Category: Linguistics

《正名啟示》 __ Francis Ho (65)

俗語有云:唔怕生壞命,最怕改壞名。
自出世以來,拜叔父所賜,在中文字典中,找到一個「爗」字,如獲至寶,定名「爗樑」,自始麻煩接踵而來。
小孩時學寫名字,筆劃繁多,苦了孩子。到入學時,連老師都不懂這字,結果成為「賀爆樑」,嗚呼哀哉
到政府辦事處申請回港証,那位先生懂得這「爗」字,非常高興地唸起「買柑者言」,以此證實「爗」字的出處。
到了近年,國內文字簡化,要大眾化,誰想到,這簡化實是唔化,「爗」字被劈頭,去日而成燁,這也無傷大雅,最慘者,樑字簡化到連影也不見了,要用姓梁的梁來代替,我這「爗樑」,全無容身之地了。
名不正,則言不順。把心一橫,為了正名,在此立下聲明,從今以後,改名賀B。

[http://www.zdic.net/z/10/kx/3DF8.htm/
(a variant of 燁) blaze of fire, splendid, glorious]

Posted in Linguistics | Tagged | 5 Comments

“意思”的意思 English translation by YK Chan

原文:

某老外苦学汉语10年,到中国参加汉语考试。

试题之一:
请解释下文中每个“意思”的意思:

阿呆给领导送红包时,两个人的对话颇有意思。
领导:“你这是什么意思?”
阿呆:“没什么意思,意思意思而已。”
领导:“你这就不够意思了。”
阿呆:“小意思,小意思。”
领导:“你这人真有意思。”
阿呆:“其实也没有别的意思。”
领导:“那我就不好意思了。”
阿呆:“是我不好意思。”

这老外晕了,一头雾水。
中文的“意思”太深奥了,于是他交白卷回国。

English translation:

A certain non-Chinese fellow has been toiling hard to learn Chinese for 10 years. He finally goes to China to take a Chinese language exam.

Here’s one of the exam questions:

Explain the meaning of each of the term “yisi” in the passage below:

When Ya Dai is giving a government official a red package, their dialog is quite interesting.

Official (O): What’s your intention of this?
Dai: Nothing much. Just something meant for you.
O: This way, you don’t mean much.
Dai: Just a little something from the heart.
O: You really are meaningful.
Dai: It really does not mean much anything else.
O: Then, I don’t make much significance of taking it.
Dai: It’s me who is not meaning much.

The foreigner is totally confused and could not make head or tail of the conversation.
The meaning of “yisi” is too profound. He turns in a blank paper and returns home.

Posted in Essay Translation, Joke, Linguistics, Miscellaneous | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Case for Cantonese Dialect

FYI

Posted in Ideas/Current affairs, Linguistics, Miscellaneous | 1 Comment