Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Nicole: 大家好(daai6 gaa1 hou2). 我係(ngo5 hai6) Nicole.
Matt: And I'm Matt. Welcome back to CantoneseClass101.com, the fastest and easiest way to learn Cantonese. Today is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson #19.
Nicole: That's right. So what are we looking at today?
Matt: Today, we'll be learning about humoring someone's non-existent language skills.
Nicole: And the conversation takes place in a classroom.
Matt: This conversation is between a very polite teacher and a diligent student.
Nicole: The speakers are speaking casual Cantonese.
Matt: All right, Nicole, let's dive right into today's dialogue.

Lesson conversation

你廣東話講得好好喎! (nei5 gwong2 dung1 waa2 gong2 dak1 hou2 hou2 wo3!)
邊度係呀! (bin1 dou6 hai6 aa3!)
你學咗幾耐? (nei5 hok6 zo2 gei2 noi6?)
兩個鐘頭。 (loeng5 go3 zung1 tau4.)
Matt: One more time, a bit slower.
你廣東話講得好好喎! (nei5 gwong2 dung1 waa2 gong2 dak1 hou2 hou2 wo3!)
邊度係呀! (bin1 dou6 hai6 aa3!)
你學咗幾耐? (nei5 hok6 zo2 gei2 noi6?)
兩個鐘頭。 (loeng5 go3 zung1 tau4.)
Matt: And now with the English translation.
你廣東話講得好好喎! (nei5 gwong2 dung1 waa2 gong2 dak1 hou2 hou2 wo3!)
Your Cantonese is really good.
邊度係呀! (bin1 dou6 hai6 aa3!)
No, it’s not.
你學咗幾耐? (nei5 hok6 zo2 gei2 noi6?)
How long have you been learning?
兩個鐘頭。 (loeng5 go3 zung1 tau4.)
Two hours.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Matt: After two hours, his Cantonese is really good.
Nicole: Well, after listening to CantoneseClass101.com for two hours, your Cantonese will be just as good.
Matt: If it is this good after two hours, imagine what it would be like after two days.
Nicole: You will be a professional after two weeks.
Matt: Well, I hope that's your guarantee because I don't know if I can cover that one. But in this lesson we are going to cover some basic vocabulary.
Nicole: Vocabulary that is the foundation to any fluent speaker of Cantonese.
VOCAB LIST
Matt: So let's move right on to the vocabulary section.
Nicole: 廣東話(gwong2 dung1 waa2) [natural native speed]
Matt: Cantonese language.
Nicole: 廣東話(gwong2 dung1 waa2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 廣東話(gwong2 dung1 waa2) [natural native speed]. 咗(zo2) [natural native speed]
Matt: Which literally is the -ed suffix, which means past tense.
Nicole: 咗(zo2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 咗(zo2) [natural native speed]. 邊度 (bin1 dou6)[natural native speed]
Matt: Where.
Nicole: 邊度(bin1 dou6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 邊度(bin1 dou6) [natural native speed]. 呢度(ni1 dou6) [natural native speed]
Matt: Here.
Nicole: 呢度(ni1 dou6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 呢度(ni1 dou6) [natural native speed]. 嗰度(go2 dou6) [natural native speed]
Matt: There.
Nicole: 嗰度(go2 dou6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 嗰度(go2 dou6) [natural native speed]. 幾耐(gei2 noi6) [natural native speed]
Matt: How long.
Nicole: 幾耐(gei2 noi6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 幾耐(gei2 noi6) [natural native speed]. 鐘頭(zung1 tau4) [natural native speed]
Matt: Hour.
Nicole: 鐘頭(zung1 tau4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 鐘頭(zung1 tau4) [natural native speed]
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Matt: All right, Nicole, let's take a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from today's lesson. So our first word is the word for Cantonese language itself.
Nicole: 廣東話 (gwong2 dung1 waa2).
Matt: Cantonese language.
Nicole: 廣東話 (gwong2 dung1 waa2).
Matt: And the name of the language actually is based off of the name for Canton or Guangdong.
Nicole: That's right. And our next word is the past tense marker 咗 (zo2).
Matt: Which is -ed. You can put this at the end of verbs to show that the action already took place.
Nicole: 咗 (zo2).
Matt: In our previous lesson we taught you the words “this” and “that”.
Nicole: 呢 (ni1), 嗰 (go2).
Matt: Now today, we are going to teach you the words “here” and “there”.
Nicole: 呢度 (ni1 dou6).
Matt: Here.
Nicole: 嗰度(go2 dou6)
Matt: There.
Nicole: 呢度 (ni1 dou6), 嗰度 (go2 dou6).
Matt: Here and there. And if you are totally lost you can ask somebody...
Nicole: 邊度(bin1 dou6)
Matt: Where.
Nicole: 邊度(bin1 dou6)
Matt: So when someone compliments you on your awesome Cantonese you can reply?
Nicole: 邊度係呀 (bin1 dou6 hai6 aa3)
Matt: Which means “where?”
Nicole: 邊度係呀 (bin1 dou6 hai6 aa3)
Matt: As in "Where is this person you are talking about, it can't possibly be me.
Nicole: Well, this is meant to be modest.
Matt: Moving on, one of the first questions someone may ask you is how long you have been studying Cantonese?
Nicole: 幾耐 (gei2 noi6).
Matt: “How long” or “how much time”.
Nicole: Like we heard in the dialogue 你學咗幾耐?(nei5 hok6 zo2 gei2 loi6?)
Matt: Now, if you are a super learner, and just finished listening to this podcast you can reply...
Nicole: "One hour," 一個鐘頭 (jat1 go3 zung1 tau4).
Matt: And the word for hour is?
Nicole: 鐘頭(zung1 tau4) or shorter 鐘(zung1) and this literally means "clock".
Matt: And if you've been studying for two hours you can say?
Nicole: 兩個鐘頭 (loeng5 go3 zung1 tau4) or 兩個鐘 (loeng5 go3 zung1).
Matt: And we should point out the most common measure word in Cantonese is?
Nicole: 個 (go3).
Matt: So now that we've covered the basics, you are on your way to receiving plenty of flattering comments about your Cantonese speaking skill.
Nicole: That's right.
Matt: And the mark of a true professional is grammar.

