We are going to learn Cantonese for Hong Kong travel.
Cantonese is not a national language. It is only a dialect mainly spoken in south China. Over 90% of the Hong Kong population is Cantonese. I am born to speak Cantonese, so it is easy. However learn to speak Cantonese is difficult.
What makes Cantonese difficult to learn is we don’t speak what we write. Unlike Mandarin, we don’t even have a standardized phonetic system. Hence there is no standard way of learning it.
Luckily, you don’t really have to learn to speak Cantonese for Hong Kong travel. Everybody in Hong Kong speaks English, because we have been a British colony for one and a half centuries. Everything in Hong Kong is bilingual. Unless you go to some extremely localized shops or restaurants, you don’t really have any language barrier.
Learn Cantonese Phrases for Fun
As a Hong Kong tourist, you would come across people saying some Cantonese phrases everyday. Knowing what they say would be fun. Speaking some Cantonese would be extra fun.
As I said, there is no standard way to learn Cantonese. I just base on the sound and try to make a close translation. Bear in mind, English tone is usually slightly higher than Cantonese. Read my Anna-invented translation, and try to lower your tone a bit. This will make your pronunciation more close to the real one.
早晨 Jo sun
吾該 Mmm goi
多謝 Dor tse
你好嗎 Lei ho ma?
我好好 Or ho ho
食左飯未 Sik jor farn mei?
幾多錢 Gei dor tsin?
平 d 啦 Paang d la
快 d 啦 Fai d La
好好食 Ho ho sik
埋單 Mai darn
Though this is Cantonese, it is used in any Chinese societies worldwide. Try say it in Beijing, waiters will understand.
恭喜發財 Gung hei fat choi