sure where you could get an accurate count for how many there are. Considering that loanwords have been coming into Chinese for thousands of years, it definitely won't be a trivial task. There is certainly quite a few, however, not all of which is current/widespread/universal. I'll list some here, and edit more in if I think of any later: Angel: ...


14

By now you have figured out, why the years are represented as YYY, but just to make this post not look like many of those stubs on this site, here's a more detailed answer to anyone stumbling upon this page in the future. Taiwan (officially styled the Republic of China) still uses the Republican calendar (or Minguo calendar), alongside the international ...


14

What does 你吃了吗?mean? 「你吃了嗎?」 此句的原義是確認“吃的行為”。譬如: 「吃藥時間過了。你吃了嗎?」 「這個蛋糕很好吃。你吃了嗎?」 "Have you eaten?" The original meaning of this sentence is to confirm the action of eating. For example, "The time to take medicine has passed. Have you taken it?" "This cake is very delicious. Did you eat it?" 不知道什麼時候開始,它變成「打招呼」用語。原因可能就像一般人推測的那樣:民以食為天。維持生命最重要的東西就是食物。 Nobody ...


13

1. Kanji with Chinese character counterpart Wikipedia (ref 1) implies this is the majority case: Japanese names are usually written in kanji, which are characters usually Chinese in origin but Japanese in pronunciation. When translating these names, the kanji characters are directly converted to their Chinese counterparts. It's not always 1:1 though, ...


13

“俄罗斯”不是从英文或俄文来的。可能是从蒙古文Oros来的。 在中国元明朝时称俄罗斯族为“罗斯”或“罗刹国”.当时蒙古族人用蒙语拼读俄文“ROCIA”时,在“R”前面加一个元音.因此,“ROCIA”就成了“OROCCIA”.满清政府时,蒙语的“OROCCIA”转译成汉语时,就成了“俄罗斯”. The name of "Éluósī" does not come from English or Russian. It may come from Mongolian Oros. During the Chinese Yuan and Ming dynasties the Russian ethnic group was called "Luósī" or "Luóchàguó". At that time as ...


13

It is more natural to say 还没有……到……地步 For example, 挺好的,但还没有好到那个地步。 Or it tastes fine, but I would not go so far as to say that it is delicious can be 味道还行,但还没有好吃到十分美味的地步 Well, if you were in a more oral conversation, you would normally say 但也没有很/特别…… 但也不是很/特别…… For example I went to the national park, which was a good trip, but I would not go so far ...


13

I'm afraid that you are reading much too into this. There is no "meaning behind each stroke". 「信」(Baxter-Sagart OC: /*s-ni[ŋ]-s/, sincerity) is composed of semantic「言」(speech, here vaguely hinting at honest words) and phonetic「人・亻」(/*ni[ŋ]/).


12

Well... 深V is not a formal Chinese word, this word was created by bra-producers. Who are trying to emphasis that their bra can help you to squeeze a cleavage. After that, some dress producers who are also making those dresses with very low V-neck revealing females cleavages say that their dresses are 深V too. Anyway, in most cases, 深V is the word describing ...


12

In this situation, I would say "您先请", which works fine. "您先请" means 'after you', which is very polite. If you really want to say 'Please, go in front of me' in Chinese, you could say "请走在我前面吧". However, this sounds a little bit strange. Note that you stand in a queue, you don't go in a queue. So "请站在我前面吧" is better.


12

GAN: Whodunnit, and how, and why? [Victor Mair sent in further analysis of a common but spectacular mistranslation, discussed in earlier LL posts: "A less grand Chinglish" 5/30/2006, which dealt with a button labelled "dry fry" in Chinese and "fuck to fry" in English; and "Engrish explained", which discussed a menu item reading "Hot and spicy garlic ...


12

索尼 is Sony. 大法 is borrowed from Falungong's 法轮大法. The inventor of this saying might want to gave people some ideas on how Sony's fans follow Sony's industrial design. How about translate to Sony cult supremacy or Sony sect supremacy?


12

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 "How do you...?". If you add a modal 了 signifying change, it becomes: "How do you... now" (as opposed to before) ...which in an idiomatic ...


11

In this case, miss equals to 想(念),思念 while think of equals to 想到,想起. So 'I miss you' is the right choice. 'I think of you' means '我想起了你'. But sometimes 'I am thinking of you' is translated into ‘我想着你’. When one say '我想你(+Adverbial)' or ‘我在想你(+Adverbial)’ as a sentence alone, it means that I miss you or I'm missing you. And when one say '我想你+...', it ...


11

Depending on context, 暧昧[pronounced as ài mèi] can take on a few meanings. The following is quoted from Baidu with some explanations in English: (态度、用意)含糊;不明白。(attitude or intent is unclear or incomprehensible) (行为)不光明;不可告人。(behavior is dishonorable or secretive, like having an illicit affair) 男女或同性肉体关系还处于想象段。(at the non-physical stage of a relationship, ...


11

在这一重大的历史时点,和讯网/对(著名经济学家)张维迎(就改革的发展问题)进行了(一次非常深入的)访谈。 the main structure is 和讯网对张维迎进行了访谈 So the correct translation that reflects this structure should be At this important historical point, Hexun.com has conducted a very in-depth discussion (or interview) with the renowned economist ZHANG Weiyin on the question (or problem) of future directions of reform.


11

In a literal sense, 加油 means to step on the gas pedal when you drive a car. Imagine what happens when you step on the gas pedal? More gasoline is added to the engine. What happens when more gasoline is added to the engine? The engine roarsssss! If someone is having a hard time, they are like a car being stuck in the mud or a similar situation and unable to ...


11

The idiom's meaning is reinforced by the rhyme. I think you have the basic meaning correct. Maybe if you rhyme it in English it'll come out more like the Chinese: "People are iron/Rice is steel/You'll feel like crap without a meal" - not a literal meaning, but conveying the gist.


11

有人 is someone, some people, anyone. 有人觉得我长得像


11

It should be '玉液'. But it often used together with another word '琼浆'. 琼浆玉液 is often used to describe extremely delicious things to drink, like wine or tea...


11

That 三明治 came from transcribing the English word Sandwich into Chinese. That is to say, it is meant to approximate the pronunciation of the English word. You aren't meant to interpret the individual characters literally. As Stan points out, it is sometimes transcribed as 三文治 as well. Historically it has also been written as 三味治, but that's pretty much ...


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