陆台词汇比对表 (Updating) How Much Does Vocabulary in Taiwan and Mainland China Differ?

May 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

陆台词汇比对表 (Updating…)
How Much Does Vocabulary in Taiwan and Mainland China Differ?

abbr. ML = Mainland TW = Taiwan

After hanging out with Taiwanese friends for a while, I started to pick up some words and phrases of Mandarin used in Taiwan. Having been living in mainland China for more than 20 years, I am quite a Mainlander. Even though both people in Taiwan and China speak Mandarin Chinese, misunderstanding between each other often happen in daily conversations. Many times I said a thing, and they couldn’t understand, then we switched to English; many times they said something and I hadn’t heard of it, then they took out the really thing, everything became clear. We call it this in mainland and you call it that in Taiwan. This isn’t a rare phenomena among the languages, similar things also happen, I guess, among the speakers of Hindi and Urdu, Malaysian and Indonesian, Serbian and Croatian, or more or less of British and American English, to name just a few.

Here below, I come out with a list of the different vocabulary used in these two regions, together with an English translation.

English                      ML                              TW
plastic                          塑料                             塑膠
weekends                    双休日                         六日
bus                                公交车                         公車
taxi/cab                      出租车/的士               計程車
single lens reflex      单反相机                     單眼相機
webcam                       摄像头                          鏡頭
primary school          小学                              國小
middle school            中学                              國中
sliced bread/toast     切片面包                     吐司
shrimp                          虾                                  蝦子
pineapple                     菠萝                              鳳梨
kiwi fruit                      猕猴桃                          奇異果
Koala                            考拉                              無尾熊
desk                               写字台                         書桌
one piece dress           连衣裙                          洋裝
sanitary pad               卫生巾                           衛生棉
prostate                       前列腺                           攝護腺
cyber café                    网吧                               網咖
laptop                           笔记本                           筆電

flash disk                     U盘                               隨身碟
memory                        内存                               記憶卡
information                信息(xī/ㄒㄧ)              訊息(xí/ㄒㄧˊ)
digital                           数码                               數位
digital (TV)                 数字(电视)                   數位(電視)
blog                               博客                               部落格
send (SMS)                 发(短信)                        傳(簡訊)
video                             视频                                視訊
mouse                           鼠标                                滑鼠
software                       软件                                軟體
programming             编程                                程式設計
web/internet               网络                                網路
copy paste                   复制黏贴                        復制貼上
funeral feast               豆腐饭                             腳尾飯
wedding invitation   红色罚单                        紅色炸彈
older sister                  姐(jiě/ㄐㄧㄝˇ)            姊(jiě/ㄐㄧㄝˇ)
(Some share the same characters, but the pronunciations are different. )
garbage                       垃圾(lā jī/ㄌㄚㄐㄧ)    垃圾(lè sè/ㄌㄜˋㄙㄜˋ)
dish rag                       抹(mā/ㄇㄚ)布              抹(mǒ/ㄇㄛˇ)布
raccoon                       浣(huàn/ㄏㄨㄢˋ)熊    浣(wǎn/ㄨㄢˇ)熊
company                     企(qǐ/ㄑㄧˇ)业              企(qì/ㄑㄧˋ)業
France                         法(fǎ/ㄈㄚˇ)国              法(fà/ㄈㄚˋ)國
lotion                           乳液(yè/ㄧㄝˋ)               乳液(yì/ㄧˋ)
cliff                               崖(yá/ㄧㄚˊ)                   崖(yái/ái/ㄧㄞˊ/ㄞˊ)
(Some share the same pronunciation, but the characters are different. An ugly simplifying case, which is frustrating! )
travel/game               游                                       遊

Popular vocabulary used only/mostly in mainland
capable, powerful 很强,很厉害 deriv. 牛人, 大牛,牛B, 牛X…
给力 geilivable 给劲、带劲的
雷人 surprising 令人吃惊的
神马 synonym of ‘什么’
2, abbr. of ‘250’ 即二百五(骂人的话)

Popular vocabulary used only/mostly in Taiwan
~咖(kā/ㄎㄚ) people of some kind ~样的人. 其實是台語的”腳”, 通常帶有貶意 e.g. 玩咖, (專指在感情上)玩玩的人; 弱咖, 弱弱的人. 寫成”肉腳”,讀作”罷咖”
假賽(jiá sài/ㄐㄧㄚˊㄙㄞˋ) to eat shit 吃屎(骂人的话)
(The previous two cases contain Taiwanese(台语) who strictly don’t belong to this article. I added them here just for a fun reading. Especially the later, you’d better remember it. )
机車 not to do thing/treat others in a good manner 不上路, 不上道
噶屁 dead, over 挂了

Words whose meaning slightly differs
干活 to work (ML)all kinds of work; (TW)the labor work.
学习 to study/learn (ML)all kind of studying/learning with or without an object; (TW)transitive verb with object. To express intransitive, use ‘讀書/念書’ instead.

Same set of characters with different word orders
Panda 熊猫(ML) 猫熊(TW)
It’s just warm-up 小试牛刀(ML) 牛刀小试(TW)

You are welcome to make any comment, critics, to correct my mistakes or to help me expand the database.

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