etiquette

Discussions on the Cantonese language.

etiquette

Postby md » Sun Feb 02, 2003 5:25 am

Happy New Year!
When I met my friend's non-English-speaking parents, he told me to greet them by saying 'sei ba' to his father and 'bat mo' to his mother. What does that mean?
I'm learning Cantonese... hoping to get a chance to meet them again, but I'm terrified of making a mistake of etiquette more than language...
Any advice? Things to do or not to do?
Thank you,
md
md
 
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Re: etiquette

Postby paul » Sun Feb 02, 2003 1:02 pm

Md,
Sai Baak means uncle and Baak Mo means aunty. Its a polite way of refering to people older than you or in this case your friends parents.
There are lots of others too
Good luck with the Cantonese.
paul
 
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Re: etiquette

Postby md » Tue Feb 04, 2003 2:42 am

Thank you, Paul! I've only been wondering about that for the last four months... :)
-md.
md
 
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Re: etiquette

Postby paul » Tue Feb 04, 2003 10:55 am

Md,
Glad to help, don't hesitate to ask if there is anything else you need to know. How long have you been learning Cantonese?
paul
 
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Re: etiquette

Postby md » Wed Feb 05, 2003 1:18 am

Thanks... I need to know everything! Help! :)
I've been trying to learn since last August. My friend was trying to teach me... That didnt' go so well. He's out of practice and was guessing at a lot of words. After I came back to the States, I checked out a Pimsleur's Cantonese beginner course. I've completed it successfully, and I can proudly say I currently have enough broken language capabilities to get myself picked up in Hong Kong, and that's about it. Ever listened to a Pimsleur course? It was great for acclimating me to the tones of the language, but I had to take a break every two hours; I couldn't take the 'storyline' of the American businessman hitting on his young Chinese hotel clerk. So... I've turned myself loose on the internet, clicking around on this guy's link:
http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk
and picking up slang off of these two:
http://www.unique.net/~yan/cantonese.html
and
http://www.unique.net/allenwu/waycool.html .
Are you a native speaker or are you in the process of learning, too? I could use a lot of help, that's for sure. I'm not exactly living anywhere with a thriving Cantonese-speaking population to immerse myself in, although I'm thinking about doing some volunteer ESL tutoring again as a way to break into the small community that is here. Need to speak it if I'm ever going to learn it. And I need to get in the culture if I'm ever going to learn the conventions of etiquette that I'm stressing over... I don't like it when I don't know what's expected of me, you know? It's rough. :)
There are just a lot of amazing gaps in my knowledge right now... for instance, I know how to use "dann hei" as the conjunction "but", but I don't have any idea how to say "and." Please forgive my spelling... kind of a German phonetic transliteration going on... hope it's not too hard to make out.
How's that for a concise answer to your question! lol!
-morning dove
md
 
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Re: etiquette

Postby HKB » Wed Feb 05, 2003 8:25 pm

personally I think German phonetics are better at expressing cantonese sounds...one way of saying "and" is "tong" or "tong-mei". they can be used interchangeably. they literally mean "together with" remember: the -ong in "tong" is like the French "on", phonetically represented as "N" but you probably already know that.
HKB
 

Re: etiquette

Postby Dylan » Thu Feb 06, 2003 12:20 am

You might like to compare Cantonese familial relationships with Hakka family relationships, quite a lot overlaps, but seeing a tree helps I guess.

http://www.sungwh.freeserve.co.uk/hakga/family.htm

Cheers,
Dyl.
Dylan
 

Re: etiquette

Postby md » Thu Feb 06, 2003 4:05 am

HKB, thank you very much. I heard "tong" used as "with"--didn't realize it was elastic enough to cover "and." Good to know. So... what about "if-then" statements? If I wanted to speak in hypothetical conditionals, how would I go about it?

Dylan, I might like to compare Cantonese familial relationships with Hakka family relationships... if I knew the Cantonese ones! lol! Holy cats! That is an incredible link. Tell you what, though... I mean, trees are great, but in this case, I think I need access to a real tree. Let me saw off a limb and whack myself in the head with it a few times... then maybe .001% of that information might sink in. God help me--"aunty" and "uncle" might be as far as this train goes. :) It's cool though; definitely interesting. Thanks for the response!

-md
md
 
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Re: etiquette

Postby sheetha » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:28 pm

There are just a lot of amazing gaps in my knowledge right now... for instance, I know how to use "dann hei" as the conjunction "but", but I don't have any idea how to say "and." Please forgive my spelling... kind of a German phonetic transliteration going on... hope it's not too hard to make out.
How's that for a concise answer to your question! lol!
sheetha
 
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:13 pm


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