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fong3 gaa3 nei5 wui5 zou6 di1 mat1 je5 ne1?
what do you do on vacations?

唔… 咁就要睇下個假期有幾長啦.
m4… gam2 zau6 jiu3 tai2 haa5 go3 gaa3 kei4 jau5 gei2 coeng4 laa1
hmmm,,, it depends how long is the vacation.

如果係平時週末嘅話, 靜態嘅活動, 會喺屋企睇書, 無話特定睇乜嘢書, 有時睇雜誌, 有時睇小說.
jyu4 gwo2 hai6 ping4 si4 zau1 mut6 ge3 waa2, zing6 taai3 ge3 wut6 dung6, wui5 hai2 uk1 kei2 tai2 syu1, mou4 waa6 dak6 ding6 tai2 mat1 je5 syu1, jau5 si4 tai2 zaap6 zi3, jau5 si4 tai2 siu2 syut3.
If it’s an ordinary weekend, I stay at home and read books. i do not have preference on which type of books. sometimes magazines, sometimes novels.

除此之外, 我都鍾意聽音樂, 我最鍾意聽爵士樂, 流行音樂我反而麻麻地.
ceoi4 ci2 zi1 ngoi6, ngo5 dou1 zung1 ji3 teng1 jam1 ngok6, ngo5 zeoi3 zung1 ji3 teng1 zoek3 si6 ngok6, lau4 hang4 jam1 ngok6 ngo5 faan2 ji4 maa4 maa4*2 dei2
Besides, I also like listening to music. My favourite is jazz. I do not especially like pop music.

啊, 我週末好多時候都會喺屋企睇影碟, 我好鍾意睇返啲舊戲, 好多舊戲都非常值得一睇再睇.
aa3, ngo5 zau1 mut6 hou2 do1 si4 hau6 dou1 wui5 hai2 uk1 kei5*2 tai2 jing2 dip6*2, ngo5 hou2 zung1 ji3 tai2 faan1 di1 gau6 hei3, hou2 do1 gau6 hei3 dou1 fei1 soeng4 zik6 dak1 jat1 tai2 zoi3 tai2.
and, most of the time I stay home and watch DVDs on weekends. I like watching old movies, most of the old movies are worth watching over and over.

唔… 動態嘅活動, 我會去郊外行下, 住喺城市入面, 每日都忙忙碌碌, 好似抖唔到氣咁, 所以放假嘅時候,
m4… dung6 taai3 ge3 wut6 dung6, ngo5 wui5 heoi3 gaau1 ngoi6 haang4 haa5, zyu6 hai2 sing4 si5 jap6 min6, mui5 jat6 dou1 mong4 mong4 luk1 luk1, hou2 ci5 tau2 m4 dou3*2 hei3 gam2, so2 ji5 fong3 gaa3 ge3 si4 hau6,
hmm, physical activities, I go to rural areas. living in the city, it is very busy everyday. It seems like I can’t breathe. So during vacations,

梗係要離開呢個石屎森林, 享受一下清新空氣, 舒展筋骨, 睇下啲花草樹木, 聽下聞下啲鳥語花香, 咁樣先可以平衡身心.
gang2 hai6 jiu3 lei4 hoi1 ni1 go3 sek6 si2 sam1 lam4, hoeng2 sau6 jat1 haa5 cing1 san1 hung1 hei3, syu1 zin2 gan1 gwat1, tai2 haa5 di1 faa1 cou2 syu6 muk6, teng1 haa5 man4 haa5 di1 niu5 jyu5 faa1 hoeng1, gam2 joeng2 sin1 ho2 ji5 ping4 hang4 san1 sam1.
of course I have to leave this concrete jungle to enjoy the fresh air, to stretch my body, to see flowers and trees, to listen to the birds singing and to smell the flowers. Then I can have a balanced spirit and body.

