Random questions about Mandarin words/phrases

Recently I’ve been listening closer to mandarin discussions and I could swear that I keep hearing people say “na hou” but I’ve asked my wife and she doesn’t know what I’m referring to. My dictionary shows a few helpful, related phrases:

na4 shi2 hou4: at that time
cong2 na4 shi2 hou4: since then
dao4 na4 ge4 shi2 hou4: until now

But it doesn’t show just “na hou.” Am I imagining things or is there such a phrase? If so, how is it used?

Thanks.

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]Recently I’ve been listening closer to Mandarin discussions and I could swear that I keep hearing people say “na hou” but I’ve asked my wife and she doesn’t know what I’m referring to. My dictionary shows a few helpful, related phrases:

na4 shi2 hou4: at that time
cong2 na4 shi2 hou4: since then
dao4 na4 ge4 shi2 hou4: until now

But it doesn’t show just “na hou.” Am I imagining things or is there such a phrase? If so, how is it used?

Thanks.[/quote]

那好??
yes very common. it just means, “ok, good then” or “ok, in that case” in the same way 那麼 does. usually signifying some kind of coming to agreement or reaching of a decision.

yr missus might not know what you mean because its almost a throwaway phase and highly contextual.

You didn’t type the tone numbers, MT, so it could be that your tones were off, and then out of context it might be hard for her to recognize it. :idunno: But yes, as the bear says, very common.

Yea, I wasn’t sure of the tones, but I think I’ve heard na2 hou4.

My pinyin’s not perfect but I understand the above is pronounced like the English word “hoe.” But I sent bear’s message to my wife and she sighed in exasperation and said, “sure, na how, but you pronounced it wrong.”

Actually I don’t think I did. Is bear’s word pronounced “na2 hoe4” or “na2 how4”? I could’ve sworn I keep hearing the former.

Sounds like ran2hou4 (meaning ‘and then’) with a strong Taiwanese accent. Usually, it comes out as la2hou4 or lan2hou4, but sometimes, it sounds like na2hou4 or nan2hou4.

That’s my final answer.

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That’s a very uniquely Taiwanese style of go yu.

They’re saying 然後 (ran2 hou4 = “and then”, “after that”) quickly.

[quote=“sjcma”]Sounds like ran2hou4 (meaning ‘and then’) with a strong Taiwanese accent. Usually, it comes out as la2hou4 or lan2hou4, but sometimes, it sounds like na2hou4 or nan2hou4.

That’s my final answer.[/quote]

This is what I would’ve said. I actually thought na hou was the correct pronunciation for that, cos that’s all I’ve ever heard.

I agree witth sjcma and Chris.

Dunno…I always thought they are saying 那 as in “that” in Taiwan Go Yu.

Also hao3 (good) can easily morph into hou, which is the same word in Taiwanese. Or somewhere halfway between.

But as a learner at your level you can’t trust your ears to get it right and even if you did you are likely to forget it or get it wrong before you can ask a native speaker. So I would resist the temptation to ask about stuff I hear unless a native speaker is standing by too.

Then the importance of knowing Mandarin Phonetic Symbols (bopo mofo) kicks in because the native speaker may need to spell out what you just heard before you hear it correctly.

[quote]na4 shi2 hou4: at that time
cong2 na4 shi2 hou4: since then
dao4 na4 ge4 shi2 hou4: until now[/quote]

I’m a bit concerned about your listing of these phrases They are all very ‘mainlander’ especially the first two. In other words, nobody actually says this in real life in Taiwan. I know, I know, they are in yout textbook. But those textbooks bear increasingly less in common with how Mandarin is actually spoken in Taiwan.

Thanks a lot for the helpful comments everyone. Ran2 hou4 will now become an important part of my vocabulary, based on how often I hear others use it.

I appreciate the comments about those three phrases, too, feiren. Actually, they’re not from my text book (I’m not using one). They’re from the dictionary on my iPhone: KTdict C-E

So far my main complaint about that dictionary is it’s so damned small I often have trouble making out the tones. But apparently it’s got another flaw, for us, in that it doesn’t distinguish between Taiwanese and Mainland words/phrases. Is there a good online dictionary of Taiwan Mandarin?

Never heard people in China use the Na like Na Bian “over there” or Na Ge “that thing”. Only in Taiwan.

People in Taiwan often seem to also switch-out the Mandarin Hao for the Taiwanese He

At least that is the way JiaYi derived, metal coatings, eldest BIL speaks Mandarin between his Taiwanese obscenities. :s

I concur but blame MT for getting the pinyin wrong :sunglasses:

But yeah…there’s a whole heap of taiwan guoyu pronunciation will mess with your head. Neng vs Leng, Re vs Le, Luan vs Ruan, and of course anything with the dreaded “shi” in it.

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Btw, my teacher informed me that one can say . . .

A happened, jiu4 B happened
or
A happened, cai2 B happened
or
A happened, ran2 hou1 B happened (looking at my notes, I think she said first tone for hou)

and all of the underlined words mean “and then” except that

jiu4 is used when the A time period went quickly
cai2 is used when the A time period went slowly
ran2 hou1 is a general term that can be used in either case

Do you agree?

There is a difference in the causality/linkage.

I’ve always felt that

jiu is more like A and then B happend
cai is more like A happened, and then/therefore b happened. I guess I’d pick cai if i wanted to highlight very clearly the A was before B.
ran hou is just pure time: A happned and then b happened

No idea if that makes sense

Ranhou simply means First A, then B. Simple sequence in time. You will hear this phrase very, very frequently. Do not abuse it. It is somewhat juvenile and overused by the less educated. Think about a kid repeating a sequence of events by prefacing each sentence with ‘and then’…

The use of ‘jiu’ and ‘cai’ are a bit more nuanced.

‘Jiu’ means that something happened sooner than the speaker expected it too.
‘Cai’ means that something happened later than the speaker expected it.

These are important usages to get a handle one because they are used constantly.

Elegua,

Actually, I didn’t mean those pronunciations are used in China. I mean that they are part of Taiwan’s largely imaginary standard for Mandarin as established by the Committee to Promote National Languages and codified in textbooks and dictionaries. I suspect they are used somewhere in China but they are not part of the Hanyupinyin standard.

The main point is that you just don’t hear those readings very often in real life.

Such as my lawyer colleagues. :laughing:

Thanks. I’ll try to use the other two when appropriate. :slight_smile:

才 cai2 means “only then”; it can also be translated as “before”. A condition must be met or an event must occur before something else can happen.

Sentences like the following would use cai2 in Chinese:

“Three days passed before my application was accepted.”
“You must pass this test; only then will you qualify for admission to the club.”
“He who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.”

(My lame attempt at classical Chinese: 欲過死橋者,必答此三題,才見對側。) :slight_smile:

I would vote for it being “Na (ge*) shIHou” spoken rapidly and getting “reduced” with segments into “Na Hou”…???