How is 恭禧發財 pronounced in Sichuan dialect?

Or, rather, what would be a reasonable transliteration of it?

I’m doing a drawing for Chinese New Year of one of my characters, who is Canadian-born and learned what Chinese he knows from talking to his Sichuanese grandmother. I would like to include the greeting in Chinese characters, translated (both ‘happy new year’ and a more literal translation), and transliterated…but…I can only find the Cantonese and standard Mandarin pronunciations, which…doesn’t seem to fit, if the Sichuan pronunciation is different.

This is also assuming they don’t have a more local New Year greeting.

Sichuaneseis distinct from standard Mandarin, but it’s still a lot closer to it than to Cantonese. Barring finding someone who actually speaks that dialect, you can probably get away with using pinyin.

Not sure a Sichuan grandmother would use 恭禧發財, though, as IME that’s mainly a south east thing. I think more common would be something simple like 过年好 (guo nian hao, literally have a good new year).

Thanks! That’s quite helpful.

Enilno, not trying to pick nits but in my experience in China, including Chinese New Year in Chengdu Sichuan in 1986, gongxifacai (恭喜发财 or kung hey fat choy in Cantonese) is the standard expression. Xinniankuaile (新年快乐) is the second most popular. It is totally something a grandmother would use in the family.

Here is a site that has greetings from the sheep year in dialect including Sichuanese. They use the phrase zhudajiaxinniankuaile, wanshiruyi (祝大家新春快乐,万事如意). And unfortunately does not have the ubiquitous gongxifacai (恭喜发财).

Let’s just say, as a mandarin speaker, if you go to Sichuan, and they speak local Sichuan dialect, you won’t understand jack.

When she was living in China 25+ years ago, my wife (from Nanjing) thought gongxifacai sounded kind of crass, like (hypothetically) greeting someone by saying “I hope you get lots of Christmas presents!” instead of “Merry Christmas!”.

She’s used to it by now, though.

Living just south of Chengdu, I recall mostly hearing xinniankauile, but gongxifacai was certainly widely used.

I don’t want to venture too much into the pronunciation and I hope someone with better Sichuanhua chimes in, but I’ll venture some guesses.

With “xinniankauile” the initial “n” in “nian” might shift toward an “l” sound. The final “le” will sound more like a “lo.” In “gongxifacai” the “cai” might be more of a “tai” sound. "F"s tend to shift to "h"s, but I’m not sure that it would in this case. Tones will also shift.

Given that there aren’t major vocabulary changes and these are such well worn phrases, I think you’d be fine giving the Pinyin. It’d be pronounced with a thick accent by a Sichuan grandmother, but I don’t think you’d need to go phonetic.

Thanks, all. OK, looks like the pinyin’s the best choice then.

I’ll probably include one of the other phrases, as well…depends how sick I am of working on the picture before I get to the text. >_>

The standard call and response is:
gongxifacai (恭喜发财)
hongbaonalai (红包拿来)


Basically, it is a rhyming play on words that works in multiple Chinese dialects (Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Shanghaiese, etc).

Literally, it is “Happy New Year” followed by “gimme the New Year’s cash present” (except it rhymes and is considered amusing repartee in Chinese)

Just like it’s spelled…

Even more literally, it means “I hope you get rich” or something along those lines.