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 MillMaths » 2014-09-03, 17:03

Pangu wrote:麻辣醬 …

Image
So that’s what it’s called! I’ve had it lots of times but didn’t know what it was called.

Pangu wrote:Man I am salivating... :D
Same here! Gotta find a Chinese restautant in Glasgow in a moment (that’s where i am this evening). :yum:

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby linguoboy » 2014-09-08, 17:46

As long as we're talking food, yesterday we bought a package of 爽滑拉麵. It took me forever to look up 爽 (who would expect that 爻 was the radical and not 大?), but even having found it I feel no wiser. None of my resources gave a definition for the compound 爽滑. The small print on the package calls them "slippery noodles", which seems to translate only 滑.

So what does 爽滑 mean, if anything? And how do these noodles differ from ordinary 拉麵?

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Pangu » 2014-09-08, 19:12

linguoboy wrote:As long as we're talking food, yesterday we bought a package of 爽滑拉麵. It took me forever to look up 爽 (who would expect that 爻 was the radical and not 大?), but even having found it I feel no wiser.

Ha, good one, I wouldn't have been able to guess the radical for 爽.

BTW, many digital dictionaries now allow you to look up characters by "drawing" so you no longer have to figure out the radical first. You can also input Chinese by writing on all Android, iOS and Macs. I'm sure you can also do it on Windows I'm just not sure how.

linguoboy wrote:None of my resources gave a definition for the compound 爽滑. The small print on the package calls them "slippery noodles", which seems to translate only 滑.

So what does 爽滑 mean, if anything? And how do these noodles differ from ordinary 拉麵?

Good question, I would like to know too. A quick google search yielded no results.

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby linguoboy » 2014-09-08, 19:42

Pangu wrote:BTW, many digital dictionaries now allow you to look up characters by "drawing" so you no longer have to figure out the radical first. You can also input Chinese by writing on all Android, iOS and Macs. I'm sure you can also do it on Windows I'm just not sure how.

Yeah, my ex has an app for that on his iPhone. I'm not in the habit of doing that, though, so I tried all my own tricks first. (Zhongwen.com has a phylogenetic tree of characters which--whatever its historical accuracy--is very handy for finding odd characters based on ones similar in appearance. 大 led me right to 爽.)

Pangu wrote:
So what does 爽滑 mean, if anything? And how do these noodles differ from ordinary 拉麵?

Good question, I would like to know too. A quick google search yielded no results.

Given the water radical in the second character, I thought initially I was dealing with a place name. But there doesn't seem to be a village anywhere named 爽滑. The noodles are manufactured in Sichuan, so perhaps we're dealing with a dialect term?
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Yasna » 2014-09-08, 20:32

I would guess that the meaning of 爽 that is at work here is "轻松,利落". So 爽滑 would be something along the lines of "effortlessly, gently sliding [into your mouth]".
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby OldBoring » 2014-09-11, 13:18


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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Itikar » 2014-09-11, 13:47

Is 她 always compulsory to use when referring to a female in modern Mandarin?
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Pangu » 2014-09-11, 14:21

Itikar wrote:Is 她 always compulsory to use when referring to a female in modern Mandarin?

AFAIK 她 and 妳 are not used in Simplified Chinese, only Traditional Chinese. But yes, those should be used when referring to a female.

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Itikar » 2014-09-11, 14:26

My course said that 她 is there in simplified too. :)

The fact is that I've read on Wikipedia that these characters aren't very traditional, since they were used initially in translations of foreign texts.
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Pangu » 2014-09-11, 21:05

Itikar wrote:The fact is that I've read on Wikipedia that these characters aren't very traditional, since they were used initially in translations of foreign texts.

Yes they are not. Historically there is only one form of pronounce for both genders. For better or worse, it wasn't until contact with the West in the 19th century did 妳 and 她 appear.

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Itikar » 2014-09-12, 11:25

Anyway thanks for your advice Pangu. 謝謝你! :D
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby OldBoring » 2014-09-12, 12:13

Pangu doesn't remember the discussion we had here. :wink:
So Simplified Chinese has 她 but no 妳.

In the variety of Traditional Chinese used in Hong Kong (don't know if it's the same in Taiwan) the 3rd person pronouns are even more complicated...

