Hong Kong 101: 10 Mandarin words and phrases you need to know.

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Stop by every Tuesday and Thursday when I’ll share a new tip or some of my favourite things in Hong Kong!

Hong Kong is such a wonderful international city where English is spoken widely, but you will run into locals and taxi drivers who do not speak English. You are after all, in Asia and I always thought it’s nice to learn a few key words and phrases of the local language. Even if you end up butchering the language, it shows you’re trying and showing a bit of respect and acknowledgement that you’re in their country. Here are 10 Mandarin words and phrases that I think every visitor to Hong Kong should know. I put the Mandarin spelling, and also how to pronounce it in parenthesis. Good luck!

Hello =   Nǐ hǎo (knee how)

How are you? = Nǐ hǎo ma? (knee how ma?)

Goodbye = Zài jiàn (zai jen)

How much money? Duōshao qián? (Dwor-sshaoww chen?)

Good Morning = Zǎo ān (jao ahn)

Sorry, do you speak English? = Duìbuqǐ, nǐ huì shuō yīngwén ma? (Du boy chee, knee hoy sure ing when ma)

Thank you = Xièxie (Shei shei)

Hello (as when picking up the phone) = Wèi (way)

I’m sorry = Duìbuqǐ. (dway-boo-chee)

Where is XXX? XXX zài nǎlǐ? (XXX dzeye naa-lee?)
Put the name of the place or object you want to find before zài nǎlǐ.

Tip: Practice (of course) and say it a little faster than you normally would.

XOXO,
Helen

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