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Old 09-01-2018, 06:02 PM
 
77 posts, read 63,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
And am still wondering why mouse/rat (laoshu) and tiger (laohu) are prefixed with "lao" too
Mouse/rat is 鼠. Tiger is 虎.

老 (lao) in zoology, it could refer to some animals that are considered noxious or unpleasant.

Therefore, if one wants to highlight the noxiousness or unpleasantness of these animals, they would call them 老鼠 or 老虎.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:25 PM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,671,358 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netaxcat View Post
Mouse/rat is 鼠. Tiger is 虎.

老 (lao) in zoology, it could refer to some animals that are considered noxious or unpleasant.

Therefore, if one wants to highlight the noxiousness or unpleasantness of these animals, they would call them 老鼠 or 老虎.

The use of 老 to indicate noxiousness or unpleasantness must have stopped long time ago, as Mickey Mouse is translated as 米老鼠, and it's hard to believe that Disney will continue to use that name if it still continues to indicate any unpleasantness.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:55 PM
 
77 posts, read 63,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
The use of 老 to indicate noxiousness or unpleasantness must have stopped long time ago, as Mickey Mouse is translated as 米老鼠, and it's hard to believe that Disney will continue to use that name if it still continues to indicate any unpleasantness.
米奇鼠, 米老鼠, 米奇老鼠.


There are many ways to say it. Informally, they are all okay. Formally, there are reasons to use one way over another.

Sometimes we say it for its connotation, which can have 'both' positive and negative interpretations.

Sometimes we say it just because the pronunciation is smoother with Affix.

Sometimes we say it based on the ancient dictionaries and resources.


Above are just some examples. I can go into more details, case by case.

That is the complexity of Chinese/Cantonese.

Last edited by netaxcat; 09-02-2018 at 11:19 PM..
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,859 posts, read 3,424,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
The use of 老 to indicate noxiousness or unpleasantness must have stopped long time ago, as Mickey Mouse is translated as 米老鼠, and it's hard to believe that Disney will continue to use that name if it still continues to indicate any unpleasantness.
As I mentioned in another thread, the Chinese at times become so accustomed to a term that they will continue to use it even if it is no longer warranted. When railroads were first built in China, smoke bellowing steam trains ran on them which is why the Chinese refer to all trains now as huoche (Cantonese: foh che)

In an even crueler example similar to that of the word for mouse, I know many Cantonese still often refer to the elephant as a "daih buhn jeuhng" or "big dumb statue" because its size is so great, it is often thought to just stand there like a big dummy. Any educated person knows that is not true and that elephants are actually quite smart but the term has stuck for generations already and is not going to change.
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,876 posts, read 6,624,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netaxcat View Post
Mouse/rat is 鼠. Tiger is 虎.

老 (lao) in zoology, it could refer to some animals that are considered noxious or unpleasant.

Therefore, if one wants to highlight the noxiousness or unpleasantness of these animals, they would call them 老鼠 or 老虎.
Well, these terms are so commonly used that there isn't any particular negative connotation to them to these animals from the term "lao".
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:43 AM
 
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Some do, some don't. Some learn Chinese too but a less difficult version more suitable for non native speakers.

Some Chinese in HK cannot speak much Cantonese. They may went to an international school or they had most of their education in another country. Other such Chinese are those from Mainland China or Taiwan, speaking Mandarin and little Cantonese.

Few white people plan to live in HK permanently, most have jobs not requiring them to speak Chinese, they don't learn Chinese. Most of the jobs in HK require fluent Chinese. And most employers choose the people who is trilingual in Cantonese, English and Mandarin. Most young people are not very good in English and Mandarin but they still have the english and mandarin education for many years during primary and secondary schools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jowonder201812345 View Post
Do most immigrants tend to go to special schools aimed at foreigners? I always come across cliques of Caucasians/Asians/South-Asians in HK speaking English and I have no idea why...
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,951 posts, read 36,185,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jowonder201812345
Do most immigrants tend to go to special schools aimed at foreigners? I always come across cliques of Caucasians/Asians/South-Asians in HK speaking English and I have no idea why...
You are probably meeting the upper classes, for sure, when you meet those cliques. There are many English schools in Hong Kong, but they cost good coin to attend. Ballpark figure of US$1,000/month to attend, or so.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:23 AM
 
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There are a few free or cheap schools offering easier Chinese for non Chinese students. Another about 100 are schools teaching in English with normal Chinese taught, attended by mostly Chinese kids. Most other schools teach in Cantonese without the teachers speaking in English. English schools teaching foreign courses such as British, American, Canadian, Australian and IB are expensive, attended by foreigners with parents' companies paying for the fees or rich HK kids.

Most richer kids also have Filipino women working in their home so they have more chances to speak english than other Chinese kids.
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,876 posts, read 6,624,363 times
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Here is an article discussing how some expats (though few) will send their children to a Chinese medium school in HK:

https://www.scmp.com/comment/insight...edium=referral
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,859 posts, read 3,424,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Here is an article discussing how some expats (though few) will send their children to a Chinese medium school in HK:

https://www.scmp.com/comment/insight...edium=referral
Excellent article! I always enjoy reading the South China Morning Post, a reflection dating back to when I was studying in Hong Kong. The paper always has thought provoking articles. This one is very similar to the New York Times article I posted a while back on this thread. Interestingly enough, this article addresses the issue that Bettafish brought up early in the thread that schools in Hong Kong are very competitive to the degree that individual schools or even teachers are competing neck to neck for funding and recognition and the only way to keep up is by having top quality native Chinese students in the school who can perform to the top of the standards without aid. The public school system so far has failed to adequately support any sort of bilingual education geared towards helping out non-Chinese students not born and raised in Mainland China or Hong Kong. Worse is the fact that many government school teachers don't even know how to teach such students as evidenced in the article.
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