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need help for learning 上海滩 in cantonese


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I really want to learn the Cantonese version of the song 上海滩 but I don't know where to begin. I don't even know if it's possible but can someone write the Cantonese lyrics in pinyin with the tones? thanks in advance

















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I suppose you want to sing the song in Cantonese instead of Putonghua, right? I think it is not possible to denote Cantonese pronunciation with hanyu pinyin as some of the elements in Cantonese do not exist in Putonghua.

You can however use Jyutping to express Cantonese pronunciations.

Using the Chinese Word Parser, you can get this in Jyutping (it also gives you the pinyin) -

浪奔浪流 long6 ban1 long6 lau4

万里滔滔江水永不休 maan6 lei5 tou1 tou1 gong1 seoi2 wing5 bat1 jau1

淘尽了世间事 tou4 zeon6 liu5 sai3 gaan1 si6

混作滔滔一片潮流 wan6 zok3 tou1 tou1 jat1 pin3 ciu4 lau4

是喜是愁 si6 hei2 si6 sau4

浪里分不清欢笑悲忧 long6 leoi5 fan1 bat1 cing1 fun1 siu3 bei1 jau1

成功失败 sing4 gung1 sat1 baai6

浪里看不出有未有 long6 leoi5 hon3 bat1 ceot1 jau5 mei6 jau5

爱你恨你问君知否 oi3 nei5 han6 nei5 man6 gwan1 zi1 fau2

似大江一发不收 ci5 daai6 gong1 jat1 faat3 bat1 sau1

转千弯转千滩 zyun2 cin1 waan1 zyun2 cin1 taan1

亦未平复此中争斗 jik6 mei6 ping4 fuk1 ci2 zung1 zang1 dau3

又有喜又有愁 jau6 jau5 hei2 jau6 jau5 sau4

就算分不清欢笑悲忧 zau6 syun3 fan1 bat1 cing1 fun1 siu3 bei1 jau1

仍愿翻百千浪 jing4 jyun6 faan1 baak3 cin1 long6

在我心中起伏够 zoi6 ngo5 sam1 zung1 hei2 fuk6 gau3

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Here's a video where the original singer Frances Yip is at a show singing the song that brought her to fame: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAd70Ob1tqs&feature=related

The characters are in Traditional Chinese, not Simplified Chinese, because the composer Joseph Koo Ka-Fai, lyricist James Wong, and original singer Frances Yip Lai Yee were all from Hong Kong.

Lyrics in original version with Traditional Chinese:

浪奔 浪流




是喜 是愁


成功 失敗


*愛你 恨你 問君知否


轉千彎 轉千灘


#又有喜 又有愁


仍願翻 百千浪


重唱 *,#

仍願翻 百千浪


重唱 = repeat the part where there's a*& #, respectively

Source: http://www.comp.nus.edu.sg/~nghoongk/lyrics/singer354-1.html

Edited by trien27
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  • 1 month later...

ok i finally started to practise. here is a recording. i had to reduce the quality for putting it here and the rhythm is off the beat cuz my software played the song with problems while recoding. please tell me my pronunciation mistakes. thanks!


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Unlike native mandarin speakers you don't seem to have problems with pronouncing the p, t, k endings accurately, which is very good. Strangely, though, some of the vowels are relatively weak and incomplete, such as those of 愛 and 成, and you might want to practise them more.

For a foreigner your pronunciation is in my opinion good enough. You might want to focus on improving the singing. :mrgreen:

PS - Listen to how Frances Yip sings. It might help.

Edited by skylee
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Pronunciation is fine for the most part. 清 sounds too much like [tsʰiŋ]. It should be [tsʰɪŋ]. You might want to work on breathing. Singing the notes on

might also help. Edited by Hofmann
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my question is more about the consonants. in the Jyutping version that skylee has provided ceot is for 出, but i have a feeling that the consonant is closer to "q" rather than "c" if we want to write it in pinyin. and also i hear an "m" at the beginning of 爱. so is it more like "oi" or "moi"? since i don't understand ipa, i just need an approximation. thanks!

