17

Voicing and Aspiration Stop consonants can fall into the following categories (roughly): Voiced stops: Vocal chords start vibrating before stop is released. E.g., English "b" as in "bat" (/bæt/ in IPA), French "b" as in "bon" = /bɔ̃/. Unvoiced unaspirated stops: Vocal chords start vibrating almost exactly when stop is released. E.g., Chinese "b" as in "bu" ...


15

From Wikipedia: There is no universally accepted criterion for distinguishing a language from a dialect. My hunch is that in general Chinese politics favors unity, whereas European politics favors separation, thus speakers of Dutch and German would hate to think that they were speaking dialects of the same language. Conversely in general it is useful ...


14

Why not write in written Cantonese? Cantonese speakers are not unwilling to write their own language. Nowadays, written Cantonese is often used in lyrics, instant messaging, social network, advertisements and billboards. It is also gaining public attention as the Government of China wants to ban it. There is a Yue Wikipedia site containing 40,000+ ...


12

I think the difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is more like the difference between English and Swedish. They are obviously very closely related and share a lot of vocabulary, but intelligibility is pretty much zero. The poster who compared the difference to American and British English is TOTALLY wrong. Many Mandarin speakers will claim that they can ...


12

You're right, most foreign words are transliterated differently in Mandarin and in Cantonese. Sometimes there are even different standards in different Mandarin speaking regions. It's an interesting idea to use characters that have similar pronunciations in both dialects to unify the transliteration but it's not what has already happened. A few examples of ...


11

In this case, I think the quote "A language is a dialect with an army and navy" best describes the situation. Since the mainland government considers linguistic unity to be in favor of their ruling, they will consider any spoken variety of Chinese to be a dialect, no matter how different it is from Mandarin (excluding minority languages).


9

Modern Cantonese is generally considered not to have tone sandhi (in Chinese, 變調, but also more specifically 連續變調), that is to say, changes in the tonal values when in certain phonetic contexts. Cantonese does have a phenomenon of lexical derivation which involves a change of tone, known as 變音 or changed tone; many discussions consider both these tone ...


9

麻麻地 (Cantonese) 麻麻地 http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/1503/ so-so; not too good, not too bad; ho-hum; middling. Example: 佢嘅英文麻麻地 (his English is just so-so) 普通/ 普普通通 普通 http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/2782/ ordinary; general; average; standard; common Example:他的英文程度算是普普通通 (his English level is ...


8

A quick browse on Google Scholar yields a few results. Macau Cantonese appears to be intermediate between Zhongshan Cantonese and Hong Kong Cantonese. There is only one rising tone derived from Middle Chinese 上聲, which is pronounced closer to the lower one of Guangzhou and Hong Kong Cantonese. This brings it closer to Zhongshan Cantonese. However, this high ...


8

How was it pronounced in older times (i.e. Middle Chinese)? I haven't found a record of 瞓 in classical Chinese, but since 瞓 and 训 are both read as fan in Cantonese, I'll take 训 instead. It is read qhuns in reconstructed Old Chinese that is before the 1st century B.C. In Middle Chinese it is pronounced as hyonh. How did the pronunciations come into ...


8

In most Cantonese speakers I know, 廿 is still a colloquial item of vocabulary, replaced with 二十 in usual formal writing; but 廿 remains a very common alternative, for counting as well as enumerating. According to CantoDict, the pronunciation "a" is the most common. This is verified in my experience; the variant with "e" I've not heard this before myself, but ...


8

It's not really that Cantonese people are unwilling to write the language; It's simply because the language is very oral-oriented where many slangs are involves mainly for effectiveness purpose. It's similar to English when people use phase like "What ya'll doing?", which you won't see on most learning material for English or CNN news. In fact, written ...


8

'Job offer' is a noun. It means 工作提案 in literal sense 聘用提案 (hiring offer) world be a better Chinese counterpart you can also use a more literary term '邀聘' [invite to a job(v); job invitation (n)] Example: 大飯店開張要大量招聘各部門員工 The opening of a grand hotel requires hiring of a large number of employees in various departments. (招聘 means calling for people to ...


7

I'm pretty sure that the " Bei Wu Long" is "摆乌龙". "乌龙" in Cantonese sounds like "own goal" in English. You know own goal is a big mistake, right? It is a long story. According to this website, is is original from a folk tale in Canton. Once upon a time, there was a drought. People prayed to the "青龙"(Green Dragon) because it can bring rain. However, at last ...


7

"師奶(师奶)" refer to a married woman, and is popular used in Southern China. Is is rarely used in Mandarin. 師奶(「奶」字要讀高N音,同「拉」嘅音調一樣),太太嘅俗稱。主要係街坊之間用嚟打招呼嘅用詞。哩個詞語亦都可以用嚟取笑嗰啲唔多化粧,外表睇起上嚟土土地好似傳統家庭主婦咁嘅未婚女士,有所謂「師奶仔」嘅叫法。1 translate to Simplified Chinese "师奶(‘奶’字要读高N音,和‘拉’到音调一样),太太的俗称。主要是街坊邻居用来打招呼的词。也可以用来嘲笑不修边幅,看起来向像家庭主妇的未婚女士,这些未婚女士也会被叫做‘师奶仔’。" translate to English "...


