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'''Cantonese''' (廣東話 Gwóngdūngwáh) is a widely spoken [[Chinese phrasebook|Chinese]] language. It is the local language in current use within the province of [[Guangdong]], [[China]], official language in the Special Administrative Region of [[Hong Kong]], as well as in the Special Administrative Region of [[Macau]], and used in many overseas Chinese communities in South-East Asia and elsewhere, with [[Kuala Lumpur]] and [[Ho Chi Minh City]] (Saigon) being two places where Cantonese is the dominant language in a Chinese community that is in turn huge and influential. Cantonese is also the dominant language in many Chinatowns all over the world, including [[Los Angeles]], [[San Francisco]], [[Seattle]], [[New York City|New York]], [[Chicago]], [[London]], [[Sydney]], [[Melbourne]], [[Perth]], [[Vancouver]], [[Toronto]] and [[Kuala Lumpur]]. The dialect of Chinese spoken by many inhabitants of eastern [[Guangxi]] Province in mainland China, is often referred to a form of Cantonese as well.
+
'''Cantonese''' (廣東話 Gwóng dōng wá) is a widely spoken [[Chinese phrasebook|Chinese]] language. It is the local language in current use within the province of [[Guangdong]], [[China]], official language in the Special Administrative Region of [[Hong Kong]], as well as in the Special Administrative Region of [[Macau]], and used in many overseas Chinese communities in South-East Asia and elsewhere, with [[Kuala Lumpur]] and [[Ho Chi Minh City]] (Saigon) being two places where Cantonese is the dominant language in a Chinese community that is in turn huge and influential. Cantonese is also the dominant language in many Chinatowns all over the world, including [[Los Angeles]], [[San Francisco]], [[Seattle]], [[New York City|New York]], [[Chicago]], [[London]], [[Sydney]], [[Melbourne]], [[Perth]], [[Vancouver]], [[Toronto]], [[Singapore]] and [[Kuala Lumpur]]. The dialect of Chinese spoken by many inhabitants of eastern [[Guangxi]] Province in mainland China, is often referred to a form of Cantonese as well.
  
The word "dialect" means something different when applied to Chinese than it does for most other languages. Chinese "dialects" have not only widely diverging pronunciations of the same words, but also use different words for expressing the same thing, and different grammar such as different word order. As a result, different Chinese dialects can be mutually unintelligible. The difference between one dialect and another can be as small as that between, say, Spanish and Portuguese, or as large as that between German and English. Meanwhile, there are different variations of the Cantonese dialect that differ greatly from one another. For example, the Cantonese spoken in the far west of Guangdong province (eg. [[Taishan]]) is hardly or not at all intelligible to a native of Guangzhou city.
+
Chinese languages are mutually unintelligible, with difference ranging from that between [[Italian]] and [[French]] to that between English and [[Swedish]], which we would call "related languages" rather than "dialects".
  
Speakers of all Chinese varieties do, in general, use the same characters in reading and writing. Written language is more formal and closer to standard Mandarin ''Póutūngwáh'' ([[Chinese phrasebook|Mandarin]]), even when used by Cantonese speakers. Oral Cantonese contains many words for which there has traditionally not existed a written form. In recent decades, however, characters for many of these words have been created, chiefly by the Hong Kong popular printed media such as newspapers and magazines. It should be noted that the different Cantonese-speaking communities use one of two different forms of writing: in Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and many overseas Chinese communities, ''traditional'' Chinese characters are in use, whereas the Cantonese-speaking communities in mainland China's Guangdong province as well as Singapore use ''simplified'' Chinese characters.
+
All Chinese dialects, in general, use the same set of characters in reading and writing in formal settings. A [[Cantonese]] speaker and a Mandarin speaker cannot talk to each other, but either can generally read what the other writes. However, there can be significant differences when the "dialects" are written in colloquial form. For example Cantonese as used in Hong Kong, more informal phrasings are used in everyday speech than what would be written. Thus, there are some extra characters that are sometimes used in addition to the common characters to represent the spoken dialect and other colloquial words.
  
In many cases the regional varieties are not clearly regionalised but vary gradually across a region. Thus linguists can identify anywhere between seven and seventeen separate Chinese languages where the speakers of different dialects are mutually unintelligible. This list is based on the Cantonese spoken in [[Guangzhou]]. Note that the Cantonese spoken in [[Hong Kong]] and [[Macau]] differ slightly due to Western influences, though standard Cantonese as spoken in Guangzhou would be understood by everyone. The Cantonese spoken in Singapore and Malaysia also differ slightly due to [[Malay phrasebook|Malay]] influences.
+
There are different local languages in Guangdong that are sometimes considered Cantonese dialects but in fact are separate languages, such as Taishanese, spoken in [[Taishan]] in the far west of Guangdong. However, most people throughout Guangdong know how to speak standard Cantonese (Guangzhou dialect) and Hongkongers and Macanese speak standard Cantonese with slight influences from Western languages, especially from English in Hong Kong Cantonese. The Cantonese spoken in Singapore and Malaysia also differ slightly due to [[Malay]] influences.
  
Some of the phrases in the list cannot be translated from English to Cantonese.  
+
Some of the phrases in the list are difficult to translate from English to Cantonese.  
  
 
==Pronunciation guide==
 
==Pronunciation guide==
The pronunciations given in this guidebook use the Yale Romanization system. Sounds can only be approximated at best using romanisation. This guide gives a general indication of the correct sound to make, but the best way to be completely accurate is to listen closely to native speakers and mimic the sounds they make.
+
The pronunciations given in this guidebook use the Yale Romanization system. Sounds can only be approximated at best. This guide gives a general indication of the correct sound to make, but the best way to be completely accurate is to listen closely to native speakers and to mimic the sounds they make.
  
