Questions tagged [cantonese]

The Chinese dialect spoken in and around Guangzhou city (formerly Canton), and central and western Guangdong province.

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108 views

Simplified Chinese and compatibility with spoken Chinese language: How it works with iOS (VoiceOver) and Android (TalkBack)

I'm designing a Multi-language app and a major user group is Chinese speaking people with disability. The app will be on both iOS and Android. I don't speak or read any chinese language. The app ...
4 votes
1 answer
112 views

A Cantonese-influenced Old National Pronunciation (老國音) system

I need advice/help on creating a system similar to the Old National Pronunciation system/language for a worldbuilding project called Roses, Tulips, and Liberty. Some background: Imagines, it's a world ...
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What is the proper way of saying "if" in Cantonese?

I know in Mandarin, it is easy to say something like "if" by using a statement akin to this: 如果我要去北京的話,我就用飛機。 When I looked up the word "if" in Cantonese, my dictionary brought ...
3 votes
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Most common term for hanfu in Cantonese?

What is the most common term for hanfu (as in 'Hanfu movement'), i.e. modern clothing inspired by historical costumes? Is 漢服 (or 漢裝) used in spoken Cantonese, or maybe it is more of a Mandarin/Written ...
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What does GG mean here?

Saw this FB post about this unfortunate taxi accident in HK: However I have never heard the term GG before and was wondering if its supposed to be shorthand for something else?
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What is the man saying in this Cantonese cartoon?

I started watching Old Master Q today and came across this scene where they try to get an interview, but I couldn't quite understand what was being said here: https://youtu.be/OR8nxtw8GjY?t=502 ...
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2 answers
562 views

Can someone provide a translation of this old HK smoking ad?

I came across this interesting smoking ad from Hong Kong, but while I understand a good number of the characters, its hard for me to piece together everything that is being said here: From what I can ...
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What is the procedure for typing cangjie here?

I've been typing Mandarin with pinyin input for years and have never found it terribly difficult to learn. However, I am finding that when I need to use website and type Cantonese expressions, I find ...
4 votes
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What do people in Hong Kong say when you are approaching a counter to buy something?

I've often found myself at the typical 7/11 waiting in line to ring out, and almost every time the cashier will say something right before I am to purchase. It sounds something like "lao wei"...
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When does one use 同埋 and 然後 in Cantonese?

A long time ago, I asked a Hong Kong colleague how to order food by saying "and" or "and then". She taught me the structure is basically something like "我要薯條同埋一個漢堡包." But ...
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Difference between 有冇 and 咗 for past tense in Cantonese

I have finished my audio course on Cantonese and was confused about one grammar point. Sometimes people in the conversations, referring to the past tense, would say something like this for "Did ...
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Why does 耷濕 mean "simple, crude, shabby"?

耷濕 means shabby; simple and crude. "This term is used in Cantonese, not Mandarin/Standard written Chinese." Wiktionary says the same thing. But 耷 means "big ear" (noun) or "...
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What do the ending sounds in Cantonese sentences mean or convey?

I think it's pretty well known that Cantonese has a lot of a's and la's attached to the end of sentences. However as a non-native, I have trouble understanding when these are used. For example, when ...
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Cantonese Question: When does one use 咩 versus 乜野?

I've been listening to some Cantonese audio from Pimsleur and noticed they use a different word for "what" compared to what I learned from CantoneseClass101. In CC101, they used 咩, such as &...
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What does 開心都嚟唔切 mean in Cantonese?

I searched Google and the results were only 嚟唔切 and not 開心都嚟唔切.
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What is the appropriate equivalent for "irreverent" in Mandarin/Cantonese?

The word "irreverent" is often used to describe someone who can be sarcastic or biting but in a positive, humorous way. For instance, David Letterman is considered an irreverent comedian. ...
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What are the Cantonese to English transliterations for 俊傑, 俊熙, 俊健, and 俊文? I found zeon3 for 俊. That does not sound right

What are the Cantonese to English transliterations for 俊傑, 俊熙, 俊健, and 俊文? I found zeon3 for 俊. That does not sound right.
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What do some lines of the Cantonese song 岁月如歌 mean?

