6 Steps For Introducing Yourself In Cantonese

April 10, 2021

Recall your first day in school as a student when your teacher asked you to introduce yourself in front of the class whom you barely know. You have to deal with awkwardness, nervousness, shyness. For some, self-introduction is easy but for others, it is not especially when you are doing it using another language. If you travel a lot and Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangdong Province in China are on your list, then you may want to learn some words and phrases used in introducing yourself in Cantonese.

Introduce Yourself In Cantonese

When we talk about the Chinese language, some may get confused between Mandarin and Cantonese. Both are Chinese language but they have differences. If you want to know more about the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese, there is a separate blog for you but in this blog, we will learn about introducing yourself in Cantonese.

When you visit any country like Hong Kong. It is nice to know how to introduce yourself. Self-introduction does not only include your name but you can also share some basic information that is not too personal to share. This will help you start a conversation and connect with the locals. This will also come in handy in meeting new people, business, and even job interviews. For a beginner, expand your vocabulary and try learning these Cantonese words and phrases:

1. Start With a Greeting - Nei5 Ho2 (你好 )

Introducing yourself in Cantonese, especially if it is not your own language, can be hard and awkward for a person. So, to break the ice, start with a greeting like learning how to say hello. Nei5 ho2 (你好)is commonly used to greet someone in Cantonese. The characters 你好 literally means "you good" or "you well" in English.

2. Identify Yourself - Ngo5 Hai6 ___ (我係 __)

After the greetings, identify yourself by stating your name. The Chinese character 我 (ngo5) means "I" and the character 係 (hai6) means "am" in English. If you join it together, it means "I am" then add your name at the end. For example " 我係 Sam. "

3. Express Your Gratitude - Hou2 Gou1 Hing3 Jing6 Sik1 Nei5 (好高興認識你)

It is really nice to meet someone in another country. Expressing your gratitude is a sign of respect and politeness. Meeting someone in a foreign country is something that we should be thankful for. In Cantonese, the character 好 (hou2) means "good", the character 高興 (gou1 hing3), when placed after 好 (hou2) means "very", and the character 好 (jing6 sik1) means "to meet/to know". If you combine it all together, 好高興認識你 (hou2 gou1 hing3 jing6 sik1 nei5) means "It is nice to meet you” in English.

4. State Your Occupation - Ngo5 Hai6 ___ (我係___)

Introducing yourself in Cantonese does not end with your name. Sharing your occupation can be a conversation piece especially when you have met someone who has the same profession as yours. It is undeniable that occupation is something that most people are proud of. Like what is stated above the characters 我係 (Ngo5 Hai6) means "I am in English" then you can add your occupation or job at the end of the sentence. For example, 我係老師 (ngo5 hai6 lou5 si1) means "I am a teacher".

Here is the list of common occupation in Cantonese:

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
農夫 nung4 fu1 farmer
工程師 gung1 cing4 si1 engineer
建築師 gin3 zuk1 si1 | jian4 zhu2 shi1 architect
律師 leot6 si1 lawyer
醫生 ji1 sang1 medical doctor
藥劑師 joek6 zai1 si1 pharmacist
售貨員 sau6 fo3 jyun4 salesperson
設計師 cit3 gai3 si1 designer
美容師 mei5 jung4 si1 beautician

5. Mention Your Age - Ngo5 Gum1 Nin2 ___Seoi3.( 我今年__歲。)

For some, stating your age might be a little uncomfortable. But for a job interview, business, and another formal setting, this may be unavoidable. When introducing yourself in Cantonese, you can also mention your age. The character 我 Ngo5 means "I", 今年 (gum1 nin2) means “this year”, and 歲 (seoi3) means "age/years old". You can add your age after 今年 (gum1 nin2). If you combine it all together 我今年__歲。(Ngo5 Gum1 Nin2 ___Seoi3.) means "I am ____ years old" in English. For example, Ngo5 gum1 nin2 ji6 sap6 seoi3. "I am 20 years old."

Here are some Cantonese numbers to identify your age:

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
jat1 One
ji6 Two
saam1 Three
sei3 Four
ng5 Five
luk6 Six
cat1 Seven
baat3 Eight
gau2 Nine
sap6 Ten
二十 ji6 sap6 Twenty
三十 saam1 sap6 Thirty
四十 sei3 sap6 Forty
五十 ng5 sap6 Fifty
六十 luk6 sap6 Sixty

6. Say Your Nationality - Ngo5 Lei4 Zi6  ___ (我嚟自__)

As a foreigner, knowing someone from a different country can be exciting. You will have an idea about their culture. It may also be an advantage if you visit their country, you know whom to call for help in case you might be needing one. So, to say your nationality in Cantonese says Ngo5 Lei4 Zi6  ___ (我嚟自__). Ngo5 (我)means "I", 嚟自 (lei4 zi6) means "come from" then add the country where you came from. For example, 我嚟自美國 (Ngo5 Lei4 Zi6) means  "I am American."

Here's how to say some of the countries in Cantonese:

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
香港 Hoeng1 gong2 Hong Kong
台灣(湾) Toi4 waan1 Taiwan
中國(国)/ 唐山 Zung1 gwok3 / Tong4 saan1 China
新/星加坡 San1 /sing1 gaa1 bo1 Singapore
日本 Jat6 bun2 Japan
馬來西亞 (马来西亚) Maa5 loi4 sai1 ngaa3 Malaysia
法國 Faat3 gwok3 France
巴西 Baa1 saai1 Brazil
英國 Jing1 gwok3 UK
意大利 Ji3 daai6 lei6 Italy

Introducing yourself in Cantonese is a way to connect with locals in Hong Kong. Make sure to be polite and smile while saying these words. Aside from learning about introducing yourself in Cantonese, you should also take note that the Chinese language is very particular with the tones. The meaning of the word or phrase can change depending on the tones to be used in each character.

 

Other Helpful Cantonese Phrases And Sentences For Self Introduction

Cantonese Pinyin English Translation
你叫咩名? ei5 giu3 me1 meng2? What is your name?
你今年幾多歲? nei5 gum1 nin2 gei2 do1 seoi3? How old are you?
你係邊度嚟㗎? nei5 hai6 bin1 dou6 lei4 gaa3? Where are you from?
我其中一個嗜好係睇書。 ngo5 kei4 zung1 jat1 go3 si3 hou3 hai6 tai2 syu1. One of my hobbies is reading.
我鍾意聽音樂。 ngo5 zung1 ji3 teng1 jam1 ngok6. I enjoy listening to music.

 

How Can Ling App Help You Learn Cantonese?

Many people want to learn Chinese but learning Chinese and other languages, both written and spoken can be challenging. If you want to travel the whole world and you don't have some vocabulary packed up with you, it may be hard to communicate with the locals.

Now that you have learned how to introduce yourself in Cantonese, you are now ready to level up your game. Through Ling App, you are not just going to learn Cantonese but it will also help you learn different languages. Ling App has interactive language lessons, flashcards, and audio recordings to help you have an engaging and authentic language learning experience that is really efficient for a beginner. You can also read more blog post this that is posted on the website Ling App Blog.

With Ling App, you experience how it feels like to be a student again but this time, your experience in learning the language with Ling App will be your teacher. You will be able to write, speak, and learn languages anytime and anywhere you want. Your interest and motivation will be your greatest tool in succeeding in learning any language. So let me ask you this question, how much do you want to learn? Start using Ling App now!

 

 

 

 

 

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