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