Walk through it pretty much everyday.
OP - I've been here a year and a half. The Taxi Translator App will get you around no problem.
The only reason to learn cantonese that I have come across so far is if you want to eat really cheaply in the local restaurants that don't have English on the menu (i find these places dont have many english speaking staff).
I would love to be able to understand the language and maybe i will learn one day.
Not a surprise to many who have been here but for those newly introduced to our local boiler, this is a demonstration in his logic:
In this thread he is getting all uppidy about how important Cantonese is, learn the local language, embrace etc etc..
I'll go back to my popcorn now.
There is no way that any foreigners coming to HK will be able to learn Cantonese from scratch. Having a grasps of the basics is all that is needed. I say this in due respect that Cantonese is something that needs to be instilled from birth in order to get the proper tones. Unlike English, cantonese words cannot bw pronounced with different accents.
Take for example gau. Phonetically speaking coukd mean dog, but in another tone could mean 9 or even mean your dick.
After a certain age, people develop their own accents and parts of their throats become solid and hence our accents stays with us.i
To say learn cantonese like a local is near impossible.
Even some people who have been here a majority of their lives still have not mustered the tones.
I suggest just learn the basics to get by.
Adding to what I said, there is a lot of local colloquialisms and local slang which would be challenging to someone who has not engaged the local population as you won't find these taught anywhere.