Thursday, April 28, 2011

Basic Course: Lesson 12 Vocabulary

Time is one of the most difficult topics for me to discuss in a foreign language. It’s what you get to discuss here, at least a little, in lesson twelve.

  1. 長 · chïang · long in length and in time, merit
  2. 短 · ōn · short in length and in time
  3. 凍 · ung · cold, chilly
  4. 暖 · non · warm
  5. 多 · u · many, much
  6. 少 · sīau · few, little, seldom
  7. 至 · ji · superlative degree
  8. 最 · dui · superlative degree
  9. 比較 · bī-gau · to compare with
  10. 比 · bī (bēi) (ī) · to compare with
  11. 過 · gwo (go) · than, comparative particle
  12. 該 · kwọi · so, to such a degree
  13. 昨晚 · dọng-mạn (dok-mạn*) (dòk-mạn*) · last night, yesterday evening
  14. 今晚 · gim-mạn · tonight, this evening
  15. 前晚 · tïng-mạn · night before last
  16. 同 · hüng · and, for, with; same, together
  17. 仔女 · dōi-nūi · children, son and daughter
  18. 幾時 · gī-sï (gī-sï*) (gī-sị*) · when?
  19. 嗲 · e · suffix for past tense
  20. 未 · mì · not yet
  21. 尼 · nāi (nīt) · comparative degree

Here’s one character I noted in the dialogue that I wasn’t provided in the word list:

  • 囉 · lō · particle

And a few of these characters are listed with different pronunciations in the Kaiping dictionary.

  • 少 · sīu · few, little, seldom
  • 前晚 · tïn-mạn · night before last
  • 未 · mèi · not yet

As usually, please tell me if I’ve gotten something wrong (I type this stuff up by hand!). Questions, thoughts and suggestions are more than welcome in the comments below.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Basic Course: Lesson 11 Dialogue

How’s the weather and how are you doing? In the dialogue below, pay attention to how questions are asked and answered, in addition to the way adjectives are modified (e.g. with 好 , 幾 , 非常之 fi-sïang ji, etc.).

1 A: 幾妥呀,近來忙嗎? Gī họ a, gìn-löi möng ma?
  B: 近來好忙,你呢? Gìn-löi hō möng. Ni nē?
  A: 我近唔忙。 Ngoi gìn-löi m̈-möng.
2 A: 今日個天氣好唔好呀? Gim-ngìt gwoi hing-hi hō m̈-hō a?
  B: 好,今日個天氣好好。 Hō, gim-ngìt gwoi hing-hi hō hō.
3 A: 昨日熱唔熱呢? Dọng-ngìt* ngìk m̈-ngìk nē?
  B: 熱,昨日好熱。 Ngìk, dọng-ngìt* hō ngìk.
4 A: 前日涼唔涼呀? Tïng-ngìt lïang m̈-lïang a?
  B: 涼,前日非常之涼。 Lïang, tïng-ngìt fi-sïang ji lïang.
5 A: 你個夫人高嗎? Ni gwoi fu-ngïn* go ma?
  B: 高,我個夫人幾高。 Go, ngoi gwoi fu-ngïn* gī go.
6 A: 佢個三伩仔矮嗎? Kui gwoi lham-mīn-dōi āi ma?
  B: 唔矮,佢個三伩仔唔矮。 M̈-āi, kui gwoi lham-mīn-dōi m̈-āi.
7 A: 我個三伩仔肥嗎? Ngoi gwoi lham-mīn-dōi fï ma?
  B: 唔肥,你個三伩仔唔肥,佢瘦得逮。 M̈-fï, ni gwoi lham-mīn-dōi m̈-fï, kui sau ak-tài.
8 A: 我個三伩仔大唔大呀? Ngoi gwoi lham-mīn-dōi ài m̈-ài a?
  B: 唔大,你個三伩仔唔大,佢好細。 M̈-ài, ni gwoi lham-mīn-dōi m̈-ài, kui hō lhai.
9 A: 逽今日疚唔疚呀? Nìak gim-ngìt gau m̈-gau a?
  B: 疚,哦今日非常之疚。 Gau, ngọi gim-ngìt fi-sïang ji gau.
10 A: 你今日覺得幾妥呀? Ni gim-ngìt gok-ak gī-họ* a?
  B: 我今日覺得好好,你呢? Ngoi gim-ngìt gok-ak hō hō. Ni nē?
  A: 我今日覺得唔係幾好。 Ngoi gim-ngìt gok-ak m̈-hài gī hō.

