Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
David: Welcome to CantoneseClass101.com. I’m David.
Nicole: 大家好, 我係 (daai6 gaa1 hou2 , ngo5 hai6) Nicole.
David: And welcome to Absolute Beginner, Season 2, Lesson 16.
Nicole: “Paying Phone Bills in Hong Kong.”
David: Right. You still have to pay them in Hong Kong.
Nicole: Too bad.
David: Yeah. So, we’ve got a dialogue here that’s between two friends. So, they’re not actually paying a phone bill but they’re going to talk about it.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: And because they’re friends, they’ll be speaking casual Cantonese as always, right? Now, we’re going to take you to the dialogue in a sec, before we do we want to remind you we have these great dialogue only recordings on CantoneseClass101.com.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: Download these through IPod, it’s a really quick way to review.
Nicole: It really helps.
David: Yeah, with that, let’s go to the dialogue.
DIALOGUE
A: 你電話打唔通。(nei5 din6 waa2 daa2 m4 tung1.)
B: 係咩? (hai6 me1?)
A: 要交電話費喇!(jiu3 gaau1 din6 waa2 fai3 laa3!)
B: 咩係電話費呀?(me1 hai6 din6 waa2 fai3 aa3?)
A: I couldn't reach you by phone.
B: Really?
A: You should pay your phone bill.
B: What's a phone bill?
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: I’ve been guilty of this.
Nicole: Why?
David: Not not knowing what a phone bill is, but just you know, letting it go for a while.
Nicole: Really?
David: Yeah.
Nicole: Yeah, I think this person in this dialogue just does the same thing.
David: Yeah. Okay. Well, we’ve got a vocab section here, which is all about phones and recharging them and phone bills. So, you’re going to need to use this stuff , let’s get right to the vocab section.
Nicole: Alright.
VOCAB LIST
Nicole: 打。(daa2)
David: “To dial”.
Nicole: 打, 打, 電話。(daa2, daa2, din6 waa2.)
David: “Telephone”.
Nicole: 電話, 電話, 通。(din6 waa2, din6 waa2, tung1.)
David: “To get through”.
Nicole: 通, 通, 短信。(tung1, tung1, dyun2 seon3)
David: “Text message”.
Nicole: 短信, 短信, 留言。(dyun2 seon3, dyun2 seon3, lau4 jin4.)
David: “To leave a message”.
Nicole: 留言, 留言, 電話費。(lau4 jin4, lau4 jin4, din6 waa2 fai3.)
David: “Phone bill”.
Nicole: 電話費, 電話費, 交。(din6 waa2 fai3, din6 waa2 fai3, gaau1.)
David: “To pay”.
Nicole: 交, 交。(gaau1, gaau1.)
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
David: Let’s take a closer look at some of these words and phrases.
Nicole: Alright. The first word we want to look at is 打. (daa2.)
David: “To dial”.
Nicole: 打。(daa2.)
David: And of course, what you’re dialing is a telephone.
Nicole: 電話。(din6 waa2.)
David: telephone.
Nicole: 電話。(din6 waa2.)
David: So literally actually is to “hit the telephone”.
Nicole: Exactly.
David: Right.
Nicole: Because that what you do.
David: Yeah.
Nicole: Hit the numbers.
David: Yeah, so “to hit the telephone”.
Nicole: 打電話。(daa2 din6 waa2.)
David: “To dial the telephone”.
Nicole: 打電話。(daa2 din6 waa2.)
David: “I need to dial the telephone”.
Nicole: 我要打電話。(ngo5 jiu3 daa2 din6 waa2.)
David: “Give me a telephone call.”
Nicole: 打電話比我。(daa2 din6 waa2 bei2 ngo5.)
David: That’s a really useful one.
Nicole: Let’s hear it one more time. 打電話比我。(daa2 din6 waa2 bei2 ngo5.)
