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10 votes

What is the story behind 逐日移山?

It is a combination of two idiom stories 逐日 = 夸父逐日 “夸父逐日”的意思是比喻人有大志,也比喻不自量力 移山 = 愚公移山 文章叙述了愚公不畏艰难,坚持不懈,挖山不止,最终感动天帝而将山挪走的故事 "夸父(Kua Fu) 逐日 (chasing the sun)" describes "chasing a ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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8 votes
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Difference between 怎么办 and 做什么?

我该(I should) 怎么(how to) 办(deal with/ handle) = How should I deal with it You are facing a situation where you don't know [how] to handle 我该(I should) 做(do) 什么(what)? = What should I do You are ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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8 votes

What does 放生矿泉水 mean in this news report?

放生 (verb) is a religious practice where you buy captured animals and release them to their natural habitat. It's believed to bring good luck to a person. Here "放生矿泉水" is apparently an ...
user2249675's user avatar
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5 votes

How does 斡旋 mean "to mediate"?

The subject to be "mediated" is naturally "conflict" To turn and revolve around (the conflicted parties) = to mediate (the conflict) Example: 为中美贸易冲突斡旋 - Mediating the US-China ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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5 votes

Is 播主 actually a word?

播主 is not yet a Mandarin word as recognized by linguistic authorities of Chinese, a language severely liable to governmental language planning. It has not been included in any published dictionary in ...
magni's user avatar
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5 votes

What does 效用先生加纳阔佬 mean?

The sentence comes from the first chapter of 《姑妄言》, which is an erotic novel. The full sentence comes as below: ……以千金买笑,白镪缠头,可是穷人做得来的。自然都是膏梁公子,富室娇儿,或是效用的先生,或是加纳的阔老。且这几种人,不但使几个憨钱,且要假装一个名士,必定要嫖名妓,宿美娼。 ...
Tec99's user avatar
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5 votes

If 词汇量 is a word, why is 汉字量 not a word?

This question is in fact asking how a compound word in the Chinese language is formed and used. A compound word includes multiple characters, each with its own basic meaning. Combining the characters ...
PdotWang's user avatar
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4 votes

What's the logic and etymology behind 未免 = "rather", such as in 未免太贵了?

未 - not quite 免 - exempt 未免 --> not quite exempt (can't avoid being considered) = rather Saying 未免 makes a statement less assertive Example: 現在攻擊實在太冒險了 = It is certainly too risky to attack now (...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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4 votes

What does 三房 mean?

In the old days, it was not uncommon for a rich Chinese man to have more than one wife. The first and legal wife and her children are called 大房人 and collectively the 大房(The main house); The second ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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4 votes

What does 下头 mean?

Good question! 下头:maybe: be a wet blanket? The Great God Baidu has this for 下头: 网络流行语, (a) fashionable internet phrase, 有‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌扫兴, has the meanings: dampen one’s spirits 破坏已有气氛, spoil the ...
Pedroski's user avatar
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4 votes

What does 圆 mean in this context?

圆 as a verb has the meaning "to explain (against doubt or criticism) = to justify" Example: 自圆其說 = Explain (justify) one's statement (against doubt or criticism) similar to 狡辯 (quibble) but ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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4 votes

What's the difference between 既然 and 鉴于?

First, 既然 can only be used as a conjunction word, but 鉴于 can be a proposition and take a noun phrase complement as well. Correct: 鉴于目前的情况,我们先不行动。 Incorrect: 既然目前的情况,我们先不行动。 However, note that 既然 can ...
user2249675's user avatar
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4 votes

More logical expressions of "爸爸把你生下来"

闺女,爸爸把你生下来,却有很多的无奈 世界上有爸爸生孩子的吗?还真有! The first 生 means "give life", as in 父母生我養我 (my parents gave me life and nurtured me) The second 生 means "give birth" (生育) 生 can also mean &...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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4 votes

Why is it written 安详 and not 安祥?

One of the original meanings of 详 is being prudent or careful. Later its meaning was generalized to "behaving in a peaceful and steady way." When 详 is used standalone this meaning is not ...
user2249675's user avatar
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4 votes

If 词汇量 is a word, why is 汉字量 not a word?

「詞匯量」 is a size/quantity/measure (量) of (someone's) vocabulary (詞匯). Like the English word vocabulary, you speak of someone's vocabulary size (詞匯量) directly using the word 「詞匯」. In English, you may ...
dROOOze's user avatar
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4 votes

Is the 累 in 拖累 third or fourth tone?

