Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

back formation - from dialects (mostly Cantonese) to


TSkillet
 Share

Recommended Posts

my mandarin teacher tells me that the "zai3" is a cantonese back formation into mandarin - and is only of recent vintage. She's not very happy about the addition of cantonese type phrases into mandarin.

Don't think so. According to Xiandai Hanyu Cidian (現代漢代辭典) -

仔 (zai3) = 崽 (zai3) (meaning fledgling/young animal)

And 兔崽子 (tu4 zai3 zi) or 崽子 (zai3 zi) are swearing words similar to "jerk". They are quite common even in older books.

仔 is also pronounced as zi3 as in 仔細 (zi3 xi4), and zi1 as in 仔肩 (zi1 jian1).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

  • 1 month later...
Mandarin.

Several I've seen - "niu zai ku" - from the cantonese ngau zai fu - blue jeans. The nonsensical "desi" - from the Cantonese "Dic See" - taxi.

And there're still much more "back formation" (or "forward formation"??)

Like,

Canada: (Cantonese) Ga Na Dai; (Mandarin) Jia Na Da

Switzerland: (Canton) Sui See; (Mand) Rui Shi

And I think "TAXI" should be "DI SHI" in Mandarin. Hongkongers created the word "Dik Sii", the Chinese characters were imported to the mainland, and the Mandarin speakers even extended the meaning of the word "DI" (not "de"), so you can hear "Mian Di" (mian means "mianbao", bread, so "miandi" actually means "van"), "Di Ge" (ge means brother, so Di Ge is a friendly way to call the taxi driver).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
it's 的士 - just so we're clear - on the Hong Kong taxis. So in pinyin - that's "deshi"

I still think it could be dishi... 的 has three readings in pinyin (de di2 di4). And to repeat myself' date=' the slang expression to catch a cab is "da di" not "da de". Are you positive it's "deshi"?[/quote']

yes, u r right, its "di(2) shi(4)"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...