Links and Tips Home

A. Links - Cantonese / Chinese / Electronic Speaking Dictionary / Media / About Hong Kong
B. Tips -
Learner's questions / Choosing books


A1. Links - Cantonese

Dictionary the searched results are mainly in written form instead of daily spoken form. (unless the spoken form is included in their traditional hard-printed dictionaries)
A Chinese Character Database character dictionary - Chinese to English
On-Line Chinese Tools character dictionary (no compound word)
MDBG Chinese English Dictionary For the part "character dictionary", Cantonese romanization is available. For the part "word (compound word) dictionary", only Mandarin pin-yin but no Cantonese romanization
Online learning  
The Hong Kong University of
Science and Technology -
Language Centre
Cantonese Listening Exercises, with audio files
Talk now Cantonese from the book "Colloquial Cantonese", with audio files
Adam Sheik web site vocab, characters, flash cards etc.
China-West Exchange online learning, with sound files
Learn Cantonese vocab
The Chinese Languages there's a Cantonese forum
A Japanese web site sound files for Cantonese initials, finals and tones
Typing tone marks Typing tone marks in MS word
Typing tone marks by installing special font Download the font and install in your computer
can then type the accent marks in Cantonese Yale
or Putonghua Pin Yin (this font is developed by
Pui Ching Middle School)


A2. Links - Chinese

Dictionary dictionaries for both characters and compound words, Chinese-English and English-Chinese
Lin Yutang  
MDBG Chinese English Dictionary  
Dictionary and resources  
Learning Chinese Online resources, dictionaries
On-Line Chinese Tools resources, dictionary
Chinese Languages resources, dictionaries, forum resources, dictionary
On-Line Chinese Tools Chinese character flashcards
CSULB-Learning Chinese Online Character writing animation Examples
Converters resources, dictionaries, converters
Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) HSK introduction
Chinese Language Information Page links


A3. Links - Electronic Speaking Dictionary

Electronic Speaking Dictionary  
(Model MD8100)

English-Chinese-English dictionary (can speak Mandarin or Cantonese)
Handwriting recognition and so a user can write a Chinese character and it can return the English explanation.
Cantonese romanization (not yale) can be shown but it doesn't show which tone it is.
The data is based on written Chinese but not the spoken Cantonese.
Therefore it may use formal written form words but not the common spoken version.
People may still find it's useful for reference, especially for those who know Cantonese as well as Chinese.

People can try different models at their show room:
Rm 2003, 20/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Mon-Fri 9:30-6:30 Sat: 10:00-2:00 Tel: 28328228 / 28625288

They are available in the electrical appliances chain store "Broadway" in Hong Kong.


A4. Links - Media in HK (with Cantonese or Chinese)

Ming Post
Apple Daily
Orient Post
Commercial Radio
Metro Broadcast
Famous comics in HK

A5. Links - Media in HK (English)

South China Morning Post
The Hong Kong Standard


A6. Links - About Hong Kong

Community Advice
Bureau CAB
Their English speaking volunteers answer questions on any subject relating to living and working in Hong Kong
CentaMap You can search by name or address and it can do exact or substring search

AsiaXpat It includes lots of information about HK
Hong Kong Observatory  
Agency for Volunteer Service Your organisation need a volunteer or you want to be a volunteer
Crossroads International They receive unwanted goods and redistribute them as gift donations to people in need, locally and internationally. You can donate them household, office and classroom furniture, bedding & fabric supplies, medical provisions, electrical goods, office equipment, household goods, clothing, stationery, books and educational toys.
There are many English speaking volunteers and they can go to your place to pick them up
WEEE Recovery Programme for Waste Computers and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (They will come to your place to pick them up, no matter it works or not. Computers can be as old as 386)
Christian Action Clothings, shoes, handbags, soft toys, small domestic electronic appliances.
Outlet for used items You can donate used items to these local charity organisations
Hong Kong Vegan Society There are recommended vegetarian restaurants
Dragon Radio Music from Asia



