Learning Cantonese: Unthinking Hong Kong’s Democracy

The recent arrest of 53 people connected with the democratic movement continues the sustained effort to establish an authoritarian style of government in Hong Kong and to criminalize dissent of any kind.

In July 2020, 戴耀廷 Benny Tai and others organized a primary election for people associated with the democratic camp. Identifying the most popular candidates, he hoped, would enable the democrats to win a majority of seats in the Legislative Council (click here to see a brief report on this by HK01). According to the Secretary for Security 李家超John Lee Ka-chiu, himself a former policeman, these primary elections constituted “a malicious plan to paralyse the SAR government”. The man largely responsible for implementing the National Security Law in Hong Kong, 李桂華Steve Li Kwai-wah used the phrase “to bring our government to a complete standstill” with regard to the primaries and then compared Tai’s actions to that of a person intending to commit robbery. The idea that a government is not a fixed entity but one that evolves in response to the wishes of the people it governs is absent from both views.

You can view the HK01 video by an unnamed reporter here, but scroll down if you want the Cantonese transcript, notes and translation. For interest’s sake, I have also added the official English translation of Article 22 of the National Security Law dealing with “subversion” [顛覆國家政權罪]. 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.

You might also like to make use the Ekho Text to Speech Converter if you have trouble matching any part of the transcribed Chinese text to the spoken version. Just make sure you select “Cantonese” under the language menu before you paste cut and text into the relevant box.


李家超(保安侷局長):. . . 涉嫌顛覆國家政權罪活躍份子 | 圖謀以一個歹毒嘅計劃 | 去癱瘓特區政府 | 如果呢個歹毒嘅計劃得逞嘅話 | 而香港亦都可能要再經歷過一個萬劫不復嘅深淵

● 活躍份子 = active element; activist| ● 圖謀 = to plot; to scheme; to conspire | ● 歹毒 = malicious | ● 得逞 = (pejorative) to have one’s way; to succeed; to prevail | ● 萬劫不復 = beyond redemption; never to be recovered or restored | ● 深淵 = abyss

John Lee Ka-chiu (Secretary for Security): . . . activists suspected of the crime of subverting state power and plotting with a malicious plan to paralyze the SAR government. Had this malicious plot succeeded, Hong Kong could possibly have experienced yet another abyss, never to be recovered from (?).

記者:警方國安處派出過千個警員 | 拘捕 53 個發起或者參與 | 舊年35+民主派初選嘅人士 | 話佢哋涉嫌干犯《港區國安法》廿二條 | 顛覆國家政權罪 | (Democrats chanting slogans) | 民主派唔同板塊見記者 | 批評係濫捕

● 發起 = to start; to launch | ● 「35+民主派初選」= The 35+ Primaries for the Democrats | ● 干犯 = to offend; to encroach upon; to break (the law) | ● 板塊 = main parts; sector | ● 濫捕 = (?) to arrest people excessively/indiscriminately

Reporter: The police Office for Safeguarding National Security dispatched over a thousand police officers and arrested 53 individuals who had initiated or taken part in last year’s 35+ Primaries for the Democrats, claiming [話] that they were under suspicion of having violated Article 22 of the National Security Law, [dealing with] subversion. (Democrats chanting slogans.) Members from the democratic groups [民主派唔同板塊] criticized [the action] as “an excessive use of arrests” [濫捕] during a meeting with the press.

羅健熙(民主黨主席):初選係任何陣營裏邊可以自由進行嘅事 | 每一個陣營或者每一個政黨,要做一個初選 | 去揀一啲人選出嚟係【1:00】非常之合理、非常之正常 | 完全任何不妥當嘅事情 | 可以 [UNCLEAR]「生案白造」| 話係會危害國家安全嘅話呢 | 國安法成爲「萬能 key」之後 | 大家見到嘅就會係白色恐怖

● 初選 = a primary election | ● 生案白造 saang1 on1 baahk6 jouh6 = to fabricate; to cook up a story; to make up without evidence | ● 危害 = to harm; to jeopardize; to endanger | ● 萬能 key (or 萬能鑰匙) maahn6 nahng4 (yeuhk6 sih4) = a master key; a skeleton key; a passkey | ● 白色恐怖 = white terror

Lo Kin-hei (Chairperson of the Hong Kong Democrats): Primary elections are something that any (political) camp can freely undertake. Any camp or any party having to do a primary election to choose candidates is perfectly reasonable, perfectly normal, something completely devoid of anything inappropriate. To cook up some story and say that it jeopardizes national security. After the National Security Law became a master key, what we have all seen is white terror.

李桂華(國安處高級警司):. . . 係咪唔人初選呢,做呢啲咁呢?| 大家都知道 | 初選係其他嘅國家都會 [UNCLEAR] 嘅 | 但係呢啲嘅運動呢,通常呢,去到嚟選擇啲合適嘅人選呢 | 同埋選擇啲適當嘅人選去參加佢哋嘅議會 | 但係正正我哋今次依個呢,並非如此 | 佢哋係只有一個目標 | 希望能夠令到我哋嘅政府停擺 | 有一個人揸車去打劫 | 揸車冇問題嘅 | 但係佢諗 [UNCLEAR] 去打劫 | [UNCLEAR] | 咁就係犯法嘅

● 人選 = a candidate | ● 並非如此 = not at all like this | ● 停擺 = (of a pendulum) to come to a standstill; stop | ● 打劫 = to rob; to plunder; to loot

Steve Li Kwai-wah (Senior Superintendent of the National Security Division): . . . is it that we aren’t letting people hold primary elections? As everyone knows, primary elections are also held in other countries, but such events [運動] are usually for the selection of suitable candidates and the choosing of desirable candidates to become members of parliament [參加佢哋嘅議會]. But this is not what we have in this instance. They only have one aim: to bring our government to a complete standstill. [If] a person drives off in a car to commit robbery, the driving of the car is no problem, but if that person was doing so in order to rob someone, for this reason it is against the law.

