Questions tagged [cantonese]

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

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115 views

Which one to use: 搞笑 vs. 攪笑 and 搞亂 vs 攪亂?

For "amusing/funny," CantoDict lists these two variations: 搞笑 and 攪笑. Similarly, these two words are listed as variations of each other for "to confuse, to mess up": 搞亂 and 攪亂. In Cantonese they are ...
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Cantonese special characters

The characters below belong only to Cantonese: 嚟, 咁, 哋, 畀, 佢, 唔, 睇 or 冇. Is there a list on the web where I can find all these characters and their meaning?
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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,...
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Character for dice in Cantonese

From the dictionary, it seems that the word for "dice" in Mandarin is either "骰子", pronounced "tóu zi", or "色子", pronounced "shǎi zi". In Cantonese, the character for dice is pronounced "sik1" (...
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When is a degree required? or: hai6 vs hou2 vs gei

I am trying to learn Cantonese. I want to be able to say (speak, not write) after a meal: I am full. Which I could translate directory to: Ngo5 hai6 baau2 But, my local (student in HK) ...
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662 views

What does 原地踏步 mean in Cantonese?

Heard this on TVB: 原地踏步. What does the phrase mean? There's nothing in the Cantonese dictionary for this phrase.
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How to start learning Cantonese?

How can I learn Cantonese on my own? What resources can I use and what is the right way to do it? I have friends who are from Hong Kong so I have people to "talk at" I guess who will honestly ...
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Is there an equivalent for the Cantonese phrase “M Goi”

The Cantonese phrase "M Goi" has many meanings: "Excuse me" "Thanks" (casual) "Hey" Does it have a 普通话 equivalent? And how can I write it in pinyin? Is it even possible?
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闭上 pronounced pei-soeng in Cantonese: just Wang Jie in this song or something more?

In 能否不想你 (lyrics here), Wang Jie pronounces (or so it seems to my ear) 门若闭上了 变再会无期 as Mun joek pei-soeng-liu    bin zoi-wui mou-kei Is this just this video or is this pronunciation ...
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Mandarin equivalent to 而家做嘢做成點?

In Cantonese, you often hear people say this phrase 你而家做嘢做成點. What would the Mandarin equivalent be for this phrase?
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Mandarin: when to use 面 (mian) or 臉 (lian)?

In Cantonese, you usually use 面 to mean face. However, it seems like in Mandarin, people use 臉 (e.g., 我的臉很紅) sometimes and other times use 面 (e.g., 面對面). What are the guidelines around using 面 or 臉?
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Difference between Cantonese and Mandarin: using 係/是 to link noun with adjective?

This Chinese grammar page states 是 (shì) is only used to link two nouns. It cannot be used to link a noun and an adjective. For instance, you should not say this in Mandarin: 我是高 But in ...
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361 views

遲 vs. 晚 in Mandarin: when to use which one?

In Cantonese, you can use 遲 to indicate someone is late (e.g., not punctual) or the time is late (e.g., past midnight so all restaurants are closed). However, it seems like Mandarin speakers use 晚 in ...
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264 views

才vs 先: When to use each one in Mandarin?

In Cantonese, you use 先 to mean "first." For example: Eat first => 先食 In Mandarin, most people use 才 so it becomes: 才吃 But sometimes people also use 先 even with Mandarin, so what are the ...
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What is the Mandarin equivalent of 唔夾 in Cantonese (i.e., not complementary)?

In Cantonese, you can say 唔夾 to say A and B are not complementary. What's the equivalent in Mandarin? 不合 or 不搭?
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What is the Mandarin equivalent of Cantonese's 一係 A 一係 B?

In Cantonese, you can use 一係 to present two options. For instance, you can say: "Either eat or go" => 一係食一係走 In Mandarin, someone said 或者 is similar but lacks the same emphasis and force. In other ...
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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 ...
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Cantonese sandhi

In Mandarin, there is limited tone sandhi, mainly about third tones and the tone variations of yi1 (one) and bù (not). By contrast, Min has sandhi rules for all tones, as illustrated by this diagram. ...
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What is the Mandarin equivalent of Cantonese's 麻麻地 (so-so)?

How do you say "so-so" in Mandarin? In Cantonese, you would say 麻麻地. What's the Mandarin equivalent of 麻麻地?
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Why do Malaysians have Cantonese surnames?

I vaguely know that Cantonese is quite widely spoken in Kuala Lumpur and the peninsular area of Malaysia. Is this the reasons why many Malaysian colleagues have surnames that are common in Hong Kong? ...
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What is the equivalent phrase of the figurative 'red meat' in Chinese?

'Red meat' literally means 紅肉 (e.g. beef, lamb) in Chinese, but it is typically used in a figurative sense in political commentaries. For Example: "His outrageous statements are red meat for his ...
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What is this handwritten character?

I'm trying to identify the first character in this image: If it helps, the pronunciation is meant to be "pong" (the whole phrase is Cantonese "pong hau kei"). I've tried looking through some Jyutping ...
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how to search words / clauses in classical / literary chinese?

this question is made, and answer provided; in lieu of a long comment. though info might be controversial (from that area's view), i sincerely hope that it's helpful to anyone interested in chinese ...
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838 views

吃 and 食 difference

I'm a native Cantonese speaker, so in Cantonese I use 食 as a verb and hardly ever use 吃, but in Mandarin, 吃 replaces 食 as the verb "to eat". Because of that I'm not sure when to use 食 in a correct ...
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Is Cantonese a better choice in studying classic of poetry (詩經)?

