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How is adding oil going to beneficial to the situation? 加油
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“Add oil” – what does it mean? It represents the metaphor of injecting fuel into a tank, or alternatively, stepping on an accelerator to propel a vehicle forward. But the use of “add oil” as an ...

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Which Chinese dialect group is the surname Kuok from?
2 votes

郭 (Kwok, also spelled Kuok) is a Cantonese surname. It is cognate with the Mandarin surname 郭 (Guo, Kuo).

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Chinese Languages With Multi-syllabic Readings Of Single Characters
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In certain cases compound words and set phrases may be contracted into single characters. Some of these can be considered logograms, where characters represent whole words rather than syllable-...

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Character Pronunciation Clues
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80-90% of Chinese characters are classified as phono-semantic compounds. As the name suggests, these characters are composed of: a phonetic component (rebus) a semantic component (determinative) ...

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Why -ian instead of -ien and -üan instead of -üen?
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The the vowel in "an" is pronounced differently depending on the context it occurs in, but the realisations have been analysed differently by different linguists: Like the mid vowel, the ...

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When is a 方言 a language and not a dialect
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"A language is a dialect with an army and navy" Unfortunately, there is no hard scientific distinction between "two related languages", and "two dialects of the same language&...

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Understanding the glyph origin of 占
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3 votes

Divination through reading patterns from animal bones (scapulimancy) was a widespread ancient human practice. A sub-type of this, pyro-scapulimancy, in which the bones are heated/burned to induce ...

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Pronunciation of 对 and 水
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After [...] a consonant, iou, uei, and uen are simplified as iu, ui, and un, which do not represent the actual pronunciation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinyin#Letters This spelling seems to have ...

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Is Putonghua Mandarin Chinese or is it standard Mandarin Chinese?
1 votes

The official body for language reform set up by the Republic of China proposed that a standard spoken Chinese be adopted. It was called Guoyu ‘National Language’ and was based on the pronunciation of ...

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Pronunciation of Z and C in Pinyin
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/.../ represent phonemes, which may have different realisations in different contexts/by different speakers. But, as you note, /ts/ can become voiced when unstressed and so an equally meaningful IPA ...

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Are the "h" in pinyin always pronounced as "[x]" in IPA?
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Standard pronunciation is indeed [x], but it can vary regionally [h ~ x]. Note, Standard Chinese does contain [h] in some monosyllabic filler words: SC has three syllabic nasals, [m], [n], and [ŋ], ...

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Why were some letters like Q, X, C, chosen for Pinyin which confuse non-Chinese speakers?
4 votes

Origin of Pinyin characters Pinyin inherits many of its orthographic choices from earlier romanisations of Chinese, namely the Gwoyeu Romatzyh, Latinxua Sin Wenz (and zhuyin for diacritics). The b/p, ...

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Pronunciation of the vowel "i" in Pinyin si
1 votes

After z-,c-,s- (resp. zh-,ch-,sh-) pinyin i represents the syllabic consonant [z] (resp. [ʐ]): More productive are the syllabic consonants [z] and [ʐ ], which do not contrast with each other: [z] ...

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Pronunciation of word-initial glides (pinyin 'y' and 'w')
3 votes

(y)i, (w)u "High vowel" / "glide + analogous-high-vowel" are non-contrasting in Standard Chinese, and can be pronounced either way: Chinese also lacks the contrast between V and ...

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Chinese character decomposition
4 votes

There are multiple ways to decompose Chinese characters: Decomposed into the different... Approximate English analogue Example historical character combinations etymology 有 ← 𠂇 + ⺼ components ...

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The number of "components" (potentially) to define a Chinese character typeface
1 votes

Yes this is possible, but there are a number of exceptions and edge-cases to account for. For example, some radicals have variants depending on their position (which are not typically considered ...

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Where did the word "panda" come from?
4 votes

English "panda" While in modern English "panda" generally refers to the giant panda, the word originally1 referred only to the red panda. Since the giant panda eclipsed the red ...

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