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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to Introduction to Cantonese.
My name is Alisha and I'm joined by Jinho
Hi everyone.
I'm Jinho!
In this series, you'll learn everything you need to know to get started learning Cantonese.
That's right!
And we're here to help guide you through your journey.
In this lesson, you'll learn the reasons why you should learn Cantonese, and how to get started.
Let's begin with the most obvious question: "Why learn Cantonese?"
Why learn Cantonese?
There are countless reasons, but perhaps the biggest one of all is that it could actually change your life! Learning a new language unlocks new pathways that used to be off limits to you.
There are certain things that you simply cannot do without having the technical or cultural skills that come from learning a new language.
Like working or living in another country!
Knowing Cantonese provides you with greater job opportunities. You have the freedom to move to Hong Kong or Macao. You'll be able to earn a living, or even better yet, build a career from it – instead of being stuck in just one place.
Language allows you to visit or live in places that you may never have even considered going. Knowing another language simply gives you more options to choose from.
And learning a new language also helps you to be more open-minded and see the world from a new perspective.
Language and culture go hand in hand. The world is a big place. By broadening your understanding of other cultures, it allows you to be more empathetic and understanding of the many different ways that people live their lives. With language, you're able to see and experience more, which helps you grow as a person.
Learning a new language also improves your memory.
Several studies have consistently shown that those who study another language have improved memory as opposed to those who didn't learn another language. Learning another language also keeps your brain healthy by significantly delaying the onset of Alzheimer's and dementia. The difference can be as much as 4 to 5 more years of quality life!
And those are just some of the reasons you should learn another language. The list just goes on and on.
Now you know the benefits of studying another language, but why should you learn Cantonese in particular?
Have you ever heard of Bruce Lee? Jackie Chan? Chow Yun-fat? Well, they all came from Hong Kong!
Cantonese pop culture is huge. Many of the movies, dramas, and songs that are loved by people from all over the world were created in Hong Kong. Not everything gets translated either. So unless you know Cantonese, you're missing out on a lot of the amazing things that Cantonese pop culture has to offer.
And what about the fact that Hong Kong is one of the world's leading international financial centers?
Hong Kong is one of the world's most significant financial centers. It has the highest Financial Development Index score. And it was ranked as the world's most competitive economy as well as the freest market economy in the world. It also ranks within the top 10 in GDP per capita. Knowing Cantonese opens up many business opportunities. And knowledge of the language, of Cantonese culture, work ethic, and business etiquette can go a very long way in the world of business. Oftentimes, it could even make or break an important business deal. Knowing Cantonese, then, will put you ahead of the pack.
Cantonese, the main dialect used in Hong Kong, is spoken by over 60 million of people around the world. So if you're planning on making a few friends in Hong Kong, being able to speak at least some Cantonese will go a long way.
Hong Kong has also been in the top spot of the world's most visited city for 6 consecutive years!
So clearly, there are many, many reasons why you should learn Cantonese!
Okay then, we've talked about why you should start learning a language, and why you should start learning Cantonese, but how should they get started, Jinho?
How to get started.
Well it's as simple as learning your first word in Cantonese and building up from there!
The good news though, is that you already know some Cantonese!
Dim sum, Feng shui, Kung fu, Lychee, Oolong, Wonton...
These are words that have made their way into English, but the reverse is also true. Many English words have made their way into Cantonese as the result of British rule between 1841 and 1997.
Such as 巴士 (baa1 si2), 沙律 (saa1 leot2), 三文魚 (saam1 man4 jyu2), 士多 (si6 do1)...
This means that you already know some words that exist in Cantonese!
Let's teach you something that you might not know, but which is very useful.
唔該 (m4 goi1)
It means "thank you" in Cantonese.
That's a useful phrase. Can you explain what these characters are though?
That's actually the Chinese writing system, and it's not as hard as it looks.
Cantonese doesn't use alphabetical letters in its writing system like English does.
Instead, we use a set of characters called 漢字.
You can think of each character as a syllable.
唔該 (m4 goi1)
You'll learn the Cantonese writing system eventually, but for now let's put up some romanization to help get you started.
And the romanization system we use is called Jyutping. It allows you to read Cantonese before you become familiar with Chinese characters.
That certainly makes things easier. Well okay then, now listen and repeat after Jinho.
唔該 (m4 goi1)
Now you try!
唔該 (m4 goi1)
Your turn again!
唔該 (m4 goi1)
Well done. Now you know how to say "thank you" in Cantonese!
We've covered a lot of things already, so why don't we wrap up the first lesson and recap on what we've learned.
In this lesson, you learned that studying another language has many benefits such as providing new job and business opportunities.
Hong Kong has a colorful history, with many things for you to see and learn.
And "thank you" in Cantonese is...
唔該 (m4 goi1)
In the next lesson, we're going to demystify Cantonese pronunciation by taking a look at the sounds of Cantonese, so be sure to watch the next video.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!