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讲 / 说

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by quitecool, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. quitecool New Member

    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. darrenhg New Member



  3. BODYholic Senior Member

    Chinese Cantonese
    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. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    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:p), 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.
  5. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    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. SuperXW Senior Member

    I don't think this is true...
  7. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    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。
  8. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    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".
  9. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    "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!:D
  10. SuperXW Senior Member

    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.

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