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How To Post In Perfect Cantonese on Social Media

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You’re learning to speak Cantonese, and it’s going well. Your confidence is growing! So much so that you feel ready to share your experiences on social media—in Cantonese.

At Learn Cantonese, we make this easy for you to get it right the first time. Post like a boss with these phrases and guidelines, and get to practice your Cantonese in the process.

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1. Talking about Your Restaurant Visit in Cantonese

Eating out is fun, and often an experience you’d like to share. Take a pic, and start a conversation on social media in Cantonese. Your friend will be amazed by your language skills…and perhaps your taste in restaurants!

David eats at a restaurant with his friends, posts an image of their food, and leaves this comment:

POST

Let’s break down David’s post.

成班friend一齊試新餐廳,食到腍腍脷! (seng4 baan1 FRIEND jat1 cai4 si3 san1 caan1 teng1, sik6 dou3 lam2 lam2 lei6.)
“Trying a new restaurant with friends, it’s finger-licking delicious.”

1- 成班friend一齊試新餐廳, (seng4 baan1 FRIEND jat1 cai4 si3 san1 caan1 teng1,)

First is an expression meaning: “Whole group of friends try new restaurant together.”
In Hong Kong, new restaurants open up frequently. Sharing your eating experiences at new venues is one of the most common things to do on social media.

2- 食到腍腍脷! (sik6 dou3 lam2 lam2 lei6.)

Then comes the phrase - “finger-licking delicious.”
The phrase 腍腍脷 (lem2 lem2 lei6) indicate the action of “licking one’s lips” after eating delicious food.

COMMENTS

In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

1- 呢度真係又靚又好味。 (ni1 dou6 zan1 hai6 jau6 leng3 jau6 hou2 mei6.)

His girlfriend, Karen, uses an expression meaning - “It’s really charming and delicious.”
Karen agrees with David that the experience is positive, adding her own take on it.

2- 果然好介紹! (gwo2 jin4 hou2 gaai3 siu6!)

His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “A very good recommendation indeed!”
Will is pleased with David’s recommendation.

3- 做乜唔叫埋我 (ಠ_ಠ) (zou6 mat1 m4 giu3 maai4 ngo5)

His girlfriend’s high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “Why didn’t you invite me? (ಠ_ಠ)”
Maggie is disappointed that she’s not part of the group.

4- 好似好貴喎。 (hou2 ci3 hou2 gwai3 wo3.)

His girlfriend’s nephew, Tommy, uses an expression meaning - “It looks expensive.”
Tommy is the only critic, and he shares his impression of the restaurant with this comment.

VOCABULARY

Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 餐廳 (caan1 teng1): “restaurant”
  • 好味 (hou2 mei6): “delicious”
  • 果然 (gwo2 jin4): “as expected; sure enough; indeed”
  • 介紹 (gaai3 siu6): “introduction”
  • 叫埋 (giu3 maai4): “also ask along”
  • 好似 (hou2 ci3): “appear to be; be like; look like”
  • 貴 (gwai3): “expensive”
  • So, let’s practice a bit. If a friend posted something about having dinner with friends, which phrase would you use?

    Now go visit a Cantonese restaurant, and wow the staff with your language skills!

    2. Post about Your Mall Visit in Cantonese

    Another super topic for social media is shopping—everybody does it, most everybody loves it, and your friends on social media are probably curious about your shopping spree! Share these Cantonese phrases in posts when you visit a mall.

    Karen shops with her sister at the mall, posts an image of the two of them together, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    周圍都減緊價,我同細妹都大出血! (zau1 wai4 dou1 gaam2 gan2 gaa3, ngo5 tung4 sai3 mui2 dou1 daai6 ceot1 hyut3!)
    “Everywhere is on sale. Sis and I spent A LOT!”

    1- 周圍都減緊價, (zau1 wai4 dou1 gaam2 gan2 gaa3,)

    First is an expression meaning “everywhere is on sale.”
    Many shops promote their sales campaigns via social media, and at the same time, consumers would tell their friends or followers via social media about the good deals they found.

    2- 我同細妹都大出血! (ngo5 tung4 sai3 mui2 dou1 daai6 ceot1 hyut3!)

    Then comes the phrase - “I and sister spent a lot!”
    literally 大出血 (daai6 ceot1 hyut3) means “to bleed badly”, but nowadays we use this term to refer to “having spent a lot of money.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 我琴日都買到癲咗! (ngo5 kam4 jat6 dou1 maai5 dou3 din1 zo2!)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “I shopped like crazy yesterday as well!”
    Maggie shares a personal detail here, finding common ground with Karen’s post.

    2- 你同細妹好似樣喎。 (nei5 tung4 sai3 mui2 hou2 ci5 joeng2 wo3.)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “You and your sister look alike.”
    Kitty comments on the two sisters’ looks.

    3- 係?等我都去睇吓。 (hai6? dang2 ngo5 dou1 heoi3 tai2 haa2.)

    Her neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “Really? I’ll go check it out too.”
    Lisa is pleased with the news about the sales and wants to experience it too.

    4- 囧… (gwing2̷ ;)

    Her boyfriend, David, uses an expression meaning - “Yikes…”
    David leaves an eloquent one-word comment that speaks volumes! He probably doesn’t like shopping in malls, or he’s not crazy about the girls’ massive spending. This comment is open for interpretation.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 周圍 (zau1 wai4): “everywhere”
  • 減價 (gaam2 gaa3): “sale; price reduction”
  • 細妹 (sai3 mui2): “younger sister”
  • 琴日 (kam4 jat6): “yesterday”
  • 癲 (din1): “crazy”
  • 似樣 (ci5 joeng2): “look alike; resemble”
  • 囧 (gwing2): “an ideographic emoticon representing feelings such as annoyance, shock, embarrassment, awkwardness, etc.”
  • So, if a friend posted something about going shopping, which phrase would you use?

    3. Talking about a Sport Day in Cantonese

    Sports events, whether you’re the spectator or the sports person, offer fantastic opportunity for great social media posts. Learn some handy phrases and vocabulary to start a sport-on-the-beach conversation in Cantonese.

    David plays with his friends at the beach, posts an image of the crowd on the beach, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    天氣咁好又咁齊人,今次嘅沙灘聚會真係好成功! (tin1 hei3 gam3 hou2 jau6 gam3 cai4 jan4, gam1 ci3 ge3 saa1 taan1 zeoi6 wui6 zan1 hai6 hou2 sing4 gung1!)
    “With good weather and full attendance, this beach gathering is really successful!”

    1- 天氣咁好又咁齊人 (tin1 hei3 gam3 hou2 jau6 gam3 cai4 jan4,)

    First is an expression meaning “weather is good and we have all people attending,”
    咁…又… (gam3… jau6̷ ;) is a common sentence pattern used to describe two qualities about one subject. It’s similar to “not only… but also…”, or “… and…”.

    2- 今次嘅沙灘聚會真係好成功! (gam1 ci3 ge3 saa1 taan1 zeoi6 wui6 zan1 hai6 hou2 sing4 gung1!)

    Then comes the phrase - “this time beach gathering is really successful!”
    Hong Kong has a long coastline with many public and private bays and beaches; however, more and more of them are not suitable for swimming anymore because of poor water quality due to development and urbanization. A total of 41 beaches, about half of the ones suitable for swimming, are managed by the government.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 趁冬天之前搞多次啦。 (can3 dung1 tin1 zi1 cin4 gaau2 do1 ci3 laa1.)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s do it again before winter starts.”
    Will seems pleased with David’s post and suggests that they play on the beach again.

    2- 年青人,真係開心,Enjoy! (nin4 cing1 jan4, zan1 hai6 hoi1 sam1, ENJOY!)

    His supervisor, Sam, uses an expression meaning - “All the young people look so happy, enjoy!”
    The young crowd’s happiness on the beach catches Sam’s attention.

    3- 邊個贏呀? (bin1 go3 jeng4 aa3?)

    His girlfriend, Karen, uses an expression meaning - “Who won?”
    Karen is interested in the outcome of the game, and asks for more details.

    4- 咁熱,我寧願喺屋企打機。 (gam3 jit6, ngo5 ning4 jyun2 hai2 uk1 kei2 daa2 gei1.)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Tommy, uses an expression meaning - “It’s so hot. I’d rather stay home and play video games.”
    Tommy is clearly not an outdoor type of guy! He’s again the negative commentator.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 天氣 (tin1 hei3): “weather”
  • 沙灘 (saa1 taan1): “beach”
  • 成功 (sing4 gung1): “successful”
  • 冬天 (dung1 tin1): “winter”
  • 贏 (jeng4): “winter”
  • 寧願 (ning4 jyun2): “would rather”
  • 打機 (daa2 gei1): “play video games”
  • Which phrase would you use if a friend posted something about sports?

    But sport is not the only thing you can play! Play some music, and share it on social media.

    4. Share a Song on Social Media in Cantonese

    Music is the language of the soul, they say. So, don’t hold back—share what touches your soul with your friends!

    Karen shares a song she just heard at a party, posts an image of the artist, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    誠意推介E神新歌,好好聽! (sing4 ji3 teoi1 gaai3 E san4 san1 go1, hou2 hou2 teng1!)
    “Highly recommend Eason’s new song. It’s so good!”

    1- 誠意推介E神新歌, (sing4 ji3 teoi1 gaai3 E san4 san1 go1,)

    First is an expression meaning “Sincerely recommend Eason’s new song.”
    The phrase 誠意推介 (sing4 ji3 teoi1 gaai3), literally “sincerely recommending”, is used a lot in social media to share something you think people would like.

    2- 好好聽! (hou2 hou2 teng1!)

    Then comes the phrase - “It’s really good!”
    The duplication of 好 (hou2) in this phrase serves an exaggeration purpose, it only works when it’s followed by a verb. For example, 好食 (hou2 sik6), literally “good to eat”, is “yummy”; and 好好食 (hou2 hou2 sik6) means “very yummy”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 都唔知原來你鍾意E神。 (dou1 m4 zi1 jyun4 loi4 nei5 zung1 ji3 E san4.)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “Didn’t know you like Eason.”
    Maggie is learning something new about her friend today! Use this comment to make conversation.

    2- Agree! 我都買咗佢隻新碟。 (AGREE! ngo5 dou1 maai5 zo2 keoi5 zek3 san1 dip2.)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Agree! I also bought his new album.”
    Kitty shares Karen’s love of the blues singer! So, use this to show your agreement.

    3- 將首舊歌重新演繹,又幾好聽喎。 (zoeng1 sau2 gau6 go1 cung4 san1 jin2 jik6, jau6 gei1 hou2 teng1 wo3.)

    Her neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “He’s covering an old song. It’s pretty good.”
    LIsa seems to know her music and shares an interesting bit of information about the singer, as well as her opinion.

    4- 我後生嗰陣都係聽呢首歌。 (ngo5 hau6 saang1 go2 zan6 dou1 hai6 teng1 ni1 sau2 go1.)

    Her supervisor, Sam, uses an expression meaning - “I used to listen to this song back in my day.”
    Sam is taken back to his younger years by the song and shares a memory.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 誠意 (sing4 ji3): “sincerity”
  • 推介 (teoi1 gaai3): “recommend”
  • 歌 (go1): “song”
  • 碟 (dip2): “music record; CD; plate”
  • 重新 (cung4 san1): “once more; again”
  • 演繹 (jin2 jik6): “perform”
  • 後生 (hau6 saang1): “young”
  • Which song would you share? And what would you say to a friend who posted something about sharing music or videos?

    Now you know how to start a conversation about a song or a video on social media!

    5. Cantonese Social Media Comments about a Concert

    Still on the theme of music—visiting live concerts and shows just have to be shared with your friends. Here are some handy phrases and vocab to wow your followers in Cantonese!

    David goes to a concert, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    一世人至少都要睇一次麥當娜演唱會。超讚! (jat1 sai3 jan4 zi3 siu2 dou1 jiu3 tai2 jat1 ci3 maak6 dong1 naa4 jin2 coeng3 wui5. ciu1 zaan3!)
    “You have to go to Madonna’s concert at least once in your lifetime. It’s awesome!”

    1- 一世人至少都要睇一次麥當娜演唱會。 (jat1 sai3 jan4 zi3 siu2 dou1 jiu3 tai2 jat1 ci3 maak6 dong1 naa4 jin2 coeng3 wui5.)

    First is an expression meaning “In one life, at least watch Madonna concert once.”
    Many local and international singers perform live concerts in Hong Kong. AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong Coliseum and Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre are the most popular concert venues.

    2- 超讚!
    (ciu1 zaan3!)

    Then comes the phrase - “Super thumbs up!”
    This term actually originated in Taiwan, and became widely used in social media and magazine in Hong Kong.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 現場氣氛好High呀! (jin6 coeng4 hei3 fan1 hou2 HIGH aa3!)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “The atmosphere is ecstatic!”
    Will is obviously also at the concert, and shares his impression.

    2- 你個位好前喎!你就好啦,我坐山頂呀。 (nei5 go3 wai2 hou2 cin4 wo3! nei5 zau6 hou2 laa1, ngo5 co5 saan1 deng2 aa3.)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “You’re sitting in the front, that’s so good! I’m sitting way up in the back.”
    Like the previous poster, Maggie also chats about her experiences of the same event, making for great conversation.

    3- 嗌到喉嚨痛,但真係好正! (aai3 dou3 hau4 lung4 tung3, daan6 zan1 hai6 hou2 zeng3!)

    His girlfriend, Karen, uses an expression meaning - “Got a sore throat from shouting (out the lyrics), but it was fabulous!”
    Karen adds her opinion of the concert and shares personal news..

    4- 搞到我都心郁郁想去睇! (gaau2 dou3 ngo5 dou1 sam1 juk1 juk1 soeng2 heoi3 tai2.)

    His high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “You made me want to go see it too!”
    Kitty is inspired by all these comments to also attend a Madonna concert.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 一世人 (jat1 sai3 jan4): “one’s whole life; a lifetime”
  • 至少 (zi3 siu2): “at least”
  • 演唱會 (jin2 coeng3 wui5): “concert”
  • 氣氛 (hei3 fan1): “atmosphere”
  • 嗌 (aai3): “shout; yell; speak loudly”
  • 喉嚨 (hau4 lung4): “throat”
  • 心郁郁 (sam1 juk1 juk1): “tempted; eager to do something”
  • If a friend posted something about a concert , which phrase would you use?

    6. Talking about an Unfortunate Accident in Cantonese

    Oh dear. You broke something by accident. Use these Cantonese phrases to start a thread on social media. Or maybe just to let your friends know why you are not contacting them!

    Karen accidentally breaks her mobile phone, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    個電話自殺跳咗落樓梯… 。゚(゚´Д`゚)゚。 (go3 din6 waa2 zi6 saat3 tiu3 zo2 lok6 lau4 tai1̷ ;)
    “My phone committed suicide and jumped down the stairs… ”

    1- 個電話自殺 (go3 din6 waa2 zi6 saat3)

    First is an expression meaning “The phone commited suicide.”
    Sometimes inanimate objects are personified to sound cute on social media.

    2- 跳咗落樓梯… (tiu3 zo2 lok6 lau4 tai1̷ ;)

    Then comes the phrase - “jumped down the stairs…”
    A verb followed by 咗 (zo2) means the action or situation is placed in past time, marking perfective aspect or continuous state. Since Cantonese do not have verb conjugation, we use particles like this to clarify.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 阿偉,你識做啦! (David, nei5 sik1 zou6 laa1!)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “David, you know what to do!”
    Maggie doesn’t address Karen, but chats with David, knowing he’d be reading the post too. This is a clever way of keeping the conversation going.

    2- Maggie,就算你唔講我都會買返部俾佢啦。 (Maggie, zau6 syun3 nei5 m4 gong2 ngo5 dou1 wui2 maai5 faan1 bou6 bei2 keoi5 laa1.)

    Her boyfriend, David, uses an expression meaning - “Maggie, I’d buy her a new one even if you didn’t say so.”
    David is being an awesome boyfriend! He clearly shows his caring consideration with this comment.

    3- 係時候換部新嘅。 (hai6 si4 hau6 wun6 bou6 san1 ge3.)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “It’s time to get a new one.”
    Kitty states the obvious, just to participate in the conversation.

    4- 啱啱出新款,跌得係時候。 (aam1 aam1 ceot1 san1 fun2, dit3 dak1 hai6 si4 hau6.)

    Her college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “New models just came out. What good timing.”
    Will is an optimist and sees this accident as a good opportunity to upgrade to a newer phone.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 電話 (din6 waa2): “phone”
  • 自殺 (zi6 saat3): “commit suicide”
  • 樓梯 (lau4 tai1): “stairs”
  • 就算 (zau6 syun3): “even if; given that”
  • 換 (wun6): “change”
  • 啱啱 (aam1 aam1): “just now”
  • 新款 (san1 fun2): “new model; new style”
  • If a friend posted something about having broken something by accident, which phrase would you use?

    So, now you know how to describe an accident in Cantonese. Well done!

    7. Chat about Your Boredom on Social Media in Cantonese

    Sometimes, we’re just bored with how life goes. And to alleviate the boredom, we write about it on social media. Add some excitement to your posts by addressing your friends and followers in Cantonese!

    David gets bored at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    原來放假冇嘢做都幾悶。 (jyun4 loi4 fong3 gaa3 mou5 je5 zou6 dou1 gei2 mun6.)
    “Didn’t realize it’d be so boring to have nothing to do on holiday.”

    1- 原來 (jyun4 loi4)

    First is an expression meaning “Turns out.”
    This term 原來 (jyun4 loi4) indicates that the following statement is a newly found idea that was unknown to the person before.

    2- 放假冇嘢做都幾悶。 (fong3 gaa3 mou5 je5 zou6 dou1 gei2 mun6.)

    Then comes the phrase - “having nothing to do on holiday is quite boring.”
    This is not common in Hong Kong. According to the 2015 Survey on Hong Kong consumer travel spending patterns, its citizens spend around 70% of their holidays traveling abroad. The most popular destinations are Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 悶?又話要執屋? (mun6? jau6 waa6 jiu3 zap1 uk1?)

