Questions tagged [topolect]

questions regarding regional variants of the Chinese language

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17
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10answers
6k views

Why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese?

Can someone explain why Cantonese is considered as a dialect of Chinese, instead of a language? It is also for any language exist in China, both land and Taiwan (Cantonese, Hunanese, Fujianese, ...
14
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4answers
6k views

Useful resources for learning Taiwanese?

My girlfriend is from Fujian and speaks 闽南语, so I am trying to learn so I can communicate with her family better. The struggle is finding any useful resources (even in Chinese), so I'm wondering if ...
13
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5answers
692 views

麻油Q米血 on a menu in Taipei

For lunch today in Taipei I found a small street food place near my hostel. On the menu was this item: 麻油Q米血 Here's a photo of the relevant part of the menu: 麻油 is sesame oil, 米 is rice, and 血 ...
12
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8answers
2k views

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 ...
10
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3answers
4k views

Are there differences in writing between Chinese languages, such as Mandarin and Shanghainese

There are already many questions about the different spoken languages that can be called Chinese. This question on the other hand asks about the written one(s?). Well, to start, is the written ...
10
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7answers
2k views

What is the status of 什么来的 and 什么来着 in standard and colloquial Mandarin Chinese?

When I first moved to the south of China, I was surprised to hear the phrase "什么来的" used to mean "what," as in  这是什么来的?: "What is this?" As far as I could tell, in many cases there was no ...
9
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3answers
873 views

How is the 儿 ending pronounced outside Beijing?

When Beijingers use words like 一点儿, the ending syllable will be very pronounced as far as I understand, and I'm aware that this is a typical feature of the Beijing dialect. But how is it pronounced in ...
9
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9answers
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Is 師奶 (see lai) strictly a Cantonese word? Is it a neutral word or does it have a negative connotation?

I had heard a husband refer to his wife in Cantonese as 師奶 (pronounced "see lai"). The way he said it sounded like an insult but I was told it's not a bad word. How would 師奶 be described in English? ...
9
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2answers
351 views

Is there a “Peking Opera dialect”?

Peking Opera has a distinct pronunciation, that is at first similar to Mandarin, but to astute listeners, certain characters appear to have alternate or even non-Mandarin pronunciations. Take certain ...
9
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3answers
1k 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 ...
9
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2answers
684 views

Help translating 海南鸡饭 - 2

I've come across Zhang Shaolin's Hoi-nam kai-fan (characters 海南鸡饭, lyrics only in subtitles), a song in Hakka. It is split into three parts. This question concentrates on part 2, part 1 being here and ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Are the Cantonese word 係 and the Japanese word はい related?

The Cantonese word meaning "to be", written as 係 (Jyutping: hai6) sounds similar to the Japanese word はい ("hai" in various Romanizations). Both words are used to answer "yes" or "it is correct" to yes-...
8
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2answers
389 views

Are there some greetings or phrases particular to the Hui people?

I'm in Yunnan and have noticed lots of Chinese muslims and ate at one of their restaurants today. I was aware of Turkic-speaking muslim ethnic minorities in the far west of China but now I know those ...
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3answers
2k views

Is Hakka spoken the same in Guangdong and Taiwan?

In Taiwan Hakka is the 3rd most popular language, and the MRT in Taipei makes all announcements in 4 languages; Mandarin, Minnan, Hakka, and English. It is also a minority language in Hong Kong and ...
7
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5answers
880 views

What is the most common way to say 'indecisive' in Mandarin?

I have heard a range of different terms meaning 'indecisive' in Chinese - I'm not sure if they were in dialect, or there are several options for saying it in Mandarin, and so I'm curious to learn what ...
7
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2answers
434 views

Character and meaning for the 四川话 sentence-ending particle 'ga'?

Scholars of Chinese will have a lot of work to do in the next 100-200 years, because eventually academics will take notice and want to document the self-emergent standardization of orthography for ...
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6answers
1k views

Looking for very common dialect words that have no Standard Mandarin Chinese hanzi characters

I'm basing this question on several assumptions, so if they are wrong please say so as an answer: Written Chinese is mainly used for Standard (Mandarin) Chinese. Mostly other Chinese languages and/or ...
6
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3answers
215 views

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,...
6
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2answers
370 views

ㄍ一ㄥ? What dialect? What character?

I know ㄍ一ㄥ[gīng] is used extensively in Taiwan and in Taiwanese media, but my question is what dialect/topolect does this come from and what exactly is the character for this word? I know a lot of ...
6
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5answers
1k views

Chinese views on Erhua

I'm already well acquainted with erhua (儿化) in putonghua, essentially appending 儿 to the ends of words (or reading it when 儿 isn't written, as sometimes people do with 花 or 八点 etc). Many of these ...
6
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1answer
9k views

The slang meaning of “Seven/七” in Cantonese

I have heard a few Hongkongers saying seven in a similar, likely identical, context. I assume they are addressing a person because when they say it, they make the L hand gesture. I could be wrong, but ...
6
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1answer
471 views

Strange pronunciations in Hakka song

I have stumbled upon Zhang Shaolin's Hoi-nam kai-fan. I asked three translation questions about it: 1, 2 and 3. THere you find the lyrics and a link to a video, and my translation attempt. This ...
6
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1answer
258 views

List of classifiers for Cantonese?

There are many resources listing classifiers for Mandarin, but do any pages exist that document classifiers for Cantonese?
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4answers
23k views

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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5answers
1k views

“哩勒公蝦毀” what does this mean?

