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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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5answers
412 views

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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375 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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276 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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2answers
92 views

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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212 views

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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4answers
157 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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2answers
343 views

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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91 views

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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3answers
324 views

Zhong Shan Suit Inner Shirt Cantonese Name

I would like to ask the Cantonese speakers about the 中山裝. As we know, 中山裝 is similar to the western suit, 西裝, it is designed with the jacket (外套) and the inner shirt (長袖衫). However, my friends told ...
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2answers
880 views

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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1answer
134 views

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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1answer
68 views

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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1answer
91 views

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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344 views

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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1answer
113 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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97 views

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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855 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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545 views

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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1answer
587 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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915 views

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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284 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,...
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1answer
221 views

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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398 views

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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3answers
18k views

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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5answers
315 views

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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3answers
3k views

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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4answers
453 views

Why does 千秋 mean a swing?

Breaking down each word it means thousand autumns. Why does this mean a playground swing? Is this a local cantonese word or is it used in mandarin too?
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636 views

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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2answers
84 views

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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126 views

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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3answers
354 views

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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3answers
333 views

“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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178 views

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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Cantonese and Thai similarities

Is there a similarity between Cantonese and Thai? I've noticed that some words such as the word for chicken is the same.
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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.
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6answers
4k views

Why don't Cantonese speakers write their own language?

For me the most difficult thing about learning Cantonese has been that there are very few learning materials for foreigners (and I assume even for Chinese people). And even the materials that exist ...
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513 views

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 ...
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983 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?
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716 views

What's the correct term for ping (connection latency) in Standard Chinese/Cantonese?

How would you say something like "I'm lagging again, my ping is spiking to 500(ms)" in Putonghua and Cantonese (in the context of online games)? I've heard someone say "網又卡了!" before, but I'm not ...
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424 views

In Cantonese, what is a less “childish” way to call one's own parents?

I know the standard ways of calling one's parents—"媽媽/母親" or "爸爸/父親", mother and father respectively, the former more familiar and the latter more formal; or the more familiar/childish way—"媽咪" or "爹哋"...
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768 views

b and p, d and t, k and g etc. in English and Cantonese

Many words in Cantonese which I think should be pronounced as b, d, g, are translated by the British to p, t, k, respectively. For example, a place in Hong Kong called 大埔 and is pronounced as Dai Bo ...
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1answer
155 views

Cantonese 咁: adverb suffix?

I know 咁 means "so", as in "so big" = "gam daai". However, I just found this sentence: 我仲未失望咁係度等 Ngo5 zung6-mei6 sat1-mong6 gam3 hai6 dou6 dang2 In which I think it ought to be interpreted as ...
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1answer
122 views

In which ways can I express “to make s.o. jump” ?

I would like to know if there are different ways in Mandarin or Cantonese to express the causative, examplified by the help of the sentence "to make s.o. jump".
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264 views

Do Cantonese 畀 and Mandarin 被 have any historical connection?

畀 and 被's modern pronunciations are quite similar. Although 畀 can mean “give” like the Mandarin 给 it also can work like 被: 佢畀人睇見 他被人家看見 Do Cantonese 畀 and Mandarin 被 have any historical ...
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597 views

Can people carry on a conversation with each side speaking a different form of Chinese, like in some movies?

For example, in the movie Ip Man, the "northerner" martial arts fighter who comes to Foshan to challenge the local martial arts fighters always talks in Mandarin, while everybody he talks to (the ...
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1answer
832 views

Hong Kong Cantonese: Derogatory Terms For Mainlanders

What derogatory terms are there for mainlanders in Hong Kong Cantonese? I know there are a lot of terms that start with 北 but I'm not sure of specific ones.
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362 views

Asterisks in Jyutping Cantonese

I have come across a couple of Cantonese words transliterated in Jyutping which had * in the tone number. For example, on CantoDict, the word 广东话 is transliterated as gwong2-dung1-waa6*2. What does ...
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663 views

Does Cantonese have a falling tone?

In all Cantonese romanization systems I could find, tone 4 is labelled the falling tone. However according to http://www.freehongkong.net/cantonese-pronunciation-cantonese-tones/ Cantonese does not ...
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149 views

Learning written forms of dialects

I've looked for this question on the site but can't seem to find it. I'm interested in learning Chinese, well, Cantonese specifically, and I want to focus on both the written and spoken components. ...
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1answer
161 views

Alternative notations for Cantonese tones

What is the list of diacritics used to denote the seven Cantonese tones (in pinyin or similar notation)? Is there a standard (or even, more common) convention?