    His girlfriend, Karen, uses an expression meaning - “Boring? You told me you were gonna clean up the house!”
    Karen partakes in the conversation - is she serious here? Or perhaps teasing her boyfriend? Hard to tell!

    2- 啊!阿偉,你死喇! (o3! aa3 wai5, nei5 sei2 laa3!)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “Uh-oh! David, you’re in trouble!”
    Maggie becomes part of Karen and David’s conversation, leaving a lighthearted comment.

    3- 下個禮拜會好忙,你而家有得唞好唞吓。 (haa6 go3 lai5 baai3 wui5 hou2 mong4, nei5 ji4 gaa1 jau5 dak1 tau2 hou2 tau2 haa5.)

    His supervisor, Sam, uses an expression meaning - “It’s gonna be hectic next week. You better rest up while you can.”
    Sam is the responsible adult and warns David to rest before returning to work.

    4- 你可以過嚟幫我執屋。 (nei5 ho2 ji3 gwo3 lei4 bong1 ngo5 zap1 uk1.)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “You can come clean up my house.”
    Will sees an opportunity in the banter Karen started. He is probably joking!

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 放假 (fong3 gaa3): “be on holiday”
  • 悶 (mun6): “boring”
  • 執屋 (zap1 uk1): “clean up the house”
  • 陪 (pui4): “accompany; keep someone company”
  • 禮拜 (lai5 baai3): “week”
  • 唞 (tau2): “rest; catch one’s breath”
  • 過嚟 (gwo3 lei4): “come over”
  • If a friend posted something about being bored, which phrase would you use?

    Still bored? Share another feeling and see if you can start a conversation!

    8. Exhausted? Share It on Social Media in Cantonese

    So, you’re sitting in public transport after work, and feel like chatting online. Well, converse in Cantonese about how you feel, and let your friends join in!

    Karen feels exhausted after a long day at work, posts an image of herself looking tired, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    典解啲嘢做極都做唔完,攰死人咩! (din2 gaai2 di1 je5 zou6 gik6 dou1 zou6 m4 jyun4, gui6 sei2 jan4 me1!)
    “Why are there so many things to do at work? I’m dead tired.”

    1- 典解啲嘢做極都做唔完, (din2 gaai2 di1 je5 zou6 gik6 dou1 zou6 m4 jyun4,)

    First is an expression meaning “Why are the tasks endless.”
    典解 (din2 gaai2) is the playful version of 點解 (dim2 gaai2) “why” used by Hong Kong girls on social media.

    2- 攰死人咩! (gui6 sei2 jan4 me1!)

    Then comes the phrase - “tired to death!”
    The pattern Adjective+死人 (lit. “dead people̶ ;) is a common way to make the adjective more extreme and stronger.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 永遠十卜你! (wing5 jyun5 sap6 buk1 nei5!)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “Support you forever!”
    Maggie seems to show her commitment to their friendship with this comment - she clearly feels for Karen!

    2- 加油!好快又放假㗎喇! (gaa1 jau2! hou2 faai3 jau6 fong3 gaa3 gaa3 laa3!)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Hang in there! The holidays will be here again soon!”
    Kitty tries to inject Karen with some optimism about the holidays ahead.

    3- 我煲咗啲湯俾你,好好補吓。 (ngo5 bou1 zo2 di1 tong1 bei2 nei5, hou2 hou2 bou2 haa5.)

    Her neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “I made you some soup. It‘ll help restore your energy.”
    Lisa is being an awesome neighbour! She shows caring and consideration with this comment.

    4- 做大人真係辛苦。 (zou6 daai6 jan4 zan1 hai6 san1 fu2.)

    Her nephew, Tommy, uses an expression meaning - “It’s so tough being an adult.”
    Tommy imparts an uncommonly mature observation with this comment.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 攰 (gui6): “tired”
  • 永遠 (wing5 jyun5): “forever”
  • 十卜 (sap6 buk1): “support (slang)”
  • 加油 (gaa1 jau2): “hang in there”
  • 煲 (bou1): “cook; stew; boil”
  • 補 (bou2): “replenish; restore”
  • 大人 (daai6 jan4): “adult”
  • If a friend posted something about being exhausted, which phrase would you use?

    Now you know how to discuss exhaustion in Cantonese! Well done.

    9. Talking about an Injury in Cantonese

    So life happens, and you manage to hurt yourself during a soccer game. Very Tweet-worthy! Here’s how to do it in Cantonese.

    David suffers a painful injury during a soccer game, posts an image of him holding his knee, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    又整親,膝頭哥痛到不得了。 (jau6 zing2 can1, sat1 tau4 go1 tung3 dou3 bat1 dak1 liu5.)
    “I got hurt again. My knees are in pain.”

    1- 又整親, (jau6 zing2 can1,)

    First is an expression meaning “hurt again,”
    親 (can1) is often found following a verb to mean an action that’s unintentional done to someone’s body and causes injury. For examples, 跌親 (dit3 can1) “fall”; 仆親 (puk1 can1) “trip and fall”; 跣親 (sin3 can1) “slip and fall”; 淥親 (luk6 can1) “get burnt by hot water”; 凍親 (dung3 can1) “catch a cold”.

    2- 膝頭哥痛到不得了。 (sat1 tau4 go1 tung3 dou3 bat1 dak1 liu5.)

    Then comes the phrase - “knees are so painful.”
    Other than 膝頭哥 (sat1 tau4 go1), another colloquial term for “kneecap” or “patella” is 菠蘿蓋 (bo1 lo4 goi3), which literally means “pineapple lid”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 真係唔認老都唔得。 (zan1 hai6 m4 jing6 lou5 dou1 m4 dak1.)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “We really have to admit that we’ve aged.”
    Will makes a sober observation about their age.

    2- 睇咗醫生未? (tai2 zo2 ji1 sang1 mei6?)

    His neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “Have you gone to the doctor yet?”
    Lisa expresses concern and caring with this question, and she would also like more information.

    3- 早日康復。 (zou2 jat6 hong1 fuk6.)

    His supervisor, Sam, uses an expression meaning - “Get well soon.”
    Sam uses a common phrase to wish David well after the injury.

    4- 有個幾好嘅物理治療師,幾時得閒?我帶你去。 (jau5 go3 gei2 hou2 ge3 mat6 lei5 zi6 liu4 si1, gei2 si4 dak1 haan4? ngo5 daai3 nei5 heoi3.)

    His high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “There’s a pretty good physiotherapist nearby. When will you be free? I’ll take you there.”
    Kitty shows her caring and concern in a different way, by offering to help David.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 整親 (zing2 can1): “injure; get hurt”
  • 膝頭哥 (sat1 tau4 go1): “kneecap; knee”
  • 不得了 (bat1 dak1 liu5): “extremely; disastrous”
  • 醫生 (ji1 sang1): “doctor”
  • 康復 (hong1 fuk6): “recover”
  • 物理治療師 (mat6 lei5 zi6 liu4 si1): “physiotherapist”
  • 得閒 (dak1 haan4): “have free time”
  • If a friend posted something about being injured, which phrase would you use?

    We love to share our fortunes and misfortunes; somehow that makes us feel connected to others.

    10. Starting a Conversation Feeling Disappointed in Cantonese

    Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. Share your disappointment about this with your friends!

    Karen feels disappointed about today’s weather, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    又熱又潮濕,好辛苦!幾時先到秋天? (jau6 jit6 jau6 ciu4 sap1, hou2 san1 fu2! gei2 si4 sin1 dou3 cau1 tin1?)
    “I’m so sick of the hot and humid weather! When will autumn arrive?”

    1- 又熱又潮濕,好辛苦! (jau6 jit6 jau6 ciu4 sap1, hou2 san1 fu2!)

    First is an expression meaning “hot and humid, so tough!”
    Weather in Hong Kong is hot and humid from May to September. Temperatures can rise as high as 95°F (35°C), and humidity levels can make it feel even hotter than it is.

    2- 幾時先到秋天? (gei2 si4 sin1 dou3 cau1 tin1?)

    Then comes the phrase - “When will autumn arrive?”
    The mild autumns have been becoming shorter than normal in the last few years (said to be due to global warming). Generally speaking, October and November are the autumn months in Hong Kong, it’s also the best season to visit.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 我日日都開行冷氣。 (ngo5 jat6 jat6 dou1 hoi1 hang4 laang5 hei3.)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “I turn on the air-conditioner every day.”
    Maggie shows that she is agreeing with Karen’s post about the weather by sharing a personal experience.

    2- 小心喺冷氣房一出一入好易凍親。 (siu2 sam1 hai2 laang5 hei3 fong2 jat1 ceot1 jat1 jap6 hou2 ji6 dung3 can1.)

    Her neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “Be careful. It’s easy to catch a cold when you go in and out of AC rooms.”
    Lisa is clearly a very caring person. She expresses concern for Karen’s health, because moving between abrupt temperature changes can challenge the immune system. “AC” stands for “air conditioned”.

    3- 我哋要著西裝咪仲熱。 (ngo5 dei6 jiu3 zoek3 sai1 zong1 mei6 zung6 jit6.)

    Her supervisor, Sam, uses an expression meaning - “It’s even worse for us who have to wear suits.”
    Sam also empathises with Karen’s predicament, but he points out that he has it even worse!

    4- 新聞話香港仲熱過非洲呀! (san1 man2 waa6 hoeng1 gong2 zung6 jit6 gwo3 fei1 zau1 aa3!)

    Her college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “The news said Hong Kong is even hotter than Africa!”
    Will shares an interesting fact just to partake in the conversation.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 熱 (jit6): “hot; heat”
  • 潮濕 (ciu4 sap1): “humid; damp”
  • 秋天 (cau1 tin1): “autumn”
  • 冷氣 (laang5 hei3): “air-conditioning”
  • 凍親 (dung3 can1): “catch cold”
  • 西裝 (sai1 zong1): “suit”
  • 非洲 (fei1 zau1): “Africa”
  • How would you comment in Cantonese when a friend is disappointed?

    Not all posts need to be about a negative feeling, though!

    11. Talking about Your Relationship Status in Cantonese

    Don’t just change your relationship status in Settings, talk about it!

    David changes his status to “In a relationship”, posts an image of him and Karen, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    戀愛ing (lyun2 oi3 ING)
    “I’m in love!”

    1- 戀愛 (lyun2 oi3)

    First is an expression meaning “In love.”
    For teenagers, a relationship is only considered official when someone announces it on social media. And when the relationship gets serious, some couples even exchange passwords to their social media accounts.

    2- ing (ING)

    Then comes the phrase - “indication of present progressive tense.”
    The use of “ing” following Cantonese is similar to how it was used in the present progressive tense in English verbs, which serves to indicate that the action is happening right now.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 叻仔! (lek1 zai2!)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “Smart boy!”
    Will is clearly supportive of David’s choice of girlfriends.

    2- 對佢好D呀。 (deoi3 keoi5 hou2 di1 aa3.)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “Treat her well.”
    David gets some advice from Karen’s friend, who seems to be protective of Karen!

    3- 聽到呢個好消息真係好開心。 (teng1 dou2 ni1 go3 hou2 siu1 sik1 zan1 hai6 hou2 hoi1 sam1.)

    His high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “I’m so happy to hear this good news.”
    Kitty is clearly pleased with the announcement and says so!

    4- 乜你都有人要? (mat1 nei5 dou1 jau5 jan4 jiu3?)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Tommy, uses an expression meaning - “Even you can get a girlfriend?”
    Tommy is being playful and teases David with this comment.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 戀愛 (lyun2 oi3): “love; in love”
  • 叻 (lek1): “clever; smart”
  • 對 (deoi3): “to; towards”
  • 好D (hou2 di1): “better; well [same as 好啲 (hou2 di1)]”
  • 聽 (teng1): “listen; hear”
  • 消息 (siu1 sik1): “news; information”
  • 要 (jiu3): “want; demand”
  • What would you say in Cantonese when a friend changes their relationship status?

    Being in a good relationship with someone special is good news - don’t be shy to spread it!

    12. Post about Getting Married in Cantonese

    Wow, so things got serious, and you’re getting married. Congratulations! Or, your friend is getting married, so talk about this in Cantonese.

    Karen is getting married today, so she leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    準備咗成年,今日我哋終於結婚喇! (zeon2 bei6 zo2 seng4 nin4, gam1 jat6 ngo5 dei6 zung1 jyu1 git3 fan1 laa3!)
    “After a year-long preparation, we’re finally getting married today!”

    1- 準備咗成年, (zeon2 bei6 zo2 seng4 nin4,)

    First is an expression meaning “After the year-long preparation”.
    In Hong Kong, it’s common to start the planning and preparation for more than a year before the wedding day. If the wedding takes place at a popular wedding venue, or on a lucky date, it has to be reserved two to three years in advance.

    2- 今日我哋終於結婚喇! (gam1 jat6 ngo5 dei6 zung1 jyu1 git3 fan1 laa3!)

    Then comes the phrase - “we’re finally getting married today!”
    Weddings in Hong Kong are generally big, with 250 to 400 guests. Guests give cash gifts upon arrival. After the ceremony, everyone enjoys a banquet meal, which usually last for three to four hours.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 祝你哋白頭到老,永結同心。 (zuk1 nei5 dei6 baak6 tau4 dou3 lou5, wing5 git3 tung4 sam1.)

    Her neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “May you enjoy every happiness and success during your long life together.”
    Lisa leaves a really great, warmhearted wish on Karen’s feed.

    2- 睇住個好姊妹出嫁,好感動! (tai2 zyu6 go3 hou2 zi2 mui2 ceot1 gaa3, hou2 gam2 dung6!)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “It’s so touching to watch my good friend get married.”
    Maggie is clearly affected by this announcement, in a good way. She shares her feelings and shows her caring for her friend.

    3- 恭喜晒!祝你哋幸福! (gung1 hei2 saai3! zuk1 nei5 dei6 hang6 fuk1!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations! I wish you happiness!”
    This is a simple but great comment to congratulate the couple and wish them well.

    4- 你真係好幸運,可以嫁俾阿偉。 (nei5 zan1 hai6 hou2 hang6 wan6, ho2 ji3
    gaa3 bei2 aa3 wai5.)

    Her college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “You’re so lucky to be married to David.”
    Will is showing loyalty to his friend David, and clearly has a high opinion of him.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 準備 (zeon2 bei6): “prepare”
  • 結婚 (git3 fan1): “marry”
  • 白頭到老 (baak6 tau4 dou3 lou5): “grow old together”
  • 永結同心 (wing5 git3 tung4 sam1): “a couple’s hearts to be intertwined in eternity”
  • 感動 (gam2 dung6): “touching; moving”
  • 幸福 (hang6 fuk1): “happy; blissful”
  • 幸運 (hang6 wan6): “lucky; good fortune”
  • How would you respond in Cantonese to a friend’s post about getting married?

    For the next topic, fast forward about a year into the future after the marriage…

    13. Announcing Big News in Cantonese

    Wow, huge stuff is happening in your life! Announce it in Cantonese.

    David finds out he and Karen are going to have a baby, posts an image of the two of them together, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    我哋個家庭即將有新成員! (ngo5 dei6 go3 gaa1 ting4 zik1 zoeng1 jau5 san1 sing4 jyun4!)
    “Our family is getting a new member!”

    1- 我哋個家庭 (ngo5 dei6 go3 gaa1 ting4)

    First is an expression meaning “Our family”.
    Possessive pronoun is not used in this phrase, instead the classifier of “family”, 個 (go3), takes its place. Note that different nouns use different classifiers.

    2- 即將有新成員! (zik1 zoeng1 jau5 san1 sing4 jyun4!)

    Then comes the phrase - “is getting a new member!”
    Many Hong Kong celebrities announce the birth of their children via social network. Unlike the western entertainment industry, it’s very rare for HK celebrities to do interviews or sell photos exclusively to a single publication.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 真係?天大喜訊呀! (zan1 hai6? tin1 daai6 hei2 seon3 aa3!)

    His neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “For real? That’s wonderful news!”
    Caring Lisa is delighted with this news.

    2- 恭喜添丁! (gung1 hei2 tim1 ding1!)

    His supervisor, Sam, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations with the new baby!”
    This is a traditional, commonly-used phrase to congratulate the expecting parents.

    3- 又多個BB俾我玩!Yeah! (jau6 do1 go3 bi4 bi1 bei2 ngo5 waan2. YEAH!)

    His high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Another baby to play with. Yay!”
    Kitty obviously likes playing with babies!

    4- 知道仔定女未呀? (zi1 dou3 zai2 ding6 neoi5 mei6 aa3?)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “Do you know if it’s a boy or girl yet?”
    Will wants to be part of the conversation, so he asks a question to get more details.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 家庭 (gaa1 ting4): “family”
  • 新成員 (san1 sing4 jyun4): “new member”
  • 喜訊 (hei2 seon3): “good news”
  • 恭喜 (gung1 hei2): “Congratulation”
  • 添丁 (tim1 ding1): “have a baby born into the family”
  • 知道 (zi1 dou3): “know”
  • 定 (ding6): “or”
  • Which phrase would you choose when a friend announces their pregnancy on social media?

    So, talking about a pregnancy will get you a lot of traction on social media. But wait till you see the responses to babies!

    14. Posting Cantonese Comments about Your Baby

    Your bundle of joy is here, and you cannot keep quiet about it! Share your thoughts in Cantonese.

    Karen plays with her baby, posts an image of the cutiepie, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    令到我每晚都冇覺好瞓嘅天使。 (ling6 dou3 ngo5 mui5 maan5 dou1 mou5 gaau3 hou2 fan3 ge3 tin1 si2.)
    “The angel who wakes me up every night.”

    1- 令到我每晚都冇覺好瞓 (ling6 dou3 ngo5 mui5 maan5 dou1 mou5 gaau3 hou2 fan3)

    First is an expression meaning “wakes me up every night.”
    Paid maternity leave in Hong Kong is 10 weeks long. And since March 2015, male employees are entitled to three days’ paternity leave at 80% of their average daily wages.

    2- 嘅天使。 (ge3 tin1 si2.)

