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Strawberries513

China, Taiwan, and Singapore Mandarin

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Strawberries513

I was wondering what the differences were between the Mandarin spoken in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Is there a big accent diffrence? alot of words that you will only find in one place and not the other? what are the differences??

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darkprince

from what i've noticed, there is a slight pronunciation difference and there's a few words you'll hear in taiwan that you wont hear in main land china - i can't think of any at the moment but there are a few.

As for singapore - well, they don't butcher chinese as much as they butcher english! haha

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smalldog

Singapore Chinese have a slightly different accent, somewhat similar to that of southern mainlanders. There are differences in vocabulary, most notably that the Chinese language is called 华语 rather than 汉语 or 中文, presumably because they see the language as belonging to the worldwide Chinese community rather than the country China. There are other minor differences but I can't think of them right now. Singaporeans mix lots of English in with their Chinese so they often forget how to say certain things in Chinese.

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Strawberries513

:mrgreen: thats interesting.

One of the reasons I was asking was because I listen to a podcast that is from Singapore, and the Chinese in it is SO clear and easy to understand. (And I only really study Beijing-chinese and cant seem to understand Shanghai Chinese...)

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smalldog

Some Singapore TV and radio presenters have standard Mandarin accents and I suspect they are recent immigrants from mainland China. The government tries to encourage people to speak proper Mandarin through a "华语cool" campaign (as well as a "speak proper English" campaign). However the native Chinese population do speak with an accent. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong 李显龙 sometimes makes speeches in Chinese -- that would be a good example of a Singapore accent if you can find a recording.

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tanhql

the only difference i can think of is we tend to ask 'what is this' as 什么来的. i don't know if it is used somewhere else but it is quite common to ask 'what is this' in chinese this way in singapore, instead of 这是什么, which sounds horribly formal. also, we sometimes don't follow the two 3rd tones rule for some(not all) expressions. it sounds 'natural' this way to a local ear (we don't tend to be very formal in our speech, even to strangers; as long as it's understandable, it's fine) but just wrong to a chinese from china. the only place you'll hear 'correct' chinese is in radios, news broadcasts and oral examinations :lol:

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Ncao

Doesn't Singaporean also use 沖涼(which actually is Cantonese) instead of 洗澡 for 'taking a shower'?

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Yuchi

I recently saw a movie that was made in Singapore and set in Singapore, sometimes they have a standard and clear accent, but other times they just randomly mix in either English or hakka or cantonese?

Not sure if that movie was an accurate representation though.

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nihaoma

I remember watching a TV drama which one of the character said 「朱古力」(chocolate) instead of 巧克力.朱古力 is Cantonese.

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Luoman

Chinese people from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia may use a lot of words which are already not used in today`s Mainland China. For example 车夫 - driver,洋灰 - cement。

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zhenhui
Ncao: Doesn't Singaporean also use 沖涼(which actually is Cantonese) instead of 洗澡 for 'taking a shower'?

Actually I think we use both, depending on the mood^_^

I think the Chinese is quite the same with China and Taiwan, just that we use 简体字 to write?

Cos when I watch shows from Taiwan and China, they all sounds the same...

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elizaberth

晕,

That would be a long essay if u want to point out the differences.I can only say that Singaporeans still have a long way to go before they can reach the same level of competency in the chinese language as that of the other chinese 同胞 from China and Taiwan.

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Quest

The accents are close enough to not cause any communication problems. The slangs are a little different, but can be learned easily.

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9公主xx

I remember that:

for the word 'flat' , in China it is called 公寓、单元房,but in Singapore it is called 组屋。

‘vegetable market’, inChina: 菜市场 in Singapore: 巴刹

and Singapore Chinese seems to have a lot of 啦,咯,咩, which do not really mean anything...

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djwebb2004

1) I have heard 冲凉 in Kunming for take a shower.

2) 什么来的: there is a northern construction, taught in a book published by 南开大学 in Tianjin, which all my friends say is northern and not used in the south, which goes like this: 你说什么来着? What did you just say?

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中文的力量

I'm taiwanese and the differences between mainland china and taiwan are in prononciation. But there is not a lot of differences. For exemple z and c (pinyin) are often mix in a zc, same for ch and zh.

The vocabularie have some differences. Taiwanese use certain words more often than mainland chinese. For example 幹 means "to do" in china and in taiwan it means a vulgar word that i'll don't write here :roll:

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9公主xx

about 什么来的

the 来的 here is different from the 来着 in 说什么来着.

来的has no meaning here.

来着implies past tense.

hope i made it clear.

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Celestialnaut

As a "generation 1.5" immigrant to the U.S. from Taiwan (I was born there but left at age one), I've found the differences in accent between Taiwanese and Mainlander Mandarin to be very different. From my own biased view, Taiwanese Mandarin sounds, well, a bit like "Californian English." More loose, certain sounds are less stressed "c- instead of ch-", more "informal." Even accentless, but of course that's just from my perception. (Though it should be noted that Californian English, like Midwest English, both seem really accentless)

Is my analogy flawed? In what way is Taiwanese Mandarin related to Mainlander Mandarin, to use the same English analogy?

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Luoman
for the word 'flat' , in China it is called 公寓、单元房,but in Singapore it is called 组屋。

Yes, and a block of such flats is called 组楼

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