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Posts: 2020

Peasant

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Q: Chinese speaking foreigners: how often do you use Chengyu / idioms in your daily speech?

8 years 9 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - China

 
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Except for "hitting the plane", not so much...

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8 years 9 weeks ago
 
Posts: 36

Governor

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just the "hungry to die", "tired to die" ones etc, and the heavy rain one

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8 years 9 weeks ago
 
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I don't often use them myself, but they're helpful to know when reading, watching TV, or listening to discussions at church.
BTW, JamesR, I don't think the expressions you're talking about are the "chengyu" he means. You can learn about chengyu here.

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7 years 51 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1933

Shifu

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I use idiomatic compounds in pretty much every Chinese sentence I say; basically impossible to avoid in Mandarin. However, idiom = 习语, something which Chinese people bizarrely refuse to accept, for some reason I cannot begin to fathom. Chengyu is, at best, a subset of idioms, although most of them are the Chinese equivalent of quoting Latin and fake Latin. "E Pluribus Unum" isn't really idiomatic in the same way "His joke left me in stitches" is.

Anyway, there are a few chengyu that come up time to time (does 手忙脚乱 count as one? 褒贬不一?), but mostly they're pretty specific. How often do I need to say 世外桃源 or whatever? It seems like a lot of them are specifically about spring, and I just can't force myself to care like the Chinese do.

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7 years 51 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1847

Emperor

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I am not sure exactly how often I use idiomatic expressions but I guess it is quite frequent because mandarin by its very nature is a relatively idiomatic language. Sometimes I use idioms in a kind of unknowing manner then get the "woooh, you even know idioms" reply from the Chinese party.

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7 years 25 weeks ago
 
Posts: 166

Governor

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I almost never use them.  Never can remember them and they never seem to fit into the conversation.  I don't know.  That's just me, it is cool if you can use them though.

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7 years 24 weeks ago
 
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