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Well, if I had it my way, 出 would certainly start with something like a pinyin q, but Standard Cantonese doesn't do things my way, so it's more like a pinyin c.

As for 愛, many (almost all!) Hong Kong singers mispronounce it. It is supposed to be oi3.

For the record, most Hong Kongers' Cantonese really sucks.

*runs away*

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As for 愛, many (almost all!) Hong Kong singers mispronounce it. It is supposed to be oi3.

As far as I am aware, it is standard for Hong Kong singers to pronounce 愛 as ngoi when singing. The "ng" is a nasal sound, which is probably why you are hearing an initial "m".

However, some people say that "ngoi3" is a hypercorrection and should correctly be pronounced as oi3.

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Hofmann hi.

Regarding the pronunciation of 愛. In the Cantonese chapter of "漢語方言概要" written by Prof. Baak-Wai Zim in 1957, he documented on P. 201:

...4) 粤方言各地都有ng-声母,但这个ng-声母的来源彼此不完全一致。广州大致是古疑母一二等字及部分影母开口一二等字念ng-,如:”我、偶、眼、外、安、欧“;...

Therefore, it seems that at least in the 1950s, the standard speech in Canton already confused some 影母 characters with 疑母. Nevertheless, many old dictionaries(e.g. 粤音韵彙) might not bother to document this linguistic fact. In more recent dictionaries, both versions are accepted as "correct" pronunciation. Nevertheless, in order to conform with Classical rhyme books, the oi version still precedes the ng version as "正音".

The 中山 dialect, on the other hand, does not mix the two initials:


Since hongkong mainly adopts the "Standard Cantonese" from Canton, the pronunciation with ng- on 古影母 characters should not be treated as mispronunciation or overcorrection, but a natural evolutionary process of the language.

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It seems like you're saying that if many people get something wrong, then that makes it right.

Let's look at Standard Mandarin. Among the many people who speak Mandarin, relatively few speak Standard Mandarin. A lot of people say si4 for 是, but Mandarin dictionaries don't list si4 as a pronunciation. If Cantonese dictionaries were to act the same way, ngoi3 for 愛 wouldn't be listed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Hofmann.

I assume you have good knowledge in linguistics, judging from many of your insightful posts.

Yes - if the majority of people "mistake" a sound, it becomes correct. All languages evolved in that way. Consider, for example, how "wrong" it is for English speakers to pronounce [nait] for "Night" and "Knight", which historically much better approximated their spellings.

Of course, it doesn't mean that all mistakes are justifiable - it depends on the acceptance of its native users. Relative stability within a limited time-frame is desirable, though changing is the only thing unchanged. Let's remember that a language is fundamentally a set of signals meant for communication, and thus stipulation made by its users.

It is true that as Middle Chinese, some dialects of Cantonese still preserves the glottal stop initial for 影母 characters (eg. HeungShan Dialect). Nonetheless, linguistic surveyed demonstrated that in the Canton dialect(de facto standard cantonese), most people added ng- initials at least in the 1950s. From my personal observation as a native speaker, almost no one could make a clear distinction between ngoi and oi today(the situation is even worse than pronuncing gwong as gong, because most people, when reminded, can recall the difference of the latter two). It might in some way be comparable to the loss of distinction between ch/ts, tsz'/tsi etc. in this dialect.

I know how unfair it may seem when people accuse you for not adding the ng- for 爱 - after all it is how it was recorded on the rhyme books. Nevertheless, it is advised to also notice many characters falling out from the rhyme books' readings in Cantonese. One example comes to mind is 糾, whose rhyme book sound value is Gau2(【廣韻】居黝切【集韻】吉酉切), but unanimously read as Dau2 by native speakers. Similar samples include but are not limited to 彌 (rhyme book 【廣韻】武移切【集韻】【韻會】民

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