6 Easy Ways To Say Beautiful In Cantonese

Ling Learn Languages
5 min readMay 18, 2021


They say that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” (各花入各眼 gok3 faa1 jap6 gok3 ngaan5). There are different ways to say beautiful in Cantonese ( 美麗 mei5 lai6). But before we learn about those words, let us first define what is beauty? As defined in the dictionary, beauty is a combination of qualities that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially sight. But today, with stereotypes and discrimination, beauty is a susceptible subject.

The definition of beauty has been continuously evolving. Nowadays, many people believe that beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. Someone that has the courage to show their true identity despite flaws and imperfections. Appreciating one’s beauty, no matter how simple, is a great value that we should have.

Hong Kong: A Beautiful Place Filled With Beautiful People

Hong Kong is a Chinese country with its own beautiful culture that is well-preserved by the Hong Kongers. Although some may think that Chinese countries are way too similar to one another, Hong Kong has its beautiful gems and treasure that it can really call its own.

One of these gems is, of course, their people. Local Hong Kongers are very particular in preserving their culture. They may share some fundamental core values from Mainland Chinese, but their pride in their heritage makes them one of a kind. Understanding their culture, ideals, and customs will make you fall in love not just with the country but with the people.

Another gem is their language which is Cantonese. Although Mainland Chinese greatly influence Hong Kongers, they use different Chinese languages. Hong Kongers use Cantonese while Mainland Chinese use Mandarin. Here are some words from the Cantonese language that is related to beauty that is easy to learn:

1. 美麗 (mei5 lai6)

English Translation: Beautiful

This is the common and easiest Cantonese word to say beautiful in Cantonese. 美麗 (mei5 lai6) can be used in almost any situation, both formal and informal.

2. 靚 (leng3)

English Translation: Pretty

Another way to say beautiful in Cantonese is 靚 (leng 3). Beautiful means attractive and possessing beauty, while pretty means pleasant in senses. If you wonder when to use pretty or beautiful, there are many arguments and rules depending on your subject. But for now, this is a good starting point.

3. 有魅力 (jau5 mei6 lik6)

English Translation: Charming; Attractive

If you are new in the country and meet a good-looking person, 有魅力 (jau5 mei6 lik6) can also be used to describe them. This has more cutesy vibes than the first two.

4. 搶眼 (coeng2 ngaan5)

English Translation: Eye-catching

Some things will definitely catch your eyes the first time you saw them. This is the best word to describe that amazing thing you see.

5. 璀璨 (ceoi1 caan3)

English Translation: Dazzling

Have you ever been to a formal party where ladies wear elegant and shiny dresses while gentlemen wear suits and ties? This is probably one of the perfect examples to use this word.

6. 靚女 (leng3 neoi5) And 靚仔 (leng3 zai2)

English Translation: beautiful girl and handsome boy

If you want to describe a girl or a boy specifically, you can use these words. If you know how to describe the beauty of a woman, you should also know how to describe the beauty of a man.

Now that you have learned the different ways to say beautiful in Cantonese, the next thing you should do is to practice the pronunciation. Please make sure to say these words correctly because the pronunciation of the characters is essential in the Chinese language.

Different Ways To Use Beautiful In Cantonese

After learning the correct the different words to say beautiful in Cantonese, let us now learn how to use it in a sentence. Even if you are not a native Cantonese speaker, you will surely learn this easily in a short period of time. Here are some Cantonese phrases that have the world beautiful. Learn and practice it; you might not know when you can use these.

Take note, if you happen to encounter the phrase 你真漂亮!(ni zhen piao liang!), do not be confused because it is the Mandarin translation for “You’re really beautiful!”. Just like what is stated above, Mandarin and Cantonese are both Chinese, but they have differences. If you want to know more about the difference between Mandarin in Cantonese, there’s a separate blog for you.

Just like what David Hume said, “Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.” We all know that physical beauty will fade, but inner beauty will last forever. Learning the different words to say beautiful in Cantonese is just a simple gesture to show your appreciation in the Cantonese language. Having the initiative to learn this is proof that you have seen something beautiful in this language. This might be a sign that you are ready for your next step — learn more Cantonese words and phrases.

Channel Your Inner Hong Konger Within You, Learn Cantonese Now!

Do you want to learn how to speak and write in Cantonese? Worry no more because Ling App is here for you. If you would like to go to Hong Kong, you should probably learn to speak Cantonese to communicate with the locals. You should at least learn the basic Cantonese phrases for travel. That is why Ling App is here to make it happen. Through Ling App, you will have free Cantonese lessons that will enhance your skills in reading, writing, and speaking Cantonese. You can also read content like these to know deeper about their language.

There is still much to learn in the Cantonese language, It will be challenging at first, but it will be worth it. After the series of lessons, you will surely improve a lot in speaking Cantonese. Do not look and search for other tools to learn languages; Ling App is here for you. So, channel your inner Hong Konger within you, learn Cantonese now and speak like a pro!



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