中英見面冊﹕Jetso、laughing gor、十卜 (28 Jan 2010)

【明報專訊】Paul.January 28 at 11:54am

 

上次談到香港人在日常交談中常借用英文詞語,其實在書寫的途徑中,例如facebook、msn和sms,這現象也非常普遍,甚至出現自創英語詞的情况;最近看過一篇報紙廣告,整篇都是中文,但中間卻故意加了一句get jetso,jetso明明源自粵語詞「着數」,有人將它的發音英語化,繼而將它寫成jetso,現時更出現get jetso!

Ben.January 28 at 12:16pm reply

讓我在jetso上多取點「着數」吧。着的粵音是zoek6,韻尾是-k,但英語化後的jet以-t作韻尾,為何英譯不選用韻尾-k,如jekso或jackso呢?原因可能是我們誤把着的粵音讀作zoet6,這個過程是很普遍的,如隻zek3讀作zet3。這個從-k到-t的音變過程帶進「着數」的英語化發音後,便以jetso的-t記錄下來了。

Paul.January 28 at 12:38pm

我問過外籍英語教師get jetso是什麼意思,他們當然摸不着頭腦,不過我卻見過外籍人士模仿港人在facebook寫add oil。在日常口語中,我們多會說「加油」,add oil是另一句粵語口語而經常以英文寫出來的常用語。回頭說get jetso,當然我明白,在廣告裏加插英文字句,可以吸引注意力,但有時候有現成的中文字不用,卻硬要用英文拼出來,如把滿分寫成「滿fun」,繽紛寫成「繽fun」;幾個月前一齣電影的戲名中將主角laughing哥寫成「laughing gor」,我到現在也想不出其用意。

Ben.January 28 at 12:46pm reply

我想,年輕人會用盡所有方法突出其社群及語言地位。例如support近年來在網絡討論區常譯作「十卜」,但譯文卻要用粵語才讀得出原來英語的發音。另外,「師兄」也被網民英語化為c-hing,同理,「師兄」一定要用粵語來讀才能得出英譯的串法。年輕人還會絞盡腦汁,抽取brother、sister的發音套進中文的方塊字裏,最後便形成「巴打」、「絲士打」或「絲打」這些產物了。

Paul.January 28 at 1:01pm

除了「十卜」,我還看過將function寫成「分純」,而非採用英文原字或中文的「功能」。相反,另一種中英夾雜的書寫模式,就是在全英文的對話中,加插用英文拼出來的粵語語氣詞,下面兩句取自facebook,看看你可否找到其中的語氣詞:(1)Wow seems they all like u bor Tony!(2)Let’s find a time to take grad fotos with Master Leung laa。這書寫模式在大學生之間頗為流行,在新加坡英語(Singapore English或Singlish)中更為普遍。

Ben.January 28 at 1:16pm reply

Bor和laa原是粵語的句末語氣助詞,學生在全英文的環境也添加上去反映對方也是懂粵語的,這樣雙方在線上交談時會分外親切。另外,英語的句首感嘆詞反倒影響着粵語,正當yeah已廣泛應用到像個天生粵語詞時,oops也開始滲入網上的中文書寫,如「Oops聖誕節就快嚟喇」。不知道英語教師如何看待這現象呢?

Paul.January 28 at 1:27pm

暫時沒有學術研究證實這會影響學生書寫純正英文的能力,從另一個角度看,這種對話模式亦有其傳意功能,像Ha, good ar… all of us can be good chefs,作者既可以利用英文表達意思,又可以同時使用粵語語氣詞,表達英語只有在口語中才能表達的語調(intonation),其實又幾有趣ar!

註:本欄的粵音採用香港語言學學會「粵語拼音方案」

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “中英見面冊﹕Jetso、laughing gor、十卜 (28 Jan 2010)

  1. A former student in my class is now studying in the U.S. She also asked me this question: I want to say “add oil” to my new American friends because our exam is coming but how can I say it properly in English?

  2. Steph

    Wow, I got the same problem too! In the previous exam, my class was asked to write a letter of advice to a friend. At the end of the letter, 1/10 of them wrote “add oil” to show support to their friend.

    During the exam evaluation lesson, I found that some of them thought that “add oil” was standard English! Then, I asked them, ” Which English expression should you write to replace “add oil’?” They said, “Fighting!” They got this term from Korean soap opera.

    Language is always changing. As a language teacher, I think that as long as they can deliver the meaning, serve the communicative purpose and know how to distinguish the standard English (like the Singaporean, they can swtich between Singlish and standard English), I find it no problem of using this variety of English.
    Haha, honestly, I use it when I am texting my friends too!

  3. etm6805

    At the English team meeting this morning, one colleague reported that the student teachers wrote often in their blogs during their Teaching Practice asking each other to ‘add oil’. She didn’t mind but added that some students in HK don’t know that ‘add oil’ is not English.

    So, the question is whether we can accept this expression as a piece of Hong Kong English, or indeeed, whether we can accept the existence of Hong Kong English. But perhaps the bottom line is that our students shouldn’t be using the expression when communicating with people in, and from, other places.

    To my knowledge, there isn’t an English equivalent for this Chinese expression. What you say in English depends on the situation. Some possibilites that come to mind are ‘go for it’, ‘step on it’, ‘keep it up’, and ‘hang in there’. These are not interchangeable. And sometimes, you would just shout out the person’s, the team’s, or the country’s name!

    Many thanks for the feedback.

    – Paul

  4. Olive

    Thanks so much for the reply, Paul 😀 Let me share with you what I’ve got from my exchange with the student in return:

    After she asked me that question, I passed it onto a former colleague (It’s a pity that our Unit is running out of native speakers and now I don’t know who to go to when I have questions!) who’s a native speaker from England. My colleague’s reply was that he didn’t think he could find an absolute equivalent to ‘add oil’ (in fact, he said that having lived in HK for 7 years himself, he is now used to using the phrase ‘add oil’ as well!) but he would say ‘keep going’, ‘keep it up’, ‘give it your best shot’, or ‘give it max’ (pretty similar to what you suggested I guess).

    I got back to my student with his answer; then she and I went on to discuss. At first we thought ‘maybe this is a culturally specific term so we probably can’t find it in other languages’ but then my student came up with ‘gan-ba-de’, which sounds a close enough equivalent to ‘add oil’ in Japanese. We concluded that ‘ maybe Asians are more hardworking so we need more terms like this!’

    Later on she got back with an interesting article she found on the internet written by 孫柏文 in his column 金手指.
    http://hk.opinion.nextmedia.com/viewthread.php?tid=20715&extra=page%3D8

    He shared his experience where he once wore a Giordano tee shirt that said ‘Add Oil China’ (in Chinese characters) to a soccer match and how he tried to translate it to “Go China” when a Korean fellow asked him what the words on his tee meant. He also reported on how the Economist journalists tried to translate ‘Add oil China’ during the Szechwan earthquake into English as ‘Come on China’.

    We in turn got reminded of more examples we have seen/ heard before by this little article. For example, in Berkeley, when school teams are playing in tournaments, students would shout ‘Go Bear’ because ‘Bear’ is the symbol of California and hence the symbol of UC Berkeley.

    We’ve also from time to time heard on TV soap opera episodes that people would say ‘You go girl’ as an old fashioned way of cheering for other girls.

    My student signed off the conversation with ‘Go Olive’ coz I was on a grading deadline then XD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s