To improve my Chinese listening, I decided to watch 天下一碗 (Tian Xia Yi Wan), as actors tend to speak with very precise and clear tones.

In the link, Liu laoye says:

"如果是一时意气用事的话, 岂不是耽误了子女的前程了吗".

I do not know why 程 is pronounced "du" here? is it a typo?

(But 前度 does not make sense to me either).

  • 途 has not been pronounced very clearly in that show. But it's not hard to understand with the context.
    – dan
    Commented Feb 24, 2019 at 1:25
  • @dan, ah, I see .. thank you, thing is : I know about the word 前途 , but I do not have yet this skill to expect what should be said in a given situation, fluent speakers know about the next word before it is spoken, but those with a B1 - B2 level are still far from that, it is 前程 that I did not know about until I watched that episode.
    – SmootQ
    Commented Feb 24, 2019 at 10:09
  • 1
    This is indeed a major difficulty for foreign language learners, and there's really no easy way around it other than more practice. However, if you can understand Chinese TV drama like the one you talked about, your Chinese listening skills are already very advanced. We native speakers sometimes need to look at the subtitles to fully understand since actors might have unclear pronunciation sometimes, and certain old expressions used in historical drama are rarely used in daily life.
    – Ben Yang
    Commented Feb 24, 2019 at 21:00
  • @BenYang hhh, no : I understand like 40% - 50%, but most of the time I rely on the subtitles. I am willing to improve my listening skills in 2-3 years. Thank you !
    – SmootQ
    Commented Feb 24, 2019 at 21:51

2 Answers 2


It's 前途 (qian tu) which has pretty much the same meaning as 前程. Probably a typo in the subtitle or the actor said it differently from the script, the director thought it was fine, but the subtitle comes from the script.

  • Ah, thank you so much ... I thought he said "Qian Du" +1 Best !
    – SmootQ
    Commented Feb 23, 2019 at 17:04

It is almost impossible in an official film and television program usually, except that the subtitles are mistyped, or that the foul words are not shown or replaced with the homophones intentionally. But, occasionally I also discover the cases like you said in TV drama subtitles, such as typos, mistyped synonyms. However, subtitles do not match the subtitle is common in some unofficial subtitles, especially for non-Mandarin movies, like English or Cantonese movie, for there may be multiple versions from different netizen translation group. Even, there are more than one official translation sometime, for example, I bought a Chinese version DVD of the movie Inception before, I also watched the Blu-ray version later, the translations are different from each other.

  • Yes, I noticed this in different English subtitles too. thanks
    – SmootQ
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 13:27

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