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Questions tagged [topolect]

questions regarding regional variants of the Chinese language

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122 views

How are “vernacular” and “literary” readings of characters chosen and used outside of Mandarin?

There are other posts that mention the relationship between classical Chinese vis-a-vis Mandarin (e.g., this one and this one), but what defines the use of "literary" and "vernacular" readings in ...
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100 views

Why would Antimony (Sb) and Aluminum (Al) be confused?

I'm going through some Chinese language materials and finding some interesting discoveries across multiple dialects. In Chinese 锑[銻] is Antimony (Sb) & 铝(鋁) is Aluminum (Al). In Cantonese there ...
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114 views

What Chinese languages are spoken in South East Asia?

With the abundance of immigration and emigration in Asia it would be interesting to know where the Chinese languages moved to as well. The effect of Chinese characters on Japan and Korea goes ...
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58 views

About a (Southern Sixian?) Hakka folk song found on Youtube

Since all the info I have about the song is in the Hakka Lyrics (facebook group) post I made about it, let me quote it as is, then proceed to ask the questions. Nyi-teu-sa ti li siu ko kai Hak-boi ...
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Help translating two lines of Zhang Shaolin's “Hakka homesickness” (客家乡情) + some weird pronunciations in that song

Song video. Lyrics, romanization (based on what I hear in the video), translation attempt. 张少林的“客家乡情”(客家话) 爱记乡情 齐家都係客人 最緊有煞拼求進 (AX 建议的写法) 莫忘乡情 齐家係自家人 只只回故乡寻根 叔公叔婆来相认 亲戚送礼来好热心 到处都有人亲 做事耐苦 人乌白也分明 ...
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672 views

Questions on a Hakka song and its particular Hakka dialect

Warning, General Background, Table of Contents This is going to be a very long post, just like my work on this video was very long. This is why I am breaking it down into sections. It is also going ...
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Any evidence for z(h)uang (这么) and luang (那么)?

I keep hearing: zuang [tsuaŋ] and luang [Ĩuaŋ] for 这么 and 那么, respectively. I believe it is Minjiang dialect (岷江话, 岷江小片). I've flipped through a couple of books I have but I haven't been able ...
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126 views

Why is Húnán pronounced with an F?

I traveled to Hunan province and stumbled across something interesting. I was speaking to a taxi driver and asked him, 'where are you from'? He responded, 'Funan'. I then realized he actually meant '...
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Is there any proof that learning ones own dialect will improve ability in Mandarin?

There were many topolectical surveys done and data collected in the 70’s and 80’s under the reasoning that a person more familiar with their own dialect would be readily more proficient at Mandarin. ...
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Why does Mandarin differentiate 发[發/髮] fa1/fa4 when most topolects don't?

發 and 髮 have been simplified into one single character: 发. 发 contains the separate meanings of 發 and 髮 but differentiates by tone: fa1 (fā) and fa4 (fà). Most topolects (西安,武汉,洛阳,乌鲁木齐,贵阳,济南,柳州,万荣,...
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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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543 views

In Sichuanese does 日本人 mean “fuck me”?

I found a very interesting entry on Pleco: 日本人 (Sichuanese expletive) fuck me (日 here means cào [肏]) I have never heard it but is this explanation correct? What is the etymology of this usage ...
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Taiwanese brand of computers called 嘉馬電腦

From what I can tell, 嘉馬電腦 means The Auspicious Horse Computer. Is this a reasonable translation? Is 嘉馬電腦 a normal-sounding brand name to Chinese-speakers? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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How is “biang” as in “biáng biáng miàn” pronounced in other dialects?

To my understanding, "biáng" is not a sound that exists in Mandarin, though there's some argument on the hypothetical phonological possibility of such here. One might assume therefore that it is a ...
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What dialect/topolect is 凉薯 a part of?

《现代汉语大词典》defines 凉薯 as: 方言。即豆薯。有的地方也叫地瓜。藤本植物, 花色浅蓝或白色, 结荚, 种子有毒, 块根像甘薯, 可食。 It was the 方言 part that threw me off here. Baidu Baike just calls it a 别称 other resources also just say something ...
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Why is inital /ŋ/ considered hick-ish?

