Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Speaking Canto even when you can't(o)

Look, my grasp on the Cantonese language is weak at best.  But I always try to speak it in the hopes that jumping in and allowing myself to look like a confused fool will help me pick it up faster.  

Before the broken toe I would take a walk every day around Sai Kung town.  I got to know a lot of the shopkeepers and regulars along my pathway and I would always try to greet them and have small talk in Canto.  Today this paid off.

Sick and tired of being cooped up inside with the broken toe, I figured I could hobble down to 7-11 for a South China Morning Post and a malted soy milk.  Halfway there I passed a small shop owned by an old guy that I always say good morning to, and he stopped me and asked what was wrong with my foot.  Lacking the Canto to explain, I simply pointed at it and said "Li go hai msufuk", which means (I think) "This one is sick."  He promptly brought out a stool, sat me down, brought out his daughter to ask what I was going to get, and sent her off to buy my paper and soy milk.  This is why it's worth it to try out your language skills.

Foolish gweilos speaking bad Canto for the win!

PS - want to improve your Canto?  Try Happy Jellyfish People's Democratic Language Bureau.

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