晚饭 / 晚餐

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by quitecool, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. quitecool New Member

    Following up on the previous post, is there any subtle difference between the 2?

    晚饭 vs 晚餐

    Which can be extended to the other meals of the day:

    早饭 vs 早餐

    午饭 vs 午餐

    Is it just that one is more formal than the other or is it a regional preference?
  2. darrenhg New Member

    both can be extended to the other meals of the day:
    晚餐,午餐,早餐--->written language, or more formal
    晚饭,午饭,早饭 --->spoken language
    more casual 早点(means 早饭or早餐)
    regional like 早饭or早餐(not in canton) vs 早茶(canton)
  3. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Does 早茶 only refer to "Dim Sum" that one has in a restaurant or can it be any type of breakfast meal in any setting? (a casual meal at home, for ex?)
  4. darrenhg New Member

    no, 早茶!={Dim Sum=点心}
    早茶,mostly used in cantonese,in canton provice,in overseas chinatown ,it can be any type of breakfast meal in any settings.
    Dim Sum=点心,used in mandarian or cantonese,it can be eaten any time and any places.
  5. zhg Senior Member

    I wouldn't refer to a homemade breakfast as 早茶. 早茶 is known as an important part of the Cantonese culture. It includes not only dim sum but also some cups of tea.We have to go to a Cantonese restaurant to have an authentic 早茶. It could be either casual or formal depends on different occasions.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  6. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Thank you both for your replies! Yes, I tend to associate 早茶 and Dim Sum/点心 for some reason, ... would a 早茶 usually have to have Dim Sum? (ex. having an English/American-style breakfast in a restaurant (if one orders tea), would probably not be considered 早茶, right?)
  7. zhg Senior Member

    Yes, I couldn't think of any Cantonese 早茶 retaurant where only serves tea and doesn't serve any dim sum. From a mainland point of view 早茶 is a special meal , it's not a casual breakfast you have every morning. Having a 早茶 takes a lot of time , for those who have to work it seems impossible for them to sit in a restaurant ,having cups of tea,chatting with friends simply because they don't have that much time.
    Logically speaking any kind of breakfast whether it's English, American or Cantonese style with TEA could be considered 早茶 as long as TEA is included.However it would have a different meaning from Cantonese 早茶. I think you could be a bit more specific about which style you want to refer to by adding 广式 英式 美式 in front of 早茶.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  8. Christine2013

    Christine2013 New Member

    早点 and 早茶 are used in different area, I think.
  9. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    For me, 早茶 is dim sum eaten at breakfast. But I had this kind of breakfast only when I was in Canton.

    I tend to associate 早饭 with a richer breakfast, with a lot of cooked food, and 早点 with a lighter breakfast, usually food that doesn't need to be cooked long time, such as croissant, toast, etc.
    But I think that for most people there is no difference.

    In my hometown 中饭 is more common than 午饭. But I see that in the North everybody says 午饭.
  10. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    中饭 is a real surprise for me, easily confused with 中餐.
  11. Glastium New Member

    Actually given a proper context, people do say 中餐 to mean lunch every now and then, provided it is less likely to be confused with "Chinese food".

    An example:

    A: 我昨晚沒吃晚餐,今早沒吃早餐,快餓死了。
    B: 那你中餐也還沒吃?
  12. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    I think the usage of 中饭/中餐 varies in regions. My region will always say 午饭/午餐.
  13. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    In my region we use 中饭 or (more rarely) 午饭 informally and 午餐 formally, while 中餐 can only mean "Chinese cuisine", so we never get confused. But I see that in some regions 中餐 can also mean "lunch" in certain contexts.
  14. xochu New Member

