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Germany Laundry

In Hong Kong, Updates on June 17, 2011 by triotriotrio Tagged:

That's Right - The Germans Have Cornered the Laundry Market in China

Now that I have finished my coursework at Johns Hopkins I felt like it was time to begin a new project.

I have been in Hong Kong for six months now and I felt it was time to learn the language. While it is true one could live here for their entire life and only speak English, I felt it was important to at least know the basics. When you are visiting downtown Central or a busy area like Wan Chai most locals one encounters will be able to speak English. But once you get off the beaten path – its all Cantonese.

So I have now had three lessons and I am starting to get a handle on it. My pronunciation is poor but I am beginning to understand some of the concepts. From time to time I will share with you all some of things I find interesting …

There is no word for Chinese, German, French or American. In Cantonese one says the name of the country then an object that the country identifies.

So the translation is:

China People (中國人) = Chinese Person (Jùng-gwok yàhn)

China Food (中國纂)= Chinese Food (Jùng-gwok choi)

Although this may sound like a small detail it explained to me a few observations that I have seen and heard.

One of the best examples is the Germany Laundry. Now I can’t explain why the Germans are known for their laundry habits – that’s another investigation. But this is the way all the signs in China usually appear. Italy Food, Great Britain Cars and so on …

Second – when speaking to locals one often hears in English “Hong Kong people like to eat. Shanghai people like spicy food. England cars are good.”

It is all starting to come together. Now I just need a lifetime to understand the rest …

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One Response to “Germany Laundry”

  1. Fascinating! I think you’ve learned a key concept already.

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