    Then comes the phrase - “this angel.”
    In Chinese culture, new mothers have to do a “one-month postpartum home confinement” as recuperation. Many Hong Kong families hire a maternity helper to take care of the newborn and cook nutritious food for the new mother, as well as teaching her how to take care of the baby during this month.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 老婆,辛苦晒!感謝你將我哋嘅BB帶嚟呢個世界。 (lou5 po4, san1 fu2 saai3! gam2 ze6 nei5 zoeng1 ngo5 dei6 ge3 bi4 bi1 daai3 lei4 ni1 go3 sai3 gaai3.)

    Her husband, David, uses an expression meaning - “Honey, thank you for your hard work! Thank you for bringing our baby into this world.”
    David is being an appreciative, considerate husband!

    2- BB好似你!靚女! (BB hou2 ci5 nei5! leng3 neoi5!)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “The baby looks like you! Pretty girl!”
    Maggie thinks the baby takes after Karen, and is obviously happy about this.

    3- 好彩唔似爸爸。 (hou2 coi2 m4 ci5 baa4 baa1.)

    Her college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “Good that she doesn’t look like her father.”
    Will makes fun of his friends with this comment.

    4- 有需要即管出聲,我即刻過嚟幫手。 (jau5 seoi1 jiu3 zik1 gun2 ceot1 seng1, ngo5 zik1 haak1 gwo3 lei4 bong1 sau2.)

    Her neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “Let me know if you need any help, I can come over immediately.”
    Trust Lisa to offer help! Her comment shows care and consideration for the new parents’ needs.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 天使 (tin1 si2): “angel”
  • 感謝 (gam2 ze6): “grateful; thankful”
  • 世界 (sai3 gaai3): “world”
  • 似 (ci5): “look like; resemble”
  • 靚女 (leng3 neoi5): “pretty girl; beautiful girl”
  • 好彩 (hou2 coi2): “luckily; fortunately”
  • 出聲 (ceot1 seng1): “speak up; speak out”
  • If your friend is the mother or father, which phrase would you use on social media?

    Congratulations, you know the basics of chatting about a baby in Cantonese! But we’re not done with families yet…

    15. Cantonese Comments about a Family Reunion

    Family reunions - some you love, some you hate. Share about it on your feed.

    David goes to a family gathering, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    最緊要一家人齊齊整整。 (zeoi3 gan2 jiu3 jat1 gaa1 jan4
    cai4 cai4 zing2 zing2.)

    “The most important (thing in life) is to have the whole family healthy, together, and peaceful.”

    1- 最緊要 (zeoi3 gan2 jiu3)

    First is an expression meaning “the most important”.
    In Cantonese, 最 (zeoi) “the most” can be followed by an adjective, a noun, or an adverb. In this case, the noun automatically becomes an adjective or adverb. For example, 最MAN means “the most manly (person)”.)

    2- 一家人齊齊整整。 (jat1 gaa1 jan4
    cai4 cai4 zing2 zing2.)

    Then comes the phrase - “whole family be healthy and together.”
    齊齊整整 (cai4 cai4 zing2 zing2) means “neat and tidy” normally, but when used to describe a family or a group of people, it means that everyone is healthy, harmonious, and intimate.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 唔該唔好tag我。 (m4 goi1 m4 hou2 TAG ngo5.)

    His nephew, Tommy, uses an expression meaning - “Please don’t tag me (in this photo).”
    Obviously Tommy is still young, and hopes to make an impression with negative comments!

    2-

    His supervisor, Sam, uses an expression meaning - “Didn’t know you have such a big family, so lively.”
    Sam is making conversation by showing interest in David’s family.

    3- 好多潮童喎,你D姪嚟㗎? (hou2 do1 ciu4 tung4 wo3, nei5 di1 zat6 lei4 gaa4?)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “There are a lot of hipsters there; are they your nieces and nephews?”
    Sometimes D is used on social media or instant messages instead of 啲 (di1), and it means “some; those” or “a few; a little bit”. In this sentence, it means “those”.
    Will is also keen to know more about David’s family, and he does so in a joking, lighthearted way.

    4- 好耐冇見佢哋,大家睇嚟都好精神! (hou2 noi6 mou5 gin3 keoi5 dei6, daai6 gaa1 tai2 lei4 dou1
    hou2 zing1 san4!)

    His high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Haven’t seen them in a long time; everyone looks great!”
    Kitty is a bit nostalgic, but she compliments the family for looking great!

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 最 (zeoi3): “the most”
  • 一家人 (jat1 gaa1 jan4): “family”
  • 屋企 (uk1 kei2): “home”
  • 熱鬧 (jit6 naau6): “lively; exciting”
  • 潮童 (ciu4 tung4): “hipster; trendy kid”
  • 姪 (zat6): “niece; nephew”
  • 精神 (zing1 san4): “full of vitality; in good spirits”
  • Which phrase is your favorite to comment on a friend’s photo about a family reunion?

    16. Post about Your Travel Plans in Cantonese

    So, the family are going on holiday. Do you know how to post and leave comments in Cantonese about being at the airport, waiting for a flight?

    Karen waits at the airport for her flight, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    等上機ing~ (dang2 soeng5 gei1 ING~)
    “Waiting to board the plane~”

    1- 等上機 (dang2 soeng5 gei1)

    First is an expression meaning “wait for plane boarding.”
    Hong Kong International Airport is one of the world’s busiest airports and one of the world’s largest passenger terminal buildings (the largest when it started operating in 1998). It covers an area of 1,255 hectares and handles over 60 million passengers every year.

    2- ing (ING)

    Then comes the phrase - “indication of present progressive tense.”
    The use of “ing” indicates that the action is going on now. Instead of following the verb, here “ing” follows the whole phrase 等上機 (literally “wait to board plane”). It’s a common way on social media to announce what one is doing at the moment.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 手信!! (sau2 seon3!!)

    Her college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “Souvenir!!”
    Will doesn’t say much, but obviously he expects to see souvenirs when his friend’s family returns home!

    2- 玩開心D!! (waan2 hoi1 sam1 D!!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Have fun!”
    This is a short and sweet well wish, suitable for many occasions.

    3- 記得幫我買Mask! (gei3 dak1 bong1 ngo5 maai5 Mask!)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “Remember to buy masks for me!”
    Perhaps Maggie collects masks, who knows. She clearly wants something too!

    4- 祝旅行愉快! (zuk1 leoi5 hang4 jyu6 faai3!)

    Her neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “Have a pleasant trip!”
    Lisa uses the traditional greeting when someone leaves on holiday or a trip.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 等 (dang2): “wait”
  • 上機 (soeng5 gei1): “board the plane”
  • 手信 (sau2 seon3): “souvenir”
  • 玩 (waan2): “play”
  • 記得 (gei3 dak1): “remember”
  • 幫 (bong1): “help”
  • 旅行 (leoi5 hang4): “travel; trip”
  • Choose and memorize your best airport phrase in Cantonese!

    Hopefully the rest of the trip is better!

    17. Posting about an Interesting Find in Cantonese

    So maybe you’re strolling around at your local market, and find something interesting. Here are some handy Cantonese phrases.

    David finds an unusual item at a local market, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    有冇人估到呢個係乜? (jau5 mou5 jan4 gu2 dou2 ni1 go3 hai6 mat1?)
    “Guess what this is?”

    1- 有冇人估到 (jau5 mou5 jan4 gu2 dou2)

    First is an expression meaning “anyone can guess.”
    Sharing funny novelties or new products is one of the common things to do on social media, it’s the perfect chance to show the world that you’ve already seen something before anyone else has!

    2- 呢個係乜? (ni1 go3 hai6 mat1?)

    Then comes the phrase - “what is this?”
    It’s a simple and short expression to ask what something is. Also, when you want to know what the thing is called in Cantonese, you can point to it and ask the same question.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 去廁所嗰陣用㗎? (heoi3 ci3 so2 go2 zan6 jung6 gaa4?)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “You use it on the toilet?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling frivolous.

    2- O嘴… (O zeoi2̷ ;)

    His wife, Karen, uses an expression meaning - “Jaw-dropping…”
    Karen is clearly amazed by David’s find. It must be something truly odd or fantastic.

    3- 估唔到,開估未? (gu2 m4 dou2, hoi1 gu2 mei6?)

    His high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “No idea. What’s the answer?”
    Kitty can clearly not answer David’s question, she doesn’t know the identity of the item he found.

    4- 一早喺網上見過啦。 (jat1 zou2 hai2 mong5 soeng6 gin3 gwo3 laa1.)

    His nephew, Tommy, uses an expression meaning - “I’ve seen it online a long time ago.”
    Tommy is, for a change, not making jokes or criticising anything or anyone. He only makes conversation with this comment.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 估 (gu2): “guess”
  • 廁所 (ci3 so2): “toilet; bathroom”
  • 用 (jung6): “use”
  • O嘴 (O zeoi2): “cannot help being shocked and amazed (literally “lips in shape of an O”)”
  • 開估 (hoi1 gu2): “announce the answer”
  • 一早 (jat1 zou2): “earlier on; long time ago; early in the morning”
  • 網上 (mong5 soeng6): “online”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s interesting find?

    Perhaps you will even learn the identity of your find! Or perhaps you’re on holiday, and visiting interesting places…

    18. Post about a Sightseeing Trip in Cantonese

    Let your friends know what you’re up to in Cantonese, especially when visiting a remarkable place! Don’t forget the photo.

    Karen visits a famous landmark, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    呢度真係好靚好靚,好想喺度住。 (ni1 dou6 zan1 hai6 hou2 leng3 hou2 leng3, hou2 soeng2 hai2 dou6 zyu6.)
    “It’s really really beautiful here; I want to live here.”

    1- 呢度真係好靚好靚, (ni1 dou6 zan1 hai6 hou2 leng3 hou2 leng3,)

    First is an expression meaning “It’s really really beautiful here”.
    The duplication of the phrase 好靚 (hou2 leng3) in this phrase serves an exaggeration purpose. Unlike the double 好(hou2) pattern mentioned in lesson 4, this execution applies when 好 (hou2) is followed by an adjective.

    2- 好想喺度住。 (hou2 soeng2 hai2 dou6 zyu6.)

    Then comes the phrase - “I want to live here.”
    There have been several mass migration waves in Hong Kong since World War II, most of them triggered by concerns about the political environment and economic conditions.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 發夢冇咁早。 (faat3 mung6 mou5 gam3 zou2.)

    Her college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “It’s too early to be dreaming.”
    Will seems to not be in favor of Karen’s wish to stay in this beautiful place!

    2- 影多D相俾我哋睇! (jing2 do1 di1 soeng2 bei2 ngo5 dei6 tai2!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Take more pictures and show us!”
    Kitty is curious and would like to see more of the venue.

    3- 景色怡人,好似人間天堂。 (ging2 sik1 ji4 jan4, hou2 ci5 jan4 gaan1 tin1 tong4.)

    Her neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “Nice scenery. It’s like heaven on earth.”
    Lisa agrees with Karen’s sentiments in this comment.

    4- 中咗六合彩咪可以搬過去囉! (zung3 zo2 luk6 hap6 coi2 mei6 ho2 ji3 bun1 gwo3 heoi3 lo1!)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “You can move there if you win the lottery!”
    Maggie seems to think Karen’s chances of staying at this beautiful location are minute.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 呢度 (ni1 dou6): “here”
  • 住 (zyu6): “live”
  • 發夢 (faat3 mung6): “dream; day-dream”
  • 景色 (ging2 sik1): “scenery; landscape”
  • 天堂 (tin1 tong4): “heaven; paradise”
  • 六合彩 (luk6 hap6 coi2): “”Mark 6″ (lottery in Hong Kong)”
  • 搬 (bun1): “move; relocate”
  • Which phrase would you prefer when a friend posts about a famous landmark?

    Share your special places with the world. Or simply post about your relaxing experiences.

    19. Post about Relaxing Somewhere in Cantonese

    So you’re doing nothing yet you enjoy that too? Tell your social media friends about it in Cantonese!

    David relaxes at a beautiful place, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    好耐冇試過咁hea!呢度真係超正! (hou2 noi6 mou5 si3 gwo3 gam3 he3! ni1 dou6 zan1 hai6 ciu1 zeng3!)
    “Haven’t been this relaxed for so long! It’s beyond excellent here!”

    1- 好耐冇試過咁hea! (hou2 noi6 mou5 si3 gwo3 gam3 he3!)

    First is an expression meaning “Haven’t been this relaxed for a long time! .”
    Hea (he3) is a Cantonese slang term that means “relaxed; laid-back” or “uncommitted; half-hearted” when used as an adjective. When used as a verb, it means “to chill out”, “to hang around”, “to loiter”, or “to lounge around”.

    2- 呢度真係超正! (ni1 dou6 zan1 hai6 ciu1 zeng3!)

    Then comes the phrase - “It’s beyond excellent here!”
    超 (ciu1) means “super; go beyond”, and we use it for exaggeration.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 好明顯你喺度晒命啦! (hou2 ming4 hin2 nei5 hai2 dou6 saai3 meng6 laa1!)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “You’re obviously showing off!”
    Will is teasing his friend a bit.

    2- 好好享受咁好嘅天氣! (hou2 hou2 hoeng2 sau6 gam3 hou2 ge3 tin1 hei3!)

    His high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Enjoy the nice weather!”
    Kitty seems happy that David is in a good mood and simply acknowledges this with a pleasant wish.

    3- 唔該下次帶埋我。 (m4 goi1 haa6 ci3 daai3 maai4 ngo5.)

    His wife’s high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “Please bring me along next time.”
    Maggie evidently wishes to be where David finds himself!

    4- 你幾時返? (nei5 gei2 si4 faan1?)

    His wife’s nephew, Tommy, uses an expression meaning - “When are you coming back?”
    Perhaps Tommy is missing his aunt? That’s possible! He would also like more information with this question.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 好耐 (hou2 noi6): “a long time”
  • 明顯 (ming4 hin2): “obviously”
  • 晒命 (saai3 meng6): “show off, boast”
  • 享受 (hoeng2 sau6): “enjoy”
  • 天氣 (tin1 hei3): “weather”
  • 下次 (haa6 ci3): “next time”
  • 帶埋 (daai3 maai4): “bring along; take along”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s feed?

    The break was great, but now it’s time to return home.

    20. What to Say in Cantonese When You’re Home Again

    And you’re back! What will you share with friends and followers?

    Karen returns home after a vacation, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    始終都係屋企最舒服,home sweet home! (ci2 zung1 dou1 hai6 uk1 kei2 zeoi3 syu1 fuk6, HOME SWEET HOME!)
    “In the end, home is the most comfortable!”

    1- 始終都係 (ci2 zung1 dou1 hai6)

    First is an expression meaning “At the end, it’s still.”
    We start a sentence with this phrase when referring to something that still hold the same value even after a long time.

    2- 屋企最舒服 (uk1 kei2 zeoi3 syu1 fuk6)

    Then comes the phrase - “home is the most comfortable.”
    The lack of affordable housing has been one of the main livelihood issues in Hong Kong in the last decade. It was reported that the housing market has tripled in value since 2003, while the real income of the workforce hardly went up.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 捨得返嚟喇? (se2 dak1 faan1 lei4 laa4?)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “You finally came back?”
    Maggie was probably impatient for Karen to return home!

    2- 星期六出嚟食飯,順便睇相。 (sing1 kei4 luk6 ceot1 lei4 sik6 faan6, seon6 bin2 tai2 soeng2.)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s have dinner on Saturday, and we can look at the photos.”
    Kitty makes a good suggestion for a get-together.

    3- 家,始終最好。 (gaa1, ci2 zung1 zeoi3 hou2.)

    Her neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “Home is always the best.”
    Lisa agrees with Karen’s comment about home.

    4- 買咗咩俾我? (maai5 zo2 me1 bei2 ngo5?)

    Her husband’s college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “What did you get me?”
    Will pretends to care only about gifts!

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 始終 (ci2 zung1): “all along; always; at the end of the day”
  • 屋企 (uk1 kei2): “home”
  • 舒服 (syu1 fuk6): “comfortable”
  • 捨得 (se2 dak1): “willing to”
  • 星期六 (sing1 kei4 luk6): “Saturday”
  • 順便 (seon6 bin2): “incidentally; at one’s convenience”
  • 相 (soeng2): “photo; picture”
  • How would you welcome a friend back from a trip?

    What would you post on social media when something is celebrated with great show, such as the Chinese New Year fire-work show?

    In Hong Kong, it is custom to celebrate two New Years. These are the Chinese New Year and the New Year celebrated all around the world on January 1st. The Chinese New Year marks the beginning of one of the biggest holidays in the country, the Spring Festival holiday is celebrated on a different date every year.

    21. It’s Time to Celebrate in Cantonese

    It’s a festive day and you wish to post something about it on social media. What would you say?

    David watches the Chinese New Year fireworks show, posts an image of the event, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    恭喜發財!今年煙花勁靚! (gung1 hei2 faat3 coi4! gam1 nin4 jin1 faa1 ging6 leng3!)
    “May you have a prosperous New Year! This year’s fireworks are breathtaking!”

    1- 恭喜發財! (gung1 hei2 faat3 coi4!)

    First is an expression meaning “May you have a prosperous New Year!”
    This greeting is used very frequently during the first two weeks of Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year in Hong Kong is commonly celebrated with the family. The subways operate overnight on New Year’s eve so people can visit night markets without worrying about the time.

    2- 今年煙花勁靚呀! (gam1 nin4 jin1 faa1 ging6 leng3 aa3!)

    Then comes the phrase - “This year’s fireworks are breathtaking!”
    The annual Hong Kong Chinese New Year Fireworks are held at 8pm on the second day of the new lunar year, and lasts around 30 minutes. Most people watch it at the harbourfront, or rent a boat to get a perfect view from the harbor.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 大家咁話!最緊要身體健康! (daai6 gaa1 gam2 waa6! zeoi3 gan2 jiu3 san1 tai2 gin6 hong1!)

    His neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “Same to you! And the most important (thing) is to have good health!
    Lisa responds to David’s enthusiastic New Year wish with a remark about good health.

    2- 祝年年有餘! (zuk1 nin4 nin4 jau5 jyu4!)

    His supervisor, Sam, uses an expression meaning - “Wishing you prosperity through the years!”
    This is a common New Year wish that is often used.