如果係年假嘅長假期, 我通常都會去旅行, 因為一年一次難得嘅假期, 一來要好好輕鬆一下, 二來又可以擴闊眼光, 睇下其他國家嘅風土人情同風俗習慣.
jyu4 gwo2 hai6 nin4 gaa3 ge3 coeng4 gaa3 kei4, ngo5 tung1 soeng4 dou1 wui5 heoi3 leoi5 hang4, jan1 wai6 jat1 nin4 jat1 ci3 naan4 dak1 ge3 gaa1 kei4, jat1 loi4 jiu3 hou2 hou2 hing1 sung1 jat1 haa5, ji6 loi4 jau6 ho2 ji5 kwong3 fut3 ngaan5 gwong1, tai2 haa5 kei4 taa1 gwok3 gaa1 ge3 fung1 tou2 jan4 cing4 tung4 fung1 zuk6 zaap6 gwaan3.
For long vacations like annual leave, I normally go travelling because it is a once a year vacation. On the one hand, it is very relaxing, on the other hand I can broaden my horizon. I can see other countries’ cultures and customs.

出去旅行, 我唔會跟團, 我會選擇自由行, 因為冇論食同住我都可以自己話事.
ceot1 heoi3 leoi5 hang4, ngo5 m4 wui5 gan1 tyun4, ngo5 wui5 syun2 zaak6 zi6 jau4 hang4, jan1 wai6 mou5 leon6 sik6 tung4 zyu6 ngo5 dou1 ho2 ji5 zi6 gei2 waa6 si6 .
When going travelling, I do not take tours. I choose self travelling, because I can decide what to eat and where to live.

住個方面, 無論去遠或者近, 我一定要住五星級酒店, 而且間酒店必須要有水療按摩服務.
zyu6 go3 fong1 min6, mou4 leon6 heoi3 jyun5 waak6 ze2 kan5, ngo5 jat1 ding6 jiu3 zyu6 ng5 sing1 kap1 zau2 dim3, ji4 ce2 gaan1 zau2 dim3 bit1 seoi1 jiu3 jau5 seoi2 liu4 on3 mo1 fuk6 mou6.
For accommodations, no matter how far or close I go, I have to live in 5 star hotels, also it must have spa services.

食個方面, 我無特別嘅要求, 有時我最會幫< 親>街頭小食, 一來經濟實惠, 二來喺餐廳未必可以食到呢啲小食. 有時我又會去餐廳食飯, 試下當地廚師嘅正宗地道菜.
sik6 go3 fong1 min6, ngo5 mou4 dak6 bit6 ge3 jiu1 kau4, jau5 si4 ngo5 zeoi3 wui5 bong1 < can1 > gaai1 tau4 siu2 sik6, jat1 loi4 ging1 zai3 sat6 wai6, ji6 loi4 hai2 caan1 teng1 mei6 bit1 ho2 ji5 sik6 dou3*2 ni1 di1 siu2 sik6, jau5 si4 ngo5 jau6 wui5 heoi3 caan1 teng1 sik6 faan6, si3 haa5 dong1 dei6 cyu4 si1 ge3 zing3 zung1 dei6 dou6 coi3.
For eating, I do not have any special requests. Sometimes I choose street stalls. on the one hand it is cheap, on the other hand I can’t eat that type of food in restaurants. Sometimes I go to restaurants to try local authentic food.

Aussie speaking Cantonese…. I hope one day I’ll speak as good as Gregory Rivers 河國榮. I wonder if his accent is similar to mine….

The above video introduces how to type Cantonese. The method I use is Jyutping from http://cpime.hk - it will allow you type easily type all those fancy 啲 and 嘅 characters directly from Windows.

Published: July 22, 2010

HONG KONG — I had always presumed that speaking to your child in your native tongue was the most natural thing in the world. Apparently not everyone thinks so.

When we held a birthday party for our two-year-old daughter several months ago, I had a bit of a shock.

The first sign came when a four-year-old Chinese boy looked annoyed and frustrated when I asked in Cantonese what snacks he would like from the table.

“No, no, no!” he yelled in English. His mother promptly translated what I said into English.

This baffled me. The boy was born and bred here in Hong Kong, and his parents are both native speakers of the dominant Cantonese dialect, but they speak to their children only in their less-than-perfect English.

It turned out they have a simple reason: They want their children to get into a prestigious international school.

They worry that if their children speak Cantonese at home they will not learn enough English to pass the interview.

The mother is delighted with her achievement. Her son has been accepted by an international kindergarten and her younger girl’s first words were all in English.

I quickly realized that she wasn’t the only one who thought like this. I noticed that several other parents at the birthday party were also speaking broken English to their children.

