Hong Kong Footpath: Interview in Cantonese with Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee (Part 1)

Professor Chan Siu Chee IMAGE RESIZED

“Hong Kong Footpath” or 舊日的足跡 Gauh6 Yaht6 Dīk1 Jūk1 Jīk1 is a weekly interview program broadcast on Sunday mornings on RTHK Radio 1. Featuring outstanding people from all walks of life, the interviews are a fabulous source for spoken Cantonese: spontaneous, lively, and often dealing with those crucial make-or-break points in an individual’s pursuit of a chosen career. The downside is that they also feature all those typical difficulties encountered by learners of the language: rapid speech, difficult accents, and unfamiliar vocabulary as well as hesitations, interruptions, two or more people speaking at once and a slurring of words (I believe the technical term favoured by linguistics is “apocopation”).

For this reason, I have begun to transcribe some of the interviews with the help of a native speaker. The first interview is with 陳肇始 Chàhn4 Siuh6 Chí2 Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee, current Secretary [局長 gūk1 jéung2] for Food and Health, and was aired on 10 March 2019 to celebrate International Women’s Day. She speaks fairly clearly for most of the interview, but is very fond of sentence particles: so far, I have counted 43 uses of 噉 and 79 uses of 呢!

Here, I present approximately a quarter of Part 1, but will continue to add further instalments as we complete them (as well as correct any mistakes or gaps!). Note that the podcast version of the interview begins with part of the news broadcast, followed by some ads as well as interview highlights; the interview proper doesn’t get underway till just after the three-minute mark. The interviews are also broken up with songs: you’ll be overjoyed to learn that the transcript omits these.

For the podcast of this interview, please visit Hong Kong Footpath.

 


 

三月婦女節。佢係食物及衛生局局長陳肇始教授。

Part 1a【3:12】

車淑梅:早晨!今日呢係三月十號吓。噉前日呢係婦女節。噉唔知道呢,今日呢一位嘅局長,嘉賓,會唔會好重視呢一次節日呢,係我哋食物及衛生局局長陳肇始教授。早晨!

婦女節  fuh6 léuih5 jit3 = International Women’s Day

嘉賓 gāa1 bān1 = distinguished guest; special guest

陳肇始:早晨,淑梅姐。

Note: Adding 姐 jē1 after a woman’s name, as Betty Hung points out in Speak to Me in Cantonese, is to show respect. For a man, the title 哥 gō1 is used (p.116).

車淑梅:早晨,你好!

陳肇始:你好。

車淑梅:重唔重視婦女節㗎?

陳肇始:重視,當然重視呢,作為即係一個婦女呢。我諗每一年三 • 八呢,大家都有好多唔同嘅活動嘅。噉,都係尤其是係一啲嘅女性團體呀、組織呀咁。噉,都係興祝翻即係女性,我諗,對嗰個社會嘅貢獻。噉呢都係好重要嘅,亦都係令大家去即係記得呢個日子呢。噉但係呢我諗即係每一次三 • 八呢,都會諗一諗【4:00】一啲即係女性嘅問題㗎。我諗喺香港呢,我哋自己婦女人口呢,同男士都係差唔多吓,咁呀多少少咁一樣。噉有時候會衍生帶嚟啲乜問題呢咁?噉都係諗嚟諗去又諗翻啲工作, 例如我哋好多時而家醫生,女醫生嘅數目有開始多喇咁樣,好好呢,我哋而家讀大學喇,其實呢,女性學生呢,都係多過男仔嘅 . . .

三 • 八 is the date 8 March, on which International Women’s Day is celebrated

Note: 興祝 hīng1 jūk1 means “to celebrate (a particular occasion”). In Lesson 1 of Current Cantonese Colloquialisms, it crops up in 母親節嗰日,你哋點同阿媽興祝呀? = On Mother’s day, how will you celebrate with your mum? (p.11). The adding of the aspect marker 翻 fāan1 suggests that something is brought back or recalled on that day (for example, the contribution women have made to society).

衍生 hín2 sāng1 = to derive; to come out; to flow from

Note: In 諗嚟諗去又諗翻啲工作, the aspect marker 翻 fāan1 suggests a kind of return: roughly, “I think about this and I think about that and I link things back to work in my thoughts”.

車淑梅:[unclear]

陳肇始:噉所以呢,就會諗諗吓就會諗咁遲啲咁樣如果係即係多咗女醫生嘅時候,噉其實我哋工作上有冇特別嘅需要,有一啲唔同一啲嘅安排呀、配套呀,吓,咁樣樣喇。噉因爲好多女性嘅員工呢,都係可能去做到一個位嘅時候呢,噉或者都係想係會照顧吓家庭呀咁樣樣。【5:00】噉所以呢,就變咗要全面兼顧嘅時候呢,我哋喺即係工作上呀、配套呀、其實都係要去有啲唔同嘅安排嘅,吓,例如好似呀我最推廣嘅母乳餵哺啦,吓,咁呀係咪喺我哋嘅工作間嗰度要多啲呢啲嘅設施喇等等。

配套 pui3 tou3 = package; support (I often hear government officials using this term. Perhaps “support” is the closest translation here. Something less definite than concrete “arrangements” [安排] seems to be the main implication).

兼顧 gīm1 gu3 = to give consideration to two or more things. Perhaps the implication here is that most doctors in future will only work part-time.

母乳餵哺 móuh5 yúh5 wai3 bouh6 = breast-feeding

車淑梅:都要呵。

陳肇始:係呀,所以呢,呢啲就諗諗吓就諗呢啲嘢喇。

車淑梅:好呀。咁呀即係唔怪得呢我哋香港呢係一個真係非常之咁令人羡慕城市呀,譬如話呢,就喺醫療服務方面呢,就係全世界最平最靚最正架吓,即係各方面都係細心去照顧到。唔怪得喇, 我哋成爲全球最長壽嘅嗰個地方咁樣。咁既然女嘅即係醫生越來越多呢,但唔知點解局長就即係嗱啱啱上任局長嘅時間 2017年 7月1號呢,你當時嘅全個班子裏邊,得一個女士嘅啫。你當時嘅心情係點樣樣呀?

全球最長壽嘅嗰個地方 = that place with the longest life-spans on earth. The noun 長壽 chèuhng4 sauh6 = longevity

班子 bāan1 jí2 = “organized group”, according to Sheik Cantonese. Here, it seems to refer to what Carrie Lam now calls her 問責團隊 mahn6 jaak3 tyùhn4 déui6*2 or “accountability team”, a group comprising senior officials in charge of a whole department.

陳肇始:其實,當時嘅心情【6:00】,亦都冇乜好特別嘅,因爲呢,我都習慣咗,即係過去我做副局長嘅時候呢,就多啲即係女性嘅副局長啦 咁。噉但係其實有好多同事都係男男女女都有嘅,所以我又冇一個好特別嘅話,呀作爲女性,咁又有冇咩特別呢咁。噉當然而家就我特別呢,多一啲婦女嘅團體呀、組織呀咁,都係好希望呢,我哋去支持佢哋。噉所以呢,我亦都即係特別呢,係因爲我係第一個女性嘅局長呢,我都覺得呢,佢哋嘅工作呢,係可以俾多啲支持、多啲鼓勵佢哋囉。

車淑梅:係。有冇諗過自己係一個政府嘅架構裏邊係做得咁高層呢,即係 細個嘅時候會唔會諗呢啲呀?

