Seasons and weather


It’s spring here finally in Canada. I know that in Hong Kong, it was already 20 some degrees couple weeks ago. Let’s talk about weather and seasons today and let’s start by talking about seasons.

Seasons in Cantonese is 季節 (Dummy PY: Gwai jit), you can understand 季節 as seasonal period, 季 means season, and 節, like many other festivals such as mothers day 母親節, and previously I said 節 means festival, but I guess more accurately speaking, you can understand the word 節 as a particular time period. Which season do you like the most? In the 4 seasons 季節 we have 春 spring (Dummy PY: Chun), 夏 summer (Dummy PY: Ha), 秋 Autumn/ Fall (Dummy PY: Chow), 冬 Winter (Dummy PY: Dong). These are all in short form, when you want to refer to a season, you will have to add the word 天 (Dummy PY: Teen) meaning sky or day. Kind of like saying, these days are spring days, or summer days etc.

Fairly easy, so for spring you will say 春天 spring (Dummy PY: Chun Teen), summer 夏天(Dummy PY: Ha Teen), Autumn/ Fall 秋天 (Dummy PY: Chow Teen), Winter 冬天 (Dummy PY: Dong Teen)

Ie. If you want to say, “I like spring”, in Cantonese you will say 我鐘意春天 (Dummy PY: Ngo Chong Yee Chun Teen),remember 鐘意 means like.

For saying I like summer, fall and winter: 我鐘意夏天/ 我鐘意秋天 / 我鐘意冬天

So myself 我鐘意秋天, so which season? Yes Fall 秋天. I like fall. 我鐘意秋天. To be fair, I like Spring, Summer and Fall, 我鐘意春天, 夏天, 同埋秋天, I just have a bias against winter 冬天, because over here, winter 冬天 is almost half a year long.

So what is the weather like in these seasons 季節?

Weather in Cantonese is 天氣 (Dummy PY: Teen Hey), literally means 天sky or day and 氣 means air or gas. So I guess you can understand the word 天氣 as looking at the weather, what the sky is looking like and what the air is smelling like or feeling like. If the weather 天氣 is very good, then in Cantonese it’s 天氣好好 (Dummy PY: Teen Hey Ho Ho) literally means weather good good. If the weather is very bad, in Cantonese it’s 天氣好差 (Dummy PY; Teen Hey Ho Cha) literally means weather good bad, but here the good 好 is an adverb, to express very or pretty bad.

In Spring 春天, it’s usually raining 落雨 (Dummy PY: Lock Yu), literally means down 落, and rain雨. In spring 春天 in particular, it’s light rain 毛毛雨 (Dummy PY: mo mo yu), 毛毛 is kind of like the imagery of raining hairs, so thin and light rain drops. Or some will also say 微微雨 literally means micro rain. To put it in a sentence, if you want to say, it’s now raining, you can say 而家落緊雨, literally means now 而家, 落緊雨 raining. Pay attention to the grammar here. 落緊雨 raining, to break it down 落 means down, this is a verb, 緊 is a word to indicate that this is happening of the previous verb (you can understand this as the -ing form), and 雨 meaning rain is the noun. So the entire sentence 而家落緊雨 Now it’s raining, you can break it down as: 而家 (Adverb) 落 (verb) 緊 (ing) 雨 (noun), so literally now downing rain. To add the adjective of 毛毛 meaning light, the adjective will be added before the noun. So simply: 而家(Adverb) 落(verb)緊(ing)毛毛(adjective) 雨 (noun) Meaning now downing light rain.

Spring 春天 is also wet, wet is 濕 (Dummy PY: Sup) and humid is 潮濕 (Dummy PY: Chew Sup). Let me quickly share a poem about spring to you, literature is a great way to understand cultures. this poem is called 春曉 (Spring Dawn) by this poet called 孟浩然. There are English translations, but I will translate it line by line.

春曉 (Spring Dawn)


Sleeping in Spring not realizing dawn,


everywhere bird’s chirps are heard.


Night came the sounds of wind and rain,


Flowers fell do we know how many?

This is a very famous poem. In Hong Kong, we must have read it at least once in school.

Moving onto Summer 夏天, it’s usually hot. Hot is 熱(Dummy PY: Yeet).To put it in a sentence, 我覺得好熱(Dummy PY: Ngo Gock Duck Ho Yeet), meaning I - 我 feel - 覺得 very - 好 hot - 熱. Summer 夏天 also always rains, but this time unlike spring 春天, it’s no longer 毛毛雨 light rain. It is heavy rain sometimes. To say raining heavily, we will say in Cantonese, 落大雨 (Dummy PY: Lock Die Yu),落雨 you already know means rain, 大 means big. Again you can apply it to the sentence we learned just now. Another way to say it’s raining hard, or the idiom, raining dogs and cats, in Cantonese it sounds quite bad, we also say 落狗屎 (Dummy PY: Lock Gow See), literally means rain dog poop. Another thing I hate about Hong Kong Summer, is that it is super stuffy because it’s still quite humid since Hong Kong is next to the harbour and all the tall buildings are trapping the heat and the moisture, creating a green house effect. To say it’s stuffy, in Cantonese, we will say 焗 (Dummy PY: Gook), 焗 also means baking. So the oven we call it 焗爐 (Dummy PY: Gook Lo) Literally means baking furnace. So when it’s very hot and stuff other than saying it’s like being in a sauna (*the word Sauna is read as English in HK Cantonese), you can also say, it’s like being in a 焗爐 - Oven. To put the word 焗 in a sentence, 我覺得好焗(Dummy PY: Ngo Gock Duck Ho Gook), is saying I feel the air is stuffy. Lastly for summer 夏天, most HK girls would be trying to stay away from the sun since it’s sunny. Some don’t like to get tanned at all, just because this certain strange culture in Asia in general, the paler the girl is, the “better” she is. I believe the black community relates to the shadeism as well. So you often hear HK people say 曬 (Dummy PY: Sai), meaning it’s sunny and bright. To put it in a sentence, 我覺得好曬(Dummy PY: Ngo Gock Duck Ho Sai), so meaning I feel it’s very sunny and bright.