    Japanese 日本語
    If you are talking about Hong Kong cantonese, yes it is totally correct. 早茶 only refers to a breakfast of dim sum and tea (either or both) at a 茶樓(dim sum resto). Even if you are having a decent earl grey tea at a tearoom you can say that you are having 早茶! :p Also, instead of *食早茶(wrong usage), we mostly use 飲早茶 (even if practically you are EATING dim sum)
    If you want to mention a breakfast at other restaurants (macdonald's...haha) , it would be better to use 早餐。
    If you are learning chinese, just leave it...guess you wont have much opportunity to use this expression.
    And FYI, in Hong Kong , we seldom use 早飯. We may understand but it sounds awkward and 'chinese'.
  15. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    What if you have breakfast at home? ;)
    For me, it's weird to call the breakfast eaten at home 早餐。I prefer 早点 or 早饭。But I've also heard people use 家里吃早餐。
  16. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    I often heard Hong Kong people carelessly referring "Mandarin" as "Chinese" like you did. I think it's indeed ridiculous and arrogant in some degree, like "Cantonese" is not "Chinese", or "Mandarin" is the only dialect in "Chinese", is it? You'll probably make a foreigner confused too: "I'm learning Chinese and I want it sound like Chinese, so what did you mean?" Please don't mess them up again. Sometimes even a Hongkonger A would laugh at a Hongkonger B for B saying this...
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  17. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    Linguistically, certainly Cantonese is also Chinese.
    But many Hong Kong people refer to the Mainland China as "China", geographically.
  18. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    I know what you mean...Problem is sometimes people say 我淨系識白話,唔識中文喔…… Clearly it's about language.
    This is off-topic. Sorry I was being emotional...
  19. xochu New Member

    Japanese 日本語
    Well in HK cantonese we rarely use 早點(btw we would think of a meal of dim sum) or 早飯. Breakfast is always 早餐, even you have it at home or eat out. Precisely 早茶 is merely a hyponym of 早餐, there is an obvious semantical nuance between these two terms.

    Possible terms used to refer meals:
    Breakfast: 早餐
    Lunch: 晏,lunch (loanword but widely used),晏晝飯,午餐(less oral)
    Dinner: 晚飯,晚餐 (actually both terms are quite literal,normally we say [夜晚]食飯),dinner(less popular)
  20. xochu New Member

    Japanese 日本語
    Cantonese is one of the sinitic languages, like Min and Wu. The terminology of "chinese" in English is often misunderstood.
    Chinese may refer to the written language based on northern languages, which is considered as the standard form in the sinophone world.
    But, in English, when one says, 'I want to learn Chinese', this 'Chinese' usually means Chinese Mandarin, the spoken language.
    As an adjective, yeah like what Youngfun says, we use this term for a geographical and cultural distinction.
    So when i say 'it sounds chinese' , it means the expression is bit of Mandarin-written-form-like or 'mainland-china-like'(maybe in canton people use this term in conversation?)
    By the way in HK not many people understand what 白話 is...
  21. stevenst

    stevenst Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Are you sure? In Hong Kong, we refer 白話 to Cantonese. I don't know why you have this impression.

    In Hong Kong, although they carry the same meaning, 晚餐 is much more common than 晚飯.
  22. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    It is debatable whether Cantonese, Min, Wu are dialects or separate languages, I'm not gonna talk too much about this. Basically I think it is what it is, what decides how we classify it is our cultural and political opinions.
    In general, “Chinese” refers anything related to China. To avoid being ambiguous or offensive, in our case, I think it’s better to say: “it sounds awkward, sounds like Mainland Chinese mixed up with Cantonese.”
  23. xuan0824 New Member

    Mandarin Chinese - Taiwan
    I'm Taiwanese and we would say "早餐""午餐""晚餐"
    Few might say "早點""早飯""午飯""中餐""晚飯"
  24. ertan13 New Member

    I think the word of 'brunch' has the most matched meaning of 早茶 from time point. And from culture point,早茶 has similar meaning to English afternoon tea.
  25. 维尼爱蜂蜜 Member

    餐 is more formal。 like a restaurant is called 餐厅。
    早茶is cantonese 早餐。
  26. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    If I buy a sandwich and bring it to my office, In Cantonese I can only say 呢個係我早餐, but not 呢個係我早茶, am I right?
  27. Wesley To Member

    Cantonese - Hong Kong Style
    In Hong Kong, we will say 呢個係我早餐. If it is dim sum instead of a sandwich, we still say 呢個係我早餐. If I hear someone say 呢個係我早茶, I guess 1) he emphasizes/implies that he has brought dim sum or 2) he does bring dim sum and he is saying it in a funny way.
    For me, 早茶 means dim sum in this context.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  28. lyx1692

    lyx1692 Senior Member

    午饭、晚饭,often used in spoken Chinese.
    午餐、晚餐,more formal.
    But, I don't think 早餐 is formal. It's also used in spoken language.
    早饭 is often used in coutryside.
  29. lyx1692

    lyx1692 Senior Member


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