Semaphore
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Is there a difference between 愿意 and 肯?
19 votes

In general they're about the same. They are actually used to define each other in some dictionaries. Colloquial usages might differ, but in most cases you can safely use 肯 in place of 願意, especially ...

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Does an Alarm clock 吵醒 or 叫醒?
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18 votes

Yes, that is fine; it is quite common to use 叫醒 with alarms. In fact you can use both 吵醒 and 叫醒 here, although there's a small difference in connotations. It isn't a very strong distinction though, ...

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Proper letter writing etiquette
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14 votes

I think those are generally fine for normal purposes, especially if you're emailing. Traditional etiquette has substantially declined with email use. 亲爱 is quite a bit more personal than the ...

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Loanwords with Chinese Equivalents
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14 votes

I'm not sure where you could get an accurate count for how many there are. Considering that loanwords have been coming into Chinese for thousands of years, it definitely won't be a trivial task. ...

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Equivalent phrase to "Bon Appetit"/"Enjoy (your food)"
13 votes

Yup. The typical phrase spoken when serving food is qǐng màn yòng (請慢用). It lliterally means "please eat slowly", but is better translated as "enjoy your meal", and serves the same function as the ...

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角/毛 (10 cents) for money: why?
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13 votes

角 came from 銀角, which was historically a currency that represented a fraction of the silver coin (銀元). 元 came from 圓, a description of the coin's circular shape. A theory for 角's use is that since the ...

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哪儿 vs. 哪里, Difference in Meaning?
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12 votes

There's no difference in meaning. They are not actually all that distinct: both words came from 哪, a generic interrogative character used for indicating a question. Given an appropriate context (e.g. ...

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Is there a Chinese word for liberation?
11 votes

Your teacher was probably not very good. The typical Chinese word for "liberation" is 解放, and it has been used in the same sense of political liberation for many years. Apart from its use in ...

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What is the "Chinese Dream?" (中国梦)
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11 votes

Chinese Dream is mostly a political slogan of Chinese President Xi Jinping. It's the Communist Party's official vision for China since the 18th National Congress. 大家都在讨论中国梦,我以为,实现中华民族伟大复兴,...

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犬子: who's the dog?
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11 votes

The dog refers to the son. The term 犬子 originally meant "puppy": 【漢·列仙傳·邗子】邗子者,自言蜀人也,好放犬子。時有犬走入山穴,邗子隨入。 So calling one's son 犬子, would have been in essence referring to a child as "my little pup". ...

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What is the purpose of the 中 in 在新标签页中打开?
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11 votes

在 and 中 are serving two different functions here. The preposition 在 at the start of the sentence indicates where something happens. Meanwhile, the 中 here is technically a noun meaning "the inside", ...

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Why does 三明治 mean sandwich when 三 means 3, 明 means bright/clear, and 治 means to rule?
11 votes

That 三明治 came from transcribing the English word Sandwich into Chinese. That is to say, it is meant to approximate the pronunciation of the English word. You aren't meant to interpret the individual ...

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Looking for very common dialect words that have no Standard Mandarin Chinese hanzi characters
10 votes

It is probably not the languages/dialects that don't have a corresponding Chinese character, but rather regional slang. The A菜 you see is actually 萵仔菜, or ue-á-tshài in Hokkien. That became became e-á-...

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When to use 看 and 见?
9 votes

They don't both mean "to see" exactly. Actually, both have multiple meanings, some but not all of which overlaps. Possible meanings of 看: To observe To view (in appreciation) To visit To (visually) ...

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What are the rules in Chinese for adjective order when multiple adjectives describe a noun
9 votes

There are a few general points on the order: words with two or more characters should be further away than single character words phrases/words ending in 的 should be further from those without the ...

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Difference: 帘 vs. 帷?
Accepted answer
8 votes

I'll assume you mean 帘 as in the simplified Chinese for 簾. In which case, strictly speaking: 帘 / 簾 is a cover for windows woven from bamboo slips (hence the traditional top radical) or fabric 帷 is ...

