Questions tagged [topolect]

questions regarding regional variants of the Chinese language

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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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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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4answers
874 views

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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605 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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362 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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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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141 views

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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704 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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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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48 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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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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160 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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633 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 ...
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213 views

Mandarin equivalent of “㗎喇”?

Cantonese has the modal particle: 㗎喇 Canto-Mando Dictionary says: 1.表示有把握,认可 2.表示说理,警告 Is there a mandarin equivalent?
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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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163 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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120 views

Pronunciation Of 佛 in 四川话

The 1986 edition of《四川方言词典》has the following entry: 乐山的大佛——老石人 Lo2 san1 ni1 da4 fu3——nao3 si2 ren2 乐山大佛距今已有一千多年历史, 所以是“老石人”。谐“老实人”。 ▷你以为他是~嗦? 他才阴倒不老实。 佛 is given the pronunciation of ...
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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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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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1answer
140 views

Rule: tone sandhi in topolectical dictionaries

I'm looking for a rule or a guideline. Dictionaries dealing with MSM (Modern Standard Mandarin) would never include tone sandhi into their entries, as people are supposed to know the rules and apply ...
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1answer
144 views

Correct spelling of Min word

I have come across this song recently. I understand practically all of it. My question is specifically about one word. At a certain point, the lyrics go: 二項要選擇啥 Now, according to 台灣閩南語常用詞辭典, a ...
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539 views

Help translating 海南鸡饭 - 3

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 3, part 2 being here and ...
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4answers
676 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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347 views

When is a 方言 a language and not a dialect

I have always thought, perhaps wrongly, that it was mutual intelligibility that was the deciding factor as to whether a 方言 would be considered a dialect or it's own separate language. Wikipedia's ...
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167 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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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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(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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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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139 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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1answer
133 views

What Possible Pronunciations of 也 exist in Suzhou Dialect?

I was looking at old Kunqu opera the other day and was interested by the fact that the singers seemed to be pronouncing 也 as "yi" instead of "ye", for example in http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/...
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300 views

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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168 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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184 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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109 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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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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586 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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517 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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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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1answer
92 views

啰 vs. 囉 in Old Texts

啰 seems to be the simplified version of 囉 these days, but....these are two examples from 《四川方言词典》circa '87 that I found: 要飞啰 我是乌梢蛇打店——长客囉! Most the entries I've seen in these 八零后 books have all ...
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1answer
145 views

Sichuanese: When Is First Tone 55 Vs. 45?

55 and 45 are 调值 or tone values. The Sichuanese first tone is sometimes 55, like mandarin (high & flat), and sometimes a rising 45. Sichuanese: When Is First Tone 55 Vs. 45?
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1answer
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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2answers
187 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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1answer
117 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
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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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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Meaning and usage of 得瑟(嘚瑟)

嘚瑟 [dè·se] (usually written 得瑟 in my limited observation) is apparently 东北方言. I've seen a couple dictionaries/explanations that say it means to "show off". I hear this word fairly frequently, but I ...
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74 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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93 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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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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1answer
116 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 [...