I always feel bad when non-Chinese speakers complain about Cantonese being an ugly language. I really think any language can sound ugly, depending on who is speaking – and if the only Cantonese you tend to be exposed to is coming out of the mouths of less educated screaming types, shouting produce vendors, or shouting waiters (are we seeing a pattern here?) I can see why you would think it ugly. Unfortunately, I rarely can persuade people who have made up their mind to hate Cantonese.
I recently learned that not only is the Cantonese spoken in Guangdong province (Canton) less “hard” versus the Hong Kongese, but it apparently has some variations I never heard of it!
The word “其实” (pardon the simplified characters – I don’t have a character writing pen on my computer yet) is pronounced (not using any official form of romantization here – just my own phoneticization) “kay suht” in HK Cantonese, but apparently in Guangzhou you might instead here “cha suht”! I never knew, since the only pronunciation I’ve ever come to known is the former.
What’s interesting to me is that it is a tad more reminiscent of the Mandarin pronounciation, qishi (for non-pinyin readers, the q sounds like a ch).
I wonder what other differences in pronunciation there is between HK Cantonese and Canton Cantonese!