Learning Cantonese: Introducing the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament


The idea for a Hong Kong Shadow Parliament was first proposed in July 2020 in response to the collapse of democracy in Hong Kong. Not long after, the following video was produced to introduce the concept of the HKSP and the plan to hold a first round of public consultations. Apart from trying to imagine an effective solution to the acute political problems facing Hong Kong, the video also presents a wealth of useful political vocabulary presented in a lively and very accessible manner.

Please scroll down if you want the transcription, notes and literal English translation. Otherwise, you can view the video here (subtitles in Standard Written Chinese and English). Since it is a YouTube video, you can slow down the playback speed if you wish: at 0.75 and 0.5, the sound quality is still good. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.

For more up-to-date information about the activities of the HKSP, you can check out their website here.

You can also listen to Simon Cheng Man-kit talking about plans for the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament in English here.


旁白:各位香港人 | 喺近呢幾個月嚟,香港嘅政治形勢進一步惡化 | 本土嘅民主運動亦步入寒冬 | 我哋希望,喺呢度提出一個嶄新嘅方案 | 繼續為香港爭取真正嘅民主 | 呢個就係香港影子議會

Caption: 香港影子議會

現階段秘書處係一個籌備工作小組 | 目的係公正咁研究同實施成立影子議會嘅計劃 | 第一屆影子議會誕生之後 | 秘書處將會成為影子議會嘅常設秘書處 | 而秘書處嘅秘書長就要承諾秉持公正而中立嘅原則 | 唔能夠作為候選人參加影子議會嘅選舉 | 喺呢條短片入邊我哋將簡單介紹五個問題 | 等你哋可以對香港影子議會有更清晰嘅了解

Caption: 什麽是香港影子議會?

● 形勢 yìhng4 sai3 = situation | ● 惡化 ngok3 faa3 = to worsen; to deteriorate | ● 步入寒冬 bouh6 yahp6 hòhn4 dūng1 = lit. “to step into cold Winter” | ● 嶄新 jáam2 sān1 = brand-new; completely new | ● 秘書處 bei3 syū1 chyu3 = secretariat | ● 公正 gūng1 jing3 = just; fair; impartial | ● 常設 sèuhng4 chit3 = standing; permanent | ● 秘書長 bei3 syū1 jéung2 = secretary-general | ● 秉持 bíng2 chìh4 = to uphold; to hold fast to  (cf. 秉持公心 = to uphold justice) | ● 候選人 hauh6 syún2 yàhn4 = a candidate

Voice-over: People of Hong Kong! In recent months, the political situation in Hong Kong has further deteriorated and the local democracy movement has stepped into a frigid Winter. It is our hope that, [in] putting forward a brand-new proposal here, [we can all] continue to strive for true democracy for Hong Kong. This [proposal] is the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament.

Caption: Hong Kong Shadow Parliament

In its present stage, the secretariat is a preparatory working group [籌備工作小組]. Its aim is to impartially research and to realize the scheme for a shadow parliament. Once the Shadow Parliament is born, the Secretariat will become a permanent secretariat [常設秘書處] of the Shadow Parliament, and the secretary-general of the Secretariat must promise to uphold both justice as well as the principle of neutrality. [Also, the secretary-general] cannot take part in elections for the shadow parliament. In this video, we will provide a simple introduction to five questions in order to give you a clearer understanding of the HKSP.

Caption: What is the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament?

1:00】影子議會係一個反映香港人心聲嘅民間團體 | 而非另一種形式嘅官方機構 | 香港影子議會係一個充滿透明度、包容性、負責人嘅平台 | 讓民選代表可以喺國際上代表香港人自由發聲 | 影子議會旨在讓香港人能夠以自由同公平嘅方式選出佢哋嘅代表 | 但係影子議會唔係流亡政府 | 影子議會並唔會仿效一個國家嘅職能 | 去規管或者解決香港有關嘅問題同香港人之間嘅事務

Caption: 爲什麽我們現在需要影子議會?

香港民主運動嘅議會路線同街頭路線 | 已經逐漸失去法律所容許嘅生存空間 | 喺新冷戰時代嘅背景之下 | 國際戰線將會喺香港民主運動中 . . .

