Questions tagged [topolect]

Questions regarding regional variants of the Chinese language

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2answers
2k views

What is 乜 doing in my landlord's WeChat message 明天有人在家乜?

I live in Beijing, and my landlord (who I think is from the Dongbei region) sent our group this WeChat message yesterday: 明天有人在家乜 We're getting a new fridge delivered, and she wants to know if ...
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1answer
82 views

Pronouncing pinyin “ing” (bopomofoㄧㄥ ) as /iŋ/ or /jəŋ/ e.g. in 冰

The book "Sounds of Chinese" gives the surface representation IPA transcription for the word 冰 as /pjəŋ/ and the underlying representation as /piŋ/ (in section 8.1), while the example at 3....
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5answers
197 views

In Chinese are American English and British English different 方言?

American English and British English are different dialects of English. The basic translation of dialect is 方言. But I feel that 方言 corresponds to say different dialects of British English, or ...
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2answers
73 views

List of Beijing and Standard Chinese vocabulary

I am looking for a list that has a 1-on-1 mapping between common Beijing and Standard Chinese vocabulary. For instance, a native from Beijing one would say things like 今儿 and 這兒 which could then be ...
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1answer
125 views

Which Chinese dialect group is the surname Kuok from?

Which Chinese dialect group is the surname Kuok from? I assume it's a variant of the Mandarin Guo (郭).
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0answers
132 views

吸 read ji or jie?

I know in some dialects of Southwestern Mandarin 吸 is read ji or jie. This is most likely due to the fact that 吸 is made up of 口 + 及 and 及 is read ji or jie in these same topolects. Does this ...
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2answers
93 views

How to translate “这帮丫头片子,也不知道都便宜哪帮孙子了”?

I'm adding english subtitles to some mandarin movies, as volunteer and hobby. How to translate the following line better? The main male character was waiting for his flight at the airport when he saw ...
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1answer
86 views

Why is 灸 pronounced jiu1?

The pinyin of 灸 as in 针灸 (acupuncture) or 艾灸 (moxibustion) is clearly given as jiu3, as shown in, among others, MDGB and Zdic. The single character doesn't even have alternate pronunciations, only ...
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3answers
194 views

Are there any multi-syllabic words in Chinese without a glottal stop?

Are there any words in Chinese of 2 more syllables where there isn't a glottal stop between the syllables such that each syllable is not pronounced clearly, that a final consonant and initial ...
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7answers
137 views

Did any pidgin terms survived in Chinese? (or any topolects?)

I've been looking through some of the words in《红毛通用番话诠释》 Here's a little sample This pidgin words are based on Cantonese. I'm curious if any of these pidgin words actually made it as loanwords into ...
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1answer
56 views

佢 read “jì” from Hakka?

Looking through the book 四川德阳方言语音演化与接触研究, I came across the following chart excerpt: 表1-6 四川境内非西南官话方言岛与湖广方言特征词对比 In some locales 他 is documented as being read: 佢, tɕi⁵¹ -or- jì, if you prefer. ...
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1answer
130 views

Are there any Mandarin dialects with three tones?

有只有三个声调的官话方言吗?东干语有四个音素的声调,但是在没有变调的上下文只有三个不同的声调, 例如在短语的末尾。有没有在每个上下文都用三个声调的方言? Are there any Mandarin dialects with three tones? Standard Dungan has four phonemic tones, but only has three in contexts ...
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1answer
114 views

Is /ʑ/ stigmatized in Wu?

The voiced alveolo-palatal sibilant fricative /ʑ/ can be found in Wu words like: thank you. 谢谢 is said to be read: ʑia ʑia I'm seeing many resources online claiming that the reading can just be: 谢谢!...
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0answers
63 views

Data on the endangerment of Southwestern Mandarin?

I'm looking for some data on the endangerment of Southwestern Mandarin. Since it is rather a broad subject, it can be broken down to the Cheng–Yu 成渝 branch as it is quite representative of the ...
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1answer
63 views

Where does 别间 (“other”) as in 别间大学 come from?

As a follow up to this question What does 别间 in 别间大学的男生都土里土气的 means? I was trying to figure out where the term 别间 comes from. Judging by the context, it appears having the same meaning as 别的 (other, ...
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1answer
85 views

What does the inital /dⁿ/ stand for?

While answering @Qiangong2's question here: Are Characters customized in different provinces due to dialectal differences? I was looking through the table on 四川方言字. On the table the following initial ...
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1answer
90 views

Are Characters customized in different provinces due to dialectal differences?

In other character-based writing systems such as Chu Nomh, Kanji, and Hanja, there are customized characters due to regional dialects. Has this occurred with Simplified at all? Or has the government ...
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3answers
369 views

How did 贼 come to mean “extremely”?

While watching a tv show, I heard the presenter, a Beijinger, say 贼好. In that particular context, the only possible meaning was 很好. Later I did some research and, as a matter of fact, it turns out 贼 ...
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2answers
171 views

Why are there different pronunciations of 复杂?

During a Chinese class, a student pronounced 复杂 as fu3za2, instead of the official pronunciation fu4za2. The Chinese teacher corrected the student but then mentioned many native speakers pronounce it ...
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1answer
326 views

Do any Chinese languages or dialects contain a rolled/trilled R?

From 20:00 to 22:00 of this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnMeISMY6eM), the speaker appears to pronounce the R sound with standard Mandarin pronunciation in 若 and 仍然. However, he rolls the R ...
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2answers
212 views

What is the etymologically correct character for the Min-Nan words for meat (bah)?

In both the teoswa and hokkien, the common word for meat is pronounced something like /baʔ/. I.e., it has a voiced initial stop (not like pinyin "b") and a glottal final. This doesn't seem ...
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2answers
163 views

How should I understand the pronunciation of 驾驶证 (jiàshǐ zhèng) as 酱汁儿 (jiàng zhī er)?

I was reading this website ( https://pinyin.sogou.com/zimeiti/article/1255 ) to understand colloquial Beijing Mandarin and came across this pronunciation for 驾驶证 驾驶证 > "酱汁儿", i.e Jiàshǐ zhèng > jiàng ...
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105 views

“Why” in Beijing Dialect [duplicate]

I've been wondering how to correctly say "why" in Beijing dialect. I know that in colloquial beijing mandarin 什么 is pronounced as shém with a final m. I thus thought the same was for 为什么 as weishem. ...
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1answer
127 views

When is f not pronounced?

I've seen that in Beijing Mandarin f can be pronounced as something of a final consonant when in an unstressed syllable, e.g. 豆腐 dòu fǔ = dòuff. However, in other cases it disappears in unstressed ...
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0answers
129 views

When is d elided? [closed]

I know that plosive consonants can change in natural Mandarin speech, like intervocalic g is almost always elided, and sometimes k, but b and p are almost never elided, but when should d be elided? ...
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2answers
99 views

吞音 rules for Beijing Dialect

I've been wanting to learn more about beijinghua and it's been more challenging than I expected. I've heard that sh, ch, and zh, all turn to r in beijinghua. However, I've also heard some examples ...
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1answer
409 views

Is there any way to detect dialect automatically?

For current task I need to create a solution how to detect if some video or audio of Chinese speech is Mandarin or Cantonese (for now I do not need others dialects). For example, there is almost ...
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1answer
106 views

What topolects distingish between 娘 and 孃? Why?

In MSM 娘 and 孃 are usually considered one and the same, where 孃 is Traditional and 娘 is simplified. These two characters can practically be used interchangeably. In Southwestern Mandarin, however, a ...
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4answers
343 views

Places where the use of 小姐 is inappropriate

Wikitionary has a cool feature that shows a dialectal map with word differences across all Chinese dialects, as in this example. The problem is that I was trying to see which places it was OK to use ...
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1answer
94 views

Do any good topolect maps exist for Chinese?

I've been rummaging through English dialect maps. Here's an example of one on Twitter: And an American one for good measure: Do any good topolect maps exist for Chinese?
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2answers
197 views

Are there northern dialects which still preserve velars before front vowels?

It's well known that Modern Standard Mandarin has merged what were historically velar stops and alveolar silibants when followed by front vowels. For instance, 京 is "jing" rather than "ging", and 津 is ...
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1answer
85 views

What does 跳马猴子 mean?

The term literally indicates some kind of monkey jockey riding a racehorse. I’m guessing it means “lunatic”. I can’t find it in any dictionary. Any ideas?
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1answer
56 views

What does “和尚撞了道士” mean?

In the song《掐死大象的蚂蚁》by Bridge and 二毛 there's a bar by twenty-cents(?) that goes: 咋个回事咋个回事 十点半还不晓得回家 问起咋子问起咋子 也不晓得打个电话 有事有事安啥子事嘛啥子事嘛 和尚撞了道士上房揭瓦你要造次 The part that is tripping me up is: ...
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2answers
486 views

Why does Cantonese sound vaguely British?

Speaking as a native speaker of American English, I notice from my perspective that Cantonese speakers tend to sound more "British" than Mandarin speakers. I'm not just referring to Hong Kong, but ...
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1answer
71 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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4answers
459 views

Is there a politically neutral Chinese term for Greater 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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1answer
61 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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2answers
611 views

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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1answer
59 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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1answer
73 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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3answers
126 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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3answers
446 views

Do Chinese speaking different languages use written Chinese to communicate?

My understanding is that there are multiple languages in China, for example, Hokkien, Cantonese and Mandarin, and they are not mutually intelligible. However, all three use more or less the same ...
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1answer
132 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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2answers
179 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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3answers
1k 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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2answers
220 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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1answer
153 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
162 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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1answer
355 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
211 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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