Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
David: Welcome to CantoneseClass101.com. I’m David.
Gimmy: 大家好, 我係 Gimmy。(daai6 gaa1 hou2, ngo5 hai6 Gimmy.)
David: And we’re here today with Beginner Season 1, Lesson 12.
Gimmy: Asking for Directions in Cantonese.
David: Right. So today, we’re going to learn how to turn left, how to turn right, how to go straight ahead.
Gimmy: Yup.
David: Right.
Gimmy: Go towards or how to find the place...
David: Destination, yeah.
Gimmy: …you want to go.
David: So you’re not going to get lost.
Gimmy: Yeah.
David: We’ve got a conversation here that takes place on the street between strangers. One is asking for directions. And of course, they’re speaking casual Cantonese as always.
Gimmy: Right. Let’s get to the dialogue.

Lesson conversation

邊度有銀行?(bin1 dou6 jau5 ngan4 hong4?)
前面直行,然後轉左。(cin4 min6 zik6 haang4, jin4 hau6 zyun3 zo2.)
行幾耐?(haang4 gei2 noi6?)
十分鐘度。(sap6 fan1 zung1 dou2.)
David: Once again, a bit slower.
邊度有銀行?(bin1 dou6 jau5 ngan4 hong4?)
前面直行,然後轉左。(cin4 min6 zik6 haang4, jin4 hau6 zyun3 zo2.)
行幾耐?(haang4 gei2 noi6?)
十分鐘度。(sap6 fan1 zung1 dou2.)
David: And now, with the English translation.
邊度有銀行?(bin1 dou6 jau5 ngan4 hong4?)
Where is the bank?
前面直行,然後轉左。(cin4 min6 zik6 haang4, jin4 hau6 zyun3 zo2.)
Go straight, then turn left.
行幾耐?(haang4 gei2 noi6?)
How long is the walk?
十分鐘度。(sap6 fan1 zung1 dou2.)
About ten minutes.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: This is a great dialogue for reviewing.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: There’s a lot of stuff that we’ve covered previously that’s coming back, like about 10 minutes.
Gimmy: Yes, 十分鐘度 (sap6 fan1 zung1 dou2).
David: Right. But our vocab today, we’re skipping all of these to focus on some new things.
Gimmy: Right.
David: Directions.
Gimmy: Mostly directions.
David: Right. So let’s get to our vocab section.
VOCAB LIST
Gimmy: 邊度 (bin1 dou6) [natural native speed]
David: Where.
Gimmy: 邊度 (bin1 dou6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 邊度 (bin1 dou6) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 銀行 (ngan4 hong4) [natural native speed]
David: Bank
Gimmy: 銀行 (ngan4 hong4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 銀行 (ngan4 hong4) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 前 (cin4) [natural native speed].
David: Front.
Gimmy: 前 (cin4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 前 (cin4) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 後 (hau6) [natural native speed]
David: Back.
Gimmy: 後 (hau6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 後 (hau6) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 左 (zo2) [natural native speed]
David: Left.
Gimmy: 左 (zo2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 左 (zo2) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 右 (jau6) [natural native speed]
David: Right.
Gimmy: 右 (jau6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 右 (jau6) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 轉 (zyun3) [natural native speed]
David: To turn.
Gimmy: 轉 (zyun3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 轉 (zyun3) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 直行 (zik6 haang4) [natural native speed].
David: To go straight.
Gimmy: 直行 (zik6 haang4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 直行 (zik6 haang4) [natural native speed].
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
David: Let’s take a closer look at some of these words and phrases. Our focus today is obviously on directions.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: So the two most important are turning left and turning right.
Gimmy: Right, David. Left is 左. (zo2.)
David: “Left.”
Gimmy: 左. (zo2.)
David: And we have the word for “right” as well.
Gimmy: 右. (jau6.)
David: Right.
Gimmy: 右. (jau6.)
David: Now, let’s say you’re in a cab. You can tell the cab driver, “Go left.”
Gimmy: 轉左. (zyun3 zo2.)
David: “Go left.”
Gimmy: 轉左. (zyun3 zo2.)
David: Or “Go right.”
Gimmy: 轉右. (zyun3 jau6.)
David: “Go right.”
Gimmy: 轉右. (zyun3 jau6.)
David: But this is necessarily the most native way of giving directions.
Gimmy: Right. People from Hong Kong, they say “turn left, and then turn right.”
David: Right. So it’s a bit different. Let’s say you’re in a cab and you want to give directions to the cabbie. Gimmy, what should you do?
Gimmy: Okay. Say you want the cab to turn left, you say 轉左. (zyun3 zo2.)
David: “Turn left.”
Gimmy: 轉左. (zyun3 zo2.)
David: “Turn left.”
Gimmy: Now we need to make a right turn, 轉右. (zyun3 jau6.)
David: Turn right.
Gimmy: 轉右. (zyun3 jau6.)
David: So Cantonese is very straight forward. It’s literally the verb for turn and then the direction.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: What if we don’t want to turn left or right but we want to go straight ahead?
Gimmy: Okay, that’s 直行. (zik6 haang4.)
David: “Go straight ahead.”
Gimmy: 直行 (zik6 haang4)
David: And that literally means “continue to go.”
Gimmy: Straight.
David: Yeah.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: So if you don’t want the cabbie to turn, you can say…
Gimmy: 唔該直行. (m4 goi1 zik6 haang4.)
David: “Please go straight ahead.”
Gimmy: 唔該直行. (m4 goi1 zik6 haang4.)
David: What about “go straight ahead, and then stop”
Gimmy: 前面直行, 然後停車. (cin4 min6 zik6 haang4, jin4 hau6 ting4 ce1)
David: “First go straight ahead.”
Gimmy: 前面直行. (cin4 min6 zik6 haang4.)
David: “And then stop.”
Gimmy: 然後停車. (jin4 hau6 ting4 ce1)
David: So three really important things today. We now know how to say “left”…
Gimmy: 左. (zo2.)
David: …right…
Gimmy: 右. (jau6.)
David: And straight ahead.
Gimmy: 直行. (zik6 haang4.)
David: In our grammar section, we’ll then learn how to chain these together into longer instructions.
Gimmy: Right.