Again, I ask this question, and provide my opinion as an answer, to reply to the comment of another thread in Stack Exchange: Pronunciation of Tang Dynasty Poetry Now, I ask again: in studying ...
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What is the 平仄 rule in 無情對

I am fascinated by 無情對, It is two of my attempts: 四川特產北菇 (Sichuan specialty mushroom) 三洋通用東芝 (Sanyo, GM, Toshiba) ~ 今朝書店晚開 (Bookstore open late today) 現代本田日產 (Hyundai, Honda, Nissan)...
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109 views

Is Cantonese a better choice in looking for characters in rime dictionary (韻書)?

I ask this question, and provide my opinion as an answer, to reply to the comment of another tread in stack exchange: Pronunciation of Tang Dynasty Poetry The rationale is that it is difficult to ...
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What does 春德东更 mean and in what language?

What does that phrase 春德东更 mean? I found the writing on a t-shirt (which you can see below). When I look up the phrase on Google and Google Translate, the results doesn't come up with any satisfying ...
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Saying “thank you”

I noticed in Cantonese there are two ways to say "thank you" based on the situation. You use "m goi" if thanking someone for a service and "do ze" when you receive a gift. Does Mandarin have similar ...
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What is “Tao of Jeet Kune Do” known as in Cantonese?

The name itself is a bit strange, as if someone jumbled up the dialects. If "Tao" is the archaic Mandarin transcription for 道 (meaning "the way"), then it would either be "Dao of Jie Quan Dao" in ...
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578 views

Cantonese comedy cartoons

I'd like to start watching either Cantonese series or western series dubbed in Cantonese to improve my language level. Do you have some suggestions? I like comedy cartoons like the Simpsons or Family ...
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Is the pronoun 大家 (everybody) a subject only?

In a Cantonese forums, someone posted a question: " how to say 'each other?' or 'one another' in Chinese" One of the suggestion was: I thought the simplest way is just to say 大家? They don'...
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Which characters are used to write 'a cha', a slang word for South Asians?

In the UK some Chinese use a word pronounced like 'a cha' (my guess in pinyin) to describe South Asian people (generally regarded as people of Indian heritage but could include Pakistanis, ...
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Confusion between “planet” and “star” in Cantonese?

It seems that the formal terms for "planet" (行星) and "star" (like the Sun) (恆星) are pronounced identically in Cantonese (both Jyutping: hang4 sing1). Given that these terms are often discussed ...
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Can someone please translate this from Cantonese to English for me? [closed]

My girlfriend wrote it and it's important to me. Thank you so much. 點解依個世界有啲咁幼稚嘅人 點解我唔好以靚啲瘦啲叻啲 有一技之長 點解我乜都做唔好 點解咁多個唔揀揀我 點解冇人中意我 點解我做幾多野都冇人欣賞 其實我個人偏向中性某程度上係因為冇男嘅候我所以我索性乜都唔理 其實我唔係特登sad比人睇 ...
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How can I get a Cantonese keyboard on an iPhone?

Like Pinyin, but I need something that can recognize Cantonese instead of Mandarin. The only Chinese keyboards recognize Mandarin.
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Spoken Cantonese | using '緊', and difference between continuous and progressive aspects

I'm told that 緊 serves the general purpose of '-ing' (according to HK native speaker, who also uses '梗' to represent this idea in text). This is supported by what I've found online, except with a ...
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How would one say: “You should be ashamed of yourself.” in Mandarin and Cantonese?

I would like to know what Chinese people say in general when saying "you should be ashamed of yourself". In Google translate I get the following: 你应该为自己感到羞耻 In my opinion this is way too formal. Is ...
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What is the polite way to say a grandparent has passed away?

I've been trying to find out what is the polite way of telling someone that someone, specifically a relative, has passed away? I'm pretty sure it's not very nice to say someone died (死)。 Google ...
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Simplified variant of 幺?

This question is regarding when 幺 appears in traditional Chinese. What is the simplified variant of 幺? I asked this question on the cantodict forums recently, and one member gave this excellent ...
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“to slice or cut (a finger)” in Traditional Chinese / Spoken Cantonese?

Haven't managed to find a usage that speaks specifically to cut or slice open a body part. Also seeing contradictions (or perhaps information gaps) between CantoDict and Pleco. Some notes: ...
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Comprehension of untoned speech in Cantonese

Do Cantonese speakers still understand speech when all syllables are spoken in a neutral tone (similar to the Mandarin's 5th tone)? And to what extent do they understand it? I spoke to a Cantonese ...
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The phrase “Brush Stroke Order”

This is my first post here and I apologise if this isn't quite the right forum for such a question - although I'm hopeful that it is. I'll be happy to edit and refine my question if necessary, or ...
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Macau Cantonese, any differences from HK?

Does anyone know how Cantonese from Macau differ from HK if there are any? Any slangs or terms used in Macanese Cantonese that is rarely used or heard in HK? Maybe some sinicised portuguese words? ...
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Is the Cantonese diminutive (粒) the same as the Mandarin (子)?

Is the Cantonese diminutive (粒) as in 鸡粒炒饭 the same as the Mandarin (子)? Is that the right character to use? UPDATE: Sorry for the mistake, I really did mean 粒, not 里.
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Translation verification for a notice

Hello everyone I hope you can help me with a translation. I am looking for a Cantonese teacher (or speaker for that matter) in my area and I want to post a notice. I have asked and received a ...
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How to use jyutping as an input method on windows 8.1

Is there a way to use Jyutping as the input method on Windows 8.1?
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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.
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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?
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How to pronounce 廿卅卌 in Chinese?

I originally just wanted to ask something about 廿 (20). But as I searched on the internet I found 卅(30) and 卌(40) as well, and I have to admit that I didn't know these two. I think 廿 is pronounced as ...