黃浩銘(社民運主席):即係而家唔係我攞支槍去打劫 | 係個政府俾張支票【2:00】人民 | 我要民意代表入去兌現張支票 | 去運用《基本法》一早已經寫落嚟 | 咁多年嚟都冇人挑戰過嘅權力 | 我哋今日入去到啲錢 | [UNCLEAR] 你同我哋講話我哋係打劫

● 兌現 = to cash (a cheque) | ● 挑戰 = to challenge

Raphael Wong (Chairperson of the League of Social Democrats): I mean, now it’s not me grabbing a gun and [heading off] to commit robbery but a cheque issued [俾咗] by the government to the people. What we want is for the representatives of the will of the people [民意代表] to go and cash the cheque, to use what was written down in the Basic Law right from the start [一早], a right that for ever so many years no one has ever challenged. But at this time (?) when we want to go and get our money, you tell us that we are committing robbery.

梁家傑(公民黨主席):李桂華或者,呃,李家超嗰啲呢,將佢嗰啲,呃,文章呀,係無限上綱,咁樣呢 | 我覺得係完全不容於我哋個普通法嘅 | 即係只係檢控一啲刑事作爲、行爲嘅一個法制呢

● 無限 = infinite; limitless; boundless | ●上綱 = to raise to the higher plane of principle; elevate an issue to the level of principle | ● 不容 = not tolerate; not allow; not brook | ● 檢控 = to prosecute | ● 作爲 = conduct; a deed; an action 法制 = legal institution; legal system; legality

Alan Leong Kah-kit (Chairperson of the Civic Party): Steve Li Kwai-wah [and (?)] John Lee Ka-chiu have been elevating without limit his [that is, Benny Tai’s] essays to the level of principle. In my view, this is not allowed under our common law in any shape or form [完全]. It is merely a legality for prosecuting [certain] criminal acts or behaviours.

[A list of some of the major people arrested is given. For the list in English, see this report on the Hong Kong Free Press website]


Reporter: The police say they do not rule out [the possibility] of further arrests.

The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Part 2 Subversion

Article 22 A person who organises, plans, commits or participates in any of the following acts by force or threat of force or other unlawful means with a view to subverting the State power shall be guilty of an offence:

(1) overthrowing or undermining the basic system of the People’s Republic of China established by the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China;
(2) overthrowing the body of central power of the People’s Republic of China or the body of power of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;
(3) seriously interfering in, disrupting, or undermining the performance of duties and functions in accordance with the law by the body of central power of the People’s Republic of China or the body of power of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; or
(4) attacking or damaging the premises and facilities used by the body of power of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to perform its duties and functions, rendering it incapable of performing its normal duties and functions.

A person who is a principal offender or a person who commits an offence of a grave nature shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment of not less than ten years; a person who actively participates in the offence shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than ten years; and other participants shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, short-term detention or restriction.

Learning Cantonese: Lennon Banners Kick off in 2021!

The Lennon Walls that appeared as a spontaneous form of protest across Hong Kong were dismantled in the latter half of 2020, but on Day 1 of 2021 they have come back to us in a new form: the Lennon Banner. The one featured in the photograph bears the words 釋放政治犯 (“Release Political Prisoners”) and references the Lennon Walls with its orange and purple post-it note squares.

The report, from 劉錦華 Làuh4 Gám2 Wàah4 at HK01 provides some of the background to the banners. As one of the councillors of the Kwai Tsing District said in a speech, the main thing is 並指希望藉行動表達過去一年港人雖受打壓,但依然人心不死的訊息 — to express the message that the will of the people will never die, despite the repression Hongkongers have endured over the past year.

For the original report and extra photographs of the Lennon Banners, just click here.



● 發起 faat3 héi2 = to start; to launch | ● 巡遊 chèuhn4 yàuh4 = usu. to make an inspection circuit | ● 連儂布 Lìhn4 Nùhng4 Bou3 = a Lennon (Fabric) Banner cf. Lennon Wall | ● 響應 héung2 ying3 = to respond; to answer | ● 聲援 sīng1 wùhn4 = to express support for; to support

Today (1 January) the Civil Human Rights Front launched a kind of touring protest [巡遊] in many districts, to display to the public [inscribed] “Lennon Banners”, [featuring] signatures and short written messages [字句] previously collected in a number of districts. As part of this [當中], democratic councillors in the Kwai Tsing District also responded with an action, expressing support for the 12 Hong Kongers at the Kwai Chung Plaza.


● 輪流 lèuhn4 láu4*2 = to take turns; to do sth. in turn | ● 在囚 joih6 chàuh4 = (?) in prison; imprisoned | ● 人心不死 yàhn4 sām1 bāt1 séi2 = (?) the will of the people will never die | ● 訊息 seun3 sīk1 = message

Quite a number of councillors in the Kwai Tsing District took it in turns to make speeches, calling on citizens to continue to be concerned about Hong Kong people in prison or in exile, and called on China to release all political prisoners. They also hoped that, by means of this action, they could express the message that the will of the people will never die, despite the repression Hongkongers have endured over the past year.


展示 jín2 sih6 = to display | ● 衝鋒車 chūng1 fūng1 chē1 = (?) assault vehicle | ● 戒備 gaai3 beih6 = to be on standby; to guard; to be on guard

While councillors in the Kwai Tsing District were displaying the “Lennon Banner”, three assault vehicles and more than ten police officers were on stand-by in the vicinity, observing [proceedings]. However, they did not interfere with the carrying out of the action.