Lesson focus

David: So our focus today is on giving chained instructions.
Gimmy: Right.
David: We have something close to this in the second line in our dialogue.
Gimmy: 前面直行,然後轉左。 (cin4 min6 zik6 haang4, jin4 hau6 zyun3 zo2.)
David: Right. Literally this means “right here.”
Gimmy: 前面... (cin4 min6...)
David: “Go straight.”
Gimmy: 直行... (zik6 haang4...)
David: “And then turn left.”
Gimmy: 然後轉左. (jin4 hau6 zyun3 zo2.)
David: Right. So if you’re talking on the street, you can always use this “right here”.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: But it’s more important to know how to generalize instructions.
Gimmy: Right.
David: So today, we’re going to teach you how to say, “First do something and then…
Gimmy: And then…
David: …do something else.”
Gimmy: Right.
David: The pattern for this is...
Gimmy: 首先...然後... (sau2 sin1... jin4 hau6...)
David: “First.”
Gimmy: 首先... (sau2 sin1…)
David: “Then”
Gimmy: 然後. (jin4 hau6.)
David: For instance, let’s say you need to ask your friend to do you a favor.
Gimmy: You’re asking him “First go to the bank, and then buy a drink.”
David: Right.
Gimmy: 首先去銀行, 然後買飲品. (sau2 sin1 heoi3 ngan4 hong4, jin4 hau6 maai5 jam2 ban2.)
David: Right. “First, go to the bank.”
Gimmy: 首先去銀行... (sau2 sin1 heoi3 ngan4 hong4...)
David: “Then buy a drink.”
Gimmy: 然後買飲品. (jin4 hau6 maai5 jam2 ban2.)
David: Or maybe you’re asking someone on a date. You can say, “First a movie, then a bar.”
Gimmy: 首先睇戲, 然後飲嘢. (sau2 sin1 tai2 hei3, jin4 hau6 jam2 je5.)
David: “First a movie, then a bar.”
Gimmy: 首先睇戲, 然後飲嘢. (sau2 sin1 tai2 hei3, jin4 hau6 jam2 je5.)
David: Which is literally, “First we’re going to watch a movie, and then we’re going to drink.”
Gimmy: Yes.
David: Right. So this is a really powerful structure.
Gimmy: 首先... 然後... (sau2 sin1... jin4 hau6...)
David: We can use this in giving directions to.
Gimmy: Right.
David: For instance, “First go straight ahead, then turn left.”
Gimmy: 首先直行, 然後轉左. (sau2 sin1 zik6 haang4, jin4 hau6 zyun3 zo2.)
David: How about, “First turn left, then turn right.”
Gimmy: 首先轉左, 然後轉右. (sau2 sin1 zyun3 zo2, jin4 hau6 zyun3 jau6.)
David: And there’s no reason we need to stop at two.
Gimmy: All right David, you can say “First turn left, then turn right, then go straight, then do whatever.”
David: Right. And to do this, you just keep adding “and then” or “afterwards.”
Gimmy: Yes. Let me give you an example, 首先轉左, 然後轉右, 然後直行, 然後再轉左. (sau2 sin1 zyun3 zo2, jin4 hau6 zyun3 jau6, jin4 hau6 zik6 haang4, jin4 hau6 zoi3 zyun3 zo2 .)
David: Okay. So that’s “First turn left, then turn right, then go straight ahead, and then turn left again.”
Gimmy: Right.
David: Right. So you can change many of these together as you want.
Gimmy: Of course.
David: Okay? Once again, the grammar pattern is…
Gimmy: 首先... 然後... (sau2 sin1... jin4 hau6... )
David: In our dialogue, we replaced “first”…
Gimmy:首先. (sau2 sin1.)
David: …with “right here”…
Gimmy: 前面. (cin4 min6.)
David: …which means “right in front of you.”
Gimmy: Right.
David: But it’s the same pattern. And with that, we’re done our lesson for today.

Outro

David: Thanks for listening. I’m David.
Gimmy: I’m Gimmy.
David: And we’ll see you on the site.
Gimmy: 下次見. (haa6 ci3 gin3.)

Grammar

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46 Comments

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CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi everyone! Are you comfortable in using this lesson's vocabulary in Cantonese?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 08:49 PM
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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,

利凡特

Team CantoneseClass101.com

robert groulx
Friday at 10:56 PM
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thank you for the lesson


my favorite phrase is 首先直行, 然後轉左.


robert

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 06:07 PM
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Hi Sarah,


Thanks for your question.

Actually, there're 3 different pronunciations for 行, including hang4, haang4 and hong4. 😄

For example,

旅行 (leoi5 hang4) ~ travel

行街 (haang4 gaai1) ~ shopping

銀行 (ngan4 hong4) ~ bank


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Sarah
Friday at 05:27 PM
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why does 行 have two different pronounciations?

I always just pronounced it as haang


is it wrong to say ngan haang

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 07:08 AM
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Hello Vincent,


Thanks for your question.

There is a slight difference in usage between 之後 (zi1 hau6) and 然後 (jin4 hau6). Taking the sample sentence, you cannot substitute with 然後. It functions only as a conjunctive adverb. 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Vincent
Sunday at 09:16 AM
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In an earlier comment by Siuling to Alex, explaining that 之後(zi1 hau6) OR 然後(jin4 hau6)~ after, and then, is there any difference in meaning or usage between 之後(zi1 hau6) and 然後(jin4 hau6)? For instance, in the sample sentence, 畢業之後, 我會搵工. (bat1 jip6 zi1 hau6, ngo5 wui5 wan2 gung1)("After the graduation, I will find a job"), can 然後(jin4 hau6) be substituted in place of 之後(zi1 hau6) without changing the meaning of that sentence? Thank you, again, for your helpful explanations!.

cantoneseclass101.com
Sunday at 08:41 AM
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Hello Vincent,


如果你喺呢度轉左,會係條死路。

jyu4 gwo2 nei5 hai2 ni1 dou6 zyun3 zo2, wui5 hai6 tiu4 sei2 lou6.

If you turn left here, you will come to a dead end.

條(tiu4)~ measure word for long, narrow objects such as fish, rope, street, etc.


當佢每次轉身,我都會心跳加速。

dong1 keoi5 mui5 ci3 zyun3 san1,ngo5 dou1 wui5 sam1 tiu3 gaa1 cuk1。

Every time she turns around, my heart rate raises.

心跳(sam1 tiu3)~ heart beat

跳(tiu3)~ jump


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Vincent
Tuesday at 01:51 AM
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In the vocabulary sentences for "to turn," what does "tiu4" and "tiu3" mean? (jyu4 gwo2 nei5 hai2 ni1 dou6 zyun3 zo2, wui5 hai6 tiu4 sei2 lou6. If you turn left here, you will come to a dead end.")("dong1 keoi5 mui5 ci3 zyun3 san1, ngo5 dou1 wui5 sam1 tiu3 gaa1 cuk1. Every time she turns around, my heart rate raises.") Thank you!

cantoneseclass101.com
Sunday at 09:35 AM
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Hello Ken,


Actually the pronunciations of 左(zo2) and 咗(zo2) are exactly the same. You can use the different Chinese letter by checking the context of the sentence and the combination of the word.


左手 zo2 sau2 = left hand

左邊 zo2 bin1 = the left side


做咗 zou6 zo2 =have done

食咗 sik6 zo2 = have eaten



Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Ken
Friday at 12:18 PM
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Hi

I have noticed the words for left 左and already 咗 are very similar to pronounce (zo2). Besides the characters, I can hardly tell them apart when each word is spoken.

Perhaps this question's been asked before. Can you assure me they sound different?