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Questions tagged [cantonese]

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

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4 votes
3 answers
480 views

What are the Cantonese to English transliterations for 俊傑, 俊熙, 俊健, and 俊文? I found zeon3 for 俊. That does not sound right

What are the Cantonese to English transliterations for 俊傑, 俊熙, 俊健, and 俊文? I found zeon3 for 俊. That does not sound right.
11 votes
4 answers
509 views

Pinyin of 車 in idioms

In Cantonese, 車 has two pronunciations: [ce1] and [geoi1]. In Mandarin, 車 also has two different pinyin: [che1] and [ju1]. [ce1] corresponds to [che1]. [geoi1] corresponds to [ju1]. In most idioms,...
1 vote
4 answers
132 views

What is the phonetic notation used in hong kong plate?

Taking an example, the place in Hong Kong called Tsz Wan Shan(慈雲山), the 1st character is Tsz, but in the cuhk's database, there is no such notation in the list of the initials/consonants(聲母), is the ...
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

does "man fan" mean "evening meal" in Cantonese?

In the following children's fantasy-adventure book, written for British children in the context of the British empire: Arthur Ransome, "Missee Lee", Jonathan Cape, London, 1941 English ...
1 vote
1 answer
75 views

How does Motorola sound like "nothing to take" in Cantonese?

Li (2001) claims that: Motorola, for example, is pronounced as “me de lou la” in Cantonese, which means “nothing to take”. Not very good branding, if you're trying to sell phones. CantoDict, though,...
1 vote
4 answers
2k views

Beginner learning Cantonese: Start with reading/writing or with speaking?

I'm starting to learn Cantonese and I'm not sure where to start. Is it best to start with learning to write/read or learning to speak?
4 votes
2 answers
264 views

Historical Background in the Written Language (書面語) in Hong Kong

This is not quite a question about Mandarin, but what is the historical reason why the written language (書面語) in Hong Kong is almost the same as Mandarin, provided that the simplified/traditional ...
2 votes
3 answers
127 views

Cantonese proverb 寶物沉歸底

In Cantonese, there is a saying '寶物沉歸底', which roughly translates to 'good things always come last.' I have two questions about this phrase. What does the word '歸' mean in this phrase? I googled this ...
1 vote
1 answer
105 views

What does this chant mean, in this context?

罗大佑's song 皇后大道东 (Queen's Road East) is about the transition from British to Chinese rule in 1997. It seems to be full of double meanings. In particular, there is a part which is difficult to ...
3 votes
3 answers
109 views

Explain the meaning of「打斧頭」

I watched a mainland Cantonese program explaining 「打斧頭」. Since an axe is only sharp on one side. The back part of the axe is often cast with inferior materials to reduce costs. Therefore, the meaning ...
1 vote
1 answer
41 views

Looking for any information on the painting and artist

Any information helps. it was a thrift store find and it has what i think is a Hong Kong industry and trade sticker on the back. It’s silk in a Michael’s frame. thank you
1 vote
3 answers
407 views

Does pronouncing 你 in Cantonese with an "n" sound make me sound old-fashioned?

When I was learning Cantonese, I had no formal teacher, just some friends who had been learning Cantonese much longer than me helping me out. These people told me that anytime a dictionary had an &...
1 vote
2 answers
190 views

Is the Cantonese word 冧巴 a loanword from English?

To my ear, 冧巴 (lam1baa2, meaning "number") sounds a lot like the English word "number". Is this a coincidence, or is this a loanword from English? If it is a loanword, what word ...
1 vote
3 answers
146 views

I'm an artist/writer and I need to know if this name is okay?

(Apologies if the question is inappropriate I did try and find an answer myself but I kept being lead back here to ask) I'm creating a Chinese character with the Cantonese dialect and I've named her ...
0 votes
1 answer
77 views

Kangxi input only letting me type two keys before moving on? E.g I type RMMR for m4, but it gives me 叼可 instead?

This is presumably a simple issue with my keyboard usage. A dropdown for characters is offered after typing RM, but I should be able to type RMMR and have it know I mean m4, right? I am using ...
1 vote
2 answers
359 views

Difference between 儘量 and 盡量?

Both 儘量 and 盡量 seem to mean, "try your best," according to these dictionary entries: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/sentsearch.php?word=%E7%9B%A1%E9%87%8F https://www.yellowbridge....
2 votes
1 answer
85 views

What is "seoi zi" for 好玩?