“I will show you how does it work,” said one father in heavily-accented English, showing a toy train to his 19-month-old son.

He admitted with slight embarrassment that his English pronunciation and grammar were not great, and trying to communicate with his toddler in a language he himself is struggling with has led to problems.

“One day I was trying to tell him this is how you button your shirt,” he said, switching into Cantonese. “But then I couldn’t say it in English, so I had to ring up a friend and ask.”

I asked: Doesn’t he think it is better to talk to his toddler in the language he is most at ease in?

“I think you’ve lived abroad for too long — you don’t understand what parents here have to think about,” the boy’s mother said. “Competition for international schools is fierce. If we don’t make sure he speaks English now, he won’t pass the interview.”

I looked at her very cute toddler, who was busy chasing a ball on the floor, and felt a bit sad.

The boy is not yet two, and he was still babbling away in baby words. Yet in this competitive world, it is considered better for him to be exposed only to English, a language that his parents are not confident speaking but one they believe is more valuable than their native tongue.

More and more, ambitious parents in Hong Kong are giving their children a head-start in English by putting them into English-speaking play groups, kindergartens and international schools. At these elite institutions, Mandarin Chinese is sometimes taught as a second language.

As for the local Cantonese dialect, who cares?

I am saddened. What will happen to those age-old nursery rhymes our grandmothers taught us, the songs we sang at kindergarten, those Tang-dynasty poems that every preschool child was taught to recite?

And surely the classic tales of the “Twenty-four pious sons” — the stories that the Chinese have used to teach their children about the Confucian virtue of filial piety since the 14th century — can’t have the same cultural resonance when translated into English.

Besides, Cantonese carries echoes of ancient Chinese that no longer exist in the official Mandarin. It is a lively language full of colorful expressions.

It is our heritage, and if we don’t pass it on, who will?

When these children are not taught to speak the language of their ancestors, a connection with their native culture is bound to be lost.

And when they grow up, how will they see themselves? Will they still have a sense of belonging to Chinese culture? Will this society’s future elites be international in outlook, yet somehow rootless in culture?

Perhaps I’m being alarmist, but I wonder whether there will be a day when we in Hong Kong come to regret the decline of our language. By that time, it may be too late.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/23/opinion/23iht-edyu.html?_r=1&_r

I know tons of foreigners that think that if they kept listening to Cantonese, they will eventually pick it up - no matter if its the radio and it all sounds like gibberish.

I have probably done around 80% input (listening) to about 20% output (speaking). This means, you don’t speak your way to fluency…. you listen your way to fluency. You can’t output what you haven’t inputted.

In my journey to learn Cantonese as fast as possible, I have learnt the most important principle in learning languages - You need to understand the input, which is one of Stephen Krashen’s principles of 2nd language acquisition.

  • Repetitive listening to content that doesn’t make sense will not mean you will eventually get it.
  • Listening to incomprehensible content very loud and clear will not mean you will understand it better
  • Listening to incomprehensible content super slow over and over will not make you understand it better

So how can you understand the input? Take a look at Stephen Krashen as he explains the most important factor in learning languages.

The fastest way to learn Cantonese is by

  • Learning as much vocab as possible. You can’t speak what you haven’t learnt, and you can’t guess your way through conversations as you’ll just look stupid when you do the wrong thing.
  • Forget the grammar. You will notice it naturally after huge input. You’ll simply notice that’s the way they do it.
  • Understand what you are listening. My method is to translate each “new” word into Jyutping, then into English and listen over-and-over to the Cantonese until it becomes natural.
  • Learn the tone number with every new word and memorise it. Otherwise, you’ll sound like a broken record.

To the know-it-all foreigners and to to locals that preach Cantonese has no grammar, the big news is that CANTONESE HAS GRAMMAR. Though for all learners, I suggest you don’t learn it until you are quite good. You don’t need to learn it because you’ll never speak smoothly when sentences need to be filtered through a wall of grammar rules. You’ll start figuring out that time and verbs go in certain places. You’ll notice the ending particles after you listen to them being said in context.

7 daily necessities

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‘柴米油鹽醬醋茶’自古以來就稱為開門七件事. 開門, 呢個字, 照字面睇, 即係話, 打開門, 但係, 喺呢個情況, 佢嘅意思係, 一個家庭日常生活嘅必需品.

