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Thread: very quick question

  1. #1
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    Default very quick question

    are the novels written by jin yong meant to be read in cantonese or madarin? how bout gu long? and other wuxia writers?
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    Senior Member Sugar's Avatar
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    I think Mandarin.
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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Gu Long is Cantonese, but got famous in Taiwan. So the majority of his writing should be Mandarin-oriented, although I heard some of his characters speak Cantonese (like in Lu Xiaofeng and Chu Liuxiang).

    Jin Yong is not Cantonese, but became famous in Hong Kong. I suspect his writing is more oriented for Cantonese-speaking populations.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Moderator kidd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ
    Jin Yong is not Cantonese, but became famous in Hong Kong. I suspect his writing is more oriented for Cantonese-speaking populations.
    I don't think so. He didn't use Cantonese words in the Xia Ke Xing novel I'm reading now. The writing in that book sounds way better and more fluent when read in mandarin.

    This is my opinion from reading the book in Cantonese (because I'm a Contonese speaker and more fluent in Cantones than Mandarin) and reading bits of pieces in Mandarin (sometimes for the fun of it and sometimes because the meaning of a sentence is clearer when read in mandarin).
    什麼是朋友?朋友永遠是在你犯下不可原諒錯誤的時候,仍舊站在你那邊的笨蛋。~ 王亞瑟

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuNaR
    are the novels written by jin yong meant to be read in cantonese or madarin? how bout gu long? and other wuxia writers?
    Mandarin is the standard written form of Chinese and one that can be read by any Chinese-literate speaker - it's universal. Cantonese and probably other variants of the language contain dialect-specific characters, so wont be understood by the majority and hence rarely used.

    Gulong was clever though he allowed some of his characters to speak such Cantonese words, there was still an explanation provided alongside indicating the character originated from the Canton province. After all, in the old days of wuxia, the mentioned geographical locations were not in the Southern Regions (where Canto-speakers are situated).

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    Senior Member pandamao's Avatar
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    Good Writers will never write in Cantonese. Why? Because:

    1) the art of chinese originated from the traditional format with proper grammar and sentence structure
    2) the idioms are worded differently in mandarin
    3) cantonese writing isn't "accepted"
    4) writing in cantonese won't bring in as much revenue.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pandamao
    Good Writers will never write in Cantonese. Why? Because:

    1) the art of chinese originated from the traditional format with proper grammar and sentence structure
    2) the idioms are worded differently in mandarin
    3) cantonese writing isn't "accepted"
    4) writing in cantonese won't bring in as much revenue.
    I don't know, maybe it's just the way you worded it...but all this sounds a bit condescending to us "illiterate and uncultured Southern barbarians" whose ancestry traces to the Pearl River area.

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    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    I can accept revenue and widespreadness as an argument, but 'traditional format'?

    If you knew anything of Chinese history, you would know that the modern-day Cantonese is linguistically more similar to the Chinese spoken during the Tang dynasty (considered generally to be the height of Chinese poetic tradition) than Mandarin, due to many remaining 'anachronisms', if you will, of the language of that time (like words ending in a harsh consonant sound) that were preserved in Cantonese, that Mandarin discarded.

    As a side-note, I don't speak Cantonese myself, I speak Mandarin.

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    Registered User JamesG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    I don't know, maybe it's just the way you worded it...but all this sounds a bit condescending to us "illiterate and uncultured Southern barbarians" whose ancestry traces to the Pearl River area.
    Whoa! Them thar barbarians helped to complete the first American and Canadian railways through the mountains. It would have been very hard to do without them. They were actually recruited in China (Canton mostly). Some, in Canada, stayed afterwards to work their own claims in the gold fields and some went home wealthy. Some stayed and brought their families over and their decendants can be found throughout Canada. Our gain.
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    Senior Member Laviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanky Panky
    Mandarin is the standard written form of Chinese and one that can be read by any Chinese-literate speaker - it's universal. Cantonese and probably other variants of the language contain dialect-specific characters, so wont be understood by the majority and hence rarely used.
    There's a misconception in this thread concerning the topic.

    Mandarin is not the standard written form of Chinese. The standard written form of Chinese is... well, Chinese.

    Both Mandarin and Cantonese are dialects, the spoken language of the people residing in certain areas of China. The only difference is that Cantonese differ greatly from written Chinese, while Mandarin is more similar. But Chinese all write the same, although there are certain written forms of dialects (like Cantonese writing used in HK magazines).

    Cantonese as a language is much older than Mandarin. Cantonese dates from the Warring States Period, and was the spoken language of the Tang Dynasty. Mandarin is a fairly modern language, having been developed during the Yuan Dynasty.
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    My personal impression was that Mandarin speakers tend to employ language which is more like the written Chinese, whereas Cantonese speakers employ language which is more relaxed, e.g. slang, colloquia, the equivalent of "ums" and "ers" like "geh", "la", "lor", "ma".

    But, I am aware that there is regional slang whereever you go in China.

    What I am saying is that most novels and formal communicae are written in modern standard Chinese (even in HK), which I think in Cantonese is "bak wah mun" (as opposed to classical "mun yin mun").

    But in HK magazines and popular media you will see written pieces that read like everyday Cantonese speech - employing Cantonese dialectal characters for "geh", "la", "ma", etc.

    I hope this doesn't read like I've plagiarised Laviathan!

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