架構 gaa3 kau3 = ① infrastructure, framework; ② architecture (Sheik Cantonese). In this context, perhaps “within a government structure” or even “within the make-up of a (particular) government” (?).

陳肇始:細個嗰陣時冇嘅,其實真係冇,我其實喺我嘅 . . . 即係 . . . 一路人生嘅每一個部分呢吓,我嘅工作呢,尤其是其實都冇特別安排嘅 【7:00】。基本上都係我非常之努力去做。噉亦都係 . . . 有一啲唔同嘅機會就出現咗。噉於是乎,噉我又去嘗試。噉,呢個又亦都係 . . . 盡 . . . 我覺得係 . . . 即係 . . . 最緊要係盡力呀,出盡我嘅全力吓,一百嘅 percent,二百嘅 percent 咁去應對,吓,我每一日嘅工作。噉我覺得呢個係最緊要。 其實嗰個做咗出嚟呢,嗰個效果呀、結果呀,嗰啲呢,其實呀 . . . 當然我哋都有個目標嘅,噉但係呢,我覺得唔係咁 . . . 唔係最重要嘅。對我嚟講呢,盡全力,吓,去做呢,係最重要呢。

Note: Chan Siu-chee at first uses 盡 jeuhn6 on its own (which sounds a bit incomplete), before going on to use the expressions 盡力 jeuhn6 lihk6 and 出盡我嘅全力 chēut1 jeuhn6 ngóh5 ge3 chyùhn4 lihk6, both of which mean something “to give one’s all; to do one’s best”.

車淑梅:噉實在呢,少年志願係乜嘢嚟架呢?

Note: The question 少年志願係乜嘢嚟架呢 is basically equivalent to “What did you want to be when you grew up?” The key word in Cantonese 志願 ji3 yuhn6 = aspiration; goal; ideal; desire. I get the impression that the host Chē1 Suhk6 Mùih4 likes to ask her guests this question!

陳肇始:少年志願?其實呢,我諗唔同嘅時間都有啲唔同嘅志願嘅。好奇怪嘅,即係 . . . 好細嗰陣時候【8:00】我媽咪係醫生呢,噉我都就係想做醫生嘅。噉細個屋企有好多聽筒嗰啲咁呀都係同我妹妹玩嗰啲嘢。噉就亦都 . . .

聽筒 tēng1 túng4*2 usually means “earphones, headset, headphones”, but in this medical context, “stethoscope” is clearly indicated.

車淑梅:. . . 爸爸呢?

陳肇始:爸爸係做生意。

車淑梅:哦!

陳肇始:係呀,係呀。噉但係呢,亦都係有一個階段好鐘意做先生嘅,因爲呢,就開始返學嘅時候呢,我覺得呀,先生改簿嗰啲都好得意嘅。噉呀係 成日自己係攞啲公仔書呀嗰啲嚟度改呀嘗試咁樣。噉所以即係唔同嘅時間都會想做唔同嘅嘢咁樣囉。

Note: 改簿 gói2 bóu6*2 literally means “to mark a notebook”. In this context of teachers [先生] and schoolwork, I am guessing that Chan is referring to the marking of student work written out in exercise books.

車淑梅:係。噉點解又唔行即係醫生嘅道路,又會成爲一個醉心護士一個人呢?

醉心 jeui3 sām1 = to be engrossed in; to be infatuated with

陳肇始:呀,其實呢,呢個都係好特別嘅。我媽咪個診所呢,其實其中一個護士呢,佢個女呢,係同我都係,大家都係一齊玩呢咁一樣咁。噉佢嘅媽咪呢,好想佢嘅女會做護士嘅咁。【9:00】噉我同佢好好朋友。噉大家都傾,你做乜,你做乜咁樣。噉於是乎就一齊去,嗰陣時候,一齊去考喇咁樣。噉就一路一路咁樣樣。

車淑梅:哦,咁樣嘅。其實,我聽聞你呢就麻麻哋你自己名「陳肇始」,其實個名係幾特別㗎喎。點樣你會話麻麻哋呢?

Note: 麻麻哋 màah4 máa4*2 déi6*2 is commonly used as an adjective meaning “so-so”, indicating a less-than-enthusiastic response to something. Here, intriguingly, it is used as a verb meaning “to regard something as being so-so”. What Chē1 Suhk6 Mùih4 says can therefore be translated as “Actually, someone told me that you regarded your own name ‘Chan Siu-chee’ as only being so-so”. She then goes on to ask: “How is it that you could say ‘so-so’ (about your personal name)?”

陳肇始:其實 . . . 又 . . . 都唔係麻麻哋,只不過細個陣時候呢,讀小學呢,噉我哋讀小學嘅時候呢,小學中學都係,我哋用英文名嘅。噉所以呢,大家都其實基本上唔係咁知道大家啲同學嘅中文名。噉先生呢,就 尤其是小學嘅時候呢,就耐唔時呢,會叫每一個同學企起身,就講你嘅中文名俾大家聽吓啦咁。噉但係每一次當我講嗰陣時候呢,噉我先生呢,一定「吓?」咁「吓」我一次。噉,我就覺得,咦,係咪有好怪,係唔係有乜問題呢?【10:00】其他同學都冇「吓」,但係呢,我講完又吓, 我要再講多一次。噉呢個感覺呢,就好似覺得我個名點解咁嘅,點解先生好似有啲懷疑嘅咁。噉點解我又唔好似其他同學改嗰啲名。點解我媽媽又改呢個名嘅。噉其實有少少呢個咁樣嘅感覺嘅。

耐唔時 noih6 mh4 4*2 = now and then; from time to time

Note: 吓 háa2 is equivalent to “huh?” in English and is used to express the sense of being puzzled by something. Here, with creativity, Chan Siu-chee turns it into a verb, with the approximate meaning of “to respond to something by saying ‘huh?’”!

Note: Don’t forget that 改嗰啲名 just means “the names given to (other students)”. 改名 gói2 méng2 means “to name (a child); to give (a child) a name”.

(To be continued . . .)

《新心界》:第二章

San Sam Gaai 2_Sok Kwu Wan Rocks

•「二千七百九十四封信」

有一位美國詩人曾經寫過一首詩篇,問咗一個有趣嘅問題:非洲斑馬究竟係一種身帶白色條紋嘅黑馬,定係身帶黑色條紋嘅白馬?陳之一屬於帶有黑色條紋嘅白馬,佢鐘意大清早,熱愛黎明擁有嘅粉紅色,每朝起身起得好早,夜晚九點鐘就開始打喊露。正正喺呢一點,陳之一好唔適合香港嘅夜生活,經常令到佢嘅朋友、同事都好失望。

香港十二月嘅天氣已經開始轉凍,令到陳之一心情麻麻。忍受完漫長夏天既炎熱又潮濕嘅天氣之後,佢期盼涼爽舒服嘅日子,以為有足夠時間慢慢迎接冬天嘅降臨。不過香港冬天難得會有咁理想嘅天氣,由酷熱到寒冬嘅距離實在太短,季節嘅輪換雖然會帶嚟變化同埋趣味俾人間,但係同樣會為我哋帶嚟種種不便。

