Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Hi, guys! Welcome to Cantonese Top Words. I’m Olivia and today, we are going to talk about top 10 phrases your parents always say. Here we go!
1. 小心。 (siu2 sam1.) "Be careful."
It’s very common for a mother or father to warn their kids especially when they’re running around with scissors or doing anything that seems dangerous or jumping around on the sofa. So they will say - 小心呀!(siu2 sam1 aa3!) "Be careful." 小心。 (siu2 sam1.) "Be careful." 小 (siu2) is “little; small”, 心 (sam1) is “heart” so small heart somehow means be careful or be cautious.
2. 靜啲。 (zing6 di1.) "Be quiet."
It’s funny how parents take a long time to teach you to talk and then when you’re older, they just tell you to be quiet and not talk so much. 靜啲。 (zing6 di1.), 靜 (zing6) means “quiet”, 啲 (di1) is “for a bit” so keep it low, keep it quiet for a bit so 靜啲。 (zing6 di1.). If you are screaming in the living room while mother and father is doing their own thing, they might tell you 靜啲。 (zing6 di1.). It’s like be quiet, keep quiet.
The next one is...
3. 乖啲啦。 (gwaai1 di1 laa1.) "Behave."
乖 (gwaai1) means “to be good / to behave” so 啲 (di1) is “for a bit” and 啦 (laa1) is the final particle. So 乖啲啦。 (gwaai1 di1 laa1.) is like "Behave / Please be good.".
For example, I’ve had a hectic day, please behave. 唔該你乖啲啦!(m4 goi1 nei5 gwaai1 di1 laa1.) “Please behave.” 唔該你乖啲啦!(m4 goi1 nei5 gwaai1 di1 laa1.). 唔該 (m4 goi1) is like “please”. 乖啲啦。 (gwaai1 di1 laa1.) "Behave."
4. 做功課! (zou6 gung1 fo3!) "Do your homework!"
So literally, “do” is 做 (zou6) and “homework” is 功課 (gung1 fo3) so "Do your homework!" 做功課! (zou6 gung1 fo3!).
I don’t think my parents had to tell me to do homework when I was younger. We just automatically do it. I didn’t hear this sentence much when I was younger. So 做功課! (zou6 gung1 fo3!) "Do your homework!", go do your homework!
5. 去瞓覺。 (heoi3 fan3 gaau3.) "Go to bed."
去 (heoi3) is “go”, 瞓覺 (fan3 gaau3) is “sleep” so go to bed is like go to sleep, go to bed.
十點喇,去瞓覺啦! (sap6 dim2 laa3, heoi3 fan3 gaau3 laa1!) “It's already ten, go to bed!”
6. 我數到三。 (ngo5 sou2 dou3 saam1.) "I'm going to count to three."
我 (ngo5) is “me”, 數 (sou2 ) is “to count”, 到 (dou3) is like “up to” and 三 (saam1) is “three” so 我數到三。 (ngo5 sou2 dou3 saam1.) "I'll count to three / I'm going to count up to three.”
I hear that a lot with most parents, I’m going to count to three and something terrible is going to happen if you don’t do what they say when they count to three. But nowadays, kids are not that afraid of this sentence, but in my generation, we are terrified of this sentence.
7. 停。 (ting4.) "Stop."
If a bunch of kids are running around and screaming and the parent will just say “Stop!”, 停呀!停!(ting4 aa3! ting4!).
8. 你講咩? (nei5 gong2 me1?) "What did you say?"
If a kid talked back, this would be what the parents say, “What did you say?” 你講咩? (nei5 gong2 me1?). It’s like, “How dare you talk back to me!” 你講咩? (nei5 gong2 me1?). 你 (nei5) is “you”, 講 (gong2) is “to speak”, 咩 (me1) is the question particle so “what you said” literally so “What did you say?” 你講咩? (nei5 gong2 me1?). Don’t talk back to your parents.
9. 我唔係講笑。 (ngo5 m4 hai6 gong2 siu3.) "I'm not kidding."
我 (ngo5) “me”, 唔係 (m4 hai6 ) “to be not”, 講笑 (gong2 siu3) is “joking / kidding” so 我唔係講笑。 (ngo5 m4 hai6 gong2 siu3.) "I'm not kidding.".
去瞓覺,我唔係講笑。 (heoi3 fan3 gaau3, ngo5 m4 hai6 gong2 siu3.) “Go to bed, I'm not kidding.” I’m not joking. I’m not joking around. You better do it. I’m serious. 我唔係講笑。 (ngo5 m4 hai6 gong2 siu3.).
10. 即刻熄電視。 (zik1 haak1 sik1 din6 si6.) "Turn off the TV now."
Turn the TV off now. 即刻 (zik1 haak1) is “immediately / at once”, 熄電視 (sik1 din6 si6) is “to turn off the TV”, 熄 (sik1) is “to turn off”, 電視 (din6 si6) is “TV”. 即刻熄電視。 (zik1 haak1 sik1 din6 si6.) "Turn the TV off now."
I used to stay up and watch TV while my mom is downstairs doing something else. So when she came up and see that I’m still watching TV and not in bed, she will say - 即刻熄電視,去瞓覺! (zik1 haak1 sik1 din6 si6, heoi3 fan3 gaau3!) “Turn the TV off now and go to bed!”. I had a very early bedtime like 7:00. Nowadays, kids stay up pretty late I heard.

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