10+ Guaranteed Easy Cantonese Business Vocabulary

January 14, 2022

Are you planning to do business in one of the four Asian Tigers? Well, you definitely should learn these Cantonese business vocabulary words or 生意 (Saang1 Ji3) that we have prepared for you today! If you are ready for that, let's dive right into it.

I.T, marketing and advertising, e-commerce, banking and finance, stock exchange, and more. Hong Kong is one of the best places for job seekers who want to broaden their careers. It is home to the few billionaires in the world. This is why many people want to do business in Hong Kong. Many entrepreneurs believed that Hong Kong should bridge the East and the West.

They have many banks, insurance companies, and other related financial institutions. This is what makes this country so important as a financial center. Aside from this, Hong Kong is not just about these great things. They also have these great talents, exposure, funding, and other legal items.

Hong Kong is now one of the countries leading the innovation and technology that helps connect high-growth tech startups with resources and investors. This is not originally a culture of Hong Kong, but because of globalization, they saw that this had been the global trend for the coming years.

But, you wouldn't successfully do business if you didn't even know how to speak Cantonese. That's why in this blog, we will learn about Cantonese business vocabulary. I know this is just a few of everything you need to know, but if you start learning Cantonese today, it will be easier to learn the rest.

 

Cantonese Language VS Mandarin Language

Before we talk about Cantonese business vocabulary, you should know that the official language used in Hong Kong is Cantonese. This is used in business, government transactions, and everyday conversations. Most locals also learn to speak English because it is essential in doing business and other international transactions. But, you might hear or encounter another Chinese language which is Mandarin. This language is mainly used in Mainland China, and it is not used in Hong Kong.

There's a lot of difference between these two languages. If you want to know more, check out the blog about it.

 

Business Etiquette In Cantonese Culture

In doing business in Hong Kong, it is essential to look presentable and respect their culture. There are different business etiquette that you should remember for a smooth business transaction or business meeting.

  1. A handshake and a modest bow is the typical greeting in Hong Kong business culture, especially when interacting with "westerners."
  2. Make sure to welcome your potential business partner's team's most senior member first (respect for the hierarchy, remember).
  3. Unless otherwise requested, always use a person's surname and title when addressing them.
  4. You should learn a few polite Cantonese words just to show you've put in the effort.
  5. After the initial welcome, it's all about courtesy. In every way, being patient and calm will make doing business in Hong Kong much easier.
  6. You should be able to back up your statements with facts and data.
  7. Due to the hectic schedule, it's always a good idea to organize your business meetings in Hong Kong well in advance.
  8. For your business card, remember the color symbolism. Have one side of your business card printed in Cantonese and the other in English.
  9. Never write on a business card or put it in your back pocket; always accept with both hands and read before putting it away.
  10. In business meetings, the language used may be significantly more passive than you're used to. Avoiding losing "face," which refers to a person's personal dignity and respect, is an important component of Chinese culture.
  11. Formal attire is appropriate for all business meetings in Hong Kong, as well as any social occasions that may be part of the discussions. Darker colors, such as blacks, blues, and greys, are generally an excellent choice.

 

Top Businesses In Hong Kong

Cantonese Business Vocabulary

生意 (Saang1 Ji3) - Business

The first Cantonese business vocabulary you should learn is "business." They say 生意 (Saang1 Ji3) to refer to business in Cantonese.

Now that you have learned how to say business in Cantonese let's look at the top small business in Hong Kong today. These are also good Cantonese business vocabulary, especially if you want to do a small business in Hong Kong.

業務顧問 (Jip6 Mou6 Gu3 Man6) - Business Consultants

The main job responsibility of business consultants is to help business owners register, rent office spaces, assist in recruiting staff members, and advertise the business. Many entrepreneurs want to start their business in Hong Kong, but they don't know the processes. So, this is an excellent business to start.

旅行社 (Leoi5 Hang4 Se5) - Travel Agency

This is one of the most successful businesses in Hong Kong, and it only requires a small investment to start. Since many tourists visit Hong Kong, as a travel agency, you can book and arrange their tickets, hotel reservations, transportation, itinerary, sightseeing, and others. You have to ensure that their trip will be fun, memorable, and comfortable.

產品採購代理 (Caan2 Ban2 Coi2 Kau3 Doi6 Lei5) - Product Sourcing Agent

It is no surprise that China sells cheap items wholesale. Because of this, people from different parts of the world would go to Hong Kong to buy cheap bulk items. But, traveling to Hong Kong to source the products is challenging for other people. So, this might be a good business investment in Hong Kong.

