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“Roughly speaking” in Chinese

The Chinese are famously pretty vague in giving answers. As most will readily admit, they prefer to offer estimations rather than specifics, especially if there may be consequences involved. Instead of getting frustrated, we straight-talking foreigners can benefit from adopting…

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Tackling the two opposite meanings of 让(ràng)

This article covers the character 让(ràng), a word with two virtually opposite meanings in Mandarin: to permit; to yield to make someone do/feel something; to have someone do something. Tackling these different definitions “in the wild” can be more than…

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10 ways to use点 (diǎn)

点 (diǎn) is one of those characters in Mandarin that pops-up all over the place. In the dictionary, there are multiple meanings given, including “dot”, “point”, a “small amount”. In terms of etymology, 点 is derived from the traditional character…

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