A Facebook page presenting Hong Kong news in “Chinglish” attracted more than 15,000 likes overnight.

Kongish Daily, the motto of which is “Hong Kong people speak Hong Kong English,” became an instant sensation in the SAR after it published a number of stories that only people fluent in Cantonese and English could understand.

Kongish Daily challenges readers’ ability to understand phrases mixing Cantonese and English.

One of the first posts on the page was the “$400k helicopter proposal” story, which has garnered more than 11,000 likes at the time of going to press.

The page used phrases like even ng eat ng play, literally “even not eat not play”—which means “even if we do not spend money on food and fun.”

Kongish Daily’s post on the helicopter marriage proposal attracted more than 11,000 likes and nearly 5,000 shares in just 3 days.

In another post, Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan was referred to as a someone “with so much rice”. The expression in Cantonese describes an individual who is rich.

“Kongish”

Cantonese is widely accepted to have six tones. In 1993, the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong developed Jyutping, a Cantonese romanization scheme. The system uses numbers next to romanisations of Cantonese words, which indicate their tones.

In Kongish Daily, however, posts do not include tones. Readers will have to guess the tone of a word based on romanised English words.

As such, readers will need to have a strong grasp of Cantonese as well as Hong Kong pop culture to understand its articles.

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.