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Old 08-21-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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Good observations, Teak and neutrino.
I haven't noticed that myself, but I am often amused that some French girls start their conversation with "tient" (tenir). A non-French francophone interjected generously with "malheureusement".
I think it's a habitual thing and a minuscule lack of self-confidence.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teak View Post
All languages have certain words that are used to buy time while thinking of what to say next. In English a lot of people say, "...ahhhh...and, ahhhh...." or "you know....".

I learned some Mandarin Chinese before spending a year in north China (where standard Mandarin -Beijing dialect- is spoken). I noticed that a lot of Chinese would use "...ne-ga....ne-ga..." to buy time while thinking. Another phrase that seemed to be used this way was "Zhe shi..." or "Na shi ...." (This is.../That is....).

I will check my Mandarin-English dictionary when I get home. It is possible that "Actually..." is one of those time-buying words.

Yeah, I think that is a wonderful explanation.
Another phrase the Chinese say a lot is 'I think'. 'I think this is because of the english education there. 'Actually. '
btw, a much more fashionable buying-time phrase in Chinese Madarin is 'jiu shi shuo'. meaning "that is to say". it is way better than ne-ga.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lidolido View Post
Yeah, I think that is a wonderful explanation.
Another phrase the Chinese say a lot is 'I think'. 'I think this is because of the english education there. 'Actually. '
btw, a much more fashionable buying-time phrase in Chinese Madarin is 'jiu shi shuo'. meaning "that is to say". it is way better than ne-ga.
Okay. I was in Tianjin in 1989-90 so perhaps 'nei-ga, nei-ga...' is outdated.

I have been using Malay for the past decade, but I have yet to find a time-buying word in that language. Malays either don't say much (are not loquacious), or else very colloquial which makes it hard to understand (different dialects even within a short distance).

One word, which I can't find in the dictionary, is ia-ga, which comes off sounding like ya-kah. It means "really?" But it is not used to buy time.

Another is macam-mana, which is used to mean "how can?" as in "How can you say that?" or "How can we accomplish that?" or "How is that possible?" Many Chinese Malaysians use that phrase in English in their questions. E.g., "Go to work, no car, how can?" "Pass math, no study, how can?" "Lecturer late to class, wants more pay, how can?"

Last edited by Teak; 08-22-2009 at 09:08 AM.. Reason: added phrase
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Old 08-22-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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Malays either don't say much (are not loquacious), or else very colloquial which makes it hard to understand (different dialects even within a short distance).
Not as oratory as the nearby neighbors.

Quote:
One word, which I can't find in the dictionary, is ia-ga, which comes off sounding like ya-kah. It means "really?" But it is not used to buy time.
We had a domestic help who used to answer you with a question "betul-kah" "benar-kah".

Quote:
E.g., "Go to work, no car, how can?"
I though all one has to do is to add a prefix H- to 'ajinomoto'.

This sort of adverbs such as what the OP's brought up "actually" and a whole bunch of other time-buying-words, if used repeatedly, can cut short a conversation. Ugh sooo boring.
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dougie86 View Post
Not as oratory as the nearby neighbors.

We had a domestic help who used to answer you with a question "betul-kah" "benar-kah".

This sort of adverbs such as what the OP's brought up "actually" and a whole bunch of other time-buying-words, if used repeatedly, can cut short a conversation. Ugh sooo boring.
The post-fix "kah" is used to soften a statement, and ensure you understand that it is a question, so those phrases that you said that the maid uses both come out as:

Betul-kah? or Benar-kah? "That's correct, right?" To do otherwise would be confrontational from their perspective.

Oh man, did you hit on a pet peeve. Yes, so many boring conversations! I try to avoid conversations in English with some people because they only seem to come up with cliches and jargon and think that adding them in makes them appear to be fluent or intelligent.

"I think we can strategize the context of our thrust into the education market by harmonizing the student need with our game-winning market plan." They sound like newly-minted MBAs....hahahaha....

Form over content; style over substance.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Teak View Post
Betul-kah? or Benar-kah? "That's correct, right?" To do otherwise would be confrontational from their perspective.
Wow, thanks for explaining the nuance.
A pity that she is married and has moved to another city, or else I would make her breakfast in bed.

Quote:
... they only seem to come up with cliches and jargon and think that adding them in makes them appear to be fluent or intelligent.

"I think we can strategize the context of our thrust into the education market by harmonizing the student need with our game-winning market plan." They sound like newly-minted MBAs....hahahaha....

Form over content; style over substance.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:34 AM
 
Location: California
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It is probably true that "actually" could be 其實 or na ge. I am Chinese living in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California,where there are many Asians.We all say that. Some who are not Chinese,have asked me what that means, I said "actually"
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by VillageLife View Post
It is probably true that "actually" could be 其實 or na ge. I am Chinese living in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California,where there are many Asians.We all say that. Some who are not Chinese,have asked me what that means, I said "actually"
Thanks for the characters. I can now look that word up in my Chinese dictionary which uses stroke order for cross-referencing words.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:33 PM
 
Location: California
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Originally Posted by Teak View Post
Thanks for the characters. I can now look that word up in my Chinese dictionary which uses stroke order for cross-referencing words.
That was actually copied from post #6 on the first page.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:38 PM
 
Location: southern california
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yes time buying, you throw out words that you know they will recoginize even with your accent and then you build on that.
same in any foreign language.
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