Questions tagged [cantonese]

The Chinese dialect spoken in and around Guangzhou city (formerly Canton), and central and western Guangdong province.

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1answer
295 views

Are there loanwords from Portuguese used in Macau Cantonese?

I'd like to know if there are some words from Macau Cantonese that are from Portuguese. As HK Cantonese has some words from English, I think Macau also can have some words. Thank you for any examples ...
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49 views

Is “就快下雨了” correct Mandarin?

I've been watching Peppa Pig to improve my Mandarin, but here at 1:59, the mama pig says “就快下雨了” meaning to say that it will rain soon. However I thought that the phrase "就快" was Cantonese ...
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112 views

Is this a valid riddle in Mandarin?

I came up with this 看图猜謎 based on Cantonese jyutping. Is it a valid riddle in Mandarin? 猜一句詩 (guess a verse in a poem) Answer:
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40 views

What are these words in this video about how the snake (Satan) tricked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit?

Even though the priest in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnMeISMY6eM)is speaking in Mandarin, he includes a lot of non-Mandarin words and expressions. Can anyone tell me what they mean? I'...
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70 views

How did 炒 semantically shift to mean 'speculate' and 'perform badly (in a test or exam)'?

to stir fry; to sauté 炒飯、炒麵 / 炒饭、炒面 [Cantonese]  ―  caau2 faan6, caau2 min6 [Jyutping]  ―  fried rice; chow mein (slang) to sack; to fire ⇒ 炒魷魚 (Cantonese) to speculate in 炒股票 [...
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170 views

What does 泉 mean in 道具泉, in the context of a handbill?

At 33:41, the Chinese Univ. HK Philosophy student below asks Dr Samson Kwok Pak-nin (in Cantonese) to hand him Dr Kwok's placard. He calls it 道具泉. I know 道具 means prop, but how does 泉 - Wiktionary ...
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59 views

Cantonese song 不可一世 - what is the spoken part at 2:02?

In the song 不可一世 (bat ho yat see) by Hong Kong band Beyond, there is some spoken Cantonese at around 2 minutes which I can't make out. It's spoken in a deep voice, and some others (presumably the band ...
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84 views

How to identify spoken & written Chinese in movies?

Addition: Some folks don't see the question because I badly worded it as a request. The question is: Is what I've written garbage, or is it correct, or is it merely partly correct? This is a question ...
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134 views

Is the Cantonese spoken in Guangzhou standardized?

Is the Cantonese spoken in Guangzhou standardized, and if it is, is it different from Hong Kong and Macau's standard Cantonese? Do some characters have different standard readings in each region, much ...
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1answer
86 views

Difference between 不了 and 不到

This question focuses on the differences between 了and 到. What's the difference between verb + 不了 and verb + 不到? Do the differences also apply to Cantonese? Examples: 收不到 vs 收不了 幫不到 vs 幫不了 來不到 vs ...
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180 views

Use of 成 / 乘 number quantifiers in Cantonese

I learned in Cantonese class that adding 成 to a Number can imply a degree of something. For example, 七成 means 70%. I explored further and it seems that it can be used to describe the rarity of your ...
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141 views

Is there any way to detect dialect automatically?

For current task I need to create a solution how to detect if some video or audio of Chinese speech is Mandarin or Cantonese (for now I do not need others dialects). For example, there is almost ...
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1k views

What does “射個三分波” mean?

I was watching a video from Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper, and they mentioned the phrase in question as such: “港鐵就射個三分波 叫我們問政府”. My guess is that 三分波 refers to an action in some sport, possibly ...
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1answer
104 views

Is there a Mandarin equivalent of the Cantonese term “手尾”?

手尾 is a very common Cantonese term, I would like to know what Mandarin term can be the equivalent of it. The following are from CantoDict dictionary: 手尾: (to tie up) loose ends 冇手尾: fail to finish ...
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133 views

Understanding “話之”

CantoDict: 話之 regardless of; no matter what; "I don't care" | Std. Chin.: 不管; 無論 | Syn.: 唔理 | Usu. in the form of 話之你; 話之佢 etc. ~ 粵典: 話之 / 話知 (yue) 唔理唔顧;無視 (eng) to ignore; to disregard; ...
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Is it possible that “那裏是吾家” was intended to be “哪裏是吾家?”?

