Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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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 with Beginner Season 1, Lesson 8.
Gimmy: Cantonese Co-workers.
David: Right. So our dialogue today takes place in an office.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: And it involves two co-workers.
Gimmy: Uh-hmm.
David: We hope that if you live and work in Hong Kong, you don’t have co-workers like this.
Gimmy: Yeah, they’re pretty mean.
David: Yeah. Okay. And with that, let’s get to the dialogue.

Lesson conversation

你忙唔忙呀? (nei5 mong4 m4 mong4 aa3?)
麻麻哋啦。 (maa4 maa2 dei2 laa1.)
幫我查啲資料吖? (bong1 ngo5 caa4 di1 zi1 liu2 aa1?)
查咩呀?(caa4 me1 aa3?)
等陣話你知。(dang2 zan6 waa6 nei5 zi1.)
咁我得閒先查喇。(gam2 ngo5 dak1 haan4 sin1 caa4 laa3.)
David: Once again, a bit slower.
你忙唔忙呀? (nei5 mong4 m4 mong4 aa3?)
麻麻哋啦。 (maa4 maa2 dei2 laa1.)
幫我查啲資料吖? (bong1 ngo5 caa4 di1 zi1 liu2 aa1?)
查咩呀?(caa4 me1 aa3?)
等陣話你知。(dang2 zan6 waa6 nei5 zi1.)
咁我得閒先查喇。(gam2 ngo5 dak1 haan4 sin1 caa4 laa3.)
David: And now, with the English translation.
你忙唔忙呀? (nei5 mong4 m4 mong4 aa3?)
A: Are you busy?
麻麻哋啦。 (maa4 maa2 dei2 laa1.)
B: A little.
幫我查啲資料吖? (bong1 ngo5 caa4 di1 zi1 liu2 aa1?)
A: Can you help me find some info?
查咩呀?(caa4 me1 aa3?)
B: Find what?
等陣話你知。(dang2 zan6 waa6 nei5 zi1.)
A: I'll tell you later.
咁我得閒先查喇。(gam2 ngo5 dak1 haan4 sin1 caa4 laa3.)
B: Then I'll search when I'm free.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: So a lot of our words today are really useful in office settings.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: Right. So if you’re working in Hong Kong or you’re working with people who speak Cantonese, you’re going to be using this language.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: Let’s get to our vocab section.
VOCAB LIST
Gimmy: 忙 (mong4) [natural native speed]
David: Busy.
Gimmy: 忙 (mong4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 忙 (mong4) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 得閒 (dak1 haan4) [natural native speed]
David: To be free.
Gimmy: 得閒 (dak1 haan4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 得閒 (dak1 haan4) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 麻麻哋 (maa4 maa2 dei2) [natural native speed]
David: A little; sort of.
Gimmy: 麻麻哋 (maa4 maa2 dei2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 麻麻哋 (maa4 maa2 dei2) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 幫 (bong1) [natural native speed]
David: To help.
Gimmy: 幫 (bong1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 幫 (bong1) [natural native speed]
Gimmy: 資料 (zi1 liu2) [natural native speed]
David: Information, material.
Gimmy: 資料 (zi1 liu2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 資料 (zi1 liu2) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 查 (caa4) [natural native speed]
David: To find, to search.
Gimmy: 查 (caa4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 查 (caa4) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 咩 (me1) [natural native speed]
David: What.
Gimmy: 咩 (me1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 咩 (me1) [natural native speed].
Gimmy: 等陣 (dang2 zan6) [natural native speed]
David: Later.
Gimmy: 等陣 (dang2 zan6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 等陣 (dang2 zan6) [natural native speed].
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
David: Let’s take a closer look at some of these words and phrases.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: The first word we want to highlight is in the second line.
Gimmy: 麻麻哋啦. (maa4 maa4 dei2 laa1.)
David: Right. And it’s this word.
Gimmy: 麻麻哋. (maa4 maa4 dei2.)
David: So Gimmy, this is a bit slangish, it’s very casual.
Gimmy: Yes. It’s basically telling people, “yes”, “a little”, “yeah”, “not sure”.
David: “Yeah”, “sort of”…
Gimmy: Yes.
David: “No.” “Are you free?” “Ummm….”
Gimmy: So it is very useful. Think about it…
David: Yeah.
Gimmy: …when you’re asked to do something….
David: Right, right.
Gimmy: …or when you’re asked to go out.
David: Right. So Gimmy, this is really casual.
Gimmy: Yes. It’s something to tell people, “yes”, “sort of”, “not too sure”.
David: Yeah. You don’t really know what they’re asking so you don’t want to commit.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: Right. Like “Gimmy, can you help me out?”
Gimmy: 麻麻哋啦. (maa4 maa4 dei2 laa1.)
David: “Well, you know…sort of.” Tell me more.
Gimmy: Right.
David: So one more time.
Gimmy: 麻麻哋. (maa4 maa4 dei2.)
David: A really useful casual phrase.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: Right. The next word we want to highlight, we translated in the dialogue as “to find”.
Gimmy: 查. (caa4.)
David: We heard it in this sentence.
Gimmy: 幫我查啲資料吖? (bong1 ngo5 caa4 di1 zi1 liu2 aa1?)
David: “Can you help me find some information (or find some resources)?”
Gimmy: Yes. 幫我查啲資料吖?(bong1 ngo5 caa4 di1 zi1 liu2 aa1?)
David: Right. But it’s not necessarily “find”, it’s more “to search for”.
Gimmy: Right.
David: Right. So the English translation and what the Cantonese really means is a bit different.
Gimmy: A little bit.
David: Yeah. So this word really means “to search.”
Gimmy: Right, David. Say, for example, you go on Google and you want to find some information.
David: Right. You would be….
Gimmy: 查資料. (caa4 zi1 liu2.)
David: Searching for materials.
Gimmy: 查資料. (caa4 zi1 liu2.)
David: Or let’s say you’re looking through your office files for a document. That would also be…
Gimmy: 查資料. (caa4 zi1 liu2.)
David: Right. So it’s the act of looking for something as opposed to the act of finding it.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: Now, the last word we want to highlight is…
Gimmy: 等陣. (dang2 zan6.)
David: We hear this in this line in the dialogue.
Gimmy: 等陣話你知. (dang2 zan6 waa6 nei5 zi1.)
David: I’ll tell you in a bit.
Gimmy: 等陣話你知. (dang2 zan6 waa6 nei5 zi1 .)
David: And this word…
Gimmy: 等陣. (dang2 zan6 .)
David: …it means “in a while” or “in a little bit.”
Gimmy: Yes. So for instance, you’re asked to do something….
David: Right.
Gimmy: …but you don’t want to do it right away.
David: Right, or you don’t want to do it at all but you want to be polite.
Gimmy: Yes. We can say 等陣先. (dang2 zan6 sin1.)
David: Which means, “wait a bit and I’ll do it then.”
Gimmy: Yes, 等陣先. (dang2 zan6 sin1.)
David: But the key word there is…
Gimmy: 等陣. (dang2 zan6.)
David: And this is an adverb so you put it in front of verbs.
Gimmy: Right.
David: Gimmy, can we have one more example?
Gimmy: Yeah. “Wait a bit, I’m busy.”
David: Right, like your partner asked you to come over for dinner with him and you want to go but you need another 20 minutes to finish…
Gimmy: Yeah.
David: …you can say…
Gimmy: 等陣先去食飯 (dang2 zan6 sin1 heoi3 sik6 faan6)
David: “Wait a minute, and then we’ll go eat.”
Gimmy: 等陣先去食飯 (dang2 zan6 sin1 heoi3 sik6 faan6)
David: “Wait a bit and we’ll eat.” So all of the stuff is incredibly useful.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: Our grammar point is also incredibly useful and its review.
Gimmy: Right.

