Cantonese: an4aa4 (boom, ka-boom)

Hyperpolyglot

Senior Member
British Official English
I was watching this Hong Kong TV drama, there's this kid playing with toys, he got a toy plane and he tried to simulate it crashing and said something like "Un Ah"
In English we would say boom or ka-boom for explosion sounds.
What's the Chinese character for that Cantonese explosion sound "Un Ah"?
It sounds exactly like 銀牙, but I don't think that is correct.
 
  • humvee

    Senior Member
    Cantonese and Mandarin
    Just imitative sounds. Not important at all. We have words like bam, hong etc. bam sounds just like English "bang". Say, in English, you can say the gun went "bang"!
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    A kid may make any kind of noise when he's playing, I guess? Like when shooting a laser gun, kids may say "biu". Some kids may prefer "jiu", some "piu" and some "bee"...Never know how to write those ones either.
    Why an explosion has to sound like "boom" or "bang" anyway? :)
     
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    Hyperpolyglot

    Senior Member
    British Official English
    A kid may make any kind of noise when he's playing, I guess? Like when shooting a laser gun, kids may say "biu". Some kids may prefer "jiu", some "piu" and some "bee"...Never know how to write those ones either.
    Why an explosion has to sound like "boom" or "bang" anyway? :)
    No wonder the kid was like 銀牙
     

    Hyperpolyglot

    Senior Member
    British Official English
    I think Chinese would write 嗯啊 instead of 銀牙 if they have to...
    That's more like it! How about 嗯呀? The kid was holding the toy plane, then was like jiu, un ah.
    you were right about kids being kids and make noise for fun, and that jiu like you said about firing a laser gun, he actually said that before Un ah, any Chinese character equivalent for jiu?
     

    OneStroke

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    I doubt there's a character for ziu1, since it's almost certainly (I'm almost certain it is) a modern invention... However, I think most people would write 蕉 or something similar.

    Incidentally, there is indeed a joke about the sound and 銀芽:

    Q:機械人最中意食咩?
    A:銀芽! (un-aah)

    BTW, 銀芽 is pronounced ngan4 ngaa4, which is not exactly the same as an4 aa4, the boom sound.
     

    humvee

    Senior Member
    Cantonese and Mandarin
    LOL, you guys are so cute!
    I think the northerners have even more imitative sounds for such effects. That's why they overuse thems in cross-talks.
     

    Wesley To

    Member
    Cantonese
    I searched the web and found a company called Jiukaboom(蕉銀芽).
    公司名稱「蕉銀芽」是甚麼意思?
    ......,主要製作卡通動畫,取的名字「蕉銀芽」其實就是我們小時候看卡通動畫時常有的聲音效果——「蕉」(用廣東話讀出)是激光槍的聲音,「銀芽」(用廣東話讀出)是爆炸的聲音。:eek:
     

    Hyperpolyglot

    Senior Member
    British Official English
    So the explosion sound Un Ah really does have definite Chinese character in Cantonese, and it does mean an explosion sound.
    It's pretty cool how this thread's responses started from cluelessness then progressed to a solution.
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    So the explosion sound Un Ah really does have definite Chinese character in Cantonese, and it does mean an explosion sound.
    It's pretty cool how this thread's responses started from cluelessness then progressed to a solution.
    Still, according to Chinese onomatopoeia, the standard writing of "an-ah" is 嗯啊.
    It seems Hong Kong kids often use the sound to mimic an explosion.
    And, Hong Kong people sometimes use 銀牙, 銀芽 instead of 嗯啊 for fun, because apparently the words sound similar to "an-ah" in Cantonese, and the characters are not just onomatopoeia.

    Don't get confused, 轟 is a totally different character. It's used as the "common character" in Chinese for exploding sound as it's pronounced "hong1" in Mandarin. Cantonese speakers also accept this character in writing but they don't really pronounce this character (gwang1 in Cantonese) when mimicing an explosion.
     
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