Now my favourite season, fall or autumn 秋天, it’s often quite cool in Fall 秋天. To say the weather is cool (not as in great, but as in temperature), in Cantonese it is 涼爽 (Dummy PY: Leung Song), or for short you can say 涼 (Dummy PY: Leung). To say outside it’s cool, in Cantonese you will say 出面好涼/涼爽 (Dummy PY: Chut Mean Ho Leung/ Leung Song) 出面 (Dummy PY: Chut Mean) means outside. On the other hand, inside is 入面 (Dummy PY: Yup Mean). Fall 秋天 is often dry, opposite to Spring which is wet 濕 (Dummy PY: Sup) and humid 潮濕 (Dummy PY: Chew Sup), dry is 乾躁 (Dummy PY: Gone Cho) or for short 乾 (Dummy PY: Gone). So using the same sentence to say outside is dry, you will say 出面好乾/乾躁 (Dummy PY: Chut Mean Ho Gone/ Gone Cho). In Hong Kong, Fall is usually very short, which is a shame.

Winter 冬天 it’s cold. The opposite of hot熱 is cold 凍 (Dummy PY: Dung). If you plan on visiting Hong Kong in the winter, people who are from a colder climate, for example Canada, might think “Oh HK’s winter should be no biggie”, since the lowest HK hits is usually around 8 or 9 degrees, and only for a couple of days. But don’t underestimate the cold in HK. Since Hk is next to the harbour, like I said it’s often humid, even in winter. So Hk has this kind of wet humid cold, that runs chills down your bones. The cold doesn’t hot you in the face, it creeps up on you. Also, we have no heat usually indoors. In Hong Kong it basically doesn’t snow, 落雪 (Dummy PY: Lock Shue[t]) Literally means 落down snow雪. We had a snowfall in Hong Kong up at the highest mountain Tai Mo Shan 大帽山 couple years back, apparently the first real snow fall in 71 years. To be fair, there was not a lot of snow雪. But it was quite a scene because so many people all rushed up the mountain to catch a glimpse of it, but then it caused issues because the cars blocked the entrances to the mountain and people were stuck.

Last but not least, temperature in Cantonese is 溫度 (Dummy PY: Won Dou). Literal meaning is 溫 means warth, and 度 means the reading/ degree/ measurement. If you want to ask what is the temperature today, you will say 今日幾多度?(Dummy PY: Gum Yat Gay Door Dou?) literally means today how many degrees?

*Note that the word 溫 meaning warmth is omitted because it is implied.

I am going to end with a poem that describes the four seasons. This poem I couldn’t really confirm where it came from, there are variations of this poem, but it is well known because this poem describes how lazy students procrastinate throughout the four seasons. I might have referenced this poem once or twice to try to get myself out of a revision session.


Spring days are not studying days,


Summer is so hot it’s best for sleep.


Waited for fall to come and now Winter is here.


Pack up the school bag and wait for the next year.

Here comes the vocab:

季節 (Dummy PY: Gwai jit) - Seasons

春天 (Dummy PY: Chun Teen) - spring

夏天(Dummy PY: Ha Teen)- summer

秋天 (Dummy PY: Chow Teen) - Autumn/ Fall

冬天 (Dummy PY: Dong Teen) - Winter

天氣 (Dummy PY: Teen Hey) - Weather

天氣好好 (Dummy PY: Teen Hey Ho Ho) - Weather is very good

天氣好差 (Dummy PY; Teen Hey Ho Cha) - weather is very bad

落雨 (Dummy PY: Lock Yu) - Rain (v.)

毛毛雨 (Dummy PY: mo mo yu) - Light rain (n.)

大雨 (Dummy PY: Die Yu) - Heavy rain (n.)

落狗屎 (Dummy PY: Lock Gow See) - (Literal: Raining dog poop, Mean: Raining dogs and cats)

落雪 (Dummy PY: Lock Shue[t]) - Snow (v.)

我覺得好...(Dummy PY: Ngo Gock Duck Ho...) - I feel very...

熱(Dummy PY: Yeet) - Hot

凍 (Dummy PY: Dung) - Cold

焗 (Dummy PY: Gook) - Stuffy

曬 (Dummy PY: Sai) - sunny and bright

涼 (Dummy PY: Leung)/ 涼爽 (Dummy PY: Leung Song) - Cool

濕 (Dummy PY: Sup) - Wet

潮濕 (Dummy PY: Chew Sup) - Humid

乾躁 (Dummy PY: Gone Cho) / 乾 (Dummy PY: Gone) - Dry

我鐘意... (Dummy PY: Ngo Chong Yee) - I like …

出面 (Dummy PY: Chut Mean) - Outside

入面 (Dummy PY: Yup Mean) - Inside

溫度 (Dummy PY: Won Dou) - Temperature

今日幾多度?(Dummy PY: Gum Yat Gay Door Dou?) - What is the temperature today?