Daily Drip

Watch: English vs Cantonese


The genre of “comparing different languages/dialects in a funny video” is a pretty hot one on the Chinese internet. Some people, like American comedian Jesse Appel, have built entire careers on the back of viral language-video fame. More recently, a German guy based in Shanghai became an overnight celebrity when a video of himself imitating several Chinese dialectics and personality types — overbearing mother-in-law, for one — garnered him a million-plus online following.

The latest language video to make the rounds on Chinese social media pivots a bit further south and pits Cantonese — a language totally distinct from Mandarin, with about 80 million speakers — against English.

The creator, who goes by Mr. Yang on YouTube, opens with a stated mission of dispelling some common misconceptions about the language (“It might sound like Cantonese people are yelling at each other all the time…”) and proceeds to give a handy series of side-by-side translations with a liberal dash of slapstick flair. Bonus points to Mr. Yang for including slow-mo double takes of the Cantonese phrases for us gweilo struggling to follow along at home.

Watch the full 2 minutes and 24 seconds of “extra Canto flavor” here:


RADII (rā'dē-ī') is an independent platform of artists, writers and creators dedicated to sharing vibrant stories from the rarely explored sides of new China.

Sign up for our newsletter and

be the first to experience our new site!

Congrats! You'll be the first to know!