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Back To School: 30+ Cantonese Classroom Phrases

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Are you planning on studying or teaching in Hong Kong? Do you know the most common classroom phrases in Cantonese for students or teachers alike? Whether you’re about to join a university as a foreign student or to teach your native language as a teacher, you will have to learn how to communicate in the classroom.

If you’re a student, not only will you need to learn how to address your teachers, but also to understand their instructions. And vice versa if you’re in the teacher’s shoes! You will also need to learn some basic vocabulary, such as school subjects, supplies, and infrastructure.

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know as a teacher or a student, from common phrases to vocabulary, instructions, and a list of school subjects. It will teach you how to ask questions or give instructions to save you from struggling with common classroom interactions. Get your pencil case ready, and let’s jump straight into it!

A Woman Taking Notes in a Study Book

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese Table of Contents
  1. Classroom Greetings
  2. Teacher’s Phrases
  3. Student’s Phrases
  4. Subjects’ List
  5. Bonus: Borrowing School Supplies
  6. How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

1. Classroom Greetings

When you first meet your fellow students or teachers, the first set of phrases you will find useful are probably basic greetings and self-introductions. Until you get more experienced, your conversations might not get much further than simple salutations.

A Woman Waving

1- 早晨。 

Romanization: zou2 san4.
Literal Translation: Early morning.
Meaning: Good morning.

2- 午安 。 

Romanization: ng5 on1.
Literal Translation: Noon safe.
Meaning: Good afternoon.

3- 你好。

Romanization: nei5 hou2.
Literal Translation: You good.
Meaning: Hello.

4- 拜拜。

Romanization: baai1 baai3.
Literal Translation: Bye bye.
Meaning: Goodbye.

5- 遲啲見。 

Romanization: ci4 di1 gin3.
Literal Translation: Later see.
Meaning: See you later.

6- 聽日見。

Romanization: ting1 jat6 gin3.
Literal Translation: Tomorrow see.
Meaning: See you tomorrow.

7- 早唞 。

Romanization: zou2 tau2.
Literal Translation: Early rest.
Meaning: Good night.

    ➜ Once you feel comfortable greeting others and asking simple questions, you might want to step up your game and go further with the introductions. Why not have a look at our complete guides on how to say hello and how to introduce yourself?

2. Teacher’s Phrases

Whether you’re a student or a teacher, this section is for you! As a teacher, you need to know how to address your class, and as a student, you’d better understand what the teacher is saying. Let’s see some of the most common Cantonese teacher’s phrases.

A Teacher Smiling

1- 請回答我。 

Romanization: cing2 wui4 daap3 ngo5.
Literal Translation: Please answer me.
Meaning: Please answer me.

2- 唔該望住你嘅課本。

Romanization: m4 goi1 mong6 zyu6 nei5 ge3 fo3 bun2.
Literal Translation: Please look at your textbook.
Meaning: Please look at your textbook.

3- 請反覆聆聽。

Romanization: cing2 faan2 fuk1 ling4 ting3.
Literal Translation: Please repeat listen.
Meaning: Please listen to it repeatedly.

4- 如果你有任何問題,請發問。

Romanization: jyu4 gwo2 nei5 jau5 jam6 ho4 man6 tai4, cing2 faat3 man6.
Literal Translation: If you have any questions, please ask.
Meaning: If you have any questions, please ask.

5- 請閱讀。

Romanization: cing2 jyut6 duk6.
Literal Translation: Please read.
Meaning: Please read it.

6- 請保持安靜。

Romanization: cing2 bou2 ci4 on1 zing6.
Literal Translation: Please keep quiet.
Meaning: Please keep quiet.

7- 請打開你本書嘅第十頁。

Romanization: cing2 daa2 hoi1 nei5 bun2 syu1 ge3 dai6 sap6 jip6.
Literal Translation: Please open your book’s page 10.
Meaning: Please open your book on page 10.

8- 請寫低。

Romanization: cing2 se2 dai1.
Literal Translation: Please write down.
Meaning: Please write it down.

9- 你有冇任何問題?

Romanization: nei5 jau5 mou5 jam6 ho4 man6 tai4?
Literal Translation: You have not have questions?

10- 你做晒功課未?

Romanization: nei5 zou6 saai3 gung1 fo3 mei6?
Literal Translation: You finished homework yet?
Meaning: Did you finish your homework?”


3. Student’s Phrases

We’re spending so much time in the classes that we’re bound to face some troubles. It is not much of a problem to have an unforeseen event or an accident as long as you know how to explain it. In case you have encountered questions or things you don’t understand, all you will need to do is ask the right questions.

Question Marks Over a Woman’s Head

1- 我聽唔明。 

Romanization: ngo5 teng1 m4 ming4.
Literal Translation: I listen not understood.
Meaning: I don’t understand.

2- 唔該講多次。

Romanization: m4 goi1 gong2 do1 ci3.
Literal Translation: Please speak one more time.
Meaning: Please repeat that.

3- 你可唔可以講慢啲?

Romanization: nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 gong2 maan6 di1?
Literal Translation: You can not can speaker slower?
Meaning: Can you speak a little slower?

4-唔該幫我寫低。

Romanization: m4 goi1 bong1 ngo5 se2 dai1.
Literal Translation: Please help me write down.
Meaning: Please write it down for me.