‘Caai4 mai5 jau4 jim4 zoeng3 cou3 caa4’, zi6 gu2 ji4 loi4 zau6 cing1 wai4 hoi1 mun4 cat1 gin6 si6. Hoi1 mun4, ni1 go3 zi6, ziu3 zi6 min6*2 tai2, zik1 hai6 waa6, daa2 hoi1 mun4, daan6 hai6, hai2 ni1 go3 cing4 fong3, keoi5 ge3 ji3 si3 hai6, jat1 go3 gaa1 ting4 jat6 soeng4 sang1 wut6 ge3 bit1 seoi1 ban2.

‘Firewood, Rice, Oil, Salt, Sauce, Vinegar, Tea’ are ‘the seven items (needed) for going into business’ since a long time ago. Open door, this word, according to its literal meaning means open the door; however, its meaning is a daily necessities.

柴:柴係一種燃料. 樵夫上山砍伐樹木嘅樹幹或者樹枝,然後將佢地劈成適合爐灶大小嘅條狀, 呢種木材就叫做柴. 香港嘅家庭, 絕大部分都採用煤氣爐或者電磁爐. 柴呢種燃料, 而家只會係露營嘅時候, 先有機會用到.

Caai4:caai4 hai6 jat1 zung2 jin4 liu6*2. Ciu4 fu1 soeng5 saan1 ham2 fat6 syu6 muk6 ge3 syu6 gon3 waak6 ze2 syu6 zi1, jin4 hau6 zoeng1 keoi5 dei6 pek3 sing4 sik1 hap6 lou4 zou3 daai6 siu2 ge3 tiu4 zong6. Ni1 zung2 muk6 coi4 zau6 giu3 zou6 caai4. Hoeng1 gong2 ge3 gaa1 ting4, zyut3 daai6 bou6 fan6 dou1 coi2 jung6 mui4 hei3 lou4 waak6 ze2 din6 ci4 lou6. Caai4 ni1 zung2 jin4 liu6*2, ji4 gaa1 zi1 wui6 hai6 lou6 jing4 ge3 si4 hau6, sin1 jau5 gei1 wui6 jung6 dou3.

Firewood: Firewood is a fuel. A woodcutter goes to the forest and chops trunks and branches, and then chops them into fitted stick shapes suitable for a stove. This kind of wood is called firewood. The majority of Hong Kong families use gas cookers or induction cookers. Firewood, this kind of fuel, is only used in camping nowadays.

米:米係中國南方人嘅主要糧食, 未熟既叫米, 煮熟嘅叫飯. 中國以農立國, 古時百分之七十五以上嘅人口係農民, 農夫耕種稻米, 係一種勞力嘅工作, 所謂粒粒皆辛苦.

mai5 :mai5 hai6 zung1 gwok3 naam4 fong1 jan4 ge3 zyu2 jiu3 loeng4 sik6 , mei6 suk6 ge3 giu3 mai5 , zyu2 suk6 ge3 giu3 faan6 . zung1 gwok3 ji5 nung4 laap6 gwok3 , gu2 si4 baak3 fan6 zi1 cat1 sap6 ng5 ji5 soeng6 g3 jan4 hau2 hai6 nung4 man4 , nung4 fu1 gaang1 zung3 dou6 mai5 , hai6 jat1 zung2 lou4 lik6 ge3 gung1 zok3 , so2 wai6 lap1 lap1 gaai1 san1 fu2 .

Rice: Rice is the main food in southern China. It is called grain when raw, and called rice when cooked. China is an agriculture country, 75% of the population are farmers. Farmers planting rice is a labor job, it is so called every granule courts.

油:油係每道煎炒煮炸煮嘅菜餚都會用到, 食油發展到今時今日, 已經有好多種類, 市面上較常見啲食油主要為花生油, 粟米油, 芥花籽油, 橄欖油, 葵花籽油等等.

jau4 : jau4 hai6 mui5 dou6 zin1 caau2 zyu2 zaa3 zyu2 ge3 coi3 dou1 wui5 jung6 dou3 , sik6 jau4 faat3 zin2 dou3*2 gam1 si4 gam1 jat6 , ji5 ging1 jau5 hou2 do1 zung2 leoi6 , si5 min6 soeng6 gaau3 soeng4 gin3 di1 sik6 jau4 zyu2 jiu3 wai6 faa1 sang1 jau4 , suk1 mai5 jau4 , gaai3 faa1 jau4 , gaam3 laam5*2 jau4 , kwai4 faa1 jau4 dang2 dang2 .

