Some important Hong Kong’s Cantonese you must know

Hong Kong, the once British colony has proved to be best place to attract millions of travellers. You may travel to Hong Kong with the best possible offer for flights booked in advance. Although, an English speaking country, you must learn some Cantonese phrases, so that you can go about smoothly without any guessing or fumbling mode.

How are you? Have you eaten yet?  (sik- jor-fahn-meh-ah?):  This phrase has the same meaning like if you have eaten or not. This is in the same meaning like ‘How are you?’ in the English language. The answer to this phrase should be’ Sik jor’ means yes, I have eaten well. Eating well or properly are the most important phrase associated in Chinese culture.

Please excuse me, or thank you. (mm-goi):  This is a polite form of phrase, you may use while dropping from a cab or going asking the taxi for a ride. The phrase means thank you, please and excuse me. While walking up to a stranger, you might begin with ‘mm-goi’ or excuse me. While walking through the crowded streets of Hong Kong, you might hear these words.

Thank you ( dor-jeh): ‘Dor jeh’ means thank you, and that’s a phrase, a formal expression of gratitude. You may express your gratitude to cashiers, waiters and drivers to say, ‘dor-jeh’ for giving you sincere service.

How much is this? (gay-dor-cheen –ah): This phrase means ‘how much is this’ in English. Especially when you are going for Mong Kok’s market, you may go about asking the price with this tone and phrase.

It’s too expensive. (tai-gwai-la): The last word ‘la’ is used to express exclamation. This phrase comes into being when you walk out of a market, after seeing the price tag as too expensive. This might be the occurrence before pretending to walk away.

Drink tea (yum-cha):  The meaning of ‘yum cha’ means he was literary drinking tea. Somebody inviting you to have a tea at a restaurant can be called as ‘yum cha’. The other meaning of the phrase could be asking you over brunch. The concept of dim sum comes from teahouses.

The bill, please. (mai-daan): The moment you are done at the restaurant, you may wave at the waiter and ask him to send you the bill. ‘Mai-daan-mm-goi’ means you are ready to pay the bill of the restaurant. In fact, one finger up in air can also do the job.

Delicious ( ho – may):  when you are asked about how the food tastes, you may nod your head to say’ Ho –may’. This phrase means that the food tastes really good.

I’m allergic to peanut. ((ngor-fa-sun-gui-mun):  Many restaurants in Hong Kong contains peanuts and you may be allergic to it.  While you utter these words, that means you are allergic to peanuts. ‘Gui mun’ means allergic and ‘fa sun’ means peanuts. You may learn the phrase and then apply in the restaurant which implies you don’t want peanuts.

Where is the bathroom? (Chee-sor-hai-been): Maybe you are looking for a bathroom, restroom or toilet in Hong Kong you say, ‘Hai- been’. But, the safest bet is to go to a Mall while you are looking for a toilet anywhere in Hong Kong.

Where is the metro station? (Day-teep-djam-hai-been): The best thing you can do is asking for a metro station while you feel you’re lost in the city. The locals say that as MTR or mass transport railway.

Knowing the numbers: While you are walking across the streets of Hong Kong, you may read the numbers that will help you determine the streets and many more. The figures are like- 1 ( yat), 2 (yee), 3 (saam), 4 (sei), 5(mm), 6(lok), 7(chak), 8 (baa), 9 (gua), and 10(sup).

Well, apart from knowing and communicating in English, you must know these few phrases that would aid you during your visit to Hong Kong. There is a popular saying, ‘ When you are in Rome, be a Roman’. Similarly, while you are a tourist in Hong Kong, eat well, explore places of interest and speak a bit of the local language. Moreover, your relation with the locals will intensify with your attempt of speaking a bit of Cantonese. No more thinking back, learn the phrases as fast as possible before you book your tickets.

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