Cantonese Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Cantonese. Here they are! All 55 of them:

If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.
Philip Duke of Edinburgh
I think the best life would be one that's lived off the grid. No bills, your name in no government databases. No real proof you're even who you say you are, aside from, you know, being who you say you are. I don't mean living in a mountain hut with solar power and drinking well water. I think nature's beautiful and all, but I don't have any desire to live in it. I need to live in a city. I need pay as you go cell phones in fake names, wireless access stolen or borrowed from coffee shops and people using old or no encryption on their home networks. Taking knife fighting classes on the weekend! Learning Cantonese and Hindi and how to pick locks. Getting all sorts of skills so that when your mind starts going, and you're a crazy raving bum, at least you're picking their pockets while raving in a foreign language at smug college kids on the street. At least you're always gonna be able to eat.
Joey Comeau
This little girl needs to be raised properly—by a team of sensible Cantonese nannies, not interfering parents!
Kevin Kwan (China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians, #2))
Manglish is the Malaysian form of English. It’s superior to Singlish when you’re in Malaysia and inferior when you’re in Singapore. It’s known for its love for Malay, Cantonese, Tamil, Mandarin, and Hokkien. Occasionally, there are English terms, too. It’s different from Indian English, which is spoken with a punchy tone, or British English, which is an endangered language in London. A key distinction between Manglish and Singlish is Manglish’s recognition of Tamil words. Singlish denies the existence of inferior Tamil words.
Merlin Franco (Saint Richard Parker)
In Cantonese, two was a good number because it made a pair. Three was also good because it was a homophone for sang, or life. Four, of course, was bad because it sounded like death. Five was good again because it made a complete set, not just of the Confucian Virtues, but also for the elements of wood, fire, water, metal, and earth.
Yangsze Choo (The Night Tiger)
Which leaves June, next to him, leaning on one elbow with her nose buried in the issue of People she’s inexplicably brought with them. She always chooses the most bizarre reading material for flights. Last time, it was a battered old Cantonese phrase book. Before that, Death Comes for the Archbishop.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
Lash had been explaining to her that it's impolite to refer to an African American as a nigga, unless one was another African American, when Troy Lee came in and said, "She only speaks Cantonese." "She does not. She keeps coming in and saying 'What's up my nigga?'" "Oh yeah. She does that to me, too. Did you give her a pound?" "No. I didn't give her a pound, motherfucker. She called me a nigga." "Well, she's not going to quit unless you give her a pound. It's just the way she rolls." "That's some bullshit, Troy." "It's her couch.
Christopher Moore (You Suck (A Love Story, #2))
I matched my heated tone with one of pure ice. "I believe I did attempt to relate to you the facts of my calls and you interrupted me with a rather magnificent display of temper much as you are doing now. If you do not have all the facts of the case perhaps you have no one but yourself to blame." Brisbane opened his mouth and shut it with a snap. His mouth remained closed but I could hear him muttering under his breath. "What are you saying?" "I am counting. To one hundred. In Cantonese.
Deanna Raybourn (The Dark Enquiry (Lady Julia Grey, #5))
On the third play he dropped back to pass, and it was unadulterated chaos: The pocket was immediately collapsing, people were yelling, everything was happening at the same time, and it felt like he was trying to defuse a pipe bomb while learning to speak Cantonese." "He believed it was his destiny to kill faceless foreigners for complex reasons that were beyond his control, and to deeply question the meaning of those murders, and to kill despite those questions, and to eventually understand the meaning of his own life through the battlefield executions of total strangers." "Teaching history to eighth graders is like being a tour guide for people who hate their vacation." "There is no feeling that can match the emotive intensity of an attraction devoid of explanation.
Chuck Klosterman (Downtown Owl)
I actually chafe at describing myself as masculine. For one thing, masculinity itself is such an expansive territory, encompassing boundaries of nationality, race, and class. Most importantly, individuals blaze their own trails across this landscape. And it’s hard for me to label the intricate matrix of my gender as simply masculine. To me, branding individual self-expression as simply feminine or masculine is like asking poets: Do you write in English or Spanish? The question leaves out the possibilities that the poetry is woven in Cantonese or Ladino, Swahili or Arabic. The question deals only with the system of language that the poet has been taught. It ignores the words each writer hauls up, hand over hand, from a common well. The music words make when finding themselves next to each other for the first time. The silences echoing in the space between ideas. The powerful winds of passion and belief that move the poet to write.
