Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Nicole: Hi, everyone. I'm Nicole. Welcome to CantoneseClass101.com
Matt: Matt here! And welcome back to our Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 3.
Nicole: So what are we learning today?
Matt: So this is our third lesson, and we're going to learn how to be polite.
Nicole: Yes. Cantonese people are really polite, as you can see from me. So you should be too. In our dialogue for today we are in a cafe.
Matt: Right. We have an encounter between two strangers.
Nicole: So listen carefully to the dialogue because this is the Cantonese that you can start using right away.
Matt: All right, let's get started.

Lesson conversation

唔該,你係唔係偉仔? (m4 goi1, nei5 hai6 m4 hai6 wai5 zai2?)
唔係。(m4 hai6.)
唔好意思。(m4 hou2 ji3 si1.)
唔緊要。(m4 gan2 jiu3.)
English Host: One more time, a bit slower.
唔該,你係唔係偉仔? (m4 goi1, nei5 hai6 m4 hai6 wai5 zai2?)
唔係。(m4 hai6.)
唔好意思。(m4 hou2 ji3 si1.)
唔緊要。(m4 gan2 jiu3.)
English Host: And now with the English translation.
唔該,你係唔係偉仔? (m4 goi1, nei5 hai6 m4 hai6 wai5 zai2?)
Matt: Excuse me, are you Tony Leung?
唔係。(m4 hai6.)
Matt: No.
唔好意思。(m4 hou2 ji3 si1.)
Matt: Sorry.
唔緊要。(m4 gan2 jiu3.)
Matt: It doesn't matter.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Nicole: This is a true to life story.
Matt: Really, this is true to life?
Nicole: This happened between me and Tony Leung.
Matt: But the guy in the dialogue said, no, I'm not Tony Leung.
Nicole: I'm pretty sure it was Tony Leung.
Matt: It was just some guy on the street.
Nicole: He was just denying it. He looked a lot like Tony Leung.
Matt: You're making stuff up again, Nicole.
Nicole: Sexy.
Matt: Who me or Tony Leung, fake Tony Leung. Okay. We all know you'd like Tony Leung, but we have a lot of vocabulary today and it's really useful. So let's stop talking about your fantasies and move on to our vocabulary.
Nicole: Okay.
VOCAB LIST
Matt: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this first lesson. The first word is:
Nicole: 唔該 (m4 goi1) [natural native speed]
Matt: Excuse me, sorry.
Nicole: 唔該 (m4 goi1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 唔該 (m4 goi1) [natural native speed].
係 (hai6) [natural native speed]
Matt: To be.
Nicole: 係 (hai6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 係 (hai6) [natural native speed]
Matt: Next vocabulary we have is.
Nicole: 唔係 (m4 hai6) [natural native speed]
Matt: To not be or no.
Nicole: 唔係 (m4 hai6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 唔係 (m4 hai6) [natural native speed]
Matt: Next, we have.
Nicole: 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1) [natural native speed]
Matt: Sorry or excuse me.
Nicole: 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1) [natural native speed]
Matt: Next vocabulary word we have is?
Nicole: 唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3) [natural native speed]
Matt: It doesn't matter.
Nicole: 唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3) [natural native speed]. 做 (zou6) [natural native speed]
Matt: To do.
Nicole: 做 (zou6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 做 (zou6) [natural native speed]. 食 (sik6) [natural native speed]
Matt: To eat.
Nicole: 食 (sik6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 食 (sik6) [natural native speed]. 學 (hok6) [natural native speed]
Matt: To learn.
Nicole: 學 (hok6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 學 (hok6) [natural native speed]. 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]
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Matt: All right, let's take a look at some of the usage for our vocabulary.
Nicole: Okay. The first phrase is 唔該 (m4 goi1).
Matt: Now, the first word here is pretty easy. We're using that in a lot of the words today. And this together means "excuse me."
Nicole: 唔該 (m4 goi1).
Matt: But most of the time people will say it more quickly and repetitively.
Nicole: 唔該唔該唔該唔該唔該! (m4 goi1 m4 goi1 m4 goi1 m4 goi1 m4 goi1!)
Matt: Excuse me, coming through, come through!
Nicole: Yup. Actually, 唔該 (m4 goi1) means a lot more than just "excuse me". It means "thank you" and "please".
Matt: That's right. It's a very useful word.