Lesson focus

Gimmy: Okay, David, our grammar point today is asking question with adjectives.
David: Right. We’ve run into this in previous lessons and we see it again in the first line in our dialogue.
Gimmy: 你忙唔忙呀?(nei5 mong4 m4 mong4 aa3?)
David: “Are you busy?”
Gimmy: 你忙唔忙呀?(nei5 mong4 m4 mong4 aa3?)
David: “Are you buys?”
Gimmy: The key here is 忙唔忙. (mong4 m4 mong4.)
David: Busy, not busy.
Gimmy: 忙唔忙. (mong4 m4 mong4.)
David: Right. And the answer is usually, of course, busy…
Gimmy: 忙. (mong4.)
David: …or if you’re not busy, you can say…
Gimmy: 唔忙. (m4 mong4.)
David: Although in our dialogue, of course, we get the third answer.
Gimmy: 麻麻哋啦. (maa4 maa4 dei2 laa1.)
David: Sort of.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: Right. So you already know how to do this with basic adjectives. For instance…
Gimmy: For instance, you’re learning Chinese and someone asked you, “Is Chinese difficult?” 中文難唔難?(zung1 man2 naan4 m4 naan4?)
David: “Is Chinese difficult?”
Gimmy: 中文難唔難? (zung1 man2 naan4 m4 naan4?)
David: Right. You might also be asked if you like your work or if you find work frustrating and bothersome.
Gimmy: 工作煩唔煩? (gung1 zok3 faan4 m4 faan4?)
David: “Is work bothering you?”
Gimmy: 工作煩唔煩? (gung1 zok3 faan4 m4 faan4?)
David: Now here’s a trick. In all of the examples we’ve given you so far, we’ve used single character adjectives.
Gimmy: Right.
David: For instance, busy.
Gimmy: 忙. (mong4.)
David: Bothersome.
Gimmy: 煩. (faan4.)
David: Difficult.
Gimmy: 難. (naan4.)
David: What if we have a two character adjective like “fresh”?
Gimmy: 新鮮(san1 sin1), then we do this 新唔新鮮. (san1 m4 san1 sin1.)
David: Fresh or not fresh.
Gimmy: 新唔新鮮. (san1 m4 san1 sin1.)
David: So we drop the second character the first time we say the adjective.
Gimmy: Right.
David: Right. It makes it a bit more compact.
Gimmy: Right. 新唔新鮮. (san1 m4 san1 sin1.)
David: Right. Like, “Is the fish fresh or not?”
Gimmy: 魚新唔新鮮? (jyu5 san1 m4 san1 sin1?)
David: As always, we want to remind you our grammar point, all of our vocab is contained in our premium lesson PDF.
Gimmy: You can find it on our site at CantoneseClass101.com.

