What's the measure word of 腰 (yāo, waist)?
Usually either nciku or CC-CEDICT can give me the measure word, but not always. I've ordered a measure word dictionary, but it hasn't arrived yet. Can anyone here give me an answer?
One might ask "Why the hell do you need a measure word for waists? How often do you need to count waists?" My approach here is to learn one or several measure words for every noun I learn. I'm convinced the only way to get this stuff right is to get into the Chinese way of thinking, and for that I need as many examples of measure words as I can learn. In fact, that slightly unorthodox ones might be good clues.
Probably the answer is just "Uh, I'd use gè", but maybe not? So what measure word goes with 腰?
simonpetterssonOctober 21, 2009, 03:23 AM
So far? Something like five. I've been doing this for two days.
Did you see my discussion on how to learn them? I add them to the vocabulary with included measure words, so every time I get a noun into the vocab, I make it like "一纸发票 / yi1 zhi1 fa1piao4 / an invoice" instead of just "发票 / fa1piao4 / invoice".
I'll have to wait a while before I can gauge the merits of the system, but it does work for French and learning the gender of nouns.
bodaweiOctober 21, 2009, 03:52 AM
If you are up to five nouns and their measure words, and you are searching for the MW for 'waist', and you are interested in fluency, maybe you should prioritise? You can always rely on the default 个; native Chinese speakers use it a lot. Many MWs are esoteric or used rarely.
Another thought - rather than a MW dictionary - or in addition - you might consider a 'culture' dictionary. These function rather like an encyclopaedia, with nouns (and often their MWs) grouped in subject areas.
No, I don't know the MW for waist (unless it is 个); I would use 个 and be understood.
Good luck, mate.
simonpetterssonOctober 21, 2009, 03:59 AM
No, I'm up to five measure words, not five nouns. Here's the thing about prioritizing: That means I learn the word now, in isolation, and then a year down the line try to associate it with a measure word (or two or three). I'd just rather learn the whole chunk now. I no longer want to learn nouns in isolation; I want to learn them all coupled with at least one measure word.
Maybe I'm sticking too strictly to my method, but I'll just suffer the consequences. :) What I'm trying to learn is the noun and the measure word is just tacked on there as a freebie, so to speak.
Anyway, thanks for the suggestion on the culture dictionary. Sounds interesting. I've already ordered the measure word dict, though, and I'm on a tight budget, so I won't be getting one soon, I think.
changyeOctober 21, 2009, 04:01 AM
Some measure words, such as 一口猪 and 一条蛇, are very graphic, and using measure words properly can make your Chinese sound "vivid" (生动) and "real" (地道). In this sense, always using "个", the most versatile measure word, is not so recommendable, although easier said than done even for native guys.
I happen to have a small measure words dictionary published in the PRC, and it contains only 600measure words . Unfortunately enough, the dictionary doesn't tell you what measure word should be used for 腰, and fortunately enough, probably I won't need it for the rest of my life, hehe.
pretzellogicOctober 21, 2009, 03:02 AM
interesting idea. i'm curious to know how many measure words you've gotten up to so far, and if it's helped you "get into the Chinese way of thinking" as you hoped.
pretzellogicOctober 21, 2009, 06:32 AM
FWIW, I do think the idea of "yī zhī fāpiào" when you write down the entire noun is a good idea. Anything that keeps that noun/word from floating off into space is a good idea.
I'm depending on writing out the sentences to do something similar, but my tactic has been to focus on the sentence rather than the noun (and corresponding measure word). Admittedly, i'm really weak on measure words, and my approach isn't going to strengthen my measure word knowledge.
Let me know what the measure word for Universe is. As in "the universe is around 13.7 billion years old". Its probably like French, where some people have to have meetings to decide if the Euro is going to be a boy or a girl. I understand it's a boy (Le Euro).