Hong Kong, the bustling city known for its skyscrapers and shopping centers, is a hub of economic power and cultural diversity. If you’re visiting the country, one thing is for sure: You’ll be in for a shopping spree! With its wide array of shopping options, from street markets to high-end designer boutiques, there’s something for everyone. But shopping in a new country can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the local lingo. That’s why a basic understanding of shopping vocabulary in Cantonese is essential for any traveler heading to Hong Kong, Macau, or Guangdong province.
I learned this the hard way when I recently visited Hong Kong after a month-long stay in tropical Thailand. I was cold and in dire need of a warm jacket. I stumbled upon a street vendor selling precisely what I needed, but the language barrier was a major hindrance. My attempts at communicating in English were met with blank stares, and I was about to give up when I remembered a few Cantonese phrases I had learned before my trip.
With newfound confidence, I used my Cantonese vocabulary to ask for the jacket’s price. To my delight, the vendor understood me, and we soon struck a deal. I could buy the warm and cozy jacket I desperately needed and make it in time to meet my friends. That experience taught me the importance of being prepared with some essential vocabulary when visiting a foreign country.
So, without further ado, let me share the ten must-know shopping vocabulary in Cantonese that will help you tackle the shopping world in Cantonese. Get ready to boost your conversation skills and add a touch of fun to your next shopping adventure in the Land of the Dragon!
Shopping In Hong Kong
Shopping in Hong Kong – 購物 (kau3 mat6) – is an experience like no other. Hong Kong has everything from high-end designer boutiques in a shopping malls to bustling street markets. The best part of the city for shopping is undoubtedly Central and Causeway Bay. These areas are home to some of the world’s most famous brands and are a shopper’s paradise.
But before you hit the shops, here are a few tips to make your shopping experience in Hong Kong even better:
- Bargain! Bargaining in Hong Kong can often lead to better deals (not so common in a shopping center). Be confident and have fun with it!
- Know the exchange rate. This will help you get a better idea of the cost of goods and whether you’re getting a good deal or not.
- Be aware of the sales tax. The sales tax in Hong Kong is called the “Value-Added Tax” (VAT) and is currently set at 8.5%.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re not sure about something, ask the shopkeeper. They will be happy to assist you.
- Shop at the street markets for unique, one-of-a-kind items. These markets offer a wide range of goods at affordable prices and are great places to pick up souvenirs.
Shopping Vocabulary In Cantonese
Now it is time to explore a few essential words and sentences in Cantonese that will surely be useful during your shopping spree.
Useful Sentences About Shopping In Cantonese
- How much is it? – 多少錢呢？ (do1 siu2 tsin2 ne1?)
- Can I have a discount? – 可以折扣嗎？ (ho2 ji5 dzit8 kau3 maa3?)
- Can you lower the price? – 可以降價嗎？ (ho2 ji5 gong3 gaa3 maa3?)
- Is it on sale? – 打折呢？ (daa2 dzit8 ne1?)
- What size is it? – 幾多尺碼？ (gei2 do1 tsek3 maa5?)
- I’d like to try it on. – 我想試試？ (ngo5 soeng2 si3 si3?)
- Where is the fitting room? – 試衣間在那裡？ (si3 ji1 gaan1/gaan3 dzoi6 naa5 loey5?)
- Can I pay with a credit card? – 可以用信用卡付款嗎？ (ho2 ji5 jung6 soen3 jung6 kaat7 fu6 fun2 maa3?)
- I want to buy this. – 我想買呢樣。 (ngo5 soeng2 maai5 ni1 joeng6?)
- Can you wrap it as a gift? – 可以包成禮物嗎？ (ho2 ji5 baau1 sing4 lai5 mat9 maa3?)
- How do I get to the shopping center? – 如何到購物中心？ (jy4 ho4 dou3/dou2 gau3 mat9 dzung1 sam1?)
- Is there a sale today? – 今天有打折嗎？ (gam1 tin1 jau5 daa2 dzit8 maa3?)
- What is the return policy? – 退貨政策是什麼？ (toey3 fo3 dzing3 tsaak8 si6 sam6 mo1?)
- Can I exchange it for a different size? – 可以換另一個尺碼嗎？ (ho2 ji5 wun6 ling6 jat7 go3 tsek3 maa5 maa3?)
- Do you have it in another color? – 有没有其他颜色？ (jau5 mut9 jau5 kei4 taa1 ngaan4 sik7?)
- I would like to see the receipt. – 我想看收據？ (ngo5 soeng2 hon3/hon1 sau1 goey3?)
- Where is the cashier? – 收銀員在哪裡？ (sau1 ngan2 jyn4 dzoi6 naa5 loey5?)
- Can you put it in a bag for me? – 可以把它放入袋子嗎？ (ho2 ji5 baa2 taa1 fong3 jap9 doi6/doi2 dzi2 maa3?)
- Can you ship it to my home? – 可以寄到我家嗎？ (ho2 ji5 gei3 dou3 ngo5 gaa1 maa3?)
- I want to pay in cash. – 我想用現金付款。 (ngo5 soeng2 jung6 jin6 gam1 fu6 fun2)
With these phrases, you’ll be able to have a smooth shopping experience and make the most of your time in this Asian country. Aside from these expressions, remember always to carry a smile and a friendly attitude, as it goes a long way in any language!
With all this information in mind, you’re ready to tackle the shopping scene in Hong Kong. So, grab your bags and hit the shops! Whether you’re looking for designer goods or unique, local products, you can find it all in this shopping hub.
However, I have bad news for you: Learning just some words about shopping in Cantonese will not be enough to impress your friends, connect with the locals or even understand someone speaking Cantonese!
You need more knowledge about grammar, sentence structure, and the alphabet and expand your vocabulary. Add to that the pronunciation in Cantonese is tricky as well since it has nine tones.
But hey! Don’t give up just now. I have a tool that will make learning this somewhat difficult language easy!
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Ling is a language learning application where you can master over 60 languages worldwide through fun and engaging methods, like games and puzzles! These methods help you retain information much faster, allowing you to see improvements faster than traditional methods! This application is available on your phone anytime, anywhere, so you can learn when your desire tells you!
Don’t waste more time. Download Ling and speak Cantonese with us!