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13

For the most part both dialects use the same words and phrases (primarily with differences in slang terms). While some phrases are used more frequently in one dialect than another to express the same idea, the meanings are preserved across dialects (they don't mean different things, just people who use one dialect may prefer one saying to another). In ...


11

The pronunciation of the two are totally different. Hong Kong people humorously call it "the chicken talking to the duck" as they cannot understand each other. The two are both tonal languages (different tones has different meanings for the same sound) and they also have different vowels and consonants, too. Cantonese preserves some older grammatical ...


10

The analogy to Portuguese and Spanish is a good one. Just don't forget that the writing system is a bit like Latin. In the middle ages nobody spoke Latin but many people could read and write it. Written Chinese was the equivalent to written Latin. Now, people write in Modern Standard Mandarin, which is the same as the spoken language taught in the schools. ...


9

Normally we use the verb "点" 你点啊? leih dim a? English: What's up? (less formal) 你点样啊? leih dim yeung a? English: How are you doing? (more formal) 你近排点啊? leih gan pai dim a? English: How have you been doing? 你呢排点啊? leih li pai dim a? English: How've you been lately?


9

You're right, most foreign words are transliterated differently in Mandarin and in Cantonese. Sometimes there are even different standards in different Mandarin speaking regions. It's an interesting idea to use characters that have similar pronunciations in both dialects to unify the transliteration but it's not what has already happened. A few examples of ...


9

From Wikipedia: There is no universally accepted criterion for distinguishing a language from a dialect. My hunch is that in general Chinese politics favors unity, whereas European politics favors separation, thus speakers of Dutch and German would hate to think that they were speaking dialects of the same language. Conversely in general it is useful ...


7

As your linked table indicates, the Middle Chinese 陰上 tone generally corresponds to Cantonese tone 2 and Mandarin tone 3, so it is indeed curious that you see both words having tone 4 in Mandarin, which typically corresponds to Middle Chinese 去 tones or 陽上 tones where the syllable onset is an obstruent (全濁聲母). Looking up the characters in the Kangxi ...


7

Lao is a member of the Tai–Kadai language family. This family does include some languages spoken by minority groups, including the Zhuang languages of Guangxi. Several languages in this group have words which sound familiar to Cantonese speakers. (I remember traveling to Thailand and being shocked by how similar Thai numerals are to those of Cantonese.) ...


6

If you happen to be familiar with Mandarin or Standard Written Chinese, the Cantonese character 咁 (gam3) corresponds to 這麼 or 那麼 and 噉 (gam2) corresponds to 這樣 or 那樣. As jogloran mentioned, 咁 is a prefix modifier whereas 噉 is postfix or a standalone pronoun. You'll often see 咁 written where gam2 is intended, which is likely the reason why 咁 appears in your ...


6

It should be read in the original lau4 (陽平) tone, but not only because it's "classical", but primarily because the poem follows the tone pattern of a five-syllable regulated verse (五絕). Tones in Middle Chinese were classified into 平 (level), 上 (rising), 去 (departing), and 入 (entering), the latter three of which were classified as 仄 (oblique) for the ...


6

其 is referred to 'it' as in your translation. However, 自然 here does not necessarily mean the literal meaning 'nature'. Instead, it refers to the natural tendency of any subject you're talking about. If you see a child growing as he/she prefers to be rather than pushing him/her to be, 其is the child and 自然 means 'without intervention'. If you let something ...


5

咁 (gam3) and 噉 (gam2) have very similar meanings: 'to this extent', 'so', 'such'. However, 咁 (gam3) pre-modifies adjectives, and 噉 (gam2) post-modifies verbs. 噉 (gam2) or 噉樣 (gam2joeng6*2) also occurs as a pronoun meaning 'like this/that'. I think the occurrence of 咁 in the first sentence should probably be written as 噉 (gam2) as well... after all, 敢 has ...


5

The preferred phonetic input method (like pinyin) for Cantonese is Jyutping (粤拼/jyut6ping3/yue4pin1 in Mandarin). In GNU/Linux, both SCIM and (the now preferred?) IBus have packages available that add Jyutping support. They are available for Debian, but might be hard to find for other systems. At least I have only found .deb and .rpm for ibus-jyutping, ...


5

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe all Cantonese characters (theoretically) have pinyin representations. Examples: 冇 (have not) / Yale: mou5 / Pinyin: mao3 佢哋 (they) / Yale: keui5 dei6 / Pinyin: qu2 di4 咗 (similar to 了) / Yale: jo2 / Pinyin: zuo3 嘢 (thing) / Yale: ye5 / Pinyin: ye3 But in my experience, using a Standard Chinese Pinyin IME to enter ...


