Stop for some oil (Cantonese)

I spent years living and working in Hong Kong and never got very far with the Cantonese tonal system (nine ways of saying 'gow', all meaning very different things ...) I spent months getting a public minibus to work and shouting yau lok which I always thought meant 'next stop'. I later found out it means 'buy oil', or at least the way I was saying it, it did. I always wondered about those funny looks from my fellow passengers ...

Sent by: Helen


Des, London 2009-12-01

Yau lok is fine for getting the bus to stop, perhaps you have a strong regional English accent which may make things difficult ...

Flag this comment

Sammy 2007-06-13

Yau means "there'll be (someone/me)" and lok "getting off", a common yet special term understood by all Hong Kong bus drivers.

Flag this comment

Stephanie 2006-06-27

Hello! I study in England but I'm from Hong Kong. Yau lok means stop the car or I want to get out the car, people usually say it in the bus in Hong Kong.

Flag this comment

Yvanne 2006-08-28

Hey, that yau lok phrase shouted in the public minibus means "stop". Literally it means there is someone wanting to get off. So next time you say it when you want to get off the bus. Anyway, I think the funny looks from the others may mean: "Wow! That foreigner can speak Cantonese!" What do you say?

Flag this comment

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.