18 votes
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b and p, d and t, k and g etc. in English and Cantonese

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 ...
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15 votes

Why don't Cantonese speakers write their own language?

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, ...
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  • 588
10 votes
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Cantonese sandhi

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. ...
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  • 5,608
10 votes
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Does 兩點九 mean 2:09 or 2:45?

Does 兩點九 have two different meanings? Or does it always mean 2:45? It does not have two different meanings. It means 2:45. We can also say 兩點四十五分。 In fact, it's more direct to say 兩點四十五分, if we're ...
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  • 5,173
9 votes
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What is the Mandarin equivalent of Cantonese's 麻麻地 (so-so)?

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 ...
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8 votes
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Macau Cantonese, any differences from HK?

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 ...
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  • 5,608
8 votes
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Character 瞓: where did the pronunciations come from?

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 ...
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  • 4,492
8 votes
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The slang meaning of "Seven/七" in Cantonese

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 ...
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  • 2,421
8 votes
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How to pronounce 廿卅卌 in Chinese?

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. ...
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  • 5,608
8 votes

Why don't Cantonese speakers write their own language?

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'...
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  • 2,122
8 votes
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How to say job offer in Mandarin/Cantonese?

'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)] ...
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  • 67.4k
7 votes
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Can someone explain what the 其 in 順其自然 means?

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. ...
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  • 174
7 votes

Character 瞓: where did the pronunciations come from?

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". ...
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  • 3,986
7 votes

How Cantonese and Mandarin writing can be identical

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 ...
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7 votes
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Subway door announcement mystery

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 ...
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  • 3,986
7 votes

Is Cantonese a better choice in studying classic of poetry (詩經)?

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 ...
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7 votes
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Difference between 製作 and 製造?

The character 作 contains the meaning of 'create' 製作 refers to crafting, creating or making something that require skilled hands or creative mind (usually a single piece or in modest quantity) For "...
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7 votes
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Cangjie reference

至少有兩種資源:網站和對照表 五個網站資源 (1) 漢文庫典 漢文庫典的資料庫及字詞、成語等典籍,係以【朱邦復工作室】所發展的倉頡系統製作、轉換。 朱邦復是倉頡輸入法的發明人。這像是官方最新的版本。 (2) 馬來西亞 倉頡之友 以第五代倉頡碼為主,有時會有第三代的編碼。 (3) 維基詞典 這似乎是第三代的編碼。有時會有第五代的編碼。 (4) 汉典 (5) 国学大师 ...
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  • 1,974
7 votes

What are the Chinese characters for Cantonese 'tìm ge la wo'?

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 ...
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  • 12.5k
7 votes
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What does “射個三分波” mean?

“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 ...
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  • 67.4k
7 votes
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Use of 成 / 乘 number quantifiers in Cantonese

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 &...
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  • 67.4k
7 votes
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What does 泉 mean in 道具泉, in the context of a handbill?

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 ...
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7 votes
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Using this Cantonese particle to indicate past tense

晒 as a verb particle here indicate - 'All; completely' Example: 走晒 (all left); 死晒 (all dead; completely dead); 冇晒 (all gone) 填好晒 = finished filling it all The phrase 貼好 (finished sticking on) ...
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  • 67.4k
7 votes

Is there any proof that the Taishanese language is related to Gan? Is it from a linguistic perspective?

The Gan-Hakka hypothesis is most famously put forward by Sagart (2002), based on certain unique shared innovations in both Southern Gan varieties and Hakka: 屋下 as the usual word for "house",...
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  • 5,608
7 votes
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'it cant be helped' translation in cantonese

(件事/佢)冇得救: (the thing/he) cannot be salvaged (literally 'rescued') (我)想幫都幫唔到: even if I want to help, I cannot (我)冇計/冇辦法: literally, I do not have any tricks for / solutions to a problem 我都愛莫能助: ...
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  • 5,400
6 votes
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Tones in Cantonese: 6 or 9?

From a practical learner's point of view, treating the checked "tones" as shorter, closed syllables that carry the same tone as as tones 1, 3, 6 (and 2 in changed tone) would be enough. In modern ...
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  • 5,608
6 votes

What is the difference between 台 and 臺?

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, ...
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  • 530
6 votes

Are the Cantonese word 係 and the Japanese word はい related?

The Japanese wiki page mentions that the claim is a "folk theory" that is "denied by academics". An alternative etymology for Cantonese hai6 comes from 系/繫. I don't have this book, but apparently ...
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