Chinese Language Weekly Newsletter

Chinese Language newsletter

Top new questions this week:

What is the difference between 哈哈, 呵呵, 嘻嘻, and 嘿嘿?

I always see 哈哈, 呵呵, 嘻嘻, and 嘿嘿 in WeChat, QQ, etc, but I don't really understand the subtle differences between them and when to use them appropriately, especially 呵呵. I use 呵呵 myself now, but I'm ...

meaning difference  
asked by Suragch 9 votes
answered by Suragch 11 votes

Do Westerners 上火?

Sometimes people ask me how to say 上火 in English and I tell them I don't know. I tell them people don't really have the concept of 上火 in America, let alone the term. So how would you succinctly ...

meaning  
asked by Suragch 5 votes
answered by user1228520 3 votes

Thought Experiment: Twitter Character Limits

This is hopefully a fun question that is a little bit off the standard path. It's meant to elicit a light conversation but nevertheless one that illuminates fundamental characteristics of Chinese as a ...

writing comparison  
asked by Tang Nawen 3 votes
answered by Master Sparkles 2 votes

What is smaller than 小

There are so many ways to say "tiny" it seems. What is the most common way to say "tiny" to something, as in size, an object. Like a tiny insect, or tiny butterfly. Small in English, is still ...

translation word-requests  
asked by nakinanina 3 votes
answered by Thomas Hsieh 3 votes

Proper way to address a waiter or waitress

From what I have learned, one should address a waiter or waitress as 先生 or 小姐. However, I have also seen the case (I believe it was in a drama) of addressing them as the general term 服務生 or 服務員. As ...

word-choice usage culture courtesy  
asked by Thomas Hsieh 3 votes
answered by Flaudre 3 votes

When to use 一言难尽

When is it appropriate to use 一言难尽? Please supply a scenario where this would be a good reply. I have found this in my dictionary but I want to make sure I use in in the correct context.

usage meaning-in-context chengyu  
asked by Tommie C. 2 votes
answered by Thomas Hsieh 2 votes

How to say "you don't need to."

In every language I know, the expressions for saying someone does not need to do something are often used to say they had better not do it. Suppose I want to tell someone in an e-mail, in Chinese, ...

usage  
asked by Colin McLarty 2 votes
answered by FortCpp 2 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Do people use 刻苦 nowadays?

I'm trying to figure out two things. 1. is 刻苦 still commonly used in China? Is it colloquial? ex: could I say “他那一年刻苦的学西班牙文” If it is used, are there any clear differences with “认真”? Or are they ...

vocab  
asked by Stephen 2 votes
answered by NS.X. 9 votes

When to use `他的太太` and when `他太太`?

I've read the two different sentences, on which the one uses 他的太太 and the other uses 他太太. However, how can I tell the difference between the two? For example, in the following sentence: 现在他想他的太太。 ...

mandarin word  
asked by Gardecolo 3 votes
answered by Drunken Master 5 votes

Can you answer these?

In novels, what would be a good english translation for "師祖"?

師祖 As in heads of martial schools, or masters of martial schools. I suppose "founder" can do, but it doesn't sound right. "Elders" is taken by another word, and "master" only seems to work for a ...

translation word-choice  
asked by john2546 2 votes

Is there a word in Chinese?

Is there a word which is used to describe the situation when demand for some goods are so high that sellers cannot satisfy it. It usually leads to rapid growth of prices and crowds in shops, even up ...

word-choice vocabulary  
asked by kinson zhao 1 vote
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