單仲偕 Sihn6 Juhng6 Gāai1 = Sin Chung-kai | ● 權益 kyùhn4 yīk1 = rights and interests | ● 612基金 is short for 612人道支援基金 yàhn4 douh6 jī1 wùhn4 gēi1 gām1 = 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund | ● 捐贈 gyūn1 jahng6 = to contribute (as a gift); to donate | ● 審判 sám2 pun3 = to bring to trial; to try

Chairperson of the Kwai Tsing District Council Sin Chung-kai said that democratic councillors of the District will continue to show concern for the rights and interests of political prisoners in jail in Hong Kong or abroad. Sin also appealed to citizens to donate to the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, saying that at present the Fund had only ten and a bit million [Hong Kong] dollars left [in it], and could not necessarily cover [應付] cases the hearing of which had not yet been completed. He called on citizens to actively support the Fund.

葵青區議員梁錦威表示,多個葵青區民主派區議員在聖誕節前後,於大窩口,青衣,葵涌等地收集市民的說話,以製成該「連儂布」,並於今日元旦日展示。十二港人案日前由內地法院作判決,當中兩名未成年港人不獲起訴,梁錦威表示即使如此,他們依然坐了130日「冤枉監」, 呼籲市民繼續關注在內地在囚的其餘10名港人,又指如果市民不作關注,難以想像他們會受到什麼對待。

● 梁錦威 Lèuhng4 Gám2 Wāi1= Leung Kam Wai (Simon) | ● 日前 yaht6 chìhn4 = a few days ago; the other day | ● 不獲起訴 bāt1 wohk6 héi2 sou3 = cf. 起訴 = to bring an action against sb.; to prosecute | ●「冤枉監」yūn1 wóng2 gāam1 = ? cf. 冤枉 = to treat unjustly

Leung Kam Wai, a Kwai Tsing District councillor, said that many democratic councillors in the Kwai Tsing District had, during the Christmas period [在聖誕節前後], collected comments from residents in Tai Wo Hau, Tsing Yi and Kwai Chung in order to make this “Lennon Banner”, and had put it on display on New Year’s Day. A few days ago, the Twelve Hongkongers had been sentenced by a Mainland court, [but] no action was brought against two of them who are under-aged. Despite this being the case, Leung Kam Wai said, they still had to spend 130 days in “unjust imprisonment” [「冤枉監」] and he appealed to citizens to continue to be concerned about the other ten Hong Kong people [still] in prison on the Mainland. He also added that, if local residents take no interest [in this case], it won’t bear thinking about [難以想像] how they might be treated.


張文龍 Chēung1 Màhn4 Lùhng4 = Cheung Man-lung (Dennis) | ● 與生俱來 yúh5 sāng1 kēui1 lòih4 = to be born with; inherent; innate | ● 處境 chú2 gíng2 = unfavourable situation; plight | ● 剝奪 mōk1 dyuht6 = to deprive; to expropriate; to strip

Cheung Man-lung, another Kwai Tsing District councillor, appealed to the people of Hong Kong to go on showing concern for political prisoners. In Cheung’s opinion, the law-breakers should be the government and not the political prisoners, since the government has not given Hong Kong people their human rights in accordance with the Basic Law. Moreover, the pursuit of democracy and freedom should not be [regarded as] criminal behaviour but as a natural human right. Cheung also expressed the hope that political prisoners might find themselves in a less unfavourable situation in the new year rather than be stripped of their rights.

Learning Cantonese: Dignified, Lucid, Restrained, Modest & Compassionate

You could do worse than model your spoken Cantonese on that of 黃之鋒Joshua Wong, 周庭 Agnes Chow and 林朗彥 Ivan Lam featured in this 2-minute video from HK01. Dignified, lucid, restrained, modest and compassionate, such eloquence inspires us with hope even as these speakers face long months in prison . . .

Given the context, much of the difficult vocabulary is legal. Nevertheless, there are some real gems here too: Joshua Wong’s 低谷 dāi1 gūk1 = a low valley; rock bottom; Agnes Chow’s 手足 sáu2 jūk1 = usually “brothers” (but here something like “sisters and brothers coming together for a common cause); and Ivan Lam’s 必要之舉 bīt1 yiu3 jī1 géui2 = (?) a necessary/essential act.

As for grammar points, there is little in what follows that ought to bamboozle you. Watch out for another use of the aspect marker 住 jyuh6 to indicate a persistent after-effect with the verb 意味 yi3 meih6 = “to mean”; one example of the conditional concessive 即使 jīk1 sí2 = “even if”; and, right at the end, the appearance of the directional complement 落去 lohk6 heui3, used with the verb 堅持 gīn1 chìh4 with the more abstract meaning of “to continue doing”.

The captions featured during the video outline the criminal charges faced by the trio. For Wong and Chow, these involve the incitement of others in Admiralty to take part in an illegal assembly and to organize an illegal assembly outside police headquarters. Lam was only charged with the first of these items.

You can view the video here. 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.

You might also like to make use the Ekho Text to Speech Converter if you have trouble matching any part of the transcribed Chinese text to the spoken version. Just make sure you select “Cantonese” under the language menu before you paste cut and text into the relevant box.


黃之鋒:警察總部嘅示威案件裏邊呢 | 周庭、林朗彥同埋我黃之鋒 | 我都係選擇呢,係去承認所有控罪 | 今日嘅案件呢,係應該會直接跳過審訊階段 | 直接結案陳詞 | 甚至有可能判刑 | 亦都意味住呢,其實我哋三個人呢,係有機會即時還押 | 面對住《國安法》嘅打壓、白色恐怖嘅來臨 | 即使我哋面對住監禁刑期 | 或者我哋有機會係被還押都好 | 我哋都唔會放棄 | 喺艱難嘅時候 | 我哋仍然好想呼籲香港人 | 喺呢個低潮或者係一個民族運動嘅低谷裏邊 | 互相嘅扶持係更加可貴

