60 Cantonese Travel Phrases Travelers Should Learn

April 7, 2021

It is easy to get lost in breathtaking tourist spots and mouth-watering dim sums of Hong Kong but a trip without making connections with the people cannot be called a real adventure. To do that, you must at least learn some Cantonese travel phrases that you can use traveling across the country. Being able to make a connection with the locals will not just make your whole trip a lot easier but you are also opening yourself to experience their culture and traditions that have been passed on to generations.

 

Cantonese In Hong Kong, Macau, And Guangdong Province In China

Hong Kong and Macau are Chinese countries but don't be surprised that the official language is spoken all over these countries and Guangdong Province in China is not Mandarin but Cantonese. Cantonese is one of the Chinese dialects. The differences between Cantonese and Mandarin will be drawn from their history. Although most of the population of these countries speak Cantonese, locals also know how to speak English. You might see this as an advantage but learning a few Cantonese travel phrases will not cost you too much and it will also serve as a sign of respect as a foreigner to their land.

 

 

Useful Cantonese Phrases

When you travel across Asia, it is impossible not to put Hong Kong on your list. Who would not fall in love with the beautiful tourist spots where everyone, even children can enjoy? Who would not love to splurge into a shopping spree in different shopping centers? Who would not crave their local mouth-watering Cantonese food? But how can you enjoy these things if you do not know how to communicate with people?

Hong Kong has a lot more to offer than beautiful tourist spots, delicious dim sums, and shopping centers. Hong Kong has its own gem that nobody can take - the locals. Being able to communicate with people who are proud of their culture and traditions will bring you a deeper understanding of their history, customs, and ideals. If you are wondering where to start with, here are some Cantonese travel phrases that you need to know:

Traveling

If you are a traveler, you know the importance of knowing how to go around the country through different transportation like taxis, buses, and trains. As a foreigner, especially if it is your first time, you also want to make sure that you are comfortable in where you are staying and spending the night. Check out these useful Cantonese phrases that may come in handy when traveling to Hong Kong.

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
呢度有冇巴士由機場去市區? ni1 dou6 jau5 mou5 baa1 si2 jau4 gei1 coeng4 heoi3 si5? Is there a bus from the airport to the city?
呢架巴士係咪去機場? ni1 gaa3 baa1 si2 hai6 mai6 heoi3 gei1 coeng4? Is this the right bus for the airport?
請問費用幾錢? cing2 man6 fai3 jung6 gei2 cin2? Excuse me, what's the fare?
一張去__嘅飛, 唔該 jat1 zoeng1 heoi3 __ ge3 fei1, m4 goi1 A ticket to __ please, thanks
車站喺邊? ce1 zaam6 hai2 bin1? Where is the train station?
呢班車去邊度㗎? ni1 baan1 ce1 heoi3 bin1 dou6 gaa3? Where does this bus go?
班火車會幾點到呀? baan1 fo2 ce1 wui5 gei2 dim2 dou3 aa3 When will the train arrive?
今晚有冇房? gam1 maan1 jau5 mou5 fong2? Do you have any vacancies tonight?
你可唔可以俾間非吸煙房間我? nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 bei2 gaan1 fei1 kap1 jin1 fong2 ngo5? Could you find me a non-smoking room?
唔該我想要非吸煙位。 m4 goi1 ngo5 soeng2 jiu3 fei1 kap1 jin1 wai2. I’d like to have a non-smoking seat, please.
我可唔可以轉房? ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 zyun3 fong2? Could I move to a different room?

Cantonese Travel Phrases - Traveling

Asking And Giving Directions

The risk of literally getting lost while traveling is very daunting. If you know the address of your destination, it is easy to ask but if not, you should know at least the common words that are used when asking and giving directions. Here are basic Cantonese phrases and sentences that you may use when asking or giving directions.

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
可唔可以喺張地圖度指俾我睇呀? ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 hai2 zoeng1 dei6 tou4 dou6 zi2 bei2 ngo5 tai2 aa3? Can you show me on the map?
jau6 Right
zo2 Left
直行 zik6 hang4 Go straight
bak1 North
naam4 South
dung1 East
西 sai1 West

Cantonese Travel Phrases - Asking and Giving Directions

Greetings And Basic Expressions

Learning how to greet in Cantonese will be a good ice breaker. Saying Hello and other greetings like Good morning (早晨 / jóusàhn) in Cantonese are very effective conversation starter. Cambodians are also known to be respectful and humble. Basic expressions can help you express your respect and politeness as a foreigner to their land. Here are some words and phrases that will be essential to your whole trip.

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
你好 nei5 hou2 Hello
你好嗎(吗)?) nei5 hou2 maa1? How are you?
唔該 m4 goi1 Thank you
多謝 do1 ze6 Thank you (more formal and polite)
再見 zoi3 gin3 Bye
hou2 Good, Fine, and Yes
對唔住 deoi3 m4 zyu6 Sorry (used for apology and remorse)
 唔好意思 m4 ho2 ji3 si3 Excuse me/ Sorry (used to express regret or sadness)

Cantonese Travel Phrases - Greetings and Expressions

If you want to know more about Cantonese greetings there is a separate blog for you. You may check it out to understand more about the different greetings.