B1. Tips - Learner's questions

1: I've learnt Cantonese for some time, but I don't know how to have small talks with my friends
  Never mind! Hong Kong people don't small talk as much as foreigners. Usually they won't say "Are you busy?" or "What did you do last weekend?" Of course they would chat like "How is everything going?" with old friends if they haven't met for a certain period of time. Quite often, people smile and nod their heads to show greetings to other people, e.g. to a care taker.
2: I find there is no progress in my Cantonese. I even find that it's getting worse.
  Use it or lose it, I'm sorry that your losing rate is faster than the learning rate! Try to use it more! There's no point learning Cantonese if you don't use it or don't use it "enough".
3: How can I practice my Cantonese? Hong Kong people always speak too fast.
  The only person who doesn't mind that you are too slow is yourself. Therefore speak Cantonese to yourself DAILY. Set a target, let's say five minutes a day. After 3 months, set it 10 minutes a day and so on! No need to use complete sentences, just simple vocabulary is fine. You can also combine both English and Cantonese in your sayings!
4 I speak Cantonese with Hong Kong people, I think the sound is right, but they still don't understand.
  Maybe they thought you were speaking English instead of Cantonese. Therefore they tried hard to figure out what the "English words" were. Try to say "please /mh goi/" in Cantonese at the beginning can usually let them know you are speaking Cantonese instead of English.
5: I hear Hong Kong people say "good morning". However I don't hear them saying "good afternoon".
  Normally, Hong Kong people don't say "Good afternoon", "Good evening" and "How are you?" (Mandarin speakers do). Some conversation books teach you to say, "How are you?" in Cantonese just because they know it's your habit.
6: Hong Kong people always say "a", "la", "ga" etc at the end of sentences, I don't know the meanings of these sounds.
  These are "modal particles". They don't take literal meanings, they just give intonations to the sentences. If you are not sure of the usage, it's better you skip them as people can still understand what you want to say. Wrong modal particles may give odd intonations. If you are quite sure about the usage, feel free to use them!
7: I copied some simple words from Hong Kong people. However, when I try them, people do not understand.
  Maybe you copied the sounds but not the tones (pitch levels of the sounds). For example, the sounds for Monday and Sunday are the same, just the tones are different. Usually if your sounds are correct, but your tones are wrong, Hong Kong people can still understand because of the context. However when you talk about something like place names and street names, maybe people do not understand then.
8: I don't think I can manage different tones in Cantonese, should I give up?
  Never mind, people can still understand you if you can speak initials and finals of the sounds fairly right.

B2. Tips - Choosing books

1: Points to notes when choosing Cantonese books
1. The romanization system adopted
As Cantonese romanization systems are not standardised as that in Putonghua pin-yin, it's better to choose books which adopt the same romanization system that you are familiar with. In Hong Kong, most Cantonese books for foreigners use "
2. Some books don't put space or hyphen between syllables in compound words. As there are confusion for some letters such as "m", "n", "g", "p", "t" or "k" maybe either the first letter or the last letter of a syllable in Cantonese, they are harder to read.
It's specially important in critical cases - a learner can't tell where to cut the different syllables. For example, if "Vancouver" is just written as "Wangowah", someone may wrongly pronounce it as "Wang-o-wah" instead of the right one "Wan-go-wah". If "digestive system" is just written as "cheuhngwaih", someone may wrongly pronounce it as "cheuhn-gwaih" instead of the right one "cheuhng-waih". Some books put a comma to separate two different syllables in critical cases. Some books just don't.
2: "English to Cantonese" dictionaries
1 English-Cantonese Dictionary <The Chinese University of Hong Kong>
Lots of words are included but it's hard
Available at: The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Commercial Press (Tel: 28908028)
2 A Practical English-Chinese Pronouncing Dictionary <Tuttle Language Library, by Janey Chen>
With Chinese characters, Yale in both Cantonese and Mandarin, words included are less than the above one but with clear presentation and clear explanation for different options. (Quite often, there are different Cantonese options for one English look up)
Available at: Swindon Books Co. (Tel: 23668001)
3: "Cantonese to English" dictionaries
1 Chinese-English Dictionary <The Chinese University of Hong Kong>
With Chinese characters, Cantonese Romanization in Yale, Mandarin Pinyin
The "base" is Chinese instead of Cantonese. Therefore it doesn't include Cantonese words if they are only used in spoken form but not in written form.
Available at: The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Commercial Press
2 A Practical Cantonese-English Dictionary <The Government Printer>
With Chinese characters,
Cantonese romanization in Sidney Lau instead of Yale
The "base" is Cantonese and so it does include lots of daily spoken words
Available at: The Commercial Press (Tel: 28908028)
4: Locations of the mentioned bookstores
1 The stocks for the dictionaries are not always available or they are only available in certain branches, you can ring to check it first.
Besides, these book stores also sell some other Cantonese or Chinese books.
2 The Commercial Press (Hong Kong) Ltd.(It's a large chain book store in Hong Kong)
Causeway Bay branch: 9 Yee Wo Street., Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Tel: 28908028
3 Swindon Books Co. Ltd.
Main store: 13-15 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel: 23668001