Questions about Chinese / 关于中文的问题 / 關於中文的問題

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby linguoboy » 2015-01-03, 15:25

Youngfun wrote:Yea, I'm always reluctant to explain 们 as the plural, because for example you don't say 两个孩子们 for "two kids".

To be fair, though, even languages with grammaticalised plurals often use an unmarked form after numbers, e.g. Hungarian két gyerek "two children" (not *két gyerekek). It's more evident from expressions like "五岁或未满五岁的孩子免费入场", since obviously it's not just one child under 5 wholl be allowed in without paying.

Youngfun wrote:More food for though about the etymology of 们:http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2267572&p=11422635#post11422635

That stuff about a "oblique Altaic ending" is nonsense. The polite forms are transparently derived from contraction of -men, e.g. tāmen > tām [still found in some dialects] > tān. And there's nothing "ungrammatical" about "double plurals". You find these frequently in other languages. In fact, children is one such example.
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Pangu » 2015-01-03, 17:14

linguoboy wrote:To be fair, though, even languages with grammaticalised plurals often use an unmarked form after numbers, e.g. Hungarian két gyerek "two children" (not *két gyerekek). It's more evident from expressions like "五岁或未满五岁的孩子免费入场", since obviously it's not just one child under 5 wholl be allowed in without paying.

That's only "incorrect" if you use the English grammatical standard, something you were against a few posts ago.

In the case of the Chinese example, it means moe like "ANY child under 5 will be free".

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby linguoboy » 2015-01-04, 4:26

Pangu wrote:
linguoboy wrote:To be fair, though, even languages with grammaticalised plurals often use an unmarked form after numbers, e.g. Hungarian két gyerek "two children" (not *két gyerekek). It's more evident from expressions like "五岁或未满五岁的孩子免费入场", since obviously it's not just one child under 5 wholl be allowed in without paying.

That's only "incorrect" if you use the English grammatical standard, something you were against a few posts ago.

In the case of the Chinese example, it means moe like "ANY child under 5 will be free".

My question for you is: Would you accept 孩子们 here and, if so, would it alter the meaning of the sentence?
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Pangu » 2015-01-04, 5:15

linguoboy wrote:
Pangu wrote:
linguoboy wrote:To be fair, though, even languages with grammaticalised plurals often use an unmarked form after numbers, e.g. Hungarian két gyerek "two children" (not *két gyerekek). It's more evident from expressions like "五岁或未满五岁的孩子免费入场", since obviously it's not just one child under 5 wholl be allowed in without paying.

That's only "incorrect" if you use the English grammatical standard, something you were against a few posts ago.

In the case of the Chinese example, it means moe like "ANY child under 5 will be free".

My question for you is: Would you accept 孩子们 here and, if so, would it alter the meaning of the sentence?

Not for a sign (formal), but if it was part of a conversation (colloquial), yes, but not necessary.

Example: 這裡五歲和以下的孩子們可以免費入場。

But the point is, in Chinese, it's a different concept than say in English. In the example YOU gave, it was never meant as "CHILDREN" (plural), but simply "ANY CHILD" or "A CHILD (that is)".

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Dr. House » 2015-01-04, 21:00

Thank you. And what is the difference between 工作 and 上班?

This time I should probably use it within some context.

她不在家她在工作。vs 她不在家她在上班。

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Pangu » 2015-01-04, 22:12

Dr. House wrote:Thank you. And what is the difference between 工作 and 上班?

This time I should probably use it within some context.

她不在家她在工作。vs 她不在家她在上班。

Both can be roughly translated as the verb "work". However, 工作 generally implies it's more active and perhaps even more laborious. 上班 generally implies one is in his or her "shift" and may not be constantly actively doing something. It also implies some kind of employment. If I were to "work" in the backyard, like mowing the lawn, trimming trees... etc. I would only use 工作. They usually can be used interchangeably though.

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby ling » 2015-01-08, 13:07

Dr. House wrote:Thank you. And what is the difference between 工作 and 上班?

This time I should probably use it within some context.

她不在家她在工作。vs 她不在家她在上班。

上班 implies going to or being at one's regular place of work and working.

工作 is just plain old work.
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Linguist » 2015-02-15, 20:48

Can anyone translate this sentnce? Some guy sent it to me, I’m afraid it’s an insult :|

我是中国人汪杈嗯。
Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in English y termino en español.

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Babelfish » 2015-02-20, 22:21

Doesn't seem so, since the first five characters translate into "I am a Chinese person". The last three I couldn't make sense of, unless they're that person's name (Cha En Wang).
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מן המקום בו אנו צודקים לא יפרחו לעולם פרחים באביב (יהודה עמיחי)
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby OldBoring » 2015-02-21, 6:53

Yea, it' a badly written sentence. I'm not sure if he means "I am Chinese, Wang Chaen" or "I am Chinese and my name is Wang Chaen".

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Wolf to the Bees » 2015-04-26, 11:54

我有一个问题,如果是笨的,对不起。
我想要说:“I speak a little/some Chinese.”
我应该说“我会说一点儿的中文”,“我会说中文说得一点儿”还是别的句话?

谢谢您们。


I have a question, sorry if it's stupid.

