1
敢吗?= Dare you?
干嘛? = What's up? What are you doing?

Do you pronounce them both the same and depending on the context, people can understand what you mean?

or

Do you pronounce them both a little bit differently which new beginners can hardly hear the difference?

5
  • 1
    It's unclear if you know about tones or not. If you do, I hope you don't feel offended by my comment, but the way you word your question makes it sound like you might not know how tones work. Do you think that 买(mǎi) “to buy" sounds "a little bit different" from "卖 (mài) "to sell" too? What about other things that only differ in tone? If you indeed think these are only minor differences, you need to go through a basic description of tones! I wrote a fairly extensive guide here: hackingchinese.com/the-hacking-chinese-guide-to-mandarin-tones
    – Olle Linge
    Mar 4, 2021 at 20:16
  • Yes I know about the 4 tones ā, á, ǎ and à. Can I rely on the Phonetics e.g. mǎi, mài provided by Google Translation to determine which tone a Mandarin character/word has?
    – O Connor
    Mar 10, 2021 at 15:01
  • Mostly, but using a dictionary is more reliable.
    – Olle Linge
    Mar 10, 2021 at 15:38
  • So I better have a Mandarin dictionary which includes tones.
    – O Connor
    Mar 10, 2021 at 15:44
  • All dictionaries have tones. Here are some suggestions: hackingchinese.com/…
    – Olle Linge
    Mar 11, 2021 at 9:11

2 Answers 2

4

敢吗?= Dare you? = gǎn ma?

干嘛? = What's up? What are you doing? = gàn má?

4
  • So you mean you don't pronounce them the same, but a little bit different.
    – O Connor
    Mar 4, 2021 at 16:15
  • 2
    @OConnor The tones are different.
    – monalisa
    Mar 4, 2021 at 19:27
  • Can I rely on the Phonetics e.g. gǎn ma, gàn má provided by Google Translation to determine which tone a Mandarin character/word has?
    – O Connor
    Mar 10, 2021 at 14:57
  • @OConnor I would assume most of Google Translate's phonetic annotations are good especially when the character is in a word or phrase. Do notice, that some characters have multiple pronunciations when combined into different words and often have different meanings in such cases.
    – bfrguci
    Mar 12, 2021 at 20:52
1

No.
“敢吗” is pronounce as “gǎn mā” or “gǎn ·ma”. “敢吗” means “dare you”, “XXX敢吗” means “dare XXX”.
“干嘛” has 3 possible pronunciations, “gàn má”, “gàn mā” and “gàn ·ma”. When it be pronounced as “gàn má”, it may mean “what are you doing”, “do what”. When it be pronounced as “gàn mā” or “gàn ·ma”, it may mean “would you like to do it”.

2
  • IMHO, 嘛 is not a 疑问语气助词 here. It is the same as "什么". So if one wants to express "would you like to do it", it should say "干(gàn)吗(ma)". 干嘛 is pronounced as gàn mā only in Northern Dialect. Willing to hear your reply.
    – T-Pioneer
    Aug 30, 2021 at 9:10
  • @T-Pioneer "嘛" is a Chinese character whose meaning is similar to "吗". For example, "好嘛" means similar to "好吗".
    – Chen-Y0y0
    Sep 9, 2021 at 13:18

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