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Questions tagged [cantonese]

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

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2answers
80 views

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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80 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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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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178 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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102 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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145 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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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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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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62 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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236 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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94 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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553 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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402 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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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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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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4answers
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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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132 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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4answers
125 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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299 views

Is the pinyin of 「操」in「情操」and「步操」the same in Mandarin?

Originally posted at http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/phorum/read.php?4,130404 由細到大,自己同身邊嘅人都將「劉備」個「備」字讀成與(比)字同音 而「曹操」個「操」字就讀成與(粗)字同音 但最近睇港版,『三國 』(2013) 「劉備」個「備」字讀成「預備」個「備」 而「曹操」個「操」字就讀成「...
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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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104 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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134 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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1answer
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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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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1answer
425 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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250 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
514 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
55 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
241 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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1answer
702 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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212 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
394 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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532 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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1answer
645 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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3answers
135 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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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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378 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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2answers
95 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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120 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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359 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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129 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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1k views

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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93 views

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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2answers
237 views

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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622 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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522 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 ...
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136 views

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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4answers
527 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 ...