Oil: Oil is used when cooking every dish. Oil developed until now there are a lot of types. The common types of oil in the market are peanut oil, corn oil, canola oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil etc.

鹽:鹽係香港食用到嘅十居其九係海鹽, 有分為粗鹽同幼鹽

Jim4: jim4 hai6 hoeng1 gong2 sik6 jung6 dou3 ge3 sap6 geoi1 kei4 gau2 hai6 hoi2 jim4, jau5 fan1 wai6 cou1 jim4 tung4 jau3 jim4.

Salt: The majority of salt consumed in Hong Kong is sea salt, coarse salt and fine salt.

醬:醬係一種調味品, 佢可以幫助食物吊味, 常用嘅有豉油, 蠔油, 辣椒醬, 魚露等等.

zoeng3: zoeng3 hai6 jat1 zung2 tiu6 mei6 ban2 , keoi5 ho2 ji5 bong1 zo6 sik6 mat6 diu3 mei6 , soeng4 jung6 ge3 jau5 si6 jau4*2 , hou4 jau4 , laat6 ziu1 zoeng3 , jyu4 lou6 dang2 dang2 .

Sauce: Sauce is a type of seasoning. It can enhance the flavour of food. The common one includes soya sauce, oyster sauce, chili sauce, and fish sauce etc.

醋:香港人最常食用嘅醋係甜醋, 產婦生產之後會食薑醋, 薑可以促進食慾, 甜醋就有助散瘀補血.

cou3: hoeng1 gong2 jan4 zeoi3 soeng4 sik6 jung6 ge3 cou3 hai6 tim4 cou3, caan2 fu5 sang1 caan2 zi1 hau6 wui6*2 sik6 goeng1
cou3, goeng1 ho2 ji5 cuk1 zeon3 sik6 juk6 , tim4 cou3 zau6 jau5 zo6 saan3 jyu2 bou2 hyut3 .

Vinegar: The most vinegar used in Hong Kong is sweet vinegar. Pregnant women eat ginger sweet vinegar after laboring. Ginger can enhance appetite and sweet vinegar can help healing bruises and supplement blood quantity.

茶:中國人鍾意品茗, 佢嘅重要性好似西方人鍾意飲咖啡一樣. 茶係一種有營養價值同有保健作用既飲料, 研究證明, 佢可以預防癌症, 降低血壓, 消炎殺菌等等的功效. 眾多茶葉種類之中, 我個人最中情普洱.

Caa4 :zung1 gwok3 jan4 zung1 ji3 ban2 ming5 , keoi5 ge3 zung6 jiu3 sing3 hou2 ci5 sai1 fong1 jan4 zung1 ji3 jam2 gaa3 fe1 jat1 joeng6 . caa4 hai6 jat1 zung2 jau5 jing4 joeng5 gaa3 zik6 tung4 jau5 bou2 gin6 zok3 jung6 gei3 jam2 liu6*2 , jin4 gau3 zing3 ming4 , keoi5 ho2 ji5 jyu6 fong4 ngaam4 zing3 , gong3 dai1 hyut3 aat3 , siu1 jim4 saat3 kwan2 dang2 dang2 di1 gung1 haau6 . zung3 do1 caa4 jip6 zung2 leoi6 zi1 zung1, ngo5 go3 jan4 zeoi3 zung1 cing4 pou2 lei2 .

Tea: Chinese people love drinking tea, its importance is the same as western people love drinking coffee. Tea is a nutritious and healthy drink. Research proves that, it can prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, kill bacteria etc. Among different types of tea, I prefer pu-er tea personally.

Its was rare for me to watch a female 茄喱啡 (ke1 le1 fe1) act on TVB yet alone 口若懸河 (hau2 joek6 jyun4 ho4), meaning to speak very fluently. In this case, I think she is probably the first native Cantonese speaking white actor used by TVB. Though I’ve seen many white actors who have exceptionally fluent Cantonese like Brian Burrell, John Wakefield and Gregory Rivers.

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