Cantonese through News Stories: Public Consultation on Animal Cruelty

Capture_Animal Cruelty_25 APR 2019

Ever wondered what a “grey area” was called in Cantonese? The answer won’t surprise you: it’s 灰色地帶fūi1 sīk1 deih6 daai3. Unfortunately, many of these still exist in the realm of animal cruelty, so it is a fine thing that the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department is trying to strengthen law enforcement in order to reduce maltreatment. In this report from TVB’s 陳逸思 Chàhn4 Yaht6 Sī1, there’s some useful vocabulary related to the keeping of pets as well some interesting grammatical points involving a special use of 就 jauh6, the noun-suffix 者 jé2, and a helpful specimen of the sentence-final particle 啫 jē1 in 我唔小心啫.

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12 new words:

1. 殘酷對待動物 chàahn4 huhk6 deui3 doih6 duhng6 maht6 = cruelty to animals
2. 飼養(動物)jih6 yéuhng5 = to keep as a pet; to rear
3. 瘧待 yeuhk6 doih6 = to abuse
4. 寵物 chúng2 maht6 = a pet (animal)
5. 棄養 hei3 yéuhng5 = to abandon (a pet animal)
6. 照顧 jiu3 gu3 = to look after; to take care of
7. 膳食 sihn6 sihk6 = meals; diet
8. 甚至 sahm6 ji3 = even to the extent of
9. 授權 sauh6 kyùhn4 = to authorize
10. 危急 ngàih4 gāp1 = critical; desperate (juncture/time)
11. 拯救 chíng2 gau3 = to save; to rescue
12. 於是乎 yū1 sih6 fù4 = so; therefore

*For jyutping romanization, you can cut and paste any Cantonese vocabulary in this post onto the Sheik Cantonese website (http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/) for checking.

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據了解,漁護署聽日開起就修訂《防止殘酷對待動物條例》諮詢公眾,加強當局報法權力同埋刑罰,建議殘酷對待動物者最高可以被判監十年。
It is understood that, starting from tomorrow, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department will hold consultations with the general public about revising [修訂 sāu1 ding3] the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, strengthening the power of authorities to report/take legal action [報法 bou3 faat = ?] and to punish [刑罰], and suggesting that the maximum [penalty] be ten years’ imprisonment for people who treat animals with cruelty.

Note: The common character 就 jauh6 has an interesting use in written Cantonese, one that means “concerning; regarding; about”. It precedes the verb that it co-ordinates with:  就 . . . 諮詢公眾 = will hold consultations with the general public about. Also, 者 jé2 is commonly used to make expressions equivalent to “a person who does; a -er”. Next, observe how 開起 hōi1 héi2 is used after time expressions to convey the item of “starting from (a particular time)”.

漁護署 is short for 漁農自然護理署 = Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

法庭亦都可以永久禁止被定罪者飼養動物.
Courts could also permanently ban people who are convicted [of cruelty to animals] from having a[nother] pet.

瘧待動物問題近年受到關注,包括寵物受瘧或被棄養嘅問題。
The issue of animal abuse has attracted concern in recent years, including the abuse/maltreatment of pets and their abandonment.

  • Unidentified man speaks:

好多主人都好冇責任心。
Many owners are very irresponsible [lit. = very not-have responsibility].

說養之後,但係好快就遺棄佢哋。
After saying they want to have a pet, they quickly abandon it.

為咗改善動物福利,據了解漁護署星期五將會展開三個月公眾諮詢,建議引入「謹慎責任」制,要求負責照顧動物嘅人提供合適膳食同生活環境等。
In order to improve animal welfare, it is understood that the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department will [將會] hold consultations with the general public for three months, and recommend introducing [引入 yáhn yahp] a “Duty of Care” [lit. = “prudent (謹慎 gán2 sahn6) responsibility”] system, [which] demands that those responsible for looking after an animal provide suitable nutrition and living environment.

