Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Eric: Hello and welcome to the Lower Beginner series at CantoneseClass101.com. This is season 1, lesson 11, Reporting a Crime in Cantonese. I’m Eric.
Teddy: 哈囉! (haa1 lo3!) And I’m Teddy!
Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to make a passive sentence.
Teddy: The dialog takes place on the street.
Eric: The conversation is between the victim from last lesson, and a stranger.
Teddy: They'll be using casual Cantonese.
Eric: Let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
受害人: 可唔可以幫我報警? (SAU6 HOI6 JAN4: ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 bong1 ngo5 bou3 ging2?)
陌生人: 乜事呀? (MAK6 SANG1 JAN4: mat1 si6 aa3?)
受害人: 我俾人打劫呀。 (SAU6 HOI6 JAN4: ngo5 bei2 jan4 daa2 gip3 aa3.)
陌生人: 好,我打999啦。 (MAK6 SANG1 JAN4: hou2, ngo5 daa2 gau2 gau2 gau2 laa1.)
Eric: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
受害人: 可唔可以幫我報警? (SAU6 HOI6 JAN4: ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 bong1 ngo5 bou3 ging2?)
陌生人: 乜事呀? (MAK6 SANG1 JAN4: mat1 si6 aa3?)
受害人: 我俾人打劫呀。 (SAU6 HOI6 JAN4: ngo5 bei2 jan4 daa2 gip3 aa3.)
陌生人: 好,我打999啦。 (MAK6 SANG1 JAN4: hou2, ngo5 daa2 gau2 gau2 gau2 laa1.)
Eric: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
受害人: 可唔可以幫我報警? (SAU6 HOI6 JAN4: ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 bong1 ngo5 bou3 ging2?)
Eric: Could you please call the police for me?
陌生人: 乜事呀? (MAK6 SANG1 JAN4: mat1 si6 aa3?)
Eric: What happened?
受害人: 我俾人打劫呀。 (SAU6 HOI6 JAN4: ngo5 bei2 jan4 daa2 gip3 aa3.)
Eric: I was robbed.
陌生人: 好,我打999啦。 (MAK6 SANG1 JAN4: hou2, ngo5 daa2 gau2 gau2 gau2 laa1.)
Eric: Okay, I'll call 999.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: I remember you mentioned that you were pickpocketed too.
Teddy: Yes, more than once.
Eric: Did you report it to the police?
Teddy: Well, I didn’t.
Eric: Why's that?
Teddy: I only lost some money, and I blamed myself for being so careless. I was lucky that I didn’t lose my Hong Kong ID card.
Eric: Would it be very hard to find the lost items in Hong Kong?
Teddy: It’s pretty hard if it's pickpocketing. If it's only a case of loss, say if you’ve dropped your wallet on the street; it’s actually much easier to find. My nephew reported losing his wallet to the police, and the wallet was actually handed in at another police station before that.
Eric: So he was happy that the person who found it was so honest.
Teddy: Yes, but we're not always so lucky.
Eric: Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
The first word we shall see is:
可唔可以 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji3) [natural native speed]
can (someone), Could you please…
可唔可以 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
可唔可以 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji3) [natural native speed]
Next:
幫 (bong1) [natural native speed]
to help
幫 (bong1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
幫 (bong1) [natural native speed]
Next:
報警 (bou3 ging2) [natural native speed]
to call the police
報警 (bou3 ging2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
報警 (bou3 ging2) [natural native speed]
Next:
乜事 (mat1 si6) [natural native speed]
what happened
乜事 (mat1 si6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
乜事 (mat1 si6) [natural native speed]
Next:
打劫 (daa2 gip3) [natural native speed]
robbery, to rob
打劫 (daa2 gip3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
打劫 (daa2 gip3) [natural native speed]
Next:
白車 (baak6 ce1) [natural native speed]
ambulance (literally “white car")
白車 (baak6 ce1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
白車 (baak6 ce1) [natural native speed]
Next:
消防處 (siu1 fong4 cyu3) [natural native speed]
fire department
消防處 (siu1 fong4 cyu3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
消防處 (siu1 fong4 cyu3) [natural native speed]
And Last:
三條九 (saam1 tiu4 gau2) [natural native speed]
triple nine
三條九 (saam1 tiu4 gau2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
三條九 (saam1 tiu4 gau2) [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Eric: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What are we starting with?
Teddy: 可唔可以 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji3)
Eric: What can you tell us about this?
Teddy: 可以 (ho2 ji3) means “to be able to”, “may” or “can”. Here’s an example, 你可以食 (nei5 ho2 ji3 sik6) “you can eat”, or “you may eat (something)”. So in order to change 可以 (ho2 ji3) into a question, we say 可唔可以. (ho2 m4 ho2 ji3).
Eric: literally “can or cannot”.
Eric: Then you apply this to “eat”.
Teddy: Right, let’s take the previous example and change it to a question. “Can you eat?” is 你可唔可以食? (nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 sik6?) in Cantonese.
Eric: Literally “You can or cannot eat?” Okay, that’s not so hard. So in the dialogue we heard the victim asking someone to call the police.
Teddy: “To call the police” is 報警 (bou3 ging2). So 可唔可以報警? (ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 bou3 ging2?) is a way to request others to call the police, meaning “Can (you) call the police?”
Eric: How about “Can you help me”?
Teddy: 你可唔可以幫我? (nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 bong1 ngo5?)
Eric: So we can spot the meaning of the first sentence in the dialogue - “Can you help me by calling the police?”
Teddy: Yes. 可唔可以幫我報警? (ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 bong1 ngo5 bou3 ging2?)
Eric: Ok, listeners, let’s practice the phrase. Repeat after Teddy.
Teddy: 可唔可以 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji3) [pause]
Eric: Next, we'll look at the number for emergencies, 999.
Teddy: 九九九 (gau2 gau2 gau2) is the number for the police, ambulance or other emergencies.
Eric: So when I say "call the police," people will dial 999. Right?
Teddy: Yes. Sometimes we may say “triple 9” 三條九 (saam1 tiu4 gau2)
Eric: I see. We need to practice how to say it then. Listeners, please repeat after Teddy.
Teddy: 九九九 (gau2 gau2 gau2) [pause]
Eric: nine-nine-nine.
Teddy: 三條九 (saam1 tiu4 gau2) [pause]
Eric: triple nine. Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to make a passive sentence.
Teddy: Yes, we just change the word order a bit and add the key word 俾 (bei2).
Eric: Ok, how do you do that?
Teddy: For example, to say “hit someone”, you will say, 打人 (daa2 jan4). To change it to “being hit by someone”, you say 俾人打. (bei2 jan4 daa2)
Eric: Can you repeat the phrases?
Teddy: 打人(daa2 jan4), 俾人打 (bei2 jan4 daa2) Which one do you think is passive?
Eric: The second one.
Teddy: That’s right. We start with the optional subject, who is the recipient of the action, then 俾 (bei2), then the doer of the action, followed by the action.
Eric: So what would “being robbed by someone” be?
Teddy: 俾人打劫 (bei2 jan4 daa2 gip3)
Eric: And what about “I was robbed”?
Teddy: 我俾人打劫 (ngo5 bei2 jan4 daa2 gip3)
Eric: Sometimes we omit the word for “someone” in Cantonese as this is understood. Does it work in this case?
Teddy: In the active form, sometimes we'll leave out the “someone”, say 打劫 (daa2 gip3), instead of 打劫人 (daa2 gip3 jan4). However, we usually put the subject in the passive form in colloquial Cantonese.
Eric: So we can't omit the subject “someone”.
Teddy: Right, in most cases. For example, when we say “being chased by someone”, we say 俾人追 (bei2 jan4 zeoi1). When “being chased by a dog”, it’d be 俾狗追 (bei2 gau2 zeoi1).
Eric: Can you repeat those so we can see the difference?
Teddy: Sure! 俾人追, 俾狗追 (bei2 jan4 zeoi1, bei2 gau2 zeoi1). So to conclude, the action doer is placed right after the keyword 俾 (bei2).
Eric: That’s right. Listeners, for more details and sample sentences, please check out the lesson notes!

