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Profile: yongxin
User Name: yongxin
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Gender: None Specified
Joined: Sunday, August 8, 2010
Last Visit: Monday, May 21, 2012 6:48:27 AM
Number of Posts: 42
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Chinese language/dialects
Posted: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 7:25:45 AM
sisikou wrote:
if Mandarin and Cantonese are two dialects, as a Mandarin and Cantonese speaker, I'm a bi dialectal but not a bilingual(sorry, I don't know how to call a person who speaks two dialects).

Actually, there are two main perspectives in the view of dialects.

The first one is like what you mentioned before: mutual intelligibility. If different language systems are mutual intelligibility, they are called dialects. Yes, you are right. Most Chinese dialects are not totally mutual intelligibility (eg., Mandarin speakers might not understand Cantonese speakers).

The second one is the written and spoken systems. Though dialects are pronounced differently, they might share the same written characters. Although you might claim that some dialects have their own characters witch are separated from standard Chinese, you'll also find out those specific dialect speakers are able to read standard Chinese (eg., most Cantonese speakers can read Mandarin). Thus, do you think Chinese dialects are called dialects under this situation? I know, some problems remains unsolved. For example, Cantonese speakers can read Mandarin, but Mandarin speakers can't read Cantonese characters. In this case, can we claim that Chinese dialects are called dialects due to convention which follows thousand years?

There's no such as "Cantonese characters" and "Mandarin characters" - to me there is just one writing system. The "Cantonese characters" you refer to is either the traditional writing system (then we're just talking about a form of writing) or the physical display of the Cantonese dialect. This can be in characters, but also using the latin alphabet (i.e. transliteration). The written form of Cantonese, so to say, is just based on the speaking language. So in this case you could say that Cantonese (and maybe also the other Chinese dialects) only exist colloquially.

I've always 'learned' that Chinese consists of several dialects, and I've never bothered myself with this question before wasn't it for the experiment I'm conducting now :)

By the way, I was told that long time ago the people in the north wanted to have one language and started to jot everything down, and have a writing system. It wasn't till years later that people from the south got acquainted with this system. Do you know whether this is true? And you said that you speak Cantonese as well, may I ask where you're from? Or was it just an example? ;)

Topic: Chinese language/dialects
Posted: Saturday, July 23, 2011 3:34:36 PM
sisikou wrote:

In this case, your friend might be a bilingual or a multilingual

I think what the article mentions is the case of a Cantonese or a Mandarin monolingual .
They know their first language well, but not successful in learning their second language / dialect. (Since the phonetic mechanism of Cantonese(tongue) and Mandarin(throat) are different.)

I actually wanted to say that it made sense (about being bi-, or multilingual), but! then we are assuming that the different dialects can be considered as different languages! ;)

I'd already checked the wikis on the chinese language before I posted on here, but it didn't answer the questions I had... Not talking
Topic: Chinese language/dialects
Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2011 5:17:56 PM
Xie xie ni Sisi :)
Your posts are quite interesting. Unfortunately, I'm not an expert in linguistics so it's actually the first time I hear about positive/negative transfer. However, I'll take it into account when my data isn't as expected ;) Your last post makes the case more difficult for me lol! One thing: why is it not possible to speak as a native for Mandarin and Cantonese speakers? I mean I do have friends from Guangdong who speak Mandarin as natives (at least that's what I think)
Topic: Help us update our Android app with translations!
Posted: Friday, July 15, 2011 2:57:32 AM
ruud wrote:












chinee Chinees








Bladwijzer toevoegen

Bladwijzer verwijderen


Bladwijzers aanpassen

Beoordeel deze App ( Rate This APP)

Deel deze App

Zend opmerkingen

Onze dank voor het gebruik van TheFreeDictionary APP! Wij stellen het zeer op prijs, als u na deze kennismaking een beoordeling wilt geven. Na een klik op de beoordelingsknop gaat u naar de Android Market.

Beoordeel nu!

Herinner mij later.

Herinner mij niet


Beginnend met

Eindigend met Eindigend op?


Zoek fout. Probeer een ander woord of gebruik het online woordenboek

Het woord komt niet voor in het woordenboek. Probeer het online woordenboek.

De pagina kan niet worden opgehaald.

Weet u zeker dat u het ophalen wilt afbreken? Alle reeds opgehaalde gegevens gaan verloren.

Stop het ophalen. WRT the word 'download' - It's not necessary to translate this word, as we use this word in our daily language as well. So in this case it could also be: 'Stop het downloaden'

Ga door met het ophalen See my previous post - could also be: 'Ga door met downloaden'


Ophalen van gegevens.....

er is niet genoeg geheugen om het woordenboek te installeren. Hiervoor is 110 MB intern of extern geheugen nodig.

Wilt u het woordenboek ophalen en in het interne geheugen opslaan?

Wilt u het woordenboek ophalen en in het externe geheugen opslaan.

Het ophalen is mislukt.

Het ophalen van het woordenboek is niet geslaagd.

Het ophalen is voltooid!

Het woordenboek is opgehaald.

Het woordenboek is geinstalleerd.

