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Thread: 讲 / 说

  1. #1
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    讲 / 说

    I'm a little confused when 讲 or 说 is used.

    For example there is 讲话 vs 说话

    then there's 讲华语 vs 说华语

    Which is right or under what circumstances is each used?

    Can someone help? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: 讲 vs 说


    讲--->written
    language
    说--->spoken
    language


  3. #3
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    Re: 讲 vs 说

    Hi quitecool,

    Welcome to the forum. Are you from Singapore too?

    First and foremost, I'm not a linguist. As a Chinese language "user", I'm under the impression that 说 is comparatively former than 讲. This is not to say the latter is unrefined.

    There was a 讲华语 campaign here about a decade or two ago. And I fondly remembered the tag line was "华人讲华语,合情又合理。". I ain't sure was it a 先入为主的观念, "讲华语" actually sounds better than "说华语" to me ever since.

    You can also find a recent thread entitled "讲得出口". To be frank, it doesn't sound natural to me. I would have said 说得出口.

    So, at the end of the day, I guess it boils down to personal preference for most instances.

  4. #4
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    Re: 讲 vs 说

    For me, 讲 is a more formal than 说.
    讲--(as a verb) to speak, to give a speech, to say something in a logical way
    说--(as a verb) to say, to talk
    讲话vs说话:别人讲话时,你不要在下面和其他人说话,这样很没礼貌。-- Don't talk to others while someone else is speaking. It's very rude.

    You may find it easier to remember their meanings in word collocations (I mean 词语), for example:
    讲课-- to give a lesson
    讲解-- to explain, to interpret
    讲故事-- to tell a story
    ...
    说谎-- to lie
    劝说-- to persuade
    ...

    But 讲华语/汉语/英语 and 说华语/汉语/英语 sound no big difference to me.
    知足知不足,有为有不为。

  5. #5
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    Re: 讲 vs 说

    Putting aside the important fact that 讲 go better in some combinations and 说 in others (as in some of the examples by Lucia_zwl above), I find that people from Taiwan often use 讲 where I'd expect 说 from Mainland speakers. So this can be regarded as a regional difference.

  6. #6
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    Re: 讲 vs 说

    Quote Originally Posted by darrenhg View Post

    讲--->written
    language
    说--->spoken
    language

    I don't think this is true...
    Correct my Chinglish please!

  7. #7
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    Re: 讲 vs 说

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucia_zwl View Post
    讲话vs说话:别人讲话时,你不要在下面和其他人说话,这样很没礼貌。-- Don't talk to others while someone else is speaking. It's very rude.
    I didn't know this difference. For me, it would be the same to say: 别人说话时,你不要在下面和其他人,这样很没礼貌。

    In Zhejiang, people will use 讲 more often, due to the local dialect influence. People will even say: 他讲你是个笨蛋!你跟服务员讲要一瓶啤酒。
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

  8. #8
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    Re: 讲 vs 说

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngfun View Post
    I didn't know this difference. For me, it would be the same to say: 别人说话时,你不要在下面和其他人,这样很没礼貌。

    In Zhejiang, people will use 讲 more often, due to the local dialect influence. People will even say: 他讲你是个笨蛋!你跟服务员讲要一瓶啤酒。
    Could be regional differences, as Xiaolijie said...For me, generally, "讲话" means "to say something in front of the public and in a logical way", while "说话" is "to chat casually".
    知足知不足,有为有不为。

  9. #9
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    Re: 讲 vs 说

    "讲话" means "to say something in front of the public and in a logical way" -> I think that's true everywhere. We'll never hear a host saying: 邀请领导上台说话!
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

  10. #10
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    Re: 讲 vs 说

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngfun View Post
    "讲话" means "to say something in front of the public and in a logical way" -> I think that's true everywhere. We'll never hear a host saying: 邀请领导上台说话!
    Yes. I would like to conclude the opinions in 3 points:
    1. 讲 and 说 are usually interchangable.
    2. In some regions (e.g. Beijing), people prefer 说 for casual conversations. In some other regions (e.g. Taiwan) people prefer 讲.
    3. In standard Chinese (PRC), 讲话 can mean giving a formal speech, whereas 说话 can not.
    Correct my Chinglish please!

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