Outro

David: Right. It’s in the Premium Member learning center. If you have any questions, though then go beyond the PDF. You’re always welcome to email u s.
Gimmy: Right. Our address is…
David: Contact us at CantoneseClass101.com. For now though, we’re done with today’s lesson. I’m David.
Gimmy: I’m Gimmy.
David: Thanks a lot for listening and we’ll see you on the site.
Gimmy: 下次見. (haa6 ci3 gin3.)

Grammar

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42 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Is it easy to find free wi-fi where you live?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 11:41 PM
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Hello Ethan,


It's always an auspicious sign when you start to realise the subtle difference between different phrases! 👍


少少 (siu2 siu2) - little / a little bit / kind of

E.g. 我有少少鍾意咗佢。 ngo5 jau5 siu2 siu2 zung1 ji3 zo2 keoi5. I kind of fall in love with her.

麻麻哋 (maa4 maa2 dei2) - not really [like] / so-so

E.g. 佢今次考試成績麻麻哋。 keoi5 gam1 ci3 haau2 si3 sing4 zik1 maa4 maa2 dei2. His exam performance this time is average.

麻麻哋 has another usage. When you're asked "How do you like the food here?". You can so reply to mean "so-so".

Summary: Despite both meaning to a small extent, 少少 is neutral, while 麻麻哋 is generally negative. 😈


一陣 (jat1 zan6) - later on / one moment

等陣 (dang2 zan6) - later on / wait for a moment

The difference is simple here. 等陣 is a contracted form of 等一陣, which literally translates to 等(wait for)一陣(a moment).

Usage-wise, they are equivalent. 😎

1) They both mean "later" as in "I will call you later" 我(等陣/一陣)會打俾你。 ngo5 jat1 zan6 wui5 daa2 bei2 nei5.

2) They both can standalone mean "one moment please".

3) Only rarely, we would say 等陣 as in specifically requesting somebody to WAIT for you.


Arnold

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Ethan Brown
Friday at 12:28 PM
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Hi! Could you please explain the difference between 少少(siu2 siu2) and 麻麻哋(maa4 maa2 dei2), as well as the difference between 一陣(jat1 zan6) and 等陣(dang2 zan6)? Thank you!

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 04:30 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,

利凡特

Team CantoneseClass101.com

robert groulx
Thursday at 11:03 PM
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thanks for the lesson


my favorite phrase is 魚新唔新鮮?


robert

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:27 AM
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Hello Diana,


You can download our audio lessons by clicking the download symbol and then selecting "Lesson Audio". 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Diana
Monday at 10:31 PM
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Hi! Is it possible to download Audio Lessons?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 06:20 AM
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Hi Christie,


Thanks for the question! 😉

幫我查啲資料吖 (bong1 ngo5 caa4 di1 zi1 liu2 aa1), in this sentence, 資料 (zi1 liu2) should be considered as a single noun which means "information". In other words, you cannot look at 資 (zi1) individually.

While 等陣話你知 (dang2 zan6 waa6 nei5 zi1), here the character of zi1 is different. In Cantonese, there are many words sharing the same pronunciations. 知 (zi1) is a verb which means "to know". And in this sentence, it could be translated into "Let you know (Tell you) in a bit". 😄


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Christie
Thursday at 05:47 PM
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What is the function of 'zi1' in 'Bong1 ngo5 caa4 di1 zi1 liu2 aa1 ?' and 'Dang2 zan6 waa6 nei5 zi1'?


Thank you!


CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 04:25 PM
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Hello Stephen,


Thank you very much for your suggestion! 😉 We will take it into consideration. 👍


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Stephen
Tuesday at 08:27 PM
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Hi,


I believe an immensely useful tool (to add to your entire language series) would be the option to select phrases from the lesson notes that could be reviewed in a flashcard-style setting in the same manner that we can now do with vocabulary.


From this lesson, the pattern and words represented in 你忙唔忙呀 is quite useful, but I might not remember the whole phrase without awkwardly bookmarking it somehow, like printing out the PDF and physically doing so, maintaining my own store of copy/paste items in a separate file, or continually returning to the same lesson


If 你忙唔忙呀 had an adjacent checkbox the way the vocabulary words do, I could add it to a set of phrase flashcards and access it wherever I can access cantoneseclass101.com (and encourage me to visit your website more often!)