All Chinese languages: Negation

vince

Senior Member
English
Hi everyone,

If you speak a Chinese (Sinitic) language other than Mandarin, could you please translate the following sentences into your language? I'm interested in how local languages (方言) differ from Mandarin/Standard Written Chinese.

"No one came to the store yesterday"

"I don't like candy"

"Don't touch the computer!"

"I wasn't working when you called"

"I haven't eaten any fish today"

"When my dad was alive, he never yelled at us like that"

"Are you my uncle?"

"Do you have money?"

"Have you ever been to Moscow?"

----
Transliterations (romanizations) would be best, characters if possible, but not if they're only used to represent characters that sound like unrelated Mandarin characters.

Notes*: For the transliterations, please DO NOT just take a Standard Written Chinese translation of the sentence and write down the pronunciation of each character in your local language (方言), unless that is truly how two adults talk in your 方言 in a conversation. Try not to look at the previous translations when making a new translation, because you might end up using a lesser-known word just because it is more commonly used in a language whose translation is already there.

If you don't know which Chinese language you speak, that's fine, just put down your city dialect as you do in China: "<your city name>"-hua (-
话), and we can look up for you what language it is part of.


Xie xie everyone!
- Vince
 
  • samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    Just 2 questions:
    "When my dad was alive, he never yelled at us like that"
    Does the "us" include the listener? Pick one: (me and you and the others) or (just me and the others but not you)

    "Are you my uncle?"
    Which uncle? Pick one: (father's elder brother), (father's younger brother), (mother's elder brother), (mother's younger brother)
     

    samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    There are many sub-dialects within the Minnan language family. The most standardised form being Taiwanese while the rest evolve as they please.

    Romanizations is not standardised. I will use Hanyu Pinyin to approximate. Tone is important, but without standardization, marking of tone is impossible. Hence I will be mark the tone using the nearest Hanyu Pinyin tone. Those without tone marks refers to the light tone as in Hanyu Pinyin.

    My version here is of my own sub-dialect Tang-Wa of Minnan. Pronunciation differs slightly among sub-dialects but they are mutually intelligible.

    cza1 lit4 bo3 lang3 lai3 diam4 lai1
    "No one came to the store yesterday"

    wa4 bo3 ai4 jiat teng2
    "I don't like candy"

    mai4 jian3 hig gei3 dian3 nao4
    "Don't touch that computer!" (There is no "the" in Chinese. "Don't touch computer" will be taken to mean "Don't ever touch computers". So I've change the "the" to "that".)


    li4 ka4 dian3 wei3 lai2 xi2, wa4 bo3 le4 zo4 gang1
    "I wasn't working when you called"

    gia1 lit wa4 bo3 jiat diou he2
    "I haven't eaten any fish today"

    wa4 a2 ba2 gou4 di2 le xi2, yi2 diong3 lai2 bo3 an4 ni1 duo3 xia1 hua4 wun4 lang2
    "When my dad was alive, he never yelled at us like that"

    li4 xi3 wa4 ei3 a1 bei bo2
    "Are you my uncle?"

    li4 wu3 lui1 bo2
    "Do you have money?"

    li4 wu3 ki4 gei4 mo3 xi2 gou1 bo2
    "Have you ever been to Moscow?"
     

    vince

    Senior Member
    English
    So "bo" is the word for "not" in Min-Nan?

    "mai" is used to form the negative imperative?

    Can you clarify how yes-or-no questions are asked? I seem to see a "bo" at the end, not sure if that's the same bo as before, but is there no reduplication as in Mandarin (and Cantonese)? (e.g. shi bu shi, ai bu ai)? How about yes-or-no questions with the verb "to have"?

    cza1 lit4 bo3 lang3 lai3 diam4 lai1
    "No one came to the store yesterday"

    wa4 bo3 ai4 jiat teng2
    "I don't like candy"

    mai4 jian3 hig gei3 dian3 nao4
    "Don't touch that computer!" (There is no "the" in Chinese. "Don't touch computer" will be taken to mean "Don't ever touch computers". So I've change the "the" to "that".)


    li4 ka4 dian3 wei3 lai2 xi2, wa4 bo3 le4 zo4 gang1
    "I wasn't working when you called"

    gia1 lit wa4 bo3 jiat diou he2
    "I haven't eaten any fish today"

    wa4 a2 ba2 gou4 di2 le xi2, yi2 diong3 lai2 bo3 an4 ni1 duo3 xia1 hua4 wun4 lang2
    "When my dad was alive, he never yelled at us like that"

    li4 xi3 wa4 ei3 a1 bei bo2
    "Are you my uncle?"

    li4 wu3 lui1 bo2
    "Do you have money?"

    li4 wu3 ki4 gei4 mo3 xi2 gou1 bo2
    "Have you ever been to Moscow?"
     