Reach out to people who need to buy your products. You can start with a user-friendly website, social media presence, and advertisement. You can partner with different e-commerce websites or hire an internet marketing or Search Engine Optimization specialist to increase your presence online. You should also start hiring staff who can communicate in English since you're targeting international clients.

呼叫中心代理 (Fu1 Giu3 Zung1 Sam1 Doi6 Lei5) - Call Center Agency

Starting a virtual call center agency is still one of the best small businesses to start with. Only a computer, dedicated phone lines, English speaking abilities, and a good ear and microphone are required. This is a good idea because many businesses in the United States and Europe outsource their customer service representative tasks to call centers in other countries.

It's nice if you'll invest with agents who are great at speaking different languages. You can easily find this kind of person on the other freelancing websites and choose according to your budget rate.

應用開發人員 (Jing3 Jung6 Hoi1 Faat3 Jan4 Jyun4) - App Developer

Today, there is an apple in almost everything we do. Shopping, ordering food, studying, streaming, gaming, dating, and more. This will continue to grow for the coming years and generations. App developers are one of the most sought-after professionals in the world today, so starting this kind of business is a really good idea.

 

Basic Cantonese Business Vocabulary

Now, let us learn some common Cantonese business vocabulary. If you're a beginner, don't worry because romanizations will guide your pronunciation and the English translation is also available.

客戶支援 (Fu1 Giu3 Zung1 Sam1 Doi6 Lei5) - Customer Support

The first Cantonese business vocabulary that you should learn is the customer support or 客戶支援 (fu1 giu3 zung1 sam1 doi6 lei5). It symbolizes the company's resources that provide technical support for customers after acquiring a product or service. The customer support of a company must be easy to contact and responsive. For emerging businesses, maintaining a good relationship with the customers is essential for the success of your business.

企業家 (Kei5 Jip6 Gaa1) - Entrepreneur

Another Cantonese business vocabulary to learn is Entrepreneur or 企業家 (Kei5 Jip6 Gaa1). A good entrepreneur must have the following characteristic to become successful. As the world becomes competitive, the characteristic of entrepreneurs should also adapt to the changes brought by globalization. Of course, there are other contributing factors, and not all experiences are the same so, these things are just some essential characteristics to consider:

  1. Curiosity
  2. Long-Term Focus
  3. Innovation
  4. Adaptability
  5. Decisiveness
  6. Structured Experimentation
  7. Risk Tolerance
  8. Comfortable with Failure
  9. Team Building
  10. Persistence

員工 (Haak3 Wu6 Zi1 Wun4) - Employees

The word Employees or 員工 (Haak3 Wu6 Zi1 Wun4) is also an important Cantonese business vocabulary to learn. Companies nowadays have higher standards in hiring employees, especially big international companies. But, aside from the credentials and experience, you put in the resume, the companies want employees who can contribute to their company's success. Here are a few of the characteristics that a reasonable employee should have:

  1. Passionate
  2. Professionalism
  3. Honesty and integrity
  4. Innovative
  5. Strong Work Ethic
  6. Team Player
  7. Critical Thinkers
  8. Bilingual/Multilingual
  9. Action Oriented
  10. Willingness to learn
  11. Problem-solving abilities
  12. Dependability, reliability, and responsibility

經理 (Ging1 Lei5) - Manager

Can you imagine an organization or company without a manager? The manager plays a vital role in a company or organization. The manager's job is to keep a company or organization running smoothly and efficiently daily. That's why it is an essential Cantonese business vocabulary to learn. In case you're planning to become a manager someday, here are some characteristics to consider:

  1. Transparency
  2. Listening Skills
  3. Excellent Communication
  4. Appreciating and Encouraging Teamwork
  5. Consistency and Reliability
  6. Trustworthiness
  7. The Drive to Set Goals
  8. Empathy and Sensitivity
  9. Making Decisions
  10. Rewarding and Recognizing Employees

會議 (Wui6 Ji5) - Meeting

Another Cantonese business vocabulary that is important to learn is meeting or 會議 (Wui6 Ji5). As a business, you'll be going to have many business meetings. It would help if you learned the proper meeting etiquette and meeting vocabulary in attending companies.

組織 (Zou2 Zik1) - Organization

The word organization 組織 (Zou2 Zik1) is another Cantonese business vocabulary to learn. You're going to need a business consultant if you don't know your way around the business. Starting an organization is a lot of hard work. The most important thing you should give to your organization is your entire efforts and hard work.

