(As I very recently learned)
The standard pronunciation for
垃圾 is lājī in the PRC and lèsè in Taiwan
An obvious question to ask is Why? Although I could not find an authoritative source, I have seen a number of claims that are very similar to each other. I'll refer to the talk page for 垃圾 on Wikipedia:
标准普通话是读laji，以前的国语是读lese，因为垃圾本来是在方言中首先使用的，所以现在南方各地的方言里还是保留着当时的发音，后来普通话吸收了这个词，但是读音根据形声字的一般发音规则作了改变，所以读音改为laji，而台湾依然保留了lese的读音。--3dball 21:01 2006年1月13日 (UTC)
垃圾一词在宋朝就有, 见吴自牧的梦梁录. 本为lese, 是共产党有边读边念错变成laji --Bobbybuilder 2010年12月6日 (一) 18:36 (UTC)
An translation I've taken a few liberties with:
A: The reason that [on the mainland] it is read
laji but [in Taiwan] it is read as
lese is that the word was originally from a dialect. The word was borrowed into Mandarin, but the standard pronunciation eventually become
laji based on a (mis)interpretation of the characters' phonetic components.
B: The characters do show up in Song dynasty texts (e.g., ...), but it was the CCP who mispronounced it.
Other important evidence:
- The wiktionary page shows pronunciations in many dialects. If the characters are cognate, it's always an "s" for the second one.
- The characters don't show up in Song dynasty
广韵 book of pronunciations (e.g., probably new characters), although they do show up in other Song dynasty texts.
- The word was written with different characters in different texts; the standard was established rather late.
laji did not show up as the dictionary standard until PRC times.
- In Cantonese, it's
- In Shanghainese:
[lɒ²²ɕi⁴⁴], Suzhou dialect: