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

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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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2answers
1k views

Is there an equivalent for the Cantonese phrase “M Goi”

The Cantonese phrase "M Goi" has many meanings: "Excuse me" "Thanks" (casual) "Hey" Does it have a 普通话 equivalent? And how can I write it in pinyin? Is it even possible?
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1answer
57 views

Hong Kong Cantonese: Derogatory Terms For Mainlanders

What derogatory terms are there for mainlanders in Hong Kongnese Cantonese? I know there's a lot of terms that start with 北 but specifically I'm not sure.
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1answer
136 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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1answer
38 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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78 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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210 views

Hong Kong Cantonese variations

I am interested to learn whether the changes in Hong Kong pronunciation of Cantonese came about, was it because the English in Hong Kong had difficulty understanding the Cantonese? For instance, I ...
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1answer
1k views

How to use jyutping as an input method on windows 8.1

Is there a way to use Jyutping as the input method on Windows 8.1?
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70 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
46 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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34 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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326 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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1answer
73 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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4answers
7k views

How can I get a Cantonese keyboard on an iPhone?

Like Pinyin, but I need something that can recognize Cantonese instead of Mandarin. The only Chinese keyboards recognize Mandarin.
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2answers
200 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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2answers
125 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 ...
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6answers
993 views

Resources for learning Cantonese

I'd like to learn Cantonese, does anyone know some good resources (books, websites) that provide a thorough introduction into the language? I know that the pronunciation is a lot harder than in ...
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5answers
590 views

How to start learning Cantonese?

How can I learn Cantonese on my own? What resources can I use and what is the right way to do it? I have friends who are from Hong Kong so I have people to "talk at" I guess who will honestly evaluate ...
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2answers
177 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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7answers
1k views

Written Cantonese Pronunciation

I recently attended a Cantonese reading class in Hong Kong and discovered that pronunciation of the spoken form of written Cantonese can be very different from normal speech. The teacher was not able ...
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1answer
320 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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4answers
186 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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112 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the Cantonese equivalent for 你怎么样?

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 ...
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3answers
533 views

Where can I find Cantonese poetry?

I would like to identify some Cantonese poetry to study, and I'm looking for the kind of poetry that follows a recognized style and is bound by certain rules (even Cantonese haiku or limericks would ...
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3answers
256 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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6answers
2k views

Is 師奶 (see lai) strictly a Cantonese word? Is it a neutral word or does it have a negative connotation?

I had heard a husband refer to his wife in Cantonese as 師奶 (pronounced "see lai"). The way he said it sounded like an insult but I was told it's not a bad word. How would 師奶 be described in English? ...
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1answer
78 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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1answer
90 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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2answers
148 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 ...
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3answers
227 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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1answer
165 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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62 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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2answers
75 views

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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2answers
305 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 ...
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2answers
146 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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1answer
349 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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3answers
234 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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1answer
162 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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2answers
124 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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2answers
705 views

Cantonese Romanization schemes

The Cantonese romanization scheme that I know is Yale Romanization, which to me makes the most sense and is the easiest to read of any that I've seen. It seems to give a very good idea of how to ...
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1answer
149 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
379 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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1answer
94 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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3answers
151 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 ...
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2answers
388 views

Can someone explain what the 其 in 順其自然 means?

The phrase 順其自然 means trust nature to take its course in Cantonese, and every character makes sense except for 其. Can someone explain its meaning in the phrase? Thanks!
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119 views

What happened to the Old Chinese coda -p of 拉 in Cantonese?

Baxter's Middle Chinese reconstruction has 拉 as *lop, which surprised me given that the Cantonese reflex is laai1. Other characters with the rime -op such as 合, 答 and 雜 end up with the rime -ap or ...
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2answers
174 views

Translating an English menu

I am getting married in a month's time and my Chinese-speaking father has invited some of his Chinese friends to my wedding. He is and his friends are elderly and their English is almost non-existent. ...
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1answer
82 views

Yale tone marks and low-level 'h' for vowel-less syllables

For tone-marked Yale, the tone mark goes over the first vowel and then (for tones 4,5,6) an 'h' is placed after the last vowel. But what about the syllables without any vowels: hm, hng, m, ng ? I'm ...
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165 views

What's the Mandarin equivalent of “定係”?

I'm writing up something in Chinese, and want to write the following (irrelevant information redacted): Do I need to bring XXX? [...] Or I can just bring a photocopy of it? I'm not completely ...