Greetings in Hong Kongese

Learning how to greet one another in Hong Kong Cantonese.

Greeting in Chinese Culture, can be traced back to Yuen Dynasty started in 1260 (Yuen Dynasty was not ruled by Han Chinese), it became particularly prominent in the Ming and Ching Dynasty (1368-1912).

There are many ways that you can greet one another. Obviously you can simply use body gestures. But what about in spoken Hong Kongese?

Keep in mind that Hong Kong was a colony of Britain so many common English words are widely used in Hong Kongese.

To start, you can simply say Hi or Hello, just like many other places in the world. Just so you know, these common English terms are so widely used that you can have them written out in Cantonese Chinese.

To express hey, which is quite informal and used amongst people that you know well, you can say 喂! Dummy. Hey Dummy. In the morning, you see a neighbour, you can say, 早晨 (literally translated as Early Morning) Less commonly, people say 早上好 (Literally translated as Morning good, good morning) Even more rarely and formally, people say 早安 (Literally translated as Morning peace, or all is well this morning) In the afternoon, people commonly greet one another with Hello or hi. Less commonly but formally, people say 午安 (Literally translated as Afternoon peace, or all is well this afternoon) We don’t normally greet by saying “Good evening” in the evening, usually we just say hello or hi. More generally, regardless of the time of day, you can simply say 你好 (Literally translated as You good) For greeting one or more people, you can say 你地好(Literally translated as You guys good), for a group of people, you can say 大家好 (Literally translated as everybody good)

Let’s practice saying these greeting terms, there are 9 tones, so listen carefully:

早晨 Jo san- Good Morning

早上好 Jo seng ho - Good morning

早安 Jo on - Good morning

午安 Umm on - Good afternoon

你好 Nei Ho - Hello

你哋好Neigh day ho- Hello you guys

大家好 Die ga ho - Hello everyone