    3- 派利是! (paai3 lai6 si6!)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “Red packets, please!”
    It is tradition in Hong Kong that the married gives the unmarried a monetary gift in red envelopes or red packets. Will reminds his married friends of this custom.

    4- 祝你一家人健康,快樂。 (zuk1 nei5 jat1 gaa1 jan4 gin6 hong1, faai3 lok6.)

    His high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Wishing you and your family health and happiness.”
    This is another traditional, common way to wish someone well for the New Year.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 煙花 (jin1 faa1): “fireworks”
  • 勁 (ging6): “extremely”
  • 靚 (leng3): “beautiful; pretty”
  • 緊要 (gan2 jiu3): “important; critical”
  • 派 (paai3): “dispatch; assign”
  • 利是 (lai6 si6): “red packet; lucky money contained in a red envelope given as gifts”
  • 健康 (gin6 hong1): “health”
  • If a friend posted something about a holiday, which phrase would you use?

    Chinese New Year and other public commemoration days are not the only special ones to remember!

    22. Posting about a Birthday on Social Media in Cantonese

    Your friend or you are celebrating your birthday in an unexpected way. Be sure to share this on social media!

    Karen goes to her birthday party, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    巧開心!多謝你哋同我慶祝! (haau2 hoi1 sam1! do1 ze6 nei5 dei6 tung4 ngo5 hing3 zuk1!)
    “So happy! Thank you guys for celebrating with me!”

    1- 巧開心! (haau2 hoi1 sam1!)

    First is an expression meaning “So happy!”
    巧 (haau2) is the playful version of 好 (hou2) “very” used by Hong Kong girls on social media.

    2- 多謝你哋同我慶祝! (do1 ze6 nei5 dei6 tung4 ngo5 hing3 zuk1!)

    Then comes the phrase - “Thank you guys for celebrating with me!”
    Hong Kong residents with a HKID can enjoy free entry to Ocean Park, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Hong Kong 3D Museum, and Trick Eye Museum on their birthdays.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 又大一歲。 (jau6 daai6 jat1 seoi3.)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “Another year older.”
    Maggie reminds Karen that they’re getting older - after a certain age, this is not such a nice reminder any longer, especially for women!

    2- 青春常駐,年年廿八。 (cing1 ceon1 soeng4 zyu3, nin4 nin4 jaa6 baat3.)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Wishing you always (stay) young, like 28 years old every year.”
    Kitty, on the other hand, wishes her friend eternal youth!

    3- 牛一快樂! (ngau4 jat1 faai3 lok6!)

    Her college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “Happy B-day!”
    Will resorts to the traditional birthday wish in abbreviated form.

    4- 祝你生日快樂,心想事成! (zuk1 nei5 saang1 jat6 faai3 lok6, sam1 soeng2 si6 sing4!)

    Her neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “I wish you a happy birthday, and that all your wishes come true!”
    Lisa’s wish is as kind-hearted as she seems to be.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 慶祝 (hing3 zuk1): “celebrate”
  • 歲 (seoi3): “year; age (of a person)”
  • 青春常駐 (cing1 ceon1 soeng4 zyu3): “stay young forever”
  • 年年 (nin4 nin4): “every year”
  • 廿八 (jaa6 baat3): “twenty-eight (28)”
  • 牛一 (ngau4 jat1): “birthday (this is a witty version of 生日”birthday”, because the character 生 is formed by 牛 on the top and 一 at the bottom.)”
  • 心想事成 (sam1 soeng2 si6 sing4): “All wishes come true”
  • If a friend posted something about birthday greetings, which phrase would you use?

    23. Talking about New Year on Social Media in Cantonese

    Impress your friends with your Cantonese New Year’s wishes this year. Learn the phrases easily!

    David celebrates the New Year, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    祝大家新年快樂! (zuk1 daai6 gaa1 san1 nin4 faai3 lok6!)
    “Happy New Year, everyone!”

    1- 祝大家 (zuk1 daai6 gaa1)

    First is an expression meaning “I wish everyone.”
    When wishing everyone something on social media, start with this phrase.

    2- 新年快樂! (san1 nin4 faai3 lok6!)

    Then comes the phrase - “Happy New Year!”
    New year in Hong Kong means a public holiday on Jan 1st. This greeting, literally “New Year happy”, is used very frequently during the first week of the new year. The subways operate overnight on December 31st so people can party till late and countdown to the new year.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 咁快又新年喇? (gam3 faai3 jau6 san1 nin4 laa4?)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “New Year again already?”
    Will expresses what many people possibly feels - time flies!

    2- 你都係!祝你乜都掂! (nei5 dou1 hai6! zuk1 nei5 mat1 dou1 dim6!)

    His wife’s high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “Same to you! Hope everything is going smoothly!”
    Maggie returns David’s wish with this comment.

    3- 咁快又一年,時間過得真係快。 (gam3 faai3 jau6 jat1 nin4, si4 gaan3 gwo3
    dak1 zan1 hai6 faai3.)

    His supervisor, Sam, uses an expression meaning - “A year went by already; time flies.”
    Sam feels the same as Will!

    4- 新嘅一年有咩大計? (san1 ge3 jat1 nin4 jau5 me1 daai6 gai3?)

    His high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Any resolutions for the New Year?”
    Kitty partakes in the conversation by asking a question - a good way to keep a chat going!

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 新年 (san1 nin4): “new year”
  • 快樂 (faai3 lok6): “happy”
  • 又 (jau4): “again; also; and”
  • 掂 (dim6): “satisfactory; in good order”
  • 真係 (zan1 hai6): “really”
  • 快 (faai3 lok6): “fast; quick; soon”
  • 大計 (daai6 gai3): “plan; resolution”
  • Which is your favorite phrase to post on social media during New Year?

    But before New Year’s Day comes another important day…

    24. What to Post on Christmas Day in Cantonese

    What will you say in Cantonese about Christmas?

    Karen celebrates Christmas with her family, posts an image of the event, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Karen’s post.

    聖誕快樂!今晚去睇燈飾。 (sing3 daan3 faai3 lok6! gam1 maan5 heoi3 tai2 dang1 sik1.)
    “Merry Christmas! Tonight we’ll go watch the Christmas light display.”

    1- 聖誕快樂! (sing3 daan3 faai3 lok6!)

    First is an expression meaning “Merry Christmas!”
    This greeting, literally “Christmas happy”, is used very frequently during the Christmas season. Christmas in Hong Kong is a time celebrated with the boyfriend or girlfriend and/or friends. The subways operate overnight on December 24th so people can party till late and countdown to Christmas day.

    2- 今晚去睇燈飾。 (gam1 maan5 heoi3 tai2 dang1 sik1.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Tonight go watch light display.”
    Many buildings and all shopping malls in Hong Kong wear Christmas decorations and lightings, and there are brilliant displays citywide. A favorite activity during the Christmas holiday is to go sightseeing these different light displays.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Karen’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 去邊度食聖誕大餐呀? (heoi3 bin1 dou6 sik6 sing3 daan3 daai6 caan1 aa3?)

    Her high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “Where are you going for Christmas dinner?”
    Maggie wants to know more about Karen’s plans for Christmas.

    2- 今晚翻風,記得著多件衫。 (gam1 maan5 faan1 fung1, gei3 dak1 zoek3 do1 gin6 saam1.)

    Her neighbor, Lisa, uses an expression meaning - “It’ll get windy tonight; remember to put on extra clothes.”
    Lisa speaks like concerned mother or older sister!

    3- 聖誕快樂!假期後見。 (sing3 daan3 faai3 lok6! gaa3 kei4 hau6 gin3.)

    Her supervisor, Sam, uses an expression meaning - “Merry Christmas! See you after the holiday.”
    Sam wishes Karen well with a traditional Christmas wish.

    4- 睇燈飾咁浪漫呀。 (tai2 dang1 sik1 gam3 long6 maan6 aa4.)

    Her college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “Christmas light display? That’s so romantic.”
    Will shares his thoughts about their sightseeing plans for Christmas.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 聖誕 (sing3 daan3): “Christmas”
  • 燈飾 (dang1 sik1): “light display; illumination”
  • 翻風 (faan1 fung1): “be windy; get windy”
  • 記得 (gei3 dak1): “remember”
  • 衫 (saam1): “clothes; clothing”
  • 假期 (gaa3 kei4): “holiday”
  • 浪漫 (long6 maan6): “romantic”
  • If a friend posted something about Christmas greetings, which phrase would you use?

    So, the festive season is over! Yet, there will always be other days, besides a birthday, to wish someone well.

    25. Post about Your Anniversary in Cantonese

    Some things deserve to be celebrated, like wedding anniversaries. Learn which Cantonese phrases are meaningful and best suited for this purpose!

    David celebrates his wedding anniversary with his wife, posts an image of them together, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down David’s post.

    今日係我哋結婚週年。老婆,愛你一萬年! (gam1 jat6 hai6 ngo5 dei6 git3 fan1 zau1 nin4, lou5 po4, oi3 nei5 jat1 maan6 nin4!)
    “Today is our wedding anniversary. Honey, I love you forever!”

    1- 今日係我哋結婚週年。 (gam1 jat6 hai6 ngo5 dei6 git3 fan1 zau1 nin4)

    First is an expression meaning “Today is our anniversary.”
    When you want to announce something special about today, you start with 今日係 (gam1 jat6 hai6) “Today is…”

    2- 老婆,愛你一萬年! (lou5 po4, ngoi3 nei5 jat1 maan6 nin4!)

    Then comes the phrase - “wifey, I love you forever!”
    The last part is literally “I love you for ten thousand years”, it came from a Stephen Chow movie and is widely used nowadays to mean “I love you forever”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, David’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 老公,愛你!<3 (lou5 gung1, oi3 nei5!)

    His wife, Karen, uses an expression meaning - “Hubby, I love you! <3"
    David and Karen are openly affectionate on social media.

    2- 時間過得真係快。Happy Anniversary! (si4 gaan3 gwo3 dak1 zan1 hai6 faai3. Happy Anniversary!)

    His high school friend, Kitty, uses an expression meaning - “Time flies. Happy Anniversary!”
    This is again a comment on how fast time passes, as well as a traditional anniversary wish.

    3- 嘩!閃光彈! (waa1! sim2 gwong1 daan2!)

    His wife’s high school friend, Maggie, uses an expression meaning - “Wow! Showoffs!”
    Maggie must be referring to the couple’s romantic comments, and the fact that they’re still so in love after a year of marriage.

    4- Maggie,你唔恨得咁多。 (Maggie, nei5 m4 han6 dak1 gam3 do1.)

    His college friend, Will, uses an expression meaning - “Maggie, don’t be jealous.”
    Will chats with Maggie here!

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 結婚週年 (zau1 nin4): “anniversary”
  • 老婆 (lou5 po4): “wife; wifey”
  • 老公 (lou5 gung1): “husband; hubby”
  • 時間 (si4 gaan3): “time”
  • 快 (faai3): “fast; quick”
  • 閃光彈 (sim2 gwong1 daan2): “showoff (lit. “flashbang”)”
  • 恨 (han6): “long for; want something badly”
  • If a friend posted something about anniversary greetings, which phrase would you use?

    Conclusion

    Learning to speak a new language will always be easier once you know key phrases that everybody uses. These would include commonly used expressions for congratulations and best wishes, etc.

    Master these in fun ways with Learn Cantonese! We offer a variety of tools to individualize your learning experience, including using cell phone apps, audiobooks, iBooks and many more. Never wonder again what to say on social media!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese

    How to Say Sorry in Cantonese

    How to say sorry is one of the first things that a traveler or a language learner should learn—knowing how to say sorry helps us better communicate and maintain relationships with new friends, especially in Hong Kong where we are famous for our politeness. That said, it’s quite important to learn how to say sorry in Cantonese culture.

    There are various ways to say sorry in English, such as “I am sorry,” My apologies,” and many more. It’s the same for Cantonese; we have different phrases to express our apologies for formal, informal, and specific occasions. Let’s go through some of the most widely-used phrases for apology in Cantonese below together! Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Cantonese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

    1. The Two Most Common Phrases
    2. Formal Apologies
    3. Other Phrases
    4. How to Answer to Sorry
    5. Manner & Gesture when You Say Sorry
    6. Written Form of “I am Sorry”
    7. Bonus: Hot Topic of the City
    8. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 can Help You Learn More Cantonese

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese


    1. The Two Most Common Phrases

    3

    The two most common Cantonese phrases for saying sorry are 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6) and 唔好意思 (m4 ho2 ji3 si3). They’re applicable to a wide range of circumstances, so learning how to use them to say sorry in learning Cantonese is vital. When learning how to say sorry in Cantonese, these words and phrases may just be your saving grace in various situations.

    1- 對唔住

    • Romanization: deoi3 m4 zyu6
    • Meaning: Sorry

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 對唔住,我打爛咗你部電腦。
    • Romanization: deoi3 m4 zyu6, ngo5 daa2 laan6 zo2 nei5 bou6 din6 nou5.
    • Meaning: Sorry, I broke your computer.

    Explanation / Notes:
    This phrase literally means “sorry” and can be used in both formal and informal settings. Note that we only use this phrase when we want to express our apology and remorse. If you want to say that you’re sorry in the sense of expressing your regret or sadness over a news story or an incident, 唔好意思 (m4 ho2 ji3 si3) is more suitable.

    We usually put 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6) at the start of the sentence. As it’s a phrase rather than a word, we seldom use it in the middle of a sentence unless we’re quoting it as a noun phrase.

    2- 唔好意思

    • Romanization: m4 ho2 ji3 si3
    • Meaning: Excuse me / Sorry

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 唔好意思,剩返七碼咋。
    • Romanization: m4 hou2 ji3 si3, zing6 faan1 cat1 maa5 zaa3.
    • Meaning: I’m sorry, we only have size 7 left.

    Explanation / Notes:
    This phrase is applicable to a wider range of contexts compared to 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6) and can be used both formally and informally. There are, broadly, three scenarios where you can use 唔好意思 (m4 ho2 ji3 si3), including grabbing someone’s attention (i.e. “excuse me”), expressing your regret or sadness over bad news or an incident, and apologizing for minor incidents.

    • To grab someone’s attention:
      • Cantonese character: 唔好意思,閘口喺邊?
      • Romanization: m4 ho2 ji3 si3, zaap6 hau2 hai2 bin1?
      • Meaning: Excuse me, where is the entrance?
    • To express your regret over bad news:
      • Cantonese character: 唔好意思,無貨喇。
      • Romanization: m4 ho2 ji3 si3, mou5 fo3 laa3.
      • Meaning: I’m sorry, it is out of stock.
    • To apologize for a minor incident:
      • Cantonese character: 唔好意思,唔小心踩到你。
      • Romanization: m4 ho2 ji3 si3, m4 siu2 sam1 caai2 dou2 nei5.
      • Meaning: I’m sorry for stepping on your shoes accidentally.

    Comparatively, 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6) is more formal and is mainly reserved for serious offenses. When you’re speaking informally with friends, the most common apology is 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si3). You can use both apologies to make your way through a crowd.


    2. Formal Apologies

    There are some phrases we reserve for serious and formal apologies, which are usually used in business settings.

    Woman Bowing

    1- 我衷心道歉

    • Romanization: ngo5 cung1 sam1 dou6 hip3.
    • Meaning: I sincerely apologize.

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 對於今日發生嘅事故,我衷心道歉。
    • Romanization: deoi3 jyu1 gam1 jat6 faat3 sang1 ge3 si6 gu3, ngo5 cung1 sam1 dou6 hip3.
    • Meaning: I sincerely apologize for the incident that happened today.

    2- 我想道歉

    • Romanization: ngo5 soeng2 dou6 hip3.
    • Meaning: I would like to apologize.

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 我匯報得唔好,我想道歉。
    • Romanization: ngo5 wui6 bou3 dak1 m4 hou2, ngo5 soeng2 dou6 hip3.
    • Meaning: I would like to apologize for my poor presentation.


    3. Other Phrases

    Say Sorry

    There are other phrases related to apology in Cantonese too. The phrases we’re introducing below, as well as the ones above, can sometimes be used together at the same time, depending on the situation. For example, if you want to admit that you’re the one at fault, apologize, and then beg for forgiveness, you could say: 係我唔啱,對唔住,求下你唔好嬲我 (hai6 ngo5 m4 aam1, deoi3 m4 zyu6, kau4 haa5 nei5 m4 hou2 nau1 ngo5).

    1- 係我唔啱

    • Romanization: hai6 ngo5 m4 aam1.
    • Meaning: It is my fault.

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 我唔應該對你發火,係我唔啱。
    • Romanization: ngo5 m4 jing1 goi1 deoi3 nei5 faat3 fo2, hai6 ngo5 m4 aam1.
    • Meaning: I should not be mad at you, it is my fault.

    2- 我唔會再咁做

    • Romanization: ngo5 m4 wui5 zoi3 gam2 zou6.
    • Meaning: I won’t do it again.

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 如果你唔鍾意嘅話,我唔會再咁做。
    • Romanization: jyu4 gwo2 nei5 m4 zung1 ji3 ge3 waa2, ngo5 m4 wui2 zoi3 gam2 zou6.
    • Meaning: If you don’t like this, I won’t do it again.

    3- 我要為對你咁衰而道歉

    • Romanization: ngo5 jiu3 wai6 deoi3 nei5 gam3 seoi1 ji4 dou6 hip3.
    • Meaning: I apologize for being mean to you.

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 我唔應該笑你,我要為對你咁衰而道歉。
    • Romanization: ngo5 m4 jing1 goi1 siu3 nei5, ngo5 jiu3 wai6 deoi3 nei5 gam3 seoi1 ji4 dou6 hip3.
    • Meaning: I should not have laughed at you, I apologize for being mean to you.

    4- 我希望你可以原諒我

    • Romanization: ngo5 hei1 mong6 nei5 ho2 ji3 jyun4 loeng6 ngo5.
    • Meaning: I hope you will forgive me.

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 係我唔啱,我希望你可以原諒我。
    • Romanization: hai6 ngo5 m4 aam1, ngo5 hei1 mong6 nei5 ho2 ji3 jyun4 loeng6 ngo5.
    • Meaning: It is my fault and I hope you will forgive me.

