goPlayerJuggler
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Since Putonghua is a standard English word, why do people use Mandarin for standard Chinese?
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6 votes

Why should they? People don't rely on dictionaries when they speak. “Putonghua” may be in dictionaries, but it is still not a commonly used word. As for why “Mandarin” is used and not “Putonghua”, I ...

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Other than 秘密,are there two-syllable words in Chinese where each syllable is a different character with the same pronunciation?
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4 votes

I've come across words like this a couple of times. 逝世 shìshì 致志 zhìzhì 世事 shìshì Alliteration (双声) seems to be quite common in Putonghua, and this is an extreme form of alliteration. It's interesting ...

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Is "v" ever an acceptable English rendering of ü?
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4 votes

AFAIK (I'm a native English speaker) the letter v is never used in English writing to render the sound represented in pinyin by ü. However in software that uses pinyin it is standard practice to use ...

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Quenching thirst by thinking about plums
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4 votes

望梅止渴 wàng méi zhǐ kě lit. to quench one"s thirst by thinking of plums (idiom), fig. to console oneself with illusions The expression is a chengyu (成语, cheng2yu3). There's a story behind it: in the ...

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Why has zuò//láo // in between?
3 votes

The // is the marker used by Pleco to indicate that the word is in a special class of intransitive verbs called separable verbs. Other references call these V.O. (Verb Object) constructions. ABC ...

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Ambiguous characters
3 votes

This is indeed a topic you need to be aware of when learning written Chinese. There are quite a few common characters that look very similar. I did a web search with this term "similar characters 末 未 ...

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Can a neutral tone appear on a non-final syllable?
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3 votes

Taking the definition of "word" as "an entry in CC-CEDICT", the answer to the first question is Yes. I have a little script (I could share it if there's any interest) that I adapt to go through CC-...

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In which pitches do I pronounce several first tones in a sequence?
3 votes

It could be “theory versus practice”. I noticed this happening after a year or so of learning Chinese, mostly self-study. AFAIK it's quite common in everyday normal speech. I remember a textbook with ...

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How do you know when 很 means 'very' or connects nouns and adjectives?
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2 votes

很 can also be translated as "quite". There is an answer to this question here: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Simple_%22noun_%2B_adjective%22_sentences I think the key ...

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搞得头 ,弄得头 ,睡过头 what does mean 头 in these three examples?
2 votes

There are two things happening here. In your example, 可是这个密码那个密码,搞得头都大了, the second half should be parsed as: (搞得)+(头都大了). It's the same for 弄; see the examples in r13's answer. Basically, 搞得头 and 弄得头 ...

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What is the purpose of 赴 ("to visit") within 全力以赴 ("to make an all-out effort")?
2 votes

I recommend 多功能成语词典 which is available as a (not free) add on to Pleco. It gives this explanation for 全力以赴: 解释 赴:往,前往。指将全部力量都投入到某事中。 This makes it clear that 赴 in 全力以赴 carries the idea of movement / ...

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Mnemonic or technique to remember 咅 ,部, 陪
2 votes

I agree with Tang Ho, but for a beginner who is trying to learn these quite basic characters it's not really a practical suggestion to advise them to learn more advanced characters at the same time. ...

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words where it is important to distinguish between the neutral tone and the citation tone
2 votes

L Parker's answer gives a very good, authoritative description of cases when it is possible to use either the citation tone or the neutral tone, and where making this distinction is related to some ...

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How do we reconcile the different definitions for 弊端 in the HSK Standard Course 6上 ("disadvantage" etc.) and CC-CEDICT ("malpractice" etc.)?
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2 votes

I suggest we have a look at some Chinese dictionaries. 现代汉语规范词典 (GF) has this: 弊端 bìduān 名 由于制度上或工作中的漏洞而引发的有害的事情 管理不严酿成弊端。 I don't find this particularly helpful. Whereas 现代汉语大词典 (XHD) has this: 弊端 ...

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What is the best translation for 会说?
2 votes

会说 can mean “is a talker” as in “can speak (well)”, but it can have other meanings too. The basic idea is: “会说 = can + speak”. Sometimes it needs to be treated as a single word, sometimes as two ...

