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 we’re here with Absolute Beginner, Season 2, Lesson 20.
Nicole: “Hong Kong Telecom”.
David: Right. This is the lesson all about something that can happen in Hong Kong that won’t happen elsewhere.
Nicole: So, it’s happening in Hong Kong only?
David: In this case.
Nicole: I should’ve known that.
David: In this case, this will only happen in Hong Kong. Maybe we can generalize to elsewhere, but we’ve got a dialogue here that takes place between two friends.
Nicole: And they’re speaking casual Cantonese as always.
David: Right and one of the friends is wondering “why have you been out of touch?”
Nicole: Yeah, why?
David: So, it’s a mystery. We’re going to find out the answer. But before we do, we want to remind you: if you head to our premium learning center, we got this fantastic voice recording tool.
Nicole: Yeah, you can click the button and record your voice.
David: And then play it back and compare how you sound to our native speakers. This is a great way to figure out how your pronunciation and accent is coming along.
Nicole: Yeah, it’s a great way to improve your pronunciation.
David: Right. With that said, let’s get to the dialogue.
DIALOGUE
A: 點解唔接我電話? (dim2 gaai2 m4 zip3 ngo5 din6 waa2?)
B: 冇信號。(mou5 seon3 hou6.)
A: 點解冇信號?(dim2 gaai2 mou5 seon3 hou6?)
B: 過緊海底隧道。(gwo3 gan2 hoi2 dai2 seoi6 dou6.)
A: Why didn't you pick up my call?
B: There was no signal.
A: Why wasn't there any signal?
B: I was going through the Cross Harbor Tunnel.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: I told you this could only happen in Hong Kong!
Nicole: Really?
David: Who else has to cross Harbor Tunnel?
Nicole: Yeah, yeah.
David: We actually we don’t have a strong theme, for our vocab section today.
Nicole: No.
David: But, we do have a lot of useful words some of which are review.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: So we’re just going to get to it right away.
VOCAB LIST
Nicole: 點解 (dim2 gaai2)
David: “Why”.
Nicole: 點解,點解,接 (dim2 gaai2,dim2 gaai2, zip3)
David: “To answer”.
Nicole: 接,接,信號 (zip3, zip3, seon3 hou6)
David: “Signal”.
Nicole: 信號,信號,過 (seon3 hou6, seon3 hou6, gwo3)
David: “To go through”.
Nicole: 過,過,隧道 (gwo3, gwo3, seoi6 dou6)
David: “Tunnel”.
Nicole: 隧道,隧道,海底隧道 (seoi6 dou6, seoi6 dou6, hoi2 dai2 seoi6 dou6)
David: “Cross Harbor Tunnel”.
Nicole: 海底隧道,海底隧道,紅磡隧道 (hoi2 dai2 seoi6 dou6, hoi2 dai2 seoi6 dou6, hung4 ham3 seoi6 dou6)
David: “Hung Hom Tunnel”.
Nicole: 紅磡隧道,紅磡隧道 (hung4 ham3 seoi6 dou6, hung4 ham3 seoi6 dou6)
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
David: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases in today’s vocabulary.
Nicole: Alright. The first word is 點解 (dim2 gaai2)
David: “Why”.
Nicole: 點解 (dim2 gaai2)
David: In the dialogue, we heard that in this sentence.
Nicole: 點解唔接我電話?(dim2 gaai2 m4 zip3 ngo5 din6 waa2 ?)
David: “Why didn’t you pick up my call?”
Nicole: 點解唔接我電話? (dim2 gaai2 m4 zip3 ngo5 din6 waa2 ?)
David: You might also want to ask someone “Why didn’t you call?”
Nicole: 點解唔打我電話? (dim2 gaai2 m4 daa2 ngo5 din6 waa2?)
David: “Why didn’t you call?”
Nicole: 點解唔打我電話?(dim2 gaai2 m4 daa2 ngo5 din6 waa2?)
David: Or more simply “Why didn’t you ask?”
Nicole: 點解唔問? (dim2 gaai2 m4 man6?)
David: “Why didn’t you ask?”
Nicole: 點解唔問?(dim2 gaai2 m4 man6?)