If you’re having trouble translating, you can reference the lesson eleven vocabulary list.

Many of these yes-or-no questions are asked either by ending a statement with 嗎 or using an A-唔-A formula. So you could ask either:

我個三伩仔肥嗎? Ngoi gwoi lham-mīn-dōi fï ma?
我個三伩仔肥唔肥呀? Ngoi gwoi lham-mīn-dōi fï-m̈-fï a?

In response to either, a good response should repeat the key adjective. In other words, instead of “yes” or “no,” say 肥 or 唔肥 m̈-fï.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Basic Course: Lesson 11 Vocabulary

How’s the weather? A very useful question to ask, especially if you’re talking with overseas Taishanese, who live all over the place!

  1. 天氣 · hing-hi · weather
  2. 今日 · gim-ngìt · today
  3. 昨日 · dọng-ngìt · yesterday
  4. 前日 · tïng-ngìt · day before yesterday
  5. 近來 · gìn-löi* · recently, lately
  6. 三伩仔 · lham-mīn-dōi (lhai-mīn-dōi) · child, son
  7. 幾 · gī (gēi) · quite, a few, several, how?
  8. 非常之 · fi-sïng-ji · extremely, extraordinary, exceedingly
  9. 高 · go · tall, high, superior
  10. 大 · ài · big, large, old in age
  11. 細 · lhai · small, little, young in age
  12. 肥 · fï · fat, bulky, greasy
  13. 瘦 · sau · skinny, thin
  14. 冷 · lang · cold, chilly
  15. 熱 · ngìk · hot, warm; heat
  16. 矮 · āi · short in height
  17. 忙 · möng · busy
  18. 疚 · gau · tired
  19. 覺得 · gok-ak (gok-āk) · to feel
  20. 得逮 · ak-dài · too, intensive degree

The term 得逮 ak-dài “too much” corresponds to the Cantonese term 得滯, both of which are placed after the adjective. The character 逮 corresponds to a character pronounced as dai in Cantonese; Deng Jun for his part applies the character 濟.

There was one character I spotted in the dialogue that I didn’t see in this list:

  • 涼 · lïang · cool

Some words have different pronunciations in the Kaiping dictionary, and I’ve provided these below:

  • 天氣 · hin-hei · weather
  • 今日 · gem-ngèt (gem-mèt) · today
  • 昨日 · dọng-ngèt · yesterday
  • 前日 · tïn-ngèt · day before yesterday
  • 近來 · gèn-löi · recently
  • 三伩仔 · lham-mēn-dōi · child, son
  • 非常之 · fui-sïang-ji · extremely, extraordinarily, exceedingly
  • 肥 · füi · fat, bulky, greasy
  • 冷 · lang · cold
  • 熱 · ngìt · hot

The word 冷 is one I usually pronounce as lạng, with a low falling tone—except in the expression 好冷 hō lang, where I pronounce it with a mid level tone.

For the word 三伩仔 lham-mīn-dōi, Deng Jun instead writes 三明仔; this other “spelling” is useful, since is a relatively uncommon character.

If you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions, please drop me a message in the comments!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tomorrow, tomorrow…

While studying lesson five, I wondered about 聽早 hìng-dō “tomorrow” and why I couldn’t find this word in the Kaiping dictionary. Today while flipping through the dictionary, I found out why.

The editor, Deng Jun, simply uses a different character to represent the same sounds: 天早. The character 天 hing (or hin, in my accent) means roughly “day” or “sky” or “heaven,” among other meanings. It’s usually pronounced with a mid level tone.

Which is the correct form to use?

I don’t have strong enough feelings to advocate one way or another. In transcribing the Basic Course, I’ll continue to transcribe the words as provided. Additionally, using 聽早 nicely corresponds to the Cantonese usage of 聽日 for “tomorrow.” Nevertheless, 天早 is a heck of a lot quicker to write!