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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 ...
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13 votes
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What does the `里` mean in `这些狗里有一只穿红色的毛衣`?

It means one of these dogs wears a red sweater. ...里 literally means in/among ..., and it is followed by 有一只, which means there is one. Hence the whole sentence translates literally as Among these ...
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13 votes
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What is the difference between 古怪 and 古里古怪?

This pattern, like you mentioned, seems to be referred to as "A里AB"式 in Chinese. A quick search came up with the following list of words: 糊里糊涂hū lǐ hū tú 怪里怪气guài lǐ guài qì 流里流气liú lǐ liú ...
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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 ...
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11 votes
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Is there any character with radical 月 that has a meaning of 月 (not 肉)?

@OmniBus "those modern fonts are terrible and distinct nothing"—you may despise modern fonts all you like, but when you pick up any calligraphy collection (書法字典) you will find abundant evidence that ...
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11 votes
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Why is 儿 in different positions in "儿子" and "女儿"?

This is an interesting question, because it allows us to look at how words are formed in modern Chinese. The Characters Both 兒 and 子 meant "child" or "son" in ancient Chinese. 兒 was more specific, ...
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10 votes
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Meaning of 则 in 欲速则不达?

欲 -- willing, want 速 -- speedy, quick 则 -- then, but 不 -- not, negative 达 -- arrive, done If you want to finish it quicker, then you probably can't get it done (correctly).
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10 votes
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Why is 台北 spelled Taipei, not Taibei?

From wiki: the spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei. "Taibei" is pinyin, which iOS supports as an input method. Wade-Giles used to be the standard method of ...
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10 votes
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What other words than 奥 exist for places of reveration?

四隅(four corners of a room) 宧(yí / ㄧˊ):室內東北角(northeastern corner) 窔(yào / ㄧㄠˋ )同“穾”:室內東南角(southeast corner) 奥(ào / ㄠˋ):室內西南角(southwest corner) 屋漏(wū lòu / ㄨ ㄌㄡˋ):室內西北角(northwest corner)
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10 votes
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跟您请教一个字(Do you know this Chinese word?)

臵 (U+81F5) [ gé | ㄍㄜˊ ] From 《康熙字典》: 《集韻》「各額」切,音「格」。與「𢓜」同。「至」也。 Same as 𢓜. It means "to arrive" or "to go to". 又《六書原》徦,俗作臵。 The original or formal form of 徦. 徦 (U+5FA6) [ jiǎ | ㄐㄧㄚˇ ] 1. 至;到。(to ...
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10 votes
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无奈我爱你,How to use 无奈 and 有奈?

《說文解字》似乎並無「奈」之條目。 It seems that 《說文解字》 does not have the entry of 奈. 「奈」由「柰」衍生而來,可能是新造字,也可能是誤寫。「柰」的本義是「果名」,借用為「柰何」,猶言「如何」。後來,分成「柰」表「果名」,而「奈」則專用在「奈何」之類的字詞。 奈 was derived from 柰. It might be a new word,...
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10 votes

Apple Watch has a built in response of "一个字。非常棒!👊". Is this correct?

1.字 = character, 词 = word 2."一个字,非常棒" can be either an incorrect translation (which is not rare in big companies' products) or a net slang phrase("一个字,XXX" where XXX is intentionally more than one ...
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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. ...
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9 votes
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What does 丫 mean? 丫是什么意思?

It is a short word for "丫头养的" only used in area around Beijing city,"丫头" means slave girl or young girl servant. "养的" means feed by. This is bad language saying somebody's mother is young girl ...
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  • 206
8 votes
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What does `只` mean in `他有四本书,可是我只有三本`?

In Simplified Chinese, 只 is polyphonic. In the sentence, 只 means only, pronounced zhǐ. The meaning you cited corresponds to another pronunciation, zhī, of the character.
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8 votes
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What does 'duang' mean in 'online Chinese'?

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/duang-how-jackie-chan-helped-780040 Citation, with explanation of the word in bold: Think that your hair is looking particularly good today? In Chinese ...
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8 votes
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Address people using 生 (e.g. 唐生)

In Cantonese, 先生 can be shortened to 生 when attached to a family name. It is used for adult male, all ages and is used orally, not written.
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8 votes
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Is 笨蛋 a derogatory word?

Think of the phrase "You fool!" or "you idiot" - depend on the relationship between the two people, the reason behind saying that, and the tone of the speech, it can be a playful, affectionate flirt, ...
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8 votes
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What is the difference between 呀 and 啊?

ABC's entry for 呀 says: 呀 ya5 (replacing a (啊) when preceding word ends in a, e, i, o, or (y)u) 快来呀! Kuài lái ya! Come quickly! 呀 is a replacement for 啊 when it comes after a vowel. This is also ...
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8 votes

What does 丫 mean? 丫是什么意思?

"你丫" is a phrase from Beijing dialect. The word "丫" itself doesn't have a meaning in this context. It is a slang, not an appropriate way of speaking. You can think of it as adding F words in an ...
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8 votes

What's the logic behind the word 从事?

The primary meaning of 從(从)is to "follow". In English, we may describe participating/engaging in X as "pursuing" X. The logic in Chinese is similar. https://www.moedict.tw/%E5%BE%...
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8 votes

I don't understand why 老外 and 洋人 mean what they mean

老 (old) is a common word for making nicknames (indicates casualness, familiarity, or fondness). For example, you met someone and called him 李先生 (Mr. Lee) which is a formal address. Later you two ...
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7 votes
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How do you learn and remember 左 and 右?

Did some research, but all I can find is that both 左 and 右 are actually the same symbol that denotes hand but reversed horizontally in ancient times. This symbol basically formed the top part of the ...
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7 votes

Address people using 生 (e.g. 唐生)

生 Short for 先生 in Cantonese 先生 is gender neutral in Chinese, however most people use it as the Chinese version of "Mr." Profession that is associated with 先生 is teachers (still used very often in the ...
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7 votes
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Why is Oxford called 牛津?

This is a rare example of Chinese translation for foreign cities or the similar, there's no rule to govern this type. In short it translates literally the meaning of Oxford: Ox: 公牛, 牛 Ford: ferry, 津,...
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7 votes
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The words for "boyfriend" and "male friend" - 男朋友,男性朋友,男的朋友

男朋友 mean both "boyfriend" and "male friend". Can 男性朋友 also mean "boyfriend" as well as "male friend"? No, "男朋友" means 'boyfriend' exclusively. For both men and women. A woman would refer to her ...
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7 votes

Is 太君 a derogatory word?

It was a good word. For example, in 红楼梦 sometimes they call 贾母 as 史老太君. It was used to refer some senior with respect. But during the war, those traitors started to use this word to the Japanese to ...
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7 votes

Why do the onomatopoeias describing the cry of frogs sound so different in Chinese and English?

Instead of directly answering your question I'm going to post this picture:
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