In Cantonese, please.

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Challenge Yourself With This Lively Chinese Language Tongue Twister

chinasimplified:

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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. 

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

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.

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.

The phrase 第一手 (dai6 jat1 sau2), literally “the first hand”, can be used to mean the first to use/own/etc. For example, my neighbors had been living in their house for 50+ years, and my father realized: 佢哋係(they are;keoi5 dei6 hai6) 第一手.

The one (一) can be exchanged for other number values to indicate second hand, third hand, and so on.

Started my new year off with dinner and red envelopes last night. Happy Chinese New Year, all!

Started my new year off with dinner and red envelopes last night. Happy Chinese New Year, all!

七七八八 (cat1 cat1 baat3 baat3) - literally “seven seven eight eight” - is an idiom that means “almost done”. So let’s say you’re finishing something up and someone asks if you’re about to leave - you could answer “我七七八八la~.”

Google searches reveal that this idiom may come from meaning 70 to 80 percent done, but there’s nothing really definitive. 

糯米飯 (no6 mai5 faan6), or sticky glutinous rice, that I had at a fancy buffet. They had cute small portions so that you really could try a little of everything. (compared to a coffee creamer)

糯米飯 (no6 mai5 faan6), or sticky glutinous rice, that I had at a fancy buffet. They had cute small portions so that you really could try a little of everything. (compared to a coffee creamer)

Automatic mah jong table - with Cantonese! (hehe)

Some people have expressed that this table isn’t necessary or that amazing, and that stacking is a required skill for mah jong. I’d say I agree - but I was also thinking of my grandparents, aka the master stackers (& anyone else’s elderly family/friends), and saving them a little time & sparing them a little joint pain.

Jan 4

你老母,收皮啦: The fact that Chinese people care a lot about family and filial...

poodleduchess:

The fact that Chinese people care a lot about family and filial obligations reflect even in our cuss words. In Cantonese, there are a few cuss phrases that focus on cussing your entire family out. 冚家鏟 means may your whole family be dead. It can be used as a noun or a verb. You can call a person 冚家鏟 or you can wish them 冚家鏟.

Another one is 仆街, which literally translates to “tripping in the street”. But the phrase actually implies much more. Most native Cantonese speakers are actually unaware of the full implication of the phrase, they just think it means to wish someone to trip and fall. The implication behind this phrase is that you hope someone will die in the street and their dead body won’t be properly buried because they are such a bad person that their family don’t even care for them. Proper burial is important in Chinese culture because it’s related to filial obligations. So telling someone that they are a 仆街 or wishing them to 仆街 is actually more serious than it sounds.