The following is my translation of the song "那裏是吾家": "那裏是吾家" 作詞:許冠傑/黎彼得 作曲:許冠傑 足跡遍天下,看透異國繁華, (My footprints are all over the world, I've seen every flourishing foreign countries ...
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1answer
203 views

What “斗” refers to in “正斗”

The Cantonese term "正斗" means "great" or "of high quality" 正斗 an exclamation that sth is "great!" ~ 正斗 好,美,正牌,正規,地道,純正,漂亮,質量好 I can understand why 正(...
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128 views

Why is it necessary to “translate” songs to Mandarin that are written in Standard Chinese, but originally sung in Cantonese?

Take, for example, the chorus to Beyond's 喜欢你. 喜欢你 那双眼动人 笑声更迷人 愿再可 轻抚你 那可爱面容 挽手说梦话 像昨天 你共我 As far as I can tell, the lyrics are in Standard Chinese even though they are sung in Cantonese. I see ...
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155 views

Why does Cantonese sound vaguely British?

Speaking as a native speaker of American English, I notice from my perspective that Cantonese speakers tend to sound more "British" than Mandarin speakers. I'm not just referring to Hong Kong, but ...
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100 views

How do I say “my favourite person” in Cantonese?

My favourite... Pls also provide jyutping
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81 views

Not only, but also (in cantonese)

佢唔單只感冒,仲發燒添。 Not only does he have a cold, but he also has a fever. What is the function of 添? I feel rather awkward saying it. I searched the dictionary and doesn’t look like it has added any ...
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50 views

Is this an awkward ordering of words? (Cantonese)

In the following sentence: 你要重新開過一次機。 The official translation is: you will have to restart the machine again. I feel this Has a very awkward word order since the object (機) is at the last after a ...
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3answers
115 views

Function of 令 in 你日日喺我耳邊唱歌令我好壓抑 (cantonese)

你日日喺我耳邊唱歌令我好壓抑。 In this statement, what is the function of 令? and why is it not 對? I was kind of expecting to see a “對” somewhere here.
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What is the function of 而 and 為咗 in 我哋為咗決定去邊度度蜜月而閙交 in Cantonese?

我哋為咗決定去邊度度蜜月而閙交. In this sentence, I understand that the meaning is “we got into an argument when deciding where to go for a honeymoon.” What is the function of 而 and 為咗?
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What does this Cantonese sentence “冧哥覆咗你未?” mean in English?

What does this Cantonese sentence "冧哥覆咗你未" mean in English?
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3answers
186 views

How to say “self-fulfilling prophecy” in Mandarin/Cantonese?

This dictionary lists prophecy as 預言, but it doesn't list an entry for self-fulfilling prophecy Example sentence: If you remain this negative, your thoughts will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. ...
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4answers
113 views

Identifying a type of topping used for congee

I am hoping somebody could help me identify the name of a type of topping that goes with the congee that my grandma would give me as a kid. She didn't know English and had passed away years ago. I ...
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1answer
76 views

What's the Cantonese/Mandarin equivalent of “condone”?

These two dictionaries don't have entries for "condone." https://www.yellowbridge.com http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/scripts/wordsearch.php?level=0 The Google translate answer is 縱容, which seems ...
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115 views

Difference between 的 and 个

Does it make sense to say 我个心? I suppose its meant to be 我的心. I still cannot distinguish when to use it. Maybe it to do with the fact that I am a Cantonese speaker?
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89 views

Sentence construction for “whether or not”

In Cantonese, how does one construct a phrase/sentence involving “whether or not”? For example: We don’t know if they are husband or wife. I came across this conversation: 係唔係老公老婆呢就唔知啦! I wanted ...
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122 views

The name of the California high school fraternity, Hi Tow Tong

Honor societies and fraternities are a fixture in U.S. colleges. Most often they use Greek letters for their names, and some have names in English. However, the men's honor society of Santa Cruz High ...
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96 views

How to say “Hopefully we can treat each other with more X”

Is there a general template for translating, "hopefully we can treat each with more X" where X is some noun. Examples: Hopefully we can treat each other with more consideration. Hopefully we can ...
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276 views

Is 家婆 the term for a woman's “mother in law” in Mandarin too?

