Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Basic Course: Lesson 18 Dialogue

Last lesson’s question was “can you do it?” This lesson we ask, “How?”

1 A: 你有乜盛事呀,李四先生? Ni yiu mōt sìng-lhù a, Lī-Lhi Lhing-Sang?
  B: 我冇乜事。我順便來拜候你喲。 Ngoi mo mōt lhù. Ngoi sùn-bìng loi bai-hàu ni yiak.
2 A: 我講得清唔清楚呀? Ngoi gōng-ak ting m̈-ting-chō a?
  B: 清楚,你講得好清楚。 Ting-chō, ni gōng-ak hō ting-chō.
3 A: 我教得明唔明白呢? Ngoi gau-ak mïng m̈-mïng-bàk nē?
  B: 明白,你教得好明白。 Mïng-bàk, ni gau-ak hō mïng-bàk.
4 A: 佢讀得勤力嗎? Kui ùk-ak kïn-lìk ma?
  B: 唔勤力,佢讀得唔勤力。 M̈-kïn-lìk, kui ùk-ak m̈-kïn-lìk.
5 A: 你昨晚瞓得够嗎? Ni dọng-mạn* fun-ak gau ma?
  B: 唔夠,我昨晚瞓得唔够。 M̈-gau fun, ngoi dọng-mạn* m̈-gau fun.
6 A: 你昨日行得疚嗎? Ni dọng-ngìt häng-ak gau ma?
  B: 疚,我昨日行得好疚。 Gau ngoi dọng-ngìt häng-ak hō gau.
7 A: 佢吃得多嗎? Kui hiak-ak u ma?
  B: 多,佢吃得好多。 U, kui hiak-ak hō u.
8 A: 佢學得幾妥樣呀? Kui hòk-ak gī-họ-yịang* a?
  B: 佢學得好快。 Kui hòk-ak hō fai.
9 A: 佢做得幾妥樣呢? Kui du-ak gī-họ-yịang* nē?
  B: 佢做得好慢。 Kui du-ak hō màn.
10 A: 我想走囉,黄先生。 Ngoi lhīang dāo lō, Wöng Lhing-Sang.
  B: 還坐下喲,李先生。 Wạn tu hạ yi, Lī Lhing-Sang.
  A: 唔好儸,我走囉。 M̈-hō lo, ngoi dāu lo.

V得 + Adj

This lesson introduces a new function for the word 得 ak/āk; in the last lesson, we saw two uses of 得 ak/āk/dak, both of which convey some type of ability, as English does with can, be able to and may. In this lesson, the word 得 ak is used to express the equivalent of English adverbs.

The short (and rather imprecise) formula is when modifying the verb, the verb is followed by 得 ak and then by the modifying adjective (or predicate). Thus…

講得清楚 gōng-ak ting-chō “speak clearly”
教得明白 gau-ak mïng-bàk “teach understandably”
讀得勤力 ùk-ak kïn-lìk “study diligently”

On Convention

You may notice the two different versions of gau “enough” in line 5b—both 夠 and 够—I wrote these deliberately to match the text of the Basic Course. The author actually included both on the same line!

My goal for these lesson posts is to use the exact Chinese characters that the Basic Course uses wherever possible. I try to offer the exact same characters, mistakes included. Sometimes the Basic Course employs characters that aren’t in the Unicode set, and so I make do with other conventions—usually similar to those from the Kaiping Dictionary. Thus, I use 嚀 nịng* “there” following the Basic Course, but 該 kọi* following the Kaiping Dictionary.

Sometimes readers will note that quite different characters are actually used in Taishan, and I would love to see these observations included in the comments sections below!

That reminds me—how would you, readers, translate 行得疚 häng-ak gau?

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