Tags: mandarin


Chinese : confusion with the use of 要,喜欢 (喜歡),想 and 会(會)

I'm confused on how to say "I want..." and "I like..." in Chinese. Sometimes, I see the translation as 要 and other times as 喜欢, and some other times as 想. How do I determine which word to use?

Also, I sometimes see 要 used as "going to..." or "will..." and other times it's 会. How do I determine which word to use?

By the way, I'm trying to learn simplified Chinese (Mandarin) and traditional Chinese at the same time, so could that be the source of confusion? Thanks!


(no subject)

Can Mandarin tones on vowels be reliably mapped to IPA equivalents, or are the phonotactics so intricate as to be impractical?

I find pinyin cumbersome for reading out loud, and I'd like your thoughts on whether this would be a viable solution.
Gentle Rose

Help with Chinese phonology?

Hey, everyone! Guess who's going to try and teach herself Chinese again?

I've found that one of my biggest struggles in learning Chinese - besides some syntactical stuff - is that sounds. I'm extremely un-music-oriented and practically tone deaf (mostly in the layman's definition, though differentiating pitch/notes/etc is often a struggle for me) which makes Chinese tones difficult for me to grasp, and piling the kind of ridiculous vowel combinations and consonant variations, and, well... *keels over*

So, any advice on how to get a better grasp on the sounds of Chinese? Particularly in learning how to hear tones in speech and learning how to grasp the often minute differences between consonants?

Please and thank you! :)

Do Mandarin and Cantonese lie on a "spectrum" of mutual intelligibility?

Here's the thing, a few years ago I caught a little bit of a conversation in a movie where two characters were speaking, I think, Cantonese (I mean I have no way to go back and verify or anything) but a third was speaking what seemed to me like perfectly intelligible if heavily southern-accented Mandarin. There were no subtitles or anything, so either the directors expected their audience to be bilingual, or the Mandarin-speaker was supposed to be intelligible to Cantonese-speaking viewers... ? As an aside, she was telling them how to artificially inseminate their pig or something, I dunno.

I've NEVER read anything about this being the case, but can a native Cantonese speaker understand a sufficiently southern dialect of Mandarin, without separately knowing Mandarin?

A part Mandarin, part Tibetan, part geography question

Background: to practice my very very limited Mandarin, lately I'm studying music by 萨顶顶 Sa Dingding, in this case the Mandarin version of the song 神香 Holy Incense (which it seems like the Tibetan version of the song was used in the movie 喜玛拉雅王子 Prince of the Himalayas?).

I don't really understand the lyrics, although I do have a better idea of what they're about than I did before, but I'm still left with one little puzzle that's stumping me. In the Chinese version, this line occurs twice: 林廓的人. Does anyone know what 林廓 is?

Based on the fact that when I google 林廓 or 林廓的人 I come up with a lot of results that seem to be connected to Tibet, and at the bottom of one Wikipedia article in Mandarin I saw 林廓 in a list of "landmarks of Lhasa" under the heading 城市与宫苑 (but it was only a stub so I couldn't get any information from Wikipedia about it), I'm pretty certain that 林廓 is some place/thing in Tibet and I need to translate it as whatever that place is. Also, in the Tibetan version of the song, a word in Tibetan that sounds roughly akin to 林廓 shows up in the exact same place (the same way 玛旁雍措 Lake Manosarovar and 冈仁波钦 Mount Kailash show up in the same place in both songs).

Here it is in Tibetan, if it helps (I assume the first two syllables are the word I want, but just in case I'm wrong, here's the whole line):

(the second time it occurs one sound is different, but the Mandarin is identical both times)

Thanks for any information you can give me!

Chinese Translation

Hello! I have an exchange between two modern characters in Chinese (any dialect/style/etc will do). The though of using GoogleTranslate just makes my skin itch, and the phrase I'm aiming to translate isn't one you'd find in a travel book.

1. "We were attacked by Falcom's magic whore." [(He's referring to a female character with minor regenerative powers, FYI.) Falcom is the proper name of a company. It would be nice to have that converted to script as well, but if not possible, not the end of the world.]

2. "Say again." [As in a polite request to repeat oneself. I found a translation on Yahoo!Answers, but I'm not sure if it's legit.]

Thanks so much in advance for all your help!

Mandarin translation help requested

Hello all! I'm working on a not-for-profit story in which I'm trying to accurately represent Chinese people, culture, and language. After having a number of Chinese betas and still being told that I'm "not getting it right" I was recommended to come here and see if anyone could help me. :)

I have some dialog that I need to have translated for my current chapter and am hoping that someone can help me turn this English into pinyin Mandarin. I will probably go back through the story as well to have the current translations I've used thus far vetted.

Many thanks in advance for your help! :)

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Was my forebear's Mandarin dictionary any good?

One of my ggg-grandfathers had a brother named George Carter Stent, who was born in Canterbury (Kent, England) about 1831. As part of my family history research, I'm writing up a narrative of his life.

Amongst a number of other works, in 1871 George published "A Chinese and English Vocabulary in the Pekinese Dialect" followed in 1874 by "A Chinese and English Pocket Dictionary".

I have read that George was the first person to produce a Mandarin/English dictionary, and that it was a significant work of scholarship. I get the slight hint that people were surprised at the quality of his work because he had no higher education, being “only” from a family who had a market garden and greengrocer’s shop. (It’s clear from his autobiography, though, that he considered his family a cut above that of some of the other soldiers he encountered on joining up).

So I have some questions for speakers and students of Mandarin:

1) Have you heard of George Carter Stent? Did he do a good job? That is, was his work thought accurate and useful at the time?

2) Is his work still relevant today? Is it still used and useful? (If you think it's rubbish, do feel free to say so, but it would be good if you could do it nicely!)

3) Was he truly the first? Was his work a genuine departure from whatever had gone before? Or was it more of a development, an evolution building on others’ work?

4) Anything else you can tell me about him!

(I am a regular commenter here under my fandom id, but I'm using my family history account for this because there are links out there between the Stent surname and my real name, which I don't want leading back to my fandom LJ).

Love song generator

Yes, the title sounds cheesy, but this is actually nice to play with. Bodo Wartke (warning: site may play a welcome song, which includes a spelled-out URL) is a German comedian of the "classical" type who plays the piano, sings, and does all kinds of additional things (such as a full-length theater version of King Oedipus in which he plays fourteen parts all alone with a cuddly toy sphinx as his only colleague).

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So, is your language included? How are the lyrics? As noted on the generator website, he takes submissions for additional languages.

(Tags include all the languages I identified in the video, may have mistakes with the ones he didn't name himself.)
general: pardon my french

"Please take off your shoes" in... well, lots of languages

Hey linguaphiles!

I have a housewarming party coming up. As my two housemates and I are all (psycho-)linguists, we'd like to have a sign saying "Please take off your shoes" in the native languages of our party guests. Don't tell me about the social protocol about such things, I'm just the one executing the task of getting the request translated. ;)

So, could you tell me how to say "Please take off your shoes" in:
(If applicable, the informal singular imperative seems most appropriate for our guests. Feel free to note if that sounds off to your native ears, though. :))

Thank you so much in advance!