玩 / 玩儿
I've noticed several times on the site, usually in expansion sentence or something, that where 玩 is written, it's always pronounced in the audio as 玩儿 "wár", rather than "wán". Is there a reason that 儿 is always missed off for 玩?
For a recent example see the expansion sentence in the "what does she look like?" intermediate lesson:
SF_RachelNovember 27, 2010, 12:41 AM
Fantastic question -- I too am eager to hear if there's some background or a rule behind this. In comparison, when a lesson contains 哪儿 it's usually "spelled out" with the 儿 but maybe that's just to distinguish it from the southern version 哪里. When 玩 is pronounced in儿化 but is not written that way, is it just that the convention isn't necessary because there's no need to distinguish it from a southern variant, and after all 中文 is not meant to be written phonetically?
I think the 儿 in 哪儿 and the one in 玩儿 are different. When 哪 is used to indicate 'where', it must have 儿 or 里. This is not optional. Chinese have decided that 哪 is not enough to form a word by itself, at least in this sense. If one means 'which' 哪, the situation changes. It cannot include another character as the 'which' meaning is completely contained in that one character, and adding 儿 or 里 would change the meaning to 'where'. However, the 儿 in 玩儿 can be left in or out. 玩 is a complete word that just so happens to be pronounced differently according to the region. Hence, 儿 is optional.
Interestingly, I've heard that some 北京人 still do say 玩 with no 儿. Apparently if you're playing with something (like with a toy), some will use 玩, but if you're talking about 'going out' or 'hanging out' it's always 玩儿. (出去玩儿) Can't seem to find the link to the blog post about it but if I find it I'll post it here.
Think of the extra 儿 as due to the accent. In writing, it's not necessary to add it (unless you specifically want to represent the 'flavour'/accent of someone's spoken language), though when someone's reading it 出去玩儿 is such a common phrase that it probably just comes out like that. From my experience, older people in Beijing will add an 儿 to lots of characters when reading aloud, even though it's not written. The kids tend to read in a more standard way, even if they speak with 儿化.
xiaophilNovember 27, 2010, 01:25 AM
I don't know, so I guess I should say that.
But anyway, I think it could be a case where normally 儿 is not written because it just doesn't need to be as 玩 and 玩儿 mean the same thing, and perhaps it looks clunky and unnecessary to a native speaker's eyes. It kind of looks unnecessary to this non-native speaker's eyes. That 儿 is just a sound really when combined with 玩.
Another theory is that one person is writing it, and another person is reading it. The person who is reading it doesn't realize he or she is adding the 儿. He or she is just reading the way he or she normally talks.
wayne0800November 29, 2010, 03:09 AM
haha...don't thinking too much..i'm from the south part of China..there are not too much different,maybe have,but don't spend too much time on it.
儿usually spoked in nothen of China,such as 北京。
but in south part of,seldom use it,even never.
and in some formal meeting,occasion ,d seldom use it,cos儿 is very spoken language.
if i speak somethings not exactly,please correct it for me..THX :D