令陳之一抱怨更多嘅卻係聖誕節,雖然佢唔反對基督教,但商場裏所有浮誇嘅聖誕樹同埋聖誕裝飾都係乞佢憎嘅。有啲平時好鐘意去嘅咖啡室,十一月尾就開始播放佢覺得好難聽嘅聖誕歌,令佢暫時敬而遠之,寧願留喺屋企飲自己沖嘅飲品。連佢日日經過嘅瀝源橋,今年亦都遭到聖誕化,成條橋都裝滿無數嘅聖誕小燈串,同埋各式各樣象徵消費主義嘅小擺設。天黑之後就為市民播輕聲嘅爵士音樂。為咗唔想被呢類音樂污染,影響心情,陳之一喺夜晚出街時,一定會用耳機塞住對耳仔,避免聽到咁無趣嘅音樂。

或者冬天嘅到來會令到陳之一覺得格外孤獨。感到寂寞嘅時候,佢會諗起坪洲嘅天后廟。雖然冇乜特別嘅印象,但佢第一次去呢間廟宇時就好鐘意。隨後,曾經有一個本地人指出一個佢曾未注意到嘅特點:廟入面一個陰暗嘅角落,擺放住一樣好長好細嘅東西,而呢樣嘢居然係鯨魚嘅肋骨!從此,陳之一心裏感到超級孤單時,就鐘意想像自己係嗰條孤獨嘅鯨魚肋骨,咁樣就能為佢帶嚟幾分安慰、鼓勵,減少佢嘅孤獨感。

自從陳之一定居香港以來,即係大約十年前,佢已經寫過好多封信俾佢爸爸 —— 一個佢從未見過嘅老豆;一個佢出世時已經遠離自己嘅爹哋:一個佢可以話係百分之百陌生嘅父親。至於寫咗幾多封,按照佢喺封面帶有粉嶺天后廟相片嘅筆記簿中嘅記載,到而家已經寫咗二千七百九十封。所有信嘅內容都差唔多,如下:

我親愛嘅父親:

老實講,每次用「親愛」呢個詞寫信俾你,我心裏都會覺得好唔舒服。你離開我同阿媽嘅時候,我同你嘅關係只不過係微妙嘅血脈聯繫。因為喺你離開時,我仲未出世,仲未有獲得「人」嘅基本形態,所以喺呢種情況下,我哋之間難以用「親愛」嚟形容。話雖如此,我已經用咗好多年時間考慮究竟應該用邊種形容詞,可惜到而家都仲未有答案,令我不知所措。

語言本身難以處理呢類事情。連「你離開我」都顯得太唔準確:對於兩個唔認識嘅人,用「離開」來表達,好似唔太妥當。四十幾歲時,我阿媽先至話俾我知,佢親愛嘅丈夫並唔係我嘅生父,邁入中年嘅我突然間擁有兩個所謂「父親」。其中一個真係好慘,儘然佢盡量扮演父親角色,但係結果只能令到佢個「唔三唔四嘅繼子」變得又害怕、對佢又冇嗮感情。而另外一個只不過係一個黑洞:除咗一個名字,一個地址,一個工作崗位,就冇其他細節。零存在感嘅人真係能叫做「父親」咩?

不過,我唔想怪你。我阿媽懷孕時,你兩個人都太年輕,二十幾歲嘅你無疑仲未有心理準備成家立室;生命啱啱開始嘅時候,你肯定無法承擔咁重大嘅責任。雖然覺得好可惜,但係永遠唔怪你,甚至乎好希望你離開我哋之後嘅日子過得特別有趣,充滿生活嘅味道。

雖然如此,有時我真希望你偶爾會想想你未曾見過、連名都唔知嘅兒子。你會唔會?

你嘅仔:

約翰˙文森特

差唔多每日,尤其是係週末,陳之一都會清早五點鐘起身寫信俾父親,日積月累已經寫咗好多封。因為無法確定父親喺香港嘅地址,所以佢通常會喺各種公眾場所,譬如佈告牌,咖啡室,酒吧,辦公嘅地方「寄」出去,信封入邊亦都會加一個簡單嘅中文解釋,希望識佢父親嘅本地人可以幫忙揾揾可能早就離開香港嘅約翰˙弗蘭克。不過,到而家佢都未收過回信。

*   *   *

呢個禮拜日,陳之一喺佢間陰暗書房入邊寫信。貪睡嘅阿綠喺佢大埔廣褔道嘅唐樓單位度仍未起身,仲喺度瞓覺。好明顯,阿綠就係屬於身帶白色條紋嘅黑馬。同外國男人相反,佢特別鐘意夜晚如黑色絲綢嘅氣氛,大埔無數燈光嘅夜景令到佢著迷,一方面為佢帶來無限靈感,增添本已極為豐富嘅想像力;另一方面使到日頭嘅種種麻煩暫時變得非常之遙遠。

鬧鐘八點鐘就響起,打破阿綠甜蜜嘅夢。佢即刻由床上跳出嚟,緩慢行到廚房去,一面沖咖啡、餵貓,一面沈陷心事。貓貓蛾鬼嘅貓糧,係阿綠親手煮嘅,絕無任何添加劑,貓貓特別鐘意食,次次都食得津津有味。不過,蛾鬼食嘢都食得好污糟,食到滿地都係貓糧嘅渣滓,阿綠每次都要用海綿抹乾淨地下。

「哎吔,蛾蛾,真係冇你符呀!你咁樣做,係咪收咗曱甴嘅賄賂,方便佢偷食屋企啲食物?」不過,話口未完,阿綠就意識到曱甴冇乜嘢可以用嚟賄賂貓貓,真係太荒謬啦!

廚房彌漫住新鮮咖啡嘅氣味,帶來一種零舍濃烈嘅安全咁俾阿綠。喺等緊咖啡逐漸沖好嘅同時,佢開始諗吓今日要做啲乜。好多年前佢就初步計劃為突然去世嘅母親,組織一次紀念展覽會,將阿媽短暫生命中所創造嘅油畫同埋黑白照片一齊展出,用綜合模式嘅展覽來肯定阿媽嘅成就,同時又想鼓勵自己有勇氣投身藝術家嘅生活,唔再浪費時間做佢毫無興趣嘅設計工作。

其實,去過佢屋企嘅同事、朋友一般都認為阿綠無疑有藝術家嘅天賦。無論係佢嘅衣著打扮,屋企擺設嘅傢俬,或者牆上點綴嘅藝術品,一切都顯露出阿綠本人嘅獨特氣質。呢種個人質素冇太多耀眼奪目嘅地方,連半點浮誇嘅都冇,不過客人見到佢為自己營造嘅個人生活環境,即刻會感覺到阿綠獨有美麗又寧靜嘅人生質素。喺公眾場合見到阿綠時會好容易忽視呢種質素,人心隔肚皮,嚟到佢住所之後,親眼睇到佢嘅安樂窩,就一定會另眼相看。

可惜,阿綠缺乏信心,一直唔相信自己會有藝術天分,日子亦無需過得咁複雜,唔需要攞苦嚟辛﹗重要嘅唔係佢本人嘅徒勞幻想,而係佢母親嘅心血,安排展覽已經拖延咗太耐,出年過年之後一定要舉辦,唔係嘅話啦,佢真係會認定自己冇鬼用,枉食人間米!其實,到而家已經攪掂唔少基本工作:大部分作品已經裝裱好,展覽嘅地點亦都安排妥當,但係展覽小冊子仲未開始設計,而其中嘅內容佢唔知點寫:如果寫有關自己阿媽嘅嘢,會令到佢覺得無法面對,好似同過去嘅痛楚仍然存在某種無法穿過嘅黑暗。另外,因為裱畫嘅費用已經非常昂貴,所以佢唔知由何方借到足夠嘅金錢印刷小冊子。今次去墨爾本(佢此刻諗起陳之一叫墨爾本做「大金山」嘅新奇講法)父親會唔會同意幫幫手?思路達到呢一點,佢只好抬頭望住母親嘅自畫像,忍唔住長歎一啖氣。