There seems to be a habit of dropping /ŋ/ initials in topolects/dialects for fear of seeming like a redneck. Consider: Canto: 屋 nguk1 vs. uk1 [the new ABC Cantonese dictionary only gives the uk1 ...
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About the last non-repeated sentence in 爱人是行船人

The Min song mentioned in the title has the following lyrics (conformed to the "guidelines" of 台湾闽南语常用词辞典): 在阮的心目中 伊是一个男子汉 在阮的一生中 只爱伊一人 伊的船只已经欲出航 毋知何时才会阁再入港 虽然装着笑容 来共伊相送 阿~~心爱的人 ...
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Two questions on a sentence in a Min song

The sentence We are looking at the first sentence of the part of Liû-lõng kàu Tām-tsuí sung solo, which is typically found written: 扞着风琴提着吉他 双人牵做伙 According to my research, noting that I ...
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Min 毋免: m̄-bián only, or possibly m̄-mián?

This word is found in 爱拼才会赢, where I hear it as undoubtedly m̄-mián, yet when I look it up on 台湾闽南语常用词辞典 or on Wiktionary, I only find the pronunciation m̄-bián. So I was wondering: is he getting it ...
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53 views

About an extra sentence in a Min song in a CD

光盘上在这首歌的结束又多一句话:“na li bo sua tsong lai thi pue tua”(若你无线总来?袂大?); maybe “tsong ai”, maybe “na bo sua”…就是“若你无线总爱紩袂煞” | Nā lí bô suànn tsóng ài thīnn buē suah | 如果你没线总要缝不完… but it sounds like it ends ...
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156 views

About a line in 爱拼才会赢

Here are the full lyrics of the song in the title as found here, where a video is also found: 一时失志不免怨叹 一时落魄不免胆寒 那通失去希望 每日醉茫茫 无魂有体亲像稻草人 人生可比是海上的波浪 有时起 有时落 好运 歹运 总嘛要照起工来行 三分天注定 ...
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1answer
129 views

Hakka equivalent of 把

I was wondering if there is any Hakka word that functions the same as Mandarin 把, that is, marks the direct object when it is placed before a verb. For example: 我把我的电脑放在桌子上了。 Hakka: ...
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73 views

地位 sounds like tek-ui or te-kui: singer's mistake or lyrics should be different?

In the Hokkien song 男人的汗 (Min title 查埔人的汗, lyrics here, there is the following line: 人生行到遮 地位亲像山 It should sound: Lin-sing kiann kau tsia    te-ui tshin-tshiunn suann Instead, in the ...
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Spoken unsubtitled Min in a (now deleted) Youtube video: characters?

Long ago, I ran into the song 媽媽歌星, and in particular I have a download of a video where there were two spoken parts in Min, without captions. It is rather unfortunate that the video in question is ...
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Using 鸟 as a verb

Wiktionary gives one usage of 鸟 as "(dialectal) to pay attention; to heed; to take notice of" Which dialect, or what region is this, and how does it look in one or two sample sentences?
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What verb is the 捏 in the Min sentence 将你捏絚絚?

There is this song called 不能讲的秘密 (well, technically it's best spelt as 袂使讲的秘密), "Secret I cannot tell", and it is in Min Nan. At a certain point, there is this sentence: 将你捏紧紧 That's how the ...
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60 views

Hakka song: problem translating a bit

Full song lyrics with transliteration and translation attempt The spelling is not something I want to discuss here. Indeed, I discussed it here. The transliteration is that given by Minhakka, plus ...
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142 views

On average, how literate in Mandarin are overseas Chinese?

I'm hoping to be able to provide better service to some Chinese customers I occasionally see at my night job (hardware store) who have difficulty describing what they're looking for in English. I can'...
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95 views

Min Nan expressions: spelling, meaning and pronunciation?

There is a song called 三声无奈, "three times helpless". It is in Min, and it has lyrics that can be written as: 一时贪着阿君仔媠 | A moment of craving, oh, you are beautiful 痴情目睭格眛眛 | [My] infatuated eyes [...
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Are there any circumstances in which 弈 (yì) could be mistaken for 野 (yě)?

I understand the sounds and inflections are distinct, and that the only commonality is the initial consonant. But what if it were a conversation between two speakers with different native dialects, ...
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What does “liam” mean in this song's lyrics?

深深的爱(詹雅雯) Min Nan lyrics (spelling and romanization from twblg.dict.edu.tw, video here) 想起行过的路: | Siūnn-khí kiânn-kuè ê lōo: 阮的跤步, | Gún ê kha-pōo, 虽然经过风雨, | Sui-liân king-kuè hong-hōo,...
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1answer
59 views

Why would topolects get described in terms of Mandarin? (声母变异、韵母变异)

[Perhaps this is a "which came first - the chicken or the egg?"-type question - but I'm left quite puzzled why anyone would describe things in this manner.] Why would anyone (or any material for that ...
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二 Mandarin pronunciation vs. other dialects and Japanese

Since I started learning Japanese a while ago, I always found the onyomi pronunciation of 二, being 'ni', unusual compared to the Mandarin pronunciation of 'èr'. The Old and Middle Chinese ...
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how do dialects deal with two seperate falling tones accents?

