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Please can you help me translate this into Cantonese?


amylou
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My Cantonese speaking Chinese friend is moving away and I want to write to them in Cantonese before they go, so please please could somebody translate this for me. I'd really appreciate it :)

Dear (name),

Have fun studying there and travelling the world, I hope that you have an amazing time.

The only thing that is left for me to say to you is thank you. Thank you for being such a good friend and thank you for being there for me. I appreciate you so much as a friend and I really will miss you a lot when you go.

Thank you to anybody who can help me out with this translation, it really would mean a lot!!!

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Letters and emails are usually written in so-called standard written Chinese, no matter what variant of Chinese the writer speaks (Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese etc).

Cantonese is primarily a spoken language and only people in Hong Kong use a written form of Cantonese for very informal communication like MSN and casual emails.

Anyway, here is a possible translation into this written form of Cantonese:

Name好,

我希望你喺嗰度讀書開心啲同埋享受旅行世界.希望你玩得好開心.

只有一樣野想講俾你聽: 多謝. 多謝你一個咁好嘅朋友, 多謝你關心我. 我真係好珍惜我哋嘅友誼.你離開之後, 我真係會好掛住你.

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Althought there are different dialects orally, there is no difference for writting. It is simplified Chinese character that is used for writing in mainland China and traditional Chinese character in HongKong, Taiwan..

Name:

祝你在那里学习开心,周游世界愉快,希望你度过一段美好的时光。

我现在唯一要说的就是谢谢你。感谢你是这样的一个好朋友,感谢你的陪伴。作为朋友,我非常感谢你,你走了以后我真的会非常想念你的。

Edited by duhaoshu
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Thank you for the help. I had forgotten to mention that my friend is originally from Hong Kong and is not as familiar with Mandarin as Cantonese. Which translation would be most relevant for me to use?

I would suggest using standard written Chinese, and traditional characters.

Though, if he grew up in Hong Kong, he will be able to understand any of this.

BTW, is "感谢你总是在那里" really a good translation for "Thank you for always being there for me"?

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Amylou, if your friend is from Hong Kong, I recommend using the written Cantonese version I posted above, because it will appear more emotional and friendly to Cantonese speaking Hong Kongers.

Standard written Chinese on the other hand is often associated with formal/official communication in Hong Kong, because it is quite different from spoken Cantonese and usually learned as a "second" language for writing. So I think it would not convey what you really feel as well as the Cantonese version (on an emotional level).

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duhaoshu, not all the writing is the same. Cantonese has a widely used written form that first appeared in the Ming Dynasty. Nowadays, many magazines, newspapers and advertisements in Hong Kong use written Cantonese or a mix of standard Chinese and written Cantonese. Also, private communication in Hong Kong is usually in written Cantonese and people use it a lot on the internet (forums, blogs, messaging).

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sebhk, I know that the Cantonese writing way you mentioned which is used in traditional Chinese character, and which is similar with the oral Cantonese.

But I keep on the idea of using standard way of Chinese writting, even for close friends.

Because that way is merely a local writing way among Hongkongese within Hong Kong.

And amylou is from outside of China.

(Besides, I think most well-educated Hongkongese can understand the simplified Chinese character.)

If the Cantonese speakers keep writing in this way, how will they let billion more non-Cantonese-speaking Chinese outside the city or Chinese-speaking foreigners aboard understand them totally?

For writing, I keep on the idea of using standard Chinese mandarine, which is more standard in grammar and is widely understood by ALL the Chinese and Chinese-speaking foreigners all over the world.

Speaking of language, I don't think the idea of taking Chinese Mandarine and Cantonese as two languages is proper. The later is not a independent language, but is a DIALECT of Chinese language.

English, German, Spanish are languages comparing Chinese, but Cantonese, not.

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duhaoshu, I agree with your points in general, but we are talking about a very personal letter to a Cantonese speaking Hong Konger. So I think in this particular case written Cantonese is more appropriate for the reasons I mentioned above.