阿綠發咗好耐呆先至恢復心機,繼續做同展覽有關嘅工作。當時,食完早餐嘅蛾鬼一面用脷仔細咁「沖貓涼」,一面觀察阿綠所有嘅表情動作。蛾鬼一身密黃色嘅貓毛充滿光澤,同其下巴及喉部嘅白色短毛配襯得特別好睇,令人一見鐘情。不過,外貌美麗嘅蛾鬼好鐘意玩,而且一開始玩,就變得非常之曵。名副其實係隻「百厭」貓,但係用「千厭」甚至乎「萬厭」形容呢隻曵貓一啲都唔誇張。

嘭﹗嘭﹗嘭﹗敲門聲忽然響起,令到蛾鬼嗱嗱聲匿埋去張檯下面,睇吓客人係咪可以整蠱嘅新「事主」。蛾鬼見到入門嘅阿奇就特別開心:「好嘢!阿奇嚟啦!」

阿奇係阿綠一個鄰居嚟㗎,因為係紐西蘭人,紐西蘭人嘅英文俗稱做「奇偉」,所以大家已經好習慣用“阿奇”稱呼佢。阿奇人品好好,樂於助人,而且因為係動物專家,喺嘉道理農場做咗好多年,所以特別熟悉各種各樣嘅野生動物。不過,美中不足係佢講英文時,一般本地人好難聽得明佢講嘅紐西蘭口音,為咗方便溝通,阿奇只好採取一種好似舊時電報咁嘅簡單表達方式。

「早晨,阿綠!早餐 … 你食 … 已經?」阿奇一入屋就好體貼咁問。

「食咗啦!你飲唔飲杯咖啡?」

阿奇用其特有電報式嘅廣東話回答:「咖啡 …一杯 … 我要而家!」

阿綠一面為佢沖咖啡,一面執好書房裡裏張書檯,讓佢坐低等吓。

蛾鬼即刻出嚟同佢打招呼。

飲品準備好,佢哋兩個討論阿綠去澳洲時嘅具體安排。

「你去澳洲 … 幾時 … 幾時餵貓?」阿奇好認真咁問。

「我十二月二十三日離開香港,一月三月先至返嚟,請你幫我照顧貓貓!」

呢刻,蛾鬼忽然間好以老虎仔咁一跳,跳到張書檯上,令到阿綠阿奇兩個人都好驚訝。

「哎吔!蛾鬼,你做乜?」

「哈哈!」阿奇大聲笑起嚟。「貓貓,你 … 冇問題 … 我日日嚟 … 幫你食嘢 … 冇問題!」

蛾鬼好似聽得明佢講乜,即刻開始發出開心咕咕聲,仲好樂意俾阿奇不停咁摸。不過,當咕咕聲去到最大聲嘅時候,蛾鬼嘅眼色突然變得好古惑,跟住用一隻前爪搲咗阿奇嘅手腕,之後就跳落地下,好似甩繩馬騮咁亂跑亂跳。

「哎吔!」阿奇尖叫一聲,睇吓手上嘅幾滴鮮血。

「阿奇,真係對唔住!我隻衰貓有時好曵,真係狗咬呂洞賓!你一定要留意!」

阿奇恢復得好快,勉強笑眯眯咁話:「唔緊要 … 冇事 … 曵貓 … 我唔怕。」

其實,阿奇真係好好人。雖然受到蛾鬼貓式惡作劇嘅對待,但係一啲都唔介意。阿綠為佢又沖多杯咖啡,配上幾粒自己焗嘅核桃酥,再次為貓貓道歉,然後就交待蛾鬼嘅貓糧放喺邊度,又將一條鎖匙同佢私人聯絡細節遞俾阿奇,萬一遇到問題,都可以打電話俾佢。

阿奇準備出門時,蛾鬼發出一系列好似餓鬼般嘅喵喵聲,應係佢用咗超級萬厭嘅聲音同阿奇講 “拜拜”。

*   *   *

一個禮拜之後,陳之一打算一個人過生日。寫完信俾父親之後,佢六點鐘出門,行路到城門河畔,當時已經有唔少晨運人仕喺度跑步、踩單車、或者練習健美操,同陳之一一齊享受早起嘅樂趣。接近瀝源橋時,佢又一次被橋嘅優美所感動,雖然冇太多嘅歷史,但卻能逹到天人合一嘅美麗效果。

過橋後,陳之一就一直行到沙田好運中心嘅德興粥麵店,餐廳啱啱開門,員工都仲拖緊地板清潔,亦有廚師十分嫻熟咁準備各種各樣嘅食物。陳之一第一次嚟呢度食早餐係喺九十年代末,當時佢廣東話好差,只能用普通話同侍應溝通,因為佢已經識讀中文字,睇餐牌冇乜大問題,不過佢總會覺得好慚愧:喺香港應該盡量用廣東話,唔係嘅話啦,就對本地人好似好冇禮貌。不過,德興粥麵店當時真有「道德」,完全唔介意佢講普通話,同時好歡迎陳之一慢慢學識用「白話」嗌嘢食,無論佢講到幾唔清楚,侍應都會以忍耐同埋鼓勵嘅態度對待呢個外國人。

佢每次喺德興食早餐都會選擇「醒神早餐:A」,即係一碗瘦肉粥、一條油炸鬼、一杯豆漿。點菜後冇幾分鐘,一碗新鮮滾熱辣嘅粥就出現喺佢面前。過去經驗已經教識陳之一應該先飲幾啖甜豆漿,再稍微等等,先至可以開始食粥,以免焫嚫條脷!其實,佢已經唔記得自己條脷被焫嚫過幾多次!

兩個鐘頭之後,佢到達今日嘅目的地:南丫島嘅索罟灣。一落船,佢就跟隨大家、沿住第一街行往去到榕樹灣嘅小徑,當時大部分海鮮酒樓仲未開門,早晨嘅寧靜仲未完全消失。喺第一街尾嘅天后宮前面,陳之一靜靜雞停步。抬頭睇睇大門上嘅匾額,寫著「神光普照」呢四個字,同時心裏希望自己過生日亦都可以享受幾線神光。呢間廟宇2003年不幸遭受火災,之後村民捐款重新裝修,面目煥然一新,天后宮每一個細節都非常之精緻。另外,廟宇入面居然擺放一個灌滿褔爾馬林嘅玻璃魚缸,裡面住著一條叫做「銀龍魚」嘅巨魚,樣子又長又白,令到陳之一覺得自然界擁有嘅創造力太豐富,遠遠超過人間裏面嘅任何大藝術家、思想家。

教堂平時令人有犯錯誤嘅感覺,因而會變得十分虔誠,陳之一好唔鐘意跪地認罪嗰種感情。人雖然喺天后面前望而生畏,但係廟中基調就係平易近人,而其中設備,包括門神、木板、香案、祭品、古鼓、古鐘等等都悅目怡人。對陳之一而言,拜訪天后而感受其寺廟中嘅濃厚肅敬係佢香港生活重要嘅一部分,寺廟亦俾到日常生活需要嘅嗰種片刻神秘感。