I want to say: "I speak a little/some Chinese."
Would I say "我会说一点儿的中文", "我会说中文说得一点儿" or something else?

Thank you!

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Pangu » 2015-04-26, 14:21

Wolf to the Bees wrote:我有一个问题,如果是笨的,对不起。
我想要说:“I speak a little/some Chinese.”
我应该说“我会说一点儿的中文”,“我会说中文说得一点儿”还是别的句话?

谢谢您们。


I have a question, sorry if it's stupid.

I want to say: "I speak a little/some Chinese."
Would I say "我会说一点儿的中文", "我会说中文说得一点儿" or something else?

Thank you!

It's better to say 我只會說一點中文 "I can only speak a little Chinese"

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Wolf to the Bees » 2015-04-27, 6:52

Pangu wrote:It's better to say 我只會說一點中文 "I can only speak a little Chinese"


谢谢您!

Thank you! That one was bugging me for a while.

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Linguist » 2015-04-27, 14:38

Hey guys!

I recently discovered the Zhuyin writing system and I wonder if I need to learn how to read it as an absolute beginner. Is it correct, that it’s quite useless, if I don’t want to live in Taiwan or read those Taiwanese chindren’s books? I’ve never seen this script in a beginner’s Chinese textbook, so I think I’m fine with Pinyin and Hanzı, but it looks very interesting tough!
Last edited by Linguist on 2015-04-27, 20:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby linguoboy » 2015-04-27, 14:45

Linguist wrote:I recently discovered the Zhuyin writing system and I wonder if I need to learn how to read it as an absolute beginner. Is it correct, that it’s quite useless, if I don’t want to live in Taiwan or those Taiwanese read chindren’s books? I’ve never seen this script in a beginner’s Chinese textbook, so I think I’m fine with Pinyin and Hanzı, but it looks very interesting tough!

My textbook used it, but it was published in Taiwan. If you don't plan to use Taiwanese materials (or an IME based on Bopomofo, like the one I have), then there is no reason to learn it.

A friend of mine who majored in Chinese is fond of it because, unlike Pinyin or other systems based on the Latin alphabet, it can be written and read and as easily top-to-bottom as left-to-right. This makes it particularly useful for adding rubi text to older works in Chinese, which may use either (or both) of these directions.

ETA: Some interesting opinions on the relative utility of Zhùyīn fúhào/Bopomofo here: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=18808.
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Linguist » 2015-05-09, 17:24

Very interesting :)

Sorry if this question is a bit stupid, but what exactly is the difference between 做饭 and 烹调? Can these words always be used in the same way?
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Pangu » 2015-05-09, 19:52

Linguist wrote:Very interesting :)

Sorry if this question is a bit stupid, but what exactly is the difference between 做饭 and 烹调? Can these words always be used in the same way?

做飯 is more casual, informal, 烹調 is more formal. So if you say something like 今晚我在家烹調 it would make you sound very pretentious. But if you participate in a cooking class, it would be called 烹調課 and not 做飯課, the latter sounds like a class you shouldn't pay money for. Lastly, if someone is a "master chef", you can call him or her 烹調大師 but not 做飯大師.

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby OldBoring » 2015-05-10, 7:27

I think over here 烹饪 is more common than 烹调.
If I were talking about a cooking class, in an informal conversation with friends, I would say 我在学做饭 or 我参加了一个学做饭的课, though...

烹调大师 is also not common. I would say 厨师。

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Pangu » 2015-05-10, 13:45

Youngfun wrote:烹调大师 is also not common. I would say 厨师。

Those are two very different terms. 廚師 simply means chef, where as 烹調大師 means master chef as I stated in my previous post.

But in any case, one only needs to simply google both 烹調 and 做飯 and there should be plenty of examples on both are used.

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby OldBoring » 2015-05-11, 2:59

OK, I'm sorry, you're right.
Now I wonder if there's any difference between 高级厨师 and 烹调大师。

I've looked for it on Baidu (mainly websites from the Mainland) and again it seems that 烹饪大师 is usually used here instead of 烹调大师.

_______________

About the Zhuyin Fuhao, I recognize that there could be some utility in it.
It uses fewer symbols to represent the same sound. Here at the college, when I meet a character in my book that I can't read and I write the pinyin above or on the side, sometimes I have not enough space, cause the pinyin for a character often occupies more space than the character itself.
While my Taiwanese classmates have much tidier books with zhuyin fuhao that occupied roughly the same space as the characters, so it's easier to transcribe the pronunciation between the lines of printed text.

Another advantage (in the 90s) is that with zhuyin fuhao you can type a character with 2-3 keys (+1 for the tone), while with pinyin you can type as many as 6 keys (e.g. chuang).
But nowadays, the pinyin IMEs are far superior cause they are smarter, they can automatically detect the characters according to the compounds and the sentence.
While AFAIK zhuyin IMEs are still the primitive kind of "type the initial, the final, the tone and then select the character". Correct me if "smart" zhuyin IMEs do exist.

According to other people, zhuyin fuhao are aestetically nicer when you mix them with the hanzi, because they have the same "imaginary square" format. But I think nowadays people are already accustomed to see Latin script mixed with hanzi.
But they do look better in vertical texts, IMHO.


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