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I want to get a tattoo that says "Ambitious" in Chinese. However I don't fully trust google translate
1 votes

Not a native speaker but I've been studying Chinese over 10 years. 野心 seems to me to be a bit too strong, it can be used for wild ambition / careerism. 雄心 is another word that means ambition, I think ...

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Using a one-character vs two-character word
1 votes

The notion of "bound forms" (黏着词素) is a useful tool for this sort of question. The ABC dictionary explains bound forms as follows: (Bound Form, Niánzhuó Císù 粘着词素). Morphemes which do not ...

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which name is better?
1 votes

As I'm not a native speaker, my opinion may not be very helpful. But the first one seems ok to me as a girl's personal name (名子). The second one, less so. There is a website (name.renren.com) where ...

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How to parse 没得 + Verb constructions
1 votes

There is an entry in 现代汉语大词典, a Chinese-language dictionary, for this word: 没得〔沒-〕 méi de 无, 没有。 茅盾《子夜》 我只能服从多数。要是你和壮飞意见一致, 我是没得什么说的! My attempt at a translation: not (to) have; no; none; not; ...

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Synonym of 这么 with pronunciation zen4me
1 votes

It could well be an alternative, dialectal pronunciation of 这么. See this answer: https://chinese.stackexchange.com/a/19261/2508

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What is a good technique for remembering tones?
1 votes

I dislike the idea of using colours. A general technique that often works for me is to relate the character in my mind to other characters, which have identical and/or similar pronunciations, that I ...

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Can I use 现代汉语词典 outside of the paper dictionary?
1 votes

You can buy it as an in-app purchase in the Pleco app. It costs 19.99 USD at the moment. For Android devices and also for iPhone /iPad. Reference: http://www.pleco.com/products/pleco-for-iphone-ipad/...

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Status of a sandhi "rule" for 2nd tone
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1 votes

I asked the author of the blog eastasiastudent.net about it and he told me it was probably a mistake. Given the comments from @fefe and @JasonSwift, my conclusion is that the author of the first link ...

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”委屈“ in English?
1 votes

CC-CEDICT gives this definition for 委屈. /to feel wronged/to cause sb to feel wronged/grievance/ It seems fine to me.

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How to deal with elasticity/flexibility in HSK vocabulary?
1 votes

One of the difficulties for learners is becoming familiar with when to use the short and when to use the long form. In most cases, at least for beginner/intermediate levels, my impression is the rule “...

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References: north-eastern Mandarin: xier meaning 'great/awesome/excellent'
1 votes

I asked a friend who is from NE China (一位来自沈阳人) about 太xie了 and they came up with this: 太邪了 (tai4xie2le5). 邪 means "demonic, nefarious" but in 太邪了 I think it means "good" as in supernaturally, ...

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Is 不错 used only to mean "good" and never mean "not bad"?
1 votes

In British English, “not bad” can fairly often be used as a synonym for “pretty good”. It usually means something better than “so-so” / “medium” / “mediocre” / “ok” / “passable”. Particularly in "not ...

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poems/phrases/quotes/sayings/idioms/stories/allegories: evil vs. good
1 votes

邪不能胜正 has variants: 邪不胜正; 邪不敌正. Here are a few other sayings. 祸福无常 (disaster and happiness do not follow rules (idiom); future blessings and misfortunes are unpredictable) 善有善报,恶有恶报 (virtue has its ...

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What are some good Chinese short books/novels for beginners?
1 votes

Here's one starting point: 我的第一本日记:二年级的美羊羊 I think it's part of a series of similar books called "我的第一本日记". It's a schoolgirl's diary but not a real diary, I think an adult actually wrote it. It's ...

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How to say "One of these" and three other mini phrases?
1 votes

ElpieKay's answer seems fine to me apart from not answering the last part of the the question (I only speak a tiny bit Chinese"). For that, I propose: 我不太会说中文 (Wǒ bú tài huì shuō Zhōngwén) (≈ "I can'...

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