Hong Kong's version

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
drunk_on_tea

Hong Kong's version

Postby drunk_on_tea » Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:03 pm

HongKongers have the tendency to say the "l" sound as replacement in common words that begin with an "n".
In example, "nei hou" would be "lei hou". Just thought that this is cute. That's all =).

AlexNg

Re: Hong Kong's version

Postby AlexNg » Wed Nov 24, 2004 4:41 am

The more educated hong kongers can distinguish between the "nei" and the "lei". Watch some hong kong serials and you will know what I mean.

Some common hong kongers does not know how to distinguish the "n" and the "l". This is also true for "kwo" and "ko" for the word crossing, the right
pronounciation is "kwo".

drunk_on_tea

Re: Hong Kong's version

Postby drunk_on_tea » Wed Nov 24, 2004 10:01 am

Ahh I know what you mean. Kwo would be the right pronunciation. Also, I noticed that the words thank you, doi che is the same as Mandarin's duo xie but mmgoi looks like it's purely Cantonese. Am I wrong?

AlexNg

Re: Hong Kong's version

Postby AlexNg » Thu Nov 25, 2004 1:18 am

Yes, you are right. Do Che is the formal form wherelse Ng Koi is the
common form. Ng Koi has no equivalent in mandarin. In fact, the word
Ng seems to be used in southern chinese dialects only.

thribbi

Re: Hong Kong's version

Postby thribbi » Thu Nov 25, 2004 3:55 am

Most of my Hong Kong friends do not seem to differentiate n and l, and often skip w sounds as well (e.g. Gongdung rather than Gwongdung for Guangdong province). Can anyone tell me whether the situation is different in Guangdong province, say Guangzhou? Are these sounds differentiated there?

Correct, mm goi has no direct equivalent in Mandarin but change the mm to bu and the meaning is easy to understand in Mandarin (though no one would ever say 'bu gai' in this context...), compare Mandarin

bu yong xie, yinggai de

I'm not saying the meaning nor the usage is similar, just that the thought process, so to speak, is similar

Eng Wai

Re: Hong Kong's version

Postby Eng Wai » Wed Dec 08, 2004 1:04 pm

No no no

Ng Koi should be 毋該 in Mandarin Chinese. Ng Sai is 毋須 in Mandarin Chinese. ;)

Eng Wai

[%sig%]

Eng Wai

Re: Hong Kong's version

Postby Eng Wai » Wed Dec 08, 2004 1:07 pm

Ng Koi should be wu2 gai1 in Mandarin Chinese.

The look of wu2 is similar to mu3 (mum) only the two dots are connected and prolonged beyond the boundary.

Pronounce Properly

Re: Hong Kong's version

Postby Pronounce Properly » Wed Dec 08, 2004 4:27 pm

I noticed Hongkongers have a much higher tendency of mispronounce the 'N' compared to Cantonese speakers elsewhere !
This is a complicated issue !
Here are some reasons I can think of:
(1) Mandarin was not taught until recently. If one knows Mandarin, there is less tendency to mispronounce 'N' because 'most' Mandarin 'N' corresponds to 'N' in Cantonese
(2) Cantonese speakers may have been lazier, ie not make an effort to correct OR not even aware those words should be 'N' !
(3) Highly commercial society ! When people are too busy to make money & make a living, they tend to ignore the language.
(4) Education system. There might not have been a system to ensure language teachers to enforce 'N' IF THESE TEACHERS EVER KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE 'N' PROPERLY ! This is a real big problem !

The result: Several generations mispronounce 'N', this issue ripples throughout the Cantonese world !

My point is: Please make an effort to speak one's MOTHER TONGUE properly, please show some respect to Cantonese !

Eng Wai

Re: Hong Kong's version

Postby Eng Wai » Wed Dec 08, 2004 4:40 pm

Actually what is the difference between n & l in cantonese?

Difference as in usage difference or meaning difference. I m not a cantonese speaker but I understand cantonese.

Pronounce Properly

Re: Hong Kong's version

Postby Pronounce Properly » Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:07 pm

Hi Eng Wai,

It means the word
'Nei(you)' is mispronouced to 'Lei(Mr Lee)'
'Nam(male)' is mispronounced to 'Lam(blue)'
'Nung(thick)' is mispronounced to 'Lung(deaf)'
'Ning(peace)' is mispronounced to 'Ling(age)'
'Nui(female)' is mispronounced to 'Lui(Mr Lui)'
'Nou(angry)' is mispronounced to 'Lou(road)'
'Nao(swear)' is mispronounced to 'Lao'
'Nau(angry)' is mispronounced to 'Lau(like the fly 'chasing' you)
'Num(think)' is mispronounced to 'Lum'
'Nung(overcooked)' is mispronounced to 'Lung(a hole)'
The list goes on..... there are hundreds of these 'N' switched to 'L'

Cantonese speakers: Please pay some respect to our mother tongue & hence respect oneselves ! Westerners always laugh at us (after they know me well) and ask me "How come Chinese(Cantonese) can't pronounce 'N' ? "Chinese(Cantonese) speak: I am lot (not), I can lot (not)"

It's a shame when one does not respect oneself, nobody will !

Eng Wai

Re: Hong Kong's version

Postby Eng Wai » Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:24 pm

True. Once you remind me, I can recall the slight pronounciation difference heard from different Cantonese speakers.

But are you sure the N pronounciation is the correct pronounciation? You try to figure the reasons why these terms are pronounce differently. I don't find any of it particularly convincing (you might be right), but here I suggest one more reason: The influence of japanese "cute" culture. I read about this culture just very recently and think that this might be responsible for our behaviour.

The theme embodied by the japanese comics, drama etc is always related to the cuteness, pureness, innocence. So to pronounce L instead of N will make the person sound more "die1" and "sa3 jiao1". Slowly N-words are replced by "L-words".

But this is just my speculation, not to say the "cute" culture is wrong or bad.

Eng Wai

[%sig%]

Dylan Sung

Re: Hong Kong's version

Postby Dylan Sung » Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:21 pm

The initial [n-] is recorded in western transcriptions of Cantonese pre-WW2. Since then, there has been a gradual change from [n-] to [l-], probably due to the influence of HK media. If you listen carefully to black and white Hong Kong movies of the fifties and sixties, you'll notice that the older actors certainly retain more [n-] initials than actors later.

Why is [n-] the correct pronunciation? It is historical, in that characters which have [n-] initials are listed in special rhyming dictionaries of the past, like Qieyun of 601 AD from the Sui dynasty. [n-] initialed characters are kept in other Chinese dialects too.

Dyl.


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