The Chinese dialect spoken in and around Guangzhou city (formerly Canton), and central and western Guangdong province.

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The phrase “Brush Stroke Order”

This is my first post here and I apologise if this isn't quite the right forum for such a question - although I'm hopeful that it is. I'll be happy to edit and refine my question if necessary, or ...
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67 views

Spoken Cantonese | using '緊', and difference between continuous and progressive aspects

I'm told that 緊 serves the general purpose of '-ing' (according to HK native speaker, who also uses '梗' to represent this idea in text). This is supported by what I've found online, except with a ...
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114 views

“to slice or cut (a finger)” in Traditional Chinese / Spoken Cantonese?

Haven't managed to find a usage that speaks specifically to cut or slice open a body part. Also seeing contradictions (or perhaps information gaps) between CantoDict and Pleco. Some notes: ...
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142 views

Is the Cantonese diminutive (粒) the same as the Mandarin (子)?

Is the Cantonese diminutive (粒) as in 鸡粒炒饭 the same as the Mandarin (子)? Is that the right character to use? UPDATE: Sorry for the mistake, I really did mean 粒, not 里.
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98 views

Cantonese and Thai similarities

Is there a similarity between Cantonese and Thai? I've noticed that some words such as the word for chicken is the same. Thanks.
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59 views

Are there any online dictionaries that supply IPA transcriptions for Cantonese?

I know little about Cantonese (for now), but please advise me if I erred in conjecturing that IPA is more precise and helpful than Yale or Jyutping Romanisations.
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300 views

Why don't Cantonese speakers write their own language?

For me the most difficult thing about learning Cantonese has been that there are very few learning materials for foreigners (and I assume even for Chinese people). And even the materials that exist ...
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219 views

How to pronounce 廿卅卌 in Chinese?

I originally just wanted to ask something about 廿 (20). But as I searched on the internet I found 卅(30) and 卌(40) as well, and I have to admit that I didn't know these two. I think 廿 is pronounced as ...
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97 views

Beginner learning Cantonese: Start with reading/writing or with speaking?

I'm starting to learn Cantonese and I'm not sure where to start. Is it best to start with learning to write/read or learning to speak?
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119 views

What's the correct term for ping (connection latency) in Standard Chinese/Cantonese?

How would you say something like "I'm lagging again, my ping is spiking to 500(ms)" in Putonghua and Cantonese (in the context of online games)? I've heard someone say "網又卡了!" before, but I'm not ...
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128 views

In Cantonese, what is a less “childish” way to call one's own parents?

I know the standard ways of calling one's parents—"媽媽/母親" or "爸爸/父親", mother and father respectively, the former more familiar and the latter more formal; or the more familiar/childish way—"媽咪" or "爹哋"...
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357 views

b and p, d and t, k and g etc. in English and Cantonese

Many words in Cantonese which I think should be pronounced as b, d, g, are translated by the British to p, t, k, respectively. For example, a place in Hong Kong called 大埔 and is pronounced as Dai Bo ...
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86 views

Cantonese 咁: adverb suffix?

I know 咁 means "so", as in "so big" = "gam daai". However, I just found this sentence: 我仲未失望咁係度等 Ngo5 zung6-mei6 sat1-mong6 gam3 hai6 dou6 dang2 In which I think it ought to be interpreted ...
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101 views

In which ways can I express “to make s.o. jump” ?

I would like to know if there are different ways in Mandarin or Cantonese to express the causative, examplified by the help of the sentence "to make s.o. jump".
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148 views

Do Cantonese 畀 and Mandarin 被 have any historical connection?

畀 and 被's modern pronunciations are quite similar. Although 畀 can mean “give” like the Mandarin 给 it also can work like 被: 佢畀人睇見 他被人家看見 Do Cantonese 畀 and Mandarin 被 have any historical ...
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237 views

Can people carry on a conversation with each side speaking a different form of Chinese, like in some movies?