    5- 我一早就唔應該咁做

    • Romanization: ngo5 jat1 zou2 zau6 m4 jing1 goi1 gam2 zou6.
    • Meaning: I should not have done it.

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 我知道你覺得難受,我一早就唔應該咁做。
    • Romanization: ngo5 zi1 dou3 nei5 gok3 dak1 naan4 sau6, ngo5 jat1 zou2 zau6 m4 jing3 goi1 gam2 zou6.
    • Meaning: I know it hurts you badly, I should not have done it.

    6- 我無咁嘅意思

    • Romanization: ngo5 mou4 gam2 ge3 ji3 si1.
    • Meaning: I did not mean that.

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 可能中間有啲誤會,我無咁嘅意思。
    • Romanization: ho2 nang4 zung1 gaan1 jau5 di1 ng6 wui6, ngo5 mou4 gam2 ge3 ji3 si1.
    • Meaning: I did not mean that, I guess there could be some misunderstanding.

    7- 我保證唔會再犯呢個錯

    • Romanization: ngo5 bou2 zing3 m4 wui5 zoi3 faan6 ni1 go3 co3.
    • Meaning: I will make sure I do not make the same mistake again.

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 我唔應該咁做,我保證唔會再犯呢個錯。
    • Romanization: ngo5 m4 jing3 goi1 gam2 zou6, ngo5 bou2 zing3 m4 wui5 zoi3 faan6 ni1 go3 co3.
    • Meaning: I should not have done this and I promise I will not make the same mistake again.

    8- 求下你唔好嬲我

    • Romanization: kau4 haa5 nei5 m4 hou2 nau1 ngo5.
    • Meaning: Please do not be mad at me.

    Example:

    • Cantonese character: 我唔會再咁做,求下你唔好嬲我。
    • Romanization: ngo5 m4 wui5 zoi3 gam2 zou6, kau4 haa5 nei5 m4 hou2 nau1 ngo5.
    • Meaning: I won’t do it again. Please don’t be mad at me.


    4. How to Answer to Sorry

    Man Asking for Forgiveness

    If someone apologizes to you, you can reply with the below phrases:

    • 唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3) - no worries / never mind
    • 無問題 (mou5 man6 tai4) - no problem
    • 無所謂 (mou5 so2 wai6) - doesn’t matter

    唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3) is the standard way to reply to an apology, but you can use the other two phrases as well depending on the scenarios.


    5. Manner & Gesture when You Say Sorry

    Woman Apologizing

    In general, you should be polite and sincere when you apologize. Keep your tone flat and slightly tilt your head down. You can either look into the eyes of the person you’re saying sorry to or look down. We don’t have any common gesture that signifies “sorry.” We just say the words without any hand gesture or further body posture, such as bowing, as is common in some other cultures.


    6. Written Form of “I am Sorry”

    As you may know, there are two forms of Cantonese, one in spoken form and the other in written form. We speak slightly differently than we write. The above phrases are all in spoken form. So what about the written form of “I am sorry” in Cantonese?

    • Chinese character: 對不起
    • Romanization: deoi3 bat1 hei2
    • Meaning: Sorry

    對不起 (deoi3 bat1 hei2) is the written form of 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6) and they have literally the same meaning. Although more and more Hong Kongeses write in the spoken form of Cantonese, it’s still impermissible to write spoken Cantonese in schools and formal writings. Also, we never speak written Cantonese in our daily lives.


    7. Bonus: Hot Topic of the City

    Have you ever pissed off your significant other? How would you apologize? How far would you go to ask for his or her forgiveness? Check out the video below to see how a man begged for his girlfriend’s forgiveness in Hong Kong:

    If you’re not up for the extreme measures of saying sorry, like many of us do, read Common Ways to Say Sorry in Cantonese to learn more alternative ways to apologize.


    8. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 can Help You Learn More Cantonese

    If you’re eager to know more common Cantonese phrases and words on top of saying sorry, please do visit CantoneseClass101.com, where you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through either your mobile apps, desktop software, or even our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

    We’ve delivered until now more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, abundance of vocabulary learning tools and spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

    In the meantime, continue practicing how to say “I apologize” in Cantonese, along with all the other phrases we went over. You’ll be glad you did next time you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation in Hong Kong. Best of luck to you!

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    The Chung Yeung Festival in Hong Kong

    The Chung Yeung Festival in Hong Kong

    The Chung Yeung Festival in Hong Kong stretches down into history as far as the Han Dynasty, and is an integral part of Hong Kong’s culture and identity. This holiday comprises largely of two concepts: warding off ill luck and respecting one’s ancestors.

    In this article, you’ll learn about the various Chung Yeung Festival traditions and the meaning behind them—including why HongKongers drink chrysanthemum wine and climb mountains on this day! You’ll soon see how essential knowing about the Chung Yeung Festival is to really understanding Cantonese culture today.

    And at CantoneseClass101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Chung Yeung Festival?

    The Chung Yeung Festival, or the Double Ninth Festival, is a holiday with deep historic roots, having begun as early as the Han Dynasty period. This is a public holiday, and known to be a busy time for many shops and tourist locations in Hong Kong.

    The Chung Yeung Festival in Hong Kong has traditionally been considered a day of bad luck and potential danger. This is rooted in the Chung Yeung Festival story, in which a man is warned of danger to his village and escapes to the mountains; because he survived his village’s disaster, the Chung Yeung Festival is also considered a day of warding off or escaping ill luck.

    Further, many people take this day to pay respect to their ancestors.

    2. When is the Chung Yeung Festival?

    Ninth Day of Ninth Lunar Month

    The Cantonese Chung Yeung Festival is celebrated each year on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month (hence its common name of Double Ninth Festival).

    For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date on the Gregorian calendar for the next ten years.

    • 2019: October 7
    • 2020: October 25
    • 2021: October 14
    • 2022: October 4
    • 2023: October 23
    • 2024: October 11
    • 2025: October 29
    • 2026: October 18
    • 2027: October 8
    • 2028: October 26

    3. Chung Yeung Festival Traditions in Hong Kong

    Paying Respect to Ancestors

    Most Chung Yeung Festival activities are performed today in fun celebration, though traditionally they were done in order to ward off bad luck or circumstances.

    Just as the man in the Chung Yeung Festival story escaped death by going to the mountains, HongKongers often climb mountains or hills themselves on this day. Others may simply go on a hike with family or loved ones.

    Another common feature of the Chung Yeung Festival holiday is flying kites. The symbolism behind this is similar to that of climbing mountains. Essentially, HongKongers believe that flying the kite removes bad luck from them, up into the sky where it can’t get to them during the year.

    Further, on a more solemn note, many HongKongers visit ancestral graves during the Chung Yeung Festival as a show of respect and honor. This is usually an occasion for the whole family, who offers their ancestors food, clean the sites, and burn incense.

    4. Chung Yeung Festival Foods

    During the Chung Yeung Festival, Hong Kong also celebrates through consuming the Chung Yeung rice cake and chrysanthemum wine. HongKongers believe that the wine (which they often make themselves at home!) cleanses the person drinking it, thus helping to remove ill luck. And as for the cake, it represents being “up” or “on top,” and when eaten, is thought to improve the chances of the consumer moving to a higher status in life.

    5. Essential Chung Yeung Festival Vocabulary

    Yellow Chrysanthemum Flower

    Here’s the essential vocabulary to know for the Chung Yeung Festival in Hong Kong!

    • 野餐 (je5 caan1) — picnic
    • 重陽 (cung4 joeng4) — the ninth day of the ninth lunar month
    • 祭祖 (zai3 zou2) — pay respect at ancestors’ grave
    • 耐 (noi6) — long time
    • 風箏 (fung1 zang1) — kite
    • 香 (hoeng1) — incense
    • 登高 (dang1 gou1) — climb a mountain
    • 重陽糕 (cung4 joeng4 gou1) — Chung Yeung rice cake
    • 菊花酒 (guk1 faa1 zau2) — chrysanthemum wine
    • 菊花 (guk1 faa1) — chrysanthemum
    • 重陽節 (cung4 joeng4 zit3) — Chung Yeung Festival

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and alongside relevant images, check out our Cantonese Chung Yeung Festival vocabulary list!

    How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Master Cantonese

    What are your thoughts on the Chung Yeung Festival in Hong Kong? Is there a similar holiday in your country? Let us know in the comments; we always look forward to hearing from you.

    To continue learning about Cantonese culture and the language, explore CantoneseClass101.com. We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

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    Celebration of British Hong Kong’s Reunification with China

    When did Hong Kong go back to China?

    For Hong Kong, 1997 is one of the most significant years in its history; this is the year that British Hong Kong was reunified with China after many years of British rule. In the article, we’ll be discussing the Hong Kong protests, go more into the history of the question “When was Hong Kong given back to China?” and tell you about the day following Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day.

    In learning about this important holiday in Hong Kong, you’re allowing yourself to better understand the full extent of its culture. With this knowledge in mind, you’re also more likely to succeed in your Cantonese language studies!

    At CantoneseClass101.com, we hope to make your learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Establishment Day?

    From 1841 to 1997, the British ruled Hong Kong, beginning at the time of the First Opium War fought between the Chinese and the British. The war resulted in China ceding much of the Hong Kong territory to Britain. Later, after the Second Opium War, China gave a ninety-nine-year lease of additional Hong Kong territory to Britain. Once that lease expired, Britain returned all of British Hong Kong back to China.

    Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day is the day to commemorate Hong Kong’s return to China following the Hong Kong handover. For Hong Kong, 1997 was an important year—the year it ceased being British Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong reunification with China commenced.

    Fun fact:

    Do you know Hong Kong’s official name after its return to China?

    Hong Kong’s official name after its return to China is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Therefore, the Anniversary of Hong Kong’s Reunification with China is also called Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day.

    2. When is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day?

    Flag Raising Ceremony in Hong Kong

    July 1 marks Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day, which officially begins at exactly 7:58 am.

    3. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day Celebrations

    Learn how the Cantonese celebrate Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day by reading the Cantonese text below. You can find the English translation below it.

    每年7月1日早上7時58分,香港特區行政長官全體行政會議成員及各主要政府官員,都會出席在灣仔金紫荊廣場舉行的升旗儀式,屆時還有警察樂隊奏樂,以及飛行服務隊和紀律部隊在空中和海上敬禮。

    隨後就有慶祝酒會,邀請社會各界人士出席。而到了晚上,維多利亞港會舉行璀璨的煙花匯演。

    自1997年香港主權移交開始,每年都有七一遊行。

    主要由香港民間人權陣線發起,推動香港人權運動及公民社會的發展;最大型的分別是2003年,2004年,以及2012年。

    在2003年香港政府的基本法第二十三條的立法程序激起大量民怨,市民均穿黑色衣服參與遊行,數據顯示遊行人數超過50萬。

    香港人理性和平地表達訴求,終於,第23條立法被擱置,而七一大遊行亦成為了香港人的精神象徵。

    隨後每年的七一大遊行主要為爭取普選,捍衛民主自由,以及改善民生,以非暴力的作風向政府申訴民意。

    香港賽馬會也舉行香港回歸賽馬日,當日除了賽馬外,還有節目攤位和舞台表演,活像一個嘉年華,但只限成人入場。

    On the morning of July 1, at 7:58, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR and all members of the Executive Council and government officials attend the flag-raising ceremony at the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai. There are also performances by the Police Band, and the Flying Service and Disciplinary Forces give salutes from the air and the sea.

    After that, there is a reception that many segments of the community are invited to attend. In the evening, a dazzling fireworks display is held at Victoria Harbour.

    Ever since the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, there have been protest demonstrations every year on July 1.

    Most of them are initiated by the Hong Kong Civil Human Rights Front, with the aim of promoting the human rights movement and the development of civil society; the largest-scale demonstrations were in 2003, 2004, and 2012.

    In 2003, the Basic Law Article 23 executed by the Hong Kong Government legislative provoked a large number of grievances; it was said that over 500,000 people participated in the demonstration, all dressed in black.

    Hong Kong people expressed their demands rationally and peacefully, and in the end, the Article 23 legislation was shelved, and the July 1 demonstration became a symbol of the Hong Kong people’s spirit.

    Since then, the July 1 demonstration has continued every year, mainly to demand universal suffrage, democracy, and improvement in people’s livelihoods, all through appealing to the government about public concerns in a non-violent way.

    Hong Kong Reunification Race Day is also held by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Other than horse racing, there are also game booths and stage performances, just like a carnival, but just for adults.

    4. The Day Following this Holiday

    Cocktail Party

    Did you know that the day following Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day is a market holiday in Hong Kong?

    This means that the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is closed on this day each year. This is significant because the Hong Kong Stock Exchange only takes fifteen such holidays a year.

    5. Important Vocabulary for Establishment Day

    Government Official Speaking

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day!

    • 升旗儀式 (sing1 kei4 ji4 sik1) — flag raising ceremony
    • 嘉年華 (gaa1 nin4 waa4) — carnival
    • 香港回歸紀念日 (hoeng1 gong2 wui4 gwai1 gei2 nim6 jat6) — Anniversary of Hong Kong’s Reunification with China
    • 香港特區行政長官 (hoeng1 gong2 dak6 keoi1 hang4 zing3 zoeng2 gun1) — The Chief Executive of Hong Kong
    • 七一遊行 (cat1 jat1 jau4 hang4) — The Hong Kong 1 July protests
    • 香港回歸賽馬日 (hoeng1 gong2 wui4 gwai1 coi3 maa5 jat6) — Hong Kong Reunification Raceday
    • 回歸 (wui4 gwai1) — reunification
    • 成立 (sing4 lap6) — establish
    • 政府 (zing3 fu2) — government
    • 官員 (gun1 jyun4) — government officials
    • 宣誓 (syun1 sai6) — vow
    • 酒會 (zau2 wui5) — cocktail party

    To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Establishment Day vocabulary list!

    Conclusion

    We hope you enjoyed learning about Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day! Did you learn something new today? Let us know in the comments!

    To continue learning about Hong Kong culture and studying the Cantonese language, visit us at CantoneseClass101.com! We provide an array of fun and effective study tools, including free Cantonese vocabulary lists and more insightful blog posts like this one. By signing up for an account, you can also take advantage of our online community forums; with a Premium Plus account, you can begin using our MyTeacher program, and learn Cantonese one-on-one with your own personal teacher!

    Know that your hard work will soon reap rewards, and you’ll be speaking, reading, and writing Cantonese like a native before you know it!

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    How to Celebrate the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

    Perhaps one of the most well-known Hong Kong celebrations around the world, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is held in commemoration of a poet’s suicide. This facet of the Dragon Boat Festival history may seem odd, and even dark, but it provides great insight into past and current Hong Kong culture.

    At CantoneseClass101.com, we hope to make learning about Hong Kong culture and the Cantonese language both fun and informative. Any successful language learner can tell you that comprehending and respecting a country’s culture is a vital step in mastering its language.

    That said, we hope you enjoy delving into the Dragon Boat Festival with us!

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    1. What is the Dragon Boat Festival?

    What is Dragon Boat Festival?

    The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the ancient poet Qu Yuan, who committed suicide. It must sound pretty unfathomable—how would the suicide of a poet become a festival, or even a public holiday? Let’s look into the origins of the festival.

    Qu Yuan, as the Minister over the Masses in the State of Chu, repeatedly tried to convince the fatuous King of Chu to ally with the State of Qi and fight against the State of Qin. But all his endeavors failed and he was exiled. Finally, Chu was destroyed by Qin. Full of grief and agony, Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Miluo River on May 5 on the lunar calendar. Qu Yuan composed a lot of poetry expressing his concern for the country, which is why he was named the patriotic poet.

    2. When is the Dragon Boat Festival?

    Dragon Boat on Water

    So, When is Dragon Boat Festival?

    In Hong Kong, the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date on the Gregorian calendar for the next ten years.

    • 2019: June 7
    • 2020: June 25
    • 2021: June 14
    • 2022: June 3
    • 2023: June 22
    • 2024: June 10
    • 2025: May 31
    • 2026: June 19
    • 2027: June 9
    • 2028: May 28

    3. Reading Practice: Dragon Boat Festival Traditions

    From Dragon Boat racing to delicious Dragon Boat Festival food, many traditions encompass the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. Read the Cantonese text (traditional and Jyutping) to learn more about the Dragon Boat Festival.


