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Banquet - Part III

weather: mostly sunny
outside: 15°C
mood: proud
After the second course, I changed into the gold QiPao - the traditional Chinese gown.

We went around to each of the tables and did a toast with each table.

Husband Guy did his speech:

    I would like to begin by welcoming all of you in joining S, me, and our families tonight.

    First of all, I'd like to thank my parents for their support, their kindness and of course, their patience over the years in raising me when I was a child and dealing with me when I was a teenager.

    I wish to thank S's parents, K and B, for allowing me the privilege of taking their daughter's hand in marriage. They've been very supportive to both of us in the (almost) ten years that we've been together and I'm very grateful to have had their advice and insight over the years.

    Many people put in a lot of time and effort to help us. Their contributions are greatly appreciated.

    Bernice for putting together the things that people always expect at weddings, but never actually notice unless they're missing; the pew bows, the flower arrangements, etc. She also helped us out by bringing up all the little details that we had forgetten or simply never thought of.

    We'd like to thank all of our friends and relatives who helped set up and decorate at the church and here at the banquet hall, as well as Te and Tu for being our MCs tonight.

    A special thank you goes out to our wedding party. M, who, when we were younger, always remembered to share with his big brother. *laughter* M (bridesmaid) and B (MOH), for being a great friend to both S and me. And my best man C, who I've known since my first year in high school.

    My biggest thanks must go to S who, over the past 10 years, has been a wonderful companion, a source of inspiration, and a friend who I could depend on when I needed her the most. I cherish the time that we've spent together and look forward to the times ahead.

Then I did my speech in English, Mandarin and Cantonese:

    Good evening everyone and thank you for joining us today.

    I wanted to take the first opportunity to thank my parents for their love and support. They've always been there for me, cared for me, through thick and thin, given me advice... even when I didn't want it.


    [Translation] Mom and Dad raised me with the hope that I would receive a good education and encouraged me to become the best at whatever I wanted to be. I will forever remember their efforts.

    To my father, K, who taught me Math, Electronics and Mil. Spec. soldering in highschool... Thus making me the biggest Geek Girl at Eric Hamber Secondary. But some of my friends would argue that I'm just naturally a Big Geek. *laughter*


    [Translation] Before I turned three, my family lived in GuangZhou, China. After dinner, Mom and Dad always took me to ShaMian, a beautiful seaside park. There were two big cannons in the park. These cannons were once used to defend against the Alliance of Eight Nations that invaded China in the Opium War of 1839-1842. I would always ask to sit on top of the cannons, I remember it as if it were yesterday.


    [Translation] I remember my father using the refrigerator door as a whiteboard to explain Math Contest solutions to me. In highschool, W would always phone our house to talk to me about homework. I told Mom and Dad that W did well in school, so they didn't oppose our friendship.

    To my mother, B, who is forever simmering up Chinese health soups for me. It always made me late for the bus, *laughter* but I was the healthiest late person on the next bus. *bigger laughter and applause*


    [Translation] In my Mother's eyes, I will always be a little girl. Over this last Chinese New Year, they still gave me lucky money and said that I would only count as an adult after I got married.

    To my brother, S, for... well, just being my brother. You're a great kid, thanks for being there. *applause*

    I would also like to thank W's grandparents and parents for their kindness. To my Maid of Honour, B, and my Bridesmaid, M, for keeping my sanity intact. To B, who was there for me throughout this whole thing. And to G, for driving her there. *laughter* I give my heartfelt thanks to you all. *applause*


    [Translation] I thank the Lin family for their kindness. W's grandparents and parents are generous and kind.

    In these nine years, W and I have been through a lot together. I thank W for being the person that he is: my best friend, my companion, my life partner.


    [Translation] Thanks to everyone for the honour of your presence. I wish you all the best.

    Thank you very much.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2001 07:27 pm (UTC)
I knew it. You WERE saying completely different things in English and in Chinese. All part of the conspiracy.

/me writes this all down in his little book of conspiracies

Aug. 5th, 2001 10:35 pm (UTC)
Agh... what gave it away? The laugh track didn't match up? =)

But if I didn't, the people who understood 2 out of the three or all three would be bored senseless. =P
Nov. 15th, 2002 04:23 am (UTC)
Which bits were in Mandarin and which bits were in Cantonese? (Though I presume that the written text is completely Mandarin -- ISTR reading that Cantonese isn't written that often.)

(And I was also interested to see the Chinese written in "full" characters rather than the "short" forms typically employed in the PRC.)
Nov. 15th, 2002 08:28 am (UTC)
I use Traditional Characters only even though I am a Mainland Girl. I will not use Simplified Characters. I explain it here =)

The Chinese you see up there was done in both Mandarin and Cantonese. There is no such thing as "written Cantonese". The written language is Chinese and it's used no matter what dialect you speak.