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English translation for 来 in 你哪儿来的这么多书? compatible with a Chinese-to-English dictionary
8 votes

This problem seem to stem from attempting to map a Chinese character directly to a single English word. Don't do that. Like many other characters, 来 carries multiple meanings, and not all of those ...

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How to use "whether" in Chinese - do you need to say 如果?
8 votes

No, you can't use 如果 here. You got the right syntax in there though. What you want is just 我问他有沒有见过马克 - "I asked him whether he has met Mark". Or, since you used 认识 for your translation in the ...

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行为艺术:translation?
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8 votes

The proper translation is performance art, because that's what the Chinese name 行为艺术 was coined for. Although the literal meaning of the Chinese name is not quite the same as that of the English name, ...

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What does 飘然而至 mean?
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7 votes

It means "to breeze (in)". To examine this in more detail, the phrase 飘然而至 simply means "to arrive" in a 飘然 manner", and 飘然 has a couple of interconnected meanings: very quickly unrestrained, ...

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说服: shuìfú vs. shuōfú
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7 votes

In recent years, Mainland Chinese have officially adopted shuōfú across the board. If you only wish to be understood and/or conform to current official standards, a sufficient answer is: just use the ...

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阿: when is it pronunced 'a' when is it pronunced 'e'?
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7 votes

Yes, there are rules - it is not irregular at all. The two different pronunciations of 阿 actually reflect different usages. The original Old Chinese pronunciation of ē is for using the character as a ...

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香皂 vs. 肥皂: What's the difference?
Accepted answer
7 votes

The difference is exactly as the definitions say. 香皂 is "scented soaps", while 肥皂 is just generic "soaps". That is the only difference. 香皂 is abbreviated from 香肥皂, meaning soap with added scents. You ...

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What is the difference between 嘗試,試圖,and 企圖?
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6 votes

嘗試 means simply "to try" or "have tried". For example, "Try something new" => 嘗試新事物 試圖 is synonymous with 打算, and means "planning to do something". It can be translated as "try" or "attempt", but ...

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How do I write "but if" in Chinese?
6 votes

There are several ways to say this. Literal translations of "but if" works fine. That is, any combination of "but": 可是 但是 但 不過 Followed by "if": 如果 要是 我通常六點起床,但如果很累會睡到八點。 Although that's ...

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How to say "twelve tigers"
6 votes

As @songyuanyao says 十二只老虎 and 二十二只老虎 are correct. You cannot use 兩 here unless you literally meant to say "12 ounces of tiger (meat?)". The reason is that 兩 actually means "one pair". That is, 两只老虎 ...

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What is the ancient Chinese one-character name for woman like '子’ means man?
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6 votes

The equivalent of 子 for women is also 子. 【清·張自烈·正字通】子部:女子亦稱子 Examples from Old Chinese texts: 【孟子·告子下】逾東家牆而摟其處子,則得妻,不摟,則不得妻,則將摟之乎? The Works of Mencius: "Breaking into your landlord's house ...

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Difference between 月 and 月份 for the noun "A month"
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6 votes

Both 重要的月份 and 重要的一個月 works fine for translating "an important month". But 重要的月 minus the unit of measurement (份/一個) sounds more like you're speaking of the Moon. The difference between 月 and 月份 is ...

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meaning: 辱=辰+寸, why? What does it mean?
Accepted answer
6 votes

Han Dynasty linguist Hsu Shen's explanation in Shuo-wen Chieh-Tzu: 【清·陳昌治刻本·說文解字】辱:恥也。从寸在辰下。失耕時,於封畺上戮之也。辰者,農之時也。故房星為辰,田候也。 【清·段玉裁·說文解字注】恥也。心部曰。恥,辱也。此之謂轉注。儀禮注曰。以白造緇曰辱。从寸在辰下。會意。寸者,法度也。而蜀切。三部。失耕時。...

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被 (bèi) vs. 叫 (jiào) vs. 让 (ràng): regional difference? formality difference?
6 votes

被 is suitable for both formal and informal situations. In contrast 叫 and 让 are more colloquial, more spoken. There's also a regional element in that using 让/叫 in this way is rarely seen in Taiwan, ...

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