I've asked a similar question before: Dialects/Topolects: Tone Marks? but I want to make this more specific here. I know not everyone agrees with tone accents in dialects/topolects - but just for ...
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Mandarin in Hunan Province

In Hunan Province, how common in standard Mandarin? Or, more generally, where regional dialects are spoken, how common is Mandarin? If I were to pass HSK 3 and be fairly competent at that level, ...
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What kind of nuance does 呗 have?

In the northeastern dialect, 呗 is sometimes added to the end of a sentence. Although I use it often as well, I don't really know how to explain why it is used and what nuance does it carry. My first ...
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126 views

Reference: (彝语)杀只鸡,你死了我开心

I recently found out that there is a phrase in 彝语 (Yi) which equates to: 杀只鸡,你死了我开心 I tried finding some references to this online, but to no avail. If the original Yi phrase is available I would ...
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95 views

Does 广安话 have 翘舌音?

四川话很少有翘舌音,除了自贡、郫县有一些说法之外,真的很难找到四川话的翘舌音。 《广安方言与民俗词典》记了几个: 【che(-)n】?伸“she(-)n”的音变。指舒展开。“扯伸”,又说“拉伸”,指拉直。例:把衣服扯伸。 【cha(v)】?叉“cha(-)”的音变。指分开、张开。 【ché】?坼“chè”的音变。指物体表面或内部出现了裂缝。 这些大概是错的,不过没有证据。 ...
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is 尿 still pronunced `yao` in 江西话?

《广安方言与民俗词典》 says: 【yào】尿“niao4”的音变。此为江西话在广安一些地方的遗存。在实际语言运用中,要注意区分“要来了”与“尿来了”、“我要”与“屙尿”等相似音。 俗语:“打尿噤”,指因尿急身体突然颤动一两下。 “口水多,无尿屙”,讽刺话语特别多的人。 “你娃儿沟子一翘,老子就晓得你要屙尿”,比喻十分清楚对方的意图。 歇后语:“...
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References: north-eastern Mandarin: xier meaning 'great/awesome/excellent'

Looking for any references here: North-eastern Mandarin has the word xier (perhaps: xuer) usage is same as: 太棒了 i.e.: 太xier了 As usual everyone thinks that it cannot be written & that there ...
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1answer
72 views

How many different dialect known to exist in the Chinese language and what are they?

From what I know there is Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese But are there other minority dialect? I've heard one spoken outside the mainlands, can anyone confirm?
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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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4answers
83 views

Did 李白 and 杜甫 popularize/standardize any 方言?

Two of the most well known Chinese poets ABC says: poet, second in fame only to Li Bai of Du Fu. Did either 杜甫 or 李白 popularize or standardize any sort of 方言 through their works? (Certainly not ...
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153 views

What's the Mandarin equivalent of 埋 in Cantonese?

For example (in Cantonese): 記住帶埋手套 走之前要閂埋房門 佢跟埋我哋一齊去 What character can be used as 埋 in Mandarin? Thanks for any help.
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56 views

What's the tone on 河南话's 中 (as in: very good)

What's the time on 河南话's 中 meaning very good? It sounds like 3rd tone but I'm not sure.
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57 views

Why would the name of the 慈祐宮 temple in Taipei sometimes be written “Cinyou” instead of “Ciyou”?

Near where I'm staying in Taipei there is a temple called 慈祐宮. Most signs write 慈祐 in pinyin as "Ciyou", but some write it as "Cinyou". Would this just be a mistake or could there be a reason for it: ...
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2answers
81 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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129 views

What languages have been approved by SARFT for use?

An answer from another question linked this article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guangzhou_Television_Cantonese_controversy which says: Due to Mandarin’s status as the official language, use of ...
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84 views

Are things ever dialect checked?

I'm wondering if things (in general) are ever dialect checked? 哈尔滨啤酒 has a commercial where they go around singing the name 哈啤 over and over again but it sounds a lot like SB in Southwestern Mandarin....
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136 views

Learning resources for Minjiang dialect (岷江话)?

岷江话 岷江话,又称为岷江小片,是四川话的一个分支,主要分布于四川盆地西南部岷江流域及长江两岸,同时在盆地中部分布有一个由西充、盐亭、射洪三县组成的方言岛。岷江话的主要特征是入声保留,独立成调,拥有一套仅用于入声字的紧元音韵母,在部分地区还保留有喉塞音韵尾,因而并不符合“入声归阳平”这一《中国语言地图集》中划定西南官话的标准。在《中国语言地图集》中,...