拜訪天后宮係今日第一個項目。第二係行行圍繞菱角山嘅山徑。好彩,今日嚟索罟灣嘅遊客全部都懷有到達目的地嘅熱情,一直向前行,只有陳之一毫無猶豫咁往左邊嘅路仔轉,逐漸上山坡進入山麓嘅林木。雖然間唔中見到人住嘅山屋,但係呢度嘅山墳畢竟比人多好多。喺經過山坡嘅墓地時,陳之一忽然發現山徑上有一大隻長尾水青蛾嘅屍體,成個腹部都已經被襲擊者食咗,不過最美麗嘅雙翼就完好無損,上面嘅眼狀斑紋,莫名其妙咁同陳之一嘅目光對視。「真奇怪,」陳之一自言自語咁低聲話,「唔好唔記得每個生日亦都係其他生命嘅死忌。」

行出山坡樹林嘅時候,陳之一眼前四周都係天空同埋東澳灣嘅碧綠海水。佢停下腳步,確定方向就仔細觀察周圍環境,見到幾塊巨石時,佢就即刻向嗰個方向行。到達巨石附近,佢又一次停下嚟,揾吓嗰條連接巨石地嘅羊腸小道,因為好少人行,所以好難睇清楚,有時幾乎全部被植物遮蔽。不過,陳之一嚟過呢度好多次,佢冇耐就辨認出土路嘅開端。於是一面用手推開路旁嘅草叢,另一面小心翼翼行過去。話咁快,佢就竄入一種由幾個巨石構成嘅空洞,三邊都有庇佑嘅石牆,冇牆嘅一邊就見到天空。呢度係一個大自然造成嘅匿埋處,同時又係本地人常用嘅避難所。

陳之一由背囊度攞出暖水壺,打開瓶蓋就為自己倒出一杯奶茶,喺呢種十分安靜嘅環境中,慢慢飲茶。飲完茶之後,就放翻好水壺,再由背囊入邊攞出一個淺藍色嘅信封。信封上面寫有「約翰˙弗蘭克收」嘅字樣,係陳之一親手書寫嘅。陳之一心諗,如果父親嘅性格同自己有相似之處嘅話啦,佢可能會鐘意嚟咁偏僻嘅地方。睇吓洞內嘅周圍,佢就將封信放喺地下一個遮風擋雨嘅地方,跟住用一快石片放喺上面壓住,以免信封被山風海風吹走。呢塊石片完全遮蔽信封上寫嘅名字,但係依然略略可以辨別出信封下左邊用阿拉伯數字寫嘅號碼:2794。

 

照片:香港南丫島菱角山 Ling Kok Shan, Lamma Island, Hong Kong

《新心界》:第一章

ButterfliesHK_Butterfly_3 APR 2019

• 「食蝴蝶嘅男人」

一聽到呢把帶有外國口音嘅聲音,阿綠就知道係屬於鐘意食蝴蝶但一啲都唔黐線嘅男仔。

突然諗翻五年前,一股衝動咁去鳳園蝴蝶保育區嘅情景。嗰日係十一月,天陰陰,所以遊客並唔算多,方便阿綠一個人慢慢欣賞飛嚟飛去、七彩繽紛嘅昆蟲。好好彩,佢一去到就真係可以同好多好多飛行中嘅珠寶打招呼,包括藍色搶眼嘅巴黎翠鳳蝶、小巧玲瓏嘅斗粒銀線灰蝶、四翼奪目嘅幻紫班蛺蝶、同埋身材脆弱嘅絹班蝶!除咗被昆蟲嘅外觀吸引之外,阿綠仲陶醉於佢哋廣東話嘅命名!蝴蝶嘅辭彙深深迷住佢。

因為專心投入觀賞鳳園中嘅自然景象,所以對於四圍一路未有特別注意,突然間靜謐嘅氣氛一下子遭受破壞。有個女人用著整蠱嘅口吻、半講半笑咁大聲提出疑問:「噉,你點解經常嚟呢度?」被問嘅男人毫無猶豫答:「當然因為好鐘意食蝴蝶!」。幾把女性聲好似合唱般哈哈大笑起嚟,無情咁嘲笑嗰個男人唔太標準嘅廣東話發音。不過奇怪嘅係,男人好似一啲都唔介意咁,繼續解釋佢食蝴蝶嘅怪癖,向住呢幾個仲未笑完嘅女人加一句:「其實,我覺得蝴蝶真係好好味!」跟住,女合唱團又一次哄然大笑,無情咁將鳳園嘅寧靜氣氛破壞。

阿綠聽到呢番對話之後,就覺得真係好攪笑。嗰個外國人今日太過黑仔,因為將「認識蝴蝶」講成「食蝴蝶」,所以令人誤會,另外,由於講歪音,將「蝴蝶好美麗」表達為「蝴蝶好好味」難免喺香港人面前「出盡洋相」。但係,阿綠繼續一面賞蝶,一面回想啱啱嗰場鬧劇。就算嗰個男人廣東話發音有問題,但係阿綠都好配服佢努力咁運用呢種一啲都唔易學嘅語言。香港有唔少外國人,長期安頓喺呢個城市,日日有數唔清嘅機會同本地人接觸,但係除咗日常生活最為基本嘅要求之外,譬如「幾多錢?」,「一碗雲吞麵」之類,就根本唔識點用粵語表達對世界嘅獨特諗法或者分析個人嘅感情。諗到呢一點,佢即刻覺得頭先表演嘅「戲劇」實際上唔係咁得意,甚至乎令到佢內心唔舒服,只好靜靜咁嘆一啖氣。

五年前嘅回憶又繼續湧入腦海中,到而家嗰把引人發笑嘅聲音再次迴響,阿綠覺得好有趣。一個五十歲嘅外國男人跑到佢面前,好冇禮貌咁話:「你唔好喐!你綠色嘅頭髮上有隻燕鳳蝶!」哇!眾所周知,燕鳳蝶係好少香港人見過嘅蝴蝶,除咗喺鳳園保育區之外,睇到佢嘅機會真係唔多。綠色頭髮嘅女人又驚訝又尷尬,趕唔切作出任何反應時,外國男人攞出部手提對住佢個頭部不停影相,影咗幾張之後就突然停止,望上天空自言自語咁話:「飛走啦」。嗰陣時,四圍就變得非常之寧靜,寜靜嘅程度同英文所講嘅「連大頭針跌落地上都可以聽到」幾乎一樣。

「你睇吓!」外國男人本意想將手機電話中嘅蝴蝶相片同阿綠分賞,但係話口未完就有另一意思,因為嗰隻啱啱飛走嘅燕鳳蝶突然飛返嚟,飛到佢哋隔離嘅開花植物上。好明顯,呢種蝴蝶同家燕一樣,唔單止係形態上相似,連飛行嘅速度都差唔多一樣,一樣咁快脆。平時,燕鳳蝶鐘意喺高處樹梢上面迅速飛旋,對於特登嚟鳳園睇佢嘅參觀者嚟講,蝴蝶好似故意整蠱佢哋咁。不過如果你運氣好嘅話,燕鳳蝶會忽然變乖,放慢飛行速度,仲有機會喺四圍嘅叢叢花朵上逗留,快速飛走嘅願望都已經忘記得一乾二淨啦!