The historically more correct pronunciation is lei4. However, in 1985 mainland China produced a document called 普通话异读词审音表, which prescribed a single sound for some words that were pronounced ...
user2249675's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Why did 鲁迅 write 贿路 and not 贿赂 ("bribe")?

The article in question was published in 1933 in 申报月刊, but I can't locate a copy of that magazin. However, I was able to get a copy of 《南腔北调集》 published by 鲁迅先生纪念委员会 in 1941 through my university ...
user2249675's user avatar
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4 votes
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Does Chinese have homonyms (words which have the same spelling but different meanings or parts of speech)?

Probably the easiest family of Chinese homonyms to mention are 多音字 (polyphonic characters), these are Chinese characters with multiple pronunciations, and different pronunciation almost always entails ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Can 气候 literally or non-literally mean "atmosphere"?

Atmosphere is not just the aerosol we live and breath in. Figuratively, atmosphere and climate mean "mood". "There was an icy atmosphere in the room." I think some writers have ...
Pedroski's user avatar
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3 votes

What does 敦 mean in 敦伦?

Sex. 敦伦 = sex (for married couples) 敦 is just a shortening of 敦伦 here. If you want to get into the nitty gritty of it, 敦 is short for 敦睦 which equates to something like: to promote friendly relations....
Mou某's user avatar
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3 votes

What's the logic and etymology behind 未免 = "rather", such as in 未免太贵了?

The meanings of "rather" and "quite" are difficult enough to explain in English. Translation of 未免 as "rather" is idiomatic. "rather" is from Old English hraðe, ...
Pedroski's user avatar
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3 votes

Difference Between 玩意 and 名堂

这是什么玩意(玩艺/玩藝)啊? = 这是什么東西啊? - What is this (thing)? (Note, it indicates contempt toward a person - 你是什么玩意啊? - Who do you think you are?) 你在搞什麼名堂? = 你在玩什麼花樣? - What is the trick you are pulling/...
r13's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Difference Between 玩意 and 名堂

They all have meaning of "trick", but have different source and also slightly different in tone. 玩意 is from spoken Chinese and source is little known. 名堂 has a clear source. 名 is name of ...
QooBee's user avatar
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3 votes

How to translate "population" into Chinese?

According to Cambridge English-Chinese Dictionary, it could means All the people or animals of a particular type or group who live in one country, area, or place (统称)(一定范围内的)人口,动物总数 So just ...
Tec99's user avatar
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3 votes

Why is it written 安详 and not 安祥?

安(calm)详(prudent) and not 安(calm)祥(luck). 安(calm)详(prudent), composed - 指神态平静、从容稳重。如“神态安详、面容安详、他安详地睡着了”. 吉(good)祥(luck) - "吉祥如意".
r13's user avatar
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3 votes

Is the 累 in 拖累 third or fourth tone?

tuōlěi is the modern Mainland pronunciation, tuōlèi the Taiwan one. Etymologically, 累 as "to accumulate" was lěi (< ljweX), while "to involve", as here, was lèi (< ljweH). ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
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3 votes

What do the culture loaded words mean in this paragraph?

人设 is short for 人物设定 (character setting), like his appearance, personality, etc. 甜度 is literally "degree of sweetness". In romance novels, "sweetness" refers to the portrayal of ...
user2249675's user avatar
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3 votes

Which is the correct expression of this, 冬至 or 至冬?

Yes, but in this case 至 is a verb, "to reach the extreme", as in 《史记 春申君列传》:物至则反,冬夏是也。《国语 越语下》:阳至而阴。《礼记 月令》:是月也,日短至。(notice it is not 日至短)
user2249675's user avatar
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3 votes

Which is the correct expression of this, 冬至 or 至冬?

the meaning of 冬至, which is not the arrival of winter, but the pinnacle of winter or the coldest time of winter well, according to the current definition of four-and-twenty solar terms (二十四節氣), since ...
水巷孑蠻's user avatar
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3 votes

What is the difference between 使用 and 实用?

I don't believe 实用 can be confused with 使用 in any context 使用(v):to use 实用 (adj): practical 实際使用 (v)/(n)--> 实(際)(使)用 = acturally use/ practical use e.g. 实用之后证实无效 Proved to be ineffective after ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
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