– our Cantonese Phrase for the Week: “Can you help me, please?”

Getting lost while getting to know a strange new city is a common occurence so this phrase has been REALLY useful this past week in Guangzhou!

The surprising thing in trying out this phrase in the streets is finding out that there are lots of people in Guangzhou who are NOT from Guangzhou but who may be considered “waidiren” (in Mandarin, meaning “outsider”) by native Cantonese as these people originate from other parts of China. Once you switch over to Mandarin, people all of a sudden spring into action in attempting to help a lost “waiguoren” (in Mandarin, meaning “foreigner”) and are chattering away!

So, knowing a little Mandarin still comes in handy even in this part of the world! What about you, are you a “waidiren” or a “waiguoren”?

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