“Gau go gaau gau gau ge!” Song by The Police or Cantonese tongue twister?
Since Chinese New Year, I’ve been studying Cantonese with a small group of beginners. Our class consists of a few Brits, a few Dutch, a token American (me) and a token Beijinger.
As our instructor has guided us through a check-list of basic topics — taxi directions, food, shopping, family relationships, the weather, colors, etc. — the more distractible and deviant members of the group have slowly collected enough Cantonese homonyms to devise a mini-tongue twister:
“九個膠狗够嘅 !” is pronounced like this in Cantonese: “Gau go gaau gau gau ge!” (with Jyupting tone markings: gau2 go3 gaau1 gau2 gau3 ge3). The meaning of this tongue twister is: Nine plastic dogs are enough!
Sticklers, please forgive us, we’ve picked a generic and imprecise measure word for “dog” but we did it in keeping with the spirit of the tongue twister’s “g” sound. Are there other errors?…
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