On 2 April, Zolima City Mag posted another short video in its Forgotten Hong Kong Icons series. This one is about the 荳腐花 dauh6 fuh6 fāa1, a kind of dessert, made by the 公和 Kung Wo Beancurd Factory. Once again, the combination of spoken word, refined imagery and sensitive music result in an artistically-compelling micro-documentary.
You can watch the video here, with subtitles in English and Standard Written Chinese.
If you are interested in Cantonese, the main interest is in the vocabulary and a few Cantonese-specific verbs, such as 煲 bōu1 and 幫襯 bōng1 chan3. The expression 老中青 lóuh5 jūng1 chīng1 = “the elderly, the middle-aged and the young” was also new to me.
Be sure to use the Sheik Cantonese website to check any item in this text: you can find their on-line Cantonese dictionary here.
The owner of the concern, 蘇崇廉 Sōu1 Sùhng4 Lìhm4 is a bit soft-spoken, so there are a few gaps in the transcription, indicated by “/ ? /”. If you can help fill any of them in (or correct any errors you spot), please leave a comment: I greatly appreciate any contribution to the cause of Cantonese learning!
● The term 荳腐花 dauh6 fuh6 fāa1 refers to a “soybean dessert” (Sheik); in this video, the term “silk smooth tofu pudding” is used. The character 荳, written with the grass radical or 草字頭 chóu2 jih6 tàuh4, is a variant of the more commonly used 豆.
● There is a change of tone in the pronunciation of 荳 dauh6 in the combination 黃荳 wòhng4 dáu6*2 = soybean; soyabean.
● 浸 jam3 = to soak; to immerse; to saturate; to steep; to dip
浸佢 ah 六個鐘頭喇
● In Cantonese, the verb 擺 báai2 is used with the meaning “to lay; to put; to place; to arrange”. After the verb, 落 lohk6 is added. 落 is similar to 到 dou3 in its expression of “arrival”, but suggests that the movement is vertically downwards rather than horizontal.
● 石磨 sehk6 mó6*2 = stone mill. When it is used again, 磨 is a verb meaning “to grind; to mill” and is pronounced mòh4.
● 煲 bōu1 is used in Cantonese with the meaning of “to cook; to stew; to boil”. Here, 滾 gwán2 = “boil; boiling, boiled” is added as a kind of result particle: “to heat something to boiling point”. 滾 also suggests the idea of “rolling”. In other words, a full, rolling boil.
● 石膏 sehk6 gōu1 = gypsum
● 凝固 yìhng4 gu3 = to congeal; to coagulate; (?) to set (firm)
因爲佢哋製造方式同我哋 / 有啲 (?) / 唔同
係用 ah 第種機器去代替
●In Cantonese, 第 daih6 can express the idea of “another; different”, hence the compound 第種 daih6 júng2 = (?) another kind. You will also find it in 第日 = another day, 第樣 = another kind and 第度 = somewhere else; some other place.
所以做出嚟呀，就係同我哋 / 係少少 (?) / 出入
● 出入 chēut1 yahp6 = discrepancy; inconsistency; divergence
● The adjective 滑 waht6 usually means “slippery”, hence all those notices you see about 小心地滑! Here, however, it seems to refer to the silky smooth texture of the tofu pudding.
但係佢 / 冇嗰種嘅 (?) / 口感
● 口感 háu2 gám2 = how food feels in the mouth; texture or taste of food (Sheik)
/ 冇嗰種嘅 (?) /荳香味
● 荳香味 dauh6 hēung1 meih6 = (?) the appealing/sweet taste of soybeans
食品行 sihk6 bán2 hòhng4 = (?) food products industry
● 接手 jip3 sáu2 = to take over
● 老中青 lóuh5 jūng1 chīng1 = the elderly, the middle-aged and the young; people of all ages
甚至乎/ ? / 近十年八年亦都有好多游客嚟度幫襯
● 幫襯 bōng1 chan3 = patronage; (?) to patronize (a particular shop or business) [Or does he say 光襯, half way between 幫襯 and 光顧?]
好多都話，好食過當地 / 嗰啲 (?) /
● 專程 = jyūn1 chìhng4 = special-purpose journey; (?) to make a special trip
Ah 食 / ? / 次或者兩次先至會搭飛機返去