Dining

Traveling to Hong Kong is not complete without tasting Cantonese food. From the famous restaurants down to street food, you will surely find dishes that will satisfy your cravings. To complete your Cantonese cuisine experience, it would not hurt to learn some Cantonese words or phrases that can be used when eating out and ordering food.

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
我訂咗房。 ngo5 deng6 zo2 fong2. I have a reservation.
唔該俾張餐牌我睇. m4 goi1 bei2 zoeng1 caan1 paai4 ngo5 tai2 . Please bring me the menu.
 我想要___ ngo5 soeng2 jiu3 ___. I want ___.
呢度有乜嘢食出名呀?) ni1 dou6 jau5 mat1 je5 sik6 ceot1 ming2 aa3? What’s your house specialty?
你有冇咩推介? nei5 jau5 mou5 me1 teoi1 gaai3? Do you have any recommendations?
有冇齋菜? jau5 mou5 zaai1 coi3? Do you have any vegetarian dishes?
我食素 ngo5 sik6 sou3. I’m a vegetarian.
唔該埋單 m4 goi1 maai4 daan1. Check, please.
我對花生敏感。 ngo5 deoi3 faa1 sang1 man5 gam2. I'm allergic to peanuts.
唔該要啲水。 m4 goi1 jiu3 di1 seoi2. Water, please.

Cantonese Travel Phrases - Dining

Shopping

Buying souvenirs has been part of a whole travel experience. Bringing home something to remind you about the amazing country you have been through is common to a lot of travelers. From the luxurious shopping centers down to markets and souvenir shops, Hong Kong has a lot to offer. Try learning these words and phrases if you want to haggle and score a discount on expensive finds.

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
呢個幾錢? ni1 go3 gei2 cin2? How much is this?
你認為買咩手信好? nei5 jin6 wai4 maai5 me1 sau2 seon3 hou2? What do you recommend for a souvenir?
太貴喇 taai3 gwai3 laa3. It’s too expensive.
我俾唔起 ngo5 bei2 m4 hei2 I can’t afford it.
我要十個呢個。 ngo5 jiu3 sap6 go3 ni1 go3 I'd like ten of these.
我可以去邊度唱錢呀? ngo5 ho2 ji5 heoi3 bin1 dou6 coeng3 cin2 aa3? Where can I exchange foreign currency?
我可唔可以退貨? ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 teoi3 fo3? Can I get a refund?
可唔可以俾個折頭我呀? ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 bei2 go3 zit3 tau4 ngo5 aa3? Could you give me a discount?
我可唔可以用信用卡找數? ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 jung6 seon3 jung6 kaat1 zaau2 sou3? Can I pay with a credit card?
你找錯錢 nei5 zaau2 co3 cin2 You gave me the wrong change
可唔可以試下? ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 si3 haa5? Can I try this on?
我買呢個。 ngo5 maai5 ni1 go3 I'd like this.
唔啱喎。 m4 aam1 wo3. It doesn't fit.
可唔可以換細一個碼? ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 wun6 sai3 jat1 go3 maa5? Can you exchange it for a smaller size?

Cantonese Travel Phrases - Shopping

Emergency

Accidents and emergencies may happen anywhere at any time. If this happens, you should know whom to call for help. It is better to be ready for any kind of accidents and problems that you might be facing. Although locals know how to speak in English, it is better to know some useful phrases to gel you get past some sort of problems.

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
救命! gau3 ming6! Help!
我唔見咗個銀包. ngo5 m4 gin3 zo2 go3 ngan4 baau1. I lost my wallet.
我唔舒服. ngo5 m4 syu1 fuk6. I’m not feeling well.
小心! siu2 sam1! Watch out!
唔該幫我叫醫生. m4 goi1 bong1 ngo5 giu3 ji1 saang1. Please call a doctor for me.

Cantonese Travel Phrases - Emergency

Other Useful Cantonese Travel Phrases

With the words above, I am sure that you have much more understanding and knowledge about Cantonese travel phrases. Here are some additional sentences that you can say that will help you survive your whole travel experience.

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
你識講英文嗎? nei5 sik1 gong2 jing1 man6 maa3? Do you speak English?
Wi-Fi係咪免費? Wi-Fi hai6 mai6 min5 fai3? Is the Wi-Fi free?
我唔識講廣東話. ngo5 m4 sik1 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2.  I can’t speak Cantonese.
我唔明. ngo5 m4 ming4. I don’t understand.

Other Useful Cantonese Travel Phrases

 

Know More About The Cantonese Language

Learning Cantonese is not that simple at first. You have to take note of many things like tones and pronunciation because the meaning of the words may vary depending on the pronunciation. So if you want to travel to Hong Kong, make sure to take note of the basic Cantonese words and phrases above.

If you want to know more about the Cantonese language or any other language, try using Ling App. Using this, you don't have to bring your dictionary with you while you are traveling. Treat yourself to a convenient way of learning languages and start learning anywhere and anytime.

 

 

 

 

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