What does “哩勒公蝦毀” mean? A Taiwanese guy said that to me after I had, accidently, mistyped two words in an idiom I used on him. He also used an expression of surprise (I presume) which went like “蛤?!” ...
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2answers
2k views

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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3answers
1k views

When do you use 唄 instead of 吧 to end a sentence?

I hear a lot of people in mainland China use the former (never from Taiwanese Mandarin) when saying a phrase as a sort of command, but I'm still not sure about why someone would say it.
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4answers
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Resources for learning Shanghainese

I'm surprised a question like this hasn't been asked yet. It seems Shanghainese is a dying language and it's rarely spoken. I'd like to know about resources and ways to learn the language by myself. ...
5
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2answers
757 views

Which dialect of Chinese has the fewest tones?

Standard Cantonese has six tones, Minnan, spoken primarily in Taiwan and Fujian, has five to seven; and so on down to Mandarin, based on the Beijing dialect, which has only four. (I don't count ...
5
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2answers
387 views

Chinese [Topolectical] IPA Placeholder: Ẓ

I've asked this elsewhere before but without much luck so I'm just gonna paste what I wrote before: I ran across "Ẓ" use some what in some old texts used as a sort-of "IPA" then to make sure I wasn'...
5
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3answers
934 views

In Cantonese, which is correct: 淨係 or 剩係?

Both phrases are listed in CantoDict (http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/3497/). It seems like 剩係 makes more sense, but which is actually correct?
5
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3answers
544 views

Are there any resources for learners of Chinese dialects that are close to Mandarin?

I've lived in Henan provice for around 8 years and have never seen any texts for learners of the Henanese dialect. There are considerable variations in dialect within Henan between people from ...
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2answers
2k views

How widely is Mandarin used in Nanjing?

I know there is a Nanjing dialect of Jianghuai Mandarin but I have not been able to learn much about current usage in the city of Nanjing. For example, do many people in Nanjing today ordinarily ...
5
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1answer
314 views

Why is “小小” pronounced as “xué xiǎo”?

In the classic 相声《卖马》, near the beginning is a line that goes: 在下王老好的便是,就在这潞州天堂县开了一个*小小*的店房 but in that line, "小小" was pronounced as "xué xiǎo". Here's a clip: http://youtu.be/cB391VthT4Q?t=1m11s ...
5
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2answers
188 views

In which Chinese topolect might 門 be transcribed as <mum>?

There's a Cantonese restaurant in Mountain View, CA called Fu Lam Mum -- the characters are clearly 富臨門. But 門 has always had a -n final, in any topolect I know of, and back to MC and OC according to ...
4
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5answers
662 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 ...
4
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3answers
271 views

What is the Mandarin equivalent for the Shanghai term for dirty?

In the Shanghai dialect dirty is pronounced something like "o co" with the o pronounced like the "o" in cot and the "c" pronounced like the usual c in pinyin (kinda like an 'ts' sound). Which ...
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3answers
7k views

Difference between learning Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Hokkien for visiting Taiwan

I'm planning on visiting Taiwan as a tourist for about one week next year. Both Wikipedia and Wikivoyage say that Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Hokkien are common languages there. What advantages ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the relationship between vernacular and literary Chinese?

I don't quite get the difference between and relationship of vernacular Chinese to literary Chinese. I know that "literary Chinese" does not represents sounds, the way an alphabet does, so it is ...
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1answer
1k views

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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2answers
2k views

Are there online resources for learning the Chongqing dialect?

I'd like to learn the Chongqing dialect or chongqinghua. If anyone can help me to find resources like phrasebooks, differences with putonghua, or any article on this topic, I would be thankful.
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2answers
1k views

Hokkien pronunciation of `白头偕老`

白头偕老 is a set expression in Mandarin, meaning to get old together, in a loose translation. I found it in a Hokkien song called 牵阮的手 (Mandarin 牵我的手, English While you hold my hand). In the linked video,...
4
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2answers
547 views

Pronouncing pinyin “c” in Shanxi dialect

I had thought I knew how to pronounce pinyin "c," like the English "ts" in "cats." But on a trip to Shanxi it seemed like most of my friends were pronouncing it like pinyin "ch." Village names ending ...
4
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1answer
173 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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1answer
2k views

What is the Mandarin equivalent of 對 XXX 嚟講?

In Cantonese, 對我嚟講 more or less means "speaking for myself", for instance, in: 對我嚟講,行政長官選舉唔重要。 Speaking for myself, the chief executive election isn't important. 我 can also be replaced with ...
4
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1answer
437 views

What dialect could this be? (Southern China)

I was yesterday in a bus in the HK neighbourhood called 上環/soeng6 waan4. A guy nearby was talking in a strange, almost alien-sounding, Chinese dialect. At some point he mentioned (what I suppose is ...
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3answers
824 views

Open source Sichuanese TTS (语音合成?)

There's a couple of iOS apps that support Sichuanese TTS (text-to-speech): 川话达人 语音合成助手 From what I can tell it's all from a company called 讯飞, but I'm not totally sure. Is there an open source ...
4
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5answers
1k views

Why do people often say 最多 in Cantonese when they mean “at the very least”?

I often hear on TVB shows that people say 最多 in a context when they mean to say, "at the very least?" For instance, something like, "At the very least, I'll take you to dinner tomorrow for being late."...
3
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4answers
1k views

Most common words in Cantonese?

There are many resources documenting the most common words for Mandarin, but none for Cantonese. Is there a list of the most common 500/1000/2000 words in Cantonese? Thanks!
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3answers
1k views

Are Sinitic languages mutually comprehensible?

According to this map, there are different Chinese "languages" (Sinitic languages) in the Chinese area. Is my understanding correct that the "official" Chinese language is the Mandarin? In other ...