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Cantonese !!


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For Mandarin speakers, many Cantonese terms commonly used in Hong Kong are difficult to understand. Here are some -

黑超 = 深色太陽眼鏡

慳 = 節省

煲碟 = 不眠不休地看影碟(上的日劇/韓劇 etc)

I will add more later.

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we say 悭吝 and 煲电话(or maybe its loaned from Cantonese? ) too.

The term is originally 煲电话粥, since 粥 takes a long time to cook. :D

BTW, I found this link on another fourm... it's a whole compilation of various colloquial Cantonese terms and their Mandarin equivalents: http://haiyang.anyp.cn/99.aspx

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You see this term usually on the signs / ads of sauna places, etc ... :oops:

雙鐘 = 兩個小時的服務

代支 = 小費 (I learnt the meaning of this term only recently)

雙鐘連代支 = 兩個小時的服務加上小費

And this information found on the internet is quite interesting -

Complaints on ATV’s advertisements which were considered as “unsubstantiated” in the month of August 2000


Advertisement for “East Lake Sauna” (「東湖桑拿」廣告)

(ATV Home, 6.8.2000, 12:00midnight - 12:10am)

A viewer complained that the advertisement, which mentioned the offer of sex service by using the term “代支”, should not be broadcast on television.


The Commercial Television Code of Practice on Advertising Standards provides that advertisements for sauna houses, bath houses or similar establishments, in which hosts or hostesses are employed for the primary purpose of attracting or entertaining customers or in which activities involving sexual behaviour of whatever nature are presented, are not acceptable.

The advertisement displayed the name and venue of the sauna house with the charge rate in the caption “$288,雙鐘連代支”. The term “代支” is a jargon used in the sauna industry which normally means pre-paid tips for the massager. It may carry the meaning of charge for sex service on some occasions. The advertisement was discreetly presented and there was no evidence to prove that the term was used to advertise a sex service. The advertisement as presented was acceptable for broadcast on television. The complaint was unsubstantiated.

Chinese version

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If you need to know how the characters are pronounced in Cantonese, use this tool -> http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/lexi-can/




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t p k are silent in Cantonese, they only indicate the ending position of your tongue/teeth/lips. Some Cantonese themselves start to mix up k and t endings, but these endings are definitely distinguishable by the ear.

Although it might be harder to tell through the single character recordings at that website.

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The entering tones (tones 7, 8, and 9) occur in complementary distribution to and sound like tones 1, 3, and 6, respectively, so most pronunciation systems write them using tones 1, 3, and 6.

Simply stated, anytime you see a word ending in -k, -p, or -t that is tone 1, 3, or 6, you'll know that it is actually entering tone 7, 8, or 9, respectively.

1 = 阴平, 4 = 阳平

2 = 阴上, 5 = 阳上

3 = 阴去, 6 = 阳去

7 = 上阴入, 8 = 下阴入, 9 = 阳入


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t p k are silent in Cantonese, they only indicate the ending position of your tongue/teeth/lips.

Although I don't know Cantonese, but may I say something about these final t, p, k? :roll:

As Quest said, these sounds are there, properly articulated but without the "explosive" release heard in some other languages. So, we call them "implosive stop consonants". If, however, learners think that they are not there and don't properly articulate them, they will not sound like Cantonese at all.


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I've just tried listening to the final consonants referred to above and noticed also that the final m in Cantonese is also subject to "implosion".

English speakers often comment that Cantonese speakers often drop the final consonants when speaking English. This comment arises, I think, because it's sometimes difficult for (untrained) English speakers to hear and therefore to detect the faint presence of these sounds.

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