Questions tagged [cantonese]

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

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4answers
496 views

Difference between 製作 and 製造?

Both 製作 and 製造 mean "to make" according to this dictionary: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/2913/ http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/6021/ It seems like 製造 might ...
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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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282 views

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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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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75 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.com/chinese/...
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What is the difference between 台 and 臺?

What is the difference between 台 and 臺? 台 is both "simplified" and "alternative", 臺 is "traditional". 臺 seems to be the "correct" traditional form for Taiwan, but I've never seen it in reference to ...
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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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165 views

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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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?
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133 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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61 views

Would 怎麼知道 or 怎麼知 be the right Mandarin equivalent to the Cantonese phrase 點知?

Would 怎麼知道 or 怎麼知 be the right Mandarin equivalent to the Cantonese phrase 點知? If not, what would be the right equivalent?
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1answer
53 views

Do Mandarin people use 補鑊 as slang to represent fence-mending or damage control?

Cantonese people often use 補鑊 to mean fence-mending or damage control. Do Mandarin people use this phrase as well? If not, what phrase would be the Mandarin equivalent?
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211 views

How to ask for response and closing statement in a letter in cantonese and in traditional chinese?

I need help in writing a closing paragraph to my letter. What I need to write in cantonese is: Please, don't forget to reply back my postcard and letter I'm looking forward to get soon news from you. ...
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92 views

Mandarin/Cantonese translation of “it depends on your definition of 'good'”

Alice takes Bob to a new steak restaurant. Alice: Do you think the steak here is good? Bob: It depends on your definition of "good." 1) What is the natural translation for Bob's statement? ...
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541 views

Would “mutual acquaintance” in Mandarin be 共同朋友 or 相識朋友?

Which would be the more authentic Mandarin translation for "mutual acquaintance": 1) 共同朋友 2) 相識朋友? Is it the same for Cantonese?
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1answer
89 views

How to interpret the oracle poem (諸葛武侯乩文)?

Again, referring to another thread, I made this question, and provided info as an answer. Have fun destruct character (拆字), or extrasensory perception (觸機) 😸 Here's a version of the oracle poem in ...
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254 views

What are the Chinese characters for Cantonese 'tìm ge la wo'?

Source: What Language Is (2011), p. 127 Bottom What are the Chinese characters for the four bolded particles beneath? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%8C I didn't transcribe the quote, as ...
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394 views

How to say, “Could you please move over?” (Cantonese and Mandarin)

Assume Bob is sitting on the couch. In Mandarin, how would Alice politely ask Bob to move over and make room for her? Is this different for Cantonese?
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Natural translation for “Everything worth doing requires self-discipline and effort”

What would be the most natural way to say, "Everything worth doing requires self-discipline and effort?" 每個值得的事情都需要磨練和努力 feels like English crammed into Chinese. Would 每件值得的事都需要磨練和努力 be better? 1) ...
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128 views

Correct grammar: 沒有把你照顧好 vs 沒有好好照顧你?

Someone said the following in Mandarin to express not taking good care of you: 沒有把你照顧好. In Cantonese, it seems more natural to drop 把 and say something like 沒有好好照顧你. What's the correct grammar? Are ...
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121 views

Mandarin equivalent to 話事?

In Cantonese, people often say 話事 to indicate someone is "the boss" (e.g., 你話事) or can decide some matter (e.g., what to eat, what to watch). This page says the Mandarin equivalent is 作主, but 作主 ...
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861 views

How is non-standard Cantonese spoken by some mainland Chinese speakers different from “standard” pronunciation?

As someone who's more or less a native Cantonese speaker, I've noticed that some speakers from mainland China (from Cantonese speaking areas) sound "weird", in that I could clearly notice a difference ...
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123 views

Mandarin equivalent of 轉行 (zyun3 hong4), which means to switch industries?

In Cantonese, you often say 轉行 (zyun3 hong4) to say "switch industries". What's the Mandarin equivalent?
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103 views

san1 vs tai2 vs san1 tai2

I am doing martial arts and met some Cantonese people. In "Punch me to the body!" what word would I use for body? san1 (身), tai2 (體) or both? I found them all in the dictionary and I'm not sure which ...
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124 views

招待人 for “host” of guests or visitors (e.g., our “host” was kind)?

主持人 means the host of a show or event. What is the right word for someone who entertains or hosts guests? 招待人? For instance, assume this sentence: Alice thought Bob was a kind and hospitable host. ...
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333 views

Cantonese called white language by mainland chinese

Often when I interact with chinese folks coming from mainland China, they called cantonese "white language" (Ba Hua). Maybe my understanding is incorrect. Can anyone let me know if I'm mistaken and ...
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92 views

Could a translation error lead to squares to not be considered as rectangles? (Cantonese)

I'm reading a certain set of kindergarten/lower primary maths textbooks that is written by American authors for a Asian company. Whenever students are asked to identify the number of rectangles in a ...
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71 views

Is 交替更迭 redundant? Would this be proper grammar: 雨天與晴天交替?

