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Hello Ni hao (NEE how)
Good-bye Zai jian (ZYE jeeyen)
Thank you Xie xie (SHE-ay she-ay)
Sorry Dui bu qi (DWAY boo chee)
Where is the washroom? Xi shou jian zai nar? (SHE show jeeyen zye nar?)
It's too expensive! Tai gui! (TIE gway)
Learn Chinese from Confucius
by Confucius (Linguistic Consultant to Lonely Planet Thorn Tree and Virtual Tourist)
Lesson 1: Ordering food at a restaurantHello! Confucius has translated a menu from English into Mandarin complete with simplified Confucian romanization to assist you in China.
Rice = "Mee Fan"
Corn = "You Mee"
Fish Head = "You Toe!"
Fish Skin = "You Pee!"
Pork = "Jew Row"
Pig's Ears = "Jew 'R' Dwoe"
Peking Duck = "Cow Ya"
Sea Cucumber = "High Shun"
Steak = "New Pie"
Spareribs = "Pie Goo"
Mushrooms = "Mo' Goo"
Carrots = "Who Lobo?"
Potato = "Two Doe"
Vegetables = "Shoe Sigh"
French Fries = "Shoe T'yao"
Salt = "Yen"
Egg = 'G' Dawn
Grapes = Pooh Tao"
Cheese = "Gone Lao"
Yogurt = "Swan Nigh"
Popsicle = "Bing Gooner"
Ice Cream = "Bing Chee Lean"
Jasmine Tea = "Moly Whaw Chaw!"
Beer = "Pee Joe"
Pepsi Cola = "Buy Shir Colla' "
Lesson 2 Use Cantonese in Hong Kong and GuangzhouCantonese is useful when visiting Hong Kong and Guangzhou. If you try to use Cantonese with the local people, then you will be treated to more smiles and cheaper prices. This easy lesson once again uses English words to facilitate fluent Chinese pronunciation:
Hello! = "Nay ho!"
Good morning! = "Joe sawn!"
Taxi! = "Dik see!"
Let's getting off the bus (or subway) now! = "Loke chay!" (nudge nudge)
How much does this cost? = "Gay doe cheen?"
This is delicious! = "Ho Ho sick!" (For beverages say "ho yum")
Let's eat! = "Sick fawn!"
steamed rice = "bock fawn"
fried rice = "chow fawn"
Don't have any = "Mo" (Often used by shopkeepers and the 3 Stooges)
You're crazy! = "Cheeee sing!"
No problem! = "Mo mun tie"
Foreign devil = "Say gwigh low" (Point at your nose when using this word)
Check, please! = "Migh dawn!"
Cantonese is very difficult to speak = "Gwong doe'ng wa hoe naan gong"
You know that's not right, don't you? = Nay yawmo GOW choe waaah!*
(emphasis on the GOW, which rhymes with "cow")
* Use this phrase liberally in almost any situation with anybody that you encounter. Add a "cheeee sing" immediately afterwards for added effect (guaranteed uncontrollable laughter from all Cantonese speaking folks in your vicinity) "Nay yawmo GOW choe waaah; ... cheeee sing!"