I hate when people tell me “your Cantonese is very good” but say it in English. Finally, all my built up frustration over the years can be explained by this video…

A while back, someone on the Cantonese learning forum described:

There are two Hong Kong’s.

Hong Kong (香港,香講) and Hong (m) Kong (香唔港, 香唔講).

“Heung Gong” (香港,香講) is “the HK that speaks to you in Cantonese”. You’ll make friends and speak Cantonese with them. Heung Gong (HK) people mostly live in Kowloon, the New Territories, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

“Heung (m) Gong” (香唔港, 香唔講) or H(m)K is the HK that won’t speak in Cantonese to you.

Heung (m) Gong (HmK), is mainly located in certain parts of Central and in the offices of foreign capital firms. HmK’ers generally speak Cantonese among themselves. You’ll hear them joke, smile, laugh, greet and talk in Cantonese. But not to you.

They’ll speak “about” Cantonese in English. But not “in” Cantonese to you. To everyone else, yes, but not to you.

Some when they speak “in” English “about” Cantonese, will claim they’re speaking “in” Cantonese. You’ll notice it after a few experiences. Don’t get fooled.

“Heung Gong” (香講) people will accept you, speak Cantonese to you and welcome you. It’s heaven. Many can’t speak English and have no interest in English at all. They’ll talk “in” Cantonese. There’s no problem, no insults, no exclusion.