「你睇吓。青+見=靚!」綠色頭髮嘅女人覺得呢種表達方式又奇怪又得意,佢當然唔知道呢個講法係男人向廣東話老師嚴太借嚟嘅。每次上堂介紹新嘅生字時,嚴太特別鐘意採用呢一種頗有數學味道嘅方法教學。譬如,目+言+川=瞓,火+局=焗,心+堅=慳,男+女+男=嬲等等,正因為嚴老師發明嘅呢種教字方式,男人已經學到好多中文字,所以睇報紙就冇乜問題,不過較罕見嘅字,包括綠色頭髮女人嘅名字 – 林若黛中嘅「黛」字,仍然會令到佢一頭霧水。

林若黛被被初次見到嘅燕鳳蝶徹底迷住,因為呢隻蝴蝶已經近在咫尺,所以可以清清楚楚咁觀察到呢種昆蟲嘅特徵。燕鳳蝶擁有各個吸引人嘅特質:最令人注目嘅係,佢對前翅上有一大部分係透明嘅,翅膀中間好似鑲嵌一塊小巧嘅玻璃,眼前呢隻蝴蝶向馬纓丹嘅花朵伸直口器,準備吸食花蜜,林若黛可以透過前翅膀嘅玻璃窗仔見到一粒粒黃色、紅色同埋粉紅色嘅馬纓丹花朵!更為突出嘅特點,係蝴蝶後翅上有一對細長嘅翅尾,而翅尾嘅長短同蝴蝶嘅軀體部分係一樣長嘅,樣子令人聯想到一個裝有兩條絲帶嘅小型纸鷂。而且,猶如絲帶一樣,呢兩對翅尾喺燕鳳蝶飛翔嘅情況下耐唔耐會颯颯作響,因此,通常係首先聽到,之後先至見到呢啲愛飛往高處嘅燕鳳蝶。能夠喺離大埔工業邨咁近嘅地方﹐見到如此美妙嘅蝴蝶,真算係一個奇蹟!

阿綠嘅注意力漸漸地由蝴蝶偷偷轉移到外國男人身上,佢嘅出現嚟得太突然,令到阿綠變得過份慌張,冇法冷靜從容咁望佢一眼。外國男人身材高高哋,所以容易令人有一種屹立於他人嘅印象。不過佢奀瘦嘅身材郤會為矮細嘅人士,帶嚟唔少精神上嘅安慰。外國男人顯然冇乜與眾不同嘅體力,身體嘅瘦削亦反映喺佢嘅面上,心情好嘅人會用「憨厚」或「腍善」嚟形容佢,殘忍嘅人或者選擇「戅直」,「烏𠿬𠿬」等褒義嘅辭彙。男人藍色嘅眼睛略略露出一線憂鬱嘅情緒。短短嘅頭髮已經有唔少地方變白變灰,亦都暗示出內心深處積累多年嘅個人哀傷。不過,林若黛睇得出佢肯定唔會食到蝴蝶!

外國男人意識到自己被仔細觀察嗰一刻,就向綠色頭髮嘅女人回以微笑。

「我姓陳,叫之一,陳之一,“之一”之“之”,“之一”之“一”,認識你好開心。」佢用啲古怪嘅方式嚟自我介紹,令到對方好難唔記得佢叫乜名。

「陳之一?」林若黛唔太相信自己對耳仔,食蝴蝶男人嘅表達習慣真係同講嘢一様咁好笑。

「香港姓陳嘅梗係好多,我只不過係其中一員,所以咁樣改名。你呢,你貴姓呀?」佢零舍認真咁為自己嘅稱呼加以解釋。

綠色頭髮嘅女人顯得有啲唔自在,好似唔太願意話俾佢知呢啲私人嘢,不過同時感到咁樣做對陳之一冇禮貌。經過一番猶豫之後,佢終於低聲回答話:「我呀?姓林,木+木嘅林,不過多數人叫我“阿綠”。」佢忍唔住摹仿外國男人特有嘅講法嚟解析自己個姓。

「真好!“綠”字嘅讀音同英文一個單詞都好接近,即係“好運”嘅意思。噉,你估自己算唔算係一個好有運氣嘅人?」

阿綠瞬間露出一種無以名狀嘅表情,目光像流星般出現一副拒人於外嘅顏色。片刻之後,佢以一種古怪嘅笑聲掩飾自己嘅感情。

忽然,呢兩個人同時決定離開鳳園,雖然佢哋之間未有協議,但係一齊行開,阿綠行喺前面並陷入沈思,陳之一跟隨後面並四週觀望。喺呢種罕有嘅半親暱嘅沈默之中,佢哋經過保育區入邊各個地區,包括裳鳳閣同薑花小俓,亦經過一個傳統墓穴,代表呢處嘅風水想必唔錯。對風水有興趣嘅阿綠心諗,如果自己死咗之後仲可以享受咁靚嘅環境,應該好幸福。接近出入口嘅時候,陳之一注意到一張指示牌,上面以大字印有“沙螺洞”呢個地名,令到佢聯想到大嶼山嘅沙螺灣,尤其係面對機場嗰間優美嘅天后廟,古廟裏邊又神聖又靜謐嘅氣氛,同飛機發出嘅巨聲嘈音構成明顯嘅對比。難道將來一日,又平靜又偏僻嘅沙螺洞會遭到同樣嘅毀壞?

行去小巴站方向嘅時候,喺一幢豪宅出面,阿綠忽然間企住腳,啤啤貢咁望住啱啱行過嚟嘅一個女人。陳之一簡單咁問一聲「邊個?」,阿綠同樣簡約回答:「明星。」男人聽到答案之後就覺得好攪笑,喃喃自語:「明星應該喺天黑之後先至見到。日頭睇佢好似唔對路。」阿綠一啲都冇理佢呢番騎呢嘅獨白。

冇耐,小巴就到站。上車嘟咭之後,佢哋喺小巴最孻屘兩個空位坐低,未幾,小巴就開出。呢排乘客好多,不過大多數都唔似拜訪蝴蝶保育區嘅遊客,而係住喺附近居民嘅工人姐姐。小巴離開屋苑後就經過鳳園路隔離嘅一條溪流。溪流雖然好細,但係溪水清澈無污,兩岸草木長得零舍茂盛。陳之一特別鐘意香港呢啲市鎮週邊被忽略嘅荒地。

忽然,阿綠開口話:「好奇怪!啱啱見到嘅燕鳳蝶中有啲後翅冇翅尾,一啲都唔似家燕。係咪有啲燕鳳蝶天生冇翅尾?真係好可惜!」

「唔係喎!我估應該係遭受雀仔襲擊㗎,鳥類可能喺食蝴蝶時,只咬到翅尾嗰一部分,因此蝴蝶僥幸脫逃,獲得活下去嘅機會。第二次被雀喙啄住時,就會犧牲剩翻嘅一尾,從此就變咗兩翅都冇嘅。真係好犀利,通過呢類方式,身體軟弱嘅蝴蝶可以迴避想吞下佢嘅雀仔,維持自己嘅生命!」

阿綠心諗呢個男人扮嗮昆蟲專家咁,演講式嘅口氣真係好討厭。雖然如此佢忍唔住自言自語:「係呀,我都係咁㗎啦,為咗維持生活,只好放棄兩條翅尾,我同呢啲燕鳳蝶完全一樣!」