● 承認 sìhng4 yihng6 = to admit; to acknowledge; to recognize | ● 跳過 tiu3 gwo3 = to skip over; to make omissions | ● 審訊 sám2 seun3 = a trial; a courtroom hearing | ● 結案陳詞git3 [ng]on3 chàhn4 chìh4 = closing statement | ● 即時 jīk1 sìh4 = immediately; forthwith | ● 還押 wàahn4 aat3 = to remand (in custody) | ● 監禁刑期 gāam1 gam3 yìhng4 kèih4 = prison term/sentence | ● 低潮 dāi1 chìuh4 = a low tide; an anti-climax; a low point; perhaps also “at a low ebb” | ● 低谷 dāi1 gūk1 = a low valley; rock bottom; perhaps also “trough” (as in “peaks & troughs”)

Joshua Wong: In the case [concerning] the demonstration outside police headquarters, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam and myself, Joshua Wong, have chosen to plead guilty to all charges. The case today could skip the hearing stage and [move] directly to the closing statement. We could even be sentenced. What this also means is, actually, that for the three of us, there is a chance that we will be immediately remanded in custody. Confronted with the repression of the “National Security Law” and the arrival [來臨] of White Terror, even if we are to face a prison sentence or have the chance of being taken into custody on remand, we will not give up. In this very difficult time, we nevertheless very much wish to appeal to the people of Hong Kong at this low point or “rock bottom” in the democracy movement [to remind them that our] mutual support for one another is especially [更加] precious.

周庭:我就同佢哋兩位唔同 | 就喺一個更加早嘅階段就選擇認罪 | 而我亦都有可能係喺今日 | 或者喺不久嘅將來 | 係有一個可能性係要面對我人生第一次坐監 | 當然我對好多【1:00】未知嘅未來 | 包括係緊嘅判斷會有好多唔同嘅不安 | 但希望大家唔好忘記就係 | 有好多或者比我哋 | 犧牲嘅更加嘅手足們、朋友們 | 可能佢哋正係面對緊更加困難嘅處境 | 除咗我哋三個之外 | 都要繼續去到聲援同埋關注唔同嘅手足

● 不久嘅將來 bāt1 gáu2 ge3 jēung1 lòih4 = the not too distant future | ● 手足 sáu2 jūk1 = usually “brothers” | ● 處境 chú2 gíng2 = unfavourable situation; plight | ● 聲援 sīng1 wùhn4 = to express support for; to support

Agnes Chow: [In my case] things are a bit different from my two friends here [佢哋兩位]. I chose to plead guilty at an earlier stage, and today or in the not too distant future I may possibly be facing my first ever stint in prison. Of course, there are many kinds of uneasiness for me, faced with a very uncertain future [好多未知嘅未來] including the coming legal sentence, but I hope that everyone will remember that there are many other sisters, brothers and friends who may have made many more sacrifices than us and who may be faced with an even more difficult plight at this moment. Apart from the three of us, there are various other sisters and brothers who one must continue to express support and to show concern for.

林朗彥:我自己,啊,本身都已經做好咗今日有機會係會被還押 | 甚至係即時入獄嘅準備 | 包圍警總到底係一個罪案定係其實係一個我哋伸張正義 | 爭取民族嘅必要之舉 | 我相信喺香港人心裏面已經有一個答案 | 噉我哋係無悔我哋所作嘅抗爭 | 亦都會繼續堅持落去

● 入獄 yaph6 yuhk6 = to be put in prison; to be sent to jail | ● 伸張正義 sān1 jēung1 jing3 yih6 = to uphold/promote justice | ● 必要之舉 bīt1 yiu3 jī1 géui2 = (?) a necessary/essential act | ● 無悔 mòuh4 fui3 = to be without regrets (for sth.)

Ivan Lam: Me, well I’ve already prepared myself for being taken into custody today and even going into prison forthwith. Was encircling [包圍] police headquarters a crime, when all is said and done [底係], or was it actually [a case of] us upholding justice, a necessary act in the fight for democracy? I believe that the people of Hong Kong have the answer to this question in their hearts already. We have no regrets for any of our acts we have carried out as part of our stand and will continue to persevere.

記者 Reporters:
林樂兒 Làhm4 Lohk6 Yìh4,鄧家琪 Dahng6 Gāa1 Kèih4 | 琪 kèih4 = a piece of jade; a jade-like precious stone

攝影 Camera:
楊凱力 Yèuhng4 Hói2 Lihk6

剪接 Film editing:
張偉江 Jēung1 Wáih5 Gōng1

Learning Cantonese: HK01 Interview with 林卓廷 Lam Cheuk-ting

LegCo council-member 林卓廷 Lam Cheuk-ting was arrested on the morning of 26 August in connection with the incredible violence that took place inside the Yuen Long MTR Station on 21 July 2019 (Lam himself was badly beaten around the face in this incident), as well as a protest outside Tuen Mun Police Headquarters on 6 July connected with the protest against noise pollution and various kinds of busking (especially the so-called “dancing aunties”) in Tuen Mun Park.

Before his arrest, he recorded this 15-minute interview with a pair of HK01 journalists about the forthcoming public poll that Hong Kong’s democratic camp is conducting to determine whether it stay on in opposition in LegCo, or whether it withdraw. Apart from its intrinsic interest with regard to democracy in Hong Kong, I am presenting it here because Lam speaks so comprehensibly, pronouncing his words very clearly, and very rarely running them together as his questioners do.

To watch and listen to Lam in action, please click here. 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.

Unfortunately, because there are no subtitles with this video and because the audio for the two journalists is very poor, there are many gaps in the transcription. If any one can help fill them in for me on behalf of all those students of Cantonese, I would be very grateful! Please just contact me by writing a comment on this post!


Caption: 民主派延任現爭拗 / 民調門檻怎樣定?