Watching《金玉滿堂》recently where a character said something on the lines of: seoi m seoi zi? If I were to hazard a guess I would think it would be written something like: 衰唔衰志?The Mandarin subtitles ...
2 votes
2 answers
225 views

What's the word ma(i) in 喺mai一齊 in Cantonese?

I always catch a syllable sounds like mai between 喺 and 一齊. I could get the exact syllable wrong but it should sound similar. The whole thing means 在一起, and 喺 means 在, 一齊 is 一起. So 1) what's the ...
4 votes
2 answers
422 views

Is there any proof that the Taishanese language is related to Gan? Is it from a linguistic perspective?

The Taishanese language is known to be a branch of Siyi (Sze Yup or Seiyap) which is part of the Yue subfamily branch of the Sino-Tibetan family, and related to Cantonese. This article that I was ...
1 vote
1 answer
78 views

How is my Cantonese pronunciation of 汪阿姐?

汪阿姐 wong1 aa3 ze1/ze2 https://recorder.google.com/share/834c05d1-6723-4465-a207-76778d8d9bab Please upload your pronunciation audio and help identify what characters I pronounced incorrectly or ...
1 vote
1 answer
133 views

Simplified Chinese and compatibility with spoken Chinese language: How it works with iOS (VoiceOver) and Android (TalkBack)

I'm designing a Multi-language app and a major user group is Chinese speaking people with disability. The app will be on both iOS and Android. I don't speak or read any chinese language. The app ...
4 votes
1 answer
181 views

A Cantonese-influenced Old National Pronunciation (老國音) system

I need advice/help on creating a system similar to the Old National Pronunciation system/language for a worldbuilding project called Roses, Tulips, and Liberty. Some background: Imagines, it's a world ...
0 votes
1 answer
438 views

What is the proper way of saying "if" in Cantonese?

I know in Mandarin, it is easy to say something like "if" by using a statement akin to this: 如果我要去北京的話,我就用飛機。 When I looked up the word "if" in Cantonese, my dictionary brought ...
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Are there any online dictionaries that supply IPA transcriptions for Cantonese?

I know little about Cantonese (for now), but please advise me if I erred in conjecturing that IPA is more precise and helpful than Yale or Jyutping Romanisations.
3 votes
2 answers
214 views

Most common term for hanfu in Cantonese?

What is the most common term for hanfu (as in 'Hanfu movement'), i.e. modern clothing inspired by historical costumes? Is 漢服 (or 漢裝) used in spoken Cantonese, or maybe it is more of a Mandarin/Written ...
2 votes
3 answers
3k views

What does GG mean here?

Saw this FB post about this unfortunate taxi accident in HK: However I have never heard the term GG before and was wondering if its supposed to be shorthand for something else?
1 vote
1 answer
449 views

What is the man saying in this Cantonese cartoon?

I started watching Old Master Q today and came across this scene where they try to get an interview, but I couldn't quite understand what was being said here: https://youtu.be/OR8nxtw8GjY?t=502 ...
2 votes
2 answers
573 views

Can someone provide a translation of this old HK smoking ad?

I came across this interesting smoking ad from Hong Kong, but while I understand a good number of the characters, its hard for me to piece together everything that is being said here: From what I can ...
0 votes
1 answer
594 views

What is the procedure for typing cangjie here?

I've been typing Mandarin with pinyin input for years and have never found it terribly difficult to learn. However, I am finding that when I need to use website and type Cantonese expressions, I find ...
4 votes
1 answer
564 views

What do people in Hong Kong say when you are approaching a counter to buy something?

I've often found myself at the typical 7/11 waiting in line to ring out, and almost every time the cashier will say something right before I am to purchase. It sounds something like "lao wei"...
2 votes
2 answers
598 views

What language do Cantonese people use when reading Chinese?

When reading a book or a newspaper, what language do Cantonese people read in? Do they read in mandarin or Cantonese? Or do they subconsciously translate it into colloquial Cantonese since most words ...
3 votes
1 answer
200 views

When does one use 同埋 and 然後 in Cantonese?

A long time ago, I asked a Hong Kong colleague how to order food by saying "and" or "and then". She taught me the structure is basically something like "我要薯條同埋一個漢堡包." But ...
3 votes
1 answer
499 views

Cantonese Question: When does one use 咩 versus 乜野?