Leslie Feinberg
I don’t understand,’ said Robin. ‘Why don’t you just have them cook Cantonese dishes?’ ‘Because English cuisine reminds one of home,’ said Reverend Gützlaff. ‘One appreciates such creature comforts on faraway journeys.’ ‘But it tastes like rubbish,’ said Ramy. ‘And nothing could be more English,’ said Reverend Gützlaff, cutting vigorously into his grey meat.
R.F. Kuang (Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution)
a traditional Cantonese gift: a tin of imported Danish cookies.
Lisa See (The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane)
There were dumplings on the train, sold by grim men and women with deep lines cut into their faces by years and worry and hunger and misery. This was the provinces, the outer territories, the mysterious China that had sent millions of girls and boys to Canton to earn their fortunes in the Pearl River Delta. Matthew knew all their strange accents, he spoke their strange Mandarin language, but he was Cantonese, and these were not his people. Those were not his dumplings.
Cory Doctorow (For the Win)
But what about the experiences of second-generation kids like us—like feeling ashamed of the lunches our parents packed us because they were too “ethnic”? Or having to translate things for our parents because our English was better than theirs? Or struggling to communicate with our relatives in our home country because our Mandarin/Cantonese/Hindi/Korean/Viet was absolute horseshit?
Simu Liu (We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story)
most schools also focus too much on providing students with a set of predetermined skills, such as solving differential equations, writing computer code in C++, identifying chemicals in a test tube, or conversing in Chinese. Yet since we have no idea what the world and the job market will look like in 2050, we don’t really know what particular skills people will need. We might invest a lot of effort teaching kids how to write in C++ or speak Chinese, only to discover that by 2050 AI can code software far better than humans, and a new Google Translate app will enable you to conduct a conversation in almost flawless Mandarin, Cantonese, or Hakka, even though you only know how to say “Ni hao.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Before age 40 we use our health to make money, but after age 40 money can’t buy back our health. -A Cantonese proverb
Pik-Shuen Fung (Ghost Forest)
And she thinks of a Cantonese saying: Trees want to be still, but the wind won’t stop blowing. When children want to care for their parents, it’s already too late.
Pik-Shuen Fung (Ghost Forest)
«Guarda, Constanti', non è romantico? Un rumeno e un italiano che mangiano noodle e riso alla cantonese presi da un ristorante italo-asiatico gestito da bulgari.»
Federico Russo (Blestemat: Strigoi, Rumeni e Maledizioni)
Driving the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge no monument’s in sight but fog prowling Angel Island muffling Alcatraz poems in Cantonese inscribed on fog no icon lifts a lamp here history’s breath blotting the air over Gold Mountain
Adrienne Rich (An Atlas of the Difficult World: Poems 1988-1991)
One hundred hearts would not be enough to carry the love I have for you,” I croaked out in Cantonese. Ma smiled. “One hundred hearts would never be enough to carry the love and pride I have for you, my Mei Zhen. Remember that always.
Giana Darling (Caution to the Wind (The Fallen Men, #7))
Yet since we have no idea what the world and the job market will look like in 2050, we don’t really know what particular skills people will need. We might invest a lot of effort teaching kids how to write in C++ or speak Chinese, only to discover that by 2050 AI can code software far better than humans, and a new Google Translate app will enable you to conduct a conversation in almost flawless Mandarin, Cantonese, or Hakka, even though you only know how to say “Ni hao.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
The videos described were of me talking into the camera, seeming to narrate some personal stories-I cry in one- but Ping Xi had dubbed everything over. Instead of my voice, you heard long, angry voice mails Ping Xi’s mother had left him in Cantonese.
Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation)
Despite my attempts to translate some of their lyrics here from Cantonese, the essence of these intimate and exquisite, yet 鳩, lyrics is impossible to capture. They feel like soft inside jokes whispered into your ear just before bed, jokes only Cantonese speakers understand.
Karen Cheung (The Impossible City: A Hong Kong Memoir)
He said it in languages he knew he need not include, Serbo-Croation and Cantonese, just because there was comfort in speaking and no one tried to stop him. 'Stand up,' is not a message that needed translation in the first place. People are sheep about certain things. When some begin to stand, the rest will follow.