利潤 (Lei6 Jeon6) - Profit

When your business is established, you should maintain =n a good profit. To stay in business in the long run, a company must produce a profit. Profitability is crucial to a business because it keeps the business running. It also influences whether it can obtain bank funding, attract investors to fund its operations, and expand its activities. That's why it is an important Cantonese business vocabulary.

升職 (Sing1 Zik1) - Promotion

Promotion 升職 (Sing1 Zik1) is one of the things that an employee seeks. It is the act of advancing an employee's hierarchal employment status. It is also a recognition of hard work, which links to a higher salary or benefits. Not everyone gets a promotion after years of working. It may be because of the excellent work, or the job position has been vacant.

加薪 (Gaa1 San1) - Raise

Your salary is stated before you sign in to enter a job or business. If you're eyeing a raise, make sure to be an employee worthy of a raise. The raise 加薪 (Gaa1 San1) you'll get can be from the promotion or granted by the company.

薪水 (San1 Seoi2) - Salary

The last Cantonese business vocabulary to learn is salary or 薪水 (San1 Seoi2). This is important to learn. If you're a business owner, you should study and think carefully about the compensation you will give to your employees. To provide you with an idea, Hong Kong's statutory minimum wage for non-domestic workers is HK$37.5.

 

Other Cantonese Business Language

CantoneseJyutpingEnglish Translation
行政總裁hang4 zing3 zung2 coi4CEO
客戶haak3 wu6client
交易gaau1 jik6deal
公幹gung1 gon3business trip
卡片kaat1 pin2business card
商人soeng1 jan4businessman
商務中心soeng1 mou6 zung1 sam1business center
商務艙soeng1 mou6 cong1business cabin
生意興隆sang1 ji3 hing1 lung4prosperity in business
百足咁多爪baak3 zuk1 gam3 do1 zaau2to be involved in many connections, businesses or enterprises

Pieces Of Equipment

CantoneseJyutpingEnglish Translation
電腦din6 nou5computer
郵件jau4 gin2email
文件man4 gin2document
打印機daa2 jan3 gei1printer

Job Interview Vocabulary

CantoneseJyutpingEnglish Translation
我喺__畢業。ngo5 hai2 __ bat1 jip6I graduated from __.
我主修 __。ngo5 zyu2 sau1 __I majored in __.
直⾄現時為⽌,我係_____嘅_____。zik6 zi3 jin6 si4 wai4 zi2, ngo5 hai6 ______ ge3 ______Until now, I have been working as ______ at ______.
我仲做過_____。ngo5 zung6 zou6 gwo3 ____I also have experience as a(n)__.
因為我想_____。jan1 wai6 ngo5 soeng2_____Because I want to_____.
我鍾意_____,同埋想嘗試其他嘢。ngo5 zung1 ji3_____, tung4 maai4 soeng2 soeng4 si3 kei4 taa1 je5.I like_____, and I wanted to try something else.
我鍾意接受挑戰,同埋想嘗試其他嘢。ngo5 zung1 ji3 zip3 sau6 tiu1 zin3, tung4 maai4 soeng2 soeng4 si3 kei4 taa1 je5I like challenges, and I wanted to try something else.

Interacting With Coworkers

CantoneseJyutpingEnglish Translation
我哋可唔可以開始?ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 hoi1 ci2Shall we get started?
近排點呀gan6 paai4 dim2 aa3How's it going recently?
你條Team最近忙咩呀?nei5 tiu4 Team zeoi3 gan6 mong4 me1 aa3What is your team busy with recently?
我要去會議室。ngo5 jiu3 heoi3 wui6 ji5 sat1I am going to the meeting room.
我走先喇。ngo5 zau2 sin1 laa3I have to go now.

