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Thread: Question for Chinese Speakers

  1. #1
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    Question for Chinese Speakers

    I had spoken to a friend from Malaysia. She only speaks Cantonese. She seemed to suggest that Cantonese wasn't as formal as Mandarin. Would it be common for Cantonese speakers to name things in Mandarin to indicate formality?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HumbleWCGuy View Post
    I had spoken to a friend from Malaysia. She only speaks Cantonese. She seemed to suggest that Cantonese wasn't as formal as Mandarin. Would it be common for Cantonese speakers to name things in Mandarin to indicate formality?
    only if they didn't have a canto word for it. lol

    mandarin (putonghua) is common speech. Most people in CHina, regardless of dialect will likely be bilingual with their regional dialect (cantonese, toisanese, shanghaiese, etc etc) and putonghua.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

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    Mandarin speakers generally look down upon Cantonese

    That was a big issue for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in China. Here you had this classic story being delivered by native Cantonese speakers. It was compared to Shakespeare with a country accent. Nevertheless, many scholars believe that Cantonese is closer to ancient Chinese. I'm told this is based upon ancient poetry, which allegedly sounds better in Cantonese than in Mandarin.

    Mandarin is the dominant language and Cantonese will default to it especially with newer terms. But then, some Chinese speakers default to English too. A case and point is that Hong Kong Cantonese speakers will say "Yes Sir!" in English, fallout from being a colony of the crown for sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    That was a big issue for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in China. Here you had this classic story being delivered by native Cantonese speakers. It was compared to Shakespeare with a country accent. Nevertheless, many scholars believe that Cantonese is closer to ancient Chinese. I'm told this is based upon ancient poetry, which allegedly sounds better in Cantonese than in Mandarin.

    Mandarin is the dominant language and Cantonese will default to it especially with newer terms. But then, some Chinese speakers default to English too. A case and point is that Hong Kong Cantonese speakers will say "Yes Sir!" in English, fallout from being a colony of the crown for sure.
    I was just curious, my system uses a Mandarin derived name but most of the terminology is all Cantonese. My instructor said that his teacher, a Chinese man, referred to Wing Chun as Yunn Chun or, closer to the Yale tanscription Yong Chun. My instructor started calling it Wing Chun so that people would know what it was.
    Last edited by HumbleWCGuy; 05-04-2010 at 04:31 PM.

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    How to say Wing Chun

    That's a huge topic, you know. Wing Chun, Ving Tsun, Yongchun, it's very confusing. But that's a bit of a different issue than I thought you were discussing initially as it's all written the same in Chinese - 詠春. This is more about romanization, and with Wing Chun, that's another can of worms.
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    same thing with choy lee fut....

    Tsai Li Fo,

    Cai Li Fo

    Choy, Choi, lee, lay, lei, li, fut, fat, fo.
    I'm pretty sure the only thing tongs do nowadays is make sure Chinese restaurants don't pay out tips to their waiters. - Pazman[/B]

    https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...8a&oe=52848D36

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    Different areas will also pronounce things differently. Even when speaking Putonghua, people will revert to using their native accent to pronounce the words. This is the same in English, when I saw “Water” or “Hot” it sounds different to when an American say “Water” or “Hot”, but it’s the same word. As Gene said, the text is the same.

    Mandarin is the “official” language of china, so you would find allot of info in that language. During the cultural revolution many people were moved from their native areas and were settled in different areas of china. Families were split up, and often people were put in areas where there weren’t others from their own hometowns or regions that would speak the same language. So many people married others from other regions and eventually their children and grand children all ended up changing language. I have friends whos grand parents were Cantonese, but now the whole family only speaks Mandarin (or even the local language of my area). If you go to Shenzhen, you will note, although its right next to Hong Kong, you will still find a very big portion of Mandarin speakers (in my opinion, more Putonghua than Cantonse).

    But for some reason, Kung Fu terms still sound better (to me) in Cantonese, although I think Mandarin girls sound much more sexier than Cantonese girls.

    If you are planning to ever go to china, then Cantonese wont do you much good unless you stick to those areas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hskwarrior View Post
    same thing with choy lee fut....