Ann Patchett (Bel Canto)
Speaking to a foreigner was the dream of every student, and my opportunity came at last. When I got back from my trip down the Yangtze, I learned that my year was being sent in October to a port in the south called Zhanjiang to practice our English with foreign sailors. I was thrilled. Zhanjiang was about 75 miles from Chengdu, a journey of two days and two nights by rail. It was the southernmost large port in China, and quite near the Vietnamese border. It felt like a foreign country, with turn-of-the-century colonial-style buildings, pastiche Romanesque arches, rose windows, and large verandas with colorful parasols. The local people spoke Cantonese, which was almost a foreign language. The air smelled of the unfamiliar sea, exotic tropical vegetation, and an altogether bigger world. But my excitement at being there was constantly doused by frustration. We were accompanied by a political supervisor and three lecturers, who decided that, although we were staying only a mile from the sea, we were not to be allowed anywhere near it. The harbor itself was closed to outsiders, for fear of 'sabotage' or defection. We were told that a student from Guangzhou had managed to stow away once in a cargo steamer, not realizing that the hold would be sealed for weeks, by which time he had perished. We had to restrict our movements to a clearly defined area of a few blocks around our residence. Regulations like these were part of our daily life, but they never failed to infuriate me. One day I was seized by an absolute compulsion to get out. I faked illness and got permission to go to a hospital in the middle of the city. I wandered the streets desperately trying to spot the sea, without success. The local people were unhelpful: they did not like non-Cantonese speakers, and refused to understand me. We stayed in the port for three weeks, and only once were we allowed, as a special treat, to go to an island to see the ocean. As the point of being there was to talk to the sailors, we were organized into small groups to take turns working in the two places they were allowed to frequent: the Friendship Store, which sold goods for hard currency, and the Sailors' Club, which had a bar, a restaurant, a billiards room, and a ping-pong room. There were strict rules about how we could talk to the sailors. We were not allowed to speak to them alone, except for brief exchanges over the counter of the Friendship Store. If we were asked our names and addresses, under no circumstances were we to give our real ones. We all prepared a false name and a nonexistent address. After every conversation, we had to write a detailed report of what had been said which was standard practice for anyone who had contact with foreigners. We were warned over and over again about the importance of observing 'discipline in foreign contacts' (she waifi-lu). Otherwise, we were told, not only would we get into serious trouble, other students would be banned from coming.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Today, Arabic numerals are in use pretty much around the world, while the words with which we name numbers naturally differ from language to language. And, as Dehaene and others have noted, these differences are far from trivial. English is cumbersome. There are special words for the numbers from 11 to 19 and for the decades from 20 to 90. This makes counting a challenge for English-speaking children, who are prone to such errors as “twenty-eight, twenty-nine, twenty-ten, twenty-eleven.” French is just as bad, with vestigial base-twenty monstrosities, like quatre-vingt-dix-neuf (four twenty ten nine) for 99. Chinese, by contrast, is simplicity itself; its number syntax perfectly mirrors the base-ten form of Arabic numerals, with a minimum of terms. Consequently, the average Chinese four-year-old can count up to forty, whereas American children of the same age struggle to get to fifteen. And the advantages extend to adults. Because Chinese number words are so brief—they take less than a quarter of a second to say, on average, compared with a third of a second for English—the average Chinese speaker has a memory span of nine digits, versus seven digits for English speakers. (Speakers of the marvelously efficient Cantonese dialect, common in Hong Kong, can juggle ten digits in active memory.)
Jim Holt (When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought)
When my friends and I text we have our own language, a mixture of Cantonese and English and internet lingo and typos and everything else. I am homed, a friend tells me after a night out, to let me know they’ve gotten back safe. Homed. As if home is standing at the door begging you to come back indoors as rain runs down the bridge of your nose. And just like that you’re back again, letting the four walls cage you in, like you’ve returned against your will but you couldn’t quite help yourself.