● 心聲 sām1 sīng1 = heartfelt wishes; aspiration | ● 透明度 tau3 mìhng4 douh6 = transparency | ● 包容性 bāau1 yùhng4 sing3 = (?) inclusiveness | ● 旨在 jí2 joih6 = for the purpose of | ● 流亡政府 làuh4 mòhng4 jing3 fú2 = government in exile | ● 仿效 fóng2 haauh6 = to imitate; to follow the example of | ● 職能 jīk1 nàhng4 = a function | ● 規管 kwāi1 gún2 = (?) to regulate

The HKSP is a civil [non-governmental] organization that reflects the aspirations of the people of Hong Kong, not an official organ in another form. It is a platform with a high degree of transparency [充滿透明度], inclusiveness [包容性] and accountability. It will enable elected representatives to speak out freely on behalf of Hongkongers on the international stage [喺國際上]. The purpose of the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament is to enable Hongkongers to elect their representatives in a free and fair manner. It is not a government in exile, nor will it [seek to] emulate the functions of a state [in] regulating or determining issues relating to Hong Kong or in matters between Hong Kong people.

Caption: Why Do We Now Need a Shadow Parliament?

Hong Kong’s democratic movement has gradually come to lose any legally-sanctioned room in which to exist, both in terms of the parliamentary avenue and on the streets [議會路線同街頭路線]. With the advent of a new Cold War, the international front will play a more important role . . .

2:00】. . . 扮演更重要嘅角色

Caption: 影子議會的功能有哪些?

第一:提供一個安全嘅地方以民主嘅方式 | 表達全體香港人嘅真正聲音 | 第二:為被剝奪正當政治權利嘅流亡港人 | 提供一個繼續發聲嘅平台 | 第三:透過投票選出代表,賦權予海外嘅香港人 | 加强佢哋與本地港人嘅連結 | 第四:凝聚國際陣線 | 作爲香港民主運動中其中一股日益重要嘅變革力量 | 第五:讓香港人有一個自由嘅空間進行議辯 | 培養公共政策嘅分析能力同提供民主教育 | 第六:提供令一種視覺,令更多香港人 | 了解現實香港政府當中嘅問題同政治制度上嘅不足 | 第七:為國際 . . .

● 賦權予 fu3 kyùhn4 yúh5 = roughly, “to vest power in (sb.)” | ● 連結 lìhn4 git3 = to connect | ● 凝聚 yìhng4 jeuih6 = (?) (to make) more cohesive | ● 陣線 jahn6 sin3 = a front; ranks; an alignment | ● 變革 bin3 gaak3 = to transform; to change | ● 議辯 yíh5 bihn6 = (?) to discuss | ● 培養 pùih4 yéuhng5 = to foster; to train; to develop | ● 視覺 sih6 gok3 = vision (usu. in the sense of “eyesight”)

. . . in Hong Kong’s democratic movement.

Caption: What Will the Functions of the Shadow Parliament Be?

It can provide a secure place to express the true voices of all Hongkongers in a democratic fashion. 2. To provide a platform on which Hongkongers in exile who have been deprived of [their] legitimate political rights can go on having a voice [發聲]. 3. To give power to overseas Hongkongers by means of the election of representatives and to strengthen their connections with Hongkongers still in Hong Kong. 4. To make the international front more cohesive, so that it can serve an ever increasingly important revolutionary force in Hong Kong’s democracy movement. 5. To give Hongkongers a free space in which to debate issues [so as] to foster the ability to analyse public policy and to provide education in democracy. 6. To provide an alternative vision, enabling more Hongkongers to gain an understanding of problems with the current Hong Kong government and inadequacies in the political system. 7. To establish . . .

3:00】 . . . 陣線上嘅各方建立一個透明、包容、問責嘅機制 | 確保佢哋代表香港人嘅真正意願 | 第八:成為一個受大衆認可、支持嘅平台,確立同强化 | 各個倡議團體嘅民主正當性

Caption: 影子議會將在那裏舉行

對於影子議會秘書處嚟講 | 香港市民嘅私隱安全最爲重要 | 喺考慮到呢啲風險嘅情況下 | 影子議會秘書處會採取一切必要嘅措施 | 保障參與影子議會事務嘅市民安全 | 喺投票方面,由於喺香港設立投票站嘅風險太大 | 所以成個投票過程會喺網上進行 | 秘書處會同與遙距投票同網絡安全專家合作 | 建立一個安全嘅投票平台 | 我哋亦都會鼓勵香港人透過虛擬專用網絡 . . .