For example, in the movie Ip Man, the "northerner" martial arts fighter who comes to Foshan to challenge the local martial arts fighters always talks in Mandarin, while everybody he talks to (the ...
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190 views

Hong Kong Cantonese: Derogatory Terms For Mainlanders

What derogatory terms are there for mainlanders in Hong Kong Cantonese? I know there are a lot of terms that start with 北 but I'm not sure of specific ones.
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104 views

Asterisks in Jyutping Cantonese

I have come across a couple of Cantonese words transliterated in Jyutping which had * in the tone number. For example, on CantoDict, the word 广东话 is transliterated as gwong2-dung1-waa6*2. What does ...
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159 views

Does Cantonese have a falling tone?

In all Cantonese romanization systems I could find, tone 4 is labelled the falling tone. However according to http://www.freehongkong.net/cantonese-pronunciation-cantonese-tones/ Cantonese does not ...
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104 views

Learning written forms of dialects

I've looked for this question on the site but can't seem to find it. I'm interested in learning Chinese, well, Cantonese specifically, and I want to focus on both the written and spoken components. ...
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1answer
77 views

Alternative notations for Cantonese tones

What is the list of diacritics used to denote the seven Cantonese tones (in pinyin or similar notation)? Is there a standard (or even, more common) convention?
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66 views

Cantonese Pronunciation of 户珥 (Hur)

Hur (Ex. 17:12) in the Bible is translated as 户珥. Does anybody know for sure how to pronounce 户珥 in Cantonese? 珥 has two variants (Jyutping) nei6 餌, 鈮, 膩 and ji6 二, 樲, 潩 I just wonder ...
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425 views

When did the usage of “N” to indicate some unspecified quantity come up?

I have heard a number of Cantonese speakers use N (pronounced like the English letter) to designate some sort of unspecified quantity, for instance: 我 N 年前去过。(Approximately "I went there some ...
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126 views

Translation verification for a notice

Hello everyone I hope you can help me with a translation. I am looking for a Cantonese teacher (or speaker for that matter) in my area and I want to post a notice. I have asked and received a ...
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362 views

“Thank you” in Tibetan, Cantonese, and Mandarin

I have observed, from subtitled movies, that there seems to be an expression [tɔdʒe] in Cantonese meaning, approximately, "thank you". In Standard Lhasa Tibetan as represented by Nawang Nornang, the ...
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301 views

How is non-standard Cantonese spoken by some mainland Chinese speakers different from “standard” pronunciation?

As someone who's more or less a native Cantonese speaker, I've noticed that some speakers from mainland China (from Cantonese speaking areas) sound "weird", in that I could clearly notice a difference ...
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909 views

The slang meaning of “Seven/七” in Cantonese

I have heard a few Hongkongers saying seven in a similar, likely identical, context. I assume they are addressing a person because when they say it, they make the L hand gesture. I could be wrong, but ...
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150 views

Characters for Taiwanese

As far as I know, Cantonese has its associated characters. But as I searched for Taiwanese characters, I only find the pinyin system to indicate the pronunciation of words, such as: 遮雨 jia-hōo/lia-...
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967 views

Subway door announcement mystery

I think probably every metro system around the world has to have an audio announcement warning passengers to stay away from the train's doors as they're closing. Here in New York, a pre-recorded voice ...
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391 views

What are the most popular new year greetings in Cantonese?

Lots of sites highlight the most popular new year greetings in Mandarin. What are the most popular ones for Cantonese, ideally categorized by usage (e.g., family, business, health, kids, parents, ...
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176 views

腦力 the way to say “mental strength” in Cantonese?

Someone offered two options for saying "mental strength" in Cantonese, but neither seems quite right. Here were the two options suggested: 1) 腦力 2) 精神腦 What's the right way to say "mental strength"?...
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466 views

How to say “Don't count on me” in Cantonese?

The context: A: Want to get lunch on Saturday? B: Don't count on me. My game may last until 1 PM. Several suggestions were offered for how to say, "Don't count on me" in Cantonese, but none seemed ...
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113 views

Why the change in tones of the words in some phrases?