    在端午節,人人都會吃糭。糭是用長型的竹葉或蘆葦葉將糯米及配料包著然後蒸熟後吃的。糭的起源是因屈原投江自盡,楚國百姓非常傷心,又怕屈原的屍體被魚及蝦吃掉,所以用竹筒裝好米食投入江中,希望把魚及蝦餵飽。後來慢慢演變成用筍皮或竹葉包好投入江裡。到了現代,糭有很多不同種類,有鹹有甜。包括鹹的肉糉,以及甜的鹼水粽。

    端午節的另一個習俗就是扒龍舟。它的起源也是因屈原投江自盡,於是楚國百姓不停划船打撈他的屍體。到了現代扒龍舟則成了一種表現團隊精神的運動,而且每年都舉辦龍舟競渡;近年來更加發展成國際賽事,還於1991年成立了國際龍舟聯合會。截至2012年11月,已經有74個會員國,和3個會員資格審核中的國家。

    龍舟有別於外國盛行的獨木舟或八人式的划艇,而是一種需要更多默契的更多氣力的運動。一般龍舟船身約12米長,載著22位船員,1位坐在船頭擊鼓振奮士氣的鼓手,以及1位坐船尾的舵手。


    hai2 dyun1 ng5 zit3, jan4 jan4 dou1 wui5 sik6 zung2. zung2 hai6 jung6 coeng4 jing4 ge3 zuk1 jip6 waak6 ze2 lou4 wai5 jip6, zoeng1 no6 mai5 tong4 maai4 pui3 liu2 baau1 zyu3, jin4 hau6 zing1 suk6 lei4 sik6 ge3. zung2 ge3 hei2 jyun4 hai6 jan1 wai6 wat1 jyun4 tau4 gong1 zi6 zeon6, co2 gwok3 baak3 sing3 fei1 soeng4 soeng1 sam1, jau6 paa3 wat1 jyun4 ge3 si1 tai2 bei2 di1 jyu2 tung4 maai4 haa1 sik6 zo2, so2 ji5 zau6 jung6 zuk1 tung2 zong1 zo2 di1 mai5 sik6 dam2 jap6 heoi3 gong1 jap6 min6, hei1 mong6 zoeng1 di1 jyu2 tung4 maai4 haa1 wai3 baau2. hau6 lei4 zau6 maan6 maan1 jin5 bin3 sing4 jung6 seon2 pei4 waak6 ze2 zuk1 jip6 baau1 zo2 dam2 jap6 gong1 jap6 min6. dou3 zo2 jin6 doi6, zung2 jau5 hou2 do1 m4 tung4 zung2 leoi6, jau5 haam4 jau5 tim4. baau1 kut3 haam4 ge3 juk6 zung2, tong4 maai4 tim4 ge3 gaan2 seoi2 zung2.

    dyun1 ng5 zit3 ge3 ling6 jat1 go3 zaap6 zuk6 zau6 hai6 paa4 lung4 zau1. keoi5 ge3 hei2 jyun4 le1 jik6 dou1 hai6 jan1 wai6 wat1 jyun4 tau4 gong1 zi6 zeon6, jyu1 si6 co2 gwok3 baak3 sing3 bat1 ting4 hai2 dou6 paa4 teng5 daa2 lau4 keoi5 ge3 si1 tai2. dou3 zo2 jin6 doi6 paa4 lung4 zau1 ji5 ging1 bin3 zo2 jat1 zung2 biu2 jin6 tyun4 deoi6 zing1 san4 ge3 wan6 dung6, ji4 ce2 mui5 nin4 dou1 geoi2 baan6 lung4 zau1 ging3 dou6; gan6 nin4 lei4 le1 gang3 gaa1 faat3 zin2 sing4 gwok3 zai3 coi3 si6, zung6 hai2 jat1 gau2 gau2 jat1 nin4 sing4 lap6 zo2 gwok3 zai3 lung4 zau1 lyun4 hap6 wui5. dou3 zo2 ji6 lin4 jat1 ji6 nin4 sap6 jat1 jyut6, ji5 ging1 jau5 cat1 sap6 sei3 go3 wui5 jyun4 gwok3, tung4 maai4 saam1 go3 wui5 jyun4 zi1 gaak3 sam2 hat6 zung1 ge3 gwok3 gaa1.

    lung4 zau1 jau5 bit6 jyu1 ngoi6 gwok3 sing6 hang4 ge3 duk6 muk6 zau1 waak6 ze2 baat3 jan4 sik1 ge3 paa4 teng5, ji4 hai6 jat1 zung2 seoi1 jiu3 gang3 do1 mak6 kai3 gang3 do1 hei3 lik6 ge3 wan6 dung6. jat1 bun1 lung4 zau1 syun4 san1 daai6 koi3 sap6 ji6 mai5 coeng4, zoi3 zyu3 ji6 sap6 ji6 wai2 syun4 jyun4, jat1 wai2 co5 hai2 syun4 tau4 gik1 gu2 zan3 fan5 si6 hei3 ge3 gu2 sau2, tung4 maai4 jat1 wai2 co5 hai2 syun4 mei5 ge3 to5 sau2.

    During the Dragon Boat Festival, people eat rice dumplings, which are also known as zong. Zong is glutinous rice and other ingredients wrapped in long bamboo or reed leaves and then steamed before eating. This practice originated from Qu Yuan’s suicide, because people from the State of Chu were worried that fish and shrimp would eat his body, so they threw rice-stuffed-bamboo tubes into the river, hoping to keep the fish and shrimp well fed. Later the exterior evolved into bamboo leaves. Nowadays, there are many kinds of salty and sweet zong, including savory meat-stuffed zong and sweet zong.

    Another custom of the Dragon Boat Festival is rowing a Dragon Boat. This also originated from Qu Yuan’s suicide, as after his death the people from the State of Chu kept rowing out on the river to try to salvage his body. Nowadays, rowing dragon boats has became a sport that encourages teamwork, and dragon boat races are held annually. In recent years, it has even developed into an international competition, and the International Dragon Boat Federation was founded in 1991. As of November 2012, there are 74 countries or territories with membership, and three pending applications.

    Dragon boats differs from canoes and rowboats, because they require more synchronization and strength from the rowers. A standard dragon boat hull is twelve meters long and carries twenty-two rowers, a drummer who sits in the front to boost morale, and a steersman at the tail.

    4. Dragon Boat Festival in Stanley

    Racing a Dragon Boat

    Do you know where most people in Hong Kong celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival?

    In Hong Kong, most people celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival in Stanley. That’s because the largest and the most established Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships are held there. The Stanley Main Street also holds a festive carnival on that day.

    5. Useful Vocabulary for the Dragon Boat Festival

    Sweet Rice Dumplings

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for the Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong!

    • 端午節 (dyun1 ng5 zit3) — Dragon Boat Festival
    • 龍舟 (lung4 zau1) — dragon boat
    • 鹼水粽 (gaan2 seoi2 zung2) — sweet rice dumpling
    • 爬龍舟 (paa4 lung4 zau1) — row a dragon boat
    • 肉糉 (juk6 zung2) — rice dumpling stuffed with meat
    • 雄黃酒 (hung4 wong4 zau2) — realgar wine
    • 屈原 (wat1 jyun4) — Qu Yuan
    • 鑼鼓 (lo4 gu2) — gongs and drums
    • 糯米 (no6 mai5) — glutinous rice
    • 龍舟競渡 (lung4 zau1 ging3 dou6) — dragon boat race

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Cantonese Dragon Boat Festival vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each of these words accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    What do you think about Hong Kong’s Dragon Boat Festival? Let us know in the comments; we always love to hear from you!

    To learn more about culture in Hong Kong, and of course the Cantonese language, visit us at CantoneseClass101.com! We provide learning tools for every student, to ensure that anyone can master Cantonese, and have fun while doing so. Check out our free vocabulary lists to improve your word knowledge, read more insightful blog posts like this one, and chat with fellow Cantonese learners on our community forums! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program, and learn Cantonese one-on-one with your own personal teacher.

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    What is Tomb Sweeping Day in Hong Kong?

    Tomb Sweeping Day (or the Ching Ming Festival) in Hong Kong, is a day of great importance to HongKongers. This is because it’s the day on which they fulfill their duties of filial piety by honoring deceased family and ancestors according to tradition.

    CantoneseClass101.com hopes to give you a better understanding of the Ching Ming Festival in Hong Kong, and to give you a good idea of Tomb Sweeping Day’s meaning. In learning about this significant aspect of Hong Kong culture, you’re not only immersing yourself in the country of your target language, but you’re allowing yourself to find more purpose in your language-learning journey.

    Let’s begin by answering the following question: “What is Tomb Sweeping Day?”

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    1. What is the Ching Ming Festival?

    Each year in Hong Kong, the Ching Ming Festival—also known as Tomb Sweeping Day—is celebrated. This is the day when HongKongers pay respect to their deceased family members and honor their duties of filial piety. This means traveling (sometimes long distances) to clean up their grave sites and burn papier-mâché and joss money there.

    2. When is Tomb Sweeping Day?

    Each year, the Ching Ming Festival is typically celebrated on April 4 or 5, though sometimes it takes place on April 6. Though the date doesn’t vary too much from year to year, we’ll still provide you with an outline of this holiday’s date for the next ten years:

    • 2019: April 5
    • 2020: April 4
    • 2021: April 4
    • 2022: April 5
    • 2023: April 5
    • 2024: April 4
    • 2025: April 4
    • 2026: April 6
    • 2027: April 5
    • 2028: April 4

    3. Reading Practice: How is the Ching Ming Festival Celebrated?

    Family Celerate Ching Ming Festival

    How is Tomb Sweeping Day in Hong Kong celebrated? Read the Cantonese text below to find out, and to learn some Ching Ming Festival facts. (You can find the English translation directly below it.)


    清明節的傳統活動是拜山、掃墓和祭祖;即是到祖先墓碑前上香、除雜草、燒紙錢及紙紮祭品,一盡孝道。而且適逢春天開始,所以拜山之後,有些家庭也會乘機去郊遊,呼吸新鮮空氣。有些家庭,會提早幾天甚至幾星期去拜山,避免人多擠迫。所以拜山掃墓的傳統並不限於清明節當日。
    在清明節用的紙紮祭品是一些燒給先人,仿造日常產品的紙製物品,後人希望能傳達到陰間的祖先,讓他們在那裡也能夠生活豐裕。紙紮祭品店的商品款式多不勝數,有房車、別墅、傭人、遊艇、遊戲機、手提電話、護膚品、寵物等,所有我們會用的東西都有一個紙製的版本。體積小的物品都會以一比一的尺寸製造,而大體積的物品就會造成一個比較細的尺寸,方便運送。

    拜山時最常用的花是菊花。因為菊花含有思、懷念的意思,其中白色的菊花更代表對逝去者的尊敬,所以清明節大部分人都在墳前獻上菊花來表示悼念故人。

    The traditional activity of the Ching Ming Festival is to visit, clean, and pay our respects at our ancestors’ graves. It means to carry out filial piety by burning incense, weeding, and burning joss money and papier-mâché offerings in front of the tombstones. As spring starts around the same time, some families take the opportunity to go on an outing and get some fresh air. Some families will visit the ancestors’ graves a few days or even weeks earlier to avoid the crowd, so generally speaking the customs are not limited to Ching Ming Day only.
    The papier-mâché offerings we burn during the Ching Ming Festival are papier-mâché models in the shape of daily-use items; descendants send these items to their ancestors in the underworld by burning them, hoping that the ancestors will have an affluent lifestyle in the afterlife.The papier-mâché stores offer countless types of items, fancy cars, villas, servants, yachts, game consoles, mobile phones, pets, and so on. Everything that we use comes in a papier-mâché version for the deceased. Small items are usually in 1-1 size, but bigger items are usually made at a smaller scale for easier delivery.
    The most common flower used to pay respect to the deceased is chrysanthemum. That’s because chrysanthemum represents yearning and longing, especially the white chrysanthemum, which is used in memorial ceremonies. Therefore most people bring chrysanthemums to the graveyards on Ching Ming Festival.

    4. Additional Information

    One of the most common Ching Ming Festival foods is sweetened green rice balls, which are made in advance so as to keep the actual holiday free for the traditional activities.

    There is another common phenomenon on Ching Ming Festival: wildfire. While paying respect to the deceased, some people have accidentally left fires burning, or have not used metal buckets to burn joss money and products. Wildfires started by human negligence like this have burned down a lot of trees and wildlife. Of course, this attracts a lot of public attention every year, so the government has set up laws to regulate it and raise the public’s awareness of fire safety.

    There is a very famous poem by Du Mu about the festival:
    Drizzling rain falls on Ching Ming days.
    The mourners’ hearts are broken.
    Where can a wine-house be found to drown one’s sorrow?
    A cowherd points to Almond Flower Village in the distance.

    5. Must-know Vocab

    Ching Ming Festival

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for the Ching Ming Festival!

    • 祖先 (zou2 sin1) — ancestor
    • 清明節 (cing1 ming4 zit3) — Qingming Festival
    • 野餐 (je5 caan1) — picnic
    • 白切雞 (baak6 cit3 gai1) — white sliced chicken
    • 掃墓 (sou3 mou6) — pay respects to a dead person at his tomb
    • 祭祖 (zai3 zou2) — pay respect to deceased ancestors
    • 香燭 (hoeng1 zuk1) — joss stick
    • 陰司紙 (jam1 si1 zi2) — Joss paper
    • 孝道 (haau3 dou6) — filial piety
    • 杜牧 (dou6 muk6) — Du Mu
    • 拜山 (baai3 saan1) — commemorate a dead person at his grave

    To hear each word pronounced, check out our Ching Ming Festival vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    What do you think about the Tomb Sweeping Festival in Hong Kong? Is there a holiday in your country for honoring the deceased? Let us know in the comments!

    We hope that you enjoyed learning about the Ching Ming Festival with us. For more information on Cantonese culture and the Cantonese language, visit us at CantoneseClass101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Cantonese learners. You can also upgrade to Premium Plus to take advantage of a one-on-one learning experience with our MyTeacher program!

    In the meantime, keep up your hard work! Know that learning about a country’s culture can be exciting, and is a great way to enrich your language skills. All your hard work, studying, and practice will pay off!

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    How to Say I Love You in Cantonese - Romantic Word List

    Do you often feel lonely and sad? Do you long for romance and are willing to do whatever it takes to meet that special person? Speaking another language could revolutionize your love life! So, why wait? Learning how to say ‘love’ in Cantonese could be just what you need to find it.

    Or perhaps you were lucky, and have found your Cantonese partner already. Fantastic! Yet, a cross-cultural relationship comes with unique challenges. Learning how to speak your lover’s language will greatly improve your communication and enhance the relationship. At CantoneseClass101, our team will teach you all the words, quotes and phrases you need to woo your Cantonese lover with excellence! Our tutors provide personal assistance, with plenty of extra material available to make Cantonese dating easy for you.

    Table of Contents

    1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date
    2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date
    3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
    4. Cantonese Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
    5. Cantonese Quotes about Love
    6. Marriage Proposal Lines
    7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
    8. Will Falling in Love Help You Learn Cantonese Faster?

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    1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date

    So, you have met your Cantonese love interest. Congratulations! Who knows where this could take you…?! However, the two of you have just met and you’re not ready to say the Cantonese word for love just yet. Great, it is better to get to know him/her first. Wow your prospective love by using these Cantonese date phrases to set up a spectacular first date.

    Cantonese Date Phrases

    Would you like to go out to dinner with me?

    • 賞面同我食餐飯嗎?
    • soeng2 min2 tung4 ngo5 sik6 caan1 faan6 maa3?

    The important question! In most cultures, this phrase indicates: ‘I’m romantically interested in you’. Flirting in Cantonese is no different, so don’t take your date to Mcdonald’s!

    Are you free this weekend?

    • 你今個禮拜尾得唔得閒?
    • nei5 gam1 go3 lai5 baai1 mei5 dak1 m4 dak1 haan4?

    This is a preamble to asking your love interest on a date. If you get an immediate ‘Yes’, that’s good news!

    Would you like to hang out with me?

    • 我哋一齊去玩好嗎?
    • ngo5 dei6 jat1 cai4 heoi3 waan2 hou2 maa3?

    You like her/him, but you’re not sure if there’s chemistry. Ask them to hang out first to see if a dinner date is next.

    What time shall we meet tomorrow?

    • 我哋聽日幾點見?
    • ngo5 dei6 ting1 jat6 gei2 dim2 gin3?

    Set a time, and be sure to arrive early! Nothing spoils a potential relationship more than a tardy date.

    Where shall we meet?

    • 我哋喺邊度等?
    • ngo5 dei6 hai2 bin1 dou6 dang2?

    You can ask this, but also suggest a place.

    You look great.

    • 你好靚。
    • nei5 hou2 leng3.

    A wonderful ice breaker! This phrase will help them relax a bit - they probably took great care to look their best just for you.

    You are so cute.

    • 你好可愛。
    • nei5 hou2 ho2 oi3.

    If the two of you are getting on really well, this is a fun, flirtatious phrase to use.

    What do you think of this place?

    • 你鍾唔鍾意呢度?
    • nei5 zung1 m4 zung1 ji3 ni1 dou6?

    This another good conversation starter. Show off your Cantonese language skills!

    Can I see you again?

    • 我可唔可以再約你?
    • ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 zoi3 joek3 nei5?

    So the date went really well - don’t waste time! Make sure you will see each other again.

    Shall we go somewhere else?

    • 不如我哋去第二度?
    • bat1 jyu4 ngo5 dei6 heoi3 dai6 ji6 dou6?

    If the place you meet at is not great, you can suggest going elsewhere. It is also a good question to follow the previous one. Variety is the spice of life!

    I know a good place.

    • 我識一個好地方。
    • ngo5 sik1 jat1 go3 hou2 dei6 fong1.

    Use this with the previous question. However, don’t say if you don’t know a good place!

    I will drive you home.

    • 我車你返屋企。
    • ngo5 ce1 nei5 faan1 uk1 kei5.

    If your date doesn’t have transport, this is a polite, considerate offer. However, don’t be offended if she/he turns you down on the first date. Especially a woman might not feel comfortable letting you drive her home when the two of you are still basically strangers.

    That was a great evening.

    • 今晚好開心。
    • gam1 maan1 hou2 hoi1 sam1.

    This is a good phrase to end the evening with.

    When can I see you again?

    • 幾時可以再見你?
    • gei2 si4 ho2 ji3 zoi3 gin3 nei5?

    If he/she replied ‘Yes’ to ‘Can I see you again?’, this is the next important question.

    I’ll call you.

    • 我打畀你。
    • ngo5 daa2 bei2 nei5.

    Say this only if you really mean to do it. In many cultures, this could imply that you’re keeping the proverbial backdoor open.

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    2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date

    You learned all the Cantonese phrases to make a date - congratulations! Now you have to decide where to meet, which can be tricky. Discuss these options with your lover to gauge whether you like the same things. Check out romantic date ideas in Cantonese below!

