Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say – Delicious Cooked Food

New Words   
Food (formal) – 食物 – Sek mat
Things – 嘢 – Yeh
Buy – 買(买) – Mai
Cook – 煮 – Ju


Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say – Delicious Cooked Food

Hello everyone! My name is Eugene and thanks for tuning into our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast. In this session, we will be touching on one topic that Singaporeans hold very close to our hearts – food!

While the term “food” can be translated into Cantonese as “食物”, it is rather uncommon to use it when speaking in Cantonese. Instead, food is often expressed using a combination of “食” (which means “eat”) and “嘢” (which means “things”). Let me give you some examples:

  • To express the English phrase “Have some food”, Cantonese speakers will say “食啲嘢”.
  • To express “Buy some food”, Cantonese speakers will say “买嘢食”.

Now, I would suggest for you to keep the word – 嘢 – in mind, as you’ll soon find that it is a very versatile word. In fact, I’ll encourage you to observe how this phrase is commonly used in Cantonese conversations and try to pick up the different ways of application!

So how do we say “Food is delicious” in Cantonese then? We do so by saying, “嗰嘢好好食”, where “好好食” means “delicious” or “yummy”. Of course, if you have a specific food item in your mind, you can simply replace “嗰嘢” with the dish name. For example, “雲吞面好好食” means “Wanton noodles is delicious”.

Now, I’m a big foodie myself and when I come across a dish that is really yummy, I’ll like to give credits to the person who cooked it, be it the chef or my loved ones. After all, I know that cooking is not easy! Well, for a simple praise, I’ll say, “你煮嗰嘢好好食”. This means “the food that you cook is really delicious”. A quick recap of what we have learnt today:

  • Food is often expressed by combining “食” and “嘢”;
  • 嗰嘢好好食, which means “food is delicious”; and
  • 你煮嗰嘢好好食, which means “the food that you cook is really delicious”.

There you go. Hope these phrases are useful for your next conversation over a good meal! My name is Eugene from LearnDialect.sg and see you next week!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. JyutpingYale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.