This thread is not a good place to start yet another language vs. dialect vs. regionalect debate. Has been discussed many times and treated in detail in many books like John DeFrancis "The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy". I did not intent to make a statement as to whether Cantonese is an independent language or not, so just replace the word language in my post with whatever term you prefer.

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I agree with sebhk. Regardless of what one believes is appropriate for general communication, the OP is writing to a friend. Considering that young HKers use colloquial Cantonese in informal contexts for communicating with their friends, I would say that sebhk's version is more appropriate in this case.

In addition, while most educated HKers can understand simplified Chinese characters, they are still most comfortable with traditional characters. I don't know why one would insist on using a version of a language that one's audience is less comfortable with except in circumstances where there is no alternative - it seems rather arrogant to me.

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Let's better take an example of English.

Comparing the two writing ways below:

"the only thing.. left 4 me 2 say 2 u is thx. thx 4 Bing such A gud friend....thx 4 Bing there 4 me. ... "

-----

"The only thing...left for me to say to you is thank you. Thank you for being such a good friend and thank you for being there for me..."

I recognize the deep emotion of freindship the writer wants to express from his post. So that's the reason I prefer to use a formaler writing way -the standard Chinese. A formal way of writing will be more helpful to show the deep feeling to his friend than a casual one, even between young friends.

If one got any feeling of "arrogant" from my post above, I'd like to say that's misunderstanding and beyond the meaning of the post.

Edited by duhaoshu
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I don't think that the first sentence is comparable to Cantonese.

An analogy I like to make is between Castillian and Catalan. The first one is the formal way of writing in Spain, but if you have a friend from Valencia or Barcelona and know that Catalan is his mother tongue, then writing a note in Catalan could be seen as more personal and intimate.

I recommended vernacular Chinese and traditional characters, but I don't see anything wrong with writing in Cantonese if the person is indeed a HKer and used to conversing in this way. Keep in mind that it's the thought that counts here -- he will understand the sentiment one way or the other. It's a short note, a token of affection, she's not writing a book :)

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I tend to agree with sebhk and wai ming, though I don't really think that private communication in Hong Kong is usually in written Cantonese.

I agree with Lu that any educated HKer can understand standard Chinese, so it is up to the OP to choose if the messsage should be in written Cantonese or standard Chinese. But please do write in tradtional Chinese. Some HKers (like me) do dislike simplified Chinese. I think it is OK to adopt sebhk's version, though 享受旅行世界 sounds odd.

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hofmann, don't know the meaning of the simplest word "standard"? just go to look up a dictionary by yourself.

Better read all the posts above carefully .

I know much about which kind of character is used in HK, better than you.

My point is better avoid to use the way of oral cantonese in writing.

Anyone who has learned, is learning or will learn Chinese knows, or will know which Chinese character is easier to learn and write. And its all depend on themselves which way they'll choose.

(and no one asked about ur feeling, anyway.)

Edited by duhaoshu
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Well, I don't wish to comment on sebhk's writing. I think it sounds perfectly OK, so OP, you can use it and you'll be understood.

There may be something tricky with writing... hm, say, to people in HK. Actually, no matter whether you/your friend are/is female or male, if I were either of you, I'd accept sebhk's version, or any one in simplified/traditional Chinese/very standard Chinese. When it's written, I personally don't think it hurts to sound more formal on paper (i.e. to use standard Chinese instead, or at least the standard written form that both Hongkongers and other Chinese can read). To be more "formal", as I see it, may actually be that you're being very sincere - and ... pardon me if that sounds ambiguous, not much different from putting it colloquially. To be colloquial just means more affectionate, I think. (A guy might think differently from a girl, so that's my 2 cents, from a guy)

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I know much about which kind of character is used in HK, better than you.

duhaoshu,

汝安知吾所知者? Unless you're god or something, better not try to estimate your addressee's knowledge.

I don't really know what you're talking about. I agree that Vernacular Chinese works best in most situations, if that's what you're talking about. However, I don't find it any easier than Written Cantonese. If you're talking about Traditional vs. Simplified, everybody, and obviously including you, has their own preferences. Nobody asked you either.

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