吳倬安:大家好!歡迎大家收睇財經加零一。我係你嘅節目主持吳倬安,喺我身邊呢,就係有《香港01》政情組總采訪主任陳小瑜 /喺度嘅。小瑜呀,政府,就因爲新冠肺炎疫情啦,就押後選舉一年啦。噉 人大常委呢。爲,處理呢個選舉真空期問題啦。於是,就作出決定,就將第六届立法會啦,就延任不少於一年。噉呢個決定公佈咗之後呢,其實,喺 *hei 民主派內部呢,都有好多嘅討論啦,有人認爲要留低喺議會啦,亦都有人認爲應該要杯葛嘅。噉可以話係正反雙方呢,都拳來腳往。噉其中啦,eh 有七位立法會議員嘅民主黨啦。噉哋就表態啦,就傾向留守議會戰線啦。噉佢哋就委托咗香港民意研究所,就進行民意調查啦,就用決定佢哋嘅去留嘅。噉今日呢,我哋就請到呢民主黨立法會議員林卓廷上嚟同我哋討論呢個題目嘅。多謝你呀廷,接受我哋訪問呀。多謝!

● 真空期 jān1 hūng1 kèih4 = a vacuum; a vacuum period | ● 杯葛 būi1 got3 = to boycott | ● 拳來腳往 kyùhn4 lòih4 geuk3 wóhng5 = (?) to come out fighting |● 表態 bíu2 taai3 = to make one’s position known; to declare where one stands | ● 留守 làuh4 sáu2 = to stay behind & take care of things | ● 委托 wái2 tok3 = to entrust

Gist: The host Cheuk On Ng introduces himself and his colleague Chan Siu-yu, head of the political news team at HK01. He gives some background to the issue: that the LegCo elections have been postponed for a year because of the covid virus, that this postponement has sparked heated discussion in the democratic camp, and that because of this a number of democratic council members have proposed conducting a poll [民意調查 or 民調 for short] in order to determine whether they should stay on in the Council or leave.



● 寸土必爭 chuyhn tóu bīt jāng = fight for every inch of land | ● 焦土政策 jīu1 tóu2 jing3 chaak3 = scorched earth policy

Gist: Lam thanks his hosts. Chan Siu-yu asks Lam whether he thinks all the democratic councillors should stay on in LegCo, or whether they should all boycott [杯葛] it.

林卓廷:首先呢,小瑜兄,我哋民主黨呢,係覺得我哋必須要堅守現代嘅議會戰嘅。因爲我哋預計呢,嚟緊一年呢,喺立法會裏邊係會有好多嘅重大嘅議案,係涉及市民重大嘅利益,包括係 um 東大嶼嘅過萬億嘅填海計劃啦,仲有係大灣區,講緊係有15萬潛在嘅係居住内地嘅香港人【2:00】嘅投票安排。呢個絕對會呢,係嚴重影響到立法會同埋區議會最終嘅選舉結果,民主派可能因爲呢20萬票呢,會變成大敗嘅。令一點就係,而家香港社會好關注嘅健康碼嘅問題,日後政府會唔會借推呢個健康碼去搜集市民嘅私隱資料去追蹤我哋嘅行蹤。呢問題呢,都係我哋需要喺堅守住議會嘅戰線係抵抗呢個惡法。我其實亦都明白到,有好多市民,尤其我哋民主派陣營嘅支持者,對於 ah 中央政府係拒絕按《基本法》四年嘅任期係我哋喺九月係進行立法會選舉剝奪咗我哋市民嘅投票權係非常非常之憤怒。我哋民主黨亦都係【3:00】ah ah 激烈,激烈咁去反對有關嘅決定,不過,啫,人大已經做咗呢個決定,而佢延任一年嘅安排呢,係令到我哋民主陣營裏邊呢,而家出現極致大嘅爭拗。噉我哋為咗我哋嘅團結唔好再受損落去,所以我哋就決定,用呢個民調嘅方式,希望可以用一個市民有參與情況底下,去解決現在已經係咁嚴重嘅爭議。我哋唔想我哋成個民主陣營係因爲呢件事情呢,個分裂係惡化落去。我哋强調,現在我哋成個嘅陣營呢,必須槍口對外,團結一致,去對抗現在香港面對緊嘅種種嘅惡法,以至北京政府,林鄭政府對香港人嘅打壓呢。

● 堅守 gīn1 sáu2 = to stick to; to hold fast to; to stand fast | ● 戰線 jin3 sin3 = battle line; battlefront; front | ● 嚟緊一年 lèih4 gán2 yāt1 nìhn4 = the coming year| ● 議案 yíh5 ngon3 = a proposal; a motion | ● 日後 yaht6 hauh6 = in the future; in (the) days to come | ● 私隱資料 sī1 yán2 jī1 líu2 = personal/private material | ● 追蹤 jēui1 jūng1 = to follow the trail of; to track; to trace | ● 行蹤 hàhng4 jūng1 = whereabouts; track | ● 抵抗 dái2 kong3 = to resist; to stand up to | ● 陣營 jahn6 yìhng4 = a group of people who pursue a common interest; a camp | ● 剝奪 mōk1 dyuht6 = to deprive; to expropriate | ● 投票權 tàuh4 piu3 kyùhn4 = the right to vote | ● 憤怒 fáhn5 nouh6 = indignation; anger; wrath | ● 激烈 gīk1 liht6 = intense; sharp; fierce | ● 極致 gihk6 ji3 = (?) extremely | ● 團結 tyùhn4 git3  = to unite; to rally | ● 受損 sauh6 syún2 = to be damaged | ● 爭議 jāang1  yíh5 = a dispute; a controversy | ● 惡化 [ng]ok3 faa3 = to worsen; to deteriorate | 槍口對外 chēung1 háau2 deui3 ngoih6 = (?) to point our guns outwards (rather than at ourselves) | ● 以至 yíh5 ji3 = down to; up to; and even | ● 打壓 dáa2 [ng]aat3 = to combat & suppress

Gist: Lam opens by saying he thinks they should stay, because a number of crucial issues are coming up for discussion in the coming year, including the trillion dollar plus land reclamation project proposed for eastern Lantau Island, a plan to find a way to enable the 150,000 Hong Kong people living in the Greater Bay Area [大灣區] to vote in Hong Kong elections, and the issue of the health code [健康碼] together with the collection of personal details. These are good reasons to stay, together with the fact that many in the democratic camp were angered by the decision, taken by the Central Government of the PRC, to postpone the elections in the first place. Lam goes to acknowledge that many in the democratic camp oppose staying on in LegCo, and that serious divisions have emerged that threaten to seriously undermine the unity of the democrats. A way then had to be sought to re-unify the group.

