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agewisdom

Differences in Mandarin across different countries

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agewisdom

Hi All,

 

One thing I started noticing after beginning to learn Mandarin is there are differences in certain phrases in Mainland China vs. Malaysia (where I'm staying). I thought it would be interested if anyone is interested in sharing what they noticed when learning Mandarin. For me, the most obvious one that I've come across is:

 

1. Taxi

出租汽车 vs 的士

The mainland phrase is a literal phrase, car for rent which well, means taxi. In Malaysia, is it a loan word (?), a direct translation into the word taxi. I think the Mainland phrase is a mouthful and personally, have never heard anyone using it here.

 

2. Bus

公共汽车 vs 巴士

Again, the mainland phrase means public bus. In Malaysia, we use a direct translation of the sound bus, 'ba shi'.

 

I think there are many others, but these two stand out for me when I'm learning the HSK words. The mainland phrases are pretty unwieldy. Do people in China actually use these phrases?

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markhavemann

I think in daily life are more likely to hear 出租车 and 公交车, dropping the 汽. Though it depends where you are. (someone with better Chinese than mine might disagree?)

 

There are big differences within China itself in the words that people use. China is a big country and there are also dialects spoken all over that I'm sure influence Mandarin in different areas. 

 

I hear 公交车 for bus here in Sichuan but one of my students from Fujian province calls it 巴士. Apparently the size of China is what accounts for there sometimes being two commonly used words for one object, like 番茄 and 西红柿 for tomato, 老鼠 and 耗子 for mouse.

 

As an addition to taxi, I've read 计程车 in a book and I think it may be from Taiwan. 

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Beelzebro

摩托车 (CN) vs 机车 (TW) is another one.

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Flickserve

的士, 巴士 come from the HK Cantonese loan words. You will probably know that in Malaysia, there is a heavy Cantonese/hokkien influence and a lot of HK Cantonese TV shows shown here. So this permeates into the mandarin.

 

冷氣機 (MAS/HK/TW) vs 空調 (CN)

 

There is a Malaysian youtuber who goes through some of the differences in Malaysian mandarin and mainland mandarin. Unfortunately I don’t have the link right now and my data plan in Malaysia is really slow.

 

 

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ilande

When I was in Taiwan, I was told to differentiate between 巴士 and 公共汽車. When I was on the phone and said I was on a 巴士 my taiwanese friend was very confused, because she thought I was leaving the city, when I actually was just riding a city bus.

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DavyJonesLocker
1 hour ago, markhavemann said:

I think in daily life are more likely to hear 出租车 and 公交车, dropping the 汽. 

 

...

 

Apparently the size of China is what accounts for there sometimes being two commonly used words for one object, like 番茄 and 西红柿 for tomato,

 

Same here is Beijing . It seems to be that 番茄 is a tad more formal or sophisticated that 西红柿。 For example any  of the better hotpot restaurants use 番茄 as a base option and in the posher supermarkets around where I am , cherry tomatoes, vine tomatoes are often called 小番茄

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agewisdom
5 hours ago, Flickserve said:

There is a Malaysian youtuber who goes through some of the differences in Malaysian mandarin and mainland mandarin. Unfortunately I don’t have the link right now and my data plan in Malaysia is really slow.

 

I did a search on Youtube and found the video you're talking about. Quite interesting. Many phrases to learn and there's proper subtitles too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ09su9ZGTk

 

5 hours ago, Flickserve said:

的士, 巴士 come from the HK Cantonese loan words. You will probably know that in Malaysia, there is a heavy Cantonese/hokkien influence and a lot of HK Cantonese TV shows shown here. So this permeates into the mandarin.

 

Oh... so these words actually came from Cantonese loan words rather than originating via a direct translation from English in Malaysia? Interesting. :D

 

 

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calibre2001
Quote

Oh... so these words actually came from Cantonese loan words rather than originating via a direct translation from English in Malaysia? Interesting. :D

 

I know that colloquially 10,000 is pronounced 十千 rather  than 一萬 and so on. Numbering system is heavily influenced by English here.

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agewisdom

The other one I noticed is the terms for meal times. For instance, in HSK, breakfast is often referred as 早饭 but we almost always use 早餐 instead. Which is more commonly used in Mainland China? Same goes for lunch and dinner, we use the character 餐 instead of 饭.

 
 

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