This page lists an example sentence for 交替: 雨天與晴天交替更迭 According to the site, 交替 means to replace; alternately; in turn. However, 更迭 means to alternate; to change. Isn't 交替更迭 then redundant? If ...
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156 views

Does the word '攬' in Mandarin carry the meaning of “to loop ~ around”?

This question reminded me the different ways Cantonese say "fasten the safety belt" Cantonese only say: "攬安全帶" (loop the safety belt around oneself) "綁安全帶" (tie the safety belt) "扣安全帶" (buckle ...
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585 views

What phrases in Cantonese are thought to be colloquial but are actually used in Mandarin?

I only learnt HK Cantonese from my mother, and did not have the environment to speak or use it otherwise. She would tell me that certain Cantonese words are only spoken colloquially, but would not be ...
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1answer
229 views

Cangjie reference

I'm currently starting to learn to use a cangjie keyboard for typing Chinese (倉頡) and I'm struggling to find the combinations for characters. I would like a resource where I can use my slower ...
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How similar are Hakka and Cantonese?

I refer to this map (also shown below), which depicts that Yue and Hakka variants of Chinese are geographically very close to each other. If we take Hong Kong for example, how similar would the ...
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Why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese?

Can someone explain why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese, instead of a language? It is also for any language exist in China, both land and Taiwan (Cantonese, Hunanese, Fujianese, ...
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249 views

Mandarin version of 剩翻 (left over)?

In Cantonese 剩翻 often means left over or surplus, as in 剩翻好少錢 (only a little money remains) or 剩翻好多飯 (lots of rice/food left over). What's the Mandarin equivalent of 剩翻? Would it be 留下? CantoDict ...
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1answer
406 views

Resources for Cantonese speakers learning Mandarin?

CantoDict is awesome, and often contains translations from Cantonese phrases to their Mandarin equivalent, but sometimes it lacks Mandarin entries for words like 剩翻: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/...
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51 views

Mandarin version of 冇屈得就屈 (Don't accuse me without evidence)?

In Cantonese a common saying is 冇屈得就屈, which roughly translates to, "Don't accuse/frame me without evidence." (Literal: not able to frame then frame.) It's used in contexts where A accuses B without ...
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1answer
506 views

Mandarin version of “because of you” or “thanks to you”

In Cantonese, often times you hear people say 全靠你 (to mean "thanks to you" or "because of you" (e.g., Because of you, I was able to meet my goal.) This page suggests 多虧 is the Mandarin equivalent, ...
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1answer
658 views

I am happy for you (on your behalf): difference between 為你開心 and 當妳開心?

Assume a friend earns a promotion, and you want to say, "I'm happy for you." In English, there is a difference in meaning when you say: I am happy because of you: suggests you do things that make me ...
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207 views

Use of written Chinese in spoken context

I have often found in Hong Kong that the written version of words are used in spoken context (while speaking Cantonese). Being aware of the fact that Cantonese and written Chinese are pronounced ...
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4answers
226 views

(Cantonese) How to say there are always two sides to a story?

I'm talking to a friend about something, and she's only presenting one side. So I want to ask about the other side and say, "there are always two sides to every story." What's the best way to say this ...
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4answers
480 views

How to say “productive” in Mandarin and Cantonese? Google Translate says 生產的

效率 means efficient, but what is the word for productive in Cantonese and Mandarin? CantoDict does not have an entry, and Google lists 生產的 which feels wrong. For instance, let's say you want to ...
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374 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 ...
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133 views

List of verbs followed by 給

According to this page, 給 usually precedes the verb. On this page, it says 給 sometimes follows the verb, and often these exceptions are single-syllable verbs. 1) Is there a list of these exceptions ...
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1answer
613 views

Example of grammar difference between Cantonese and Mandarin?

This page lists the following sentence in Mandarin: 现在 不要 给 我 打 电话 However, in Cantonese it feels like the grammar would be more like: [now do not]打電話被我 In other words, the "target" part of ...
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1answer
58 views

Mandarin equivalent of 後尾 (in the end)?

In Cantonese, you often say "後尾" to mean "in the end." What's the Mandarin equivalent of 後尾? Is it 最後?
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92 views

How to say tradeoff in Cantonese and Mandarin?

The word tradeoff is not listed in Google nor in CantoDict. Is it 折衷? What's the Cantonese translation? What's the Mandarin translation?
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351 views

How to say throw away: 扔掉?

CantoDict lists 扔掉 as the translation for "throw away" as in "throw away the can," but I often hear people use 扔 by itself or 掉 by itself. Is 扔掉 the formal way of saying "throw away"? Is there a ...
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1answer
113 views

Understanding how to use 多 properly

My grammar could be wrong, but it feels like in Cantonese you would typically say something like 食多啲 to mean eat more. But this Mandarin grammar page says you should usually put 多 before the verb, ...
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502 views

How do I say “earlier”? (头先 in Cantonese)

Like "I played this game earlier." I'm indicating a time about a few hours ago. 过去和以前seem like too long ago. I guess I could say 几个小时前but in Cantonese there's 头先 which is shorter and I want to convey ...