陳小瑜:嗱,阿廷呀,嗱,你呢,就解釋咗點解要 ah 用民調呀,【4:00】但係你開頭嘅時候呢,亦都講得振振有詞。你留喺議會嘅時候 / / 好重要嘅事情嚟㗎。噉兩件事好似有矛盾呢,既然留 / / 咁重要,點解你唔 / / 勸服你嘅其他民友一齊留喺議會呢? 反而 / / 民調呢,/ / 民調萬一叫你走,你離開議會同開頭講嘅,唔係互相矛盾呀?

● 振振有詞 jan3 jan3 yáuh5 chìh4 = speak  plausibly and at length | ● 服 hyun3 fuhk6 = to persuade | ● 民友 màhn4 yáuh5 = (?) a person sympathetic to the democratic cause

Gist: Chan Siu-yu asks Lam about the apparent contradiction in his opening statement: the coming year is indeed a very important one, so why conduct a poll that may lead to the group resigning en masse from LegCo rather than try and persuade everyone involved of the vital need to say on?

林卓廷:林卓廷:喺上個星期一呢,我哋民主黨同埋多個民主派嘅朋友呢,都係公開交代咗我哋初步嘅睇法,我哋話我哋傾向係留守呢個議會嘅戰線。噉但係之後呢,我哋留意到,係喺社會上有好激烈嘅討論,尤其喺我哋自己民主陣營裏邊嘅支持者呢,已經嗰個討論係去到傷害到我哋過去一年得嚟不易嘅團結。噉所以我哋認爲呢,必須要係儘快有一個大家都可以接受嘅方法去解決呢個爭議嘅。我哋亦都【5:00】係好開心 / / 聽,市民嘅睇法究竟呢個爭議用咩辦法解決呢,我哋聽到最 / / ,就係有一個民調或者係公投嘅方式去處理呢個爭議。噉所以我哋最終考慮到時間呀、人手呀、具體操作上嘅困難等等嘅情況呢,我哋就決定用呢個民調嘅方式,希望係喺我哋成個民主陣營裏邊呢,參考最大嘅共識,係解決現在嘅爭議,重新團結返起嚟呢。

● 激烈 gihk6 liht6 = intense; sharp; fierce | ● 公投 gūng1 tàuh4 = (?) a public vote (on an issue) | ● 具體操作 geuih6 tái2 chou3 jok3 = concrete operations

Gist: Lam recalls that last Monday (24 August), various democrats expressed their view about staying during a press conference. However, the disagreements this gave rise to concerned the democratic camp about damage to group unity. In the effort to deal with this problem, Lam notes that most people argued for a poll or a public vote [公投] on the question. After considering various aspects, including time, manpower and difficulties involved in the concrete operation of any solution, it was decided that a poll be conducted to resolve the disputes and reunify the democrats.

陳小瑜:嗯,,好呀。聽你 / / 講,就嚟緊嘅民調就非常重要呀。可以話,啫,影響你哋去留嘅關鍵呀。噉但係知道呢,民調點樣設計呢,就得出點樣嘅結果呢。你可唔可以同大家解釋吓,個民調大概點樣嘅方向呢?

● 去留 heui3 làuh4 = to go or to stay

Gist: Chan Siu-yu points out that the way any poll is designed can have an effect on its outcome. Therefore, he asks Lam to provide some details about how the design of the poll was negotiated.

林卓廷:Um 首先 ah 小瑜兄,你講得好嘅。如果我哋 ah 就【6:00】嗰個民調嘅設計嗰度呢,係有一個 ah 導向性呢,係絕對會影響到個民調嘅結果嘅。而我哋民主黨呢,喺成個民調嚟講呢,係有一個利益角色喺入便嘅。雖然我哋係好小心,好謹慎係避免我哋有任何嘅角色、利益衝突喺當中,因此呢,我哋喺上嘅星期四記者會上邊呢,我哋當時呢,係 ah 公開講,我哋會專業、獨立、具公信力嘅民調機構去幫我哋去設計呢啲問卷,同埋定相關嘅門檻,究竟喺點樣嘅情況底下如何調查,得出乜結果,我哋亦都會服膺於呢個民調嘅結論去決定去或者留嘅。噉 ah 我哋即日呢,亦都有負責任聯絡咗 ah 香港民意研究計劃嘅【7:00】鐘庭耀博士去初步 ah 同佢傾吓傾我哋嘅諗法。噉 ah 都唔係我哋預計之内呢,阿鐘博士喺上個星期五呢,已經係自己提出咗佢有兩個門檻嘅建議,就擺咗出嚟俾公衆去知道呀。噉我哋係完全尊重阿鐘博士佢哋嘅專業同埋獨立。所以呢,就我哋咁耐以嚟 / / 鐘博士嘅溝通呢,都係希望可以澄清入便嘅細節問題。嗰個原則方向呢,我哋係會完全服膺於阿鐘博士佢嘅專業同埋獨立嘅角色。我哋唔完全能夠,亦都唔會去干預佢嗰個問卷調查嘅設計,嗰啲調查嘅方法同埋佢作所有嘅結論呢。

