Friday, September 07, 2007

Has anyone seen this book on Canto slang?

If there is anything that marks us out bbcs as not native Hong Kongers (besides our haircuts, facial expressions, laughing at British sitcoms and other 'gwai sing'), it's not knowing or using Cantonese slang words.

And Hong Kongers are so damn good at slang, too. The phrases are inventive, clever and often hilarious. And, of course, they can also be a little intimidating if you don't understand any of them.

A short primer on Canto slang can be found here (Warning: There's some rude stuff in the 'Swearing' section!) but this is just the tip of the (damn) iceberg.

If you want to really, learn some cocky, Hong Kong street talk, you might want to try and track down a copy of A Dictionary of Cantonese Slang.

As one reviewer puts it:

I must inform everyone that Cantonese has the most vivid descriptions and usages of slang of the entire Chinese language (yet, being the least awful sounding). How do I know, because I was born in that wonderful city of Hong Kong! It's my native tongue, so trust me, we know how to slang in style.

Amazon only seems to have used copies available at the time of writing, so I'm going to have to keep on searching...


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