他 = he
她 = she
它 = it (objects)
祂 = He (God, biblical usage)
牠 = it (animals)

Pangu, I thought those forms originated in the May Fourth Movement. Or maybe their usage began earlier than that, and was standardized at the May Fourth Movement?

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Itikar » 2014-09-12, 12:40

Ah, interesting. Grazie anch'a te France. :)
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Linguist » 2014-10-20, 17:58

Ni hao guys!

Don’t blame me. I’m way tooooo lazy to use google or the search engine of this forum. I just wonder if it’s possible to learn to speak Chinese using pinyin characters only? I’m interested in Chinese, but I really don’t feel like memorizing all of those quadrillions of characters... :blush:
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby linguoboy » 2014-10-20, 18:13

Not only that, it's possible to learn it without using Pinyin either. Millions of Chinese have done just that. (Officially, the rate of adult illiteracy is 4.9% in a population of 1357 million people.)
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Pangu » 2014-10-20, 19:45

Linguist wrote:I just wonder if it’s possible to learn to speak Chinese using pinyin characters only?

The short answer is "yes".

However, the long answer is while you may be able to speak Chinese (or rather Mandarin), but you won't be able to read pretty much anything in Chinese as nearly everything is printed in Hanzi. Pinyin's two main purposes are to teach children and foreigners to learn to pronounce Mandarin and to provide a standard romanization of the language. Also because Hanzi is so intertwined with the Chinese language, your understanding of the language will be extremely limited. So if you only plan to learn Pinyin, you will be quite limited in your studying. It's definitely a good idea if you just want to learn a few sentences or have very basic conversation.

Linguist wrote:I’m interested in Chinese, but I really don’t feel like memorizing all of those quadrillions of characters... :blush:

I know you're just exaggerating but the number of characters are only in the thousands, or tens of thousands if you include archaic, specialized and uncommon characters. Depending on who you ask, the general consensus is you only need to know anywhere from 1,500-3,000 characters (also depends on whether you're learning Simplified or Traditional form) to be more or less literate. Lastly, not every single character is "unique". What that means is once you learn enough characters, maybe 100 or so, you'll start to see patterns, as they are made up of limited components, and characters become much easier to memorize.

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Lauren » 2014-10-24, 9:00

I'm not sure if this is the best thread, but until I start learning Cantonese seriously (if I do) I don't want to make my own thread yet and potentially clutter the forum with a dead thread.

I recorded myself saying the numbers in order of the "9" tones. I've never studied a tonal language before, so I'm still learning how to do contour tones in languages in general.

Here is a link to the recording:
https://soundcloud.com/lauren-heiss/cantonese-tones

Could anyone give me feedback on my tones and pronunciation? I might've had a bit of trouble with the non-aspirated plosives and the short 'a', and in regards to tones I think I started "ling4" too high. Otherwise I think I didn't do too horrible. :D

Thanks for any input!

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby OldBoring » 2014-10-24, 15:11

Lowena wrote:https://soundcloud.com/lauren-heiss/cantonese-tones

Could anyone give me feedback on my tones and pronunciation? I might've had a bit of trouble with the non-aspirated plosives and the short 'a', and in regards to tones I think I started "ling4" too high. Otherwise I think I didn't do too horrible. :D

I'm happy that you are going to learn Cantonese. it's my next language on my TAC and I'm gonna learn it soon, so maybe we'll learn it together.

I'm sorry but your links doesn't work for me. It says "Sorry! We can't find that track.Did you try to access a private track, but were not logged in? Maybe the track has been removed.".

I'm surprised you can't pronounce the non-aspirated plosives. :shock: Aren't there in Basque and other languages you've studied in the past? (maybe they weren't distinctives with the aspirated one?)
You can immagine the non-apirated plosives as following "s", as in spot, stop, score. In these positions te stops are unaspirated in English.

I think the closest English sound to the short 'a' is but.

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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Lauren » 2014-10-24, 17:33

Crap! Sorry. I made it private to see if I could still share it with the link, but that wasn't the case and I forgot to change it back. It should work now!

I know how to do the non-aspirated plosives, but sometimes with pronouncing a new language I have to overcome a subconscious desire to pronounce sounds like they are in English or another language, or something... :P So I can, I just need to get used to it in Cantonese. Same with the 'a' sound; I know it from '-er' in German, but have to get used to using it in place of /a/ in Cantonese.
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Re: Questions about Chinese

Postby Lauren » 2014-10-28, 19:24

No one? :(
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