The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
rathpy

The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby rathpy » Sat Aug 09, 2003 4:26 am

I am familiar with Roy T. Cowles' "A Pocket Dictionary of Cantonese" (ISGN: 9622091229). But I have heard of another Cowles title: "The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary"; Is this a different book, or just a different marketing title? How is it different?

Regards,
rathpy

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Thomas Chan

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby Thomas Chan » Sun Aug 10, 2003 10:44 pm

rathpy wrote:
> I am familiar with Roy T. Cowles' "A Pocket Dictionary of
> Cantonese" (ISGN: 9622091229). But I have heard of another
> Cowles title: "The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary"; Is this a
> different book, or just a different marketing title? How is it
> different?

It's a different book, but I can't say exactly since I've never seen the
earlier _A Pocket Dictionary of Cantonese_ (1949). _The Cantonese
Speaker's Dictionary_ was published in 1965 by Hong Kong University
Press. It's over 1300 pages for the main part of the dictionary, and the
volume dimensions are about 6" wide by 8.5" high by 4.25" thick. It says
that it had its beginnings in 1922 with an earlier version of the dictionary
(only a volume with the A-K entries were published before a fire ended the
project), and that it contains over 133,000 entries. The definitions are
short, just a few words. It's all romanized, although there is an obtuse
code system which encodes the characters, which can be looked up in the
back of the book. As far as I know, this dictionary is still out of print,
unlike the reprints (or newer editions?) of "Pocket".


Thomas Chan

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rathpy

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby rathpy » Mon Aug 11, 2003 5:07 am

Thomas Chan wrote:

> It's a different book, but I can't say exactly since I've never seen the
> earlier _A Pocket Dictionary of Cantonese_ (1949). _The Cantonese
> Speaker's Dictionary_ was published in 1965 by Hong Kong University
> Press. It's over 1300 pages for the main part of the dictionary, and the
> volume dimensions are about 6" wide by 8.5" high by 4.25" thick. It says
> that it had its beginnings in 1922 with an earlier version of the dictionary
> (only a volume with the A-K entries were published before a fire ended
> the project), and that it contains over 133,000 entries. The definitions are
> short, just a few words. It's all romanized, although there is an obtuse
> code system which encodes the characters, which can be looked up in the
> back of the book. As far as I know, this dictionary is still out of print,
> unlike the reprints (or newer editions?) of "Pocket".

Out of print, but it looks as though you can get someone to build one for you for a cool $200-US. http://wwwlib.umi.com/bod/fullcite?id=156417

Sorry, could you spell out the format for me? Is it ordered by romanized pronuncation, with an English translation, and a code for the character?

Regards,
rathpy

[%sig%]

Thomas Chan

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby Thomas Chan » Mon Aug 11, 2003 12:10 pm

rathpy wrote:
> Thomas Chan wrote:
> Out of print, but it looks as though you can get someone to
> build one for you for a cool $200-US.
> http://wwwlib.umi.com/bod/fullcite?id=156417

I've found that before too, and it's a good thing they put a $200 ceiling
(well, they've got a minimum charge too) on the flat rate per page
reprinting cost. But I eventually found a used original for maybe 1/4 to 1/3
that price.


> Sorry, could you spell out the format for me? Is it ordered by
> romanized pronuncation, with an English translation, and a code
> for the character?

Here's even better, a scan (I didn't get to scan in time for yesterday's post):
http://deall.ohio-state.edu/grads/chan. ... artial.jpg
(229K)

For each character/syllable, there's a number, which indicates that the
character is the nth character in the list (in the back of the book) of that
syllable and tone.


Thomas Chan

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rathpy

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby rathpy » Mon Aug 11, 2003 12:57 pm

Thomas Chan wrote:

> I've found that before too, and it's a good thing they put a $200 ceiling
> (well, they've got a minimum charge too) on the flat rate per page
> reprinting cost. But I eventually found a used original for maybe 1/4 to 1/3
> that price.

How about this one I found today: http://dogbert.abebooks.com/servlet/Boo ... =224436208 - $80


> Here's even better, a scan (I didn't get to scan in time for yesterday's
> post): http://deall.ohio-
> state.edu/grads/chan.200/misc/cowles_1965_504_partial.jpg (229K)

Thank you.


> For each character/syllable, there's a number, which indicates that the
> character is the nth character in the list (in the back of the book) of that
> syllable and tone.

That system would save a lot of space. I can see why he did it. Unfortunately, it sounds like looking up the characters would be tedious. You wouldn't readily be able to use knowledge of the characters to help explain the meaning.

Poor Mr Cowles. I can picture him going through the 1300 typewritting pages individually marking some of the tone marks by hand. What an effort.


Regards,
rathpy

Kobo-Daishi

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby Kobo-Daishi » Tue Aug 12, 2003 12:16 pm

Dear Thomas,

Lew-chew Kingdom? That must be the Kingdom on Okinawa before Japan annexed it.

Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.

Thomas Chan

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby Thomas Chan » Thu Aug 21, 2003 12:41 pm

rathpy wrote:
> Thomas Chan wrote:
> > I've found that before too, and it's a good thing they put a
> $200 ceiling
> > (well, they've got a minimum charge too) on the flat rate per
> page
> > reprinting cost. But I eventually found a used original for
> maybe 1/4 to 1/3
> > that price.
>
> How about this one I found today:
> http://dogbert.abebooks.com/servlet/Boo ... =224436208
> - $80

"New facsimile reproduction of original edition"? That sounds similar to
the $200 UMI Books on Demand reprint.

I just checked my records--the copy I have (an original) cost me 20 pounds
in Jan 2003 from a UK seller, not including shipping to the US (I think it
cost somewhat more, given the weight/bulk).


Thomas Chan

[%sig%]

Mark W.

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby Mark W. » Sun Sep 21, 2003 5:27 am

>Dear Thomas,
>
>Lew-chew Kingdom? That must be the Kingdom on Okinawa before Japan annexed it.
>
>Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.

Lew-chew Kingdom = 琉球王國

And it wasn't the "kingdom on okinawa" - it was the kingdom on the Ryukyus.

Do you know what the Ryukyus 琉球諸島 are? They are the islands between Kyushu 九州 and Taiwan 台灣. They stretch almost all of the way from Kyushu to Taiwan. Okinawa 沖繩 is one of these islands and it occupies an approximately central position in the islands. Nowadays, the northernmost Ryukyus, the Amami Islands 奄美諸島, are now (the southernmost) part of Kagoshima Prefecture 鹿兒島縣 on Kyushu. The rest of the Ryukyus (Okinawa Islands 沖繩諸島, Miyako Islands 宮古諸島, and Yaeyama Islands 八重山諸島 [in order from north to south] are all different groups of islands which together with the Amami Islands make up the Ryukyus)

Amami, Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama regions each have their own unique native language (not dialect of Japanese, but rather separate but related languages that split between 600ce and 1200ce from Standard Japanese)

These are the only places in all of Japan with indigenous languages other than Japanese that are still alive (with the exception of Ainu in Hokkaido, but that has a much smaller community of speakers)... however these languages are rapidly declining in favor of Standard Japanese: in general only those over 50 speak the native language on a regular basis, and usually most people under 30 can't speak the native language at all; in the 1970s one could still find monolingual speakers but now to the best of my knowledge they have all since passed and now only bilingual speakers remain. For all of the languages together, there are about 1000000 speakers. In addition, almost all the rest of the population knows simple words like "welcome" (めんそーれー mensooree in Central dialect of the Okinawan language), "thankyou" (にふぇーでーびる nifeedeebiru), "hello" (はいさい haisai gender neutral はいたい haitai only for girls), etc.

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Casey

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby Casey » Mon Sep 22, 2003 3:15 am

Before the Ming Dynasty, the island presently called Taiwan was called "Liu Chiu" 流球。

kiolpu

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby kiolpu » Mon Sep 29, 2003 9:09 pm

Casey wrote:

> Before the Ming Dynasty, the island presently called Taiwan was
> called "Liu Chiu" 流球。

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Casey

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby Casey » Tue Sep 30, 2003 1:59 am

Sorry, it was my mistake writing "流求" as "流球" as I checked it out again.
To be exact, the name "流求" was used since the Sui Dynasty (隋朝) as mentioned in "隋书:流球列传" in which the description of the way of life of the inhibitants there was similar to the present Paiwan Tribe (排湾族) of Taiwan. An official of the Sui Dynasty, Chen Ling (虎贲中郎将,陈棱) had visited this island. In the Ming Dynasty, Cheng Ho (郑和) called this island Dong Fan (东番) but it was more commonly called "Ji Long Shan" (鸡笼山), literally "Chicken Cage Mountain", due to the shape of a mountain on the island. The name "Taiwan" was first mentioned in Ming Dynasty by Chen Di (陈第:东番记) as "Da Yuan" (大员), and by Zhou Ying (周婴:远游篇), as "Tai Yuan" (台员) which is pronounced as "tai5 uan5" in Minnan dialect.

Casey

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby Casey » Tue Sep 30, 2003 2:04 am

Sorry, mistake again. Correction: "隋书:流求列传".

gary ming

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby gary ming » Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:16 pm

could anyone please help with the translation of a poem i have written i would dearly love to see it changed from english to cantonese.

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...

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby ... » Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:02 am

hi gary ming... you might have more luck making a new topic and posting your needs in the new topic..

abc

Re: The Cantonese Speaker's Dictionary

Postby abc » Fri Jan 16, 2004 2:16 am

thanks to all who mentioned canto books... im off to improve my 'gwong dong wah' ;)


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