Karen Cheung (The Impossible City: A Hong Kong Memoir)
Besides information, most schools also focus too much on providing pupils with a set of predetermined skills [...]. Yet since we have no idea how the world and the job market will look in 2050, we don't really know what particular skills people will need. We might invest a lot of effort teaching kids how to write in C++ or how to speak Chinese, only to discover that by 2050 AI can code software far better than humans, and a new Google Translate app enables you to conduct a conversation in almost flawless Mandarin, Cantonese or Hakka, even though you only know how to say 'Ni hao'.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
A few days after the fireworks, I gave them a lesson on category nouns versus exact nouns. I hadn’t heard of this distinction prior to opening the textbook. It transpired that a category noun was something like “vegetables,” whereas exact nouns were “beetroot,” “carrots,” “broccoli.” It was better to use exact nouns because this made your writing more precise and interesting. The chapter gave a short explanation followed by an exercise: an A4 page divided into columns. On the left were various category nouns. On the right, you had to fill in at least three corresponding exact nouns. I told the kids they could use their Cantonese-to-English dictionaries. Cynthia Mak asked what to say for “people.” Did it mean “sister,” “brother,” “father,” or “teacher,” “doctor,” “artist,” or— “They’re all okay,” I said. “But if I put ‘sister,’ ‘father,’ ‘brother’ in ‘people,’ then what about here?” She pointed to the box marked “family.” “Okay, don’t do those. Do ‘teacher’ or something.” “But what about here?”—signaling the “professions” row. “Okay, something else for ‘people.’” “Happy people, sad people?” “‘Happy people’ isn’t an exact noun—it’s an adjective plus a category noun.” “So what should I write?” We looked at each other. It was indeed a challenge to describe people in a way not immediately related to how they earned money or their position in the family unit. I said: “How about ‘friend,’ ‘boyfriend,’ ‘colleague’?” “I don’t want to write ‘boyfriend.’” I couldn’t blame her for questioning the exercise. “Friend,” “enemy,” and “colleague” didn’t seem like ways of narrowing down “people” in the way “apple” did for “fruit.” An apple would still be a fruit if it didn’t have any others in its vicinity, but you couldn’t be someone’s nemesis without their hanging around to complete the definition. The same issue cropped up with my earlier suggestions. “Family” was relational, and “profession” was created and given meaning by external structures. Admittedly “adult,” “child,” and “teenager” could stand on their own. But I still found it depressing that the way we specified ourselves—the way we made ourselves precise and interesting—was by pinpointing our developmental stage and likely distance from mortality. Fruit didn’t have that problem.
Naoise Dolan (Exciting Times)
Over a bowl of noodles [the younger Cantonese man] waxed eloquent on the subject of mantras. 'Ordinary people, Ah Jon, use mantras as spells to win good fortune or ward off disease and other evils. Perhaps they are right to do so, for the mantras are often successful, but I do not ask you to believe that. What I beg you to believe is that they are of the greatest help in altering states of consciousness. They do this by making your mind stay still instead of chasing after thoughts.' He went on to explain that, being devoid of meaning, they do not promote conceptual thought as prayers, invocations and so forth are apt to do; and that, as each mantra has a mysterious correspondence (he could not explain what kind of correspondence) with the various potentialities embedded deeply in our consciousness […] it could cause one to snap into a state otherwise hard to reach. I do not remember his actual words, but I do remember that he was the first to voice an idea which was later to be abundantly confirmed by my own experience. […] he went on to say that to use meaningful words in any kind of religious practice is useless, since words encourage dualistic thought which hinders the mind from entering upon a truly spiritual state. His last words […] were: 'People who pray with words are just beginners. Don't do it!' Several passengers who understood English glanced at him as though they thought him a bit mad and I myself was quite taken aback by his un-Chinese vehemence, but I know now that he was eminently sane.
John Blofeld (Mantras: Sacred Words of Power)
Imagine… There’s a roast goose in Hong Kong—Mongkok, near the outskirts of the city, the place looks like any other. But you sink your teeth into the quickly hacked pieces and you know you’re experiencing something special. Layers of what can only be described as enlightenment, one extraordinary sensation after another as the popils of the tongue encounter first the crispy, caramelized skin, then air, then fat—the juicy, sweet yet savory, ever so slightly gamey meat, the fat just barely managing to retain its corporeal form before quickly dematerializing into liquid. These are the kinds of tastes and textures that come with year after year of the same man making the same dish. That man—the one there, behind the counter with the cleaver—hacking roast pork, and roast duck, and roast goose as he’s done since he was a child and as his father did before him. He’s got it right now for sure—and, sitting there at one of the white Formica tables, Cantonese pop songs oozing and occasionally distorting from an undersized speaker, you know it, too. In fact, you’re pretty goddamn sure this is the best roast goose on the whole planet. Nobody is eating goose better than you at this precise moment. Maybe in the whole history of the world there has never been a better goose. Ordinarily, you don’t know if you’d go that far describing a dish—but now, with that ethereal goose fat dribbling down your chin, the sound of perfectly crackling skin playing inside your head to an audience of one, hyperbole seems entirely appropriate.