5- 唔該, 嚟多一次。

Romanization: m4 goi1, lei4 do1 jat1 ci3.
Literal Translation: Please, do one more time.
Meaning: Once again, please.

6- …廣東話點講?

Romanization:  …gwong2 dung1 waa2 dim2 gong2?
Literal Translation: …Cantonese how say?
Meaning: How do you say…in Cantonese?

Example 1-

Chinese Characters: 呢個廣東話點講?
Romanization: ni1 go3 gwong2 dung1 waa2 dim2 gong2?
Literal Translation: This Cantonese how say?
Meaning: How do you say this in Cantonese?

Example 2-

Chinese Characters: “Seafood”廣東話點講?
Romanization: “Seafood” gwong2 dung1 waa2 dim2 gong2?
Literal Translation: “Seafood” Cantonese how say?
Meaning: How do you say “seafood” in Cantonese?

7- 請問…

Romanization:  cing2 man6…
Literal Translation: Please ask…
Meaning: May I ask…

Example 1-

Chinese Characters: 請問課室喺幾樓?
Romanization: cing2 man6 fo3 sat1 hai2 gei2 lau2?
Literal Translation: Please ask classroom on which floor?
Meaning: May I ask on which floor is the classroom?

Example 2-

Chinese Characters: 請問嗰個廣東話點講?
Romanization: cing2 man6 go2 go3 gwong2 dung1 waa2 dim2 gong2?
Literal Translation: Please ask that Cantonese how say?
Meaning: May I ask how do you say that in Cantonese?

8- 我可唔可以extend個deadline?

Romanization: ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 extend go3 deadline?
Literal Translation: I can not can extend deadline?
Meaning: Could I get an extension on the deadline?

9- 我唔係好舒服, 我可唔可以請日假?

Romanization: ngo5 m4 hai6 hou2 syu1 fuk6, ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 ceng2 jat6 gaa3?
Literal Translation: I am not very comfortable, I can not can apply day off?
Meaning: I don’t feel well. Can I be excused for the day?

10- 有人偷咗我本書。

Romanization: jau5 jan4 tau1 zo2 ngo5 bun2 syu1.
Literal Translation: Someone stole my book.
Meaning: Someone stole my books.

11- 我遲到因為等唔到巴士。

Romanization: ngo5 ci4 dou3 jan1 wai6 dang2 m4 dou2 baa1 si2.
Literal Translation: I late because wait can’t arrive bus.
Meaning: I am late because the bus did not show up.

12- 我隻狗食咗我啲功課。

Romanization: ngo5 zek3 gau2 sik6 zo2 ngo5 di1 gung1 fo3.
Literal Translation: My dog ate my homework.
Meaning: My dog ate my homework.

4. Subjects’ List

You probably already know how to talk about what you’re studying or teaching, but whenever you’re chatting with your fellow students or teachers, a variety of other subject matters may come up.

A List of Subjects
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaning
1數學sou3 hok6Mathematics
2化學faa3 hok6Chemistry
3生物學sang1 mat6 hok6Biology
4地理dei6 lei5Geography
5體育tai2 juk6Physical Education
6歷史lik6 si2History
7美術mei5 seot6Art
8音樂jam1 ngok6Music

Here are how you can enquire other’s or express your own favorite subject:

Question- 你最喜愛嘅科目係乜?

Romanization: nei5 zeoi3 hei2 oi3 ge3 fo1 muk6 hai6 mat1?
Literal Translation: You favorite subject is what?
Meaning: What is your favorite subject?

Answer- 我最喜愛嘅科目係…。

Romanization: ngo5 zeoi3 hei2 oi3 ge3 fo1 muk6 hai6 …
Literal Translation: My favorite subject is…
Meaning: My favorite subject is…

    ➜ To practice your pronunciation, be sure to stop by our free vocabulary list on School Subjects, with recorded words and example phrases, on CantoneseClass101.

5. Bonus: Borrowing School Supplies

Have you ever forgotten to bring your pencil case with you? No worries, this section will introduce you to some basic school supplies vocabulary, as well as how to borrow one from others.

#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaning
1鉛筆jyun4 bat1pencil
2原子筆jyun4 zi2 bat1pen
3擦膠caat3 gaau1eraser
4zi2paper
5書本 syu1 bun2book
6作業zok3 jip6homework
7課本 fo3 bun2textbook
8字典 zi6 din2dictionary

You can ask someone to lend you a pen by asking…

Chinese Characters: 唔該借你嘅原子筆畀我。
Romanization: m4 goi1 ze3 nei5 ge3 jyun4 zi2 bat1 bei2 ngo5.
Literal Translation: Please lend your pen to me.
Meaning: Please lend me your pen.

6. How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

Graduation

After mastering Cantonese phrases to navigate schools, do you want to put more Cantonese phrases for other occasions into your pocket? With CantoneseClass101.com, you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through mobile apps, desktop software, and our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

Until now, we’ve delivered more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, an abundance of vocabulary learning tools, spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community where you can discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

And keep in mind that if you prefer a 1-on-1 learning approach and want to further accelerate your Cantonese learning, you can take advantage of our MyTeacher program!

Know that your hard work will pay off, and before you know it, you’ll be speaking Cantonese like a native!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese