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There is a phrase that my family uses, but I'm not sure how to type it in Mandarin. I don't know if it is purely an exclamation or if it also means something. The closest way I can write it in English is "aye yai ya sin soco lah".

For example, if someone burned food, realized they had forgotten an appointment, or dropped a plate on the floor, they might say "Aye yai ya sin soco lah!"

My grandmother uses the phrase most often, and she speaks Shanghainese.

I know this seems a bit silly, but I would appreciate it if someone could tell me exactly what this phrase is and what characters are used to write it.

  • No one could possibly figure this out only by "Aye yai ya sin soco lah!", especially it's Shanghai dialect. – dan May 6 '18 at 2:45
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Edit:

It could be

哎也也 /Āi yě yě/ ('Ouch!/ Oh no!' exclamation)

真 /Zhēn/ (really)

糟糕 /Zāogāo/ (it is bad/ not good)

啦 /la/ (final particle)

哎也也, 真糟糕啦! (Oh no! It is really bad!)

  • Thank you for the idea! The burnt food was just one example, though. Some more examples are if someone dropped something on the floor, realized they had forgotten an appointment, or almost anything else that would cause someone to exclaim "Oh no!" or "How troublesome!" – a melon May 5 '18 at 23:40
  • Thank you so much! I had somehow forgotten to take into account that my mother and her side of the family pronounce things differently than my textbook Mandarin. This is most likely the right phrase. – a melon May 6 '18 at 0:01
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Aye yai ya sounds like "哎也也"

http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/phorum/read.php?14,142082,142600

the lah at the end, well, a common singlish term: "啦"

then, the "sin soco", no ideas yet, any more hints?

  • If it was to do with cooking and someone burnt the food, it could be 哎也也 "sin" 燒過啦, but I still don't know what "sin" could be. – droooze May 5 '18 at 21:33
  • @droooze Thanks for the ideas! The burning food was just one example. It might also be used if someone dropped something on the floor, realized they had forgotten appointment, or almost anything else that might elicit an "Oh no!" or "How troublesome!" – a melon May 5 '18 at 23:38

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