60% is voltooid '60% voltooid' would suffice

Fout in het systeem bestand

Bladwijzer toegevoegd

Bladwijzer verwijdert Typo! Should be 'Bladwijzer verwijderd'

Bladwijzer verwijderen?

Alles verwijderen

Alle bladwijzers verwijderen

Alle recente paginas verwijderen? 'Alle recente pagina's verwijderen?'


Uw beurt

Helaas, u verliest

U heeft gewonnen!

Nieuw spel

Leer het woord

Klik om te veranderen

Deel deze pagina met anderen

Hope To see your APP very soon !


Note: I have not tried to translate the words in nnorlen's post, but just checked ruud's post on typo's/grammar/faults/...
Topic: Chinese language/dialects
Posted: Friday, July 15, 2011 2:43:42 AM
Thank you for your reply so far, Sisi. I understand that this is a difficult one, as I've let my brain work on this as well and have not come with an answer yet. A native Chinese told me that having Hakka as your first language would not influence his performance on the task as Hakka and Cantonese don't differ that much from eacht other (compared to Cantonese-Mandarin). And besides, both Hakka and Cantonese use the same grammar (i.e. writing system). I do know is that most Hakka speaking Chinese over here also speak Cantonese, probably because it used to be the most spoken Chinese dialect over here.

Anyway, looking forward to your answer. Thanks!
Topic: Chinese language/dialects
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2011 7:44:33 AM
Please help me to understand. I'm currently conducting a language experiment. One requirement for participating is that Cantonese has to be your mother tongue (i.e. first language). If one of our subjects turns out to have i.e. Hakka as their mother tongue, and we are strict, we have to remove him from our data set.
But let's consider this: What if this subject's mother tongue is indeed Hakka but doesn't speak it at all, only understands it, and speaks Cantonese instead - is it still possible to use his data?

MOre generally, I'd like to know how strict the boundaries are of the different Chinese dialects. We call it 'dialects' (probably because they have the same writing system) but since they are not totally mutually intelligible shouldn't we consider them as different languages? Is there, according to you guys, just one Chinese language or are there several Chinese languages? How do Chinese people see the different 'dialects' of the Chinese language?
Topic: compliments?
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 11:54:52 AM
Unless you really mean it there's no reason to be offended by your compliments. But I think culture plays a role as well, especially if you're talking to (foreign) strangers. In the Netherlands, for example, people won't take you serious if you give compliments all the time when you don't even know them. Another thing is that we do not overly use words like 'awesome', 'most (beautiful)', 'sooo cute/cutest', 'really sweet/sweetest', ... .
Topic: why can't he have or has?
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 11:31:49 AM
I was thinking the same thing, although I couldn't explain why...
Maybe because 'Have' is not the main verb in this sentence and therefore we use the infinitive instead of its conjugated form?
Topic: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Posted: Monday, May 9, 2011 4:27:46 AM
It's also used in psychological research to investigate perceptual routes in the brain
Topic: Please help us translate these phrases for our mobile app!
Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 8:13:10 AM
Kikker wrote:
nnorlen wrote:
Dear Forum Users,

We are currently working on a mobile app that features different languages.

You can help us by translating the phrases below into Dutch.

Thank you! >> Dank u

Sincerely, >> Met vriendelijke groet

TheFreeDictionary Team

"Enter word here" >> Woord hier invoeren

"Back" >> Terug

"Forward" (if: send) >> Verstuur (if: next) >> Volgende (if: to front) >> Naar voren or Vooruit

"Definition">> Definitie

"Thesaurus">> Thesaurus

"Translations" >> Vertalingen [I added -en to it because it's plural. But if the word is used to refer to the list of translations 'vertaling' suffices. Otherwise, use 'vertalingen']

"downloading offline dictionary..." >> offline woordenboek wordt gedownload

"Switch to offline mode" >> Schakel naar offline modus

"Switch to online mode" >> Schakel naar online modus

"Dictionary download error" >> Woordenboek download fout [IMO you can leave out 'woordenboek' as well]

"Suggestions" >> "Suggestie" or "Voorstel"

"See Suggestions" >> Zie suggesties or Zie voorstel

"Recent" >> Recent [I guess you mean something like 'recent searches' - if so, then it should be 'recente ...']

"See Recent" >> Zie recente

"Clear" >> Wis or 'verwijder'

"Bookmarks" >> Bladwijzers

"Add" >> Voeg toe

"Edit" >> Bewerk

"Done" >> Klaar

"Close" >> Sluit

"Clear Recent" >> Wis Recent(e) or 'Verwijder recent(e) ...'

"Clear Bookmarks" >> Wis Bladwijzers or 'Verwijder bladwijzers'

"Internet is not available. Please check connection." >> 'Internet niet beschikbaar' instead of 'Internet niet bereikbaar'

"Download offline dictionary" >> Download offline woordenboek

"Cancel" >> Annuleren

"Clear All Recent" >> Wis alles ("Wis alle resenten" sounds awefull in Dutch) or 'Verwijder alles/Verwijder alle recente ...'

"Options" >> Opties