During Business Meetings

CantoneseJyutpingEnglish Translation
我哋下個禮拜可唔可以見面?ngo5 dei6 haa6 go3 lai5 baai3 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 gin3 min6Can we meet next week?
你而家個schedule有幾full?nei5 ji4 gaa1 go3 SCHEDULE jau5 gei2 FULLHow busy is your current schedule?
多謝你抽時間同我哋見面。do1 ze6 nei5 cau1 si4 gaan3 tung4 ngo5 dei6 gin3 min6Thank you for taking the time to meet us.
我哋可唔可以交換卡片?ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 gaau1 wun6 kaat1 pin2Can we exchange business cards?
我哋可唔可以喺下次開會討論呢個問題?ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 hai2 haa6 ci3 hoi1 wui2 tou2 leon6 ni1 go3 man6 tai4Can we discuss this matter during the following meeting?
我希望你可以見吓我嘅商業拍檔。ngo5 hei1 mong6 nei5 ho2 ji5 gin3 haa5 ngo5 ge3 soeng1 jip6 paak3 dong3I would like you to meet my business partners.
我相信我哋可以達成共識。ngo5 soeng1 seon3 ngo5 dei6 ho2 ji5 daat6 sing4 gung6 sik1I believe we can find a compromise.
我諗我哋已經傾過呢一點。ngo5 lam2 ngo5 dei6 ji5 ging1 king1 gwo3 ni1 jat1 dim2I think we have covered that.
我完全同意。ngo5 jyun4 cyun4 tung4 ji3I totally agree.
全部人都同意?cyun4 bou6 jan4 dou1 tung4 ji3Are we all agreed?
我恐怕唔可以同意。ngo5 hung2 paa3 m4 ho2 ji5 tung4 ji3I am afraid I have to disagree.
我期待下次再見。ngo5 kei4 doi6 haa6 ci3 zoi3 gin3I look forward to seeing you again.
非常多謝你嘅聆聽。fei1 soeng4 do1 ze6 nei5 ge3 ling4 ting3Thank you very much for listening.
我好高興同你見面。ngo5 hou2 gou1 hing3 tung4 nei5 gin3 min6It was nice to meet you.
或者我哋應該hold一hold先,聽日再試。waak6 ze2 ngo5 dei6 jing1 goi1 HOLD jat1 HOLD sin1, ting1 jat6 zoi3 si3Maybe we should sleep on this and try again tomorrow.
你應該接受挑戰。nei5 jing1 goi1 zip3 sau6 tiu1 zin3You should accept the challenge.
你嘅建議不獲採納。nei5 ge3 gin3 ji5 bat1 wok6 coi2 naap6Your suggestion was not accepted.
我認為我哋要擴展服務供應。ngo5 jing6 wai4 ngo5 dei6 jiu3 kong3 zin2 fuk6 mou6 gung1 jing3I think we should broaden our offer.
我同意你嘅⽅案,我哋應該喺尖沙咀開分店。ngo5 tung4 ji3 nei5 ge3 fong1 on3, ngo5 dei6 jing1 goi1 hai2 zim1 saa1 zeoi2 hoi1 fan1 dim3I agree with your proposal that we should open a branch in Tsim Sha Tsui.
我嘅諗法唔同。ngo5 ge3 lam2 faat3 m4 tung4I have a different opinion.
聽起嚟有啲複雜。teng1 hei2 lei4 jau5 di1 fuk1 zaap6This sounds a little bit complicated.

Business Phone Calls And Emails

CantoneseJyutpingEnglish Translation
聽電話teng1 din6 waato pick up the phone
覆電郵fuk1 din6 jau4to reply to an email
聽到電話響,⽴即聽電話。jat1 teng1 dou2 din6 waa2 hoeng2, laap6 zik1 teng1 din6 waa2Once you hear the telephone ring, please pick up the phone immediately.
_____你好_____nei5 hou2Hello _____, (Greeting someone in an email)
喂,我係_____。wai2, ngo5 hai6 ____Hello, this is_______.
我想傾吓啲細節。ngo5 soeng2 king1 haa5 dik1 sai3 zit3I want to discuss the details.
仲有冇其他嘢我可以幫到你?zung6 jau5 mou5 kei4 taa1 je5 ngo5 ho2 ji5 bong1 dou2 nei5Is there anything else I can do to help?
感謝你的支持。gam2 ze6 nei5 dik1 zi1 ci4Thank you for your support.
我想約星期⼀開會。ngo5 soeng2 joek3 sing1 kei4 jat1 hoi1 wui2I would like to set up a meeting for Monday.

Business Trip / Business Travel Essential Vocabulary

CantoneseJyutpingEnglish Translation
訂咗房。deng6 zo2 fong2(I've) made a reservation.
今晚有冇房?gam1 maan1 jau5 mou5 fong2Do you have a vacant room for tonight?
我可唔可以用商務中心?ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 jung6 soeng1 mou6 zung1 sam1Can I use the business center?
唔該,我想退房。m4 goi1, ngo5 soeng2 teoi3 fong2Excuse me, I would like to check out.
我要間非吸煙單⼈房。ngo5 jiu3 gaan1 fei1 kap1 jin1 daan1 jan4 fong2I would like to have a single non-smoking room.
會議室喺邊度?wui6 ji5 sat1 hai2 bin1 dou6Where is the meeting room?

 

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