 
===Consonants===
 
===Consonants===
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|-
 
|-
 
|b
 
|b
|'''b''' in "'''b'''all"
+
|'''p''' in "s'''p'''ort"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|p
 
|p
Line 31: Line 31:
 
|-
 
|-
 
|d
 
|d
|'''d''' in "'''d'''og"
+
|'''t''' in "s'''t'''op"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|t
 
|t
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|-
 
|-
 
|l
 
|l
|'''l''' as in "'''l'''ap". This is more like a rolling "r" sound, as in "ladder" or "butter", but it's a slide between d, t, l, and/or r.
+
|'''l''' as in "'''l'''ap"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|g
 
|g
|'''g''' in "'''g'''ood"
+
|'''k''' in "s'''k'''y"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|k
 
|k
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|-
 
|-
 
|j
 
|j
|blend of the '''z''' in "Mo'''z'''art" and the '''j''' in "'''j'''udge"
+
|'''zz''' as in "pi'''zz'''a"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|ch
 
|ch
|blend of the '''ts''' in "ca'''ts'''" and the '''ch''' in "'''ch'''urch"
+
|'''ts''' as in "'''ts'''unami"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|s
 
|s
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|-
 
|-
 
|gw
 
|gw
|'''gw''' as in "ho'''gw'''ash"
+
|'''qu''' as in "s'''qu'''are"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|kw
 
|kw
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|-
 
|-
 
|w
 
|w
|'''w''' as in "'''w'''ant"; otherwise, like English "v" in "victory"
+
|'''w''' as in "'''w'''ant"
 
|}
 
|}
  
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|-
 
|-
 
|aan
 
|aan
|'''awn''' as in "p'''awn'''"
+
|'''an''' as in "Taiw'''an'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|aang
 
|aang
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|-
 
|-
 
|aap
 
|aap
|'''op''' as in "'''op'''t"
+
|'''ap''' as in "t'''ap'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|aat
 
|aat
|'''ought''' as in "'''ought'''"
+
|'''at''' as in "h'''at'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|aak
 
|aak
|'''alk''' as in "t'''alk'''"
+
|'''ack''' as in "b'''ack'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|ai
 
|ai
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|-
 
|-
 
|am
 
|am
|'''ome''' as in "s'''ome'''"; otherwise, like '''"am"''' in '''"ham"'''.
+
|'''ome''' as in "s'''ome'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|an
 
|an
|'''un''' as in "s'''un'''". This can be pronounced like '''"an"''' in '''"man"'''
+
|'''un''' as in "s'''un'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|ang
 
|ang
|'''ung''' as in "l'''ung'''". This may sound like '''"ang"''' in '''"rang"'''.
+
|'''ung''' as in "l'''ung'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|ap
 
|ap
|'''up''' as in "c'''up'''". This can be pronounced like '''"ap"''' in '''"map"'''.
+
|'''up''' as in "c'''up'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|at
 
|at
|'''ut''' as in "c'''ut'''"; otherwise, like '''"at"''' in '''"cat"'''.
+
|'''ut''' as in "c'''ut'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|ak
 
|ak
|'''uc''' as in "s'''uc'''k"; otherwise, like '''"ack"''' in '''"back"'''.
+
|'''uc''' as in "s'''uc'''k"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|e
 
|e
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|-
 
|-
 
|eng
 
|eng
|'''eng''' as in "p'''eng'''uin"
+
|'''eng''' as in "l'''eng'''th"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|ek
 
|ek
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|-
 
|-
 
|o
 
|o
|'''aw''' as in "p'''aw'''" (British English)
+
|'''aw''' as in "p'''aw'''"  
 
|-
 
|-
 
|oi
 
|oi
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|-
 
|-
 
|on
 
|on
|'''orn''' as in "sc'''orn'''" (British English)
+
|'''awn''' as in "p'''awn'''"  
 
|-
 
|-
 
|ong
 
|ong
|'''ong''' as in "s'''ong'''" (British English)
+
|'''ong''' as in "s'''ong'''"  
 
|-
 
|-
 
|ot
 
|ot
|'''ot''' as in "h'''ot'''" (British English)
+
|'''aught''' as in "c'''aught'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|ok
 
|ok
|'''ock''' as in "st'''ock'''" (British English)
+
|'''alk''' as in "w'''alk'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|u
 
|u
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|-
 
|-
 
|ung
 
|ung
|combination of '''ou''' and '''ng'''
+
|'''ung''' as in "Band'''u'''ng"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|ut
 
|ut
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|-
 
|-
 
|uk
 
|uk
|'''oke''' as in "j'''oke'''"
+
|'''ook''' as in "b'''ook'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|eu
 
|eu
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|-
 
|-
 
|eui
 
|eui
|'''eui''' as in "d'''eui'''l" (French)
+
|'''o''' as in "n'''o'''" (British English)
 
|-
 
|-
 
|eun
 
|eun
|'''ine''' as in "eng'''ine'''"
+
|'''on''' as in "pers'''on'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|eut
 
|eut
|'''ut''' as in "p'''ut'''"
+
|'''ot''' as in "carr'''ot'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|yu
 
|yu
|'''u''' as in "t'''u'''" (French)
+
|Somewhat like '''ew''' as in "f'''ew'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|yun
 
|yun
|'''un''' as in "'''un'''ion"
+
|Somewhat like '''une''' as in "t'''une'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|yut
 
|yut
|'''Ut''' as in "'''Ut'''ah"
+
|Somewhat like '''ute''' as in "c'''ute'''"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|m
 
|m
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}}
 
}}
 
; Hello. : 你好. Néih hóu.
 
; Hello. : 你好. Néih hóu.
; How are you? (''rarely used in Cantonese''): 你好嗎? Néih hóu ma?
+
; How are you? : 你好嗎? Néih hóu ma?
; How are you recently? (''more popular in daily usage''): 近排點呀 Gahnpàaih dím a? (''informal'')
+
; How are you recently? (''more popular in daily usage''): 近排點呀? Gahnpàaih dím a? (''informal'')
; Fine. : 幾好. Géi hóu. (''No need to say "thank you" after answering "fine" in Cantonese'')
+
; Fine. : . Hóu. (''No need to say "thank you" after answering "fine" in Cantonese'')
 
; What is your name? : 你叫乜嘢名呀? Néih giu māt'yéh mèhng a?
 
; What is your name? : 你叫乜嘢名呀? Néih giu māt'yéh mèhng a?
 
; What is your name (''formal, literally means "How do I address you"'')? : 請問點稱呼? Chíngmahn dím chīngfū?
 
; What is your name (''formal, literally means "How do I address you"'')? : 請問點稱呼? Chíngmahn dím chīngfū?
; My name is ______ . : 我個名叫______. Ngóh go mèhng giu ______ .
+
; My name is ______ . : 我個名叫______. Ngóh go méng giu ______ .
 
; Nice to meet you. : 幸會. Hahng'wúih.
 
; Nice to meet you. : 幸會. Hahng'wúih.
 
; Please. : 請. Chíng.
 
; Please. : 請. Chíng.
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; You're welcome. : 唔使客氣. M̀h'sái haak-hei.
 
; You're welcome. : 唔使客氣. M̀h'sái haak-hei.
 
; Excuse me. (''getting attention'') : 唔好意思. M̀h'hóu yisi
 
; Excuse me. (''getting attention'') : 唔好意思. M̀h'hóu yisi
; Excuse me. (''to get past'') : 唔該. M̀h'gōi.
+
; Excuse me. (''to get past'') : 唔該. M̀h'gōi or 唔該借借 M̀h'gōi jeje.
 
; Sorry. : 對唔住. Deui-m̀h-jyuh. (In Hong Kong, it's more common to use the English word "sorry" instead)
 
; Sorry. : 對唔住. Deui-m̀h-jyuh. (In Hong Kong, it's more common to use the English word "sorry" instead)
; Goodbye : 再見 Joigin. (In Hong Kong, "bye bye" is often used instead)
+
; Goodbye (''formal'') : 再見 Joigin.  
 +
; Goodbye (''informal'') : 拜拜 Bāaibaai.
 
; I can't speak Cantonese. : 我唔識講廣東話. Ngóh m̀h'sīk góng Gwóngdōngwá.
 
; I can't speak Cantonese. : 我唔識講廣東話. Ngóh m̀h'sīk góng Gwóngdōngwá.
; Excuse me, do you speak English? : 請問你識唔識講英文呀? Chíngmahn néih sīk-m̀h-sīk góng Yīngmán a?
+
; Do you speak English? : 你識唔識講英文呀? Néih sīk-m̀h-sīk góng Yīngmán a?
; Is there someone here who speaks English? : 請問有冇人識講英文呀? Chíngmahn yáuhmóh yàhn sīk góng Yīngmán a?  
+
; Is there someone here who speaks English? : 呢度有冇人識講英文呀? nī douh yáuh móuh yàhn sīk góng Yīngmán a?  
 
; Help! : 救命呀! Gau mehng ā!  
 
; Help! : 救命呀! Gau mehng ā!  
 
; Look out! : 小心! Síusām!  
 
; Look out! : 小心! Síusām!  
 
; Good morning. : 早晨. Jóusàhn.
 
; Good morning. : 早晨. Jóusàhn.
 
; I don't understand. : 我唔明. Ngóh m̀h'mìhng.
 
; I don't understand. : 我唔明. Ngóh m̀h'mìhng.
; Where is the toilet? : 邊度有廁所? Bīndouh yáuh chi só?
+
; Where is the toilet? : 廁所喺邊度呀? Chi hái bīn douh a?
  
 
===Problems===
 
===Problems===
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; number _____ (train, bus, etc.) : _____號 houh
 
; number _____ (train, bus, etc.) : _____號 houh
 
; half : 半 bun
 
; half : 半 bun
; less : síu
+
; less : síu
 
; more : 多 dō
 
; more : 多 dō
  
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;purple : 紫色 jí sīk
 
;purple : 紫色 jí sīk
 
;brown : 啡色 fē sīk
 
;brown : 啡色 fē sīk
 +
;pink : 粉紅色 fán hùhng sīk
  
 
===Transportation===
 
===Transportation===
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; the youth hostel? : 青年旅舍 chīngnìhn léuihséh
 
; the youth hostel? : 青年旅舍 chīngnìhn léuihséh
 
; the _____ hotel? : _____ 酒店 _____ jáudim
 
; the _____ hotel? : _____ 酒店 _____ jáudim
; the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate : 美國/加拿大/澳州/英國 領事館? Méihgwok/Oujāu/Yīng'gwok/Gānàhdaaih líhngsihgún
+
; the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate : 美國/加拿大/澳州/英國 領事館? Méihgwok/Gānàhdaaih/Oujāu/Yīng'gwok líhngsihgún
 
; Where are there a lot of_____ ? : 邊度可以搵到好多_____呀? Bīndouh hó'yi wándou hóudō _____ a?
 
; Where are there a lot of_____ ? : 邊度可以搵到好多_____呀? Bīndouh hó'yi wándou hóudō _____ a?
 
; restaurants : 餐廳 chāantēng
 
; restaurants : 餐廳 chāantēng
 
; bars : 酒吧 jáubā
 
; bars : 酒吧 jáubā
; sites to see : 境點 gíngdím
+
; sites to see : 景點 gíngdím
 
; Can you show me on the map? : 可唔可以喺張地圖度指俾我睇呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi hái jēung deihtòuh douh jí béi ngóh tái a?
 
; Can you show me on the map? : 可唔可以喺張地圖度指俾我睇呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi hái jēung deihtòuh douh jí béi ngóh tái a?
 
; street : 街 gāai
 
; street : 街 gāai
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; I don't eat pork. : 我唔食豬. Ngóh m̀h'sihk jyū.
 
; I don't eat pork. : 我唔食豬. Ngóh m̀h'sihk jyū.
 
; I don't eat beef. : 我唔食牛. Ngóh m̀h'sihk ngàuh.
 
; I don't eat beef. : 我唔食牛. Ngóh m̀h'sihk ngàuh.
; I only eat kosher food. : 我淨係食清真嘢. Ngóh jihnghaih sihk chīngjān yéh.
+
; I only eat halal food. : 我淨係食清真嘢. Ngóh jihnghaih sihk chīngjān yéh.
 
; Can you make it "lite", please? : 嘢食清啲, 唔該. yéhsihk chīngdī, m̀h'gōi.
 
; Can you make it "lite", please? : 嘢食清啲, 唔該. yéhsihk chīngdī, m̀h'gōi.
 
; fixed-price meal : 套餐 touchāan
 
; fixed-price meal : 套餐 touchāan
Line 698: Line 700:
 
; I haven't done anything wrong. : 我冇做錯野. Ngóh móuh jouh cho yéh.
 
; I haven't done anything wrong. : 我冇做錯野. Ngóh móuh jouh cho yéh.
 
; It was a misunderstanding. : 件事係誤會. Ginh sih haih ngh-wuih.
 
; It was a misunderstanding. : 件事係誤會. Ginh sih haih ngh-wuih.
; Where are you taking me? : 你帶我去邊? Néih daai ngóh heui bīn.
+
; Where are you taking me? : 你帶我去邊? Néih daai ngóh heui bīn?
 
; Am I under arrest? : 我係唔係俾人拉左呀? Ngóh haih-m̀h-haih béi yàhn lāai jó a?
 
; Am I under arrest? : 我係唔係俾人拉左呀? Ngóh haih-m̀h-haih béi yàhn lāai jó a?
 
; I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. : 我係 美國/澳州/英國/加拿大 公民. Ngóh haih Méihgwok/Oujāu/Yīng'gwok/Gānàhdaaih gūngmàhn.
 
; I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. : 我係 美國/澳州/英國/加拿大 公民. Ngóh haih Méihgwok/Oujāu/Yīng'gwok/Gānàhdaaih gūngmàhn.

Revision as of 03:40, 25 March 2013

Cantonese (廣東話 Gwóng dōng wá) is a widely spoken Chinese language. It is the local language in current use within the province of Guangdong, China, official language in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, as well as in the Special Administrative Region of Macau, and used in many overseas Chinese communities in South-East Asia and elsewhere, with Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) being two places where Cantonese is the dominant language in a Chinese community that is in turn huge and influential. Cantonese is also the dominant language in many Chinatowns all over the world, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Chicago, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Vancouver, Toronto, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The dialect of Chinese spoken by many inhabitants of eastern Guangxi Province in mainland China, is often referred to a form of Cantonese as well.

Chinese languages are mutually unintelligible, with difference ranging from that between Italian and French to that between English and Swedish, which we would call "related languages" rather than "dialects".

All Chinese dialects, in general, use the same set of characters in reading and writing in formal settings. A Cantonese speaker and a Mandarin speaker cannot talk to each other, but either can generally read what the other writes. However, there can be significant differences when the "dialects" are written in colloquial form. For example Cantonese as used in Hong Kong, more informal phrasings are used in everyday speech than what would be written. Thus, there are some extra characters that are sometimes used in addition to the common characters to represent the spoken dialect and other colloquial words.

There are different local languages in Guangdong that are sometimes considered Cantonese dialects but in fact are separate languages, such as Taishanese, spoken in Taishan in the far west of Guangdong. However, most people throughout Guangdong know how to speak standard Cantonese (Guangzhou dialect) and Hongkongers and Macanese speak standard Cantonese with slight influences from Western languages, especially from English in Hong Kong Cantonese. The Cantonese spoken in Singapore and Malaysia also differ slightly due to Malay influences.

Some of the phrases in the list are difficult to translate from English to Cantonese.

Contents

Pronunciation guide

The pronunciations given in this guidebook use the Yale Romanization system. Sounds can only be approximated at best. This guide gives a general indication of the correct sound to make, but the best way to be completely accurate is to listen closely to native speakers and to mimic the sounds they make.

Consonants

Yale Pronunciation
b p in "sport"
p p as in "pat"
m m as in "mom"
f f as in "foot"
d t in "stop"
t t as in "top"
n n as in "not"
l l as in "lap"
g k in "sky"
k k as in "kite"
ng ng as in "singer"
h h as in "hot"
j zz as in "pizza"
ch ts as in "tsunami"
s s as in "sleep"
gw qu as in "square"
kw qu as in "quark"
y y as in "yard"
w w as in "want"

Finals

The final consonants p, t, and k are unreleased. This means that they are virtually silent and you hear no "puff of air" at the end of the syllable.

Yale Pronunciation
aa a as in "spa"
aai igh as in "sigh"
aau ow as in "how"
aam am as in "Vietnam"
aan an as in "Taiwan"
aang combination of aa and ng
aap ap as in "tap"
aat at as in "hat"
aak ack as in "back"
ai i as in "kite"
au ou as in "scout"
am ome as in "some"
an un as in "sun"
ang ung as in "lung"
ap up as in "cup"
at ut as in "cut"
ak uc as in "suck"
e e as in "bet"
ei ay as in "say"
em em as in "temple"
eng eng as in "length"
ek eck as in "peck"
i ee as in "tee"
iu ew as in "few"
im eem as in "seem"
in een as in "seen"
ing ing as in "sing"
ip eep as in "sleep"
it eet as in "meet"
ik ick as in "sick"
o aw as in "paw"
oi oy as in "boy"
ou oe as in "toe"
on awn as in "pawn"
ong ong as in "song"
ot aught as in "caught"
ok alk as in "walk"
u oo as in "coo"
ui ooey as in "gooey"
un oon as in "soon"
ung ung as in "Bandung"
ut oot as in "boot"
uk ook as in "book"
eu er as in "her" (Britsh English, with rounded lips)
eung combination of eu and ng
euk ork as in "work" (British English)
eui o as in "no" (British English)
eun on as in "person"
eut ot as in "carrot"
yu Somewhat like ew as in "few"
yun Somewhat like une as in "tune"
yut Somewhat like ute as in "cute"
m mm as in "hmm"
ng ng as in "sing"

Tones

Cantonese is a tonal language. This means that the same syllable, pronounced in a different tone, has a different meaning. To complicate this, there may be more than one character pronounced as the same syllable with the same tone (though this is uncommon). In this case, context usually helps resolve the ambiguity. This may sound daunting, but is in fact is better than say, English, where there are a great deal of words that are spoken identically (eg. their, there, they're) and have nothing but context to help determine which one it is. Cantonese has context and tone to help distinguish words.

Different variations of the Cantonese dialect have a different number of tones, from as few as six to as many as ten or more. Most speakers, however, and all modern linguistic interpretations get by with being able to distinguish (both in spoken and heard Cantonese) between the following six tones:

Yale Description Start-to-end pitch Yale Description Start-to-end pitch
1 ā High Level noframe 4 àh Low Falling noframe
2 á Mid Rising noframe 5 áh Low Rising noframe
3 a Mid Level noframe 6 ah Low Level noframe

The tonal pronunciation of Cantonese is by far the most difficult aspect of the often daunting language. The very minor initial difficulty in learning the tones is sometimes more than made up for by simple grammar, and absence of almost all plurals, genders, tenses and forms that make many other world languages seem difficult by comparison.

Phrase list

Basics

To be or not to be?
Cantonese, as in Chinese, does not have words for "yes" and "no" as such; instead, questions are typically answered by repeating the verb. Common ones include:

To be or not to be
係 haih, 唔係 mh'haih
To have or not have / there is or is not
有 yáuh, 冇 móuh
To be right or wrong
啱 āam, 唔啱 mh'āam
Hello. 
你好. Néih hóu.
How are you? 
你好嗎? Néih hóu ma?
How are you recently? (more popular in daily usage)
近排點呀? Gahnpàaih dím a? (informal)
Fine. 
好. Hóu. (No need to say "thank you" after answering "fine" in Cantonese)
What is your name? 
你叫乜嘢名呀? Néih giu māt'yéh mèhng a?
What is your name (formal, literally means "How do I address you")? 
請問點稱呼? Chíngmahn dím chīngfū?
My name is ______ . 
我個名叫______. Ngóh go méng giu ______ .
Nice to meet you. 
幸會. Hahng'wúih.
Please. 
請. Chíng.
Thank you. (when someone helps you
唔該. M̀h'gōi.
Thank you. (when someone gives you a gift
多謝 Dōjeh.
You're welcome. 
唔使客氣. M̀h'sái haak-hei.
Excuse me. (getting attention
唔好意思. M̀h'hóu yisi
Excuse me. (to get past
唔該. M̀h'gōi or 唔該借借 M̀h'gōi jeje.
Sorry. 
對唔住. Deui-m̀h-jyuh. (In Hong Kong, it's more common to use the English word "sorry" instead)
Goodbye (formal
再見 Joigin.
Goodbye (informal
拜拜 Bāaibaai.
I can't speak Cantonese. 
我唔識講廣東話. Ngóh m̀h'sīk góng Gwóngdōngwá.
Do you speak English? 
你識唔識講英文呀? Néih sīk-m̀h-sīk góng Yīngmán a?
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
呢度有冇人識講英文呀? nī douh yáuh móuh yàhn sīk góng Yīngmán a?
Help! 
救命呀! Gau mehng ā!
Look out! 
小心! Síusām!
Good morning. 
早晨. Jóusàhn.
I don't understand. 
我唔明. Ngóh m̀h'mìhng.
Where is the toilet? 
廁所喺邊度呀? Chi só hái bīn douh a?

Problems

Leave me alone. 
唔好搞我. M̀h'hóu gáau ngóh.
Don't touch me! 
唔好掂我! M̀h'hóu dihm ngóh!
I'll call the police. 
我會叫警察. Ngóh wúih giu gíngchaat.
Police! 
警察! Gíngchaat!
Stop! Thief! 
咪走! 賊仔! Máih jáu! Chaahkjái!
Please help me. 
唔該幫我. M̀h'gōi bōng ngóh.
It's an emergency. 
好緊急. Hóu gán'gāp.
I'm lost. 
我蕩失路. Ngóh dohngsāt louh.
I lost my bag. 
我唔見咗個袋. Ngóh m̀h'gin jó go doih.
I dropped my wallet. 
我跌咗個銀包. Ngóh dit jó go ngàhn bāau.
I don't feel well. 
我唔舒服. Ngóh m̀h syūfuhk.
I've been injured. 
我受咗傷. Ngóh sauh jó sēung.
Please call a doctor. 
唔該幫我叫醫生. M̀h'gōi bōng ngóh giu yīsāng.
Can I use your phone? 
可唔可以借個電話用呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi je go dihnwáh yuhng a?

Numbers

一 yāt
二 yih
三 sāam
四 sei
五 ńgh
六 luhk
七 chāt
八 baat
九 gáu
10
十 sahp
11 
十一 sahpyāt
12 
十二 sahpyih
13 
十三 sahpsāam
14 
十四 sahpsei
15 
十五 sahpńgh
16 
十六 sahpluhk
17 
十七 sahpchāt
18 
十八 sahpbaat
19 
十九 sahpgáu
20 
二十 yihsahp
21 
二十一 yihsahpyāt
22 
二十二 yihsahpyih
23 
二十三 yihsahpsāam
30 
三十 sāamsahp
40 
四十 seisahp
50 
五十 ńghsahp
60 
六十 luhksahp
70 
七十 chātsahp
80 
八十 baatsahp
90 
九十 gáusahp
100 
一百 yātbaak
200 
二百 yihbaak
300 
三百 sāambaak
1000 
一千 yātchīn
2000 
二千 yihchīn
10,000 
一萬 yātmaahn
100,000 
十萬 sahpmaahn
1,000,000 
一百萬 yātbaakmaahn
10,000,000 
一千萬 yātchīnmaahn
100,000,000 
一億 yātyīk
1,000,000,000 
十億 sahpyīk
10,000,000,000 
一百億 yātbaakyīk
100,000,000,000 
一千億 yātchīnyīk
1,000,000,000,000 
一兆 yātsiuh
number _____ (train, bus, etc.) 
_____號 houh
half 
半 bun
less 
小 síu
more 
多 dō

Time

now 
而家 yīgā
late 
遲 chìh
early 
早 jóu
morning 
朝早 jīujóu
afternoon 
晏晝 ngaanjau
evening 
夜晚 yeh máahn

Clock time

one o'clock 
一點 yāt dím
two o'clock 
兩點 léuhng dím (not 二點)
two five 
兩點一 / 兩點踏一 léuhng dím yāt/léuhng dím daahp yāt
two ten 
兩點二 / 兩點踏二 léuhng dím yih/léuhng dím daahp yih
two fifteen 
兩點三 / 兩點踏三 léuhng dím sāam/léuhng dím daahp sāam
two thirty/Half past two 
兩點 léuhng dím bun (not 兩點六 / 兩點踏六)
two forty-five 
兩點九 / 兩點踏九 léuhng dím gáu/léuhng dím daahp gáu
two fifty 
兩點十 / 兩點踏十 léuhng dím sahp/léuhng dím daahp sahp
two fifty-five 
兩點踏十一 léuhng dím daahp sahpyāt (not 兩點十一)
two fifty-seven 
兩點五十七分 léuhng dím ńghsahpchāt fān

Duration

_____ minute(s) 
_____ 分鐘 fānjūng
_____ hour(s) 
_____ 個鐘 gor jūng
_____ day(s) 
_____ 日 yaht
_____ week(s) 
_____ 個禮拜 gor láihbaai
_____ month(s) 
_____ 個月 gor yuht
_____ year(s) 
_____ 年 nìhn

Days

today 
今日 gām'yaht
yesterday 
尋日 chàhm'yaht
tomorrow 
聽日 tīngyaht
the day before last 
前日 chìhnyaht
the day after tomorrow 
後日 hauh'yaht
this week 
今個禮拜 gām go láihbaai
last week 
上個禮拜 seuhng go láihbaai
next week 
下個禮拜 hah go láihbaai
Sunday 
禮拜日 láihbaai yaht
Monday 
禮拜一 láihbaai yāt
Tuesday 
禮拜二 láihbaai yih
Wednesday 
禮拜三 láihbaai sāam
Thursday 
禮拜四 láihbaai sei
Friday 
禮拜五 láihbaai ńgh
Saturday 
禮拜六 láihbaai luhk

Months

January 
一月 yāt'yuht
February 
二月 yih'yuht
March 
三月 sāam'yuht
April 
四月 seiyuht
May 
五月 ńgh'yuht
June 
六月 luhk'yuht
July 
七月 chāt'yuht
August 
八月 baat'yuht
September 
九月 gáuyuht
October 
十月 sahpyuht
November 
十一月 sahpyāt'yuht
December 
十二月 sahpyih'yuht

Colors

black 
黑色 hāk sīk
white 
白色 baahk sīk
gray 
灰色 fūi sīk
red 
紅色 hùhng sīk
blue 
藍色 làahm̀ sīk
yellow 
黃色 wòhng sīk
green 
綠色 luhk sīk
orange 
橙色 chàahng sīk
purple 
紫色 jí sīk
brown 
啡色 fē sīk
pink 
粉紅色 fán hùhng sīk

Transportation

Bus and train

In Cantonese, "train" is translated into 火車 (fóchē) and "bus" is 巴士 (bāsí). The language uses measure words or numeral classifiers before the actual nouns. In context of the following examples, the respective Cantonese measure words for 火車 and 巴士 are 班 (bāan) and 架 (ga).

How much is a ticket to _____? 
去_____張飛要幾多錢嘎? Heui _____ jēung fēi yiu géidō chín gah?
One ticket to _____, please. 
一張飛去_____, 唔該. Yāt jēung fēi heui _____, m̀h'gōi.
Where does this train/bus go? 
呢 [班火車]/[架巴士] 去邊度嘎? Nī [bāan fóchē]/[ga bāsí] heui bīn?
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
去_____ [班火車]/[架巴士] 喺邊度搭嘎? Heui _____ [bāan fóchē]/[ga bāsí] hái bīndouh daap gah?
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
呢[班火車]/[架巴士]停唔停_____嘎? Nī [bāan fóchē]/[ga bāsí] tìhng-m̀h- tìhng _____ gah?
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
去_____[班火車/架巴士]幾點走嘎? Heui _____ [bāan fóchē]/[ga bāsí] géidím jáu gah?
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
[班火車]/[架巴士]會幾點去到_____嘎? [Bāan fóchē]/[Ga bāsí] wúih géidím heuidou _____ gah?

Directions

How do I get to _____ ? 
我可以點去_____呀? Ngóh hó'yi dím heui _____ a?
the train station 
火車站 fóchē jaahm
the bus station? 
巴士站 bāsí jaahm
the airport? 
機場 gēichèuhng
downtown? 
市區 síh'kēui
the youth hostel? 
青年旅舍 chīngnìhn léuihséh
the _____ hotel? 
_____ 酒店 _____ jáudim
the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate 
美國/加拿大/澳州/英國 領事館? Méihgwok/Gānàhdaaih/Oujāu/Yīng'gwok líhngsihgún
Where are there a lot of_____ ? 
邊度可以搵到好多_____呀? Bīndouh hó'yi wándou hóudō _____ a?
restaurants 
餐廳 chāantēng
bars 
酒吧 jáubā
sites to see 
景點 gíngdím
Can you show me on the map? 
可唔可以喺張地圖度指俾我睇呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi hái jēung deihtòuh douh jí béi ngóh tái a?
street 
街 gāai
Turn left. 
轉左 Jyun jó.
Turn right. 
轉右 Jyun yauh.
left 
左 jó
right 
右 yauh
straight ahead 
直行 jihk'hàahng
towards the _____ 
去_____ heui _____
past the _____ 
過咗 _____ gwojó _____
before the _____ 
_____之前 jīchìhn
Watch for the _____. 
睇住_____. Táijyuh _____.
intersection 
十字路口 sahpjihlouh'háu
north 
北面 bākmihn
south 
南面 nàahm'mihn
east 
東面 dūngmihn
west 
西面 sāimihn
uphill 
上山 séuhngsāan
downhill 
落山 lohksāan

Taxi

Taxi! 
的士! Dīksíh!
Take me to _____, please. 
載我去_____, 唔該. Joi ngóh heui _____, m̀h'gōi.
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
去_____要幾多錢嘎? Heui _____ yiu géidō chín gah?
Take me there, please. 
載我去嗰度, 唔該. Joi ngóh heui gódouh, m̀h'gōi

Lodging

Common signs

OPEN 
營業中 / 開
CLOSED 
休息 / 關
ENTRANCE 
入口
EXIT 
出口
PUSH 
PULL 
TOILET 
洗手間
MEN 
WOMEN 
FORBIDDEN 
禁止
Do you have any rooms available? 
你哋有冇空房呀? Néihdeih yáuh-móuh hūngfóng a?
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
單人房/雙人房 要幾多錢呀? Dāanyàhnfóng/Sēungyàhnfóng yiu géidō chín a?
Does the room come with _____? 
間房有冇_____嘎? Gāan fóng yáuh-móuh _____ gah?
bedsheets 
床襟 chòhngkám
a bathroom 
浴室 yuhksāt
a telephone 
電話 dihnwah
a TV 
電視 dihnsih
May I see the room first? 
可唔可以睇下間房先呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi tái-háh gāan fóng sīn a?
Do you have anything _____? 
有冇間房會_____嘎? Yáuh-móuh gāan fóng húi _____ gah?
quieter 
靜啲 jihngdī
bigger 
大啲 daaihdī
cleaner 
乾淨啲 gōnjehngdī
cheaper 
平啲 pèhngdī
OK, I'll take it. 
好, 我要呢間. Hóu, ngóh yiu nī gāan.
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
我會喺度住_____晚. Ngóh húi háidouh jyuh _____ máahn.
Can you suggest another hotel? 
你可唔可以介紹第二間酒店俾我呀? Néih hó-m̀h-hó'yi gaaisiuh daihyih gāan jáudim béi ngóh a?
Do you have a _____?
你哋有冇_____嘎? Néihdeih yáuh-móuh _____ gah?
safe 
夾萬 gaapmaahn
lockers 
儲物櫃 chyúhmahtgwaih
Is breakfast/supper included? 
包唔包 早餐/晚餐 嘎? Bāau-m̀h-bāau jóuchāan/máahnchāan gah?
What time is breakfast/supper? 
幾點有 早餐/晚餐 嘎? Géidím yáuh jóuchāan/máahnchāan gah?
Please clean my room. 
唔該幫我執下間房. M̀h'gōi bōng ngóh jāp-háh gāan fóng.
Can you wake me at _____? 
可唔可以_____叫醒我呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi _____ giuséng ngóh a?
I want to check out. 
我想退房. Ngóh séung teuifóng.

Money

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
你哋收唔收 美/澳/加 元嘎? Néihdeih sāu-m̀h-sāu Méih/Ou/Gā yùhn gah?
Do you accept British pounds? 
你哋收唔收英鎊嘎? Néihdeih sāu-m̀h-sāu Yīngbohng gah?
Do you accept credit cards? 
你哋收唔收信用卡嘎? Néihdeih sāu-m̀h-sāu sun-yoong-caht gah?
Can you change money for me? 
可唔可以幫我唱錢呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi bōng ngóh cheung chín a?
Where can I get money changed? 
我可以去邊度唱錢呀? Ngóh hó'yi heui bīndouh cheung chín a?
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
可唔可以幫我唱張旅行支票呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi bōng ngóh cheung jēung léuih'hàhng jīpiu a?
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
我可以去邊度唱張旅行支票呀? Ngóh hó'yi heui bīndouh cheung jēung léuih'hàhng jīpiu a?
What is the exchange rate? 
匯率係幾多呀? Wuihléut haih géidō a?
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
邊度有櫃員機呀? Bīndouh yáuh gwai'hyùhn'gēi a?

Eating

Reading a Chinese Menu
Look for these characters to get an idea of how your food's cooked. With help from The Eater's Guide to Chinese Characters (J. McCawley).

煎 jīn
fried
炒 cháau
stir-fried
煮 jyú
boiled
炸 ja
deep-fried
炆 mān
simmered
燉 dahn
stewed
焗 guhk
baked
蒸 jīng
steamed
A table for one person/two people, please. 
一張 一人枱/二人枱, 唔該. Yāt jēung yātyàhntói/yihyàhntói, m̀h'gōi.
Can I look at the menu, please? 
俾張餐牌我睇, 唔該. Béi jēung chāanpáai ngóh tái, m̀h'gōi.
Can I look in the kitchen? 
可唔可以睇吓個廚房呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi tái-háh gō chyùhfóng a?
Is there a house specialty? 
有乜嘢嘢食出名嘎? Yáuh mātyéh yéhsihk chēutméng gah?
Is there a local specialty? 
有冇本地嘢食嘎? Yáuh-móuh búndeih yéhsihk gah?
I'm a vegetarian. 
我食素. Ngóh sihk sou.
I don't eat pork. 
我唔食豬. Ngóh m̀h'sihk jyū.
I don't eat beef. 
我唔食牛. Ngóh m̀h'sihk ngàuh.
I only eat halal food. 
我淨係食清真嘢. Ngóh jihnghaih sihk chīngjān yéh.
Can you make it "lite", please? 
嘢食清啲, 唔該. yéhsihk chīngdī, m̀h'gōi.
fixed-price meal 
套餐 touchāan
a la carte 
跟餐牌 gān chāanpáai (means "as on the menu")
breakfast 
早餐 jóuchāan
lunch 
晏 aan / 午餐 ńghchāan
tea (meal
下午茶 hah-ńgh-chàh
supper 
晚餐 máahnchāan
I want _____. 
我想要_____. Ngóh séung yiu _____.
I want a dish containing _____. 
我想要樣有_____. Ngóh séung yiu yeuhng yáuh _____.
chicken 
雞 gāi
beef 
牛 ngàuh
fish 
魚 yùh
ham 
火腿 fótéui
sausage 
香腸 hēungchéuhng
cheese 
芝士 jīsí
eggs 
蛋 dáan
salad 
沙律 sāléut
(fresh) vegetables 
(新鮮)蔬菜 (sānsīn) sōchoi
(fresh) fruit 
(新鮮)生果 (sānsīn) sāang'gwó
bread 
麵包 mihnbāau
toast 
多士 dōsí
noodles 
麵 mihn
rice 
飯 faahn
beans 
豆 dáu
May I have a glass/cup of _____? 
可唔可以俾杯_____我呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi béi būi _____ ngóh a?
May I have a bottle of _____? 
可唔可以俾樽_____我呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi béi jēun _____ ngóh a?
coffee 
咖啡 gafē
tea (drink
茶 chàh
juice 
果汁 gwójāp
bubbly water 
有氣水 yáuh'hei séui
water 
水 séui
beer 
啤酒 bējáu
red/white wine 
紅/白 酒 hùhng/baahk jáu
May I have some _____? 
可唔可以俾啲_____我呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi béi dī _____ ngóh a?
salt 
鹽 yìhm
black pepper 
黑椒 hākjīu
butter 
牛油 ngàuhyàuh
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
侍應唔該. Sihying m̀h'gōi.
I'm finished. 
食完嘅喇. Sihkyùhn gela.
It was delicious. 
好食. Hóusihk
Please clear the plates. 
唔該幫我清下張枱. M̀h' gōi bōng ngóh chīng-háh jēung tói.
The check, please. 
埋單, 唔該. Màaihdāan, m̀h'gōi.

Bars

Do you serve alcohol? 
你哋有冇酒飲嘎? Néihdeih yáuh-móuh jáu yám gah?
Is there table service? 
有冇侍應埋枱嘎? Yáuh-móuh sihying màai tói gah?
A beer/two beers, please. 
一/兩杯 啤酒, 唔該. Yāt/léuhng būi bējáu, m̀h'gōi.
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
一杯 紅/白 酒, 唔該. Yāt būi hùhng/baahk jáu, m̀h'gōi.
A pint, please. 
一 pint, 唔該. Yāt pint, m̀h'gōi. ("品脫 bán'tyut" is the corresponding word for "pint", but no one will use it in bars.)
A bottle, please. 
一樽, 唔該. Yāt jēun, m̀h'gōi.
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____同_____, 唔該. _____ tùhng _____, m̀h'gōi.
whiskey 
威士忌 wāisigéi
vodka 
伏特加 fuhkdahkgā
rum 
冧酒 lāmjáu
water 
水 séui
club soda 
梳打水 sōdá séui
tonic water 
湯力水 tōnglihk séui
orange juice 
橙汁 cháangjāp
Coke (soda
可樂 hólohk
Do you have any bar snacks? 
你哋有冇小食嘎? Néihdeih yáuh-móuh síusihk gah?
One more (cup/bottle), please. 
要多一 杯/樽, 唔該. Yiu dō yāt būi/jēun, m̀h'gōi.
When is closing time? 
幾點柵門嘎? Géidím sāanmùhn gaa?
Cheers! 
飲杯! Yámbūi!

Shopping

Do you have this in my size? 
呢件有冇我個碼呀? Nī gihn yáuh-móuh ngóh go má a?
How much? 
幾多錢呀? Géidō chín a?
That's too expensive. 
太貴啦. Taai gwai la.
Would you take _____? 
收唔收_____嘎? Sāu-m̀h-sāu _____ gah?
expensive 
貴 gwai
cheap 
平 pèhng
I can't afford it. 
我俾唔起. Ngóh béi m̀h héi.
I don't want it. 
我唔想要. Ngóh m̀h séung yiu.
You're cheating me. 
你呃緊我嘅. Néih āk gán ngóh gé.
I'm not interested. 
我冇興趣. Ngóh móuh hing cheui.
OK, I'll take it. 
好, 我要呢件. Hóu, ngóh yiu nī gihn.
Can I have a bag? 
可唔可以俾個袋我呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi béi go dói ngóh a?
Do you ship (overseas)? 
你哋送唔送貨(去外國)嘎? Néihdeih sung-m̀h-sung fo (heui ngoihgwok) gah?
I need... 
我要... Ngóh yiu…
...toothpaste. 
...牙膏. ngàh gōu.
...a toothbrush. 
...牙刷. ngàh chaat.
...tampons. 
...衛生巾. waihsāng'gān.
...soap. 
...番挸. fāan'gáan.
...shampoo. 
...洗頭水. sái'tàuhséui.
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...止痛藥. jí'tung yeuhk.
...cold medicine. 
...感冒藥. gám'mouh yeuhk.
...stomach medicine. 
...胃藥. waih yeuhk.
...a razor. 
...剃鬚刀. taisōudōu.
...an umbrella. 
...遮. jē.
...sunblock lotion. 
...太陽油. taaiyèuhngyàuh.
...a postcard. 
...名信片. mìhngseunpín.
...postage stamps. 
...郵票. yàuhpiu.
...batteries. 
...電池. dihnchìh.
...writing paper. 
...信紙. seunjí.
...a pen. 
...筆. bāt.
...English-language books. 
...英文書. Yīngmàhn syū.
...English-language magazines. 
...英文雜誌. Yīngmàhn jaahpji.
...an English-language newspaper. 
...英文報紙. Yīngmàhn boují.
...an English-English dictionary. 
...英英字典. Yīngyīng jihdín.

Driving

I want to rent a car. 
我想租車. Ngóh séung jōu chē.
Can I get insurance? 
邊度可以買保險嘎? Bīndouh hó'yi máaih bóu hím gah?
stop (on a street sign
停 tìhng
one way 
單程路 dāanchìhnglouh
yield 
讓 yeuhng
no parking 
不准泊車 bātjéun paakchē
speed limit 
速度限制 chūkdouh haahnjai
gas (petrol) station 
油站 yàuhjaahm
petrol 
汽油 heiyàuh
diesel 
柴油 chàaihyàuh

Authority

I haven't done anything wrong. 
我冇做錯野. Ngóh móuh jouh cho yéh.
It was a misunderstanding. 
件事係誤會. Ginh sih haih ngh-wuih.
Where are you taking me? 
你帶我去邊? Néih daai ngóh heui bīn?
Am I under arrest? 
我係唔係俾人拉左呀? Ngóh haih-m̀h-haih béi yàhn lāai jó a?
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
我係 美國/澳州/英國/加拿大 公民. Ngóh haih Méihgwok/Oujāu/Yīng'gwok/Gānàhdaaih gūngmàhn.
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
我要搵 美國/澳州/英國/加拿大 大使館/領事館. Ngóh yiu wán Méihgwok/Oujāu/Yīng'gwok/Gānàhdaaih daaihsigún/líhngsihgún.
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
我要搵律師. Ngóh yiu wán leuhtsī.
Can I just pay a fine now? 
可唔可以就咁罰錢呀? Hó-m̀h-hó'yi jauh gám faht chín?
This is a guide phrasebook. It covers all the major topics for traveling without resorting to English. But please Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

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