Cantonese through News Stories: African Swine Flu Closes Hong Kong Abattoirs

Capture_African Swine Flu_13 MAY 2019

After the terrible SARS epidemic of 2002-2004, any occurrence of 瘟 wān1 or “epidemic” in Hong Kong is sure to strike terror in the hearts of many local people. Earlier in the year, the remains of a pig washed up on a beach in Cheung Chau caused consternation, but tension levels rose this month with the discovery of Hong Kong’s first case of African Swine Flu. This report, again from TVB’s 何曼筠 Hòh4 Maahn6 Gwān1, focuses on the response from the pork industry, who tried in vain to persuade the government not to destroy the 6000 pigs at the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse.

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12 new words:

個案 go3 ngon3 = a case (of some disease) (measure word = 宗 jūng1)
銷毀 sīu1 wái2 = to destroy (an animal)
屠房 tòuh4 fòhng4 = slaughterhouse; abattoirs
撲殺 pok3 saat3 = to kill; to exterminate (?)
業界 yihp6 gaai3 = industry; sector
商販 sēung1 fáan2 = small retailer; pedlar
買手 máaih5 sáu2 = buyers
生猛猛 sāang1 máahng5 (máahng5) = full of life
宰豬 zói2 jyū1 = to slaughter pigs
戒備 gaai3 beih6 = to guard; to take precautions; to watch out for
車閘 chē1 jaahp6 = main vehicle entrance (?)
銷情 sīu1 chìhng4 = sales (?) (lit. = “selling situation”)

*For jyutping romanization, you can cut and paste any Cantonese vocabulary in this post onto the Sheik Cantonese website (http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/) for checking.

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(Introduction)

本港出現首宗非洲豬瘟個案。
Hong Kong has seen [出現 chēut1 yihn6 = to appear] its first case of African Swine Flu.

政府下令銷毀上水屠房邊六千隻豬。
The government ordered the destruction of six thousand pigs at the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse.

兩日仍然未撲殺。
[After] two days [the pigs] have not [yet] been exterminated (?).

Note: I cannot find the compound verb 撲殺 pok3 saat3 in any dictionary, but there is a similar word 撲滅 pok3 miht6 = to extinguish; to exterminate.

有業界通宵留喺屠房,唔俾政府殺豬。
A number of people involved in the [pork] industry stayed behind at the slaughterhouse all night, not allowing the government to slaughter the pigs.

Note: The noun 業界 yihp6 gaai3 means something like “(this particular) line of work or industry” and is very sensitive to context.

亦都唔排除將行動升級。
Also, [they] do not rule out the escalation of their action.

政府晏晝同業界見面,呼籲業界冷靜,唔好做違法嘅事。
The government met with people involved in the industry [this] morning. It called on them to remain calm and not to do anything illegal.

(Main report)

(Shouted slogan) 政府無理,官迫民反
The government is unreasonable [無理 mòuh4 léih5], and if the officials push too hard, the people will fight back.

反對殺豬嘅豬肉商販包括買手、檔販等近一百人由上水屠房推出六隻活豬。
Close to a hundred small retailers in the pork industry [豬肉商販] opposed to the slaughter of the pigs, including buyers as well as stall operators [檔販], brought out [推出] six live pigs from the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse.

Note: The pigs were literally “pushed/wheeled” out in individual trolleys, but this sounds a bit odd in English.

• Man speaks 許偉堅 Heui2 Waih5 Gin1 (豬肉行經商會理事長):

大家可以睇吓
As you can all see

我哋豬,六千隻豬
Our pigs, six thousand pigs

仍然生猛猛,冇一隻死豬
Are still full of life, there’s not one dead one [among them]

Note: Sheik Cantonese has 生猛 sāang1 máahng5 = full of life, lively, “alive and kicking”, but Mr Heui distinctly says 生猛猛.

何來會受感染
How could they be infected?

Note: According to Sheik Cantonese, 何來 hòh4 lòih4 = Why is it necessary? This doesn’t quite make sense here. Perhaps, something like “why must they necessarily be infected” is meant here.

如果有問題嘅
If there is a problem

六千分之一隻有問題
If there is a problem with one, one-six-thousandth

我哋都同意全部宰豬
Then we will agree to the slaughter of all the pigs.

抗議其間有人不適暈倒送院。
During the protest, someone felt unwell, fainted, and was sent to hospital.

Note: The adjective bāt1 sīk1 = 1. unwell 2. indisposed; out of sorts.

多個著保護衣嘅警員戒備。
Numerous members of the police donned protective gear as a precaution.

豬肉商將幾架嘅貨車停喺車閘阻擋其他嘅車駛入去。
Members of the pork industry had several trucks parked at the main vehicle entrance (?) to prevent other vehicles from entering.

Note: The basic meaning of 閘 jaahp6 in Cantonese is “gate”; I can’t find a listing for 車閘, but from the context it seems to mean something like “main entrance gate for cars”.

• Men shout slogans:

要求對話,解決問題
Demand dialogue, solve the issue

十多個豬肉商販代表下晝大約四點半去到政府總部同食物及衛生局副局長徐德義等政府官員會面。
More than ten representatives for the small pork retail sector [豬肉商販] at approximately half past four in the afternoon went to the central government offices and met with [various] government officials, [including] the Under Secretary Dr Chui Tak-yi [徐德義 Cheuih4 Dak1 Yih6].

政府呼籲業界冷靜,唔好做違法嘅事。
The government appealed to the industry to remain calm and not to do anything illegal.

• Woman speaks 陳肇始 Professor Sophia Chahn4 Siuh6-chi2 (食物及衛生局局長):

噉所以啦,我哋一定要去做一啲嘅果斷措施
And so, we had to take decisive measures

越遲去做呢個工作嘅話啦
The longer we leave it to do this task

其實就越係可能會令到市民係冇信心
Actually, the greater the probability that ordinary people will lose confidence

唔好有任何激烈嘅行動
Let there not be any acts done in the heat of the moment

Note: The adjective 激烈 gīk1 liht6 means “acute; intense; fierce”. None of these seems very natural in English. The translation here aims at the spirit rather than the letter of the Chinese.

因為我哋其實喺法例底下呢
Because we, under the law,

其實,上水屠房都已經劃咗呢個瘟區
Actually, the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse has already been designated an epidemic zone.

噉亦都唔希望[嘅?]係大家做違法嘅事啦
Also, one doesn’t hope to see anyone doing anything illegal.

由於荃灣屠房亦暫停營運,喺灣仔同北角嘅街市,大部分豬肉檔未有營業。
Because the abattoir in Tsuen Wan has also temporarily ceased operations, the majority of pork stalls in the wet markets of Wan Chai and North Point were not open for business.

有凍肉檔主就話,銷情較往日多一兩成。
The owner of a stall selling frozen meat said that sales were up 10 to 20 percent.

無線電視記者何曼筠報道
Report by TVB News reporter Hòh4 Maahn6 Gwān1

2019年5月12日

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