In Cantonese, please.

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makjulia:

Yes, this probably makes no sense unless you understand the Chinese too.
The literal translation of the Chinese is “I treat you like pearls and treasures; Don’t treat me like seaweed”. “Why seaweed?” you must be asking. In Cantonese (which is what this is a transcription of so it’s different from standard written Chinese), 咸水草 means seaweed, and is a metaphor for anything worthless and not worthy of attention. In addition, 草 rhymes with 寶 (treasure).
So now you can sort of see where the “potato” bit came from. Pronounced with a typical Cantonese accent (as is by most Hong Kong people), “-gle” from angle and “-to” from potato rhyme too. And potatoes are also not very worthy of attention nor held at any kind of high regard.
The translator is even making an effort of keeping a similar parallel structure in both languages (如珠如寶, literally “like pearl like treasure”, into “my love my angle”) on top of keeping the rhyming.
With the understanding that “potato” in here is a metaphor for something worthless, and after seeing my literal translation of it, the whole English translation should make a bit more sense to a foreigner now.
But I totally understand why a foreigner would be puzzled by this. I probably wouldn’t get it too if it’s taken out of context (i.e. not presented with the Cantonese). So points to the translator for making a real effort but none for making sense.
Anyway, this is probably a fridge magnet sort of thing that are meant to imitate Hong Kong street signs (How do I know? That’s where I’m from! Plus this is in Cantonese, Hong Konger’s native language.). They are not uncommon as a witty sort of decoration or as a joke (since no one is actually going to give this to their boyfriend/girlfriend).

makjulia:

Yes, this probably makes no sense unless you understand the Chinese too.

The literal translation of the Chinese is “I treat you like pearls and treasures; Don’t treat me like seaweed”. “Why seaweed?” you must be asking. In Cantonese (which is what this is a transcription of so it’s different from standard written Chinese), 咸水草 means seaweed, and is a metaphor for anything worthless and not worthy of attention. In addition,  rhymes with 寶 (treasure).

So now you can sort of see where the “potato” bit came from. Pronounced with a typical Cantonese accent (as is by most Hong Kong people), “-gle” from angle and “-to” from potato rhyme too. And potatoes are also not very worthy of attention nor held at any kind of high regard.

The translator is even making an effort of keeping a similar parallel structure in both languages (如珠如寶, literally “like pearl like treasure”, into “my love my angle”) on top of keeping the rhyming.

With the understanding that “potato” in here is a metaphor for something worthless, and after seeing my literal translation of it, the whole English translation should make a bit more sense to a foreigner now.

But I totally understand why a foreigner would be puzzled by this. I probably wouldn’t get it too if it’s taken out of context (i.e. not presented with the Cantonese). So points to the translator for making a real effort but none for making sense.

Anyway, this is probably a fridge magnet sort of thing that are meant to imitate Hong Kong street signs (How do I know? That’s where I’m from! Plus this is in Cantonese, Hong Konger’s native language.). They are not uncommon as a witty sort of decoration or as a joke (since no one is actually going to give this to their boyfriend/girlfriend).

(Source: ipu-m)

Challenge Yourself With This Lively Chinese Language Tongue Twister

chinasimplified:

image

Some of our linguistically inclined Cantonese friends wouldn’t let us publish China Simplified: Language Gymnastics without including this beloved Cantonese tongue twister.

The Cantonese recording (courtesy of George Lau) and English translation are provided below. We hope you enjoy it!

Traditional Chinese Characters:

一蚊一斤龜, 七蚊一斤雞,
佢話龜貴過雞, 我話雞貴過龜,
咁究竟龜貴過雞定係雞貴過龜?

Romanisation:

Yat man yat kan kwai, chat man yat kan kai,
kui wa kwai kwai kwo kai, ngo wa kai kwai kwo kwai,
kam kau king kwai kwai kwo kai ting hai kai kwai kwo kwai?

Translation: 

One dollar for a tortoise, seven dollars for a chicken. He said the tortoise is more expensive than the chicken. I said the chicken is more expensive than the tortoise. So is the tortoise more expensive than the chicken, or the chicken is more expensive than the tortoise? 

Listen to the Cantonese recording here!

Already read the book? Now HEAR the book!

China Simplified: Language Gymnastics is available now on Audible. This entertaining, fast-paced recording, read by the book’s authors Katie Lu and Stewart Lee Beck, will help jump-start your Chinese language & cultural awareness, all in under 2 1/2 hours!

Literally the only popsicles in my house right now. 

Literally the only popsicles in my house right now. 

mealtimewithalice:

My favorite thing in the world! 😍 These are the traditional “dumplings” popular for Chinese New Year. They are called 角仔 (油角), “yau gok”. My mother makes them with homemade dough and filling that contains sugar, sesame, peanuts and coconut; then she deep fries them! Yes!!! 10/10!

and a how-to in cantonese! :)

chapmangamo:

Heartbeat Sounds in Ten Languages

Hearts are pretty cool, you guys. They pump a bunch of blood around the body and keep you alive or something.

Thanks, hearts! Keep on doing that thing that you do.

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book book seng.

Pretty cool blog entry over at Cantonese Resources, including a key and sound clips for each proverb featured in the picture above. If you’ve got Cantonese parents - wow them with one of these over dinner!
Thanks krysskhros for the submission! :)

Pretty cool blog entry over at Cantonese Resources, including a key and sound clips for each proverb featured in the picture above. If you’ve got Cantonese parents - wow them with one of these over dinner!

Thanks krysskhros for the submission! :)

More cat antics.

We’ve been calling AnGeng “Dusty Chen” whenever she climbs into dusty places in our house. I made up the nickname based on the pronunciation of the words “dust” and “Chen” sound in Cantonese.

dust = 塵 can4
Chen = 陳 can4

pixelblokcs:

The Cantonese version of “Love Is An Open Door” is the cutest thing I’ve ever heard.

Ooh, like this better than the Cantonese version of “Let It Go” - think the melody/key works a little better for the language.

humansofnewyork:


Seen in Chinatown

humansofnewyork:

Seen in Chinatown

Dec 8

Our family recently adopted a stray cat and are domesticating her. We said we wouldn’t name her until she settles and gets used to us, and we can just call her a temporary name instead. Our brother asked what her name was:

A: We’ll call her “An Geng”.

B: Glasses?

A: LOL NO, it’s the Chinese word for stubborn.

硬頸 ngaang6 geng2 = stubborn
眼鏡 ngaan5 geng3*2 = eyeglasses

What did the SHINee members say when they drank too much water?

william-fong:

I need to Onew.

(屙尿 o1 niu6)

manying:

Jin says Learn Chinese :3

Spoiler: Cantonese is better. 

Great examples and love the explanations with the characters on the screen! If you have 8 minutes to spare, this is a fun, interesting watch.

fascinasians:

theatlantic:

The Surprising Economics of Mooncakes—An Infographic

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!!!

fascinasians:

theatlantic:

The Surprising Economics of Mooncakes—An Infographic

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!!!

I’m way too pleased about this. 
They posted it on Facebook too.

I’m way too pleased about this

They posted it on Facebook too.

As we’re packing up leftovers from dinner, I was trying to explain to my mother that I preferred meat with no bones in them, as the bones make lunch a tad difficult in the office. 

Difficult to eat is literally 難食 (naan4 sik6) - which happens to be the idiom for “untasty” or “not delicious” and I wasn’t about to say that about her cooking. It also made me wonder if the ease of eating something contributed to the deliciousness of it (think: fall of the bone ribs, oooooomg).

Had to switch it up to 唔方便(m4 fong1 bin6 sik6) - inconvenient to eat.