Chinese Language Weekly Newsletter

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Top new questions this week:

How to interpret the explanation of '巧夺天工‘?

I had the phrase '巧夺天工‘ in my text, so I 百度 it. 百度 explains it thus: 专指人工的精巧胜过天然制成,形容技艺十分高超。, which is clear. However, they say '巧夺天工‘ comes from 古代成语,“微妙在智,触类而长,玄通阴了,巧夺造化。” and that is more ...

meaning  
asked by Pedroski 4 votes
answered by songyuanyao 6 votes

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

I'm working through the HSK vocab lists, and sometimes I find it hard to remember if a character should be pronounced with the neutral tone or with the citation tone. It would help if I knew when ...

vocabulary pronunciation tones  
asked by goPlayerJuggler 4 votes
answered by goldmonkey 1 vote

Is there strong evidence that Classical Chinese was ever spoken?

Classical Chinese (Wenyan) diverges sharply from modern varieties, as any student of classical texts will note whether foreign or native Chinese. Wenyan has a long written history, but is there ...

classical-chinese history  
asked by Shen Kuo 2 votes
answered by flow 1 vote

Reference: 'hou' in Sichuanese meaning 'to eat'

Looking for a reference. Apparently 'hou' (pronunciation roughly similar to '候') means eat in Sichuanese, at least in some dialects. For instance: hou饭 出去hou hou东西 hou𩛲𩛲(𬲹𬲹) hou酒 I've gone ...

topolect dialect reference-materials  
asked by user3306356 2 votes

What is the phrase for "sounds like" as in "it sounds like your dad is getting better"?

At first I thought I could use 听起来, but if I'm not mistaken this is only used for actual sound, not "you just told me your dad is back from the hospital, it sounds like he's getting better each day". ...

grammar phrase syntax  
asked by dr Hannibal Lecter 2 votes
answered by Pedroski 3 votes

How to translate "hump" or "humping"?

I hope this isn't inappropriate, but neither of my two dictionaries had a proper translation. The closest one was 性交, but to my understanding, that's the same meaning as 上床. I'm looking for a word ...

translation  
asked by tofu_bacon 2 votes
answered by user3306356 1 vote

What does 着急 mean in this sentence?

This text is talking about 应试教育 versus 素质教育。In this sentence the last phrase is a bit unclear. 应该说已经推动了应试教育向素质教育的转变,但是这个转变非常艰难,是一个痛苦的漫长的过程,我们不能太着急。 Dictionaries say ‘着急’ means 'worry, feel anxious' ...

meaning  
asked by Pedroski 1 vote
answered by monalisa 3 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Various ways to say "nice to meet you"

When I first started learning Chinese I knew the in order to say "Nice to meet you" or "Pleased to meet you," I had to use the following expression: 很高兴见到您。 But recently I've come across other ...

mandarin expressions greetings  
asked by Alenanno 11 votes
answered by StarCub 9 votes

How many characters do I need to learn?

How many Chinese characters would I generally need to learn to be able to handle most text in typical every day circumstances? How many would be required to be considered fluent? Are there any good ...

characters writing reading  
asked by Cocowalla 35 votes
answered by arcyqwerty 28 votes

Can you answer this?

Open source Sichuanese TTS (语音合成?)

There's a couple of iOS apps that support Sichuanese TTS (text-to-speech): 川话达人 语音合成助手 From what I can tell it's all from a company called 讯飞, but I'm not totally sure. Is there an open source ...

topolect dialect software  
asked by user3306356 1 vote
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