Chinese Language Weekly Newsletter

Chinese Language newsletter

Top new questions this week:

或: how did "region" become "either"?

The character 或 is used today for the meanings "or", "either", "maybe", and "perhaps". Historically, it had the meaning of "region", and it is this meaning that characters like 國 and 域 derive from. ...

characters etymology  
asked by congusbongus 4 votes
answered by Master Sparkles 4 votes

Difference between alveolars and alveolo-palatals in Cantonese

I would like to understand the difference in distribution between the alveolar consonants s, ts, tsʰ and the alveolo-palatal consonants ɕ, tɕ, tɕʰ in Cantonese. One source told me that the ...

cantonese  
asked by 無色受想行識 4 votes
answered by Michaelyus 4 votes

Chinese Words that Accurately Reflect English Phonemes

I'm a retired computer science professor who helps Chinese graduate students master English. The students have a good background for reading and writing scientific papers but struggle with their ...

pronunciation equivalent-phrase  
asked by Dennis Stevenson 4 votes
answered by monalisa 7 votes

Why the change in tones of the words in some phrases?

I am a native Cantonese speaker. I found that we have to change the tones of some words, when used in particular phrases. But I don't know why. It seems that it doesn't follow any "rules of changing ...

cantonese tones  
asked by Kyson 3 votes
answered by Alex 1 vote

不得不, 必须, 只好, 应该: what's the difference?

This is what I'm thinking: 不得不 pm. "cannot but, have to" this seems colloquial, and the fact that dictionaries think of this as a set phrase/fixed expression makes me think so. Also feels like ...

word-choice mandarin  
asked by Ming 3 votes
answered by zzy 0 votes

Describing Characters: AB的A/B

When trying to describe what specific character one is talking about, people often use the following method: AB的A/B For instance: 包: 书包的包 宇: 宇宙的宇 My questions: What is this thing ...

usage  
asked by user3306356 3 votes
answered by 倪阔乐 3 votes

The word order of co-existing adverbs in a sentence

I am wondering whether there is a commonly accepted rule about the word order of co-existing adverbs in a sentence. For example, in the following sentences, 果然,昨天,直接,从学校 are adverbs. Which of the ...

grammar vocabulary  
asked by cnwang09 1 vote
answered by S.Rhee 1 vote

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Tips for pronouncing X vs SH in Mandarin?

I'd like to think my Mandarin pronunciation is generally pretty reasonable, but I often get tripped up with X and SH - for example words like 雪 and 水, or 虾 and 莎. Even with different tones, I find ...

mandarin pronunciation  
asked by Ciaocibai 8 votes
answered by xiaohouzi79 5 votes

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
Subscribe to more Stack Exchange newsletters


Unsubscribe from this newsletter or change your email preferences by visiting your subscriptions page on stackexchange.com.

Questions? Comments? Let us know on our feedback site. If you no longer want to receive mail from Stack Exchange, unsubscribe from all stackexchange.com emails.

Stack Exchange, Inc. 110 William St, 28th Floor, NY NY 10038 <3