February 8, 2008

Vivek Mahbubani

I recently came cross this YouTube clip. Vivek is a young Indian raised up in Hong Kong, and he speaks native Cantonese. The following clip contains one of his jokes from the same performance.

Listening to stand-up comedies in a foreign language is always challenging. The performers usually speak very fast, use a lot of slangs, and touch on many culture-specific aspects. Intermediate learners may want to try this slowed-down version.


Vivek's rendering of the Hong Kong English accent was perfect. Here is his other performance using his normal English. I wonder how he learned his English. There is no trace of any Indian accent at all.

Transcript / Jyutping / Translation

(English) Oral呢喺會考呢
(English) Oral ne1 hai2 wui6 haau2 ne1
In the HKCEE (English) Oral

hai6 sei3 go3 jan4 zo5 maai4 jat1 cai4
There would be 4 people sitting together (in a group)

hou2 do1 jan4 jat1 go3 Topic
Several people, one topic

gam2 jiu3 wu6 soeng1 man6 daap3 gam2 joeng6 gaa1 maa3
Then we have to ask each other questions

gam2 nei5 man6 man6 tai4 jiu3 cing1 fu1 jan4
So when you ask question, you would address the person

jiu3 keoi5 jau5 go3 Label
He must have a label

zik1 hai6 hou2 ci5 gam2 joeng6 joeng6
Like this one

jat1 go3 Label
A label

jat1 go3 gam2 joeng6 ge3 Label nei5 jiu3 cing1 fu1 jan4
A label like this one, and you would address the person

man6 man6 tai4 (...) Mister mat1 mat1 gam2 joeng6 gaa1 maa3
Ask the question (...), Mister blah blah ...

gam2 zo5 hai2 ngo5 deoi3 min6 go2 go3 zau6 hai2 dou6 man6 man6 tai4
Then the one sitting opposite to me was asking

Oh yeah, that's a good point

Do you have any comment, Mister...

Mister Mah...萬寶路
Mister Mah ... maan6 bou2 lou6
Mister Mah ..., Marlboro

gam2 ngo5 jau6 seoi1 laa1
Then I was being mean

ngo5 mong6 zyu6 keoi5 waa6
I looked at him and said

Actually, if we get some government funding,

We could perhaps make the budget really well,

Which when you think about it. What do you think?

go2 jat1 haak1 hou2 ming4 hin2 hai6 jyun4 cyun4 m4 zi1 ngo5 gong2 mat1
Then at that moment, obviously he could not understand what I said at all

gam2 keoi5 zau6 wai4 jau5 gong2 jat1 geoi3
So he could only say a phrase

我唸全部考親會考English Oral一定會講嘅嘢
ngo5 nam2 cyun4 bou6 haau2 can1 wui6 haau2 English Oral jat1 ding6 wui5 gong2 ge3 je5
Which I think everyone who takes the HKCEE English Oral exam must have used

Yes, I agree with you.

Thank you.

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