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21

This is actually not one character, but a stylistic conglomeration of the characters in the phrase 招財進寶, meaning "ushering in wealth and prosperity". The characters 財 and 寶 end up being represented with the same 貝 component in this "character". While the left side of 招 (扌) and the right side of 財 (才) are technically not the same component, they look similar ...


11

The only correct answer is "TA MA DE". This is the equivalent version of "F**K" in Chinese. I never hear people pronounce as "Di". Thinking it in other way, it will be too soft and feminine if it's pronounced as "Di". It supposed to be strong and speak with hatred.


10

Linguists divide pre-modern Chinese broadly into two periods: Old Chinese and Middle Chinese. I wanted to preface my answer by noting that Bernhard Karlgren used the term "Ancient Chinese" to refer specifically to Middle Chinese, and it appears that your questions seem to be referring to Middle Chinese as well, though I will be making a note about Old ...


9

For people to understand better...


8

You're right. Chinese people read Kanji using their Chinese pronunciations. For Chinese people who don't speak Japanese, they have probably only learned 'tokyo' from the English word and they don't have a clue what 'akihabara' is. The same applies to nouns, proper nouns and names.


7

Yes, there are rules - it is not irregular at all. The two different pronunciations of 阿 actually reflect different usages. The original Old Chinese pronunciation of ē is for using the character as a verb or noun, which is what the character 阿 originally meant. In contrast, the later pronunciation of ā emerged as a particle with completely different ...


7

How was it pronounced in older times (i.e. Middle Chinese)? I haven't found a record of 瞓 in classical Chinese, but since 瞓 and 训 are both read as fan in Cantonese, I'll take 训 instead. It is read qhuns in reconstructed Old Chinese that is before the 1st century B.C. In Middle Chinese it is pronounced as hyonh. How did the pronunciations ...


7

I do not think that such a list exists. If it did, Chinese-speaking learners of English would never need to struggle with the pronunciation of their new language. Let's say we have a List E, which contains all the phonemes in English (whichever variety you choose), and another List C, which contains all the phonemes in Chinese (again, whichever variety you ...


6

In recent years, Mainland Chinese have officially adopted shuōfú across the board. If you only wish to be understood and/or conform to current official standards, a sufficient answer is: just use the shuōfú pronunciation. Everyone will understand what you mean regardless of whether they agree with it. For a more academic answer: Strictly speaking, shuìfú ...


5

As an addendum, two brief comments regarding how tones are reflected in the languages that borrowed a lot of vocabulary from Chinese: According to the Wikipedia page on ‘Sino-Xenic pronunciations’, “[m]ost Middle Chinese tones were preserved in the tones of Middle Korean, but these have since been lost in all but a few dialects.” The source cited seems ...


5

Still should be shan1 but probably they have some 翘舌音 problems, i.e. cant pronounce ch, sh, zh etc. A lot of Chinese variants don't have 翹舌音 so these pronunciations become problematic. Count it as an accent.


5

The 的 here is acting as the possessive, so this means: His mother's... From the context that you have shown, 他妈的 should be pronounced: Ta Ma De


5

Welcome more questions Thomas. Very good answer above. It is a Spring Couplet 挥春/揮春. 招財進寶 is an auspicious saying to wish families more wealth and treasure. Chinese paste this on the front door or wall before the Chinese New Year. And they renew it annually. Some companies hope like this lucky saying so they paste it too. Besides, "福"(fu) is very popular ...


5

They're called 合文! (combined characters ) or 合书! http://baike.baidu.com/view/2915764.htm ( Good question - I was also curious about this a while back ) :)


5

I think you're doing it right. The alveo-palatal part of sound (which j/x/q have in common) should be created by the gap between the middle of your tongue and the roof of your mouth, and that's exactly what 'alveo-palatal' means. The difference among j/x/q though, aspiration and frication, are controlled by other part of the mouth, but I don't think that's ...


5

Middle Chinese starting from the Sui dynasty (with the Qièyùn, 切韻, published in 601 CE) actually documented its phonology. These are called rime tables, and break down each character pronunciation into groups by tone and by final. These were employed by scholars in both reciting and composing verse. Using the fanqie 反切 spelling would also have aided scholars ...


