Questions tagged [topolect]

questions regarding regional variants of the Chinese language

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39 views

Is it a common requirement for Chinese interpreters to be fluent in two or more dialects?

I was looking at job postings for interpreters and found a few for generic "Chinese" interpreters, a few more for both Mandarin & Cantonese, and just one for Mandarin only. To my surprise, I didn'...
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140 views

Is there a politically neutral Chinese term for China that is acceptable to all Chinese speakers?

By "China," I am referring to the Mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan collectively, without regard to geopolitics. Is there a word that refers to this entire region that would not offend any ...
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114 views

Is there any study on the relative difficulty of native Chinese speakers with different dialects learning another dialect?

I wonder if there is any research conducted in China, on the relative difficulty of Chinese speakers learning different dialects. I'm looking for something like the research by the Foreign Service ...
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47 views

What is the line between 新派 and X普 in topolects?

Not sure if there is a definite answer to the question. A lot of dialects distinguish between 老派 and 新派 for old-pronunciations and new-pronunciations. Many 新派 pronunciations though are heavily ...
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Resource request: Hainanese dictionaries

What are the available Hainanese (海南話) dictionaries? In particular, dictionaries of the Wenchang (文昌) dialect. If those are not available, dictionaries of the Haikou (海口) dialect are also fine. If ...
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126 views

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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1answer
50 views

How can I find where a dialect word come from?

I often come across words like this in a dictionary: 肚皮 <方> 腹部; 肚子 (dù·zi)。 I would like to know if there's a way (a website or a dictionary or whatever other way instead of asking someone) ...
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49 views

Origin of transliteration of ~j/sw to ~r in Mandarin

In Malaysia/Singapore, “Raja” is often transliterated to 拉惹,although Wikipedia uses 拉者as the name for its article on the title. e.g. Ayer Rajah 亚逸拉惹 Perlis’s Raja 玻璃市拉惹(https://zh.m.wikipedia.org/zh-...
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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? ...
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91 views

Why was Jutland transliterated as 日德兰?

Background: Jutland is the peninsula which makes up part of Denmark, and it was the site of the WWI Battle of Jutland (which is one of the main reasons "Jutland" would be written about at all in other ...
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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 ...
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68 views

Asking Chinese mother-in-law to learn pinyin?

I thought about asking this on parenting.se but it seemed specialized enough that this site made more sense. I'm a white man married to a Chinese woman, living in the US. Her parents live in China ...
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2k views

What does 蕉 mean in Cantonese?

I've seen 蕉 translated into Mandarin (and dubbed into Mandarin) as 肏. CC-CANTO doesn't really give anything much for 蕉 in Cantonese. words.hk doesn't give any results, either. I'm guessing 蕉 just ...
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180 views

Difference between 汉语 and 华文

A Singaporean friend of mine calls his Chinese: 华文. I didn't realise that this also meant Chinese. What is the difference between 华文 and 汉语?
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64 views

Is ㄙㄨㄚˋ (sua4) for the character 嘴 from another Chinese dialect or language?

In my explorations of my area of Taichung today I noticed this sign with Zhuyin Fuhao and took a photo to look it up when I got home: And it seems that ㄙㄨㄚˋ (sua4) is not even an existing syllable in ...
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109 views

What could 轰 be a contraction of to mean “what”?

轰 can be found in some dialects, often with a 个 found on the end, to mean what. This is most definitely a contraction. (Similar dialects also feature a contraction of 哪 and 样 as 孃 niang, also meaning ...
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1answer
87 views

What is a Singapore Sling drink known as in the Chinese dialects of Singapore?

The drink's inventor was Hainanese, though accounts of the drink's history and contents vary. The only reference to it in any form of Chinese that I was able to find was apparently written in ...
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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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65 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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243 views

Tone Sandhi: Sichuanese 四川话

Been trying to find the rules of tone sandhi in Sichuanese - but not having a lot of luck. Wikipedia Talk:Sichuanese Mandarin Tone Sandhi Great improvements to the original article! Can we ...
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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 ...
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212 views

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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179 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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700 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 ...
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1answer
118 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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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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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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82 views

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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164 views

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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115 views

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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97 views

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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88 views

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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175 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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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 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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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, ...
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672 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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171 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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1answer
103 views

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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353 views

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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4answers
392 views

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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135 views

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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60 views

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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88 views

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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2answers
587 views

Toneless Sinetic Dialects/Topolects

One of Mandarin's biggest characteristics is its tones. Other Sinitic dialects/topolects aren't any different: Cantonese, Hakka, etc. Question: Are there any toneless Sinitic dialects/topolects? (...
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1answer
81 views

What Chinese language(s) have pronunciation ㄍ丨(romanization: gi)

Heard pronunciation ㄍ丨(romanization: gi) recently in a dialect of south western mandarin. I was trying to trace it together with something else. Seems like Hakka pronounces 机/機 ㄍ丨but I couldn't ...
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1answer
301 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
97 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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3answers
144 views

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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117 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 [...