How to Say It

This guide is to help you in the market if you experience language difficulties with your seller! Most can speak some basic English, but try to make the effort to speak some Cantonese and you will be well rewarded.


Weight

A traditional measure of weight used in markets is a catty – approx.  1 1/3 pounds / 605 gms

  • Catty – GUN (1 Catty would be YUT GUN)
  • Pound – BONG (1 pound – YUT BONG)

Meat

  • Pork  – JU YUK (jew yook)
  • Beef – NGAU YUK
  • Chicken – GAI
  • Duck – NGAAP
  • Bacon – YEEN YUK

Butcher’s Cuts

  • Bone – GWUT
  • Ribs – PAI GWUT
  • Brisket – NGAU LAAM
  • Fat / Fatty Meat – FEI YUK
  • Lean Meat – SAU YUK
  • Slice – TSEET PEEN (CHEAT PEEN)
  • Mince – GAU SO
  • Neck – GENG
  • Soup Meat – BOH TONG YUK
  • Soup Bones – BOH TONG GWUT

Seafood

  • Fish – YU
  • Prawn – HAA
  • Squid – MUK YU

Numbers

Half (0.5) – BOON

  1. YUT
  2. YEE (for number 2), LEUNG (for quantity)
  3. SAAM (SARM)
  4. SEI (SAY)
  5. MM
  6. LUK (Rhymes with book)
  7. TSUT (CHUT)
  8. BAAT (BART)
  9. GAW /  GAU
  10. SUP

Miscellaneous

  • Bag – DOI (doy)
  • Big bag – DAI DOI
  • Small Bag – SAI DOI
  • Do you have change? – YAU MO SAAN JEE?

Size

  • Big – DAI (die)
  • Medium – JUNG
  • Small – SAI (sigh)
  • Big piece – DAI JEK
  • Small piece – SAI JEK
  • Bigger – DAI DI
  • Smaller – SAI DI
  • Fat – FEI
  • Lean – SAU
  • Very – HO  (very fat – HO FEI)
  • How big? – GAY DAI?
  • How small? – GAY SAI?

5 thoughts on “How to Say It

  1. Hey just a thought… do or can you help with the sound and tone I would hate to say a curse word because my tone was wrong. I once said I like fishing and was laughed at. Thanks.

    1. Sorry Brian, even though my Cantonese is intermediate level, I STILL have problems getting the tone correct – so I’m not the best person to ask! It takes LOTS of practice, listening / speaking all the time.

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