No matter how far I get in fluency and vocab, it always comes down to words like yat bun. If you don’t know any Cantonese, yat bun can be three different words [that I know of], all of them relatively common.
Yat bun = Japan
Yat bun = generally/normally
Yat bun = one half
My default ‘yat bun’ is Japan, I don’t know why. But when I actually want to talk about Japan, I will overthink it and usually say one of the other versions.
It’s all about tones. That’s where the difference lies.
If you’ve studied Cantonese for a while, and someone says all three ‘yat bun’ to you then you can probably tell the difference. Yet if you have to say it yourself…
Cantonese is a mind fuck.
You know, if you read Geronimo Stilton books in Cantonese they can actually seem decent.
By Cantonese, I mean traditional Chinese writing.
It took me seven weeks on and off to get through the one where Stilton goes into space to regain control of a bad guy’s satellite.
Seven weeks Continue reading