Want to learn how to compliment in Cantonese… and seriously impress some native speakers? Well, that’s why you’re here. Here’s a quick Cantonese compliment lesson.
Today, you’ll learn 17 Cantonese Compliments for life, love, friends and of course, work. Don’t worry – they’re usable for males, females, friends, lovers, coworkers and all kinds of people. So, you will..
- say these compliments in Cantonese.
- learn with English translations & pinyin romanization
- impress the hell out of Hong Kong people
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1. You’re so handsome. 你好靚仔。
- nei5 hou2 leng3 zai2.
This one’s for guys. And I hear this a lot! Well… sometimes. Well, okay. I don’t hear it in Cantonese but in other languages! Don’t worry, there are plenty of compliments for females down below.
2. You’re so beautiful. 你好靚。
- nei5 hou2 leng3.
Oh, you’ll definitely need this compliment if you’re going to speak Cantonese. Stop. Do not pass this before you memorize it. This is like skipping the alphabet.
3. You look great today 你今日好精神。
- nei5 gam1 jat6 hou2 zing1 san4.
Another great compliment. OK for both women and men but women will love this more. Us men don’t care. We just want food.
4. Great job! 做得好！
- zou6 dak1 hou2!
Very general compliment. Basically if someone has done a great job (duh) or accomplished a goal. Use it when you want to praise someone for their work. Good for friends, coworkers, family and anyone.
5. Your inside is even more beautiful than your outside. 你嘅內在美仲靚過你嘅外在美。
- nei5 ge3 noi6 zoi6 mei5 zung6 leng3 gwo3 nei5 ge3 ngoi6 zoi6 mei5.
Aw, now this is poetic. And this sounds like it’s been taken straight out of a romantic TV show. If you want to express this compliment – this is for you.
You’ll not hear this in real conversations. But hey! If you’re creative enough, feel free to use it.
6. You make me want to be a better person. 你令我想成為一個更加好嘅人。
- nei5 ling4 ngo5 soeng2 sing4 wai4 jat1 go3 gang3 gaa1 hou2 ge3 jan4.
Another awfully poetic and impressive compliment. And I hope my Cantonese lessons make you want to be a better person as well!
7. That jacket looks nice on you. 你件外套好襯你。
- nei5 gin6 ngoi6 tou3 hou2 can3 nei5.
A must-know compliment. If you want to comment on something other than a “jacket,” simply replace it with another word like… “shirt” or “pants” or “gloves.” Why not!? Anyway, this is one you should use a lot – for guys or girls.
Especially Hong Konger girls. They love their clothing.
8. You’re smart! 你好叻！
- nei5 hou2 lek1!
Great to use for little kids. Just as good to use for your friends. And in general, who doesn’t like to be told that they’re smart?
This is an all-around compliment you can use for anyone.
9. You are an awesome friend. 你係一個好好嘅朋友。
- nei5 hai6 jat1 go3 hou2 hou2 ge3 pang4 jau5.
This is just a good Cantonese compliment to use for your friends. Even they deserve a nice word or two once in a while, right?
10. You have a great sense of humor. 你好搞笑。
- nei5 hou2 gaau2 siu3.
Great to use on anyone. We all like to think that we’re funny. Please tell me I’m funny.
11. Your smile is beautiful. 你嘅笑容好靚。
- nei5 ge3 siu3 jung4 hou2 leng3.
Great compliment to use. Why? Everyone comments on general looks. This is specific. It’s about something that’s unique to them… their smile! Use it and expect awesome results. I guarantee it.
12. I love your cooking. 我鍾意你煮嘅嘢食。
- ngo5 zung1 ji3 nei5 zyu2 ge3 je5 sik6.
Ooh, very important compliment to use on the ladies. Why? They feel good about their cooking talent. They cook more. You eat more. It’s a win-win situation. Just don’t get fat like I did.
13. You’re an excellent cook. 你係一個非常出色嘅廚師。
- nei5 hai6 jat1 go3 fei1 soeng4 ceot1 sik1 ge3 cyu4 si1.
Here’s another variation of the above. Again, useful for women and men… but you’ll probably use this more on women. Learn it. Don’t get fat.
14. You have good taste. 你好有品味。
- nei5 hou2 jau5 ban2 mei6.
This is a nice compliment you can use on most people – friends, family, coworkers and anyone on your level. Basically, it’s typically used to comment on their tastes in fashion, movies, books, etc. etc. Similar as how you would use it in English.
Works best on girls!
15. You look gorgeous. 你好靚。
- nei5 hou2 leng3.
Again, this is one of those Cantonese compliments that you must know. If you want the girl to like you, tell her a damn compliment! Stop the small talk. Get to the point… “daaaang, girl, you lookin’ GOOD! Umph!” … except in Cantonese, of course.
16. You have a way with words. 你好識得講嘢。
- nei5 hou2 sik1 dak1 gong2 je5.
This compliment’s for anyone that’s a good talker… and probably, better used for guys when they’re saying all those nice things to girls… like “oh, you’re a good cook and you’re gorgeous!”
17. Your resume is impressive. 你嘅履歷好出色。
- nei5 ge3 lei5 lik6 hou2 ceot1 sik1.
This ain’t a typical compliment, but definitely a good one to hear if you’re applying for jobs. So, if you just happen to be interviewing a Cantonese speaker… use this!
So, what do you think?
There are only 15 Cantonese compliments here. Do you know any more? If you have more to add to this list, be sure to leave a comment below.
I read all comments and will add it to my list.
Hope you enjoyed this!
– The Main Junkie
P.S. I highly recommend this for Cantonese learners. If you REALLY want to learn to Cantonese with effective Audio & Video lessons by real teachers – Sign up for free at CantoneseClass101 (click here) and start learning!