    Mugi

    Senior Member
    NZ English
    So "bo" is the word for "not" in Min-Nan?
    "bo5" (無←毛) is one of the words in Hokkien for "not", but it isn't the only word (it's just that your examples haven't elicited the other words).

    "mai" is used to form the negative imperative?
    Yes - "mai3" ([不/愛]) is a truncation of "m7" (毋) and "ai3" (愛) and is equivalent to bie2 (別) in Modern Standard Chinese (MSC). A literal translation into Mandarin is "bu2 yao4" (不要), which is why you'll often hear native Hokkien speakers (among others) use 不要 where a native Mandarin speaker would probably use 別.
    If you want to search for usage examples on the Internet, the Mandarin 麥 is often used as a substitute character (e.g. 麥去 mai3 khi3 = 別去)

    Can you clarify how yes-or-no questions are asked? I seem to see a "bo" at the end, not sure if that's the same bo as before, but is there no reduplication as in Mandarin (and Cantonese)? (e.g. shi bu shi, ai bu ai)? How about yes-or-no questions with the verb "to have"?
    The "bo" (neutral tone) at the end is derived from the negative "bo5", but has undergone 虛化 so has lost its negative meaning and functions only as a question marker. For what it's worth, Mandarin "ma" (嗎) probably shares the same origin.
    To answer the second part of your question, you will hear native Hokkien speakers employ the "X Neg X?" construction, but this is usually attributed to influence from Mandarin (or in the case of Teochew, from Cantonese). It's much more natural to use the "X bo?" (X無?) or "X, ah4 Neg (X)?" (X, 亦 Neg (X)?) constructions.
    For the third part of your question I assume you are asking what the Hokkien equivalents of MSC "you3 ... ma?"(有...嗎?) and "you3 mei2 you3 ...? (有沒有...) are. In Hokkien, there are two possibilities: "u7 ... bo?" (有 ... 無?) and less commonly "u7 ..., ah4 bo5?" (有 ..., 亦無?).
    E.g. MSC: 你有錢嗎?/你有沒有錢? → Hokkien: "Li2 u7 chiN5 bo?" or "Li2 u7 chiN5, ah4 bo5?" (汝有錢無? or 汝有錢, 亦無?)
    Note that after "ah4", "bo5" retains its original tone and thus functions as a negator. As you might guess, the second construction has greater emphasis than the first, and in some situations (possibly including my example here) may not sound natural.

    Ps - My comments are based on a rudimentary knowledge of Taiwan/Xiamen (Amoy) Hokkien, so may not coincide completely with Samantha's comments/examples.
     

    samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    Thank you Mugi, for answering the questions.

    Having never formally learnt grammar, I can barely differentiate the difference between verb and noun, let alone understand what is meant by "negative imperative".:D

    Mugi's explanations can be applied to my sub-dialect.:) The difference between my sub-dialect and that of Taiwan/Amoy is slight and mostly in pronounciation.(eg Mugi gave the pronunciation of "money-錢" as chiN5, while I gave it as lui1). The grammar, as far as I have experienced, is totally the same.

    To add to Mugi's explanation, "X Neg X?" construction is rarely used, as we consider it aggressive, to be heard only in arguments (or from a non-native speaker:D).
     

    Mugi

    Senior Member
    NZ English
    (eg Mugi gave the pronunciation of "money-錢" as chiN5, while I gave it as lui1)
    In case anyone's interested, lui1 (鐳, 鏍) is a Singaporean/Malaysian/Indonesian, etc Chinese dialect word said to be borrowed from Malay "duit", which in turn may have been borrowed from Arabic (although I'm not sure of this). Cognates can be found in the Cantonese and Hakka spoken in the region too. The word has even made it back to mainland China to a certain degree, brought back by traders and 華僑.
     

    vince

    Senior Member
    English
    What other negative words are in Min-Nan, Mugi? Could you give examples on how they are used, and whether they have a rough correspondance with a character in Mandarin /Written Chinese?

    btw By the way Samanthalee, the difference between chiN and lui is not merely a pronunciation difference, but a lexical difference. ChiN and lui are as different from each other as they are from the English word "money"
     

    samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    I stand corrected. "lui" is indeed borrowed from Malay. I've checked with my parents, the pronunciation should be "jni" / "chni". It starts with a sound that's between "j" and "ch".