    Date Ideas in Cantonese

    museum

    • 博物館
    • bok3 mat6 gun2

    If you’re looking for unique date ideas that are fun but won’t break the bank, museums are the perfect spot! You won’t be running out of things to say in the conversations.

    candlelit dinner

    • 燭光晚餐
    • zuk1 gwong1 maan5 caan1

    A candlelit dinner is perhaps best to reserve for when the relationship is getting serious. It’s very intimate, and says: “Romance!” It’s a fantastic choice if you’re sure you and your date are in love with each other!

    go to the zoo

    • 去動物園
    • heoi3 dung6 mat6 jyun4

    This is a good choice for shy lovers who want to get the conversation going. Just make sure your date likes zoos, as some people dislike them. Maybe not for the first date, but this is also a great choice if your lover has children - you’ll win his/her adoration for inviting them along!

    go for a long walk

    • 去散步
    • heoi3 saan3 bou6

    Need to talk about serious stuff, or just want to relax with your date? Walking together is soothing, and a habit you can keep up together always! Just make sure it’s a beautiful walk that’s not too strenuous.

    go to the opera

    • 去睇歌劇
    • heoi3 tai2 go1 kek6

    This type of date should only be attempted if both of you love the opera. It can be a special treat, followed by a candlelit dinner!

    go to the aquarium

    • 去水族館
    • heoi3 seoi2 zuk6 gun2

    Going to the aquarium is another good idea if you need topics for conversation, or if you need to impress your lover’s kids! Make sure your date doesn’t have a problem with aquariums.

    walk on the beach

    • 喺沙灘散步
    • hai2 saa1 taan1 saan3 bou6

    This can be a very romantic stroll, especially at night! The sea is often associated with romance and beauty.

    have a picnic

    • 野餐
    • je5 caan1

    If you and your date need to get more comfortable together, this can be a fantastic date. Spending time in nature is soothing and calms the nerves.

    cook a meal together

    • 一齊煮飯
    • jat1 cai4 zyu2 faaan6

    If you want to get an idea of your date’s true character in one go, this is an excellent date! You will quickly see if the two of you can work together in a confined space. If it works, it will be fantastic for the relationship and create a sense of intimacy. If not, you will probably part ways!

    have dinner and see a movie

    • 食飯睇戲
    • sik6 faan6 tai2 hei3

    This is traditional date choice works perfectly well. Just make sure you and your date like the same kind of movies!

    3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

    Valentine's Day Words in Cantonese

    Expressing your feelings honestly is very important in any relationship all year round. Yet, on Valentine’s Day you really want to shine. Impress your lover this Valentine’s with your excellent vocabulary, and make his/her day! We teach you, in fun, effective ways, the meanings of the words and how to pronounce them. You can also copy the characters and learn how to write ‘I love you’ in Cantonese - think how impressed your date will be!

    4. Cantonese Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

    So, you now have the basic Valentine’s Day vocabulary under your belt. Well done! But, do you know how to say ‘I love you’ in Cantonese yet? Or perhaps you are still only friends. So, do you know how to say ‘I like you’ or ‘I have a crush on you’ in Cantonese? No? Don’t worry, here are all the love phrases you need to bowl over your Cantonese love on this special day!

    Valentine's Day Words in Cantonese

    I love you.

    • 我愛你。
    • ngo5 oi3 nei5.

    Saying ‘I love you’ in Cantonese carries the same weight as in all languages. Use this only if you’re sure and sincere about your feelings for your partner/friend.

    You mean so much to me.

    • 你喺我心目中好重要。
    • nei5 hai2 ngo5 sam1 muk6 zung1 hou2 zung6 jiu3.

    This is a beautiful expression of gratitude that will enhance any relationship! It makes the receiver feel appreciated and their efforts recognized.

    Will you be my Valentine?

    • 你願意做我嘅愛人嗎?
    • nei5 jyun6 ji3 zou6 ngo5 ge3 oi3 jan4 maa3?

    With these words, you are taking your relationship to the next level! Or, if you have been a couple for a while, it shows that you still feel the romance. So, go for it!

    You’re so beautiful.

    • 你好靚。
    • nei5 hou2 leng3.

    If you don’t know how to say ‘You’re pretty’ in Cantonese, this is a good substitute, gentlemen!

    I think of you as more than a friend.

    • 我當你係朋友咋。
    • ngo5 dong3 nei5 hai6 pang4 jau5 zaa3.

    Say this if you are not yet sure that your romantic feelings are reciprocated. It is also a safe go-to if you’re unsure about the Cantonese dating culture.

    A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

    • 一百個心都裝唔晒我對你嘅愛。
    • jat1 baak3 go3 sam1 dou1 zong1 m4 saai3 ngo5 deoi3 nei5 ge3 oi3.

    You romantic you…! When your heart overflows with love, this would be the best phrase to use.

    Love is just love. It can never be explained.

    • 愛就係愛。解釋唔到。
    • oi3 zau6 hai6 oi3. gaai2 sik1 m4 dou2.

    If you fell in love unexpectedly or inexplicably, this one’s for you.

    You’re so handsome.

    • 你好靚仔。
    • nei5 hou2 leng3 zai2.

    Ladies, this phrase lets your Cantonese love know how much you appreciate his looks! Don’t be shy to use it; men like compliments too.

    I’ve got a crush on you.

    • 我暗戀你。
    • ngo5 am3 lyun5 nei5.

    If you like someone, but you’re unsure about starting a relationship, it would be prudent to say this. It simply means that you like someone very, very much and think they’re amazing.

    You make me want to be a better man.

    • 你令我想成為一個更好嘅人。
    • nei5 ling6 ngo5 soeng2 sing4 wai4 jat1 go3 gang3 hou2 ge3 jan4.

    Gentlemen, don’t claim this phrase as your own! It hails from the movie ‘As Good as it Gets’, but it is sure to make your Cantonese girlfriend feel very special. Let her know that she inspires you!

    Let all that you do be done in love.

    • 令一切都由愛出發。
    • ling6 jat1 cai3 dou1 jau4 oi3 ceot1 faat3.

    We hope.

    You are my sunshine, my love.

    • 你係我嘅陽光,我嘅愛人。
    • nei5 hai6 ngo5 ge3 joeng4 gwong1, ngo5 ge3 oi3 jan4.

    A compliment that lets your lover know they bring a special quality to your life. Really nice!

    Words can’t describe my love for you.

    • 冇辦法用言語嚟形容我對你嘅愛。
    • mou5 baan6 faat3 jung6 jin4 jyu5 lei4 jing4 jung4 ngo5 deoi3 nei5 ge3 oi3.

    Better say this when you’re feeling serious about the relationship! It means that your feelings are very intense.

    We were meant to be together.

    • 我哋注定喺埋一齊。
    • ngo5 dei6 zyu3 ding6 hai2 maai4 jat1 cai4.

    This is a loving affirmation that shows you see a future together, and that you feel a special bond with your partner.

    If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

    • 如果你讀緊呢句嘅時候諗緊某個人,你肯定已經墮入愛河。
    • jyu4 gwo2 nei5 duk6 gan2 ni1 geoi3 je5 ge3 si4 hau6 lam2 gan2 mau5 go3 jan4, nei5 hang2 ding6 ji5 ging1 do6 jap6 oi3 ho4.

    Here’s something fun to tease your lover with. And hope he/she was thinking of you!

    5. Cantonese Quotes about Love

    Cantonese Love Quotes

    You’re a love champ! You and your Cantonese lover are getting along fantastically, your dates are awesome, your Valentine’s Day together was spectacular, and you’re very much in love. Good for you! Here are some beautiful phrases of endearment in Cantonese that will remind him/her who is in your thoughts all the time.

    6. Marriage Proposal Lines

    Cantonese Marriage Proposal Lines

    Wow. Your Cantonese lover is indeed the love of your life - congratulations! And may only happiness follow the two of you! In most traditions, the man asks the woman to marry; this is also the Cantonese custom. Here are a few sincere and romantic lines that will help you to ask your lady-love for her hand in marriage.

    7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines

    Cantonese Break-Up Lines

    Instead of moving towards marriage or a long-term relationship, you find that the spark is not there for you. That is a pity! But even though breaking up is never easy, continuing a bad or unfulfilling relationship would be even harder. Remember to be kind to the person you are going to say goodbye to; respect and sensitivity cost nothing. Here are some phrases to help you break up gently.

  • We need to talk.
    • 我哋有啲嘢要傾下。
    • ngo5 dei6 jau5 di1 je5 jiu3 king1 haa5.

    This is not really a break-up line, but it is a good conversation opener with a serious tone.

    I’m just not ready for this kind of relationship.

    • 我未有心理準備發展呢種關係。
    • ngo5 mei6 jau5 sam1 lei5 zeon2 bei6 faat3 zin2 ni1 zung2 gwaan1 hai6.

    Things moved a bit fast and got too intense, too soon? Painful as it is, honesty is often the best way to break up with somebody.

    Let’s just be friends.

    • 我哋做朋友算啦。
    • ngo5 dei6 zou6 pang4 jau5 syun3 laa1.

    If the relationship was very intense, and you have sent many ‘i love u’ texts in Cantonese, this would not be a good breakup line. Feelings need to calm down before you can be friends, if ever. If the relationship has not really developed yet, a friendship would be possible.

    I think we need a break.

    • 我諗我哋要分開下。
    • ngo5 lam2 ngo5 dei6 jiu3 fan1 hoi1 haa5.

    This is again honest, and to the point. No need to play with someone’s emotions by not letting them know how you feel. However, this could imply that you may fall in love with him/her again after a period of time, so use with discretion.

    You deserve better.

    • 你應該可以搵到好過我嘅人。
    • ngo5 jing1 goi1 ho2 ji3 wan2 dou2 hou2 gwo3 ngo5 ge3 jan4.

    Yes, he/she probably deserves a better relationship if your own feelings have cooled down.

    We should start seeing other people.

    • 我們應該試下同其他人拍拖。
    • ngo5 dei6 jing1 goi1 si3 haa5 tung4 kei4 taa1 jan4 paak3 to1.

    This is probably the least gentle break-up phrase, so reserve it for a lover that doesn’t get the message!

    I need my space.

    • 我需要啲私人空間。
    • ngo5 seoi1 jiu3 di1 si1 jan4 hung1 gaan1.

    When a person is too clingy or demanding, this would be an suitable break-up phrase. It is another good go-to for that lover who doesn’t get the message!

    I think we’re moving too fast.

    • 我諗我哋進展得太快。
    • ngo5 lam2 ngo5 dei6 zeon3 zin2 dak1 taai3 faai3.

    Say this if you want to keep the relationship, but need to slow down its progress a bit. It is also good if you feel things are getting too intense for your liking. However, it is not really a break-up line, so be careful not to mislead.

    I need to focus on my career.

    • 我要專注喺我嘅事業。
    • ngo5 jiu3 zyun1 zyu3 hai2 ngo5 ge3 si6 jip6.

    If you feel that you will not be able to give 100% in a relationship due to career demands, this is the phrase to use. It’s also good if you are unwilling to give up your career for a relationship.

    I’m not good enough for you.

    • 我配你唔起。
    • ngo5 pui3 nei5 m4 hei2.

    Say this only if you really believe it, or you’ll end up sounding false. Break-ups are usually hard for the receiving party, so don’t insult him/her with an insincere comment.

    I just don’t love you anymore.

    • 我已經唔再愛你喇。
    • ngo5 ji5 ging1 m4 zoi3 oi3 nei5 laa3.

    This harsh line is sometimes the best one to use if you are struggling to get through to a stubborn, clingy lover who won’t accept your break up. Use it as a last resort. Then switch your phone off and block their emails!

    We’re just not right for each other.

    • 我哋唔係好適合對方。
    • ngo5 dei6 m4 hai6 hou2 sik1 hap6 deoi3 fong1.

    If this is how you truly feel, you need to say it. Be kind, gentle and polite.

    It’s for the best.

    • 咁樣其實最好。
    • gam2 joeng2 kei4 sat6 zeoi3 hou2.

    This phrase is called for if circumstances are difficult and the relationship is not progressing well. Love should enhance one’s life, not burden it!

    We’ve grown apart.

    • 我哋已經冇共同嘅目標。
    • ngo5 dei6 ji5 ging1 mou5 gung6 tung4 ge3 muk6 biu1.

    Cross-cultural relationships are often long-distance ones, and it is easy to grow apart over time.

    It’s not you. It’s me.

    • 唔關你事,係我嘅問題。
    • m4 gwaan1 nei5 si6, hai6 ngo5 ge3 man6 tai4.

    As long as you mean it, this can be a kind thing to say. It means that there’s nothing wrong with your Cantonese lover as a person, but that you need something different from a relationship.

  • 8. Will Falling in Love help you Learn Cantonese faster?

    Most people will agree that the above statement is a no-brainer - of course it will! Your body will be flooded with feel-good hormones, which are superb motivators for anything. CantoneseClass101 is one of the best portals to help help make this a reality, so don’t hesitate to enroll now! Let’s quickly look at the reasons why falling in love will speed up your learning of the Cantonese language.

    Three Reasons Why Having a Lover will Help you Learn Cantonese Faster!

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    1- Being in a love relationship with your Cantonese speaking partner will immerse you in the culture
    CantoneseClass101 uses immersive methods and tools to teach you Cantonese, but having a relationship with a native speaker will be a very valuable addition to your learning experience! You will gain exposure to their world, realtime and vividly, which will make the language come alive even more for you. The experience is likely to expand your world-view, which should motivate you to learn Cantonese even faster.

    2- Having your Cantonese romantic partner will mean more opportunity to practice speaking
    Nothing beats continuous practice when learning a new language. Your partner will probably be very willing to assist you in this, as your enhanced Cantonese language skills will enhance the relationship. Communication is, after all, one of the most important pillars of a good partnership. Also, you will get to impress your lover with the knowledge gained through your studies - a win/win situation!

    3- A supportive Cantonese lover is likely to make a gentle, patient teacher and study aid!
    With his/her heart filled with love and goodwill for you, your Cantonese partner is likely to patiently and gently correct your mistakes when you speak. This goes not only for grammar, but also for accent and meaning. With his/her help, you could sound like a native in no time!

    Three Reasons Why CantoneseClass101 helps you learn Cantonese Even Faster when you’re In Love

    Start with a bonus, and download the ‘How To be a Good Lover Cheat Sheet’ for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to be a Good Lover in Cantonese

    1- All the Resources and Materials Will Help Both of You
    Falling in love with a man or woman speaking Cantonese is an opportunity for both of you to learn a new language! For this reason, every lesson, transcript, vocabulary list, and resource at CantoneseClass101 is translated into both English and Cantonese. So, while your partner can help you learn Cantonese faster, you can potentially also help him/her learn and master English!

    2- Lessons Are Designed to Help You Understand and Engage with Cantonese Culture
    At CantoneseClass101, our focus is to help our students learn practical vocabulary and phrases used by everyday people in China. This means that, from your very first lesson, you can apply what you learn immediately! So, when your Cantonese partner wants to go out to a restaurant, play Pokemon Go, or attend just about any social function, you have the vocabulary and phrases necessary to have a great time!

    3- Access to Special Resources Dedicated to Romantic Cantonese Phrases
    You now have access to CantoneseClass101’s specially-developed sections and tools to teach you love words, phrases, and cultural insights to help you find and attract your Cantonese soul mate. A personal tutor will assist you to master these brilliantly - remember to invite him/her to your wedding!

    How to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong

    In Hong Kong, people celebrate the beginning of the new lunar year, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The Hong Kong New Year celebrations can take many forms—from lion dances, to fireworks, and even the Hong Kong New Year countdown. Many of these celebrations for the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong have their roots in tradition, and thus learning about this holiday and how it’s celebrated will help you know more about the Hong Kong culture as a whole.

    At CantoneseClass101.com, we seek to provide you with all the info you need to better understand Hong Kong, its people, and its language. By learning about these things, you’re both enabling yourself to master the Cantonese language and nuances, and showing respect for the country you plan to visit.

    So, what exactly is the Hong Kong New Year? How is the Hong Kong New Year’s Eve celebrated?

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    1. What is the Chinese Lunar New Year?

    The Chinese Lunar New Year is a celebration of the beginning of the new lunar year. It lasts a few days and is associated with many fascinating traditions. Learn more about the Hong Kong New Year below.

    2. When is it?

    Counting Down to Midnight

    This holiday falls on a different day each year on the Gregorian calendar, based on the lunar year calendar. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s dates for the next ten years.

    • 2019: February 5
    • 2020: January 25
    • 2021: February 12
    • 2022: February 1
    • 2023: January 22
    • 2024: February 10
    • 2025: January 29
    • 2026: February 17
    • 2027: February 6
    • 2028: January 26

    3. How is it Celebrated?

    Lion Dancer

    There are a lot of traditional customs that are carried out before and after the Lunar New Year.
    Before the Lunar New Year, everyone is busy with all kinds of chores, like buying New Year’s foods, preparing red packets, getting haircuts, and purchasing new clothes. During the lunar calendar’s twelfth month, on the eighth day, everyone spring cleans their houses, which in Cantonese is referred to as 大掃除.

    On New Year’s Eve, family members gather and have a festive dinner together, called 團年飯.
    On New Year’s Day, people visit their parents and wish for good luck at shrines by burning incense.

    On day two of the Hong Kong New Year, the visits continue, and everyone watches the Hong Kong New Year’s Eve fireworks in the evening.

    When visiting relatives and friends during Lunar New Year, everyone offers auspicious greetings. You might have heard of the most famous New Year’s greeting, 恭喜發財, which means ‘Happy New Year and wishing you prosperity’.

    The host decorates the home with a spring couplet and flowers, and prepares red packets, or 利是, a Chinese candy box, or 全盒, and rice cakes for their guests.

    Eating rice cakes during Lunar New Year means wishing for improvement in all aspects of life. This is because in Cantonese and Chinese, the word “rice cake” or 年糕 sounds similar to the other word 年高, meaning “higher level in the year”.

    The most interesting aspect of the Lunar New Year is the red packets, which is 利是 in Cantonese. These are small red or golden envelopes filled with money. Every married person prepares numerous red packets to give to their unmarried relatives and friends, as well as to the people who help them frequently in daily life, such as doormen and cleaners. Giving people red packets is seen as a way to share blessings and good luck with others.

    Most companies also give employees red packets on the first day of work after the holiday as a blessing for a year of good fortune.

    Though the Lunar New Year involves a lot of visits, there is also a day when you aren’t supposed to visit others. This would be the third day of the New Year, and it is because this day is considered unlucky, so you’re supposed to refrain from spreading the bad luck by visiting others’ homes. If nothing else, it’s a good excuse to take a break from the many visits you make on the first and second day of the New Year!

    4. Additional Information

    You should wear red during the Lunar New Year, because in Chinese culture, red, or 紅色 in Cantonese, represents “the joy” and “good luck.” But keep in mind that the colors black and white represent death, so be sure not to wear all black or white during this time!

    5. Must-know Vocab

    God of Wealth

    Here’s some vocab for you to review so that you can celebrate this holiday without a hitch.

