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A Simple Life (桃姐) Taiwanese Style

A Simple Life(桃姐) is the Golden Horse winning film starring Andy Lau(劉德華) and Deanie Ip(葉德嫻). As a Hong Kong production, naturally the film is in Cantonese. I haven’t seen the Taiwanese version of the film, but judging by the trailer, it seems that they decided to dub the old servant (Ip) in Taiwanese and the young master of the family (Lau) in mixed Mandarin/Taiwanese. Read more…

BBC launches cartoon Mandarin lessons to prepare children for a Chinese-dominated global economy

Not a bad article for the Dailymail. I was quite impressed with “And now Mandarin, the umbrella term for dialects spoken in the north and south-west of the country”.

正斗中文 Chinese Made Efficient

RTHK (Radio Television Hong Kong) has started a new podcast teaching Chinese in Cantonese, 正斗中文 or Chinese Made Efficient (not the best translation). The podcasts focus on written Chinese (the modern variety which is based on Mandarin and also Literary Sinitic), Chinese characters and some common errors with Cantonese pronunciation. The podcasts are accessible on RTHK’s website and also on Youtube.

康熙來了 臺灣話真的這麼難學嗎?KangXi – Is Taiwanese really that difficult to learn?

Every now and then, Kangxi and other variety shows discuss Taiwanese. While the discussion is quite superficial, it is nice to see Taiwanese in the limelight, but also quite depressing to see just how little most Taiwanese people know about the Taiwanese language (Southern Min). In future, I will try to continue to post similar videos. The video parts have been uploaded to Youtube and set as private so please visit the link if you are interested in watching.

One of the interesting things mentioned in the show is the multiple readings of 香 (fragrant; incense).

Mandarin:

港買回來的

(Ā-xiāngXiānggǎng mǎi huílái de xiāng hěn xiāng)

Taiwanese:

仔去港買轉來的

(A-hiang-á khì Hiong-káng bé tńg–lâi–ê hiunn  tsiânn phang)

康熙來了 臺灣話真的這麼難學嗎?KangXi – Is Taiwanese really that difficult to learn?

溫水劇場: Warm Water Theatre (57. 我無講過喎!)

I have already introduced the 溫水劇場 cartoons back in another post. The topic of this recent cartoon is Professor Kong Qingdong (孔慶東), who recently became the hot topic in the Hong Kong media after calling Hong Kongers “dogs” and “bastards”. Kong claims he was quoted out of context. Watch the video with MSM and English subtitles and decide for yourself. The story was even picked up by a number of Western newspapers, including the FT. The FT article details some of the events leading up to Kong’s comments, but also neglects to mention some details of the “Eating Noodles on the MTR ‘Scandal‘”, which was the topic under discussion in Kong’s 7 minute assault. Anyway, that’s far too much politics so here is the cartoon below:

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KTV Subtitling: 鄭宜農 莎喲娜啦


This was my first attempt at doing karaoke-style subtitling. The song, 莎喲娜啦 (Shāyōnàlā) by 鄭宜農 (Enno Cheng), is Taiwanese with snippets of English and Japanese. Apart from its multi-lingual nature, the best thing about this song is the film it is taken from, 眼淚 (Tears). Read more…

溫水劇場: Warm Water Theatre (46. 強國人專用)

From time to time, I intend to translate some of  the fantastic 溫水劇場 cartoons. The cartoons are satirical and quite politically sensitive, mainly protesting against the CCP and their encroaching on the rights and freedom of the people of Hong Kong. Whether you agree with the political persuasion of the cartoonist or not, written Cantonese materials are hard to come by and as such deserve some attention. These cartoons are also useful for anybody, like me, who struggles to read handwritten Chinese.

The cartoons all feature frogs as this is, according to the cartoonist, a reflection of the predicament of the Hong Kong people. It is taken from the boiling frog anecdote: you can boil a frog to death, if you heat it up slowly. This represents the gradual taking away, by the CCP, of the liberties of the Hong Kong people and because the process is gradual, the Hong Kongers don’t realise it is happening to them; they are the boiling frogs. This also gave rise to the name of the series of cartoons: 溫水劇場 or Warm Water Theatre.

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