Tag Archives: concepts

Between Languages 017: How To Translate Chinese “Society” into English

Between Languages #17 Today we are dedicating a whole episode to discussing the translation of just one word: 社会 shèhuì, “society”. Like many modern concepts (economy, science, culture, etc.) the exact term did not exist natively in the Chinese language. As a result, it is used very differently in Chinese as compared to English, which […]

Random Word Trivia #11

Test your English and Chinese vocabulary level! See how many of these words you can guess. You take photos with a long stick. You make a promise with your shortest finger. You demand money for the person you just kidnapped. You look cute wearing a loose piece of clothing that covers your entire body. You […]

15 Chinese Words Which Have More Than One Meaning in English

I’ve always been curious about words in Chinese which can refer to two more different meanings in English. Here are 15 words I could think of that I have encountered before. If you can think of any more please let me know by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post!   1. 笑 […]

A Comprehensive Guide to Euphemisms in Chinese and English

I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of euphemisms in language – that is, words and expressions which allow you to express something without doing so in a direct way. In Chinese they are known as 婉辞, though in daily conversation it is more common to hear them described as 委婉语 or 委婉的说法. Here are […]

Common “Society Concepts” in Chinese

Recently I have been busy collecting common “society” concepts in Chinese that are difficult to translate due to social, cultural and political differences that exist between China and the West. Here’s the results of my research. 20 Common “Society Concepts” in Chinese 1. 社会保障 (lit. “social ensurance”): social security 2. 社会安全 (lit. “social safety”): national […]

Random Word Trivia #8

Now it’s time for another Random Word Trivia Quiz! Which of these can you guess the Chinese and English for? Answers are at the bottom! (Don’t peek until you can figure them out!) You have a big belly, possibly from too much eating or drinking (noun) You know someone who has a huge vocabulary and […]

A Comprehensive Guide to Western Transliterations in Chinese

Loan words from English and other Western languages in Mandarin have always interested me for a variety of reasons. However unlike Japanese, Chinese seems very cautious to import words directly into its lexicon via transliteration (that is, creating a new word by matching the sounds of the original one using Mandarin syllables). This post will […]