Like Tree143Likes

Quick question about the language

Closed Thread
Page 3 of 18 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 11 ... LastLast
  1. #21

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    13,154
    Quote Originally Posted by Watercooler:
    As for wet markets, you'll get ripoff that way, don't you know? "Ah, naive gweilo, time to make some $$$".
    You;ll only get ripped off if you are a complete numbskull. Most of the prices are on clear display. You might not get the best price without haggling, but you wont be ripped off easily either.
    usehername and Cwbguy like this.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5,112
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    You don't need Cantonese at all. All the stalls at my wet market have prices stuck in the produce. Point, smile, use fingers - never the slightest issue. Stallholders not going to rip you off for a buck and risk your custom going forward.

    Taxi's will call up someone when they don't understand the address or don't know how to get there. No problem.

    All local Government services I have tried are completely accessible in English. No problem.

    If you want to learn Cantonese, great - go for it. It's a creditable endeavour.

    If you don't you'll be absolutely fine, whatever Watercooler says

    You'll do fine, but you'll miss out on so many things.

    Right...living in your expat bubble is such a good life . Not having to converse with locals is such a good thing. After all, why want you want to know them?

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,455

    Again - what you're talking about is becoming virtually fluent in canto. Which is not something most people have time to do- especially if they only speak English at work and at home.


  4. #24

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5,112
    Quote Originally Posted by HowardCoombs:
    You;ll only get ripped off if you are a complete numbskull. Most of the prices are on clear display. You might not get the best price without haggling, but you wont be ripped off easily either.
    No. For some food items the price is calculated by measuring the weight. And there are cases here where the stall owners did some "tricks" to make it weight more, hence charging you more. You would know better if you can cantonese, (speaking with buyers there etc to know the situation), but if you can't understand at all, you'll fall for those tricks without even knowing it.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5,112
    Quote Originally Posted by usehername:
    Again - what you're talking about is becoming virtually fluent in canto. Which is not something most people have time to do- especially if they only speak English at work and at home.
    You don't have to be fluent in cantonese, you just have to able to speak some common everyday phrases (or understand some major words spoken).

    True, cantonese is not the easiest language to learn, but it pays to make an effort if you are going to stay here long-term. It can make your everyday life much more convenient.
    chris_yang22 likes this.

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,455
    Quote Originally Posted by Watercooler:
    No. For some food items the price is calculated by measuring the weight. And there are cases here where the stall owners did some "tricks" to make it weight more, hence charging you more. You would know better if you can cantonese, (speaking with buyers there etc to know the situation), but if you can't understand at all, you'll fall for those tricks without even knowing it.
    No you wouldn't. Knowing cantonese won't help you know if the bunch of choi sam is 1 catty or 1.5 cattys.
    Cwbguy, TheBrit and elliee like this.

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5,112
    Quote Originally Posted by usehername:
    No you wouldn't. Knowing cantonese won't help you know if the bunch of choi sam is 1 catty or 1.5 cattys.
    No, you will if you shop enough there and speak to other buyers. You will know which store is prone to dishonesty and which isn't. But if you can't speak it, you would not even know any of these tricks, you will be milked without even a hint of suspicion.

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    22,465

    Funnily enough you don't need to be able to speak Cantonese to read a scales

    Last edited by TheBrit; 01-10-2013 at 01:49 PM.

  9. #29

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    4,040

    Canto will die along with this once great city in about 30 years...

    Don't believe me? Go to Shenzhen mostly mandarin


  10. #30

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5,112
    Quote Originally Posted by usehername:
    'Some cantonese' is not going to let you 'expand your social circle' to non-English speakers. You would need to be at least intermediate level to even have a chance.

    It's true some people are gifted with the ability to pick up new languages easily. But for most of us it won't get much beyond 'how are you? I'm tired, are you hungry?'. Hardly the basis of a meaningful friendship!
    No. Being able to speak some cantonese phrases will break the ice with locals. It will show them you at least tried to make an effort. It may not guarantee you to make friends, but it certainly might. I met my local wife while learning cantonese, and I could hardly speak more than one or two phrases at the time.

    It will make everyday conversation easier. Waste of time to have to wait for the controller to translate to the taxi driver. More direct and easier if you can ask which vegetable is fresher to the stall owner. You don't need to master intermediate level. Just the phrases and terms most often used in those situations.

    People can keep coming up with excuses on not learning some simple Cantonese. Or they can dig in and learn some.
    chingleutsch and scrambler like this.

Closed Thread
Page 3 of 18 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 11 ... LastLast