● 導向性 douh6 heung3 sing3 = ? cf. 導向 guidance | ● 謹慎 gán2 sàhn4 = prudent; careful | ● 記者會 gei3 jé2 wúi6*2 = press conference | ● 公信力 gūng1 seun3 lihk6 = the ability to win public trust ● 問 mahn6 gyún2 = a questionnaire | ● 門檻 muhn4 laahm6 = threshold| ● 服膺於 fuhk6 yīng1 yū1 = 1. to bear in mind 2. to feel deeply convinced 3. (?) subordinate to | ● 即日 jīk1 yaht6 = this or that very day | ● 鐘庭耀博士 = | ● 澄清 chìhng4 chīng1 = to clear up; to clarify | ● 干預 gōn1 yuh6 = to interfere; to intervene; to meddle

Gist: Lam acknowledges that any kind of “guidance” [導向性] in the creation of the poll would have an influence on the result, and that the democratic camp has a strong interest in the outcome. For this reason, as was announced at the press conference last Thursday, they decided to approach a professional, independent polling organization to draw up the questionnaire on their behalf and to determine the relevant thresholds. They would make the decision about whether to stay on in LegCo or leave as per the results of the poll. On that same day, they contacted Dr Robert Chung Ting Yiu of the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute and had some preliminary discussion about the poll. Without there having been any discussion of the issue, Dr Chung came up with his own suggestions regarding the two thresholds and set out his ideas for everyone to be aware of. The democratic camp respects the professionalism and independence of Dr Chung’s organization and so will abide by everything it decides to do. Lam reiterates that could not and would not interfere in the design of the questionnaire, the way in which the polling is carried out, and (?) all the conclusions they reach.

Caption: 民主派延任現爭拗 / 民調門檻怎樣定?


● 基準 gēi1 jéun2 = benchmark; standard; reference

Gist: Chan’s final question deals with the issue of the two thresholds, one for ordinary citizens and one for supporters of the democratic camp. If 50% of citizens vote in favour of staying on, and two-thirds of supporters do the same, then the democracy camp will decide in favour of remaining in LegCo. But if this result is not obtained in the poll, then the democratic councillors will have to make up their own minds. Chan asks Lam to comment on this possibility.

林卓廷:嗱啊,我諗嗰個具體嘅計算方法呢,我哋交俾鐘博士去同大家介紹好啲,因爲始終我哋係有一個角色利益衝突喺度。我哋相信係聽從佢呢嘅專業民調嘅方式嘅啫。噉 ah 佢無論係定二分一嘅門檻或者三分二嘅門檻,我,我哋民主黨最終一定會尊從嘅。噉至於 ah 嗰個背後嘅設計嘅 ah 邏輯呀,佢嗰個考慮因素呀,【9:00】我諗,一定係要交返俾鐘博士去回應大家,因爲我哋唔係參與喺嗰個問卷設計同埋成個民調計劃 / / 制定方面呢。

● 計算 gai3 syun3 = 1. to count; to compute; to calculate 2. consideration; planning | ● 考慮因素 háau2 leuih6 yān1 sou3 = (?) factors that one takes into consideration

Gist: In response, Lam says that with regard to the way in which the specific calculations were worked out, it would be better to hear from Robert Chung himself. This is because of the issue of a conflict of interests for the democratic camp. He reiterates that the democrats would comply with the manner in which a professional poll was carried out. But as to the logic that lies behind the design [of the poll] [嗰個背後嘅設計嘅邏輯] or the factors that were taken into consideration [考慮因素], it would be better to hand this over to Dr Chung, for the reason that the democratic camp had nothing to do with the design or planning of the poll.

陳小瑜:明白阿廷。不過,我想你回應 / / 比較尖銳嘅問題,就係 / / 我覺得 / / 呢個咁樣調查呢個呢,設計係比較複雜哇。其實,/ / 透露,因爲最後兩邊 / / 結果唔同,噉啊交返你自己決定去留 / / 你點會 / / 避免質疑呢?

Gist: TBA

林卓廷:嗱,um 小瑜兄,我哋上星期四呢,係開記者會嘅時候,已經係公開承諾我哋會完全尊重鐘庭耀博士佢嘅獨立嘅判斷同埋佢喺民調上邊嘅專業。當時,我哋未知阿鐘博士係會接受唔接受我哋嘅邀請做呢個工作呢。 噉啊我哋未 . . . ah 最終有任何決定,問佢做嘅時間禮拜五,【10:00】就自己已經提咗呢個門檻出嚟。我哋完全參與過佢建議二分一同埋三分二呢兩個分別嘅門檻,我哋完全冇參與過嘅。噉所以,啫,如果有人質疑話,喂,幫我度身定咗一個高嘅(陳小瑜:係呀)門檻出嚟呢,呢個唔係事實呢。不過,不過,我,我一定要澄清,有啲傳媒嘅報道呢,用一個「雙門檻」嘅 eh 表示方式。嗱,呢個我覺得會容易引起誤會呀。呢個並唔係雙門檻,係兩個獨立嘅門檻。而其中一個門檻係 ah 得到嘅票數,啊,啫唔係叫票數呀, 係民意嘅回應呢,係多過佢門檻嘅要求嘅話,咁我哋就要根據呢個民意嘅決定呢,係離開立法會呢。

● 判斷 pun3 dyun3 = to judge; to decide; to determine | ● 質疑 jāt1 yìh4 = to call into question; to query | ● 度身 dohk6 sān1 = (?) to make to measure | ● 雙門檻 sēung1 mùhn4 laahm6 = (?) “double/paired thresholds” | ● 表示方式 bíu2 sih6 fōng1 sīk1 = a means of expression | ● 票數 piu3 sou3 = the number of votes | ● 容易引起誤會 yùhng4 yih6 yáhn5 héi2 ngh6 wuih6 = easily lead to misunderstandings

Gist: Lam begins by saying at the press conference last Thursday, that they would respect Robert Chung’s handling of the poll, although at the time they did not know whether he would accept the assignment. He then states that members of the democratic camp did not take part in the discussion about thresholds: they did not go to Chung with a request for the poll to be “made to measure” in order to get the result they wanted. Any doubts on this score have no basis in reality. Lam then states that the term 雙門檻 or “double/paired thresholds” used by some sections of the media is misleading because, in his view, the thresholds are independent of one another. Finally, he reiterates that the democratic camp will abide by the result of the poll with regard to their staying on or leaving LegCo.

