George
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Why isn't 四 four lines? (the origin of 一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九)
28 votes

This is an interesting topic; it touches one of the core idea of the Chinese language. The Chinese language and all its dialects have not been designed by one inventor at one specific day. Instead, ...

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How much faster is it to write Simplified over Traditional?
24 votes

How much faster is it really to write simplified, given similar skill levels? Basically, writing simplified characters (SC) can be faster than traditional characters (TC). SC comes into stage ...

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Why is 足 both "foot" and "enough"?
23 votes

Let the "foot" meaning of 足 be A, the "plenty, enough" meaning be B. Will discuss about this topic in the following two sections. Different Root First, 現代漢語規範詞典 第二版 ("Modern ...

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Why is "steak" 肉排?
Accepted answer
13 votes

Wiki page of 牛排 gives a clue of its etymology, written by, 姚德懷, the current chairman of 香港中國語文學會 (The Chinese Language Society of Hong Kong Ltd.), a non-profit organization in Hong Kong. Here's a ...

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Why use 非 and 亚 for continent names?
10 votes

亞洲 (亚洲) is short for 亞細亞洲 (亚细亚洲, Asia) which can be found as early as 坤輿萬國全圖 published in 1602 (萬曆三十年) , mainly by Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci or 利瑪竇 (Lì Mǎdòu), 6 Oct 1552 - 11 May 1610, who ...

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Is there online corpus for the Chinese language?
9 votes

For a big-data Chinese corpus, have a look at this one: (Taiwan) Academia Sinica Balanced Corpus of Modern Chinese 台灣 中央研究院 中文詞知識庫小組 現代漢語平衡語料庫 A million-word level corpus Contact: Miss Su-Chu Lin (...

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Why was the rice component added to 气 to form 氣?
Accepted answer
8 votes

說文解字 has both references for 氣 and 气. Put simply, 气 and 氣 comes from different origin and somehow merge together into one stream later. In detail: 米 is not added to 气 to get 氣 in Tang Dynasty. Long ...

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How to improve my Chinese handwriting?
7 votes

If you're serious learner, or educated Chinese speaker, try learn brush writing. This video shows how it is possible to write it that beautiful. 永字八法 Eight Principles of 永 There're eight basic ...

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What does 七年之痒 mean?
Accepted answer
7 votes

It means seven years after marriage, both husband and wife would face numerous temptations that would harm their relationship. The seven years is a vague expression, sometimes a couple gets trouble ...

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娘炮 - how do you pronounce this word/phrase?
6 votes

Oh, get you a Taiwanese news (at 0:18 by the anchor, 0:58 by a student and 1:24, 1:56 by himself) about that, where it's pronounced as "niáng pào". I can tell that we use this word in mainland China ...

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病了: Function of 了
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5 votes

「我病了。」 can be a subtle expression which implies different meaning based its context. It can mean, but may not be limited to, these: Present status that I'm not so well. Past status that I was ill. ...

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How is the 儿 ending pronounced outside Beijing?
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5 votes

Answer to each question "When Beijingers use words like…" Assume that by "Beijingers", you mean those who born in or near Beijing, so do their parents or close relatives, growing up in a Beijing ...

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The mysterious role of 占 in 对占人口绝大多数的民众来说,还是觉得有钱应该省着花
5 votes

占人口绝大多数的 is a compound adjective for 民众. 人口 means population, noun. 绝大多数的 means most, adjective. If you take away 占, you got to take away 人口 as well to keep it grammatically sound. If you remove 占 ...

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What are some well-known, online news sources that are worthy of language study?
Accepted answer
4 votes

Based on your demand, here are my picks. They're locally famous. China mainland 南方人物周刊, a featured weekly on influencing people, with some exclusive interviews. 南方周末, a weekly on politics, economics,...

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Different Ways to Say "Hometown"
3 votes

To me, either of 老家, 家乡, or 故乡 gives similar meaning, any of one doesn't not necessarily mean the home that I'm living in currently, nor other implications. Context can determine the implied meaning. ...

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"我们过去了" was he joking?
3 votes

Probably more natural to be 「我们过去啦!」, which means "Let's go across [the intersection]!" Reasoning: 啦 can be mistaken as 了 in this context, especially when the stress is on 过去 so that the 啦 is ...