Here's my post whining about my speech =) Because there's no "writing Cantonese", I had to go by whatever Chinese I had and wing it. I had to do that when I was an MC at my friend's wedding too.
Nov. 17th, 2002 05:33 am (UTC)
Writing Cantonese
Re: "no such thing as written Cantonese"

From what I understand so far on the topic (most of which I picked up on the newsgroup sci.lang), this comment of yours is closer: "You couldn't write what you say in Cantonese (or any other dialect) without a lot of made-up/nonsensical characters."

Calling them "dialect characters" would probably be nicer, but from what I gather, there have been characters intended to write non-Mandarin dialects. I gather, though, that they're not written often -- probably much like dialects of other languages such as German, which are only rarely written but which do sometimes have, say, small columns in a local newspaper or speech bubbles in a comic representing local speech.

And I also heard from the newsgroup that some characters which are now only used in dialects have completely "legitimate" characters (i.e. the etymology of the dialect word descends from that word in earlier Chinese) but which are not well known and are sometimes replaced by what you call "made-up/nonsensical characters" (typically a sound-alike character plus a "mouth" radical, I believe).

Off the top of my head, I can only think of one dialect characters - 佢 which is glossed as "he (Cantonese)" (with reading KEUI5) at http://www.unicode.org/cgi-bin/GetUnihanData.pl?codepoint=4F62&useutf8=true.

Hm, I had a brief search for "Cantonese character" and "author:Lee Sau Dan" on sci.lang and didn't find much at a quick view, but this posting might still be interesting: http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=7fzppmvuwj.fsf%40phoenix.cs.hku.hk&output=gplain. It mentions what you stated (that Cantonese is usually not written) but also says that two methods of writing it when it is written include picking a sound-alike character and picking an etymologically justified character. (The example he gives for gui22 is 癐, if I understand him correctly; Unihan info here.)
Nov. 17th, 2002 11:14 am (UTC)
Re: Writing Cantonese
Right. It's kinda like Ebonics =) You can do it. And people who speak it will understand.
Jun. 8th, 2002 11:10 am (UTC)
Lovely speeches! I have a question: You mentioned in comment somewhere to me that your family speaks Mandarin and Husband Guy's family speaks Cantonese. But you said you also learned Cantonese and Mandarin as a child. Was this in GuangZhou? You also say that you leanred English; in Hong Kong? Well, I think it's great that you're trilingual, no matther how or when you learned. :D
Jun. 8th, 2002 11:42 am (UTC)
Nope... =)

My family speaks mostly Cantonese. We're from the Mainland, so we speak Mandarin if/when we need to.

We came to Canada when I was 2½. I grew up speaking Cantonese and English in Vancouver. So I'm fluent in those two. I could speak a little Mandarin and I understood a little Mandarin, but I wasn't fluent like my family.

I met my husband when I was in highschool. I spoke Mandarin with his family because they didn't speak much English.

Apparently, I have no accent in any of the three when I'm speaking, so when people talk to me, they assume I can read and write too. And it's embarrassing to have to tell them that I can't read or write Chinese at all. =P

One of the biggest stresses when I was planning my wedding was doing things in three languages. I needed MC's who spoke English, Cantonese and Mandarin. It's not unheard of, but people who are fluently trilingual are very rare. I ended up having two MC's, one who spoke Cantonese and one who spoke Mandarin to explain stuff in the respective languages and they both spoke English, so they just split up the English stuff. =}
Jun. 8th, 2002 12:14 pm (UTC)
We came to Canada when I was 2½. I grew up speaking Cantonese and English in Vancouver.

You live in Vancouver?!!! Oh my God, I don't live too far from Vancouver at all. I'm in the States though. I live about a two hour drive North of Seattle about a half hour South of the Canadian border.

I could speak a little Mandarin and I understood a little Mandarin, but I wasn't fluent like my family.

Man, that must be sorta hard. I read about a Vietnamese family where they had a family reunion. They were all laughing and sharing old stories in Vietnamese and there was this one cousin who had never bothered to learn his parents language. He was left out and embarrassed the whole time. :(

And it's embarrassing to have to tell them that I can't read or write Chinese at all. =P

Oh! I think you underestimate yourself! There's Chinese writing throughout your lj and you even used some in that entry!
Jun. 8th, 2002 04:19 pm (UTC)
Oh my God, I don't live too far from Vancouver at all.

Yeah, I think you said you're in Bellingham? We used to go to Bellis Fair Mall all the time =)

There's Chinese writing throughout your lj and you even used some in that entry!

I create the illusion that I can read and write Chinese with software help. But I'd be totally lost without a computer. =)
Jun. 8th, 2002 11:33 pm (UTC)
I create the illusion that I can read and write Chinese with software help. But I'd be totally lost without a computer. =)

Hee hee, I do this to. It's really lame for me seeing as I know about... five, maybe six words in putonghua! Haha. I feel so ridiculous sometimes, but I think it's a beautiful written language and spoken Mandarin is... well, to me, beautiful isn't the word but it's pretty. I dunno.

Bellis Fair? Haha. Yeah, I live in Bellingham. That's cool.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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