5

When 监 is in the forth tone, it usually refers to a specific government department. For example 国子监 was the education department, 钦天监 was the calender department, 太监 was the department of 内务, i.e., affairs of the royal family. Then gradually people start to use 太监 to refer to the specific occupation, or people who belong to the department. Then 监's meaning ...


4

The 的 has two kinds of pronunciation, De and Di. Different pronunciation is used for different cases. In 他妈的, the 的 is pronounced like: De, which makes the whole thing: Ta Ma De. I never hear people say Ta Ma Di. In case you didn't know, 他妈的 or 他麻痹(Ta Ma Bi) means Mother F**ker in English. Hope this helps!


4

"他媽的" is a brief form of "他媽的屄(bi)", where 屄(bi) is a noun, meaning = woman's sex organ (may be offensive for somebody) So the pronunciation of 的 here should be /de/ in neutral tone.


4

Should be De, although 的 can also be pronounced as Di, but it has a different usage, such as 的確, 目的.


4

I think maybe your friend is referring to "ma de", which literally means "your mother" but colloquially means "f**k". Actually, there's a slow, drawn out way to say this, which is "maaaa de", which means "f**k", "s**t"... but honestly, without the "de" (which sounds like "duh"), no one will misinterpret your meaning (or lack of meaning) by simply saying ...


4

'e' is the older pronunciation and is used to reflect the older pronunciation in some particular words (usually more formal words), such as 阿胶 (ē jiāo, some animal gelatin), 阿房宫(ē páng gōng -- notice that 房 is pronounced páng instead of fáng), 阿谀奉承. 'a' is the modern and default pronunciation, used in translation of foreign names (e.g., Algebria - 阿尔及利亚) as ...


4

First and foremost, I think it's very dangerous to try to approximate Mandarin sounds with parts of English words, partly because we all pronounce English slightly differently and partly because some sounds just don't exist in English. There is no "ü" [y] in English, so trying to use English here will just trap students and never really allow them to learn ...


4

My observation is that there is a trend in the internet that some people, especially the youths, intentionally alter the "Han Zi" expression of some frequently used words. It is a way they make fun of their text and want to be more attractive. The reason is not because the tone in the language is less important or has any change. It is simply a technical ...


4

It's the 4th in 一概而论, both regions: Check. e.g.: Mainland: 在线新华字典 Taiwan: 教育部重编国语字典 (Both URLs point to the '一概而论' entry) 论 does have a 2nd tone reading, but 论语 seems to be the only where it is used.


4

Old Pekin dialect (>50 years ago) pronounce it as lin(4th tone) and that might be influencing some other dialects. I am not sure about the situation in TW, but mandarin standard is lun(4th tone) except for 论语, habitually lun (2nd tone).


4

I believe that 𦨻 is a mistake in transcription for 觥 (gong1) because they could look very similar in cursive script. 觥 means drinking vessel and 觥船 means a big drinking vessel, see, e.g., http://www.zdic.net/c/5/f0/248556.htm .


4

nóo vs. ló These two are both for literary pronunciation. Since 白頭偕老(白头偕老) is a traditional Chinese idiomatic expression (成語 Chengyu), we tend to pronounce it in the literary way. The difference between these two might be in the sub-dialect aspect. I'd pronounce it as pe̍h-thâu-kai-ló since it's easier for me to pronounce. But I reckon that ...


4

As others have explained, ě is currently used in certain nonstandard dialects. You might be interested to know that ě is the expected pronunciation based on the regular sound changes that connect Mandarin to the Middle Chinese pronunciations recorded in rhyming dictionaries. Compare these words: 我: Mand. wǒ, MC nga, rising tone, 餓: Mand. è, MC nga, ...


3

A story tells of an ethnic minority student who simply wanted to borrow a pen from a female comrade. Ethnic minorites in China are often as tone deaf as Westerners, and when the guy wanted to borrow a pen (借你的笔 / jie4 ni3 de bi3), it became 借你的屄 (jie4 ni3 de bi1), and the female student got all red in her face pondering the proposal of lending her cunt to ...



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