David: “Give me a telephone call.” So you can give someone your number and you can say this.
Nicole: 打電話比我。(daa2 din6 waa2 bei2 ngo5.)
David: And hopefully they’ll call you.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: Yeah. Assuming that you’ve paid your telephone bill.
Nicole: 電話費。(din6 waa2 fai3.)
David: “Telephone bill”.
Nicole: 電話費。(din6 waa2 fai3.)
David: Just like in English, we have the word for “telephone”.
Nicole: 電話。(din6 waa2.)
David: And then the word for “expense” or “fee”.
Nicole: 費。(fai3.)
David: And that’s an English language loanword, right?
Nicole: Yeah.
David: It comes from English, so easy to remember.
Nicole: I’m not sure about that, but yeah.
David: Yeah. I think it does. So that’s “telephone bill”.
Nicole: 電話費。(din6 waa2 fai3.)
David: And Nicole, there’s a point you want to make about the word “telephone”.
Nicole: Yeah. In oral Cantonese, 電話 (din6 waa2) can mean both “telephone” and “cellphone”.
David: Yeah. Is there a special word for cellphone?
Nicole: Yes, there is. 手提電話 (sau2 tai4 din6 waa2), “hand carried telephone”.
David: Right. So, that’s a “hand styled phone”.
Nicole: Yeah. 手提電話 (sau2 tai4 din6 waa2) or you can say 手機. (sau2 gei1.)
David: “Cellphone”.
Nicole: 手提電話。(sau2 tai4 din6 waa2.)
David: Or?
Nicole: 手機。(sau2 gei1.)
David: Right. Now, you dial someone’s number and you don’t get through, you might be asked to “leave a message”.
Nicole: 留言。(lau4 jin4.)
David: “Leave a message”.
Nicole: 留言。(lau4 jin4.)
David: “Leave a message after the beep.”
Nicole: 嗶一聲之後留言。(bit1 jat1 seng1 zi1 hau6 lau4 jin4.)
David: “Leave a message after the beep.”
Nicole: 嗶一聲之後留言。 (bit1 jat1 seng1 zi1 hau6 lau4 jin4.)
David: And anyone who asks you to do that in Hong Kong is toying with you because they’re always carrying their cell phones.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: Right? So, if someone does that, you know they’re playing with you. If you do need to get in touch though, you can also send them a “text message”.
Nicole: 短信。(dyun2 seon3.)
David: “Text message”.
Nicole: 短信。(dyun2 seon3.)
David: Nicole is always text messaging.
Nicole: Yeah, it’s fun.
David: So, if you meet someone you can say “Hey, text me”.
Nicole: 發短信比我。 (faat3 dyun2 seon3 bei2 ngo5.)
David: And that’s literally “Issue a text message to give to me”.
Nicole: Yeah. Or “send text message to me”. 發短信比我。(faat3 dyun2 seon3 bei2 ngo5.)
David: That sentence is really close to something we already learned. Let’s hear that again with “give me a telephone call”.
Nicole: 打電話比我。 (daa2 din6 waa2 bei2 ngo5.)
David: “Send me a text message”.
Nicole: 發短信比我。 (faat3 dyun2 seon3 bei2 ngo5.)
David: So the last two sounds, “for me”, don’t change.
Nicole: 比我。(bei2 ngo5.)
David: We’re just changing the verb object.
Nicole: It’s either 打電話 (daa2 din6 waa2) or 發短信 (faat3 dyun2 seon3).
David: Right. “Give me a call.”
Nicole: 打電話比我。(daa2 din6 waa2 bei2 ngo5.)
David: “Send me a text message”.
Nicole: 發短信比我。 (faat3 dyun2 seon3 bei2 ngo5.)
David: And that brings us to the end of the vocab section. In the grammar section, we’re going to take a closer look at one of trickier verbs in this dialogue.