I've been listening to some Cantonese audio from Pimsleur and noticed they use a different word for "what" compared to what I learned from CantoneseClass101. In CC101, they used 咩, such as &...
3 votes
2 answers
227 views

Difference between 有冇 and 咗 for past tense in Cantonese

I have finished my audio course on Cantonese and was confused about one grammar point. Sometimes people in the conversations, referring to the past tense, would say something like this for "Did ...
1 vote
1 answer
155 views

Why does 耷濕 mean "simple, crude, shabby"?

耷濕 means shabby; simple and crude. "This term is used in Cantonese, not Mandarin/Standard written Chinese." Wiktionary says the same thing. But 耷 means "big ear" (noun) or "...
1 vote
1 answer
121 views

What do the ending sounds in Cantonese sentences mean or convey?

I think it's pretty well known that Cantonese has a lot of a's and la's attached to the end of sentences. However as a non-native, I have trouble understanding when these are used. For example, when ...
14 votes
9 answers
2k views

Resources for learning Cantonese

I'd like to learn Cantonese. Does anyone know some good resources (books, websites) that provide a thorough introduction into the language? I know that the pronunciation is a lot harder than in ...
2 votes
4 answers
752 views

How do I type 𨳒 on a keyboard?

I am using the Google Cantonese Input and Google Pinyin Input on my phone and cannot find a way to type 𨳒. Even when I switch to the handwriting method, 𨳒 does not come up as an option and I get ...
2 votes
4 answers
175 views

What is the appropriate equivalent for "irreverent" in Mandarin/Cantonese?

The word "irreverent" is often used to describe someone who can be sarcastic or biting but in a positive, humorous way. For instance, David Letterman is considered an irreverent comedian. ...
2 votes
2 answers
171 views

What does 開心都嚟唔切 mean in Cantonese?

I searched Google and the results were only 嚟唔切 and not 開心都嚟唔切.
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

What does 「雷鍋氣心樓,猴氣猴嗨賽雷敢窩」 mean?

The above is a screenshot from a youtube video I am a native Cantonese speaker, even I can't figure out what 「雷鍋氣心樓,猴氣猴嗨賽雷敢窩」」 meant. I am sure it is not 「這件事就當沒發生過」 I have no problem with the rest. E....
4 votes
1 answer
329 views

Cantonese Joke About Dealing With Mandarin Elitists?

Came across this on Reddit/Jokes today An Englishman is hiking in Scotland and he pauses to drink from a stream. A passing shepherd calls out "Dinnae drink frae that, it's all fulla coo piss an ...
2 votes
3 answers
550 views

What do some lines of the Cantonese song 岁月如歌 mean?

The other day I discussed the song 岁月如歌 with my friend. We're from different Mandarin regions and I’m able to watch many Cantonese shows without subtitles but don’t really speak it. Neither of us ...
30 votes
12 answers
109k views

How to describe differences between Cantonese and Mandarin?

When I tell people I speak Cantonese I'm often asked, "What's the difference between that and Mandarin?". This inevitably leads to a very poor explanation that includes references to the differences ...
1 vote
0 answers
211 views

How many Cantonese speakers who don't speak Mandarin exist? [closed]

I wonder how many Cantonese speakers (either native or L2 learners) who don't speak Mandarin exist in the world. At least in mainland China, as far as I know almost all people born in 1980 or later ...
5 votes
2 answers
266 views

In Cantonese, what is the difference between 到/倒 , 得 and 可以 as verb complement

I'm taking Cantonese classes and am increasingly confused about the difference between 到/倒 , 得 and 可以. They all have a vague meaning of possibility/ability/permission to some degree, with 可以 used to ...
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

received from a messaging app in Hong Kong, I would like to ask for an English explanation of the title

obstacle: the song of 老餅, how to interpret this word in English
5 votes
2 answers
210 views

Differences with 呢度,喺度,and 喺呢度

Can anyone explain any differences in usage between the three ways of saying 'here' in Cantonese? I anticipate that in many cases, these will be exchangeable. I'm looking for examples of sentences ...
4 votes
3 answers
489 views

Function of 行 in this statement (cantonese)

I am reading a Cantonese statement: 我日日都開行冷氣。 What is the function of 行? For me, it would have been perfectly fine as 我日日都開冷氣。 As in, I turn on the a/c everyday. Please give insights. Thanks
4 votes
4 answers
661 views

What is the function of 埋? (Cantonese)

In this sentence: 做乜唔叫埋我? What is the function of 埋? I understood this sentence to be: "why didn't you call me?" (perhaps to an outing or a party). What is the difference with the sentence &...

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