Lesson focus

Nicole: Right so let's move to the grammar point right now.
Matt: We mentioned this word briefly in the vocabulary section.
Nicole: 咗(zo2)
Matt: This is the past tense marker in Cantonese.
Nicole: That's right. Unlike English you don't have to conjugate verbs in Cantonese.
Matt: All you need to do is add a...
Nicole: 咗(zo2)
Matt: ...to the end of the verb.
Nicole: When you add this to the end of the verb, people will know that you are talking about things happened in the past.
Matt: In the dialogue we heard this sample sentence.
Nicole: 你學咗幾耐?(nei5 hok6 zo2 gei2 noi6?)
Matt: This means "How long have you been studying?"
Nicole: 你學咗幾耐?(nei5 hok6 zo2 gei2 noi6?)
Matt: Literally "You learned how long?"
Nicole: 學咗(hok6 zo2)
Matt: We have some more examples explaining…
Nicole: 咗(zo2)
Matt: Our first example is…
Nicole: 食咗(sik6 zo2)
Matt: Which means “to have eaten”.
Nicole: 食咗(sik6 zo2)
Matt: You can also place a subject before it.
Nicole: Like 我食咗 (ngo5 sik6 zo2).
Matt: Which is “I have eaten”.
Nicole: 我食咗 (ngo5 sik6 zo2).
Matt: Next we have.
Nicole: 飲咗 (jam2 zo2).
Matt: Which is “to have drank” or “drunk”.
Nicole: 我飲咗水 (ngo5 jam2 zo2 seoi2).
Matt: “I drank some water”.
Nicole: 我飲咗水 (ngo5 jam2 zo2 seoi2).
Matt: And notice the object of the sentence…
Nicole: 水(seoi2)
Matt: …goes directly after the verb.
Nicole: 飲咗 (jam2 zo2). So the whole phrase is 飲咗水 (jam2 zo2 seoi2).
Matt: When you finished doing something you can say?
Nicole: 做咗(zou6 zo2)
Matt: The verb here is "To do."
Nicole: 做(zou6). And the past tense is 做咗(zou6 zo2).
Matt: Now we have two final examples for you.
Nicole: 走咗 (zau2 zo2)
Matt: As in "He left."
Nicole: 佢走咗 (keoi5 zau2 zo2)
Matt: And finally "to have come."
Nicole: 嚟咗 (lei4 zo2).
Matt: As in "He came."
Nicole: 佢嚟咗 (keoi5 lei4 zo2).
Matt: So that is the past tense.
Nicole: Yup. In review all we do is add 咗(zo2) after a verb.
Matt: And this signifies that the action has already taken place or been completed.
Nicole: And don't forget you can place the object of the sentence right after the verb.
Matt: So the next time someone asks you how long you have been learning Cantonese you can say?
Nicole: 我學咗兩個鐘頭 (ngo5 hok6 zo2 loeng5 go3 zung1 tau4)
Matt: “I have been studying for two hours.” So to keep improving your Cantonese, make sure you come by CantoneseClass101.com.