吳倬安:嗯,係呀。阿廷,其實,關於民調,多另外一個問題想請教吓你呀,因爲,其實,喺 *hei香港人民意研究所呢,【11:00】今個月,其實,都係17號至到20號都做過呢個關於 ah lau gam 與否嘅民調呢。噉當中去用電話隨機訪問咗一千零二十個人呢。噉當中,其實,支持留低同埋支持離開議會嘅比例呢,都相當接近,以其中 / / 喺 *hei,啫,/ / 結果就話,/ / 民主派嘅支持呢,/ / 反對留任 / / 支持留任 / / 而喺 *hei / / 非民主派支持者嗰度呢,ah 結果亦都係有啲唔同呢,咁就有五成人支持留低呢,而有 / / percent / / 支持 ah民主派離開。其實,點樣睇今次呢一個結果呢?係咪反映,就係民主派要作出一個去留嘅決定係非常之困難呢?同埋點睇,其實,一啲非民主派支持者會有五十五嘅人會支持你留任,係咪建制派嘅支持者都想你哋 / / 留低議會係 / / 【12:00】點樣睇呢個講法呢,其實,阿廷?

● 請教 = chíng2/chéng2 gaau3 = to ask for advice; to consult | ● 隨機 chèuih4 gēi1 = random; randomly; at random | ● 比例 béi2 laih6 = proportion

Gist: The host Cheuk On Ng asks about another poll that was conducted by phone between 17-20 August. According to this, numbers were virtually evenly divided on the question of whether to stay or leave. He asks Lam for a comment on this result and the idea that it reflects how difficult it will be to make a final decision. He also makes a comment regarding supporters of the pro-establishment camp [建制派]. (Parts of this are still very unclear to me.)

林卓廷:啊,首先我係冇辦法去了解啲建制派支持者佢哋嘅趨向嘅背後原因嘅。我咁耐以嚟都唔能夠代表佢哋呢。噉所以呢,我唔方便去評論佢哋嘅睇法背後嘅理由。第二呢,就係 um 喺嗰個民調結果公佈之前幾日呢,其實,香港人民意研究所計劃令一位嘅負責人呢,鐘劍華博士呢,亦都係過去講過嘅。星期五嗰個民調呢,係一個參考性嘅民調。噉啊呢個民調個民意,首先第一樣嘢一定要尊重呢,但係佢亦都係呼籲我哋一定要做一個全港性抽樣嘅係有決定性嘅民調。噉我哋係 ah 喺星期四就決定咗 ah 聽從 【13:00】呢位 ah 民調嘅專家鐘劍華博士嘅建議,所以亦都宣佈我哋會進行一個 ah 全港性係決定性嘅民調。而最重要嘅,我哋今次做呢個決定呢,係對香港嘅未來極致關鍵,影響到全香港七百萬市民未來嘅生活,自由同埋人權等等嘅狀況。所以我哋認爲呢,一個咁重大決定呢,市民大衆係必須有一個充分,深入同埋廣嘅討論先至可以俾一個係最負責任嘅民意嘅結果俾我哋,做呢一個決定。噉所以我哋呢,唔係純粹做一個民調嘅。我哋希望喺個民調,呃,開始之前呢,我哋係會有充足嘅社會討論,包括係社會上應該係有去留嘅,呃,好重要嘅辯論 ,等雙方都 【14:00】鋪陳,大家去或者留嘅理據。大家亦都要清晰知道,如果我哋撤出議會戰線,究竟嚟緊香港未來一年, 以至未來十年,究竟我哋香港人係咪已經準備好面對極致黑暗嘅歲月,大家係咪準備好嗮面對所有中共,以至林鄭政權對我哋嘅非常嚴厲嘅打壓呢?

● 趨向 chēui1 heung3 = 1. to tend to; to incline to 2. a trend; a direction | ● 評論 pìhng4 leuhn6 = to comment on; to discuss; a comment | ● 理由 léih5 yàuh4 = a reason; a ground; an argument | ● 鐘劍華博士 Jūng1 Gim3 Wàah4 bok3 sih6 = Dr Chung Kim-wah (of PORI) | ● 參考性 chāam1 háau2 sing3 = of a referential nature cf. 參考 = 1. to consult; to refer to 2. a reference | ● 呼籲 fū1 yuh6 = to appeal to; to call on | ● 全港性 chyùhn4 góng2 sing3 = Hong Kong-wide (lit. “complete Kong nature” | ● 抽樣 chāu1 yéung6*2 = a sample; sampling | ● 聽從 tīng1 chùhng4 = to obey; to comply with | ● 廣泛 g[w]óng2 faahn6 = extensive; wide-ranging | ● 純粹 sèuhn4 seui3 = pure; purely | ● 辯論 bihn6 leuhn6 = to argue; to debate | ● 鋪陳 pōu1 chàhn4 = to narrate in great detail; to describe at length; to elaborate | ● 理據 léih5 geui3 = an argument | ● 撤出 chit3 chēut1 = (?) to withdraw | ● 歲月 seui3 yuht6 = years | ● 嚴厲 yìhm4 laih6 = stern; severe

Gist: First of all, Lam declines to comment on the motivations of pro-establishment supporters. He goes on to say that the telephone poll referred to by the host was done for reference purposes: it was a 一個參考性嘅民調 = “a poll of a referential nature” done by a member of the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute. It seems that as a result of this first poll, it became clear that it would be necessary to conduct a Hong Kong-wide poll [全港性]. Finally, Lam reiterates how important this decision will be in terms of issues such as the freedoms and rights of the people of Hong Kong and wonders whether individuals are prepared to face the dark days of repression ahead if the decision is made to quit LegCo.