Chinese mistakes that can be avoided if you know English

I recently realized some Chinese mistakes locals tend to make can easily be avoided if they are translated into English. For instance, 作 vs. 做. So many Taiwanese get them mixed up. But if they knew 做 is the verb to do or make, then they should get it right. Another one is 位子 vs. 位置. If they knew the former is “seat” and the latter is “position,” then they should be able to avoid saying something like 我的位置在哪一桌?

I don’t get it.

Are you saying some Taiwanese people can’t speak Chinese properly?

It’s a bit early to have been on the sauce, innit? :slight_smile:


Can’t write properly. They use the wrong zuo all the time.

The meanings of 作 and 做 are overlapping. How does knowing corresponding English help it?


做 is mostly to do or make something, like 做飯(make rice), but 作 doesn’t mean to make or do, like 作弊 (to cheat), you’re not making or creating anything. But you’ll see people write 做弊

Seems like an arrogant attitude to take but whatever.

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iiuc, 作 does mean to make or do.
make: 作文 make/create writing, 作曲 make/create music
do: 作事 do something, 作弊 do cheating

Nothing to do with arrogance. I just find that English can help me distinguish the difference. If you can get it right without relying on English, more power to ya.

Good examples. But 作 seems to be a more figurative “do” whereas 做 is more tangible. At least that’s what helps me to write the correct character. How do you know when to use which other than memorizing them?

my phrasing is 做 is more physical thing, and 作 is more imaginable/thinking thing, though I think the two letters are interchangeable for many words.

And then there’s the word 做作 :expressionless:

I think there is no way other than remembering to distinguish 作做 and 做作.

When I was in Beijing, the program I was in constantly harped on us about the proper use of 的/得/地。I think we were tested on it at least twice a week for the entire semester.

I finally mastered that 地 is used to make an adverb, so it’s literally “-ly”. Except NO ONE uses 地 for adverbs here. They use 的. So my students and co-workers will all do an “ah. oh. OK”. When I “properly” (based on my constant drilling of the “correct" usage) write a word. But the reality is that they don’t know/care/it doesn’t matter anymore because language is constantly evolving and the Taiwanese Chinese had evolved as such.

TLDR: it doesn’t matter.


Public elementary schools stopped teaching 地’s adverb usage about 10 years ago. Everything is 的 now. So instead of 慢慢地, people now write 慢慢的, and it’s become standard. Just goes to show how Chinese has been bastardized here. Quite a shame.


Easy. My Chinese typing software uses the correct one based on the two-character combination it appears in.

I disagree.

With anything in particular? :slight_smile:


Thing is you get so dependent on these smart softwares that when the time comes for you to actually put pen on paper, you draw a blank.

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The minute I saw iphones could translate romanji into Chinese characters, I put the pen down for good.


Hopefully, this time will never come… :open_mouth:

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