In Cantonese, a woman would call her mother in law her "家婆" or her "奶奶", and address her only as "奶奶". My understanding of the same terms in Mandarin is, a woman would call her mother in law her "婆婆" ...
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113 views

What are the Chinese characters for the American English word “Dishonored”?

Related to the video game Dishonored. I'm not looking for the characters for 'Ashamed' or 'Insulted', words that would not work to properly describe in English the game title :D. Any other choices? I ...
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“The X you asked me to Y” (cantonese)

I am not so familiar with how you say this in english grammar. But how do you say this pattern in cantonese? For example: the bag you asked me to buy. What is the syntax when translating to ...
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What is the function of 哩? (Cantonese)

What is the function of 哩 in 哩兩個人好相似? And how different is it if you just say 兩個人好相似?
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203 views

Why does Hong Kong use a different spoken and written language?

In Hong Kong, Cantonese is used for speaking and Traditional Chinese is used for writing. However, Cantonese does indeed have it's own writing system (which I've seen in Whatsapp chats, lyrics of ...
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323 views

Different way of saying “throw rubbish” in Cantonese?

Looking at the dictionary, I see that "throw rubbish" in Cantonese is "掉垃圾". However, in the past, I remember hearing something different for "throw rubbish": "wang垃圾". I need some help: What is ...
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2answers
174 views

“Please hold the handrail during the whole journey” in Chinese/Cantonese? (As heard in Hong Kong airport trains)

I have rode this automated people mover inside Hong Kong airport and the voice always says "Please hold the handrail during the whole journey" everytime when the train starts to move and after ...
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115 views

Commonalities in Hong Kong place names

I've been in Hong Kong long enough to notice some patterns appearing in the names of Hong Kong's places. Most of the places had 角 or 灣 in them. For example: 角: 旺角, 大角嘴, 北角, 沙頭角 灣: 灣仔, 西灣河, 銅鑼灣, 荃灣 ...
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Mandarin equivalent for 返嚟?

In Cantonese 返嚟 is often used when asking someone about where they obtained something from. For instance, "學返嚟“ could be used in a sentence asking someone, "Where did you learn this from?" What's the ...
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114 views

Difference between 事情 and 事件?

What's the difference between 事情 and 事件? They both seem to be generic terms that refer to "event, thing, affair". 事件:http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/4421/ 事情:http://www.cantonese....
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198 views

Help with Cantonese correct translation

I thouhgt about posting here twice as I know rules do not allow for users to simply ask for translations. But after a few efforst in trying to translate it myself, I decided to ask for your kind help. ...
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127 views

How limited are Cantonese dictionaries?

I've gone through these dictionaries: ABC Cantonese 广州话方言词典 广州话-普通话词典 CCCanto Words.HK and they all seem to be very Yuehai (粵海). How limited is it to only base a Cantonese dictionary on the Yuehai ...
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133 views

Meaning of 对拆 (對拆) in 套路 names

There are different sequences of movements in martial arts (套路 - forms) all having their names. Some of these names are quite clear but some are hard to understand for me. For example a double hand ...
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903 views

How to say job offer in Mandarin/Cantonese?

Google Translate says job offer is 工作機會. This doesn't feel right. How do you say job offer in Cantonese and Mandarin?
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Is there any study on the relative difficulty of native Chinese speakers with different dialects learning another dialect?

I wonder if there is any research conducted in China, on the relative difficulty of Chinese speakers learning different dialects. I'm looking for something like the research by the Foreign Service ...
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1answer
74 views

What is 異 doing in the Cantonese translation of the movie title “Us”?

I asked a similar question here: What is 剋 doing in the Cantonese translation of the movie title “Widows”? The Cantonese title of the film Us has been translated as: 香港譯《我們·異》 Wikipedia also ...
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1answer
73 views

What is 剋 doing in the Cantonese translation of the movie title “Widows”?

The Cantonese translation of the film Widows seems to be translated: 《剋·寡婦》 What is 剋 doing here? The only reference I can find to it in dictionaries is in Words.HK which says: 動詞 帶嚟衰運;令人事事都唔如意 to ...
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110 views

Touch: difference between 碰,碰觸,觸碰, and 觸

There appear to be multiple ways to say touch according to YellowBridge. 1) Is there a difference between 碰,碰觸,觸碰, and 觸, or are they interchangeable? 2) In Cantonese, 點 seems to be the right way to ...

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