HISTORY was made yesterday in the first High Court case to be heard in Cantonese . . . but only very slowly. The 90-year-old plaintiff in the civil case speaks only Mandarin. In addition, Sun Er-jo is deaf and so has trouble hearing what the interpreter is telling her. Her children Lo Ching, 55, Lo Kin, 53, and Lo Kun, 50, are also native Mandarin speakers, although they speak Cantonese as well. The day started well enough when Mr Justice Yeung entered and told those present ching chor - 'Please be seated'. He began by introducing himself to both sides and told them the proceedings would be conducted in Cantonese. He then spent 45 minutes explaining the procedures of the trial, stopping frequently to allow Ms Sun's female interpreter to write down each sentence and explain to the old woman what was going on. The judge, meanwhile, would wait patiently, occasionally playing with his pen to pass the time. The history-making case has attracted substantial media interest and the gallery was packed with members of the public and Judiciary staff. High Court judge Mr Justice Jerome Chan joined the throng. Outside the court he appeared unconcerned about the slight interpreting problem and described the occasion as 'very good and precious'. 'Ordinary citizens can understand what is going on,' he said of the move to hear the case in Cantonese. 'The most important thing is both parties understand what the judge said.' Ms Sun, a former gynaecologist and obstetrician in Shanghai, had handed the court a mass of documentation. The papers, written in Chinese and dating back 30 years, state several allegations against her three children. Ms Sun claimed that between 1989 and 1990, she gave $570,000 to her youngest son, Lo Kun, to cover her daily expenses. About $100,000 of the sum was used to pay for the flat on Peng Chau where she still lives. Ms Sun claims Mr Lo continues to owe her $120,000 plus interest. She also urged the court to make an order forcing the children to put the flat up for auction so that she could get back the money to which she claims she is entitled. Ms Sun claims her children invested her money without her permission, the court heard, and she wants a share of the profits from those investments. 'I want to change the property into cash and use it for the rest of my life,' she told the court. However, her three children say they do not want their mother's flat to be sold because she will have nowhere to live. They claim their older brother, Lo Ping, cheated the old woman of the cash and fled to Taiwan. Mr Justice Yeung wrote down the evidence and notes in Chinese, a Judiciary spokesman said. The case continues today.