Americantonese

Since Coronvirus the Follies have been staying at home like good girls. They zoom every night, play games, solve riddles, have eating parties and invent date nights to keep their minds active. The following poem was written by Gumting the poet on Mother’s Day for all her fellow Follies:

Listen to Gumting’s reading of Americantonese. She speaks in English and colloquial Cantonese, a dialect of the Chinese language.
Americantonese
for ahma


Your daughters are staying home! 
     nei dik neoi go go dou hike oak ke  你啲個個都係屋企
One washes the tripe,
     jat go sai ngau park jip  一個洗牛柏葉
One steams a crab,
     jat go zing haai  一個蒸蟹
One makes cookies,
     jat go gog co-kay-bang  一個烘曲奇餅
One bakes bread.
     jat go gog min baau  一個烘麵包


They’re good girls, aren’t they?
     koi dei do hai goui neoi  佢哋都係乖女
Not going out until the wee hour of the night.
     je maan m ceot gaai 夜晚唔出街
Not spending money on clothes.  
     m sai cin, m maai sam,  唔洗錢, 唔買衫
Not drinking, gambling,
     m jam tau, m dou cin 唔飲酒, 唔賭錢
Nor dating men.
     jau m heoi zeoi naam jan. 又唔去追男人


No, no, they’re not sick.
     m hai m hai, koi dei mo beng  唔係唔係, 佢哋冇病
They’re healthy in body and mind.
     koi dei ho gin hong, ho cing sing.  佢哋好健康, 好清醒
They’re good girls obeying orders for once.
     koi dei hai gwaai neoi, ho naan dak ting ha waa.  佢哋係乖女, 好難得聽下話
How curious but hardly surprising.
     kei gwaai? jat di dou m ceot kei.  奇怪? 一啲都唔出奇
Don’t be afraid. No worries.
     m sai sam geng geng, daam zan zan 唔使心驚驚, 膽震震
Your daughters are itching, ready to move
     keoi dei zau san han, dang zyu juk   佢哋周身痕,等住喐
Soon as the air is clear.
     dang di hung hei bin gon zing 等啲空氣變干净
They’ll naturally leave their domestic chores,
     koi dei zi jin wui fong hei gaan mou 佢哋自然會放棄家務
Back to their glamorous selves,
     baan dou gwai fo gam leng 扮到鬼火噉靚
Walking down Chinatown
     hai tong jan gaai dong loi dong heoi  係唐人街蕩來蕩去
with their own fanfare. 
     ceot zeon fung tau  出盡風頭