    The negative words that I can think of are:
    bo,无: not.
    ber, 未: not yet
    bei: cannot. This is probably a truncation of "bo" (not) and "ay" (able). (Mugi to confirm:D)
    beian,免: don't need/don't have to/unnecessary.
    mm,毋: no.
    put,不: not.
     

    Mugi

    Senior Member
    NZ English
    Samantha has listed the most common/important negatives. I'll provide some examples. As with other posts, I'm using a slightly modified Church Romanisation system (Peh-oe-ji (POJ); 白話字) for Hokkien. I'll give the Mandarin equivalents, although there is never a 1 to 1 correspondence between the two. The text in parentheses in the examples is to provide context.

    m7 ([FONT=HT_CJK+][/FONT]) : 不(要)
    Hokkien: Goa2 m7 chiah8. [FONT=HT_CJK+]我毋食。 → Mandarin: 我不(要)吃[FONT=HT_CJK+] ([/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]因為我不餓[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+])[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]。[/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+](m7 in Hokkien has a much more restricted usage than 不 in Mandarin)[/FONT]

    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]bo5 (無) : 沒(有)[/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]Goa2 bo5 chiah8 [FONT=HT_CJK+]我無食。→[FONT=HT_CJK+] ([/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]可能沒做飯或上班時間快到了[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+], [/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]所以[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]) [/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]我沒吃。[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]be7 [FONT=HT_CJK+]未 : 還沒(有)[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]Goa2 be7 chiah8. 我未食。→[FONT=HT_CJK+] ([/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]飯已做好了[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+],[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]但[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]) [/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]我還沒吃[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+] 。([/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]可能要吃[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+])[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]boe7 [[FONT=HT_CJK+]勿會[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]] (often written [/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]袂[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]) : 不能; 不會; 不[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]Goa2 boe7 chiah8. 我[FONT=HT_CJK+][[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]勿會[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]][/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]食。→ 我不能吃[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+] ([/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]因為牙齒痛[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+])[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]。[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]Goa2 boe7 Jit8-pun2-oe7. 我[FONT=HT_CJK+][[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]勿會[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]][/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]日本話。→ 我不會日語。[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]Chit4 poe1 chui2, goa2 lim1 boe7 liau2. 即杯水我啉[FONT=HT_CJK+][[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]勿會[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]][/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]了。→ 這杯水我喝不完。[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]As Samantha noted, this is a truncation of bo5 (o)e7 無會.[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]Also note, that it is often pronounced be7, so out of context could sometimes be misunderstood for 未.[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]mai3 [FONT=HT_CJK+][[FONT=HT_CJK+]不[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]/[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]愛[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]] : [FONT=HT_CJK+]別[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]; [/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]不要[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]Li2 mai3 chiah8. 汝[FONT=HT_CJK+][[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]不[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]/[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]愛[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]][/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]食。→ 你別吃。[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+](m7) mian2/bian2 ([FONT=HT_CJK+]毋[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]) [/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]免 : [FONT=HT_CJK+]不用[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]Li2 mian2 chiah8. 汝免食。→ 你不用吃。[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]boai3 [FONT=HT_CJK+][[FONT=HT_CJK+]無愛[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]] : [FONT=HT_CJK+]不想[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]; [/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]不喜歡[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]Goa2 boai3 chiah8. 我[FONT=HT_CJK+][[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]無愛[/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]][/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+]食。→ 我不想吃。[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]put4 不 : 不[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]This is only used in very formal language, for instance in a slogan or perhaps a title.[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]Here's the title of a speech I heard the other day: Kiat4 put4 kiat4-hun1, li2 long2 e7 hou7 hoe2. 結不結婚, 汝攏會後悔。Whether you marry or not, you will regret your decision. (On reflection, this usage would require me to modify an earlier comment about the A Neg A structure...)[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]hui1 非 : 非[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]This is only used when the speaker is trying to put on a literary air, usually for emphasis.[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]Che1 long2 hui1 goa2 sou2 chek8-jim7 e0 這攏非我所責任个。 None of this falls under my responsibility.[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
     

