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Thoughts on the Chinese language.
I've been meaning to make this thread for a while, and there's no better time than the present to do it.
Where pronunciation (and sometimes vocabulary) are concerned, I'll mainly be talking about Cantonese, because that's the dialect I know. I'll also be using traditional (rather than simplified) characters preferentially, because I like them more.
But first...a toast to the new year:
It's traditional to exchange a series of four-word blessings to celebrate the new year. Here's a set of nine of them.
Respectively, these mean:
1. Happy new year (literally "new year happiness")
2. good health to you (literally "bodily health"),
3. may you feel energetic / have high spirits (literally "dragon horse spirited"),
4. may all times be peaceful (literally "age age peace")
5. may every year bring surplus (literally "year year have surplus")
6. may an atmosphere of harmony bring wealth (literally "harmonious air grow wealth")
7. may smiles be common (literally "laughing mouth commonly open")
8. may you find both fortune and longevity (literally "fortune longevity both entirely")
9. great luck in the year of the dog! (literally "dog year big luck")
You may also notice from these examples that Chinese is one of those languages in which repetition of words can be meaningful. "age age" and "year year" both basically mean "every age" and "every year". I forgot the linguistic term for this...
Also, there are nine statements, because 九 (nine) is a homophone with 狗 (dog), in Cantonese. (Mandarin speakers don't get to enjoy this as much, sorry. :P)