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Colloquial Cantonese phrases often differ significantly from Mandarin, so I would be nervous to use 你怎么样 pronounced in Cantonese.

Is there a greeting of identical (or nearly identical) meaning in Cantonese (ie, for closer acquaintances, implying "how are ya?" or "what's up?")?

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This question is likely too simple for someone who has a basic understanding of Cantonese and is something you would likely already know if you were serious about learning it. This sounds like a 'how do u say hi in Chinese' type question when u are not really serious about learning" –  xiaohouzi79 Dec 18 '11 at 10:31
Fair point and worthy of a down vote. I was looking for a a comment on the subtlety implied in a casual "what's up?" but I agree with your assessment. –  tbaums Dec 18 '11 at 12:49
I don't think people would often say "你怎么样?" in Mandarin. It's not very clear what you're asking about and there's a connotation of "is there something wrong with you". I guess the tone of how you say it could clarify the connotation. I think people usually add some more context like "你最近怎么样?". –  user102008 Feb 22 at 4:55

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Normally we use the verb "点"

你点啊? Nei5 dim2 aa3? leih dim a? English: What's up? (less formal)

你点样啊? Nei5 dim2 jeung5 aa3? leih dim yeung a? English: How are you doing? (more formal)

你近排点啊? Nei5 gan6 paai4 dim2 aa3? leih gan pai dim a? English: How have you been doing?

你呢排点啊? Nei5 ni1 paai4 dim2 aa3? leih li pai dim a? English: How've you been lately?

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Can you translate these or note the differences between them in the tone they convey colloquially? –  tbaums Dec 19 '11 at 2:23
The first would be more casual like "How's it going?" while the second is a little more formal like "How are you doing?". The last two are essentially the same as far as my experience goes - "How have you been?" or "How have you been lately?". –  Zannjaminderson Dec 20 '11 at 22:45
It is curious how you use "l" in place of "n" in "nei" and "ni", @Sammi. Is that a matter of dialect or accent? –  MickG Feb 21 at 11:58
Perhaps the alternate romanization is now best removed… –  MickG Feb 21 at 12:03

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