四個四川人 – sei go sei chyun yan (four Sichuan people.)
個 is the top classifier; the king of class. It actually means piece and is the classifier for people: 三個會計師 － saam go wui gai si (three accountants,) fruit : 一個蘋果 － yat go peng go (one apple) … things of an undefinable shape: 呢個袋 li go doi (this bag) and lots and lots of other things, including abstract ones 下個禮拜 －ha go lai bai (next week) and not least (not everybody knows this:) 你個頭 -lei go tau (your head) which is used the same way as “my arse” in English! As in "你好傻。" "傻你個頭！" “Lei hou so.” “So lei go tau!” (“You’re so thick.” “Thick my arse!”)
Although there are dozens of classifiers in Chinese, (does anyone know how many?) 個 can be used for everything while you’re learning the correct classifier. Not only that, but over the years I find many HK and mainland people using 個 when another classifier would be more appropriate, for example 呢個 （li go) about clothes, where the correct term should be 呢件 （li gin.) It’s a natural evolution/simplification of the language I suppose.
And as Confucius said, time and time again: It’s better to use the wrong classifier than no classifier!
Therefore: Hang on to your 個。
What do cows do when a typhoon signal 8 is raging, I wonder?
T8: 八號風球(baat hou fung kao – 8 number wind ball) The scourge of Lantau. Not! As usual, the weather bureau says we’re going to have a direct hit. Even seven hours ago when this typhoon was just a gleam in the raincoat-covered TVB reporter’s eye, all kindergartens closed. Come ON! What’s wrong with Hong Kong? When did we become so damned weak? One would think drops of water were acid the way the government carries on. The kindergartens closed at 8:30am. Now it’s 4:17pm and still no rain.
Anyway, in Cantonese, typhoon is a verb. 打風， (da fung – hitting or striking wind). I used to think the word typhoon came from 打風, but no. It’s actually 颱風,(toi fung, typhoon wind). But that’s not much used, it’s normally 哎呀，今日會打風呀！ (ai ah, gamyat wui da fung ah! Oh dear, today will hit wind ah!)
If you survive the onslaught, why not take a Cantonese course this year? You’ll never be short of weather expressions again!
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