7

其 is referred to 'it' as in your translation. However, 自然 here does not necessarily mean the literal meaning 'nature'. Instead, it refers to the natural tendency of any subject you're talking about. If you see a child growing as he/she prefers to be rather than pushing him/her to be, 其is the child and 自然 means 'without intervention'. If you let something ...


7

In simplified Chinese, both would be 台, easy peasy. Otherwise, things get a little complicated. Sometimes 台 is just an alternative form for 臺, which is the case for Taiwan: you can write 臺灣 or 台灣, both are acceptable, though the former is considered more formal. In the case of 台山, that is the correct name already, so you can't write 臺山 because 臺 is not an ...


7

As Wang Dingwei notes in his answer, 瞓 is a phono-semantic character that uses 訓 (also pronounced fan3 in Cantonese) as the phonetic component to represent the word fan3 in its meaning of "sleep". However, 瞓 is a character that was invented in recent times. The phonetic 訓 was chosen because it happens to have the same pronunciation in modern Cantonese, but ...


7

First, Cantonese is rarely written. In the few places where Written Cantonese is used, yes, each syllable is always one character (though for some words, like 乜嘢、唔好、即係, people often say multiple characters together so fast that it may sound like one syllable). Each Chinese character has a defined pronunciation in Cantonese (sometimes a character has ...


7

The word you are looking for is 勿: 請勿靠近車門 cing2 mat6 kaau3 gan6 ce1 mun4 (Jyutping romanization) The usage of 請勿 ("Please don't") is considered formal or literary in Cantonese, so it's not typically heard in common speech, but you'll often see it on signs or in public announcements. EDIT: Just wanted to also add that your deduction of the Mandarin is ...


7

It is a foul character, usually pronounced as "cat6". The original character is "𡴶", which means "scrotum". On the contrary, in modern slang uses, it refers to the penis in a flaccid state, and commonly written as "𨳍" or "柒". The implied meaning is thus "useless", "stupid", etc. Many people tweak the pronounciation from "cat6" to "cat1" (hence, "七"/"柒")...


7

Cantonese might preserve more sound distinctions than Mandarin, but they're both derived (as are most, though not all, modern dialects) from Middle Chinese. The current consensus, arrived at slowly over decades, appears to be that Old Chinese was toneless; this doesn't mean that predecessors of the entering "tone" didn't exist, but there were more endings ...


7

Well, it's keuih: 佢 lo-jo: 攞咗 daih: 第 yat: 一 mihng: 名 tim: 添 (u+6dfb) ge: 㗎 (u+67b6) la: 啦 (u+5566) wo: 喎 (u+558e) Next, I disagree with the author that these four particles would be used together, in colloquial speech. Most likely, a Cantonese speaker would say: 佢攞咗第一名添 佢攞咗第一名架 佢攞咗第一名架啦 佢攞咗第一名架啦喎 佢攞咗第一名啦 佢攞咗第一名喎 Just not all four together.


7

“港鐵就射個三分波 叫我們問政府” MTR just shot a three-pointer, told us to ask the government "射三分波" is obviously a basketball term. It is not a common term, but a great use of metaphor. Imagine: The MTR spokesman was surrounded by reporters asking him tough questions, just like a basketball player surrounded by opposing team's guards who wouldn't let him break ...


7

成: one tenth; 10 per cent 乘: multiply; multiplication 一成熟:rare (10% cooked) 三成熟:medium rare (30% cooked) 五成熟:medium (50% cooked) 七成熟:medium well (70% cooked) 全熟:Well done (100% cooked) It is always "(X)成" for "(X)/10" 一成 = 1/10 三成 = 3/10 五成 = 5/10 七成 = 7/10 十成 = 10/10 十二成 = 12/10 (overdrive)


7

Obviously it was referring to the host 關灝泉 Kwan Ho Chuen(香港中文大學哲學系博士生) In Hong Kong, people often nickname someone by his job. For example. 李先生 is a 經紀, people who mainly know him as a 經紀 might nickname him 經紀李 More examples: 張家強 is a 豆腐店店主,people who order tofu from him might nickname him 豆腐強 黃國興 is a 律師, people might nickname him 律師黃 In the video ...


6

This is an interesting topics. I will throw in my 2 cents too :D Company Names Many big companies hire PR/Advertising firm to conduct research to create localized name or brand name. Though many times they will end up with phonetic translation, some will get nice semi-phonetic, some of them get lucky with phonetic and poetic. Famous Semi-Phonetic Coca-Cola ...


6

I agree with others who say you should work with a native speaker to help you with pronunciation. However, having a grammar book will be immensely helpful as well, since many native speakers are often unaware of their own language's grammar (many will often say "that's just how you say it" without knowing why; I've also heard native speakers assert that ...


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