17

The analogy to Portuguese and Spanish is a good one. Just don't forget that the writing system is a bit like Latin. In the middle ages nobody spoke Latin but many people could read and write it. Written Chinese was the equivalent to written Latin. Now, people write in Modern Standard Mandarin, which is the same as the spoken language taught in the schools. ...


16

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" ...


14

The pronunciation of the two are totally different. Hong Kong people humorously call it "the chicken talking to the duck" as they cannot understand each other. The two are both tonal languages (different tones has different meanings for the same sound) and they also have different vowels and consonants, too. Cantonese preserves some older grammatical ...


14

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 ...


13

For the most part both dialects use the same words and phrases (primarily with differences in slang terms). While some phrases are used more frequently in one dialect than another to express the same idea, the meanings are preserved across dialects (they don't mean different things, just people who use one dialect may prefer one saying to another). In ...


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

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+ ...


11

Normally we use the verb "点" 你点啊? Nei5 dim2 aa3? leih dim a? English: What's up? (less formal) 你点样啊? Nei5 dim2 jeung5 aa3? leih dim yeung a? English: How are you doing? (more formal) 你近排点啊? Nei5 gan6 paai4 dim2 aa3? leih gan pai dim a? English: How have you been doing? 你呢排点啊? Nei5 ni1 paai4 dim2 aa3? leih li pai dim a? ...


11

You can understand it as "so many that...": You can imagine the criminal cases are so many that the situation is serious.


11

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).


8

Lao is a member of the Tai–Kadai language family. This family does include some languages spoken by minority groups, including the Zhuang languages of Guangxi. Several languages in this group have words which sound familiar to Cantonese speakers. (I remember traveling to Thailand and being shocked by how similar Thai numerals are to those of Cantonese.) ...


8

If you happen to be familiar with Mandarin or Standard Written Chinese, the Cantonese character 咁 (gam3) corresponds to 這麼 or 那麼 and 噉 (gam2) corresponds to 這樣 or 那樣. As jogloran mentioned, 咁 is a prefix modifier whereas 噉 is postfix or a standalone pronoun. You'll often see 咁 written where gam2 is intended, which is likely the reason why 咁 appears in your ...


8

As your linked table indicates, the Middle Chinese 陰上 tone generally corresponds to Cantonese tone 2 and Mandarin tone 3, so it is indeed curious that you see both words having tone 4 in Mandarin, which typically corresponds to Middle Chinese 去 tones or 陽上 tones where the syllable onset is an obstruent (全濁聲母). Looking up the characters in the Kangxi ...


8

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 ...


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

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 ...


7

I speak both and find most of the commentary here to be overly generalized or incorrect. First, analogies in Indo-European languages: There are none. As to how far apart the oral languages are, think of French and Italian, which share more syntax than most Romance language pairs, but with very different phonetic structure. Second, which is easier. A ...


7

Of course it exists in Mandarin. I didn't know it is a Cantonese expression. Maybe it should be just "Chinese expression". I cannot answer whether the meaning are the same. I don't know Cantonese. But I think the meaning should be the same in Cantonese and Mandarin. "五福" comes form 《尚书·洪范》: 五福:一曰寿,二曰富,三曰康宁,四曰攸(yōu)好(hào)德,五曰考终命。 which are long life, ...


7

咩 (me1) as a sentence final particle is used not only to mark the sentence as a question, but also to indicate surprise (or disbelief) that the situation is not what you expected. Taking your example: 唔使返工咩? (m4 sai2 faan1 gung1 me1?) "You don't need to go to work?" This asks why the receiver doesn't need to go to work, but also indicates that you were ...


7

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 ...


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

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 ...


7

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 ...


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

'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 ...


6

咁 (gam3) and 噉 (gam2) have very similar meanings: 'to this extent', 'so', 'such'. However, 咁 (gam3) pre-modifies adjectives, and 噉 (gam2) post-modifies verbs. 噉 (gam2) or 噉樣 (gam2joeng6*2) also occurs as a pronoun meaning 'like this/that'. I think the occurrence of 咁 in the first sentence should probably be written as 噉 (gam2) as well... after all, 敢 has ...


6

Your title should rather be "Cantonese Pronunciation of Written (Standard) Chinese". What you are talking about is not really Cantonese, rather it's (mostly) Mandarin, that, if you read out loud, will be pronounced with the Cantonese pronunciation of the characters. It's more or less the same as asking a Korean or Japanese to read out a text written in ...


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