Anthony Bourdain (Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook)
We've been here three days already, and I've yet to cook a single meal. The night we arrived, my dad ordered Chinese takeout from the old Cantonese restaurant around the corner, where they still serve the best egg foo yung, light and fluffy and swimming in rich, brown gravy. Then there had been Mineo's pizza and corned beef sandwiches from the kosher deli on Murray, all my childhood favorites. But last night I'd fallen asleep reading Arthur Schwartz's Naples at Table and had dreamed of pizza rustica, so when I awoke early on Saturday morning with a powerful craving for Italian peasant food, I decided to go shopping. Besides, I don't ever really feel at home anywhere until I've cooked a meal. The Strip is down by the Allegheny River, a five- or six-block stretch filled with produce markets, old-fashioned butcher shops, fishmongers, cheese shops, flower stalls, and a shop that sells coffee that's been roasted on the premises. It used to be, and perhaps still is, where chefs pick up their produce and order cheeses, meats, and fish. The side streets and alleys are littered with moldering vegetables, fruits, and discarded lettuce leaves, and the smell in places is vaguely unpleasant. There are lots of beautiful, old warehouse buildings, brick with lovely arched windows, some of which are now, to my surprise, being converted into trendy loft apartments. If you're a restaurateur you get here early, four or five in the morning. Around seven or eight o'clock, home cooks, tourists, and various passers-through begin to clog the Strip, aggressively vying for the precious few available parking spaces, not to mention tables at Pamela's, a retro diner that serves the best hotcakes in Pittsburgh. On weekends, street vendors crowd the sidewalks, selling beaded necklaces, used CDs, bandanas in exotic colors, cheap, plastic running shoes, and Steelers paraphernalia by the ton. It's a loud, jostling, carnivalesque experience and one of the best things about Pittsburgh. There's even a bakery called Bruno's that sells only biscotti- at least fifteen different varieties daily. Bruno used to be an accountant until he retired from Mellon Bank at the age of sixty-five to bake biscotti full-time. There's a little hand-scrawled sign in the front of window that says, GET IN HERE! You can't pass it without smiling. It's a little after eight when Chloe and I finish up at the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company where, in addition to the prosciutto, soppressata, both hot and sweet sausages, fresh ricotta, mozzarella, and imported Parmigiano Reggiano, all essential ingredients for pizza rustica, I've also picked up a couple of cans of San Marzano tomatoes, which I happily note are thirty-nine cents cheaper here than in New York.
Meredith Mileti (Aftertaste: A Novel in Five Courses)
Take a look at the following list of numbers: 4, 8, 5, 3, 9, 7, 6. Read them out loud. Now look away and spend twenty seconds memorizing that sequence before saying them out loud again. If you speak English, you have about a 50 percent chance of remembering that sequence perfectly. If you're Chinese, though, you're almost certain to get it right every time. Why is that? Because as human beings we store digits in a memory loop that runs for about two seconds. We most easily memorize whatever we can say or read within that two-second span. And Chinese speakers get that list of numbers—4, 8, 5, 3, 9, 7, 6—right almost every time because, unlike English, their language allows them to fit all those seven numbers into two seconds. That example comes from Stanislas Dehaene's book The Number Sense. As Dehaene explains: Chinese number words are remarkably brief. Most of them can be uttered in less than one-quarter of a second (for instance, 4 is "si" and 7 "qi"). Their English equivalents—"four," "seven"—are longer: pronouncing them takes about one-third of a second. The memory gap between English and Chinese apparently is entirely due to this difference in length. In languages as diverse as Welsh, Arabic, Chinese, English and Hebrew, there is a reproducible correlation between the time required to pronounce numbers in a given language and the memory span of its speakers. In this domain, the prize for efficacy goes to the Cantonese dialect of Chinese, whose brevity grants residents of Hong Kong a rocketing memory span of about 10 digits. It turns out that there is also a big difference in how number-naming systems in Western and Asian languages are constructed. In English, we say fourteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen, so one might expect that we would also say oneteen, twoteen, threeteen, and five- teen. But we don't. We use a different form: eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fifteen. Similarly, we have forty and sixty, which sound like the words they are related to (four and six). But we also say fifty and thirty and twenty, which sort of sound like five and three and two, but not really. And, for that matter, for numbers above twenty, we put the "decade" first and the unit number second (twentyone, twenty-two), whereas for the teens, we do it the other way around (fourteen, seventeen, eighteen). The number system in English is highly irregular. Not so in China, Japan, and Korea. They have a logical counting system. Eleven is ten-one. Twelve is ten-two. Twenty-four is two- tens-four and so on. That difference means that Asian children learn to count much faster than American children. Four-year-old Chinese children can count, on average, to forty. American children at that age can count only to fifteen, and most don't reach forty until they're five. By the age of five, in other words, American children are already a year behind their Asian counterparts in