David: So we’re putting this at the start of the sentence.
Nicole: Yeah. Just like the English.
David: Our second word is?
Nicole: 接。(zip3.)
David: We translated this as “to answer”.
Nicole: 接。(zip3.)
David: But it it’s really “to connect” or “to receive”.
Nicole: Yeah, or “to catch”.
David: Yeah.
Nicole: 接。(zip3.)
David: You also use this to meet someone at the airport.
Nicole: 接人 (zip3 jan4), “to pick up someone”.
David: Right, so although we say “to answer” it’s not to answer a question. For that, you want to say.
Nicole: 答。(daap3.)
David: So you can say “to answer a call”.
Nicole: 接電話。(zip3 din6 waa2.)
David: “To answer a question”.
Nicole: 答問題。(daap3 man6 tai4.)
David: “Why didn’t you answer my call?”
Nicole: 點解唔接我電話? (dim2 gaai2 m4 zip3 ngo5 din6 waa2?)
David: “Why didn’t you answer my question?”
Nicole: 點解唔答我問題?(dim2 gaai2 m4 daap3 ngo5 man6 tai4?)
David: Right. We’ve got the word for “signal” here.
Nicole: 信號。(seon3 hou6.)
David: We’re just highlighting this because of an earlier word that we’ve covered. “SMS”.
Nicole: 短信。(dyun2 seon3.)
David: Let’s hear those two together.
Nicole: 短信, 信號。(dyun2 seon3, seon3 hou6.)
David: They’re related. They share one of the same characters.
Nicole: 信。(seon3.)
David: Which literally means “letter”.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: So this is literally “letter number”.
Nicole: 信號。(seon3 hou6.)
David: “The signal”.
Nicole: 信號。(seon3 hou6.)
David: If you’re walking around in Hong Kong you might find some areas where the signal is good.
Nicole: 信號好強。(seon3 hou6 hou2 koeng4.)
David: And other areas where the signal is weak.
Nicole: 信號好弱。(seon3 hou6 hou2 joek6.)
David: So, if someone calls you, so as in this dialogue, you might not be able to answer because the signal is weak.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: When that happens, you’re going to want to apologize to someone. “I’m sorry, the signal was weak.”
Nicole: 對唔住,信號好弱。(deoi3 m4 zyu6, seon3 hou6 hou2 joek6.)
David: “I couldn’t answer.”
Nicole: Or like in the dialogue, there’s no signal at all. 冇信號. (mou5 seon3 hou6.)
David: Right. “There’s no signal.”
Nicole: 冇信號。(mou5 seon3 hou6.)
David: Our last two words are Hong Kong landmarks.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: First, we’ve got the “Cross Harbor Tunnel.”
Nicole: 海底隧道。(hoi2 dai2 seoi6 dou6.)
David: “Cross Harbor Tunnel”.
Nicole: 海底隧道。(hoi2 dai2 seoi6 dou6.)
David: If you’re on the island when you say that, a taxi driver will take you to the mainland.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: When you’re on the mainland and you say that, they’ll take you to the island. “Cross Harbor Tunnel”.
Nicole: 海底隧道。(hoi2 dai2 seoi6 dou6.)
David: Our second tunnel is?
Nicole: 紅磡隧道。(hung4 ham3 seoi6 dou6.)
David: Right. And we translated that as the “Hung Hom Tunnel”.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: Really it’s the same thing.
Nicole: It’s the same thing.
David: Okay.
Nicole: Cross Harbor Tunnel.
David: It’s just a different name for it. So you can ask for it by one of the two names.
Nicole: 海底隧道。(hoi2 dai2 seoi6 dou6.)
David: Or.
Nicole: 紅磡隧道。(hung4 ham3 seoi6 dou6.)
David: So, there’s no excuse for not getting yourself to the island now.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: And with that, let’s get onto our grammar point.

