Mega Explorer

Mega Explorer

A personal website dedicated to exploring the language and culture of Hong Kong.

Top 10 Hong Kong Bargaining Cantonese Phrases for Foreigners

Stanley Yeung, 
Eggwaffle

Owner (version 1)

It is important to address the owner as owner in Cantonese culture because we are all about respect! Besides, some owners dont like it if you dont call them 老細!

1) How is 'owner' (老細) pronounced in Cantonese? Click below for pronunciation.

Lou5 sai3

Checkered biscuit

Owner (version 2)

This is another version of saying owner in Cantonese, which in Mandarin is also the same! But not for the previous term 老細.

2) How is 'owner' (老闆) pronounced in Cantonese? Click below for pronunciation.

Lou5 baan2

Fish balls

Pretty boy

This may sound like youre flattering someone by calling them theyre good-looking, but in Cantonese we use this so often at restaurants because we think its the quickest way for somebody to listen!

3) How is 'pretty boy' (靚仔) pronounced in Cantonese? Click below for pronunciation.

Leng3 zai2

Pork dumplings

Pretty girl

This may sound like youre flirting with a girl, but again, we think that this is the fastest way for somebody to listen to you in our culture!

4) How is 'pretty girl' (靚女) pronounced in Cantonese? Click below for pronunciation.

Leng3 leoi2

Bean curd desert

Pretty elder sister

If you want to make sure that you are not flirting with a waitress in a restaurant, use this instead!!

5) How is 'pretty elder sister' (靚姐) pronounced in Cantonese? Click below for pronunciation.

Leng3 ze1

Clay pot pudding

How much?

The fastest way to ask how much something is. You can even omit 多 if you want to.

6) How is 'how much?' (幾多錢?) pronounced in Cantonese? Click below for pronunciation.

Gei2 do1 cin2

Sweetheart cake

Cheaper 'la'

This is a good way to start a bargain without pressuring the owner too much.

7) How is 'cheaper' (平D啦) pronounced in Cantonese? Click below for pronunciation.

Peng4 di1 la1

Stinky tofu

Too expensive 'la'

Sometimes, saying something is too expensive may put off owners. But at other times, you may have to.

8) What is 'too expensive' (太貴喇) called in Cantonese? Click below for pronunciation.

Taai3 gwai3 la3

Sticky rice

A little bit expensive

If you want to say something is expensive but dont really want to mean it, use this.

9) How is 'a little expensive' (有D貴喎) pronounced in Cantonese? Click below for pronunciation.

Yau5 di1 gwai3

Rice rolls

So expensive?!

If you really dont want to get ripped off by a store owner, say this as a last resort! It can mean so expensive, or sooo frigging expensive, depending on your tone!

10) How is 'so expensive?!' (咁貴?!) pronounced in Cantonese? Click below for pronunciation.

Gam3 gwai3