the most fundamental of math skills. The regularity of their number system also means that Asian children can perform basic functions, such as addition, far more easily. Ask an English-speaking seven-yearold to add thirty-seven plus twenty-two in her head, and she has to convert the words to numbers (37+22). Only then can she do the math: 2 plus 7 is 9 and 30 and 20 is 50, which makes 59. Ask an Asian child to add three-tensseven and two-tens-two, and then the necessary equation is right there, embedded in the sentence. No number translation is necessary: It's five-tens-nine. "The Asian system is transparent," says Karen Fuson, a Northwestern University psychologist who has closely studied Asian-Western differences. "I think that it makes the whole attitude toward math different. Instead of being a rote learning thing, there's a pattern I can figure out. There is an expectation that I can do this. There is an expectation that it's sensible. For fractions, we say three-fifths. The Chinese is literally 'out of five parts, take three.' That's telling you conceptually
In a longitudinal study, Kelleen Toohey (2000) observed a group of children aged 5–7 in kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 in Vancouver, Canada. The group included children who were native speakers of English, as well as children whose home language was Cantonese, Hindi, Polish, Punjabi, or Tagalog. All the children were in the same class, and English was the medium of instruction. Toohey identified three classroom practices that led to the separation of the ESL children. First, the ESL children’s desks were placed close to the teacher’s desk, on the assumption that they needed more direct help from the teacher. Some of them were also removed from the classroom twice a week to obtain assistance from an ESL teacher. Second, instances in which the ESL learners interacted more with each other usually involved borrowing or lending materials but this had to be done surreptitiously because the teacher did not always tolerate it. Finally, there was a ‘rule’ in the classroom that children should not copy one another’s oral or written productions. This was particularly problematic for the ESL children because repeating the words of others was often the only way in which they could participate in conversational interaction. According to Toohey, these classroom practices led to the exclusion of ESL students from activities and associations in school and also in the broader community in which they were new members. Furthermore, such practices did not contribute positively to the children’s ESL development.
Patsy M. Lightbown (How Languages are Learned)
At first when I meet Chin Li, I think him unkind, as you say. But it not true. He only want to guard me. So you see, he is good man.” A coy smile tipped her mouth. “Like your Marshal Caradon.” Surprised, McKenna felt heat rise to her cheeks. “He is not my Marshal Caradon.” Mei’s brows shot up. “He and I are friends. Like you and I are friends.” A knowing look filled Mei’s dark eyes. “Chin Li and I were friends when we marry. Then we grow into . . . much more.” Mei spoke something in Cantonese, offering a smile. “That is what my grandmother once say. It mean, ‘The most fertile soil for love lies in heart of friend.’” McKenna couldn’t imagine entering into marriage as Mei had. Not loving the man. Not even knowing him! But she wasn’t about to say that aloud. When she married—if she ever married—it would be for love. A love she’d not yet experienced, and wasn’t even sure existed.
Tamera Alexander (The Inheritance)
I don’t think the brothers are ready for a rodent-based diet.” “The Cantonese call it jia lu or ‘super deer’. It’s considered a delicacy.
Heide Goody (Hellzapoppin' (Clovenhoof, #4))
Every New Year's Day, my parents had a big party, and their friends came over and bet on the Rose Bowl and argued about which of the players on either team were Jewish, and my mother served her famous lox and onions and eggs, which took her the entire first half to make. It took her so long, in fact, that I really don't have time to give you the recipe, because it takes up a lot of space to explain how slowly and painstakingly she did everything, sautéing the onions over a tiny flame so none of them would burn, throwing more and more butter into the pan, cooking the eggs so slowly that my father was always sure they wouldn't be ready until the game was completely over and everyone had gone home. We should have known my mother was crazy years before we did just because of the maniacal passion she brought to her lox and onions and eggs, but we didn't. Another thing my mother was famous for serving was a big ham along with her casserole of lima beans and pears. A couple of years ago, I was in Los Angeles promoting Uncle Seymour's Beef Borscht and a woman said to me at a party, "Wasn't your mother Bebe Samstat?" and when I said yes, she said, "I have her recipe for lima beans and pears. " I like to think it would have amused my mother to know that there is someone in Hollywood who remembers her only for her lima beans and pears, but it probably wouldn't have. Anyway, here's how you make it: Take 6 cups defrosted lima beans, 6 pears peeled and cut into slices, 1/2 cup molasses, 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1/2 onion chopped, put into a heavy casserole, cover and bake 12 hours at 200*. That's the sort of food she loved to serve, something that looked like plain old baked beans and then turned out to have pears up its sleeve. She also made a bouillabaisse with Swiss chard in it. Later on, she got too serious about food- started making egg rolls from scratch, things like that- and one night she resigned from the kitchen permanently over a lobster Cantonese that didn't work out, and that was the beginning of the end.
