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CantoNews For Everybody

My life goal is full global supremacy for Cantonese and I stand by it. However, that doesn’t mean that other languages can’t frolic happily alongside this most fun and happening of all tongues. Also, it

Back In The Filming Saddle! (Camera Dies During Filming of Mexican Wedding)

Woo-hooo. My last message was pretty depressed. I talked about how I have the least job satisfaction in the entire world, yea, even less than people whose job is warning people about the dangers of

Job Satisfaction

While having lunch (or was it cocktails? Yes! Cocktails!) with my friend Jo in Tibet northern Yunnan the other day, I suddenly realised that few people in the world has less job satisfaction than me.

Learn Cantonese in 2016

No… that can’t be three years ago? But the calendar says it is. It’s just that it feels like a few weeks since we stood outside the railway station in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province,

Lao Wai

The new year celebrations were hard for everyone this year, even man-sized teddies. This sad corpse was lying outside my hotel in Kunming, I’m guessing thrown angrily away by some girl who had expected diamonds

Opulent Chair Sitting – Almost!

If there’s one thing I missed during this Christmas and New Year’s Yunnan Extravaganza, it was the chance to do some serious Opulent Chair (or Sofa)- Sitting. How strange; Guangdong province is replete with ultra-opulent

Well and Truly 2016

It’s well and truly next year! First I thought, I can’t wait for 2015 to be over, but then I stopped myself. The faster next year comes, the sooner I’ll be in the grave. So

Happy New Canto Year!

Greetings from Shangri-la, formerly a fictitious “idyllic settlement high in the mountains of Tibet” of James Hilton’s Lost Horizon fame, now a city in China. In this photo, however, we’re a few hours further south,

Dali: Where Christmas is not Only Santa

Jesus hovering over the Great Wall? Why not. Jesus is everywhere so why not the Great Wall? It just looked so incongruous to see the cross in the middle of Dali’s old city as we

On the Spray to Shenzhen

Last week my glorious sister Beate came to spend Christmas in Hong Kong which she did and how. But no trip to Hong Kong is complete without a trip to Shenzhen. Is it? No, it

CantoNews Live from the Throbbing Metropolis of Mui Wo

Nick (a.k.a. Cassette) and I go to an Italian restaurant in the throbbing metropolis of Mui Wo, centre of the universe and make a programme about lots of interesting things – specifically the idiotic spelling

CantoNews2 – now with airplanes!

It’s up and running on Radio Lantau – CantoNews 2! The sequel! No, just the second programme in Cecilie and Nick’s Cantonese course, the finest course currently available on cassette. This time we discuss

Chinese Characters

Chinese characters (normal, not simplified) are beautiful, aren’t they? Even ordinary words like ‘toilet’ look somehow elevated to a higher sphere when they’re written with a brush, or printed for that matter. Not that the

Cantonese – The Easiest Language in the World?

When I started learning Cantonese there was no shortage of Chinese people warning me against it. At that time the most common refrain was: “It’s too difficult – for you“. OK, maybe they didn’t emphasise

Congratulations, Get Rich!

It’s Chinese new year and the streets (and Facebook) reverberates to foreigners calling out to each other: “KUNG hei fat choi!” For one thing it should be GUNG hei, but hey. The tradition of spelling

Chinese New Year Looms

Am I the only one who thinks there are too many holidays in Hong Kong? I feel I’ve just come back from my Christmas trip – BOOM! Another big holiday immediately heaves into view. I

The Imperialism Continues

The Mandofication continues at breakneck speed. I’m sure the “great” idea of making Hong Kong simplified character-ised to “adapt” and accommodate the 700,000 mainlanders currently living here so they’ll feel more at home, has already

New Website!!!!

I’ve finally got my new website up. According to my web guy, it will help sell my two Cantonese teaching videos Cantonese – The Movie and Going Native. I have just watched those two videos

Job Satisfaction

While having lunch (or was it cocktails? Yes! Cocktails!) with my friend Jo in Tibet northern Yunnan the other day, I suddenly realised that few people in the world has less job satisfaction than me.

Children Outside Society

Last night I shared a taxi from Tung Chung – oh how it pains me to spell it that way when it’s pronounced DUNG Chung – with a boy and his domestic helper. I noticed

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Scary As! Watch At Your Own Risk

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I had forgotten how much I like making films, and how those I cast in the various roles grow to hate go on to mega-stardom.

Take one of the girls in this Halloween-themed film for example:

After her screen debut she realised she had a real talent for arts, and is now an artist! Among other things. She also returned to Cantonese lessons last week, to great applause from the three guys (“geezers”) in that group. Beauty and talent, can’t be beat.


While shooting the film, there was an incident. As I was dragging the suitcase with the “bloody” rubber foot sticking out, I met a bunch of primary school children and their teachers. One of the teachers is an acquaintance of mine, and later told me that the other teachers had been discussing whether they should call the police, because I “might have murdered someone”.



鬼節 (Gwai jit – Ghost Festival/Halloween)
老師 (Lou si – teacher)
拍戲 (Pak hei – shoot film)

Now you can be in a film and go on to follow your dream too! Just take a Cantonese crash course or regular lessons.

你有無睇醫生? Have you seen a doctor?

Doctor Wong

There’s been a lot of flu and crap floating around in Hong Kong recently – even I got it! But this wasn’t your common or garden swine flu 豬流感 (zhyu lao gam) – this was at least shark flu! 鯊魚流感 (sa yü lao gam)

It was highly unpleasant, so unfair and deeply irritating. But it made me remember this film I made a few years ago. From it you can pick up a highly useful piece of conversation: Have you seen a doctor?

Cough once, have a broken nail or split ends – off to the emergency ward with you!

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