Outro

Eric: And that’s it for this lesson, thanks for listening!
Teddy: 拜拜! (baai1 baai3!)

Grammar

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7 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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What are the emergency numbers in your country?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 05:00 AM
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Hello robert groulx,


Thanks for sharing your favorite phrase to us! 😉


Ada

Team Cantoneseclass101.com

robert groulx
Friday at 10:51 PM
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thanks for the lesson


my favorite phrase is 俾人打劫


robert

Cantoneseclass101.com Verified
Saturday at 01:56 PM
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Hello,


報警 (bou3 ging2) is more appropriate because "打電話 畀警察( daa2 din6 waa2 bei2 ging2 caat3)" sounds too friendly.

報 (bou3) ~ report.

警 (ging2) ~ police.


打電話 畀警察( daa2 din6 waa2 bei2 ging2 caat3)

打電話( daa2 din6 waa2 ) ~ making phone call

畀(bei2) ~ give to

警察(ging2 caat3) ~ the police


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Alex
Saturday at 12:58 AM
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Hello,


So to call the police, it is okay to say, " Daa2 din4 waa2 bei2 ging2 caat1?" or is it more common to just say, "bou3 ging2"?


Thank you!


Alex

CantoneseClass101
Friday at 11:41 PM
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Hi Benny,


Cool!! So 你係荷蘭人 (nei5 hai6 ho4 laan1 jan4) :thumbsup:


Olivia

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Benny
Thursday at 06:57 PM
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In 荷蘭 ho4 laan1 (Holland) where I live it is: 112.