Nora Ephron (Heartburn)
And monkey's brains, though popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington, DC.
CLUE (The Movie)
So much went wrong there, however. Its avatar was shot in an attempted robbery. Before the birth; indeed, before I even arrived. Pure bad luck, I thought—but then the hospital mishandled her chart and nearly killed her in surgery, and then they turned her out before she was fully recuperated because she was indigent…” He shakes his head, muttering in Cantonese about barbaric American health care for a moment before resuming English. “I gave her a place to stay, but she had no strength when the city tried to rise, and the Enemy came. The levees broke after she died, and rather than help, your media and incompetent leadership compounded the catastrophe at every turn.” Then his frown deepens. “But if the Enemy was at work there, interfering somehow even before the city chose
N.K. Jemisin (The City We Became (Great Cities, #1))
But apart from that, I was amazed by how little the language had penetrated the place – given, after all, that we Brits had been running the colony for 150 years. Other groups you might well have expected to speak English were, as a rule, remarkable for being monoglot Cantonese:
John Lanchester (Fragrant Harbour)
I pass the bakery on the corner, the smells hitting me before I reach the shop itself. They are thick and sweet. Cars are double-parked down our street, locals dashing from the passenger doors to pick up their breakfast. A long queue snakes from the entrance. Inside there are piles of pork buns, slices of dark honey cake, rolls topped with pork floss, bread with ham laid on top and stuck fast with melted cheese. It is a different smell from bakeries back home. I tried a loaf of bread once, but the slices are thin and sugary.
Hannah Tunnicliffe (The Color of Tea)
year-old tycoon Che Feng (or Fung in Cantonese), the son-in-law of high-ranking CCP member, Dai Xianglong. This was the Super Chairman. Che was one of more than a dozen Chinese princelings found to be using offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands, according to the “Paradise Papers,” including President Xi’s own brother-in-law, Deng Jiagui, a real-estate developer.
Miranda Devine (Laptop from Hell: Hunter Biden, Big Tech, and the Dirty Secrets the President Tried to Hide)
One criterion might be mutual intelligibility: while we wouldn't expect to understand another language, we might well understand a different dialect of a language we do speak. But this criterion soon poses problems. The ‘dialects’ of Chinese (e.g. Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese) share a writing system but are mutually unintelligible, whereas the Scandinavian ‘languages’ Swedish, Danish and Norwegian are similar enough to be mutually comprehensible (sometimes with a little effort). The difference in practice is generally determined on socio-political rather than linguistic grounds: we tend to associate languages with nation states where they are spoken. Or, as cynics would have it: ‘a language is a dialect with an army and a navy’. To avoid problems of this kind, linguists talk of language varieties.
David Hornsby (Linguistics: A Complete Introduction: Teach Yourself (Ty: Complete Courses Book 1))
Ah Ciu,” Jeremy said in Cantonese, “remember what I told you? Don’t insult people in English. It’s not nice.
Courtney Milan (The Duke Who Didn't (Wedgeford Trials, #1))
The recipes ran the gamut of vegetarian, fish, chicken, beef, pork, noodles, soups, stews, and desserts. They also spanned cuisines from Cantonese, Sichuan, Shanghainese, and even Taiwanese. My grandmother must have expanded her repertoire. The care and poetry of each recipe was accentuated by its simple instructions and colorful anecdotes.
