My Engrish good


Men = Women

仆街啦 - oh shit
咕-摩擰 - good morning
艾搣 U - I meet you
U 搣艾 - you meet I
巴碧橋 - barbecue

You can bet that in the late eighties there were plenty of Chinese people that really didn't know a whole lot of English. Whenever there was a phrase they needed to remember, they would just approximate a number of Chinese characters with the right sound for it. The above is from 'Her Fatal Ways II' (表姐妳好嘢II), which admittedly I didn't watch since I'm only really a fan of the first movie. But it's an example of the approximations and strange grammar that ensued from such methods. If you know Cantonese, feel free to watch.

The term 'barbecue', or '巴碧橋' as an older man used when he queried his instructors in the early minutes of the video, was explained as a bridge in HK where families liked to go to barbecue food and which was a tribute to a man called 'Barbik' (or 巴碧) who liked to barbecue food for others until he managed to cook himself too! Right. (Barbecue is actually '燒烤' in Chinese.)

There are plenty of examples in other movies, maybe I'll make another post on them again sometime when I've found the right movie and looked up the characters they used. Some of the ones I can remember right now are from movies like Once Upon A Time in China, which tells the story of Wong Fei Hung, living in an age which is just getting used to the Western world. Their pronunciations, such as 'gwut mor ling' (approximate) for 'good morning' are rather amusing!

Image found here.