Archive for Topolects
BBC News has a nice article by Tzu-Wei Liu on "The politics of a martial arts book fair in Hong Kong" (7/26/16). The article is accompanied by six photographs; I will focus on the two that interest me most (because they are both language related), the third and the sixth.
Here's the third photograph:
From Coby Lubliner:
I have lately been watching an Australian TV series, "Serangoon Road," taking place in Singapore in the 1960s. The dialogue is mostly in English, but when it isn't it's in Mandarin, both among the Chinese and between them and the main character, an Australian who speaks it. I have so far heard no trace of any other Chinese. Is that realistic?
An anonymous correspondent sent in this photograph of a fake vehicle license plate in the window of a truck parked in an industrial area in the New Territories, Hong Kong that he took a couple of years ago:
An article in BBC News (7/21/16), "Former Barcelona star Carles Puyol in 'Spanish' row", begins thus:
While promoting popular online platform Tencent Sports, Puyol said "Soy Carles Puyol y soy espanol" ("I am Carles Puyol and I am Spanish"), prompting an angry reaction from many Catalans, Spanish sports website Sport.es reports. Although technically correct – Puyol won the World Cup playing for Spain in 2010 – it's been seen as an insult to his native Catalonia region, which has ambitions to become independent.
The Health Promotion Board (Bǎojiàn cùjìn jú 保健促进局) of Singapore has launched a campaign to promote awareness of falling. Here's the poster they circulated in conjunction with the launch:
So asked Michael Rank in the comments section to this post:
"Triple topolectal reprimand" (5/29/16)
That's a very good question.
It's a common expression among Wuhan speakers, a pet phrase for men and women alike, almost as though it were a sort of mantra or dharani. If you ask them what it means, they will probably tell you that they themselves don't know, in which case you might get the impression that it's a modal or expletive without specific semantic content.
One of the most annoying things about being in China is that people will cut in front of you in lines when you're waiting for a bus, to buy a train ticket, or whatever. If you wish to achieve your aim, sooner or later you learn that you have to take defensive / offensive measures (I learned to spread my legs wide and put my elbows out). I also realized that it would help if I called the queue cutters out — loudly — in Mandarin. But what if the queue cutter pretends that he / she doesn't understand Mandarin? Watch:
The question of whether tones are added to alphabet words used in Sinitic languages arose in the discussion that followed this post:
"Papi Jiang: PRC internet sensation" (4/25/16)
Near the Star Ferry terminal on the Hong Kong Island side, Bea Lam noticed a number of fantastic, huge, colorful posters plastered on the walls as part of a “LipsyncHK” project that showcases Cantonese phrases and encourages visitors to try them out. Bea was (very happily) surprised to see this large and open demonstration of Cantonese pride in a government-sponsored project, given the political environment. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Normally I wouldn't want to call attention to a program as vapid as the one transcribed in the "quasi-blog" post linked to below, but the intelligent, critical comments that are interspersed by the blogger make it an instructive exercise after all.
In the Sinosphere section of yesterday's NYT, there's a thought-provoking article by Didi Kirsten Tatlow titled "Speak Uighur? Have Good Vision? China’s Security Services Want You" (2/19/16).