    Mugi

    Senior Member
    NZ English
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]There are a few other minor negatives: m7 mo2 ([FONT=HT_CJK+]毋孬), biau3 ([FONT=HT_CJK+]), bok8 ([FONT=HT_CJK+]), bang3 (甭) and thai3 (汰). The first is a truncation of m7 ho2 (毋好) and as far as I know is used in the same way as 不好+Verb is used in Mandarin. biau3 ([FONT=HT_CJK+]) and bok8 ([FONT=HT_CJK+]) only appear in set phrases (biau3-kin2 [FONT=HT_CJK+]嫑緊 = 不要緊 and bok8-koai3 莫怪 = 怪不得). Have never personally heard bang3 or thai3, but a dictionary I have says their usage is identicle to mai3.[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
     

    samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]There are a few other minor negatives: m7 mo2 ([FONT=HT_CJK+]毋孬), biau3 ([FONT=HT_CJK+]), bok8 ([FONT=HT_CJK+]), bang3 (甭) and thai3 (汰). [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]The first is a truncation of m7 ho2 (毋好)[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    I actually don't recognize any of these (and my command of my dialect is more than passable!) As it is, most of the early Chinese immigrants to Singapore are illiterates, so it could be possible that the "upper-class" form of the language has never been part of our vocabulary.

    But I'm sure I never truncate [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]m7 ho2 (毋好)[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT] into [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]mo2 ([FONT=HT_CJK+][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]). I always pronounce it as 2 words [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]m7 ho2.[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]biau3 ([FONT=HT_CJK+]) and bok8 ([FONT=HT_CJK+]) only appear in set phrases (biau3-kin2 [FONT=HT_CJK+]嫑緊 = 不要緊 and bok8-koai3 莫怪 = 怪不得). [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
    Perhaps it's a difference of sub-dialects, because for "[FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+][FONT=HT_CJK+]不要緊" [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]I always says "bei yao gin" [or "boe hyao gin" using Amoy pronounciation, hence it's actually "不(会)要紧"].
     

    Mugi

    Senior Member
    NZ English
    I actually don't recognize any of these (and my command of my dialect is more than passable!) As it is, most of the early Chinese immigrants to Singapore are illiterates, so it could be possible that the "upper-class" form of the language has never been part of our vocabulary.
    I don't think it has anything to do with "upper-class" or not - just natural language divergence. As a native New Zealand English speaker, I'm forever coming across new Americanisms I've nver heard before.
    You must know 莫怪 bok8-koai3 though, right?

    But I'm sure I never truncate m7 ho2 (毋好) into mo2 (孬). I always pronounce it as 2 words m7 ho2.
    In Taiwan, m7 ho2 (毋好) has three different pronunciations: m7 ho2, m7 hoN2 (nasalised) and m7-mo2; probably depends on the speaker. And it wouldn't surprise me if the same speaker used two or all three pronunciations is a single conversation. If you are fairly proficient in Hokkien, you might not even notice the differenct pronunciations in the natural flow of a conversation.

    Perhaps it's a difference of sub-dialects, because for "不要緊" I always says "bei yao gin" [or "boe hyao gin" using Amoy pronounciation, hence it's actually "不(会)要紧"].
    That's right. In Taiwan, both "b(o)e iau kin" and "biau kin" are common.
     

    vince

    Senior Member
    English
    So mai is used to say "Don't (do) ...". Okay, then what does "biau/b(o)e iau" mean? Can it be substituted for "mai" in an ordinary conversation (i.e. free of any written influence)?
     

    Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    Standard Cantonese as spoken in Hong Kong, romanized in Jyutping:

    "No one came to the store yesterday"
    cam4jat6 mou5jan4 lei4gwo3 pou3tau2

    "I don't like candy"
    o5 m4zung1ji3 sik6tong2

    "Don't touch the computer!"
    m4hou2/mai5dau3 bou6 di6lou5

    "I wasn't working when you called"
    lei5 daa2bei2o5 ge3si4hou6, o5 m4hai6 zou6gan2je5

    "I haven't eaten any fish today" [doesn't make much sense to me!]
    o5 gam1jat6 zung6mei6sik7 jyu2

    "When my dad was alive, he never yelled at us like that"
    lou5dau6 zung6zoi6sang1 ge3si4hou6, cung4loi4 m4wui5 gam2yoeng2 hot3 o5dei6

    "Are you my uncle?"
    lei5 hai6mai6 o5 aa3suk1?

    "Do you have money?"
    lei5 jau5mou5 cin2?

    "Have you ever been to Moscow?"
    lei5 jau5mou5 heoi3gwo3 mo6si1fo1?
     
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