執法人員有權向未妥善照顧動物嘅人發出「改善通知書」並就違反「謹慎責任」嘅行為訂立罰則。
Law-enforcement personnel [would] have the right to issue an “Improvement Notice” to people who did not look after animals appropriately and to impose (?) [訂立 ding3 lahp6 = agree to (treaty, contract, agreement)] penalty provisions [罰則 faht6 jāk1] on behaviour that violated the “Duty of Care” [system].

Note: There is another use of 就 jauh6 here, this time co-ordinated with the verb 訂立 ding3 lahp6.

同時建議加強殘酷對待動物嘅刑罰,由最高監禁三年同罰款二十萬加重最高可以判監十年,又建議授權法庭可以喺指定其間甚至永久取消被定罪人飼養動物嘅資格。
At the same time, [they] recommend strengthening the punishment [刑罰 yìhng4 faht6] for cruelty to animals from a maximum of three years imprisonment and a fine of 200,000 dollars to a maximum of ten years in prison; they also recommend authorizing courts to disqualify people convicted of such crimes from keeping pets within a specified [指定 jí2 dihng6 = to appoint] period of time or even permanently.

漁護署亦都建議授權執法人員喺危急嘅時候可以進入處所拯救同帶走動物。
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department also recommends authorizing law enforcement officers to enter premises [處所 chyu3 só2 = place] in times of emergency [急嘅時候] to rescue and remove animals.

  • Unidentified man speaks:

好難實行落嚟。
Very hard to put into practice.

呢啲都係教育嚟㗎。
Such things are [a matter of] education.

Theory 係好嘅,但執行上可能會有困難嘅。
It’s fine in theory, but to carry it out could possibly be difficult.

但係有總比冇好嘅
But something is always better than nothing.

有關注動物權益嘅議員認為發「改善通知書」可以解決現有「灰色地帶」。
Some legislative council members concerned about the interests [權益 kyùhn4 yīk1] of animals are of the opinion that issuing an “Improvement Notice” can dispel [解決 gáai2 kyut3] existing grey areas.

  • Man speaks: Roy Kwong Chun-yu 鄺俊宇 Kwong3 Jeun3 Yúh5,議員(民主黨)

以往有隻狗被人綁住咗
In the past, [when] a dog was tied up [by someone]

唔俾水佢飲唔俾嘢佢食
and it was not given any water to drink or food to eat

噉,然後報警,警方嚟到
and then, later it was reported to the police and the police came

嗰主人話,哎吔,唔好意思
that owner would say: Aiya, I’m terribly sorry

我唔小心啫
I was just being careless, that’s all.

Note: 啫 jē1 is final particle that conveys the idea of “merely, only, that’s all (used mainly to play down a fact and convey a sense of reassurance)” (Sheik Cantonese). Like most sentence-final particles, it is mainly used in speech.

我冇為意喎
I didn’t do it on purpose.

噉,於是乎可能輕輕就能夠脫咗罪啦
Well, thereafter [?] [the owner] could probably get out of it lightly.

噉,(「改善通知書」)簡單而言
So, to put it in a nutshell, the “Improvement Notice”

就俾咗「黃牌」佢
is like giving her/him [ = the owner] a yellow card.

Note: 黃牌 is pronounced wòhng4 páai4*2, with 牌 pàaih4 changing tone to high-rising.

如果「黃牌」屢次無效
If several yellow cards have no effect,

Note: The expression 屢次 léuih5 chi3 means “repeatedly; again and again”. Strictly speaking, according to the rules of soccer, two yellow cards are all you need to get a red card.

就發咗「紅牌」佢,控告佢
then issue him with a red card, [and] charge him.

佢認為新例需要加強巡查。
He believes that the new rules need strengthened/increased inspection rounds [巡查 chèuhn4 chàh4 = make an inspection tour; make one’s rounds].

漁護署有必要增加人手處理。
There is a necessity for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to increase personnel to handle [these new rules].

無線電視記者陳逸思報道
Report by TVB News reporter Chàhn4 Yaht6 Sī1

2019年4月25日

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