5

Both 做番 and 做返 are used to represent the Cantonese expression, jouh fāan. There is a reason why some people choose to write 番 and others write 返. Etymologically speaking, 返 is the correct character to use. However, because the traditional literary pronunciation of 返 is fáan (2nd tone) instead of fāan (1st tone), some people will write 番 instead to make it ...


5

Your title should rather be "Cantonese Pronunciation of Written (Standard) Chinese". What you are talking about is not really Cantonese, rather it's (mostly) Mandarin, that, if you read out loud, will be pronounced with the Cantonese pronunciation of the characters. It's more or less the same as asking a Korean or Japanese to read out a text written in ...


5

I think the difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is more like the difference between English and Swedish. They are obviously very closely related and share a lot of vocabulary, but intelligibility is pretty much zero. The poster who compared the difference to American and British English is TOTALLY wrong. Many Mandarin speakers will claim that they can ...


5

Google 粵詩. This article (PDF Download from Cantonese Association) in 趣味詩文 gives a few examples.


5

I'm pretty sure that the " Bei Wu Long" is "摆乌龙". "乌龙" in Cantonese sounds like "own goal" in English. You know own goal is a big mistake, right? It is a long story. According to this website, is is original from a folk tale in Canton. Once upon a time, there was a drought. People prayed to the "青龙"(Green Dragon) because it can bring rain. However, at last ...


5

No, they're not completely different, but similar in some ways. You should know, all dialects are different. Mandarin Chinese is not a natural language. It grabs pronunciation from Beijing dialect, vocabulary from all the northern dialects, grammar from the articles written by great writers during the New Culture Movement. Modern dialects have only one ...


5

In this case, I think the quote "A language is a dialect with an army and navy" best describes the situation. Since the mainland government considers linguistic unity to be in favor of their ruling, they will consider any spoken variety of Chinese to be a dialect, no matter how different it is from Mandarin (excluding minority languages).


4

This is not only in Cantonese. People in several south provinces say these words. And most Chinese are familiar with 廿 (niàn or pán) and 卅, even though they don't usually say it. 卅 (sà) means 30 卌 (xì) means 40 皕 (bì) means 200


4

咩 (me1) as a sentence final particle is used not only to mark the sentence as a question, but also to indicate surprise (or disbelief) that the situation is not what you expected. Taking your example: 唔使返工咩? (m4 sai2 faan1 gung1 me1?) "You don't need to go to work?" This asks why the receiver doesn't need to go to work, but also indicates that you ...


4

I speak both and find most of the commentary here to be overly generalized or incorrect. First, analogies in Indo-European languages: There are none. As to how far apart the oral languages are, think of French and Italian, which share more syntax than most Romance language pairs, but with very different phonetic structure. Second, which is easier. A ...


4

You can understand it as "so many that...": You can imagine the criminal cases are so many that the situation is serious.


4

If you don't want to install a Cantonese IME, the Cantonese specific characters are included in cangjie (倉頡), using the same stroke decomposing rules. Here are some examples: 冇 = 大月 哋 = 口土心木 睇 = 月山金弓竹 Another useful resource is http://www.cantoneseinput.com/


4

Of course it exists in Mandarin. I didn't know it is a Cantonese expression. Maybe it should be just "Chinese expression". I cannot answer whether the meaning are the same. I don't know Cantonese. But I think the meaning should be the same in Cantonese and Mandarin. "五福" comes form 《尚书·洪范》: 五福:一曰寿,二曰富,三曰康宁,四曰攸(yōu)好(hào)德,五曰考终命。 which are long life, ...


4

I agree with others who say you should work with a native speaker to help you with pronunciation. However, having a grammar book will be immensely helpful as well, since many native speakers are often unaware of their own language's grammar (many will often say "that's just how you say it" without knowing why; I've also heard native speakers assert that ...


4

A good European analogy is Cantonese : Mandarin :: Swiss German : German Consider the following characteristics of Cantonese and Swiss German: Both are minority tongues that could be considered languages in their own right by linguists, but are popularly thought of as dialects for political and orthographic reasons. Speakers of Cantonese and Swiss ...


4

Hope this will help: From a % speakers/opportunity to practice perspective: In the world, 12.44% of the total population speaks Mandarin (obviously heavily skewed by China's massive population, but still 12.44% nonetheless), compared to 4.83% native English speakers, and a measly .89% Cantonese speakers. ...



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