Roselle Lim (Natalie Tan's Book of Luck & Fortune)
What a beautifully whorish name I have—Feng Yue—Phoenix Moon. Can’t say my mother lacked foresight when she named me. Unfortunately, Xiao Feng Xian was the last celebrity prostitute. This is the 1970s, the modern world. They even made polygamy illegal a few years ago, after so many thousand of years. Can you believe that? What man would be happy with just one wife if they could afford more? Some girls thought it might bring us more business, but we have seen no evidence of that so far. The law has simply driven junior wives underground. They’ve become secret mistresses—less accepted, less recognized, less protected, children relegated to the shadows. The senior wives are now more suspicious of their men than ever, wondering what their mistresses are like, feeling more insecure. Nobody gains. Stupid. In any case, we don’t have the same good karma as our sisters from the dynasties. Phoenix is now a euphemism for chicken, which means hookers in Cantonese slang. Poets are extinct. We have become just chickens.
Jason Y. Ng (Hong Kong Noir)
Big Six is the name Hong Kongers have for people from Communist China. It’s a Cantonese pun on the word for mainlanders. “They,” the emphasis was on the otherness of the they, “they have no traditional values, only care about one thing: money.” And now that I had no illusions left about Hong Kong, I understood the subtext. As a white English girl, I was marrying beneath myself.
Jason Y. Ng (Hong Kong Noir)
Fault. In English or in Cantonese, that was the word we were all afraid of. I held it like a seed in my mouth. As kids, the three of us loved to suck on dried plums. Long after the sour and salty fruit dissolved, the seed stayed sweet, the true secret. Now I was afraid my secret guilt would start to grow sweet, and I would never want to spit it out.
Fae Myenne Ng (Bone)
The good expats ate chicken feet, tried to learn Cantonese, and followed the news enough to make political jokes. It isn't that the Hong Kong they lived in wasn't real; it's that they inhabited one universe in many that existed here, and they only ever wanted to get to know that one.
Karen Cheung (The Impossible City: A Hong Kong Memoir)
He sang in Cantonese, his voice deepening as if he were singing of broken dreams shattered beyond recognition. At parties like these, no one else would ever pick a song like this. His voice, like a single drop of water falling into a lake, sent an inexplicable ripple across the room. The crowd began to quieten down. The drinking games came to an abrupt stop. Drinks were forgotten as heads turned in puzzlement towards Zhang Zhun. Oblivious to his surroundings, Zhang Zhun continued singing to himself in a trance:
Tongzi (Deep in the Act (Volume 1))
It is not necessary to dig one’s own grave. There are always others willing to dig it for you.’ It’s an old Cantonese proverb.
Will Thomas (The Limehouse Text (Barker & Llewelyn, #3))
A man is talking on the phone in Cantonese, which means that he is, in fact, shouting.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
Clint shared the close quarters of the holding cell: a young, white punk, pierced and tattooed, who passed out on the bench soon after he arrived; a pair of tailored, older men, one black, one Hispanic, argued over a petty drug deal gone awry; an obese Chinese pickpocket muttered to himself in Cantonese. Here, the melting pot that is America displayed her dingiest hue. An odor
Helen Hanson (3 Lies (Masters CIA Thriller, #1))
So I see people mocking my usage of patois… or Jamaican creole which is a form of pidgin created from Afrikaan, Spanish and English languages. This is a Jamaican page by a Jamaican author. The person in the video is Jamaican. It’s common for people to think English is an indication of intelligence albeit only 20% of the world’s population speaks English and only 5% are native English speakers. I mean English itself is a creole of sorts with words from Celtic, Slavic and Latin languages.. Smartest people in the world are Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Indians) their native languages are Hindi, Mandarin and Creole Cantonese. Swahili and Igbo are big creole languages in Africa. Linguistic discrimination is not even warranted based on how languages are developed. Glottophobics are as bad as racist with their linguicism. English is just a superstrate language due to Anglo- Saxon colonization and the British empire… English is still a superstrate because of large English speaking populations such as America, England, South Africa, Nigeria and Canada.
Crystal Evans (Jamaican Patois Guide)
Mom, you spent two and a half decades telling me to focus on school and work and not to think about boys. Maybe the reason I’m not married is because I’m such a guai nui.” Such a good girl. It’s one of the only Cantonese phrases she knows, the one her parents and her grandparents would say to her as a compliment—when they were in front of their friends, when she did something they approved of, when they were reassuring each other in hushed tones after the funeral that Helen would never do something like this. Helen has always been a good girl. She remembers her frustration watching Michelle move through the world and finding ways to upset everyone, all the time. She had envied it a little bit too—the idea of just not caring seemed so foreign to her, she sometimes couldn’t believe they had the same parents. She recognizes an uncharitable feeling of resentment rise against her little sister, even all these years later.
Yulin Kuang (How to End a Love Story)