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73 Basic Cantonese Phrases for Your Next Trip to Macau 馃幉馃嵅馃彲

Learn essential Cantonese phrases for your Macau trip to enjoy casinos, street food, and local culture like a pro. Perfect for travelers eager to connect.

Tobi Miles
March 30, 2024
73 Basic Cantonese Phrases for Your Next Trip to Macau 馃幉馃嵅馃彲

N茅ih h贸u! 浣犲ソ! That's "hello" in Cantonese, the spicy linguistic sauce that flavors the streets of Macau. While Mandarin may be the big boss in mainland China, Cantonese reigns supreme in this little Las Vegas of the East. So, if you want to navigate the neon-lit casinos, savor the mouthwatering street food, and chat up the locals like a pro, you better arm yourself with these 73 essential Cantonese phrases. Let's dive in and make your Macau adventure a linguistic jackpot! 馃帀

Greetings and Basic Phrases 馃憢

  1. N茅ih h贸u (浣犲ソ) - Hello
  2. J贸u s脿hn (鏃╂櫒) - Good morning
  3. Ng 贸n (鏅氬畨) - Good night
  4. N茅ih h贸u ma? (浣犲ソ鍚楋紵) - How are you?
  5. Ng贸h h贸u h贸i s脿m (鎴戝緢寮蹇) - I'm happy
  6. Ng贸h giu m茅ng... (鎴戝彨鍚...) - My name is...
  7. N茅ih gi霉 m膩ty茅h m茅ng a? (浣犲彨浠涔堝悕瀛楀晩锛) - What's your name?
  8. N茅ih h贸u, j奴ng y矛hn gihng (浣犲ソ锛屽緢楂樺叴瑙佸埌浣) - Nice to meet you
  9. D艒jeh (澶氳阿) - Thank you
  10. M虁h g艒i (鍞旇) - Please
  11. D艒jeh n茅ih (澶氳阿浣) - Thank you
  12. M虁h s谩i h脿ahn hei (鍞斾娇瀹㈡皵) - You're welcome
  13. Deui m虁h jyuh (瀵瑰敂浣) - Sorry
  14. M虁h g谩n yiu (鍞旂揣瑕) - No problem

Navigating the City 馃椇锔

Macau may be small, but it packs a punch with its vibrant neighborhoods and iconic landmarks. Here are some phrases to help you find your way:

  1. Ch矛hng m膩ahn... h谩i b墨ndouh a? (璇烽棶...鍦ㄥ摢閲屽晩锛) - Where is...?
  2. Ng贸h s茅ung heui... (鎴戞兂鍘...) - I want to go to...
  3. J膩m l贸u g奴n (璧屽満) - Casino
  4. Daaih S膩an B膩 (澶т笁宸) - Ruins of St. Paul's
  5. S膩m M膩h T茅ng (鏂伴┈璺) - Senado Square
  6. G膩u L霉hng Y脿hn F贸ng (楂樻湕鍥潑) - Coloane Village
  7. B墨ndouh y谩uh g膩ai che a? (鍝噷鏈夌殑澹晩锛) - Where can I find a taxi?
  8. Ch矛hng d谩i ng贸h heui... (璇峰甫鎴戝幓...) - Please take me to...
  9. G膿i ch墨n a? (鍑犻挶鍟婏紵) - How much is it?

Dining and Food 馃崪

Macanese cuisine is a delicious fusion of Portuguese and Chinese flavors. Don't miss out on these local specialties:

  1. Ng贸h s茅ung 膩ai鈥 (鎴戞兂瑕佲) - I would like to order鈥
  2. T膩i y膩t g艒 (澶箼鑿) - Bacalhau (dried codfish)
  3. 脕h M脿hn d茅i ch膩an (婢抽棬鐚墥鍖) - Macanese Pork Chop Bun
  4. B艒l贸u Y煤n D谩ng G艒u (钁℃拡闆插悶绯) - Serradura (Sawdust Pudding)
  5. P贸h T膩t (钁℃捇) - Portuguese Egg Tart
  6. Zh谩 l茅ung (鐐镐袱) - Shrimp Roe Noodles
  7. Ng贸h y谩uh s墨k m虁h sihk... (鎴戞湁椋熷敂椋...) - I can't eat...
  8. Ng贸h y谩uh g膿ui m膩t 膩l猫hgei (鎴戞湁楦¤倝杩囨晱) - I'm allergic to chicken
  9. Choi m虁h g艒i (鑿滃敂璇) - The bill, please
  10. Ng贸h b膩au j贸 la (鎴戦ケ浜) - I'm full
  11. H贸u h贸u sihk (濂藉ソ椋) - Delicious

Shopping and Bargaining 馃泹锔

From luxury boutiques to bustling street markets, Macau is a shopper's paradise. Here's how to snag the best deals:

  1. G茅id艒 ch铆n a? (鍑犲閽卞晩锛) - How much is this?
  2. T脿i gwai la! (澶吹鍟︼紒) - That's too expensive!
  3. D墨 m虁h d墨 a? (浣庡敂浣庡晩锛) - Can you lower the price?
  4. Ng贸h d菒ng li脿hng go (鎴戦挓鎰忓憿涓) - I like this one
  5. M虁h s谩i l膩 (鍞斾娇鍟) - No thanks
  6. Ng贸h s茅ung yiu... (鎴戞兂瑕...) - I want...
  7. Y谩uh m贸uh g膩ai d墨 ge? (鏈夋病鏈変究瀹滅殑锛) - Do you have anything cheaper?
  8. Ng贸h h贸y铆h yuhng ... f霉 ch铆n ma? (鎴戝彲浠ョ敤...浠樻鍚楋紵) - Can I pay with...?