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What does 唰 (shua1) mean?
3 votes

唰者 亦「𠴪」之正體也 唰 is considered as the standard for its variant 「𠴪」 廣韻.入聲.薛韻 謂之曰 「𠴪 鳥理毛也 所劣切」 From a dictionary, '𠴪 is the act of a bird combing through her feather, consonant following 所, vowel ...

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Why does 首饰的饰 have the 饣radical?
3 votes

Let me connect the dots for @EdenHarder (but comment box is too narrow...) Explanation 漢文 夫飾者 形聲字也 據典[1]之二五七二頁 然竊以為會意也 參此及此 殷商有祭祀者 食諸神袛以祭牲 飾牛牲以布匹 苟無食 何以有飾 飾者 从巾 从人 食聲 讀若式 一曰襐飾 賞隻切 據典[2] 恭候有疑 ...

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Regional variations of "柴米油盐酱醋茶"
2 votes

In Short Variant One 柴米油盐 Pinyin : chai2 mi3 you2 yan2 Variant Two 鍋碗瓢盆 Pinyin : guo1 wan3 piao3 pen2 Literally : wok, bowl, ladle and tub Detailed In my area, sometimes we just say it that way. ...

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Learn to type in Pinyin for a Zhuyin user
2 votes

There is an (almost) one-to-one mapping from Zhuyin to Pinyin, replacing symbols with letters. In my humble opinion, Pinyin only save one from remembering symbols. Neither Pinyin nor Zhuyin is perfect....

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份, 个, 本, 两: How do they function in these sentences?
2 votes

Try to give a non-technical explanation here for immersion :D In short, 本 is there to make it more natural than just 五书 (though 五书 may be possible in some cases, but it's another topic). It's not a ...

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Proper translation of the word "confidence"
2 votes

Now since the example is "I" being the subject, so there're no difference of sentence structure using either 自信 (self-assurance, confidence in yourself) or 信心 (confidence in yourself or someone/...

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When do I use 着 to indicate action in progress?
2 votes

Indicating action in progress. As shown by @xiaohouzi79's answer. Accompanying another major action. As shown by @trideceth12's answer. Special usage Sometimes, neither of the above two can tell ...

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Understanding different Chinese writing styles
2 votes

Short answer to question one: While you can still see them there, all of them are in use now, in different situations. Short answer to question two: In school, teachers give the one that they like, ...

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How Archaic is James Legge's Written Chinese in this Side by Side English/Chinese Book?
Accepted answer
1 votes

This is a hard question which even puzzles many advanced Chinese researchers, such as this piece of The Question of Authorship in Chuang Tzu http://140.122.100.145/ntnuj/j29/j29-10.pdf found here. ...

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Measure Words and their English Analogue
1 votes

Let me give you some hints on your questions. You can use 一男人 and you can also use 一个男人. As to which one is better, I recommend 一个男人. 一男人 is quite spoken, but not so spoken as 一男的, 一男性. Also, 一个男人 is ...

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How to say "she short changed me" (without negative conotation)?
1 votes

Another polite way to go: 不好意思,這裡才四十。(Sorry, but here is only $40.) bù hǎo yì sī,zhè lǐ cái sì shí。 which implies they should give you more.

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What is the purpose of using 成语接龙 to learn 成语?
1 votes

The purpose is to force one to recite idioms without explaining what they mean. I believe this kind of recitation is a good way to learn language. Recite it first when we are young; ponder about its ...

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When can 把 be used?
1 votes

把字當介詞講屬後起之意 先秦時代 把字做動詞 握 持 攢之意 如 臣左手把其袖 見於戰國策之燕策 及宋 如蘇東坡之絕句 飲湖上初晴後雨 欲把西湖比西子 借用使之介詞化 並口語化 把 as a preposition emerged a bit late. Long time ago, 把 is a verb, meaning "get hold of something", as in: ...

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Use of 而 preceding verb
1 votes

Tried to figure out what you mean: 他應我的請求而來 Ta1 ying2 wo3 de0 qing3 qiu2 er2 lai2 (He came at my request.) ...對面而坐... ...dui4 mian4 er2 zuo4...(sitting opposite each other) ...不告而去... ...bu2 gao4 ...

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