I am a native Cantonese speaker. I found that we have to change the tones of some words, when used in particular phrases. But I don't know why. It seems that it doesn't follow any "rules of changing ...
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129 views

Difference between alveolars and alveolo-palatals in Cantonese

I would like to understand the difference in distribution between the alveolar consonants s, ts, tsʰ and the alveolo-palatal consonants ɕ, tɕ, tɕʰ in Cantonese. One source told me that the ...
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362 views

How Cantonese and Mandarin writing can be identical

Forgive any ignorance on my part - I am a beginner, studying Mandarin. If "Apple" in Mandarin is "苹果" (píngguǒ), then I guess in Cantonese it is also "苹果", though no doubt pronounced completely ...
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201 views

Do Southern Chinese speakers have any greater propensity towards using 啦 than Northern Chinese speakers?

I'll provide some context that leads me to suspect this. I am the American born son of Overseas Chinese who were born and raised in Myanmar. The dominant household language ended up being a mixture of ...
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92 views

(Cantonese) How to say there are always two sides to a story?

I'm talking to a friend about something, and she's only presenting one side. So I want to ask about the other side and say, "there's always two sides to every story." What's the best way to say this ...
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218 views

Is the phrase “slot machine” 老虎机 the same in different Chinese dialects?

Just wondering whether the phrase 老虎机 (slot machine) sounds and is written the same in all Chinese dialects, such as: Mandarin, Wu Chinese, Min Chinese, Cantonese, Jin Chinese, Xiang  Chinese, ...
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167 views

How would you say, “Don't let price interfere with your happiness” in Cantonese?

How would you say, "Don't let price interfere with your happiness" in Cantonese? After asking a few Cantonese speakers, there were still no conclusive answers but a few suggestions: 1)冇俾價錢影響你快樂 2)...
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536 views

Are the Cantonese word 係 and the Japanese word はい related?

The Cantonese word meaning "to be", written as 係 (Jyutping: hai6) sounds similar to the Japanese word はい ("hai" in various Romanizations). Both words are used to answer "yes" or "it is correct" to yes-...
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177 views

Character 瞓: where did the pronunciations come from?

The character 瞓 is a Cantonese character meaning "sleep". It is pronounced xùn in mandarin and fan3 in Cantonese. I was wondering how two so different pronunciations (I would expect xun to match syun ...
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How do you say “snap judgment” in Cantonese?

There isn't a translation in the Cantonese dictionary. Is there a way to say "snap judgment" or the equivalent?
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561 views

Macau Cantonese, any differences from HK?

Does anyone know how Cantonese from Macau differ from HK if there are any? Any slangs or terms used in Macanese Cantonese that is rarely used or heard in HK? Maybe some sinicised portuguese words? ...
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202 views

What does 原地踏步 mean in Cantonese?

Heard this on TVB: 原地踏步. What does the phrase mean? There's nothing in the Cantonese dictionary for this phrase.
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331 views

What is the difference between 台 and 臺?

What is the difference between 台 and 臺? 台 is both "simplified" and "alternative", 臺 is "traditional". 臺 seems to be the "correct" traditional form for Taiwan, but I've never seen it in reference to ...
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141 views

What is the translation for 打出頭?

The three characters are very frequent ones, but nethertheless I find it hard to understand the meaning.
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263 views

Cantonese sandhi

In Mandarin, there is limited tone sandhi, mainly about third tones and the tone variations of yi1 (one) and bù (not). By contrast, Min has sandhi rules for all tones, as illustrated by this diagram. ...
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1answer
2k views

Tones in Cantonese: 6 or 9?

Wikipedia has a tone contour chart for Cantonese with only 6 tones, but the table just below has 9. In fact, the table states 7=1, 8=3 and 9=6. From a historical point of view, there are 9 tone ...
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119 views

Simplified variant of 幺?

This question is regarding when 幺 appears in traditional Chinese. What is the simplified variant of 幺? I asked this question on the cantodict forums recently, and one member gave this excellent ...
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241 views

How can I find the exact written versions of commonly spoken Cantonese words?

I was trying (unsuccessfully) to find the written representation of the Cantonese translation of "to make", pronounced as "jing", by looking through the alternatives on Google Translate and reading ...