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Quick question about the language

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  1. #81

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    My two cents

    I'm a bbc too, but I don't speak much canto at all.
    At a wet market I get what I need and let them know if it's one catty or two etc. no problem whatsoever.
    I don't get stiffed on the price either as it's clearly displayed.

    I don't get free spring onions but who gives a stuff, they're only a few dollars if I need them anyway.


  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryks:
    How much will I get away with when using English? Should I make the effort to learn Cantonese or Mandarin? Also not quite sure which one. I heard Cantonese is the main language there, but a Chinese friend of mine told me to learn Mandarin as everyone there speaks it and then I can use it in China too.

    If I can get by with English then that would be good. I don't mind learning another language, but am teaching myself Japanese at the moment so it would be hard!
    Have been here more than 7+ years now and don't speak canto (except for a very few choice words), so you should be fine. If you are up for it, go ahead and learn Cantonese, this will help you in everyday life. Of course learning the language has its advantages. From what I've heard, Mandarin is used more for business.

    I don't go to wet markets so I don't get free spring onions. And I don't live in a bubble as well!

  3. #83

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    Of course it's beneficial to learn the lingo in any country you live in.

    I muddle my way through situations with my limited canto at any opportunity. It does make a difference, people warm to you, it breaks the ice and you learn more about your environment. I've found at work my colleagues are far more willing to try talking to me in English if I also try a little canto. I ask them to correct me and teach me new phrases, just yesterday I learned instead of saying 'it's raining cats and dogs' locals say it's raining dog shit. Maybe I'm weird but I found that quite funny.

    chris_yang22 likes this.

  4. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo:
    My two cents

    I'm a bbc too, but I don't speak much canto at all.
    At a wet market I get what I need and let them know if it's one catty or two etc. no problem whatsoever.
    I don't get stiffed on the price either as it's clearly displayed.

    I don't get free spring onions but who gives a stuff, they're only a few dollars if I need them anyway.
    Thank you jimbo, now TheBrit can finally open his eyes that not everyone gets spring onions for free.

    Grunt, where have I implied that? I admit being able to understand both languages I get the best of both worlds, by getting a better insight into both worlds via the use of language. That does not mean I implied I'm better than anyone else. Or any other foreign born Chinese over others in fact. You are barking up completely the wrong tree. I gave my insights, and others on here chose to dismiss it.







    Sent from my GT-N7100 using GeoClicks mobile app

  5. #85

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    And just to mess up Grunt's well thought out theory, I'm not in fact a bbc or foreign born. I was born here in HK.



    Sent from my GT-N7100 using GeoClicks mobile app


  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proplus:
    And just to mess up Grunt's well thought out theory, I'm not in fact a bbc or foreign born. I was born here in HK.



    Sent from my GT-N7100 using GeoClicks mobile app
    So why can't you read or write Cantonese?

  7. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proplus:
    And just to mess up Grunt's well thought out theory, I'm not in fact a bbc or foreign born. I was born here in HK.
    Bloody hell. So anyone who isn't born a.) in HK becoming a native Cantonese speaker, b.) born to Cantonese-speaking parents, is a big loser in Hong Kong and is just living in an expat bubble? Why can't someone who has come here by choice and out of an interest to experience living in different parts of the world experience the culturally thoroughly?
    Do you have any idea how much time and effort it takes to learn a foreign language? Do you have any idea how much rent is in Hong Kong and how most people DON'T have the 20+ hours/week for months on end to learn a complex foreign language?
    Just because I don't have the time to learn Cantonese at a native level doesn't mean I don't experience anything about this culture, and you shouldn't criticize those who do make an effort to understand and enjoy in the world around them. What is wrong with relying on those who are native speakers and have a Chinese heritage to help me achieve that and get the most out of my experience in Hong Kong?
    Yes, you're right, if you're a native speaker, you can learn a lot more about the world around you. Not every one -- regardless of language -- has such an intense interest in history and understanding a culture so in-depth. They may choose to find other aspects of the culture to enjoy when they can. But you have to keep in mind, too, that everyone has different priorities, and, for example, what I'm seeking to get out of my experience in HK is maybe different from you but equally legitimate. (HK is now the 4th country I've lived in in the past 4 years and what I appreciate here is getting a broader perspective of the world... learning in detail the history and culture like you're talking about is something I already did with another country, so it's not what I'm looking for again at this time in my life now.)
    bibbju, kimwy66 and nassaugirl like this.

  8. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cwbguy:
    So why can't you read or write Cantonese?
    now that is the question, maybe his parents are "elitists" and sent him to english school? IMO that is really sad....but I think we've already discussed this before.

    In my opinion it never hurts to learn some of the local language, I think learning to greet people in their native language is the least you can do (or how to swear back)
    Elegiaque likes this.

  9. #89

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    Never would've thought my simple question would turn into a flame war....atleast I got 1 or 2 proper replies...


  10. #90

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    I just ask .. Ge do cheen ah ....and use canto numbers...

    At which time the wet market girls smile, laugh and we all start talking english


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