The other day I discussed the song 岁月如歌 with my friend. We're from different Mandarin regions and I’m able to watch many Cantonese shows without subtitles but don’t really speak it. Neither of us ...
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How many Cantonese speakers who don't speak Mandarin exist? [closed]

I wonder how many Cantonese speakers (either native or L2 learners) who don't speak Mandarin exist in the world. At least in mainland China, as far as I know almost all people born in 1980 or later ...
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In Cantonese, what is the difference between 到/倒 , 得 and 可以 as verb complement

I'm taking Cantonese classes and am increasingly confused about the difference between 到/倒 , 得 and 可以. They all have a vague meaning of possibility/ability/permission to some degree, with 可以 used to ...
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received from a messaging app in Hong Kong, I would like to ask for an English explanation of the title

obstacle: the song of 老餅, how to interpret this word in English
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Differences with 呢度,喺度,and 喺呢度

Can anyone explain any differences in usage between the three ways of saying 'here' in Cantonese? I anticipate that in many cases, these will be exchangeable. I'm looking for examples of sentences ...
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What language do Cantonese people use when reading Chinese?

When reading a book or a newspaper, what language do Cantonese people read in? Do they read in mandarin or Cantonese? Or do they subconsciously translate it into colloquial Cantonese since most words ...
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Function of 行 in this statement (cantonese)

I am reading a Cantonese statement: 我日日都開行冷氣。 What is the function of 行? For me, it would have been perfectly fine as 我日日都開冷氣。 As in, I turn on the a/c everyday. Please give insights. Thanks
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What is the function of 埋? (Cantonese)

In this sentence: 做乜唔叫埋我? What is the function of 埋? I understood this sentence to be: "why didn't you call me?" (perhaps to an outing or a party). What is the difference with the sentence &...
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What is the function of 得 in 我聽日仲有得面試添 in Cantonese?

I would like to ask about the function of 得 in this sentence: 我聽日仲有得面試添。 I understood the sentence as: "Tomorrow I still have an interview (additionally, on top of something else that might not ...
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Usage and grammar points involving 嚟講

I would like to request for some insights on the usage of the phrase “… 嚟講”. I have heard this being used in so many ways, one being “對我嚟講” as speaking for myself. What could be other possible uses ...
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Confusion over 得,唔得 + verb

I am confused about how to construct (and understand) phrases that involve: 得 and its negative 唔得 with a verb. Specifically, what is the difference between 唔得買,冇買得。 A corresponding confusion would be ...
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What does 「雷鍋氣心樓,猴氣猴嗨賽雷敢窩」 mean?

The above is a screenshot from a youtube video I am a native Cantonese speaker, even I can't figure out what 「雷鍋氣心樓,猴氣猴嗨賽雷敢窩」」 meant. I am sure it is not 「這件事就當沒發生過」 I have no problem with the rest. E....
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Origins of more Cantonese specific hanzi

My familiarity is more with Mandarin characters from simplified Chinese. However, I've noticed that there are certain characters that are used for colloquial spoken Cantonese that I just never see as ...
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Does 兩點九 mean 2:09 or 2:45?

I heard somebody using 兩點九 and I thought he means 2:09. Actually, by 兩點九 he means 兩點九個字, or 2:45. Does 兩點九 have two different meanings? Or does it always mean 2:45?
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Slogan “澀得起,就係我”

This is the slogan of a popular lemon tea drink in Hong Kong. I wanted to ask what 澀 is. I searched it and it meant “astringent” and a bunch of other negative adjectives. I think calling your lemon ...
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4 answers
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放水's Mandarin counterpart

In Cantonese 放水 means not using one's full strength (in a contest against an opponent) [literal] release water For example, a strong team is winning 9-0 against a weak team. If they want to give the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is 貼地 and 離地

This is perhaps a colloquialism that i have seen many times in Hong kong youtubers eating and tasting food. My guess is that 貼地 means local? As in 地道? what, then, is 離地? May i also know the “etymology”...
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Borrowed cantonese word for “normal”

I have been watching local Hong Kong food reviews and have been hearing the word “lo1mou2” being said again and again. I have been wondering for a very long time what this word could have meant. A ...
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using 值得 in a phrase

I have seen the usage of 值得 (deserving) in the following way (Cantonese, colloquial) 值得一來 值得買 I wanted to ask why there is a '一' in the first phrase, and not 值得一買? What other alternatives are there to ...
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Is there a translation of the daodejing into modern mandarin grammar?

Apologies for a classic "lmgtfy" question, but you probably appreciate that the nature of what I'm asking is hard to properly convey to a search engine, regardless of whether the query is ...
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Is there a Mandarin counterpart for the Cantonese slang 做媒?

做媒 (jyutping) zou6 mui4; (pinyin) zuo4 mei2 literally means "be a matchmaker" However, there is a Cantonese slang 做媒 /zou6 mui42/ that means: be a salesperson's decoy a partner of a street ...
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The meaning of 打 in 邊個打邊個

In Cantonese, 唔知邊個打邊個 means "don't know (confused) who is who" The verb 打 (hit; attack) here seemingly occupy the position of 'is' in this phrase But the meaning of 'is' is not included in ...
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'it cant be helped' translation in cantonese

I was looking for a colloquial Cantonese translation of 'It can't be helped' or 'We can't do anything about this (situation)'. The context is we are left to resign to the fact that we are helpless ...
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3 votes
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Yue/Min/Wu/Gan/mandarin phonetic correspondance

I am looking for a table of the regular phonetic correspondances between the different chinese varieties (Yue, Wu, Gan, Min, Mandarin...). For instance I noted a g (Yue)/j(mandarin) correspondance (e....
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What 新派-Cantonese Habits Are Considered Unorthodox By 老派 Speakers?

新派 topolect speakers are generally more affected by MSM. This often results in a lot of habits that are considered unorthodox by 老派 dialect speakers' standards. I'm not overly familiar with Cantonese ...
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Using the article 咪 in this Cantonese sentence

Please take a look at this sentence. 我已經做晒啲嘢,咪返屋企囉! I know for one that 咪 stands for the negative. At first glance, I thought the meaning is 'I finished my tasks already, so I am going home!' But what ...
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Does, "佢哋嗰啲..." work in Cantonese as, "他们那些..."?

I've put together 佢哋 + 嗰啲 hoping it to mean something like "他们那些..." in Mandarin. For one, I'm not really sure about the grammar. This is especially true since 嗰啲 is often found in front of ...
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Difference between 課 and 軌

I would like to learn the equivalent translation for course in Cantonese, as in "I am taking a course online". For this reason I entered this word in the dictionary CC-Canto and received ...
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What is N件事? (Cantonese)

I saw the title of a video: 關於福麵嘅N件事. 福麵 is a brand of noodles with a huge 福 writing on the packaging. What then is N件事? Is it a Cantonese slang I am unaware of?
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番薯 as an insult

In Cantonese, I've heard people use 番薯 as an insult to people or objects before, like calling a stupid person 大番薯 or calling a useless object 生番薯. Can someone whom speaks Cantonese enlighten me on why ...
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Is there any proof that the Taishanese language is related to Gan? Is it from a linguistic perspective?

The Taishanese language is known to be a branch of Siyi (Sze Yup or Seiyap) which is part of the Yue subfamily branch of the Sino-Tibetan family, and related to Cantonese. This article that I was ...
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1 answer
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Function of「果」in (folk, written) Cantonese?

I've started going through《男人唔可以窮》. In Chapter 1 there is the following paragraph: 阿爸佢教我好多野,放假會同我去睇精工對南華,去彭福公園睇人放風箏,直到我十六歲果年,有一日醫院打黎,話老豆於行動中,由四樓跌左落一個天井度,送去醫院果時,左腳腳底仲係插住一支八吋既生鐵釘。 I'm quite confused ...
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inviting someone to dinner (in cantonese)

I recently came across this statement to invite someone to dinner. 你介唔介意今晚同我食飯. As this is my first time learning cantonese, I wanted to know what the nuance of 介意 is? Are there alternative statements ...
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