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

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
Dawei3

Most common word to refer to your wife?

Recommended Posts

Dawei3

Tomsima - Thanks. It’s tough to fully understand the cultural context to these statements so hearing different perspectives is helpful. After being told men don’t say that, my ears tend to be hyper-vigilant in listening for men actually saying the many phrases.  I’ll need to listen to how they say the phrases. 

Share this post


Link to post
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.

imron
11 hours ago, Tomsima said:

I say this, as I avoided saying 討厭 for many years as I was told 'only girls say that' when I first started using it. However, over the years I noticed that men also seemed to say it, but often in a more defiant way, not in the 撒嬌 way

Yep, men can say it, they just shouldn't say it like this.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lu
14 hours ago, imron said:

Oh wow now I don't know whether to look out for that movie or to avoid it like the plague 😂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron

It's not bad.  I mean it's fairly standard rom-com fare, but if you liked that clip, you'll probably like the movie.  My favourite scene was when they were eating rabbit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dawei3

If you are looking for a topic to engage Chinese friends about language, I definitely recommend this topic.  After posting this, I've continued asking friends from all around China about husband/wife and they have strongly different opinions. 

 

It's a fun topic to discuss because there are so many different words and everyone has had a strong opinion about what is appropriate/inappropriate.  They generally have strong arguments about which words they use.  

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LiMo

I would probably stick to 老婆 because that's what I hear in the TV shows that I watch.

 

I also think there's definitely something to the "too native" angle. I remember trying to teach a Chinese friend how to comport himself at pubs. Now bear in mind I'm not a regular myself but I did my best. I said something along the lines of: "When you get to the bar say, y'alright, mate, pint of the IPA, please." And just hearing him say "y'alright mate" made me think I should take a different approach. Maybe that's mean but there was something quite silly about it. At least, I must make Chinese people feel the same way when I try my hand at whatever slang I've picked up. Some things are just too local to be pulled off by "outsiders." Makes me think of this.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lu

Yeah, the 'too native' angle is interesting. Another factor is what you are listening for. If you're talking to a foreigner who speaks your language to a certain extent, you can usually follow even if they speak it badly, because you take a guess at what words they might be using. If they then say something very, very native, you're thrown off guard: what did I just hear? This is, I think, also the reason that some Chinese people cannot understand a foreigner's Chinese: any Chinese beyond 你好 is 'too native' and they are listening for English, which they don't understand, so all comprehension fails. I feel that if your accent improves, you can also use more and more 'too native' phrases. Like, a Chinese student fresh off the plane sounds weird saying 'y'alright mate, pint of IPA please' and needs to say 'Hello, one glass of beer please, IPA'. But someone who looks Chinese but grew up there can do it and nobody will bat an eye.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
murrayjames

Another data point:

 

My wife, who is from Chengdu, and I have been married eight years. When we first got married, my wife asked me not to call her 太太 because it made her sound old. Recently, however, she asked me to start calling her 太太 because 太太 sounds classier than 老婆. We are both in our mid thirties.

 

She has never liked 媳妇儿.

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dawei3

Murryjames - Thanks.  Like any language, Chinese evolves.  It seems like the word wife has evolved at a particularly fast pace.  Your post illustrates this well. 

 

I'd like to know the words for wife that were used 20, 30 years ago....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lu

Could be evolution of language, but my reading was that it was evolution of this particular person: eight years ago, Murrayjames' wife considered herself too young to be a 太太, but now she considers herself old enough. Much as at some point you don't mind being called 阿姨 instead of 姐姐, and a little bit later you will insist on it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register 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.


×
×
  • Create New...