Greetings to everybody,
First of all I’d like to commend all you people who contribute your time and knowledge to this forum. I’m sure a lot of people have benefited from it, including myself. To all you who have just begun to study Cantonese, keep up the hard work. You have a long journey ahead of you, but through hard work and perseverance you can be successful. I have myself been learning Cantonese for the past 6 years. Before tackling Cantonese I studied Mandarin which I’m still learning to this day. Whether your learning Cantonese or Mandarin, it’s a lifetime process. There’s always some new idiom or word waiting for you to take to memory.
I would like to contribute to this forum and all those out there that love Cantonese just like I do. I hope you’ll find the following stuff I have to offer beneficial to your studies.
I’ve always wanted to be able to type Cantonese on my computer. While spending a year in Guangzhou China, I purchased a laptop in HK, hoping to find some Cantonese input software there too. I did find some, however it was slow and hard to use. Besides that I bought myself a 聽寫王 （Chinese Writing Pad input system）. I have used Windows Chinese (PRC) pinyin input in the past and I was able to type a limited number of Cantonese characters using the Mandarin pinyin input. I was overjoyed when I discovered that the new Windows XP(PRC) Chinese pinyin input includes most of the most common Cantonese characters seen in HK magazines and Cantonese dictionary’s.
I’m sorry for those of you unfamiliar with Mandarin and the Pinyin input system. But for those of you acquainted with the system, you’ll find this very helpful. I’m listing most of the common Cantonese characters and their Mandarin Pinyin pronunciation.
� qu2 哋di4/mi4 睇di4 啲 di1 唔 wu2 嘢 ye3 乜 mie1/nie4 咩 mie1 嚟 li2
孭 mie1 (carry on one’s back) 係 xi4 喺 xi2 諗 shen3 慳 qian1 (to save money, energy)
冇 mao3 靚 liang4/jing4 乸 na3 (雞乸) 仔 zai3/zi3 嘅 ge2/kai4 瞓 fen3 咗 zuo5
啖 dan4 噉 dan4 啱 yan2 曱 yue1 甴 you2/zha2 咁 han2/xian2 鑊 huo4 畀 bi4 髀 bi4(雞髀)俾 bi3 罅 xia4(手指罅) 嗰 ge3 噚 xun2 脷 li4 捽 cu4 冚 kan3 冧 lin2
姣 jiao1嬲 niao3 搵 wen4 撳/搇 qin4 (to press) 嗻 zhe1（嘅嗻）啫 ze2（嘅啫）奀 en1
咭 ji1 即 ji2 企 qi3 喎 wai1 攞 luo2 搦 nuo4 踭 zheng1 梗 geng3 攰 gui4 癐 gui4
啩 gua3 (唔係啩) 噃 bo5/fan1 焗 ju2 躀 guan4 嚡 hai2 擝 meng1 孖 ma1/zi1
梘 jian3 嚿 huo4 戙 dong4 叻 le4（叻仔） 嘞 le1 (係嘞) 躉 dun3 (擁躉，監躉)
偈 jie2/ji4 箍 gu1 煲 bao1 搉 que4 燶 nong2 揦 la/la4 喇la1/la3 鱲la4/lie4 （赤鱲角）
孻 nai2 (孻尾) 嚹 la3 躝 lan2 讕 lan2 嚦 li4 （嚦仔）佬 lao3 擸 la4 褸 lv3
嘍 lou2 (嘍口) 摙 lian3 (摙車) 噏 xi1（亂噏） 廿 nian4 咪 mi 飲 yin3 食 shi2 識 shi2
埠 bu4 懵 meng3 掹 meng2 踎 mou2 搣 mie4 腩 na3 揇 nan3 呃 e4 嗌 ai4 屙 e1
鈪 e4 晏 yan4 罌 ying1 拗 ao4 氹 dang4 亦 yi4 翳 yi4 軚 dai4 蝕 shi4 衰 shuai1
Those are some of the most common Cantonese characters you see in everyday life in HK. There are still other characters which I was unable to find, for example: 口+架 車+立 etc. Who knows maybe the next version will include those characters. I found another cool function while using the pinyin input system. The PRC input system includes a user-defined phrase tool in which you can create word groups that didn’t exist in the computer before. For example: 我哋 wo3 mi4/di4 乜嘢 mie1 ye3 曱甴 yue1 you2. Your computer already has pre-programmed built in vocabulary, however to your benefit, you can add your own word groups in there. This has made typing in Cantonese quite easy for me. Of course I have to remember the Mandarin pronunciation of the characters while thinking in Cantonese, but with a little practise it works great. Of course if you know 五筆 or 倉頡 you won’t have know all this stuff. But probably the majority of the Caucasians learning Cantonese don’t know 五筆 and 倉頡。 One more note, the characters must be typed in traditional Chinese, which can be adjusted on the language bar. I hope you’ll find this handy in your language endeavours. Should you have any questions concerning the Mandarin pronunciation of a particular character, feel free to ask me on the forum.
By the way my name is Michael. I’m from Vancouver, Canada.
Wish everybody a great Thanksgiving holidays.
Discussions on the Cantonese language.
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