Cantonese translation

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
Wanda

Cantonese translation

Postby Wanda » Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:05 pm

A group of us was told that in Cantonese the word woaili was the best translation for "I love you." Not in the man woman sense but in the meaning of deep affection. Now someone just told us that the word woaili translates to "buttered toast." What is the best translation for "I love you." (Not romantice love).

Dylan Sung

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby Dylan Sung » Tue Oct 28, 2003 8:43 pm

Not in Cantonese, but Mandarin, wo ai ni (rhymes with "wore eye knee").

Buttered Toast? Hahahah!

To be affectionate, in Cantonese, you could say "sek", but this could be like for parental affection towards a loved child say.


Dyl.

puiwaihin
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Re: Cantonese translation

Postby puiwaihin » Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:54 pm

Expressing deep affection explicitly is not something typically done in Chinese. As Dylan said, you can say "sehk" to express sort of parental affection, but otherwise you wouldn't say that.

I find many Chinese who choose to express something like that default to an English word. e.g. /ngoh/ /hou/ CARE /neih/.

Instead a traditional Chinese person would express care by commenting on a person's health, expressing concern over various issues, etc.

There are ways of saying you care "I miss you", "I care how you're doing", etc., but they almost all have other connotations.


One note- in a standard dialect the vowel sound in "wo" does not sound like the English word "wore", it sounds like the vowel in "wall" (pronounced in a normal North American accent). In certain informal dialect registers that might be the case.

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Dylan Sung

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby Dylan Sung » Fri Oct 31, 2003 7:28 am

As he said, it's a cultural difference.

Dyl.

F1

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby F1 » Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:09 am

Note the Cantonese pronounciation for "I" is not "wall" but "all".

hyrza

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby hyrza » Thu Dec 25, 2003 5:52 am

isnt i love u says as: ngo oi lay ?

Dylan Sung

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby Dylan Sung » Thu Dec 25, 2003 8:54 am

Fl,

In a way you are right, but it depends who you speak to. In the old pronunciation it was "ngoh" but the initial changed over the years, and folks in HK at least, say 'oh', and this applies as a rule of thumb to all words which originally began with ng- . There are some words which retain it, but more and more it is being lost. You only have to compare how the black and white movies pronounced things in Cantonese and modern media to find out. Words like ngaan (eye) become aan, ngai hiim (danger) ai-hiim etc.

Moreover hyrza also points out "lay" (you) was once pronounced "nei", and initial n- has become l-.

Some folks are hypercorrecting their speech, affixing ng- all over the place where those syllables never had that initial in the first places. For instance oi (love) is now ngoi.

In Cantonese of yesteryear, I love you is "ngoh oi nei"
Today it is "oh ngoi lei".

Dyl.

jam

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby jam » Sat Jan 03, 2004 11:07 am

been wondering what does pokki means? i just heard somebody said that and according to my friend its cantonese but doesnt exactly know what does it mean...

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Dylan Sung

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby Dylan Sung » Sat Jan 03, 2004 5:15 pm

Do you mean puk gai? Swear word, means to stumble and hit the ground.

Dyl.

abc123

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby abc123 » Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:27 am

or alternatively an a**hole..

Kwai Loo

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby Kwai Loo » Sat Apr 17, 2004 2:14 pm

Why does nobody just give a translation?

Ngo Ho Ngooi Neih! Ngo=I Ho=very Ngooi=love Neeih=you

Must people learn from this ghost?

S

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby S » Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:15 pm

I need help translating a word. It's supposed to be something gross so I apologize but what does "cheechongphat" mean? Help!

Thanks!

puiwaihin
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Re: Cantonese translation

Postby puiwaihin » Fri Apr 23, 2004 7:14 am

Ngo Ho Ngooi Neih! Ngo=I Ho=very Ngooi=love Neeih=you


I guess you didn't read what the person wrote in the first post. "Not in the man loves a woman way."

So, no, that isn't really how you'd say that. /ngoh/ ngoi /neih/ would probably be romantic love, although there are some exceptions.

Note the Cantonese pronounciation for "I" is not "wall" but "all".

Actiually, it's neither. I was only referring to the vowel sound. It's the vowel sound in wall not wore.

That goes for both Cantonese /ngoh/ and Mandarin wo3.

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裴偉軒 Michael Thigpen

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Dylan

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby Dylan » Fri Apr 23, 2004 4:15 pm

Hi Michael,

You still explain what love (not in a man love a woman kinda way) is...

I proposed sek, as in adore. There is jung yi, which is to like something or someone. But what is it when a man loves a man, or some other bestial relationship?

Curiously,

Dyl...

katelyn

Re: Cantonese translation

Postby katelyn » Thu Oct 21, 2004 2:48 pm

How do you say I miss you in cantonese?


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