Meaning?

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
Guest

Meaning?

Postby Guest » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:10 am

I always hear these two phrases: haang le! and ha ma? What do they mean and what are the characters for them (or if they're in the vernacular, what would be the characters in standard Chinese?).

Thanks

iris_ian
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:00 am
Location: china---macao
Contact:

Re: Meaning?

Postby iris_ian » Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:42 am

Anonymous wrote:I always hear these two phrases: haang le! and ha ma? What do they mean and what are the characters for them (or if they're in the vernacular, what would be the characters in standard Chinese?).

Thanks

i am a cantonese.maybe i can help you.
but your characters is incorrect
so i just guess "ha ma" refers to "is it correct?"

jilang
Posts: 220
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:28 am

Postby jilang » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:27 am

Does cantonese even use "ma 吗"? I thought they they use structures like: "hou m hou (good or not)" or "yao mou (have or don't have)" do they also use "ma" or do they use "a hou"?

ong
Posts: 535
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:04 am

Postby ong » Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:30 am


cryptquixote
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:09 am

"ma"

Postby cryptquixote » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:40 am

"ma" is an interogative (indicator) placed at the end of a statement intended to be a
question.
ex. "Nei hou ma" = "you (are) good (question)?"

"hou m hou" would typically be "hou m hou, ah?", which is the equivelant of
"good not good (question)?"

In this case "ah" is the interogative added or sometimes understood at the end of a
a "condition or not-the-condition" type of question.

"hou m hou" is just as likely to be heard or used as "hou m hou, ah" - sometimes
the "ah" also added for emphasis on a "condition or not-the-condition" type question.

You can hear the use of "ma" and "ah" in much of the Cantonese you hear day to day
on the street, in markets, etc.

I hope this helps,

cq

jilang
Posts: 220
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:28 am

Postby jilang » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:16 am

Thanks for that informative reply, cryptquixote!

That helped a lot, before I wasn't sure whether "ma" was used in Cantonese or not.

Match
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:07 am

Postby Match » Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:20 am

Depends on the pitch of the "ma"

The sentence can be use in a serious way or a sarcastic way as well...

Don't know how to explain by writing out tho... :?


Return to “Cantonese language forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests