2 comments 22.9.09

One death rope please...

Posted by Miss Fong - Filed under
I know, I look Chinese. And to the average HKer, I look just like one of them. That is...until I open my mouth.

The thing is, I'm not really that bad at Cantonese. I can get by for a few minutes before they either hear my accent and/or realize that my vocabulary is limited to that of an 5th grader, and sometimes when I talk too fast, I tend to mix words up... for example:

Me: Yea, I really enjoy going to the gym!
HKer: Oh ya? How often do you go?
Me: I 'animal' quite often!
HKer: (awkward silence)

Seconds pass before I realize I said 'animal (dong-mut)' instead of 'exercise (wun-dong)', but... it's all good right...Same diff...I'm suure they understood me...yeaaaaa...*awkward!*

It happened again the other day when I was shopping for a camera neck strap:

Me: Excuse me, do you have any 吊頸帶 (lit. hang-neck-strap)?
Man: WHAT!?
Me: Y'know, for my camera.
Man: Ohh, you mean 掛頸帶 (lit. hang-neck-strap)!
*erupts in mocking laughter*
Me: -__-

Turns out there's more than one way to say 'hang' in Cantonese, and the way I said it meant I wanted a camera strap to hang myself from my apartment ceiling. Riiight...lesson learnt.

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Mochachocolata Rita said...

you're still much better than me. my canto skill is limited to...purchasing vegetables in wet market T_T or...a rather comprehensive collection of swear words

Mic said...

Call it denial, but I've always 'tried' to embrace my limited canto and considered it as unique and exotic in HK. Personally I call it a quirk... even if I do get the occasional "are you a retard?" look.