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新词 or 生词 ???


yifu2009

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Word 字 (one character) is the smallest language unit in Chinese vocabulary.

Two or more than two words 字 can be grouped together to bring new meanings.

These new meanings are what we call phrases 词

Hence, "new words" should be 生字.

生词 is actually a "new phrase"

Eg.

晕 = faint, is a "new word 生字"

晕船 = seasick, is a "new phrase 生词"

K.

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Word 字 (one character) is the smallest language unit in Chinese vocabulary.

Two or more than two words 字 can be grouped together to bring new meanings.

These new meanings are we call phrases 词

I don't know. The Chinese way of treating words seems nebulous. For instance, you would assert that any 成语 is a phrase, but by the virtue of it being 成语, its meaning only continues so long as the 成语 is not broken down. Linguistically, this is what a word is. I think this nebulous nature is reflected in the use of 词, and that the character itself only refers to sets of characters that have a meaning, whether they be phrases or words. In this sense, the meaning of 词 is contextual.

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Not trying to pedantic here but 成语 is actually a kind of 短语 (short sentence).

Pedantic, maybe, but certainly hair-splitting. It's still treated like English speakers treat words, and you're still asserting that the Chinese concept of a phrase is the same as the English one. The fact is, 词 can refer to any polysyllabic (that is, comprising multiple characters) composition, morpheme or phrase. This is different from the English notion of phrase, which is more dependent on spelling. Redneck is not a phrase, but Chinese would likely break down the idea into "red" and "neck," thus rendering it a phrase. Similarly, 飞机 is a 词, but it doesn't act like an English phrase at all. An English speaker calls it a word. Thus to invariably translate 词 as phrase is inaccurate.

The point is, 生词 doesn't refer solely to phrases. It refers to unfamiliar polysyllabic structures. 生字 doesn't refer solely to words. It refers to unfamiliar monosyllabic words, that is to say, characters. Perhaps the latter is used more often in Chinese vocab books for Chinese speakers, but in my experience, the more appropriate word to use is 生词.

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From Wikipedia

词组(或称“片語”),汉语指按照一定的语法规则组合起来的一组词;汉语对其他语言指由多个单词组成的句子构造单位,对应术语通常称为“短语”。

词组包括成语、短句(短语)。

You shouldn't mix up the concepts between English & Chinese phrases

Some words in English can be phrases in Chinese but no words in Chinese can be phrases in English. :mrgreen:

K.

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Some words in English can be phrases in Chinese but no words in Chinese can be phrases in English.

Exactly, and some Chinese phrases can be words in English. English words can be a phrase or word to Chinese. An English phrase can only be a phrase in Chinese. Furthermore, Chinese words can only correlate to English words. I understand the differences, and this is why I said that to translate the Chinese concept of a phrase or word directly to that of an English one doesn't work properly. This has been my point.

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