Casino and Gambling 馃幇

Macau isn't called the "Las Vegas of the East" for nothing! If you're feeling lucky, try your hand at these casino phrases:

  1. Ng贸h s茅ung d煤... (鎴戞兂璧...) - I want to play...
  2. Baak ga (鐧惧涔) - Baccarat
  3. S膩i G膩 P贸u (榘撻鐗) - Blackjack
  4. L谩u M脿aih S矛uh (杞洏) - Roulette
  5. P贸u K膩k (鎵戝厠) - Poker
  6. D艒 m虁h d艒 ch铆n a? (璧屽敂璧岄挶鍟婏紵) - What's the minimum bet?
  7. Ng贸h y铆ng/sy奴 j贸 (鎴戣耽/杈撲簡) - I won/lost

Dealing with Emergencies 馃毃

While we hope your trip goes smoothly, it's always good to be prepared for emergencies:

  1. Gau mehng a! (鏁戝懡鍟婏紒) - Help!
  2. Y铆h s膿ung (鍖荤敓) - Doctor
  3. Ng贸h m虁h sy奴 fuhk (鎴戝敂鑸掓湇) - I don't feel well
  4. Ng贸h 卢deu mehng (鎴戝伔鍢) - I've been robbed
  5. Ch矛hng giu g铆ngchaat (璇峰彨璀﹀療) - Please call the police
  6. Ng贸h yiu gin t貌hng sihk y脿hn (鎴戣瑙佽瘧鍛) - I need an interpreter

Macanese Slang and Local Lingo 馃槑

Impress the locals with these cool Cantonese slang phrases:

  1. Ch谩n g茅ng (鎵潛) - Dress up nicely
  2. G谩au ch膩t (鎼炰竷) - Messing around
  3. Leng j谩i/leng n茅ui (闈撲粩/闈撳コ) - Handsome guy/pretty girl
  4. M虁h ch膩k (鍞旀辰) - Stingy or cheap
  5. S茅ui m艒u t脿uh (闅忓唶澶) - Whatever, I don't care
  6. W谩an d谩n (鐜╁槄) - Just kidding

Macanese Culture and Customs 馃帋

Respect the local culture and traditions with these handy phrases:

  1. Gwong Fuk Daaih K膩t (鎭枩鍙戣储) - Happy Chinese New Year
  2. S膩am N矛hn Jyuh Yih (鏂板勾濡傛剰) - Wishing you prosperity in the New Year
  3. M虁hg艒i m虁h h艒 y墨 s墨k (鍞旇鍞斿ソ鎰忔) - Excuse me (to get past someone)
  4. Ch墨n mahn, m虁h g艒i... (璇烽棶锛屽敂璇...) - Excuse me, please... (to ask for something)
  5. Faai d墨 l猫ih (蹇暡鍤) - Come quickly
  6. Mahn mahn h脿hng (鎱㈡參琛) - Take your time

Flirting and Making Friends 馃槝

Who knows, you might just meet your soulmate in Macau! Try these flirty phrases:

  1. N茅ih h贸u leng (浣犲ソ闈) - You're so pretty/handsome
  2. Ng贸h j奴ngyi n茅ih (鎴戦挓鎰忎綘) - I like you
  3. N茅ih y谩uh m贸uh l矛hngy脿hn a? (浣犳湁鍐囩敺鏈嬪弸/濂虫湅鍙嬪晩锛) - Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
  4. Ng贸h h贸y铆h p茅i n茅ih y谩m d墨 y茅h ma? (鎴戝彲浠ラ櫔浣犻ギ鍟ら厭鍚楋紵) - Can I buy you a drink?
  5. Ng贸h h贸y铆h t脿uh n茅ih ge dihnw谩 h艒u ma? (鎴戝彲浠ヨ浣犵殑鐢佃瘽鍙风爜鍚楋紵) - Can I have your phone number?
  6. Ng贸h j墨 g膩au a! (鎴戠煡閬撳暒锛) - I know, I know! (use this when your pickup lines fail spectacularly)

FAQ 鉂

Q: Do I really need to learn Cantonese to visit Macau?A: While many Macanese speak English, learning a few basic Cantonese phrases will help you connect with the locals and show your respect for their culture.

Q: Is it okay to haggle at the markets in Macau?A: Yes, haggling is a common practice at street markets and small shops. Just remember to be respectful and don't push too hard for a lower price.

Q: What should I avoid saying or doing in Macau?A: Avoid discussing sensitive political topics, such as the relationship between Macau and mainland China. Also, don't stick your chopsticks upright in your rice bowl, as this is considered bad luck.

Q: How do I use these Cantonese phrases without offending anyone?A: Practice your pronunciation and use the phrases with a smile. Macanese people appreciate visitors who make an effort to learn their language and culture.

Now that you've got these 73 Cantonese phrases under your belt, you're ready to take on Macau like a true local! Remember to have fun, be respectful, and don't blow all your cash at the casinos (unless you're feeling really lucky). J贸u s脿hn, y脿uh d墨 s膩am d墨 f奴n! 馃槃鉁

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 30, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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