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Cantonese language- phrases/ expressions/ idioms

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  1. #1

    Cantonese language- phrases/ expressions/ idioms

    Are meanings lost through translation when you attempt to translate these verbatim in English?

    For example, 'I eat salt more than you eat rice' and 'not learnt to walk and you learn to run first' the meanings of these seems obvious to me but would you get it if you dont know any Canto?

    Whereas, 'you eat from the face of a bowl then you turn it upside down' is maybe a bit more trickier to understand in eng...coupled with the fact that its often hostile when somebody says this.

    Are there any other idioms that can be understood in English?


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    殺雞給猴看

    kill a chicken in front of a monkey

    emmie likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    对牛弹琴 play the music to the cow, who cannot understand


  4. #4

    Given the Openrice thread. No British food on menu in a British restaurant.

    掛羊頭賣狗肉!


  5. #5

    Drumbrake, havent heard your one. What does it mean?


  6. #6

    Join Date
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    My personal favourite... 'you've got char siu in one hand and shit in the other'

    Said as my father in law walked towards the bin carrying my daughter with his left arm and rubbish with the other.


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by drumbrake:
    殺雞給猴看

    kill a chicken in front of a monkey
    Quote Originally Posted by dragon_simon:
    Drumbrake, havent heard your one. What does it mean?
    make an example out of someone (by punishing them) to frighten others

    From Cantonese Sheik

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by drumbrake:
    make an example out of someone (by punishing them) to frighten others

    From Cantonese Sheik
    By coincidence, I was reading an article on Nicholas Tse's Ferrari incident in 2002 for putting someone else to 食死貓。The courts were afraid to make an example of him because he was a celebrity yet to lenient a sentence would be sending the wrong msg to youngsters...hence they did not want to 殺雞給猴看

  9. #9

    My wife was watching the X factor final this evening and I happen to be in the room and heard Gary Barlow commenting on one of the finalist for being 'thick skinned' for being unaffected by the judges criticisms week in week out.

    'Thick skinned' is one of the few expressions that can be translated to Chinese verbatim '面皮厚'.