Nicole: Yup. Like 唔該 (m4 goi1) (help me do this); 唔該 (m4 goi1) (let me through); 唔該 (m4 goi1) (thanks for the help).
Matt: So this could pretty much mean everything.
Nicole: Yup. If you don't know what to say, say 唔該 (m4 goi1).
Matt: Kind of a magic word. Now, if we break this down this magic word, the first sound as I said earlier means "no."
Nicole: 唔 (m4).
Matt: And the second sound means "should."
Nicole: 該 (goi1).
Matt: So no should or not should.
Nicole: 唔該 (m4 goi1). 唔該 (m4 goi1).
Matt: So this literally means, "you shouldn't have".
Nicole: Yeah. But we use 唔該 (m4 goi1) to say "excuse me" or "thanks".
Matt: When else can we use this useful phrase?
Nicole: If you're looking for directions, you can ask 唔該,廁所喺邊? (m4 goi1, ci3 so2 hai2 bin1?)
Matt: That's "Excuse me, where is the toilet?"
Nicole: 唔該,廁所喺邊? (m4 goi1, ci3 so2 hai2 bin1?)
Matt: Now, that's a really useful and I use it quite frequently. So let's hear it again.
Nicole: 唔該,廁所喺邊? (m4 goi1, ci3 so2 hai2 bin1?)
Matt: There's another common way that we'll hear this question.
Nicole: Right, 唔該晒 (m4 goi1 saai3).
Matt: Now, I love hearing this just from the way it sounds.
Nicole: 唔該晒 (m4 goi1 saai3).
Matt: It means thank you very much.
Nicole: Right, 唔該晒 (m4 goi1 saai3), thanks a million, thanks a lot, you simply add the 晒 (saai3) to the end, 唔該晒 (m4 goi1 saai3).
Matt: But it's really still casual.
Nicole: 唔該晒! (m4 goi1 saai3!)
Matt: Friends often say this to each other.
Nicole: So you can say either 唔該 (m4 goi1) or 唔該晒 (m4 goi1 saai3)
Matt: There's a really formal way of saying this as well.
Nicole: Yup, its 多謝 (do1 ze6) -- but you won't hear this 多謝 (do1 ze6) too much. So I recommend you say 唔該 (m4 goi1) instead.
Matt: Okay, great. Now, moving on, next in the dialogue we hear an apology.
Nicole: I said this to Tony Leung!
Matt: Fake Tony Leung.
Nicole: Good looking Tony Leung, 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1).
Matt: Now, that's kind of a long word. Let's hear it again slowly for our listeners.
Nicole: 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1) (slow) 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1) (normal).
Matt: This means "I'm sorry."
Nicole: 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1).
Matt: We already know the first sound here, it means "no"
Nicole: 唔 (m4).
Matt: And we know the second sound as well.
Nicole: 唔好 (m4 hou2)
Matt: So put together, it means "not good."
Nicole: Right. Then we say 意思 (ji3 si1). 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1).
Matt: Which means “meaning”.
Nicole: Right. 意 (ji3) means "meaning". We're actually saying "bad meaning" 意思 (ji3 si1). 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1).
Matt: So if we want to say I'm sorry, I'm sorry?
Nicole: 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1)
Matt: Bad meaning, bad meaning....
Nicole: 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1)
Matt: Now, how formal is this phrase?
Nicole: It's pretty casual. It's like I step on your feet casual. There's a stronger word you can actually use for an apology 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6).
Matt: So will people hear this?
Nicole: 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6)? Not unless they do something really, really bad, like throw a cat out of the window or something.
Matt: Well don't do that, Nicole. Cantonese people love animals.
Nicole: Yeah, we eat them.
Matt: We also wanted to highlight this word for you.
Nicole: Yeah 唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3).
Matt: Let's hear that again one more time slowly.
Nicole: 唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3).
Matt: What does that mean, Nicole?
Nicole: It means, it doesn't matter, 唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3). Literally, it's means it's not important. 唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3).
Matt: And again, this also starts with the word "no".
Nicole: Followed by 唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3).
Matt: And speaking of no, we've got a grammar point all about how to say no in Cantonese. Let's get to that now.

