Making small talk in Cantonese is just the same as in English. Touch on familiar topics like jobs, food,weather — just say it in Cantonese! Small talk is where friendships are made. If you know how to make small talk in Cantonese, you’ll make more Cantonese friends
For Chinese, food is always a good topic. If you are interested in a girl and talk with you via social media, you could ask her as usual.
sik6 zo2 faan6 mei6 aa3?
Have you eaten?
sik6 zo2 laa3/ zung6 mei6 sik6 aa3!
Yes I have. /Not yet
If she replied she did, then don’t end the conversation, ask her,
gam1 maan1 zyu2 zo2 me1 sik6 aa3?
What did you cook tonight？
gam1 maan1 sik6 zo2 me1 aa3?
What did you eat tonight?
Maybe she likes spicy food, then ask her,
nei5 zung1 m4 zung1 ji3 sik6 taai3 gwok3 coi3 aa3?
Do you like Thai food?
Now find an excuse to ask her out,
nei5 jau5 mou5 si3 gwo3 gung1 si1 lau4 haa6 san1 hoi1 go2 gaan2 caan1 teng1 aa3?
Have you tried the new restaurant at the downstair of company?
2. Weather tin1 hei3
Weather is a good neutral topic that everyone can discuss.
Imagine that you work in a Cantonese company, it’s raining outsides.
ceot1 min6 lok6 hou2 daai6 jyu5 aa3!
It’s a heavy rain outsides.
nei5 jau5 mou5 daai3 ze1 aa3?
Do you bring an umbrella?
If your coworker doesn’t have, then she will say,
mou5 aa3! sei2 laa1, dou1 m4 zi1 dim2 faan1 heoi3.
No, damn it, I don’t know how to go home.
then why not giving her a ride?
ngo5 jau5 ce1 aa3! ce1 maai4 nei5 laa3!
I have a car. Let me give you a ride.
Or now it’s too cold.
gam1 jat6 hou2 dung3 aa3!
You could remind her of wearing more clothes.
hai6 aa3! zoek3 do1 di1 saam1 aa3! m4 hou2 laang5 can1!
Yeah, wear more clothes. Don’t get cold.
Another popular small talk topic is work. You may be asked what you do and whether you like your job.
nei5 zou6 me1 gaa3?
What do you do for a living?
nei5 zou6 bin1 hong4 gaa3?
literally, it means “What area do you work in? “
I am a teacher.
But something it’s not always easy to explain your job. Then you could tell them basically.
嗰啲 means something like that
If their work is quite interesting or unusual, like social worker. Maybe you would like to ask,
How did you become a social worker?
Or they seem very experienced, ask them,
How long have you worked as engineer？
If they are still students, you could ask，
Which grade are you in?
Or for college students,
Which grade are you in? When will you graduate?
What’s your major?
3. News 新闻
A great way to prepare for small talk is to read the news every day. Be aware of what is going on in the world and in your city.
Have you heard that a new subway will be build here soon?
Or we could ask the opinion on some events with the partern:
你点睇 退咗家长群 嘅 嗰个家长呀?
What do you think about that parent leaving the teacher-parents’ group?
4. Family 屋企人
People are likely to ask you about your family. Conversation openers about family may include:
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Do you have kids?
5. Travel 旅游
People like to hear about vacations. If you travel, be ready to answer questions and give your opinions about the places you have visited.
Your friend may ask you,
Where are you going this holiday?
Maybe 上海、杭州….ask them if they have been there
Have you been there?
If they have, ask them about their favorite travel spots and what they recommend. Most people like to help and will be happy to share their experiences.
What travel spots or food do you recommend?
When come back, don’t forget to buy some souvenirs for your friends,
I bought some souvenirs for you.
If you want to know what souvenirs Cantonese have, like and leave me a comment. I will make one video about that.
Hope you find it easier to talk to strangers in Cantonese after today’s video. See you~