In Kill Bill 2, there is a long scene which is flash back of Beatrix traversing the stairs in order to stay with the teacher/mentor, and train. In their first encounter, they have a rather long exchange in which she is forced to answer a series of yes/no questions. When she answers "Yes", she says Hai & when she answers "No" she says Bu. Now, Hai is Japanese, whereas Bu is Chinese. Is this something Quentin did on purpose? If so, for what purpose? Beatrix does explain that she speaks both Japanese and Mandarin, but why specifically use Japanese to respond in the affirmative but Chinese to respond in the negative?

  • Does really Boo mean No in Chinese? Google translate says No in chinese sound like Méiyǒu. – Ankit Jun 23 '15 at 4:51
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    @Ankit Yes, Bu means 'No'. Chinese is complex like that. ;) – Walt Jun 23 '15 at 5:16
  • In Canto, yes=haih, and no=mh'haih – Crazydre Jan 1 '18 at 22:50

I believe that is the result of her not knowing Cantonese/Mandarin very well, although she does know Japanese very well, as she explains on her first meeting with Pai Mei.

Your Mandarin is lousy.

It causes my ears discomfort.


you understand Cantonese?

I speak Japanese very well...

I didn't ask if you speak Japanese...

I asked if you understand Cantonese?

A little.

Maybe she simply does not know how to reply in the affirmative in Chinese.

  • hmm....that is a good and interesting point! Though, then why not also reply in the negative in Japanese?... – Andy Jun 23 '15 at 9:16
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    @Andarta My guess is she was trying to speak Chinese with the exception of those words she didn't know, which she spoke in Japanese. Even we usually do this when speaking in a somewhat unfamiliar language. – nsane Jun 23 '15 at 9:21

Because Hai is also yes in Cantonese but 'No' in both Mandarin and Japanese are different from Cantonese.

Btw Bai Mei did not say her 'Mandarin' is irritating. He said her 'Han language' is irritating.

I dun exactly know about the setting of that scene, but in Hong Kong where I live, when we say Chinese, we mean Cantonese. I think he means her Chinese is irritating, because these are different languages but nowadays, some people thought Chinese were Mandarin.

When he mentioned Mongolian, it's because, for Cantonese speakers, Mandarin is as far as Mongolian.

  • So she was saying 'Yes' in Cantonese but 'No' in Mandarin? – Andy Oct 1 '15 at 15:25

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