● 問責 mahn6 jaak3 = to call to account | ● 機制 gē1 jai3 = a mechanism | ● 意願 yi3 yuhn6 = a wish; a desire; an aspiration | ● 認可 yihng6 hó2 = to approve | ● 確立kok3 laahp6 = to establish | ● 正當性 jing3 dong3 sing3 = (?) legitimate cf. 正當 jing3 dong3 = proper; appropriate; legitimate | 倡議團體 cheung3 yíh5 tyùhn4 tái2 = (?) advocacy group cf. 倡議 = 1. to propose 2. initiative| ● 私隱安全 sī1 yán2 [ng]ōn1 chyùhn4 = (?) safety & privacy | ● 必要 bīt1 yiu3 = necessary; essential; indispensable | ● 遙距 yìuh4 kéuih5 = roughly, “[at a] remote [distance]” | ● 擬專用網絡 yíh5 jyūn1 yuhng6 móhng5 lok3 = virtual private network (VPN)

. . . a transparent, inclusive and accountable [問責] mechanism for the various parties in the international front in order to ensure that they represent the true aspirations of the Hong Kong people. 8. To become a platform approved of, and supported by, the general public, as well as establishing and/or strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the various advocacy groups.

Caption: Where Will the Shadow Parliament Conduct Its Affairs [舉行]?

With regard to the Secretariat of the Shadow Parliament, the most important thing is the security of personal information of Hong Kong citizens. Bearing these risks in mind, the Secretariat of Shadow Parliament will adopt the necessary measures to ensure the safety of citizens taken part in the work of the Shadow Parliament. With regard to voting, because setting up polling stations in Hong Kong is too risky, the whole voting process will the carried out on-line. The Secretariat will work together with experts on internet security and remote voting [同與遙距投票] to establish a secure voting platform. We will also encourage Hongkongers to [vote] by using . . .

4:00】. . . VPN | 喺影子議會選舉當中投票嘅 | 喺參選同代表權方面 | 影子議會秘書處承認 | 候選人喺香港進行本地工作嘅可能性較低 | 影子議會嘅候選人大多會身處海外國家

Caption: 影子議會將於何時運作?

作為同普羅大衆利益相關嘅問題 | 我哋將會確定具體嘅計劃之前 | 進行完整嘅公衆諮詢 | 喺呢個關鍵嘅時刻 | 我哋提出「香港影子議會」想法嘅雛形 | 希望可以為香港人提供新嘅憧憬、引發想像 | 並開始喺固有框架之外思考 | 現時喺國安法嘅陰影之下 | 香港人已經無法再喺體制内爭取到民主自由 | 希望影子議會能夠讓香港人繼續堅持住初心 | 為香港嘅民主自由繼續出一分力

● 普羅大衆 póu2 lòh4 daaih6 jung3 = the public | ● 代表權 doih6 bíu2 kyùhn4 = representation | ● 承認 sìhng4 yihng6 = to admit; to acknowledge; to recognize | ● 身處 sān1 chyu3 = in (some place) / to be in (adversity, a difficult situation, danger, turmoil etc) / to find oneself in / placed in / surrounded by | ● 確定kok3 dihng6 = to define; to fix; to determine | ● 諮詢 jī1 seun3 = to seek advice from; to consult | ● 雛形 chō1 yìhng4 = embryonic form | ● 憧憬 chūng1 gíng2 = to long for; to look forward to | ● 引發 yáhn5 faat3 = (in chemistry) initiation | ● 陰影 yām1 yíng2 = shadow | ● 初心 chō1 sām1 = beginner’s mind; one’s original intention | ● 出一分力 chēut1 yāt1 fahn6 lihk6 = (?) to make an effort; to make a contribution to

. . . a virtual private network when voting in elections for the Shadow Parliament. With regard to taking part in the elections and the issue of representation, the Secretariat of the Shadow Parliament acknowledges that the possibility of candidates doing work in Hong Kong is low, and that the majority of candidates will be in foreign countries.

Caption: When will the Shadow Parliament Operate?

Since this is an issue closely bound up with the good of the general public, before we determine any specific, concrete [具體] plans, we will conduct a complete public consultation. At this crucial time, we are proposing the embryonic form of the idea of a HKSP in the hope of providing Hongkongers with something new to look forward to [新嘅憧憬], to spark [people’s] imaginations and to start to try thinking outside the box [喺固有框架之外思考]. At present, in the dark shadow of the National Security Law, Hongkongers can no longer struggle for democracy and freedom within the system, [and so for this reason] it is hoped that the Shadow Parliament can enable Hongkongers to maintain their original intention and to continue working towards democracy and freedom for Hong Kong.