Lesson focus

David: It’s grammar time! Our grammar focus today is a fairly tricky verb construction.
Nicole: Yeah, it’s a bit difficult.
David: Right. And it comes from this line in the dialogue.
Nicole: 你電話打唔通。 (nei5 din6 waa2 daa2 m4 tung1.)
David: “I couldn’t reach you by phone.”
Nicole: 你電話打唔通。 (nei5 din6 waa2 daa2 m4 tung1.)
David: Or literally it’s “your telephone”.
Nicole: 你電話。(nei5 din6 waa2.)
David: “Would not connect through”.
Nicole: 打唔通。 (daa2 m4 tung1.)
David: Let’s hear that verb again, “would not connect”.
Nicole: 打唔通。 (daa2 m4 tung1.)
David: Right. Nicole, what’s going on?
Nicole: Well, this is a very useful structure, we have the verb 打 (daa2) and then the negation 唔 (m4) and then the adjective 通. (tung1.)
David: Right. Sometime it’s an adjective, sometimes it will be a verb at the end.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: But when you see this, it’s actually one verb unit.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: It’s saying to dial, but the result of this is that it does not go through in this case.
Nicole: Exactly. So, it says something about the action and then mentions the result of it.
David: Yes, so it’s technically known as a resultative verb complement.
Nicole: Exactly.
David: And here we’re seeing in the negative, in the case of “to dial but not to get through”.
Nicole: 打唔通。(daa2 m4 tung1.)
David: This is a really common verb structure in Cantonese.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: We’re going to give you a couple of more example, although as always we encourage you to check out the details in the premium PDF. More examples though, you can say “Can’t get done”.
Nicole: 做唔晒。(zou6 m4 saai3.)
David: “Not to be able to finish”.
Nicole: That’s right. 做唔晒。(zou6 m4 saai3.)
David: Or what if you go to a fancy restaurant and they serve you these really small dishes?
Nicole: That’s right.
David: And you order ten of them and you still can’t get full.
Nicole: Oh, I hate it!
David: You might complain.
Nicole: 食唔飽。 (sik6 m4 baau2.)
David: “I can’t eat full.”
Nicole: 食唔飽 (sik6 m4 baau2), so we have the word “eat”, 食 (sik6) and the negation 唔 (m4) and then “full”, 飽 (baau2). Together we have 食唔飽. (sik6 m4 baau2.)
David: Right. If you like going to bars instead, you might find some places in Hong Kong that water down the drinks. In which case -
Nicole: Yeah, it might happen.
David: - you might be saying something else.
Nicole: 飲唔醉。 (jam2 m4 zeoi3.)
David: “Can’t get drunk”.
Nicole: 飲唔醉。 (jam2 m4 zeoi3.)
David: “Can’t get drunk”. And again, it’s the same pattern. We have the verb…..
Nicole: 飲。 (jam2.)
David: Which means “to drink”, and then the negation.
Nicole: 唔。(m4.)
David: And the verb or adjective that tells us the result.
Nicole: 醉。(zeoi3.)
David: “Can’t get drunk”.
Nicole: 飲唔醉。 (jam2 m4 zeoi3.)
David: So all of these verbs are simple variations on the pattern we see in our dialogue.
Nicole: 你電話打唔通。 (nei5 din6 waa2 daa2 m4 tung1.)
David: Now, in the later lesson we’re going to cover how to do the same thing in a positive sense.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: For now though, just pay attention to how this works in a negative. “We’ll not go through.”
Nicole: 打唔通。(daa2 m4 tung1.)
David: “Can’t get done”.
Nicole: 做唔晒。 (zou6 m4 saai3.)
David: “Can’t eat full”.
Nicole: 食唔飽。(sik6 m4 baau2.)
David: “Can’t get drunk”.
Nicole: 飲唔醉。 (jam2 m4 zeoi3.)
David: And that’s our grammar point this lesson.

Outro

David: Before we go, I want to remind all of our iPhone, iPod and iPad users.
Nicole: Listen, tap and swipe your way to fluency with our Cantonese language apps.
David: Right. We’ve got a bunch of Cantonese apps on the iTunes store that you can use to study on the go.
Nicole: They’re fun and easy to use. Just visit our iPhone page on CantoneseClass101.com to learn more about it.
David: And that’s it for today. I’m David.
Nicole: 我係 (ngo5 hai6) Nicole.
David: Thanks a lot for listening and we hope to see you on the site.
Nicole: See you!

7 Comments

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CantoneseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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What would you do if you couldn't connect your phone in Hong Kong?

Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Tuesday at 12:02 am
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Hi Gina,


Thank you so much for your encouragement. :smile:


Feel free to send us more questions.



Siuling


Team Cantoneseclass101.com

Gina
Saturday at 3:52 pm
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多謝 SiuLing,

Your explanation is really clear, thanks so much! :thumbsup:

CantoneseClass101.comVerified
Wednesday at 12:32 pm
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Hi Gina,


Very good question.

有冇我電話?(jau5 mou5 ngo5 din6 waa2) actually is the short form of

有冇打俾我嘅電話?(jau5 mou5 daa2 bei2 ngo5 ge3 din6 waa2),

打俾 (daa2 bei2) means "being called". The phrase 打俾我 (daa2 bei2 ngo5) is to modify the word "phone call",電話(din6 waa2) .


If you want to ask someone if they have your phone, you can also say 有冇我電話?(jau5 mou5 ngo5 din6 waa2) as the short form of 有冇帶我電話? (jau5 mou5 daai3 ngo5 din6 waa2) , 帶 (daai3) means "bring" or "keep".


Most of the times 有冇我電話?(jau5 mou5 ngo5 din6 waa2) is the short form of

有冇我電話號碼?(jau5 mou5 ngo5 din6 waa2 hou6 maa5 ) , which means "Do you have my phone number?".

號碼 (hou6 maa5 ) means "number".


It is a bit tricky here. :laughing: Feel free to send us more comment.


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Gina
Sunday at 11:41 am
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Hi,

I was wondering about the example sentence

有冇我電話

If this means "Are there any phone calls for me?", then how do you ask someone if they have your phone?

Thanks :smile:

CantoneseClass101
Tuesday at 4:36 pm
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Hi Rylee,


你好!

俾 in 佢發左短訊俾我 is similar to "to" in English.

Without 俾, the sentence 佢發左短訊我 would not make much sense ("She sent message me")


Olivia

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Rylee
Saturday at 10:10 am
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你好!


我有問題, 喺句 "佢發左短訊俾我" , what is the purpose of the character "俾"?


唔該晒!