    Tsai Li Fo,

    Cai Li Fo

    Choy, Choi, lee, lay, lei, li, fut, fat, fo.

    cai li fo is the correct and official pinyin way to write 蔡李佛

    Hong Kong and Taiwan will probaly in the future revert to using standard pinyin for all chinese text. Cantonese will become spoken and written (in hanzi) but they will use putonghua pinyin to "romanise"
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    That was a big issue for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in China. Here you had this classic story being delivered by native Cantonese speakers. It was compared to Shakespeare with a country accent. Nevertheless, many scholars believe that Cantonese is closer to ancient Chinese. I'm told this is based upon ancient poetry, which allegedly sounds better in Cantonese than in Mandarin.
    .
    Many Mandarins are condescending toward Cantonese like that, which is funny.
    Isn't that like saying an African classic sounds better in German?
    Mandarin is the language of the Chings who occupied China, just as the Germans occupy South Africa.
    I still know some Cantonese who refer to Mandarins as Chings.
    "My Gung-Fu may not be Your Gung-Fu.
    Gwok-Si, Gwok-Faht"

    "I will not be part of the generation
    that killed Kung-Fu."

    ....step.

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    You mean Qing

    I'm a Ching, not a Qing. Actually, in Mandarin, I'm a Chen. The Ching comes from transliteration of the Hakka pronunciation.

    The Choy Lay Fut/Califo situation is similar, but not the quite the same, as it doesn't have the same longstanding battle of trademarking the spellings like Wing Tsun.
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    Chinese and Indian civilizations being the oldest, naturally have multitudes of mutually unintelligible dialects. Mao recognized this and mandated putonghua into existence and enforced it's teachings across the country.

    probably one of the few wise things he did to attempt unity over a generational learning model.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  12. #12
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    and funny enough, Mao never spoke putonghua. His first public speech where he declared the founding of the Peoples Republic of China, was in the hunan dialect.

    China needs a standard language. The different local languages are confusing and difficult to hear.
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  13. #13
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    I vote Yiddish.
    "My Gung-Fu may not be Your Gung-Fu.
    Gwok-Si, Gwok-Faht"

    "I will not be part of the generation
    that killed Kung-Fu."

    ....step.

  14. #14
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    yo ten tigers.... you know that its not South Africa that was German occupied, but South WEST Africa (Namibia) . South Africa was Dutch and British.


    just saying.

    Yiddish is ok by me. its like english, but every 2nd word ends with ... gewitchz... no?

    Tengevitch tigergevitchz
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  15. #15
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    And furthermore:

    Quote Originally Posted by TenTigers View Post
    Mandarin is the language of the Chings who occupied China, just as the Germans occupy South Africa.
    ....is patently false.

    The word "mandarin" may have it's etymology in the Qing dynasty but the language is not Qing derived at all. The language of the Qing dynasty is "Manzuyu" which is now actually a nearly extinct dialect. "Mandarin" is not called "mandarin" in Chinese. The language that eventually evolved into Mandarin was called "guan hua"官话。 It was made widespread by the Qing's but was not their native language. It's an artificial combination of northern dialects created for government workers so that officials trained in Beijing could be assigned to work in any province of the country.

    Guanhua (lit: language of government officials) over time became known as Putonghua (common language) or Hanyu (language of the Han Chinese) because it is based on the native tongue of....NOT the Manchurian invaders but rather instead on the Han people of northern China.

    The term "Mandarin" comes from the fact that those in government, those speaking "guan hua" at the time the west started interacting heavily with China, the Manchuran's happen to be in power. "Man" (Chinese for "Manchurian" and
    "Da Ren" (Chinese for an important public official. lit "big man")

    History of Guan Hua:
    http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh/%E5%AE%98%E8%AF%9Dh
    http://baike.baidu.com/view/295982.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_Chinese

    Manchurian, in contrast, is not even in the same linguistic family. It's more closely related to Mongolian:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchu_language
    Here is an example of Manchurian writing:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...anju_gisun.png
    Last edited by omarthefish; 05-05-2010 at 10:41 PM.

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