Ways of saying I
In the grey band at the bottom of these pages are five little columns of links--"Home", "Lessons", "Community", "Tools", "Help". Under "Community" you see Posts / Profile. Click on Posts and that will take you to a list of the posts you've made. There's a pencil icon at the right end for each post. Click on it to open and edit. And re-publish, or Save as Draft.
* Well I too hope this 奇怪 inconvenience is just a transition stage but wouldn't hold my breath. It's been this way for quite some time now. *
zhenlijiangJune 29, 2010, 07:16 PM
Hi Trevorb this is a fun question. A couple for the list:
ah 咱 is interesting I'd not thought of that as I as I'd always thought of the 咱们 being an inclusive we and hadn't thought of 咱 as an inclusive I because all I's include the speaker!
I wonder if dialects are the key to some of the other 34? in the same way as 俺 is a Northern variation (which I had to look up to find out..!)
I kind of think that the dialects are key. To the Chinese people, 中文 encompasses all the languages of the Chinese people. But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if Changye pulls out his resources and makes a long list of 34+ equivalents. As for 咱 and 自己, I think those are pushing the limits of 'I'. In my mind 咱 is just an abbreviated form of 咱们, I guess 咱 could work if the person is talking to his or herself. 自己 usually means myself, oneself, herself, etc. I don't think we can say 自己去买东西, but we can say 我自己去买东西.
Even though 俺 is regional, I do think that it is still loosely considered Mandarin. It's like how only certain places in the US say howdy, but almost everywhere in the English world is familiar with the term.
By the way, there is a famous essay called 俺娘俺爹.
I do have one contribution:
人家 (although this doesn't exclusively mean 'I')
Surely 咱们 would be 咱 made plural by 们, not the other way around ...
I got my two words from a Japanese-Chinese dictionary (searching for the Chinese words for one of our "I"s, 俺 o-re). And while I have, in my limited experience and knowledge, sometimes seen 俺 (internet forums) in use I have never seen 咱 in use, so I certainly have no trouble accepting that 咱 is lower in frequency.
Zhen, I see your point about 们 being the plural component of 咱们， but since 咱们 and 我们 have different meanings 咱 and 我 logically may not correlate exactly. And my roll over for 咱 says "we" as does my paper dictionary. Though the paper one also says "I" as the second definition. So I am sure 咱 means "I", but it isn't as intuitive to an English speaker, I think. Perhaps it is Queen's English: We are not amused. 呵呵
changyeJune 30, 2010, 01:41 AM
I guess the "38 ways" includes ones used in dialects and ancient/written Chinese.
For the record, there are also lots of "I" in Japanese.
changyeJune 30, 2010, 03:13 AM
I've found the original post (?) of this topic. Here are 38 ways of saying "I" in Chinese.
Nope, I just saw the above passage on Baidu's home page and wonderered. Looks like whoever wrote the blog thought the same but had the advantage of being chinese :-)
I's curious that not many show a meaning of I in chromes zhongwen (cdict?) suggesting most of these probably are not used in that way much.
Those of you that live in china, do you here any of these often or do you only ever hear 我 and 自己？
Mmm many of the 38 are literary and/or archaic, many are regional (of those many are well known enough), but they are all words in Chinese referring to "I". We will see some of the literary ones more frequently used than others; wish I could be more specific but am not knowledgeable enough to say which ones.
I agree with Xiaophil about 自己 (note it isn't in the list of 38 Changye found for us); that would be "self", not "I". 你自己 = yourself
To rephrase your question I guess at this point I'd like to know, other than 我, which of the 38 are the more currently frequently used/seen ones. Not many, certainly.
BTW, not sure what you meant by "Nope"?
trevorbJune 30, 2010, 08:24 PM
So reversing this I can only think of 5 in english
I, myself, one, me, we (as in the royal we)
and of those only three that I would/have ever used. so anyone got any more :-)