Sunday, February 6, 2011

Basic Course: Lesson 4 Vocabulary

Below is the vocabulary list for lesson four of the Basic Course. The lesson introduces basic questions along with classroom objects. I’ve transcribed it as close as I was able to, notes below.

  1. 早晨 · dō sïn · good morning
  2. 該尼 · kwọi nāi · these, this
  3. 係 · hài · is, are, am, were, was
  4. 乜(野) · mōt (yẹ) · what?
  5. 嚀尼 · nịng nāi · those, that
  6. 乃尼 · nại nāi · which? every
  7. 該一尼 · kwọi yīt nāi · these, these ones
  8. 嚀一尼 · nịng yīt nāi · those, those ones
  9. 乃一尼 · nại yīt nāi · which? which ones?
  10. 書 · si · book
  11. 筆 · bīt · pen
  12. 部 · bù* · notebook, exercise book
  13. 椅 · ī · chair
  14. 紙 · jī · paper
  15. 枱 · họi* · table, desk
  16. 畫報 · wà bo* · magaine
  17. 再見 · doi gen / doi ging · good bye, see you again
  18. 該一 · kwọi yīt · this one
  19. 嚀一 · nịng yīt · that one

Some of these words seem to have no corresponding Chinese character. In the Basic Course, all the Chinese is handwritten, and the author used a character radical 口 to produce a corresponding word for Taishanese. Add 口 to 該 for kwọi “this” and to 乃 for nāi “some.” I wasn’t able to make new characters myself, so I adapted some of the characters used by Deng Jun (鄧鈞) in his Kaiping Dialect Character Dictionary (開平方音字典).

The word 尼 nāi is important to know. It corresponds to the Cantonese word / “some.” You use this word before plural nouns, like 我尼朋友 “my friends” or 我尼毛/頭髮 “my hair.” In quick speech, this word is often reduced to . Deng Jun transcribes this word with the character 尼, and I continue to do so here.

I’ve also applied my own romanization system here, based on my comments in previous posts. You should be able to review this system for transcribing vowels, consonants and tones in those posts.

Tomorrow I’ll post the corresponding dialogue.

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