Lesson focus

David: It’s grammar time! We’re already on Lesson 20, so our grammar point is going to be a little bit tricky.
Nicole: Just a little bit.
David: Right. But you guys can handle it. It’s the difference between present tense and past tense when you’re negating something.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: In the dialogue, we heard this line.
Nicole: 點解唔接我電話? (dim2 gaai2 m4 zip3 ngo5 din6 waa2 ?)
David: We translated this as “Why didn’t you answer my call?” but really it means “Why aren’t you answering my call?”
Nicole: Yeah, it’s more of like present tense.
David: Yeah, now the key verb in that sentence is.
Nicole: 接。(zip3.)
David: “To answer”. And we’re negating it with?
Nicole: 唔 (m4)
David: Together that’s?
Nicole: 唔接 (m4 zip3)
David: “Not to answer”.
Nicole: 唔接 (m4 zip3)
David: “Not to answer”.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: And that’s the present tense. So, really you’re saying “Why aren’t you answering my call?”
Nicole: That’s right.
David: “I keep calling you, you don’t pick up! Why aren’t you answering my calls?”
Nicole: Yeah, because he’s crossing the Cross Harbor Tunnel.
David: Right. And that’s where the past tense comes in. If you want to explicitly put a verb in the past tense, you don’t use.
Nicole: 唔 (m4)
David: You use.
Nicole: 冇 (mou5)
David: “Didn’t answer”.
Nicole: 冇接。(mou5 zip3.)
David: Okay. This is a bit tricky. Let’s practice with a few really simple verbs. The verb “to go”.
Nicole: 去。(heoi3.)
David: “Not to go”.
Nicole: 唔去。(m4 heoi3.)
David: “I do not go”.
Nicole: 我唔去。(ngo5 m4 heoi3.)
David: “I didn’t go”.
Nicole: 我冇去。(ngo5 mou5 heoi3.)
David: How about the sentence “They eat”?
Nicole: 佢哋食。(keoi5 dei6 sik6.)
David: In the negative that’s “they don’t eat”.
Nicole: 佢哋唔食。(keoi5 dei6 m4 sik6.)
David: And in the past tense?
Nicole: 佢哋冇食。(keoi5 dei6 mou5 sik6.)
David: “Drink. I don’t drink.”
Nicole: 我唔飲。(ngo5 m4 jam2.)
David: “I didn’t drink.”
Nicole: 我冇飲。(ngo5 mou5 jam2.)
David: Let’s practice with verb phrases too. “To dial a telephone”.
Nicole: 打電話。(daa2 din6 waa2.)
David: “I don’t dial the telephone.”
Nicole: 我唔打電話。(ngo5 m4 daa2 din6 waa2.)
David: You’re probably not going to use that, but you’re going to use “I didn’t call.”
Nicole: 我冇打電話。(ngo5 mou5 daa2 din6 waa2.)
David: “I didn’t call”.
Nicole: 我冇打電話。(ngo5 mou5 daa2 din6 waa2.)
David: So, to review. We’ve got a grammar point that’s a bit tricky.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: There’re two ways of negating verbs.
Nicole: 唔(m4) and 冇 (mou5)
David: In the present tense, use...
Nicole: 唔 (m4)
David: For the past tense, use...
Nicole: 冇 (mou5)
David: “Not to go”.
Nicole: 唔去。(m4 heoi3.)
David: “Not to have gone”.
Nicole: 冇去。(mou5 heoi3.)
David: “Not to call”.
Nicole: 唔打。(m4 daa2)
David: “Not to have called”.
Nicole: 冇打。(mou5 daa2.)
David: And this can be tricky because as well as our dialogue, sometimes things are in the present tense that in English we put in the past tense. As you keep studying Cantonese, you’re going to get the hang of this.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: So stick with us.
Nicole: And in Cantonese, we have time phrases to clear that up.

Outro

David: Yeah. And as always, if you have any questions, there are two easy ways to getting them answered. The first, check out our PDFs on the site, we’ve got the grammar points written up with tons of sample sentences. Second?
Nicole: Leave us a comment on our site CantoneseClass101.com. I’ll be there to answer.
David: Right. Nicole is waiting for your questions.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: With that though, we’ve done the lesson for today. Thanks again for listening and we’ll see you on the site.
Nicole: See you.
David: Bye-bye.

Grammar

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7 Comments

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CantoneseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Saturday at 11:30 am
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Hi Alex,


Yes, you can use ’strong’ and ‘weak’ from this lesson for people or use them to describe a soccer team.


呢隊波好弱。(ni1 deoi6 bo1 hou2 joek6 ) This soccer team is so weak. :disappointed:


呢隊波好強。(ni1 deoi6 bo1 hou2 keong4) This soccer team is so strong. :thumbsup:


唔使客氣 (m4 sai2 haak3 hei3) You are welcome!


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Alex
Monday at 8:18 am
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Hello, :smile:


Can we use 'strong' and 'weak' from this lesson for people too?

like:


Keoi5 hou2 jeok6 (He is weak.)

Keoi5 hou2 keong4 (He is strong.)


Thank you!:thumbsup:

Alex

CantoneseClass101
Friday at 4:00 pm
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Hi HC,


When 緊 follows a verb, it represents the progressive tense. For examples:

過 "go through" --> 過緊 "going through"

食 "eat" --> 食緊 "eating"

行 "walk" --> 行緊 "walking"


Olivia

Team CantoneseClass101.com

HC
Friday at 3:46 am
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What doe the 緊 mean in 過緊?

CantoneseClass101
Wednesday at 6:14 pm
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Hi Wendy,


Thank you very much for your comment! We're sure other learners will benefit from it too :smile:

Weak in Cantonese is 弱 (joek6), so "the signal is weak" in Cantonese is 信號好弱.

There are 3 under-harbor tunnels in Hong Kong: Cross-Harbour Tunnel, Western Harbour Tunnel, and Eastern Harbour Tunnel.


Olivia

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Wendy
Tuesday at 12:30 pm
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Hi ~:smile:

How to say "weak" in "信號好weak" ? I couldn't find it in the PDF:sob:

Are there any other 海底隧道s in Hong Kong?:open_mouth:

THX!!:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Wendy:grin: