Questions tagged [topolect]

Questions regarding regional variants of the Chinese language

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252 views

Why did my teacher mark down 一把 as a classifier for 手機?

My teacher detracted a few points for using 一把手機。It seems that 一台,一部, 一個 are better choices. However, I find many occurrences of 一把手機 Google search Is it a dialectal phenomenon? Maybe in dialects ...
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316 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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2k 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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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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Cantonese slang - What does 'Primary Chicken' and 'Secondary Chicken' mean?

A friend sent me a screenshot of her message history in Cantonese, and she was describing a couple and saying how they're like 'primary chicken' or 'secondary chicken', I think in a negative light. ...
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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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587 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 ...
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236 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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121 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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295 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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Reference: 'hou' in Sichuanese meaning 'to eat'

Looking for a reference. Apparently 'hou' (pronunciation roughly similar to '候') means eat in Sichuanese, at least in some dialects. For instance: hou饭 出去hou hou东西 hou𩛲𩛲(𬲹𬲹) hou酒 I've gone ...
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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 ...
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256 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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423 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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183 views

Information about the Nantong dialect

I want to learn the dialect spoken in Nantong. Are there any resources to help me?
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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 ...
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188 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
129 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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197 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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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."...
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953 views

What is the meaning of “拜了个拜”?

I heard this phrase from some Chinese-speaking stranger. I assume it's related to farewell since the stranger was waving hand to someone else, but what does it mean exactly? Is there a certain context ...
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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 ...
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286 views

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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174 views

一单字动词,表示给食物过冷水,是哪个字? / a single-character word meaning to submerge food in cold water

北京话里有个单字动词,表示给食物(比如刚煮熟的面条、蔬菜等)过冷水。华北其他地区可能也说。请问这是哪个字?以前经常听人说,现在记不清了。 There is a single-character verb in Beijingese Mandarin, meaning to submerge food (like boiled noodles, vegetables, etc.) in cold ...
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361 views

How do you say “to get back at someone”? Is it 找晦氣 or 找負氣?

According to CantoDict, 找晦氣 in Cantonese means, "to get back at someone or cause trouble over a past grievance". Link: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/50994/ CantoDict is sometimes ...
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Where is 蛮 used, as in the meaning of 'quite'?

I was watching a Chinese show today, where they said '蛮舒服'. Since I've never heard 蛮 before I looked it up, and the dictionary tells me that 蛮 is only used as 'quite' in dialect. Now my question is, ...
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685 views

Help translating 爱人跟人走

I have come across the song 爱人跟人走 (lyrics here). I'll give a complete translation attempt of this Hokkien song: It's already 3 years since you left me; Have you gone away without [ever] turning back? ...
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(Better) Translations of: 稀罕/稀奇?

In Chinese 稀罕 and 稀奇 are often used negatively to express disdain, e.g.: ABC 我不稀罕你的钱。 Wǒ bù xīhan nǐ de qián. I don't care about your money. And 你以为我稀奇你的东西? Dictionaries often translate ...
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159 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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161 views

What's the significance of Tangut?

With the preparation of the Tangut script for Unicode there seems to be extra added attention on the language, recently. Tangut being a dead, sinitic language with a script all of its own. What is ...
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116 views

Does “些” Work As A Suffix (Ever) In Mandarin Similar To “们”?

些 xiē 【名】 [方言]:们〖-s〗——表示复数的词缀。如:婆娘些;娃儿些;老师些 Although marked as dialect (read: topolect), I'm curious to know if this usage is ever acceptable or found in MSM (Modern Standard Mandarin).
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The most used Chinese dialect on the Web?

Do Chinese use different language dialects on the Web? e.g. Mandarin, Cantonese, Min Chinese, Xiang  Chinese, Hakka Chinese, Gan Is there difference how people in China are looking for stuff on the ...
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511 views

Written Cantonese Pronunciation 2

this is a follow up question regarding Cantonese Pronunciation. Previous question here. Does anyone know how people from Guangdong, who would speak Cantonese at home but be taught in Mandarin at ...
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Regional pronunciations of standard Mandarin [closed]

When I first came to China, I was quite disappointed to find out that, in so many places, the colloquial pronunciation was so greatly different from the one I've studied so far. The phonological ...
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1answer
101 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
83 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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147 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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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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854 views

Asking “which language do you speak?” on the phone

I work at a medical call center. Many Asians will call in asking for a translator so we can schedule their appointments. Most of them will understand when I ask, "which language, Cantonese or Mandarin?...
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344 views

Dialects/Topolects: Tone Marks?

Mandarin, as everyone probably knows, has four tones: 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th tone. Each tone has its own tone mark that represents that tone: 1st tone = ˉ (macron) 2nd tone = ˊ (acute accent) 3rd ...
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841 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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194 views

Mandarin Equivalent of 啥子树子招啥虫?

Heard 啥子树子招啥虫 used in the same sense as "不是一家人,不进一家门" - I was wondering if there is a similar phrased expression in Mandarin for the first, mentioned, expression.
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673 views

Alternative name for moon cakes?

The standard name for moon cakes in Chinese is 月餅. In Thailand they are called ขนมเปีย or roughly ‘khanom pia’. The first element is a general word for baked goods, so the operative term is ‘pia’ ...
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Benefits of Learning a Chinese Dialect in Addition to Standardized Mandarin

Edit: This is now cross-posted to linguistics. Studies have shown that learning more than one language helps people of all ages learn each one of the languages. For a nice mainstream media piece on ...
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51 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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224 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
62 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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1answer
184 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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1answer
193 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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717 views

Help translating 海南鸡饭

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 1, part 2 being here and ...