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
174 views

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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1answer
247 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
731 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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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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250 views

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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2answers
699 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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1answer
227 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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3answers
373 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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1answer
167 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?
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1answer
7k views

What website will speak Cantonese to me? [closed]

My parents are born in Hong Kong so I can speak Cantonese semi-fluently, although I cannot write. I've been learning Mandarin and I find that my cantonese has been useful because if the word is used ...
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1answer
446 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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2answers
376 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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592 views

腦力 the way to say “mental strength” in Cantonese?

Someone offered two options for saying "mental strength" in Cantonese, but neither seems quite right. Here were the two options suggested: 1) 腦力 2) 精神腦 What's the right way to say "mental strength"?...
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253 views

What's the Mandarin equivalent of “定係”?

I'm writing up something in Chinese, and want to write the following (irrelevant information redacted): Do I need to bring XXX? [...] Or I can just bring a photocopy of it? I'm not completely sure ...
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619 views

Japanese 気分転換 in Cantonese?

Is there an expression in Cantonese with roughly the same meaning as the Japanese 気分転換 (I guess it's 氣分轉換 in Chinese characters)? I would include an English translation but something might get lost in ...
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1answer
47 views

Difference between 不了 and 不到

This question focuses on the differences between 了and 到. What's the difference between verb + 不了 and verb + 不到? Do the differences also apply to Cantonese? Examples: 收不到 vs 收不了 幫不到 vs 幫不了 來不到 vs ...
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1answer
46 views

What is the function of 而 and 為咗 in 我哋為咗決定去邊度度蜜月而閙交 in Cantonese?

我哋為咗決定去邊度度蜜月而閙交. In this sentence, I understand that the meaning is “we got into an argument when deciding where to go for a honeymoon.” What is the function of 而 and 為咗?
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1answer
56 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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1answer
95 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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Cantonese Pronunciation of 户珥 (Hur)

Hur (Ex. 17:12) in the Bible is translated as 户珥. Does anybody know for sure how to pronounce 户珥 in Cantonese? 珥 has two variants (Jyutping) nei6 餌, 鈮, 膩 and ji6 二, 樲, 潩 I just wonder which ...
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1answer
349 views

Do Southern Chinese speakers have any greater propensity towards using 啦 than Northern Chinese speakers?

I'll provide some context that leads me to suspect this. I am the American born son of Overseas Chinese who were born and raised in Myanmar. The dominant household language ended up being a mixture of ...
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1answer
70 views

Is there a Mandarin equivalent of the Cantonese term “手尾”?

手尾 is a very common Cantonese term, I would like to know what Mandarin term can be the equivalent of it. The following are from CantoDict dictionary: 手尾: (to tie up) loose ends 冇手尾: fail to ...
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1answer
71 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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145 views

“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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1answer
530 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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4answers
158 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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320 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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235 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
543 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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343 views

How would you say “he does not take criticism well” in Cantonese and in Mandarin? [closed]

How would you say this in Cantonese and how would you say this in Mandarin?
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306 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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How to say “Don't count on me” in Cantonese?

The context: A: Want to get lunch on Saturday? B: Don't count on me. My game may last until 1 PM. Several suggestions were offered for how to say, "Don't count on me" in Cantonese, but none seemed ...
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141 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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5answers
692 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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740 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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727 views

What's “Mao Li” (Cantonese) in mandarin?

I've read an article which says that "Mao Li" in cantonese means "fool" in English. What is the mandarin equivalent of "Mao Li"? MandarinTools does not seem to return any useful results for ...
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215 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
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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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3answers
141 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
213 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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700 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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84 views

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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1answer
110 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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63 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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422 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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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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253 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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687 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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97 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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1answer
124 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".