Outro

Nicole: Here you will find all the study tools you need to have someone comment 你廣東話講得好好喎! (nei5 gwong2 dung1 waa2 gong2 dak1 hou2 hou2 wo3!)
Matt: Well, that just about wraps it up for today. Thanks for tuning in.
Nicole: Thank you.

Grammar

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18 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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If it has been two hours or two years, speaking with confidence is the key to fluency and proficiency. CantoneseClass101.com gives your the tools to build up an impressive language portfolio.

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 05:43 PM
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Hi Chris,


I assume you refered to the line "你廣東話講得好好喎! (nei5 gwong2 dung1 waa2 gong2 dak1 hou2 hou2 wo3!)". There are various meanings (and each from different parts of speech) to this character.


得 [dak1] - obtain, to the extent, able, allowed


In this case, 得 placed after a verb means performing an action to the extent of what the adjective that follows describes. Since 講 [gong2] is to speak and 好好 [hou2 hou2] means very good. 講得好好 [gong2 dak1 hou2 hou2] literally means to speak in a good fashion, or actually means, speak a language fluently. 😆


Arnold

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Chris
Tuesday at 06:53 PM
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What does dak1 mean?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 05:54 PM
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Hi Mateus,


I am gassed that you get it! 😆


Oh! So you were asking about these two responses to a compliment. The quick answer is - no, you can't use both; use 邊度係 [bin1 dou6 hai6] in this case.


Both responses can be used to respond to a compliment, but picking the right response depends on the nature of the compliment. In your example, the compliment is praising "you're so handsome", although the auxiliary verb (to be / 係 [hai6]) is not explicitly shown in Cantonese. Thinking of "你係靚仔" [nei5 hai6 leng3 zai2], you would realise "靚仔" is a property given to "你". So, a humble response would be "where is [that property]".


For the other response, you would think of a possession. When someone calls you having a huge wealth going "你好有錢呀“ [nei5 hou2 jau5 cin2 aa3], you would want to deny the possession. So, a humble response would be "where [do I] have [that possession]".


But be remembered, only use these two responses after people have complimented you, or else it would sound so odd! 😉


Arnold

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Mateus
Monday at 07:39 AM
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你好Arnold. Thank you for the answer, this is a difference I had never really thought of in English either but I get it!


What about in the case in the dialogue, after receiving a compliment and being humble, can you use both?

for example:

A:你好靚仔呀 (nei5 hou2 leng3 zai2 aa3)

B:邊度係 (bin1 dou6 hai6) / 邊度有 (bin1 dou6 jau5)

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 01:17 PM
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Hi Mateus,


Good question. After reading this, you might learn to ask a lot more questions!


邊度係 [bin1 dou6 hai6] - "Where is..."

E.g. 邊度係戲院 [bin1 dou6 hai6 hei3 jyun2] - Where is the cinema?

邊度有 [bin1 dou6 jau5] - "Where do you have..."

E.g. 邊度有便利店 [bin1 dou6 jau5 bin6 lei6 dim3] - Where do you have a convenient store?


Difference: "Where is..." is used with a known object (as you would use definite article "the" in English), while "Where do you have..." is used with an unknown object or an object of unknown place of origin, like above (as you would use "a/an" in English).


Generally, if you hear people interchange the two, they may not be necessarily wrong. If you forget them, you may use any, or switch them up to show that you can pose a question in different ways!😆


Arnold

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Mateus
Friday at 08:36 AM
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你好! instead of saying: 邊度係 (bin1 dou6 hai6) can you also say: 邊度有 (bin1 dou6 jau5)? I've heard the second expression in Mandarin, so I wonder if it's also used in Cantonese. 唔該晒 😄

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 03:56 AM
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Hello Nick,


Thank you for your comment and I hope the answer for Shreyan might help explaining your question.


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Nick
Wednesday at 12:24 AM
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Oops I didn't realize that comment was just made!

Nick
Wednesday at 12:23 AM
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Hello,

Just to let you know, I think there is a typo in the lesson notes found directly on this web page. It says "gei2 loi6" instead of "gei2 noi6" for "how long" in two parts: the first sentence of the lesson notes and #6 under complete sentences using the past tense marker.

Nick

cantoneseclass101.com
Sunday at 01:29 PM
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Hello Shreyan,


幾耐 (gei2 noi6) and 幾耐(gei2 loi6). Both pronunciation are correct!. It is the "lazy tone" phenomenon. A lot of people in Hong Kong, especially the younger generations, use a lot of their own conversational slang and tend to speak what we'll call a "lazy tone." An example is the word "you." The right way to pronounce "you" is [nei] and people who speak in a lazy tone will pronounce "you" as [lei].


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com