congusbongus
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3 answers
4 votes
491 views
How is 得 used in 只有懂得节制欲望的人...?
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6 votes

In 懂得, 得 is pronounced dé and means "gain" or "obtain", as in the first definition:  1. 获取,接受:~到。~失。~益。~空(kòng)。~便。~力。~济。心~。 That is, 懂得 means "to obtain understanding". The meaning you were ...

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2 answers
3 votes
516 views
Are there any good reverse transliteration strategies?
6 votes

Names of persons This answer explains that there are semi-official, conventional methods of transliterating foreign names to Chinese, and sometimes they are not the closest to the English ...

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9 answers
7 votes
1k views
What does 土 mean in this sentence 这个名字有点土?
6 votes

土 has the meaning of "indigenous", as in phrases such as 土生土长, as opposed to 洋. There should be plenty of evidence for this definition; nowadays this definition is usually seen in phrases, such as 土货. ...

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1 answers
0 votes
690 views
Why so many variations for traditional 只 zhǐ (衹/祇/秖/隻)?
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5 votes

To clarify: 只 has two meanings and pronunciations, zhī (single) and zhǐ (only) 隻 is pronounced zhī and has the same meaning as 只 (zhī) 衹, 祇, 秖 all can mean zhǐ (only), but also had other meanings: 衹 ...

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2 answers
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129 views
Which version is correct, 脚趾甲 or 脚指甲?
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5 votes

Both 脚趾 and 脚指 mean toe. 趾 means toe and 指 means finger, and historically 脚趾 is the correct term, but because 指 is a homophone and has a very similar meaning, 脚指 is such a common mistake that in ...

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2 answers
0 votes
230 views
Does 宝 have its own history separate from 寶?
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As Stan hinted at, 宝 is a Japanese Shinjitai character. It is also a simplified Chinese character, but that's coincidental. Perhaps this fact isn't so well known, but PRC aren't the only ones that ...

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6 answers
4 votes
899 views
Modern loanwords in Chinese
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互联网 and 因特网 may be different things - "internet" vs "Internet". Coming up with loanwords isn't a standardised practice; in the beginning you'll have separate groups coming up with different words, ...

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1 answers
5 votes
832 views
Are authors of Chinese fantasy novels able to create names for fictional creatures/races?
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It is true that, compared to Chinese, English (and related languages) have an advantage in its alphabet and rules of pronunciation, such that you can easily make up new words by creatively arranging ...

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2 answers
1 votes
126 views
Can I use 的 between the name and 他们
5 votes

No; in this context 的 is acting as a possessive, e.g. "我的心" means "my heart", and "郭高林的心" means "Guo Gaolin's heart". 他们 means "they" or "them", so it makes no sense to possess this. The phrase ...

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2 answers
2 votes
219 views
Having trouble translating this: 多是不跑步的替跑步的操心
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5 votes

Not quite; I break this fragment like this: 多是 不跑步的 替...操心 跑步的 The word "多是" is a bit tricky too, as in this case it's an abbreviation of "大多是", or "mostly is". So altogether, it should be: , ...

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1 answers
5 votes
295 views
An example of the difficulty of translation: "Now get off my lawn". How would you translate this?
5 votes

I disagree with the translation as it's too literal and totally misses the mark. Your suggestion - 我觉得自己老了 - is better but as you've said, it lacks the tone and nuance of the expression. Variations ...

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1 answers
0 votes
166 views
What are ways to create "simplifed" Chinese characters?
5 votes

Wikipedia's Simplified Chinese page has a section that outlines all the types already. Quoting it a bit: There are four methods used: Structural simplification of characters Under this method, there ...

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2 answers
7 votes
559 views
If Confucius came back to life today and scribbled a message, could most modern Chinese people understand it?
5 votes

No. The biggest obstacle is the script; although simple characters are still understandable, the evolution of scripts from seal script (the closest script to modern ones during Confucius's time) ...

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2 answers
3 votes
340 views
What does "a84" mean to Chinese people?
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For many Chinese, a domain like a84 is easy to type and remember. First, consider that typing English words and phrases is very unnatural for Chinese. Even if the user is familiar with typing (and ...

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3 answers
2 votes
252 views
Are there multiple translations for 不上边?
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5 votes

There's two things going on; a verb (碰边 or 沾边) and an auxiliary verb (不上) inserted in the middle. 碰边, 沾边 literally mean "to touch the edge", which is a metaphor for relationship. 不上 means "unable to" ...