Lesson focus

Nicole: Okay. So today we're going to learn how to say no, and how to ask a simple question.
Matt: In the dialogue, we heard this line.
Nicole: 你係唔係偉仔?(nei5 hai6 m4 hai6 wai5 zai2?)
Matt: Aren't you Tony Leung?
Nicole: 你係唔係偉仔?(nei5 hai6 m4 hai6 wai5 zai2?)
Matt: Or literally are you or are you not Tony Leung?
Nicole: Sounds pretty serious 你係唔係偉仔? (nei5 hai6 m4 hai6 wai5 zai2?)
Matt: Yeah it sounds kind of like an accusation.
Nicole: Yeah.
Matt: The key part of this is?
Nicole: 係唔係 (hai6 m4 hai6).
Matt: "To be or not to be."
Nicole: sounds like Shakespeare
Matt: And this is how we ask a simple question.
Nicole: 係唔係 (hai6 m4 hai6).
Matt: By presenting both the positive and the negative, to be or not to be.
Nicole: 係唔係 (hai6 m4 hai6).
Matt: We're actually just asking "are you."
Nicole: Right. 係唔係 (hai6 m4 hai6).
Matt: The first and the last sound are the exact same characters.
Nicole: 係 (hai6).
Matt: Which again means 'to be' or it could also be 'is', 'am' or 'are.'
Nicole: Yup, because Cantonese doesn't conjugate verbs. How great is that.
Matt: Yeah. And the answer to this question is just as easy.
Nicole: Right. 係 (hai6). means 'yes', and 唔係 (m4 hai6) is 'no'.
Matt: So to answer a question, you just repeat the verb.
Nicole: Yup. You can say 係 (hai6). or 唔係 (m4 hai6), yes or no.
Nicole: 唔 (m4)
Matt: And stick it between two identical verbs.
Nicole: True. 做唔做 (zou6 m4 zou6).
Matt: to do or not to do or 'do you want to do it'?
Nicole: 做唔做 (zou6 m4 zou6).
Matt: Good.
Nicole: How about 食唔食 (sik6 m4 sik6).
Matt: That's to eat or not to eat.
Nicole: Right, 食唔食 (sik6 m4 sik6).
Matt: And the answer is always "yes". I would like some Dim-Sum.
Nicole: 食 (sik6) or 食點心 (sik6 dim2 sam1).
Matt: So, let's take a closer look at the word for "no". In the dialog we heard the guy say…
Nicole: 唔係 (m4 hai6).
Matt: 'No I'm not Tony Leung'.
Nicole: 唔係. 唔係偉仔 (m4 hai6. m4 hai6 wai5 zai2).
Matt: No, no, I'm not Tony Leung. So just like English, to make a verb a negative, we say?
Nicole: 唔 (m4)
Matt: Then the verb.
Nicole: 係 (hai6) / 唔係 (m4 hai6)
Matt: Just put 唔 (m4) in front of any verb.
Nicole: Right. Like 唔做 (m4 zou6).
Matt: Not to do.
Nicole: 唔食 (m4 sik6).
Matt: Not to eat.
Nicole: 唔學 (m4 hok6).
Matt: Not to learn. How about 'not to learn Cantonese'?
Nicole: 唔學廣東話 (m4 hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2).
Matt: Come on now, Nicole. That's some horrible advice.
Nicole: You said it.
Matt: You don't want to tell our listeners that.
Nicole: Well. So we can leave out the negative, the negation 唔 (m4). Just say 學廣東話 (hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2).
Matt: Which means learn Cantonese.
Nicole: 學廣東話 (hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2) with CantoneseClass101.com.

Outro

Matt: All right, everybody, thanks for tuning in and we hope to see you next time.
Nicole: See you.

74 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Being mistaken for a celebrity can be taken as a compliment. No need to apologize for that.

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 07:14 PM
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Hi Yaa,


Welcome to the Cantonese 101! Work hard and you will master the language! 😉


Arnold

Team CantoneseClass101.com

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 07:09 PM
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Hi Shalina,


No problem! I'm glad that I helped! 😄


Arnold

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Yaa
Sunday at 09:12 AM
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hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2 with CantoneseClass101.com.

Shalina
Tuesday at 12:18 PM
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thanks for the reply, arnold! that's really helpful to know; making a note of it now! 😄👍🏼

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 04:02 PM
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Hi Shalina,


I'm glad that you like our lessons!


Yes! That's absolutely right. I can give you a hand with completing the whole sentence.


我用 CantoneseClass101 學廣東話。

[ngo5 jung6 CantoneseClass jat1 ling4 jat1 (101) hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2.]

literally: I use CantoneseClass101 to learn Cantonese. (note that preposition "with" does not exist in Cantonese, so this is the Cantonese way to put it)


Arnold

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Shalina
Thursday at 01:22 PM
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is it grammatically correct to say ngo5 hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2 with cantoneseclass101? 🤔 (great lesson as usual!)

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 04:56 PM
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Hello Stella,


Thanks for your question. 👍

大陸 (daai6 luk6) ~ mainland

澳門 (ou3 mun2) ~ Macau


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Stella
Monday at 08:00 AM
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Hi Cantonese Class,

Can you explain what "dai lok" and "ou moon" means in the intro of the audio recording? The words comes right after heung gong (Hong Kong).


Thank you!

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:46 PM
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Hello Lychee,


-At- -In- -On- -Inside- -Outside-


喺(gau2) ~ at

裏面(leoi5 min6) ~ in

上面(soeng6 min6) ~ on

入面(jap6 min6) ~ inside


Siuling

Team Cantoneseclass101.com

Lychee
Thursday at 09:38 PM
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Hi! What is the position such as -At- -In- -On- -Inside- -Outside- mean in Cantonese?