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I notice people in mainland China use abbreviation for almost all titles.

Example:

習總裁 --> 习总

郎(平)教練 --> 郎教

任隊長 --> 任隊

This kind of abbreviation even appears in Hong Kong's TV dramas.

Example:

王法官 --> 王官

張大狀(大律師) --> 張狀

I personally think shortening a two-character word to a single-character one is too casual and may cause confusion (I am sure we will only find 习总裁 and not 习总 in official documents).

Notice:

习总 and 杂种 sound the same in Cantonese

任隊 in Cantonese sounds like "allow to stab at will"

王官 and 皇冠 sound the same in Cantonese

任总督--> 任督 make people think of 任督二脉 and sounds like "allow to poke at will" in Cantonese

Question: Is not abbreviating titles in casual conversation considered normal in Mainland? (in other words, I wouldn't give it away that I was not a mainland Chinese by saying 郎(平)教練 instead of 郎教)

  • None of your examples are popular in the areas I have been as far as I can tell. 习近平 is not 总理,he is 主席 or 总书记. People say 习主席,习总书记,总书记,or sometimes 习大大(not in formal circumstances). – dan Jun 26 at 0:33
  • @dan Noticed, and edited. However, If someone's last name is 习 and he is a president of a company, People could still refer him as 习总 – Tang Ho Jun 26 at 0:37
  • I suspect terms like 王官, 張狀 I saw on TV. is just Hong Kong writers imitating the mainland habit in speech. I do not think 張大狀(大律師) --> 張狀 exist in Mandarin vocabulary. 狀師 = 律師; 大狀 = 大律師 in old Hong Kong Cantonese – Tang Ho Jun 26 at 0:47
  • xxx总 is common enough when referring to 老板 of a company. But some people may not like the term. – dan Jun 26 at 2:10
  • 习总 and 任隊 are very common, especially 习总. The other examples you mention, I've never heard of them. I'm in Beijing. – Betty Jun 28 at 14:46
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习总/習總 we say all the time (as someone pointed out, using this expression means a president of a company whose last name is Xi, not Xi Jinping). Similarly, you can say last name + 总, and it is acceptable for referring to a person or when calling them by name like "吴总,你好!“ (Hello, Mr Wu!) To your question, although it would not be weird if you don't use this abbreviation, it is very commonly used and saying "总裁/總裁" in full sounds too formal in most situations.

任队/任隊 some people do say, but most people would not abbreviate it. It is the kind of thing that policemen or firemen would call their superior. You don't have to use this abbreviation at all in mainland.

郎教 for Lang Ping specifically we do use that abbreviation for her sometimes, but we don't abbreviate for coaches in general. It is not a common usage. You shouldn't use this abbreviation in most circumstances.

王官 and 张状/張狀 we do not say at all. The first one is just an abbreviation that Mandarin speakers would not use. The second one is pure Cantonese. "状/狀" or "大状/大狀" are Cantonese words. In Mandarin, we would just say "张律师/張律師". It is also worth mentioning that the concepts of solicitors (律师/律師) and barristers (大律师/大律師) are not in the Mainland legal system, because we are not a common law jurisdiction.

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