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1 answers
5 votes
434 views
non-standard tone pronunciation
5 votes

There are three things going on here: 多 pronounced with a 2nd tone If you observe carefully, you may notice that all examples of 多 with 2nd tone occur when the following character is 4th tone. I ...

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4 answers
6 votes
249 views
Difference between 新 and 生?
5 votes

Try a dictionary such as the excellent 汉典. 生 is both a common and ancient character, so it has many meanings (汉典 lists 20), although a lot of them are related. The definition you are after is this ...

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8 answers
15 votes
24k views
How to improve my Chinese handwriting?
5 votes

Practice writing characters, over and over again: The idea is to train your muscle memory to be able to write strokes in the right way - angles, shape, sizes. I don't think there is a silver bullet ...

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5 answers
3 votes
1k views
Proper translation of the word "confidence"
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The main difference between the two is that the subject of 自信 is fixed - self. That is, "self-confidence" is a more direct translation of 自信. If you can fit "self-confidence" in your English sentence, ...

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2 answers
3 votes
93 views
How many supplies did Liu Bei have at Dangyang?
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4 votes

Yes, 兩 used to have many more meanings. In the details section of zdic, there's the following additional meanings: (4) 匹(长四丈) 归夫人鱼轩,重锦三十两。——《左传·闵公二年》 (5) 通“辆”。车一乘 [used for buses,carts,etc.] 武王戎车三百两。—...

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2 answers
1 votes
1k views
What's Jackie Chan's Character's Chinese Name (in Characters) in Rush Hour?
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4 votes

Jackie Chan's character only has one name, Lee. Neither the script, original screenplay, credits, of all three movies give any other name for Lee. "Yan Naing Lee" is a piece of Wikipedia vandalism ...

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3 answers
4 votes
1k views
How often is 羊肉 Goat in chinese?
4 votes

This is a surprisingly complex question to answer. Here are some facts: 羊 means both sheep and goat in Chinese; the word doesn't differentiate. This extends to official record-keeping - sheep meat ...

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2 answers
4 votes
298 views
What was the idea behind simplification, given 行書 existed?
4 votes

Simplified Chinese is much simpler than 行書, involving less strokes overall. Two reasons: Many simplified characters were already derived from cursive forms (草書楷化). Examples include 書 → 书, 車 → 车, 興 → ...

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1 answers
3 votes
91 views
What does 旧币 refer to exactly?
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4 votes

旧币 literally means "old currency"; it is not referring to any currency in particular, and without context it's hard to be sure. I believe the usage of "旧币" is only to tell the reader that, despite ...

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5 answers
1 votes
543 views
Do people use 但愿 nowadays?
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但愿 functions very much like hopefully in English; it has no subject, the subject is assumed to be the speaker or none in particular. Therefore: 但愿我能上哈佛商学院 means Hopefully I can attend Harvard ...

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5 answers
4 votes
655 views
Meaning of 他急红了眼?
4 votes

急红了眼 means being very anxious or angry. I think it's a regional slang but I can't find a dictionary entry to this exact phrase. I have found two very closely related (and synonymous) words: 急眼 and 红眼,...

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8 answers
14 votes
3k views
How to translate: 人是铁,饭是钢,一顿不吃烦得慌. What is the logic?
4 votes

To understand such an unsophisticated phrase, one should look for the most straight-forward and culturally obvious explanation. That is, I don't think analysing the chemical properties of iron and ...

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3 answers
3 votes
380 views
Which characters typically occur only within names?
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4 votes

Chih-Hao Tsai's Technology Page is an excellent resource (with the caveat that the corpuses it uses are Taiwanese). On this page you can find frequencies of the most common characters used in surnames ...

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1 answers
5 votes
3k views
What traditions do people follow when naming a second child in Chinese?
4 votes

First I'll state that you can use whatever Chinese names you want; unlike western names which often have standard names from the bible for example, theoretically you can use any combination of the ...

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2 answers
3 votes
1k views
How is pronunciation discussed in Chinese?
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4 votes

Nowadays schoolchildren are taught Pinyin pretty thoroughly first, so they know how to correctly pronounce Pinyin. Then when learning new words, all they have to do is learn the Pinyin. A lot of ...

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