    • 舞獅 (mou5 si1) — lion dance
    • 蘿蔔糕 (lo4 baak6 gou1) — turnip cake
    • 年糕 (nin4 gou1) — rice cake
    • 團年飯 (tyun4 nin4 faan6) — reunion dinner
    • 利是 (lei6 si6) — the red envelope
    • 拜年 (baai3 nin4) — to visit someone during the Chinese New Year
    • 年宵市場 (nin4 siu1 si5 coeng4) — Lunar New Year Fair
    • 財神 (coi4 san4) — God of Wealth
    • 花市 (faa1 si5) — flowermarket
    • 煙花 (jin1 faa1) — firework
    • 對聯 (deoi3 lyun2) — couplet
    • 倒數 (dou3 sou2) — countdown
    • 慶祝 (hing3 zuk1) — celebration
    • 農曆新年 (nung4 lik6 san1 nin4) — Lunar New Year

    To hear each word pronounced, check out our Cantonese Lunar New Year vocabulary list. Each word is accompanied by an audio file with its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    Now you know how the Chinese New Year is celebrated in Hong Kong! What do you think about the Hong Kong New Year events? Let us know in the comments!

    To gain even more knowledge about Hong Kong’s culture, visit us at CantoneseClass101.com. We offer informative blog posts, vocabulary lists on a range of topics, and even host an online community forum where you can discuss lessons with fellow Cantonese learners. And if you prefer a one-on-one learning experience, you can download our MyTeacher app which will provide you with your very own Cantonese teacher.

    We wish you well in your Cantonese learning journey and hope that you’re ready to celebrate the in Hong Kong on New Year’s Eve. Have fun!

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    How to Celebrate April Fools’ Day in Cantonese

    How to Celebrate April Fools' Day in Cantonese!

    Most everyone is familiar with this day, as it is celebrated nearly everywhere the world. Yet, when exactly is April Fools’ Day? And where did April Fools come from? April Fools’ Day is observed on April 1st every year. This day of jokes and pranks is believed to have stemmed from the 16th-century calendar change in France, when New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. This action was taken due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

    However, a few people were resistant to the calendar change, so they continued to observe New Year’s Day on April 1st, rather than the new date. They were referred to as the “April Fools”, and others started playing mocking tricks on them. This custom endured, and is practiced to this day around the world!

    Table of Contents

    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day
    2. Cantonese Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day
    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody
    4. How Can CantoneseClass101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

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    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day

    Do you want to know how to say April Fools’ Day in Cantonese? Well, there are millions of ways and words, but here are the top one million Cantonese words you really need to know! Simply click this link. Here are some of them you will find useful:

    1. joke - 開玩笑 - hoi1 wun6 siu3
    2. funny - 有趣 - jau5 ceoi3
    3. sneaky - 鬼鬼鼠鼠 - gwai2 gwai2 syu2 syu2
    4. prankster - 惡作劇者 - ok3 zok3 kek6 ze2
    5. prank - 惡作劇 - ok3 zok3 kek6
    6. play a joke - 整蠱人 - zing2 gu2 jan4
    7. humor - 幽默 - jau1 mak6
    8. fool - 傻瓜 - so4 gwaa1
    9. deceptive - 呃人 - aak1 jan4
    10. April 1st - 四月一日 - sei3 jyut6 jat1 jat6
    11. lie - 講大話 - gong2 daai6 waa6
    12. surprise - 驚喜 - ging1 hei2

    2. Cantonese Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day

    Cantonese Phrases for April Fools' Day

    Don’t limit yourself to practical jokes - use these April Fools’ phrases in Cantonese to prank your favorite Cantonese speaking friend or colleague!

    1. I learned Cantonese in 1 month.
      • 我一個月內學識廣東話。
      • ngo5 jat1 go3 jyut6 noi6 hok6 sik1 gwong2 dung1 waa2.
    2. All classes for today got canceled.
      • 今日全部堂都取消。
      • gam1 jat6 cyun4 bou6 tong4 dou1 ceoi2 siu1.
    3. I’m sorry, but I’ve just broken your favorite pair of glasses.
      • 對唔住,我啱啱整爛咗你最鐘意嗰副眼鏡。
      • deoi3 m4 zyu6, ngo5 aam1 aam1 zing2 laan6 zo2 nei5 zeoi3 zung1 ji3 go2 fu3 ngaan5 geng2.
    4. Someone has just hit your car.
      • 頭先有人撞你架車。
      • tau4 sin1 jau5 jan4 zong6 nei5 gaa3 ce1.
    5. I’m getting married.
      • 我結婚喇。
      • ngo5 git3 fan1 laa3.
    6. You won a free ticket.
      • 你贏咗張免費機票。
      • nei5 jeng4 zo2 zoeng1 min5 fai3 gei1 piu3.
    7. I saw your car being towed.
      • 我見到你架車被人拖走咗。
      • ngo5 gin3 dou2 nei5 gaa3 ce1 bei2 jan4 to1 zau2 zo2.
    8. They’re giving away free gift cards in front of the building.
      • 佢哋喺大廈前面送免費禮品卡。
      • keoi5 dei6 hai2 daai6 haa6 cin4 min6 sung3 min5 fai3 lai5 ban2 kaat1.
    9. A handsome guy is waiting for you outside.
      • 出面有個靚仔等緊你。
      • ceot1 min6 jau5 go3 leng3 zai2 dang2 gan2 nei5.
    10. A beautiful lady asked me to give this phone number to you.
      • 有個靚女叫我俾呢個電話冧巴你。
      • jau5 go3 leng3 neoi5 giu3 ngo5 bei2 ni1 go3 din6 waa2 lam1 baa2 nei5.
    11. Can you come downstairs? I have something special for you.
      • 你可唔可以落嚟?我有啲特別嘢送俾你。
      • nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 lok6 lei4? ngo5 jau5 di1 dak6 bit6 je5 sung3 bei2 nei5.
    12. Thank you for your love letter this morning. I never could have guessed your feelings.
      • 多謝你今朝俾我嘅情信。我一直都冇諗過你有咁嘅感覺。
      • do1 ze6 nei5 gam1 ziu1 gei2 ngo5 ge3 cing4 seon3. ngo5 jat1 zik6 dou1 mou5 lam2 gwo3 nei5 jau5 gam2 ge3 gam2 gok3.

    Choose your victims carefully, though; the idea is to get them to laugh with you, not to hurt their feelings or humiliate them in front of others. Be extra careful if you choose to play a prank on your boss - you don’t want to antagonize them with an inappropriate joke.

    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody

    Choose Bad or Good

    Right, now that you know the top million April Fools’ words in Cantonese, let’s look at some super pranks and tricks to play on friends, colleagues and family. Some April Fools ideas never grow old, while new ones are born every year.

    Never joke in such a way that it hurts anyone, or humiliates them badly in front of others - the idea is for everybody to laugh and enjoy the fun! Respect is still key, no matter what day of the year it is.

    Cockroach prank

    1- Infestation

    This trick is so simple, yet so creepy, it’s almost unbelievable. Take black paper, cut out the silhouette of a giant cockroach, a spider or another insect, and stick it inside the lampshade of a table lamp. When the lamp is switched on, it will look like a monstrous insect is sitting inside the lampshade. Or, get a whole lot of realistic-looking plastic insects, and spread them over a colleague’s desk and chair, or, at home, over the kids’ beds etc. Creep-factor: stellar.

    2- Which One Doesn’t Fit?

    Put the photo of a celebrity or a notorious politician in a frame, and take it to work on April Fools’ Day. Hang the photo on the staff picture wall, and wait. You’ll be surprised how long it can take for people to notice that one picture doesn’t fit.

    3- Something Weird in the Restroom

    At work, replace the air freshener in the restroom with something noxious like insect killer, oven cleaner or your own odious mixture in a spray bottle. Be sure to cover the bottle’s body so no one suspects a swap.

    Or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, and leave it at the hand wash basin. It will not lather.

    Or, if your workplace’s restroom has partitioned toilets with short doors, arrange jeans or trousers and shoes on all but one of the toilet covers, so it looks like every stall is occupied. Now wait for complaints, and see how long it takes for someone to figure out the April Fools’ Day prank. You’ll probably wish you had a camera inside the restroom. But, unless you don’t mind getting fired, don’t put your own recording device in there!

    Funny Face

    4- Call Me Funny

    Prepare and print out a few posters with the following instructions: Lion Roar Challenge! Call this number - 123-456-7890 - and leave your best lion’s roar as voicemail! Best roarer will be announced April 10 in the cafeteria. Prize: $100. (Lion’s roar is just an example; you can use any animal call, or even a movie character’s unique sound, such as Chewbacca from Star Wars. The weirder, the funnier. Obviously!) Put the posters up in the office where most of the staff is likely to see them. Now wait for the owner of the number to visit you with murderous intent. Have a conciliatory gift ready that’s not a prank.

    5- Minty Cookies

    This is another simple but hugely effective prank - simply separate iced cookies, scrape off the icing, and replace it with toothpaste. Serve during lunch or tea break at work, or put in your family’s lunch boxes. Be sure to take photos of your victim’s faces when they first bite into your April Fools’ cookies.

    6- Wild Shopping

    At your local grocer, place a realistic-looking plastic snake or spider among the fresh vegetables. Now wait around the corner for the first yell.

    7- The Oldest Trick in the Book

    Don’t forget probably the oldest, yet very effective April Fools’ joke in the book - smearing hand cream or Vaseline on a door handle that most staff, family or friends are likely to use. Yuck to the max!

    8- Sneeze On Me

    Another golden oldie is also gross, yet harmless and utterly satisfying as a prank. Fill a small spray bottle that you can easily conceal with water. Walk past a friend, colleague or one of your kids, and fake a sneeze while simultaneously spraying them with a bit of water. Expect to be called a totally disgusting person. Add a drop of lovely smelling essential oil to the water for extra confusion.

    9- Word Play Repairs

    Put a fresh leek in the hand wash basin at home or work, and then tell your housemates or colleagues this: “There’s a huge leak in the restroom/bathroom basin, it’s really serious. Please can someone go have a look?!” Expect exasperation and smiles all around. Note that this prank is only likely to work where people understand English well.

    10- Scary Face

    Print out a very scary face on an A4 sheet of paper, and place it in a colleague’s, or one of your kid’s drawers, so it’s the first thing they see when they open the drawer. You may not be very popular for a while.

    11- Wake Up To Madness

    Put foamy shaving cream, or real whipped cream on your hand, and wake your kid up by tickling their nose with it. As long as they get the joke, this could be a wonderful and fun way to start April Fools’ Day.

    Computer Prank

    12- Computer Prank

    This one’s fabulous, if you have a bit of time to fiddle with a colleague, friend or your kid’s computer. It is most effective on a computer where most of the icons they use are on the desktop background itself (as opposed to on the bottom task bar).

    Take and save a screenshot of their desktop with the icons. Set this screenshot as their background image. Now delete all the working icons. When they return to their computer, wait for the curses when no amount of clicking on the icons works.

    13- Monster Under the Cup

    This one will also work well anywhere people meet. Take a paper cup, and write the following on it in black pen: “Danger! Don’t lift, big spider underneath.” Place it upside-down on prominent flat surface, such as a kitchen counter, a colleague’s desk or a restaurant table. Expect some truly interesting responses.

    Door Prank

    14- Prank Door

    Write in large letters on a large and noticeable piece of paper: PUSH. Tape this notice on a door that should be pulled to open, and watch the hilarious struggle of those clever souls who actually read signs.

    4. How Can CantoneseClass101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

    If you happen to visit China, or if you work for any Cantonese speaking company, knowing the above Cantonese prankster phrases can really lighten up your day. Showing you have a sense of humor can go a long way to cement good relationships in any situation. These phrases are at your disposal for free, as well as are these 100 core Cantonese words, which you will learn how to pronounce perfectly.

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    Also, don’t stop at learning April Fools’ phrases in Cantonese - bone up your Cantonese language skills with these FREE key phrases. Yes, CantoneseClass101 doesn’t joke when it comes to effective, fun and easy learning.

    Thank you for helping CantoneseClass101! We’re serious about making learning Cantonese fun.

    How to Say Happy New Year in Cantonese & New Year Wishes

    Learn all the Cantonese New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join CantoneseClass101 for a special Cantonese New Year celebration!

    How to Say Happy New Year in Cantonese

    Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

    So, how do you say Happy New Year in Cantonese? Let a native teach you! At CantoneseClass101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Cantonese New Year wishes!

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    Table of Contents

    1. How to Celebrate New Year in China
    2. Must-Know Cantonese Words & Phrases for the New Year!
    3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Cantonese
    4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
    5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
    6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
    7. How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn Cantonese

    But let’s start with some vocabulary for Cantonese New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

    1. How to Celebrate New Year in China

    How to Celebrate New Year

    Let’s talk about New Year’s Eve, or 除夕 in Cantonese.

    Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?

    What is the most popular way to send New Year’s messages after the New Year’s Eve countdown in modern-day Hong Kong?

    If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep reading!

    Every 31st of December, countdown celebrations are held throughout Hong Kong. Many countdown events are held in shopping centers, but the government’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department also organizes the countdown carnival, which is 嘉年華 in Cantonese. Usually, families spend the New Years’ events and celebrations together in Hong Kong. A lot of people also host private parties at restaurants and clubhouses on New Year’s Eve.

    Among the many countdown celebrations held in Hong Kong, the most popular is fireworks on Victoria Harbour. Fireworks are called 煙花 in Cantonese. This event attracts a lot of people to the shores.

    In Hong Kong, there are three major outdoor New Year countdown events. “Countdown” in Cantonese is 倒數. The first is the Apple Countdown, which is held at Times Square in Causeway Bay. The concept of this countdown was inspired by the New Year countdown held in Times Square in New York. The second takes place on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, where famous celebrities perform and count down the coming of the New Year along with the public. The third is at Lan Kwai Fong in Central. During New Year’s, every bar, restaurant and nightclub in these areas is packed, and the streets are filled with people. The roads around those areas are blocked for the day and become “pedestrian zones”, or 行人專用區 in Cantonese.

    Crowded events such as these often lead to outbreaks of disorderly behavior, so fights and accidents during the countdown events are reported almost every year. The most serious accident reported was the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy of 1993. In this accident, 21 people died and 63 people were injured due to a stampede that resulted from overcrowded streets. It is recorded as the worst stampede in Hong Kong’s history. Ever since then, the Hong Kong Police Force, or 香港警務處, have implemented crowd control in all crowded areas to prevent joyous events from turning into tragic disasters.

    On New Year’s Eve, most public transportation, or 公共交通工具, offer overnight services, called 通宵服務 in Cantonese. These services allow participants in New Year’s events to return home safely after the celebrations.

    Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

    What is the most popular way to send New Year’s messages after the New Year’s Eve countdown in modern-day Hong Kong?

    In Hong Kong, most people call or send instant messages to their friends and relatives. Because there is such a heavy demand on phone network services at this time, it‘s no surprise when calls or text messages don’t go through.

    Happy New Year!
    新年快樂!
    san1 nin4 faai3 lok6!

    2. Must-Know Cantonese Words & Phrases for the New Year!

    Cantonese Words & Phrases for the New Year

    1- Year


    nin4

    This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in China could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

    2- Midnight

    午夜
    ng5 je6

    The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

    3- New Year’s Day

    元旦
    jyun4 daan3

    In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

    You can do it!

    4- Party

    派對
    paai3 deoi3

    A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

    5- Dancing

    跳舞
    tiu3 mou5

    Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

    6- Champagne

    香檳
    hoeng1 ban1

    Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

    7- Fireworks

    煙花
    jin1 faa1

    These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

    8- Countdown

    倒數
    dou3 sou2

    This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

    9- New Year’s Holiday

    新年假期
    san1 nin4 gaa3 kei4

    In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

    10- Confetti

    五彩碎紙
    ng5 coi2 seoi3 zi2

    In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

    11- New Year’s Eve

    新年前夕
    san1 nin4 cin4 zik6

    This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

    12- Toast

    敬酒
    ging3 zau2

    A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

    13- Resolution

    新年大計
    san1 nin4 daai6 gai3

    Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

    14- Parade

    巡遊
    ceon4 yau4

    New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At CantoneseClass101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Cantonese New Year celebrations are like!

    3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

    New Year’s Resolutions List

    So, you learned the Cantonese word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at CantoneseClass101 - what are yours?

    Learn these phrases and impress your Cantonese friends with your vocabulary.

    New Year's Resolutions

    1- Read more

    讀多啲書。
    duk6 do1 di1 syu1.

    Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Cantonese in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Cantonese language skills!

    2- Spend more time with family

    陪屋企人多啲。
    pui4 uk1 kei2 jan4 do1 di1.

    Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

    3- Lose weight

    減肥。
    gaam2 fei4.

    Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

    4- Save money

    儲錢。
    cou5 cin2.

    Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to CantoneseClass101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

    5- Quit smoking

    戒煙。
    gaai3 jin1.

    This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

    6- Learn something new

    學新嘢。
    hok6 san1 je5.

    Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

    7- Drink less

    飲少啲酒。
    jam2 siu2 di1 zau2.

    This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

    8- Exercise regularly

    定時運動。
    ding6 si4 wan6 dung6.

    This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

    9- Eat healthy

    食得健康啲。
    sik6 dak1 gin6 hong1 di1.

    If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

    10- Study Cantonese with CantoneseClass101

    用CantoneseClass101.com學廣東話
    jung6 CantoneseClass101.com hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2

    Of course! You can only benefit from learning Cantonese, especially with us! Learning how to speak Cantonese can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. CantoneseClass101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

    4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

    Inspirational Quotes

    Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

    Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Cantonese new year greeting!

    Make decorative notes of these in Cantonese, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Cantonese incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

    5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

    Language Learning Quotes

    Still undecided whether you should enroll with CantoneseClass101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

    Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

    As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Cantonese could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Cantonese - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

    6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

    Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Cantonese - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

    7. Why Enrolling with CantoneseClass101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

    If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Cantonese! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that CantoneseClass101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

    Learning Paths

    • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Cantonese at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
    • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Cantonese that makes sense!
    • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
    • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
    • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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    There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Cantonese with CantoneseClass101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!