5:00】影子議會秘書處將會負責進行公衆諮詢 | 成員將會包括政治組織成員 | 知名社運人士 | 政治人物 | 以及擁有跨光譜協調經驗嘅知名法律及政治學者 | 呢啲學者喺有關議題上嘅經驗 | 對公衆諮詢工作至關重要 | 佢哋能夠協助諮詢中立咁進行 | 以得出嚴謹並有代表性嘅諮詢結果 | 我哋將依據公衆諮詢嘅意見 | 釐定日後嘅時間表同路線圖 | 我哋並唔會同仍然有意喺體制内 | 爭取民主嘅同道互相競爭 | 我哋並冇企圖取代目前香港各級議會嘅職能 | 我哋會支持任何仍然喺體制内嘅民主力量 | 我哋亦並非要求民衆從體制内或體制外嘅「兩個議會」當中二選其一 | 我哋只係希望賦權俾香港人

● 協調 hip3 tìuh4 = 1. harmonious 2. to coordinate | ● 嚴謹 yìhm4 gán2 = rigorous; strict | ● 依據 yī1 geui3 = according to; in the light of; on the basis of | ● 釐定 lèih4 dihng6 = work out and stipulate (rules and regulations etc.) | ● 路線圖 louh6 sin3 tòuh4 = a route map; a roadmap | ● 有意 yáuh5 yi3 = 1. to be inclined to 2. intentionally; deliberately | ● 同道 tùhng4 douh6 = people engaged in the same pursuit | ● 企圖 kéih5 tòuh4 = to attempt; to try (usu. with a negative connotation) | ● 取代 chéui2 doih6 = to replace; to supersede; to supplant | ● 各級 gok3 kāp1 = all or different levels | ● 職能 jīk1 nàhng4 = a function | ● 二選其一 yih6 syún2 kèih4 yāt1 = (?) to choose between two options | ● 賦權 fu3 kyùhn4 = (?) to entrust with power

The Secretariat of the Shadow Parliament will undertake to hold public consultations, and its members will include members of political organizations, high-profile social activists [知名社運人士], political figures, as well as well-known legal and political scholars with experience of co-ordinating across the [political] spectrum [擁有跨光譜協調經驗]. With [their] experience on relevant issues, these scholars are of vital importance to the work of public consultation. They can help the consultation to be carried out with neutrality, thus achieving consultation outcomes that are both rigorous and representative. On the basis of the opinions [expressed] in the public consultation, we ill work out a timetable and a roadmap for the days ahead. Under no circumstances will we compete with those people who are still struggling within the system for democracy. Nor do we seek to supersede the functions of the various levels of council [議會] in Hong Kong at present. We will lend support to any force struggling for democracy within the system. We will not demand that people make a choice between councils/parliaments [議會] working within or outside the system. Our only wish is to empower Hongkongers . . .

6:00】提供多一種路徑能夠更安全同有效咁實現民主 | 關於選民同候選人資格 | 選舉制度同系統等等嘅問題 | 將會喺第一次公衆諮詢當中討論 | 如果你有興趣了解更多關於影子議會嘅細節同最新消息 | 歡迎參考影子議官方網站同社交媒體

我哋再一次感謝大家對香港民主運動嘅關注同支持 | 希望影片能夠清楚解釋影子議會概念 | 並且期待喺不久嘅將來能夠提供更多有關影子議會嘅最新消息 | 我哋會繼續努力為香港建立真正嘅民主

● 資格 jī1 gaak3 = qualifications | ● 參考 chām1 háau2 = to consult; to refer to | ● 期待 kèih4 doih6 = to expect; to await; to look forward to

. . . and to provide another choice [路徑] for the safer and more effective realization of democracy. With regard to [the question of who] is eligible to vote and to stand as a candidate, [as well as] the set-up and system [制度同系統] of the elections, [we will] discuss [this] in the first round of public consultations. If you would like to know more about the details or latest information regarding the Shadow Parliament, please refer to the official website of the Shadow Parliament and other social media sites.

We thank you again for your interest in the democracy movement of Hong Kong and your support. We hope that this video has given you a clear explanation of the concept the Shadow Parliament. We look forward to providing updates about the Shadow Parliament in the near future. [In the meantime,] we will continue to strive on behalf of Hong Kong for the establishment of genuine democracy.

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