Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Michael: Does Cantonese use the same characters as Mandarin Chinese?
Siuling: And if not, what are the differences?
Michael: At CantoneseClass101.com, we hear these questions often.
Sasha Lee is studying Cantonese with her teacher, Helen Hui. Sasha is confused about the Cantonese characters and asks Helen, "Do Cantonese and Mandarin use the same Chinese characters?"
李麗莎: 廣東話同普通話係咪用一樣嘅中文字? (gwong2 dung1 waa2 tung4 pou2 tung1 waa2 hai6 mai6 jung6 jat1 joeng6 ge3 zung1 man4 zi6?)
Dialogue
李麗莎: 廣東話同普通話係咪用一樣嘅中文字? (gwong2 dung1 waa2 tung4 pou2 tung1 waa2 hai6 mai6 jung6 jat1 joeng6 ge3 zung1 man4 zi6?)
許維虹: 大部份係。 (daai6 bou6 fan6 hai6.)
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
李麗莎: 廣東話同普通話係咪用一樣嘅中文字? (gwong2 dung1 waa2 tung4 pou2 tung1 waa2 hai6 mai6 jung6 jat1 joeng6 ge3 zung1 man4 zi6?)
Michael: "Do Cantonese and Mandarin use the same Chinese characters?"
許維虹i: 大部份係。 (gwong2 dung1 waa2 tung4 pou2 tung1 waa2 hai6 mai6 jung6 jat1 joeng6 ge3 zung1 man4 zi6?)
Michael: "Mostly yes."

Lesson focus

Michael: Yes, Cantonese and Mandarin use almost the same Chinese characters, because they both use standard Chinese in writing! But, in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, traditional characters are used, while it’s necessary to learn simplified characters in Mainland China and Singapore.
Siuling: Although the traditional characters, 繁體字 (faan4 tai2 zi6), are more complicated, and perhaps a little bit harder to learn compared to the simplified characters 簡體字 (gaan2 tai2 zi6), and many think that they’re more sophisticated, especially enhancing the beauty of calligraphy.
Michael: And the traditional form usually gives meaning to the characters.
Siuling: A well-known example is 愛 (oi3), which means “love”. In the traditional form, 心 (sam1), “heart,” is in the middle of the character, but, in the simplified form, 爱, the heart component is omitted.
Michael: Oh, that’s interesting! What is love without hearts?
[Recall 1]
Michael: Let’s take a closer look at the dialogue we just heard.
Do you remember how to say "Do Cantonese and Mandarin use the same Chinese characters?"
(pause 4 seconds)
Siuling: 廣東話同普通話係咪用一樣嘅中文字? (gwong2 dung1 waa2 tung4 pou2 tung1 waa2 hai6 mai6 jung6 jat1 joeng6 ge3 zung1 man4 zi6?)
[Recall 2]
Michael: Now, let’s take a look at our second sentence.
And do you remember how to say "Mostly yes."
(pause 4 seconds)
Siuling: 大部份係。 (daai6 bou6 fan6 hai6.)
Expansion/Contrast (Optional)
Michael: Let's review what we’ve learnt in this lesson. I will say a prompt in English and I want you to reply, out loud, with the Cantonese translation. Siuling will then model the correct answer. Listen to her carefully and repeat, with particular emphasis on your pronunciation.
The first prompt is, "Do Cantonese and Mandarin use the same Chinese characters?"
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Siuling: 廣東話同普通話係咪用一樣嘅中文字? (gwong2 dung1 waa2 tung4 pou2 tung1 waa2 hai6 mai6 jung6 jat1 joeng6 ge3 zung1 man4 zi6?)
Michael: How did you do? Listen to Siuling again and repeat.
Siuling: 廣東話同普通話係咪用一樣嘅中文字? (gwong2 dung1 waa2 tung4 pou2 tung1 waa2 hai6 mai6 jung6 jat1 joeng6 ge3 zung1 man4 zi6?)
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Siuling: 廣東話同普通話係咪用一樣嘅中文字? (gwong2 dung1 waa2 tung4 pou2 tung1 waa2 hai6 mai6 jung6 jat1 joeng6 ge3 zung1 man4 zi6?)
Michael: Let’s move onto the second prompt. Do you remember how to say, "Mostly yes"?
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Siuling: 大部份係。 (daai6 bou6 fan6 hai6.)
Michael: How did you do this time? Again, listen to Siuling and repeat.
Siuling: 大部份係。 (daai6 bou6 fan6 hai6.)
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Siuling: 大部份係。 (daai6 bou6 fan6 hai6.)
Cultural Insight/Expansion (Optional)
Michael: Apart from the traditional and simplified form, the terms used in Cantonese and Mandarin make a key difference too.
Siuling: Right! Like 雪櫃 (syut3 gwai6) and 冰櫃 (bing1 gwai6); in Cantonese, 雪櫃 (syut3 gwai6) means “fridge” and 冰櫃 (bing1 gwai6) refers to “freezer”; conversely, in Mandarin, there’s no 雪櫃 (syut3 gwai6), while 冰櫃 (bing1 gwai6) represents “fridge”.
Michael: Wow, so learners, remember that, even when they have the same characters, they could mean different things!

Outro

Michael: Do you have any more questions? We’re here to answer them!
Siuling: 拜拜! (baai1 baai3!)
Michael: See you soon!

3 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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What questions do you have about learning Cantonese?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 09:19 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
Monday at 10:37 PM
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thank you for the lesson


my favcoritew phrase is 廣東話同普通話係咪用一樣嘅中文字?


robert