One death rope please…

I know, I look Chinese. And to the average HKer, I look just like one of them. That is…until I open my mouth.

The thing is, I’m not really that bad at Cantonese. I can get by for a few minutes before they either hear my accent and/or realize that my vocabulary is limited to that of an 5th grader, and sometimes when I talk too fast, I tend to mix words up… for example:

Me: Yea, I really enjoy going to the gym!
HKer: Oh ya? How often do you go?
Me: I ‘animal’ quite often!
HKer: (awkward silence)

Seconds pass before I realize I said ‘animal (dong-mut)’ instead of ‘exercise (wun-dong)’, but… it’s all good right…Same diff…I’m suure they understood me…yeaaaaa…*awkward!*

It happened again the other day when I was shopping for a camera neck strap:

Me: Excuse me, do you have any 吊頸帶 (lit. hang-neck-strap)?
Man: WHAT!?
Me: Y’know, for my camera.
Man: Ohh, you mean 掛頸帶 (lit. hang-neck-strap)!
*erupts in mocking laughter*
Me: -__-

Turns out there’s more than one way to say ‘hang’ in Cantonese, and the way I said it meant I wanted a camera strap to hang myself from my apartment ceiling. Riiight…lesson learnt.

2 thoughts on “One death rope please…

  1. Call it denial, but I've always 'tried' to embrace my limited canto and considered it as unique and exotic in HK. Personally I call it a quirk… even if I do get the occasional “are you a retard?” look.

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