My mandarin textbook says it means "speak to democracy," but I can't find a definition for this word anywhere on the internet. Even google translate says it is not a word.

  • @user3610: I reverted your edit. You seem to be answering the question, so please add an answer.
    – fefe
    Jan 9, 2021 at 2:59
  • I am a native Chinese speaker and I don't know what it means exactly, maybe it means "(should) practice democracy"... I don't really know, but I guess it's close...
    – user27247
    Jan 14, 2021 at 4:14
  • is there a word that somwhat means pay attention to democracy
    – Redwood
    Jan 18, 2021 at 4:46

3 Answers 3


讲 here means:

(讲求; 注重) stress; pay attention to; lay stress on; be particular about:

E. g. 讲吃讲穿; 讲交情;

In practice, we often say 讲文明,懂礼貌.

  • how come google translate doesn't have 讲民主? and is it used often?
    – Redwood
    Jan 11, 2021 at 6:26
  • 1
    @Wisesequoia I don't know why. But 讲xxx overall is a common usage.
    – dan
    Jan 11, 2021 at 13:22

It is not one word

(v) speak

民主 (n) democracy

In Cantonese, the meaning for '讲' includes being the shorthand for 讲究 (pay attention to; regard); 讲求 (stress), = 注重; 追求


讲民主 (speak democracy) = regard/ pay attention to democracy

不讲民主 (speak democracy) = disregard/ not pay attention to democracy

讲道理 (speak reason) = reasonable

不讲道理 (not speak reason) = Unreasonable

香港人讲生活,讲享受 = "Hong Kong people pay attention to life and enjoyment"

  • can you give me a example in use?
    – Redwood
    Jan 7, 2021 at 19:26
  • @Wise sequoia It is mainly for Cantonese
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 7, 2021 at 20:59
  • 唔講道理 is closer to "unreasonable." 不 in Cantonese is closer in meaning to "forbid" Jan 7, 2021 at 23:40
  • doesn't 民主 also mean freedom. My mom says people often use it to say let me have me own choice.
    – Redwood
    Jan 18, 2021 at 5:06
  • 民主 is a system, freedom is a state. You can be in a Democratic country and not being free if you are poor. Democracy may give some people freedom at the expense of others. Look at the last four years in US. Someone said Democracy is a bad governing system but it is currently the best we can have
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 18, 2021 at 5:42

You should put the context in which you found this phrase, then the meaning would become apparent.

Theoretically, their nation is a multi-party democracy.

There's the rub: Maybe, in context, your "讲" holds the doubt expressed in "Theoretically"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.