Néih hóu DMU! Students discover Cantonese language and culture for Hong Kong trip

There is no better way to prepare for an epic overseas adventure than getting to grips with the local language and cultural traditions.

This is exactly what hundreds of students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are doing ahead of the mass #DMUglobal trip to Hong Kong.

They are going to language lessons to learn how to speak and understand some basic Cantonese before jetting out to Asia next week.

The latest #DMUglobal trip coincides with the four-day GREAT Festival of Innovation, Britain’s biggest trade show where DMU will be on show to the rest of the world as the UK’s higher education partner.


Cantonese is a notoriously difficult language to learn as meaning is determined by six different tones and there are 60,000 characters to get to know.

But determined students are giving it their best shot as they cover the basics of grammar, pronunciation and essential phrases.

Shreyash Dayal, who is a Mechanical Engineering student, said: “It’s been really good to learn the basics of Cantonese.

“It’s not the easiest language to learn, but it will really help to know some of the key words to use during everyday conversations.

“I’m not sure how much I’ll remember, but I’ll make sure I am carrying the worksheets so I can always look at them.”

Shreyash, 24, added that he was “really excited” to visit Hong Kong for the first time as travelling and learning about another culture was “an amazing opportunity.”

The Cantonese lessons have also given students a fascinating insight into the customs and traditions, including how to travel around the city using the Metro.


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Hong Kong here we come

The 350 second-year students will be exploring the vibrant, world-leading city of Hong Kong for a week, gaining priceless academic and cultural experiences.

From Monday, March 19 to Sunday, March 25, they will be enjoying a mix of activities related to their academic studies. While in Hong Kong, students will also have the chance to visit the sights including Victoria Harbour, Victoria Peak, Tai O Village and the Tian Tan Buddha. 

Students will also visit the GREAT Festival of Innovation, showing the very best of UK creativity, design and innovation. DMU will stand alongside fellow GREAT partners such as BBC Worldwide, Jaguar Land Rover and British Airways.

Yosuf Ali, 22, a Journalism student, called the trip to Hong Kong “an opportunity not to be missed” and said he’d written a list of the places he wanted to visit.

He said: “I’m really excited; I’ve done a lot of research about what I want to do and where I want to go when I am there.

“I can’t wait to try out all the different types of food, I already know of about 10 restaurants I want to go to!”

Computer Security student Matt Viselga, 19, added: “It will be so different to England; I’m really looking forward to seeing the Asian culture.

“It’s been really useful to get a head-start with learning the basics of the language. We are lucky to have such a great travel opportunity.”

Cantonese lecturer Chan Ngai Hin said it had been enjoyable to help DMU students prepare for their #DMUglobal trip.

She said: “I think it’s very important for students to learn Cantonese, especially how to greet people and how to ask for help.

“Hong Kong is a very international city but local people won’t be expecting to see so many foreigners able to speak to them in Cantonese. They’ll be amazed.”

Posted on: Monday 12 March 2018

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