Questions tagged [cantonese]

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

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59 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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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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56 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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67 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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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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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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68 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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121 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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86 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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29 views

“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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43 views

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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105 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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84 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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“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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56 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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55 views

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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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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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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96 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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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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443 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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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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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;...
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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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250 views

What are the original Chinese characters for the Chinese family name Suening in the Philippines?

My late grandfather left Macau, China to the Philippine to find work around the year 1918-1920. In my dad's baptismal certificate, my grandfather carries the name Leo Suening. It's also common in the ...
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Translation from english into a phonetic Cantonese “Forces of Evil, Come and Obey.”

I'm a writer. I am trying to get "Forces of Evil, Come and Obey" or something with the same general meaning translated to phonetic Cantonese so I can have a character use it like a chant in a story ...
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157 views

What is the difference between「唐人」and「漢人」in Cantonese?

I have noticed that people speaking Cantonese use the term「唐人」. I am unsure about the definition of「唐人」in Cantonese. Does「唐人」in Cantonese mean exactly the same thing as「漢人」, or are there subtle ...
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102 views

How to say 'what's the difference between' in Cantonese?

I'm just wondering how to say 'what's the difference between X and X?' in Cantonese Any help (Jyutping or characters!) would be really appreciated! Thanks!
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What is the colloquial Cantonese translation for “还真是”?

A says: 他自从遇到车祸以后就不开车了。 B says: 还真是,我以为他不喜欢开车呢。
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What's the difference between 逼, 迫, and 逼迫? Do they all carry the same connotation of “to force?”

1) 逼, 迫, and 逼迫 all seem to mean "to force." Is there a difference? 2) If there's a difference, when should you use each one? 3) Which is the most common to use in speaking and writing? 4) Is there ...
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Is 受得了 the Mandarin equivalent of 頂得住 in Cantonese?

Is 受得了 the Mandarin equivalent of 頂得住 (cannot stand this) in Cantonese? If not, what is?
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Asking close friends what they like as souvenirs/gifts

I want to ask close friends (both in Cantonese and Mandarin) what they'd like for souvenirs. “What/do you like anything from (Japan)?” How do I say this in both languages? Thanks
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How do non-Mandarin speakers type Standard Chinese Writing System?

As far as I know, people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese but use Mandarin when writing official documents or homework using Mandarin. 粤语白话字 is not allowed in such cases. How does this work? Does this ...
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Grammar for 看來妳忘了發一個訊息。還是妳有用一些避忌的說話所以中國政府阻擋的

This message was not understood by a friend: 看來妳忘了發一個訊息。還是妳有用一些避忌的說話所以中國政府阻擋的。 The goal was to say this: It looks like you forgot to send a message. Or else you used some taboo words blocked by the ...
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99 views

Best translation for “confused”: 迷惑,困惑,弄混,搞亂,搞混?

This page lists multiple entries for confused: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/dictionary.php What's the best translation for confused in these contexts: 1) English: "What you just said ...
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Differences in “surprise” translations: 驚奇, 吃驚, 驚喜

This page lists multiple entries for surprise: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/dictionary.php 1) What's the difference among 驚奇, 吃驚, and 驚喜? 2) Are the meaning and uses the same for Cantonese?
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Mandarin equivalent of 同 when the meaning is “for, on behalf of”

As the dictionary entry below lists, 同 in Cantonese means for, on behalf of. http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/characters/215/ In Cantonese, you might say something like this (slightly ...
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Say no to Animal Cruelty [closed]

Because of the latest announcement by the government of China regarding reintroduction of use of endangered species I’d like to the translations for the following... Not medicine. Arrogance will ...
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How to express psychological insecurity (not physical insecurity)?

These two dictionaries seem to offer translations for insecurity that capture the physical sort, not the psychological sort (i.e., insecurity about your looks, weight, smarts, etc.). http://www....
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Appearance should be 現象, 跡象, or 表面?

This dictionary page lists many options for appearance: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/scripts/wordsearch.php?level=0 現象, 跡象, and 表面 all seem like good candidates. 1) Which one is the most common ...
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Wishing a happy 30th wedding anniversary

I wish to make a short video wishing my girlfriends parents a happy 30th wedding anniversary. The originally come from Hong Kong and speak Cantonese. I haven't met them yet, and my girlfriend told me ...
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從上次我們去那個咖啡店這次是第一次去了: This is the first time at the coffee shop since the last time we went?

Trying to translate This is the first time at the coffee shop since the last time we went produced these two sentences, which feel incorrect for Chinese grammar. 從上次我們去那個咖啡店這次是第一次去了 從上次我們去那個咖啡店,...
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Could 看不起 work as the Mandarin equivalent of 睇唔起?

This dictionary entry says the Mandarin equivalent of Cantonese's 睇唔起 is 瞧不起. http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/15825/ Some Mandarin speakers seem to use 看不起. Is 看不起 a valid way of ...
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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.com/chinese/...
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Is 看怎麼理解? a generalized expression for “it depends” in Mandarin? How about for Cantonese?

A movie used the phrase 看怎麼理解 to mean, "it depends." The context was character A asking character B if something is good or bad. Character B responded with 看怎麼理解. 1) Is 看怎麼理解 a generalized phrase ...
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Mandarin vs. Cantonese: 令 vs 讓 for making something happen

In Cantonese, it's common to hear someone say 令 when referring to making something happen. Example: 妳咁做令我開心 (You make me happy when you do this.) Some friends claimed Mandarin doesn't use 令 this way ...
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101 views

Etymology of phrases 靜雞雞 and 靜靜雞. Are both correct, and is there any difference in meaning?

靜 means "quiet" and "雞" means "chicken". Put together as 靜雞雞 or 靜靜雞 the meaning is "quietly" or "steathily". What is the etymology of 靜雞雞 and 靜靜雞? I've heard both 靜雞雞 and 靜靜雞. Are both correct? Is ...
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131 views

Which is the more polite way to ask for permission: 能 or 可以?

According to this site, both 能 and 可以 can be used to politely ask for permission. 1) Which is considered more polite? 2) Which is more formal? 3) Is it the same for Cantonese?
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82 views

Would 反駁 be the Mandarin equivalent to 駁嘴?

駁嘴 in Cantonese means to "answer back" or "argue" often in a disrespectful way. URL: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/16019/ Would 反駁 be the Mandarin equivalent to 駁嘴?