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Lesson Transcript

Hi guys! Welcome to Cantonese Top Words. Today we're going to Happy Valley to see horse racing. So before we go in, we're going to talk about some words about horse racing in Hong Kong.
The first word is...
1. 跑馬 (paau2 maa5) "horse-racing"
跑馬 (paau2 maa5), literally "to run a horse"
跑(paau2) means "to run" and 馬(maa5) is "horse".
So in a sentence,
我哋今日去睇跑馬囉。 (ngo5 dei6 gam1 jat6 heoi3 tai2 paau2 maa5 lo3.) "Let's go watch the horseracing today!"
2. 跑馬地 (paau2 maa5 dei2) "Happy Valley"
So as you remember, we talked about 跑馬 (paau2 maa5) meaning "horse racing," and 跑馬地 (paau2 maa5 dei2), the 地(dei2) in here means the place or the location, so the place where they do horse racing is called 跑馬地 (paau2 maa5 dei2). It's an area name but in English, it's Happy Valley, so it doesn't really translate to the same meaning, it's not called horse-racing place or horse-racing area; because we have two horse racing courses in Hong Kong, one in Shatin and one in Happy Valley, 沙田同跑馬地 (saa1 tin4 tung4 paau2 maa5 dei2).
So, "Happy Valley", sometimes we call it 快活谷 (faai3 wut6 guk1), which is the literal meaning for happy valley.
"Happy" is 快活(faai3 wut6), "valley" is 谷(guk1). So we could call it 快活谷 (faai3 wut6 guk1), but the official name is 跑馬地 (paau2 maa5 dei2), and the official English is "Happy Valley".
So some history about 跑馬地 (paau2 maa5 dei2) "Happy Valley". Back in the 1940s, British armies set up military camps in that area but a lot of them died of malaria so it kind of became a cemetery area. So Happy Valley is a common euphemism for cemeteries, so that's how they name it "Happy Valley". And later on, they decided to put a horse racing court there so they named it 跑馬地 (paau2 maa5 dei2) in Cantonese. That's why the English and Cantonese meanings are a little different.
So in a sentence for "Happy Valley" 跑馬地 (paau2 maa5 dei2)
跑馬地啲屋好貴。 (paau2 maa5 dei2 di1 nguk1 hou2 gwai3.) "The properties in Happy Valley are very expensive."
Everything in Hong Kong is expensive, but in that area, it's a little bit more because it's kind of quiet because there is no MTR station there, you can only take a tram, bus or taxi or drive there, or walk there. So it's less crowded compared to other parts of Hong Kong.
3. 騎師 (ke4 si1) "jockey"
騎(ke4) means "to ride", and 師 (si1) is the person who do that verb, person who do that thing. So, jockey for the horse racing needs to be very tiny, very small or very lightweight.
In a sentence, we can say,
騎師通常都係五呎幾。 (ke4 si1 tung1 soeng4 dou1 hai6 ng5 cek3 gei2.) "Most jockeys are around five feet tall."
Or even shorter, maybe? I don't know, I never really stood next to a jockey. If you know, please leave us a comment.
4. 電車總站 (din6 ce1 zung2 zaam6) "tram terminus; the final station for the tram railway"
So the tram, which we call 叮叮(ding1 ding1), goes from the east to the west of the Hong Kong Island, but in the center where it goes to the Happy Valley, it kind of goes down and there is a terminal there. So three terminals in Hong Kong, one in the west, one in the east, and one in the center inside the Happy Valley. So if you want to go to the horse racing course you can take the tram, 叮叮(ding1 ding1) and go to the final station, the terminus station. But make sure that the tram, the 叮叮(ding1 ding1), says that they are going to Happy Valley because they have some that goes east, some goes to the west, and some goes to Happy Valley. Just be sure you get the one for Happy Valley, and then you just wait until it gets to the final stop.
5. 賭錢 (dou2 cin2) "to gamble"
Literally 賭(dou2) is the verb "gamble" and 錢(cin2) is "money".
So "to gamble money"
The funny thing is, 賭(dou2) sounds the same as "throw away", 倒 (dou2) "to throw away". So to gamble means throwing away money.
And there's a slogan that the government uses for a TV commercial telling people not to gamble, like, not to get addicted to gambling. So it is - 沉迷賭博等如倒錢落海。 (cam4 mai4 dou2 bok3 dang2 jyu1 dou2 cin2 lok6 hoi2.) "When you're addicted to gambling, it's the same as throwing money into the ocean."
Makes sense, right?
So 賭博 (dou2 bok3) is like the formal word for gambling, but normally when we talk about gambling, we say 賭錢 (dou2 cin2).
So 賭博 (dou2 bok3) and 賭錢 (dou2 cin2), they're the same but 賭博 (dou2 bok3) is more formal and usually in written form or in a formal situation; and for 賭錢 (dou2 cin2), we just use it everyday.
So, 唔好賭錢呀! (m4 hou2 dou2 cin2 aa3!) "Don't gamble!" Or, don't gamble your life away, don't gamble your wife away, don't gamble your house away.
So wish me luck for tonight and I hope I won't lose a lot of money, I'm gonna gamble maybe a little, maybe a few bucks (US dollars).
So I'll see you next time. My name is Olivia, and good luck if you gamble a little. If you gamble a lot or you're addicted to gambling, please try to stop yourself, please try to control yourself.
And I'll see you next time, 下次見 (haa6 ci3 gin3).


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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 06:30 PM
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Which word or phrase do you like the most?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 12:08 AM
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Hello robert groulx,

You are very welcome. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.

Kind regards,


Team CantoneseClass101.com

robert groulx
Wednesday at 10:46 PM
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thanks for the lesson

my favorite is 沉迷賭博等如倒錢落海。