陳之一感到莫名其妙,望住佢一陣,粒聲都唔出。

小巴好快就到達終點站。當時,大埔嘅街道到處都好迫,真係一個名副其實迫滿嗮人嘅禮拜六下晝。一時衝動之下,阿綠問陳之一係咪肚餓,不如陪佢去食嘢?平時鐘意出街食廣東菜嘅男人即刻答應,建議去就腳嘅街市揾食肆。兩人沿住南運路穿過一浪又一浪嘅人群,冇耐喺街市入邊,求其揾間舖頭坐低。點菜之後,就十分悠閒咁一面呷茶,一面睇吓四圍嘅其他顧客,雖然好熱鬧,但氣氛格外輕鬆。空氣中彌漫著茴香氣味、叉燒氣味,唔知點解令到陳之一覺得特別舒服。今日去鳳園真係玩得好開心。

兩人各顧心思咁食飯,阿綠忽然提出問題,問陳之一究竟係邊度人?聽佢嘅口音,想必係英國人,但係佢唔敢肯定。

「我係澳洲大金山人,」佢毫無猶豫回答。

「澳洲!咁啱得咁橋,我下個月打算去澳洲墨爾本過聖誕。」

「即係我湊大嘅地方!」

「你頭先係咪話你係“大金山”長大囉?我係咪攪錯?」

「一啲都冇犯錯。十九世紀,你啲祖先叫墨市做“大金山”,都係同一個地方。你一定知道,美國三藩市叫做舊金山。噉,你去澳洲做乜?渡假?」

「揾父親. . .」

「揾父親?」陳之一用一種充滿驚奇嘅目光凝望阿綠一眼。

「其實唔係“揾”佢,而係“探”佢。不過,我未去過澳洲,因此可以講係半揾半探,」阿綠匆忙加以解釋,以為陳之一對於“揾父”呢一講法冇法聽明。

食完飯俾錢之後,佢哋離開咗大埔墟就分手。為咗幫助阿綠進一步熟悉墨爾本,外國男人自動建議為佢搜集一啲資料,再度聯絡。

因為佢住喺沙田第一城附近,陳之一先搭車去大圍,然後轉車到沙田圍地鐵站落車。行過沙角邨時,進入沙田圍路上嘅嘉樂金沙餅店,順便買咗三個豆沙餅做為聽日上晝配茶嘅食物。嗰時嘅晚霞真係好靚,因此佢改變主意,唔即刻返屋企,決定行去城門河畔散散步,未見到條河佢已經聞到河水半鹹嘅氣味。河上偶爾會見到鱗片亮晶晶發光嘅魚,莫名其妙咁嘗試由水中跳入天空去。

河畔途徑行過一個疑似隱蔽青年嘅男仔(陳之一心諗呢類人係咪可以叫做“隱蔽青年”?),佢身穿一件蔚藍色嘅T恤,上面用大字寫有「寂寞是我最好的朋友」,令到陳之一一見難忘,永遠唔會忘記。男仔經過之後,陳之一又轉過身,唔捨得咁再望吓嗰個人,此刻竟然瞥到T恤背面亦都有字,今次係「我不再害怕」,呢次嘅震撼比第一次大得多,陳之一因此只好目送呢五個字,年輕人漸漸在眼中消失,但呢五個字依然烙低喺佢嘅雙眼上。

外國男人嗰陣時突然間諗翻阿綠有關燕鳳蝶嘅話:「我都係咁㗎啦,為咗維持生活,只好放棄兩條翅尾。」佢心諗阿綠講得啱,處於呢個世界好容易遭受破壞,受到損失。不過,從另一方面睇,損害有時可以保持生命,甚至乎為生命加深一層含義。由此可見,損失同埋生存好似係一個五蚊銀仔嘅兩面,密不可分。

真係好微妙:一隻蝴蝶,兩個人獨特嘅反應,三種截然唔同嘅生活模式!

 

攝影:butterflieshk.wordpress.com

 

 

Cantonese through News Stories: Simon Cheng Man-kit Held in Detention

Geng Shuang Mainland foreign Ministry_22 AUG 2019

If you were unsure why the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance has provoked such outrage in Hong Kong, the recent case of 鄭文傑 Simon Cheng Man-kit is a perfect instance of what is at stake. Cheng, trade and investment officer at the British consulate in Hong Kong, disappeared on the evening of the 8 August on his way back to Hong Kong from Shenzhen. Finally, on 22 August, 耿爽Gáng2 Sóng2 (Mandarin: Geng Shuang) informed the world that Cheng had been placed under “disciplinary detention” [行政拘留] by Shenzhen police for fifteen days and warned the British not to go on “fanning flames and lighting fires”, a reference to the 2019 Summer of Protest. To date, no one has been informed of Cheng’s whereabouts.

On 22 August, the Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times reported that Cheng was being held for a violation of article 66:

The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed Wednesday that Cheng was under administrative detention in Shenzhen. On Thursday, police in Shenzhen’s Luohu district told Global Times that he was detained for violating article 66 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Penalties for Administration of Public Security. The article includes solicitation of prostitutes. 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

12 new words:

外交部 ngoih6 gāau1 bouh6 = Ministry of Foreign Affairs (PRC)
證實 jing3 saht6 = to confirm, to verify
行政拘留 hàhng4 jing3 kēui1 làuh4 = disciplinary detention
治安管理處罰法 jih6 ōn1 gwún2 léih5 chyu3 faht6 faat3 = public security administration punishment law
處罰 chyú2 faht6 = to punish; to penalize
僱員 gu3 yùhn4 = employee
香港公民 Hēung1 Góng2 gūng1 màhn4 = Hong Kong citizen
敦促 dēun1 chūk1 = to urge; to press
發表錯誤言論 faat3 bíu2 cho3 ngh6 yìhn4 leuhn6 = to air/express incorrection opinions/views
指手畫脚 jí2 sáu2 waahk6 geuk3 = to make indiscreet remarks or criticisms
煽風點火 sin3 fūng1 dím2 fó2 = to inflame and agitate people; to stir up trouble; to incite discord
失去聯絡 sāt1 heui3 lyùhn4 lok3 = to lose contact with sb.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

(Introduction)

外交部證實英國駐香港領事館一個港職員被深圳警方行政拘留。
The mainland Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that a Hong Kong employee of the British consulate in Hong Kong is being held in “disciplinary detention” by Shenzhen police.

(Main story)

  • 耿爽 Gáng2 Sóng2, spokesperson for the mainland Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Mandarin)

你提到的這個人因爲違反中華人民共和國治安管理處罰法,被深圳警方處以行政拘留15天的處罰。
The person you are referring to has been punished by Shenzhen police with disciplinary detention for 15 days for breaking the public security administration punishment law of the People’s Republic of China.

這名僱員他是香港公民。
This employee is a Hong Kong citizen

他不是英國公民。
He is not a British citizen.

他是中國人也就是說。
Which is to say, he is Chinese.

所以完全是中國自己的内部事務。
For this reason, this is in all respects [完全] China’s own internal matter.

外交部指,英方喺香港問題發表錯誤言論,敦促英方唔好再指手畫脚同煽風點火。
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the British has expressed incorrect opinions on the matter of the Hong Kong question, and urged Britain to refrain [唔好再 mh4 hóu joi3] from “making indiscreet remarks or criticisms” and from “inflaming and agitating people”.

英國外交部早前表示,高度關注駐港總領事館一個男職員由深圳返香港期間被拘留嘅事。
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office had earlier said that there was a high degree of concern for the detention of this male employee of the British consulate, detained by Shenzhen police on his way back to Hong Kong.

嗰個男職員本月八日晚坐高鐵由深圳返香港期間同親友失去聯絡。
Close friends lost all contact with that male employee on 8 August while he was travelling on the Express Rail Link from Shenzhen to Hong Kong.

2019年8月21日

Related reports:

+ Hong Kong Free Press (in English)

+ BBC (in Chinese)

+ Update published in the Hong Kong Free Press on 21 November 2019
UK gov’t summons China ambassador over ‘torture’ of former consulate staffer

Cantonese through News Stories: Hong Kong’s Latest Number One Scholars

Capture_Outstanding Students_10 JUL 2019

In the book Hedda Morrison’s Hong Kong, Edward Stokes writes “Old rural virtues — self-reliance, hardiness, and an abiding respect for learning . . . — characterized the countryside” and these same virtues continue to inspire the extensive media coverage given on a regular basis to the results of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination, as well as those 狀元 johng6 yùhn4 or “Number One Scholars” who manage to achieve outstanding results. This report by TVB’s 陳逸思 Chàhn4 Yaht6 Sī1 is also interesting for its frequent use of the modal verb 會 wúih5, in addition to the solid array of educational terms. I find it intriguing that Hong Kong’s most intelligent students are all keen to become doctors: perhaps these are the people who might be able to provide a solution to Hong Kong’s current difficulties . . .

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

12 new words:

文憑試 màhn4 pàhng4 si3 = 香港中學文憑考試 or Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE)
放榜 fong3 bóng2 = publish the results; publish a list of successful candidates/applicants
佳績 gāai1 jīk1 = good result; success
修讀 sāu1 duhk6 = to study (at university level); to do further study
養育 yéuhng5 yuhk6 = to bring up (a child)
摘星嘅決心 jaahk6 sīng1 ge3 kyut3 sām1 = the determination to reach for the stars
狀元 johng6 yùhn4 = Number One Scholar
屬意 suhk6 yi3 = to fix one’s mind on; to have one’s heart set on
立志 lahp6 ji3 = to resolve; to be determined
劍橋大學 gim3 kìuh4 daaih6 hohk6 = Cambridge University
固有 gu3 yáuh5 = usu. intrinsic; inherent; innate; in this context = “fixed” (?)
熱誠 yiht6 sìhng4 = sincere; sincerity

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

(Introduction)

中學文憑試放榜。
The results of the HKDSE have been published.

十二個人至少考獲七科5**,嚟自九間學校。
Twelve people, from nine [different] schools, obtained [a grade of] Level 5** in at least seven subjects.

其中觀塘瑪利諾書院同聖馬可中學首次有學生考到呢個佳績。
Of these, a student from the Kwun Tong Maryknoll College and a student from St Mark’s School obtained this excellent result for the first time ever.

而大部份會修讀醫科。
The majority of them will study [修讀] medicine.
Note: Here, 會 wúih5 is a modal indicating high likelihood: the students will definitely do this.

Continue reading “Cantonese through News Stories: Hong Kong’s Latest Number One Scholars”

Cantonese through News Stories: Demonstrators Break Into Legislative Council Complex

Capture_Wire-mesh Trolley_1 JUL 2019

Here is one version of events that led to the so-called “storming” of the Legislative Council Complex. I recently came across the quote “There are years that ask questions and years that answer” (Zora Neale Hurston). Perhaps this is just such a question-asking year for Hong Kong. In several parts of this report, it is impossible to hear what people are actually saying. I have provided a translation based on the subtitles, but these are in Standard Written Chinese rather than Cantonese. Watch out for the use of the verb 撞 johng6 = “to strike” and its use in various compounds: 撞爛, 撞擊, 撞裂 and 撞破.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

12 new words:

露面 louh6 mihn6 = to make an appearance
汲取教訓 kāp1 chéui2 gaau3 fan3 = to learn a lesson; to assimilate; to imbibe
民情民意 màhn chìhng màhn yi3 = public feeling & the will of the people
平息 pìhng4 sīk1 = to calm down; to blow over
鐵籠車 tit3 lùhng4 chē1 = wire-mesh trolley (?)
勸阻 hyun3 jó2 = to dissuade sb. from; to advise sb. not to
防毒面罩 fòhng4 duhk6 mihn6 jaau3 = gas mask
石灰粉 sehk6 fūi1 fán2 = powdered lime (?)
調停 tìuh4 tìhng4 = to mediate; to intervene
角力 gok3 lihk6 = to have a trial of strength; to wrestle
上彈 seuhng6 dáan6*2 = to load (a gun with bullets)
對峙 deui3 sih6/chíh5 = to stand facing each other; to confront

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

(Introduction)

香港回歸22週年,行政長官林鄭月娥,近兩個星期以嚟首次公開露面。
[On the occasion of] the twenty-second anniversary of the Handover of Hong Kong, the Chief Executive Carrie Lam made her first public appearance in two weeks.

佢話會汲取教訓,日後施政更加貼近民情民意。
She said that she had learned from what had happened, and that from now on the management of government affairs would adhere more closely [貼近 tip3 gahn6] to public feeling and the will of the people.

不過示威者嘅抗議未有平息。
However, the protests of the demonstrators have not yet stopped [平息 pìhng4 sīk1].

Continue reading “Cantonese through News Stories: Demonstrators Break Into Legislative Council Complex”

Cantonese through News Stories: Carrie Lam’s Apology

Capture_Carrie LAm Apology FOUR_18 JUN 2019

After the second huge protest march in Hong Kong on Sunday 16 June, Carrie Lam decided to make an apology “to every single resident of Hong Kong”. As the TVB reporter 張家灝 Jēung1 Gāa1 Houh6 makes clear, however, she stopped short of agreeing to that word of the moment, 撤回 chit3 wùih4 = to “withdraw”, preferring instead to replace it with 暫緩 jaahm6 wuhn6 = to postpone temporarily. But will this be enough?

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

12 new words:

召開記者會 jiuh6 hōi1 gei3 jé2 húi6*2 = to call a press conference
(引起)爭議 (yáhn5 héi2) jāng1 yíh5 = (to spark) controversy
向 . . . 道歉 heung3 … douh6 hip3 = to apologize to (someone)
cf. 致歉 ji3 hip3 = to apologize
重啟 chùhng4 kái2 = to restart
問責團隊 mahn6 jaak3 tyùhn4 déui6*2 = accountability team
cf. 問責 mahn6 jaak3 = to call to account
反省fáan2 síng2 = to do some soul searching
紛爭 fān1 jāng1 = dispute; wrangle
書面致歉 syū1 mihn6 zi3 hip3= a written apology; an apology in writing
暫緩 jaahm6 wun6 = to postpone temporarily; to defer for the time being
重申 chùhng4 sān1 = to reaffirm; to reiterate; to restate
貿然 mauh6 yìhn4 = hastily; rashly; blindly
衷心 chūng/jūng1 sām1 = heartfelt

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

(Introduction)

行政長官林鄭月娥召開記者會為修訂《逃犯條例》引起社會爭議向所有市民道歉。
The Chief Executive Carrie Lam called a press conference in order to apologize to all the people of Hong Kong for the controversy in society sparked by the amending of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance.

佢話自己要負責最大責任,強調喺解決爭議前,絕對唔會貿然重啟修例。
She said that she must take the biggest share of the responsibility, and she emphasized that before the controversy is resolved, she will not rashly restart [any] amending.

佢又希望社會俾機會佢同問責團隊。
She also hoped that society would give her and her accountability team a[nother] chance.

Continue reading “Cantonese through News Stories: Carrie Lam’s Apology”