Dialogue

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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 17, Choosing a Souvenir from Hong Kong. I'm Eric.
Teddy: 哈囉 ! (haa1 lo3!) And I'm Teddy.
Eric: In this lesson you’ll learn how to use the word "but."
Teddy: This conversation takes place on the street.
Eric: And it's between two friends, Jane and Wendy.
Teddy: As usual, they're speaking in casual Cantonese.
Eric: Let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Jane: 我想買牛肉乾做手信。(ngo5 soeng2 maai5 ngau4 juk6 gon1 zou6 sau2 seon3).
Wendy: 但係好貴喎。(daan6 hai6 hou2 gwai3 wo3).
Jane: 咁買蛋卷啦。(gam2 maai5 daan6 gyun2 laa1).
Wendy: 但係好易碎喎。(daan6 hai6 hou2 ji6 seoi3 wo3).
Eric: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Jane: 我想買牛肉乾做手信。(ngo5 soeng2 maai5 ngau4 juk6 gon1 zou6 sau2 seon3).
Wendy: 但係好貴喎。(daan6 hai6 hou2 gwai3 wo3).
Jane: 咁買蛋卷啦。(gam2 maai5 daan6 gyun2 laa1).
Wendy: 但係好易碎喎。(daan6 hai6 hou2 ji6 seoi3 wo3).
Eric: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Jane: 我想買牛肉乾做手信。(ngo5 soeng2 maai5 ngau4 juk6 gon1 zou6 sau2 seon3).
Eric: I want to buy beef jerky for souvenirs.
Wendy: 但係好貴喎。(daan6 hai6 hou2 gwai3 wo3).
Eric: But that's expensive.
Jane: 咁買蛋卷啦。(gam2 maai5 daan6 gyun2 laa1).
Eric: Then I'll buy some egg rolls.
Wendy: 但係好易碎喎。(daan6 hai6 hou2 ji6 seoi3 wo3).
Eric: But they break easily.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: Beef jerky is a food product from Hong Kong, and it's also a famous souvenir from Macau, Taiwan and Singapore.
Teddy: That's right, but in Hong Kong there is a kind of 牛肉乾 (ngau4 juk6 gon1) that everyone hates.
Eric: Huh? Why is that?
Teddy: (laughs) actually in Hong Kong, the term 牛肉乾 (ngau4 juk6 gon1) also refers to parking tickets.
Eric: What? How did that come about?
Teddy: Back in the 80s, parking tickets used to have a layer of carbon paper. When traffic police put a ticket under a car's windshield wipers, the black layer looked like beef jerky from a distance.
Eric: That's a very expensive piece of "beef jerky." How much is a parking ticket now?
Teddy: Since 1994, the fixed penalty for illegal parking has been HK$320, but recently traffic police chiefs have been discussing increasing the fine.
Eric: So, it may cost more the next time I visit Hong Kong?
Teddy: Yes, but you shouldn't park illegally anyways!
Eric: Okay, now let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
VOCAB LIST
The first word we shall see is:
買 (maai5) [natural native speed]
to buy
買 (maai5) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
買 (maai5) [natural native speed]
Next:
牛肉乾 (ngau4 juk6 gon1) [natural native speed]
beef jerky
牛肉乾 (ngau4 juk6 gon1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
牛肉乾 (ngau4 juk6 gon1) [natural native speed]
Next:
手信 (sau2 seon3) [natural native speed]
souvenirs
手信 (sau2 seon3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
手信 (sau2 seon3) [natural native speed]
Next:
但係 (daan6 hai6) [natural native speed]
but
但係 (daan6 hai6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
但係 (daan6 hai6) [natural native speed]
Next:
貴 (gwai3) [natural native speed]
expensive
貴 (gwai3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
貴 (gwai3) [natural native speed]
Next:
蛋卷 (daan6 gyun2) [natural native speed]
egg roll
蛋卷 (daan6 gyun2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
蛋卷 (daan6 gyun2) [natural native speed]
Next:
易 (ji6) [natural native speed]
easy
易 (ji6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
易 (ji6) [natural native speed]
And Last:
碎 (seoi3) [natural native speed]
to break, to shatter
碎 (seoi3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
碎 (seoi3) [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: 牛肉乾 (ngau4 juk6 gon1).
Eric: What does each character mean?
Teddy: 牛 (ngau4) is "cow." 肉 (juk6) is "meat," and 乾 (gon1) means "dry" or "the dried form of something." When you put them together, they mean "dried cow meat," hence "beef jerky."
Eric: So, we can just change the first character if the meat comes from another animal?
Teddy: That's right. For example, 豬肉乾 (zyu1 juk6 gon1) or "pork jerky" is literally "dried pork meat."
Eric: That's easy! Ok, listeners, repeat after Teddy.
Teddy: 牛肉乾 (ngau4 juk6 gon1). [pause]
Eric: What's the next vocabulary word?
Teddy: It's 手信 (sau2 seon3), or "souvenir."
Eric: I can hear the word for "hand." What does a hand have to do with a souvenir?
Teddy: Good ear! The first character, 手 (sau2), means "hand." And the second character, 信 (seon3), means "letter," or something to send a message with. When you put them together, 手信 (sau2 seon3), it means a message sent by hand—a "souvenir."
Eric: I see. When I want to tell and show people about a place I’ve visited, I'll bring them a souvenir. That's sort of like a message, I guess. Teddy, can you please repeat the vocabulary?
Teddy: 手信 (sau2 seon3). (slowly) 手信 (sau2 seon3). [pause]
Eric: Great! Thank you. I'll expect a nice souvenir from you when you go on vacation! Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use conjunctions, just like in the previous lesson.
Teddy: Yes. In the last lesson we talked about words for "and," which are 同 (tung4) and 同埋 (tung4 maai4).
Eric: In this lesson, we're going to talk about the use of "but."
Teddy: In the dialogue, Wendy said, 但係好貴喎 (daan6 hai6 hou2 gwai3 wo3). "But that's very expensive."
Eric: This phrase is used to object to the previous sentence with a reason or an excuse. The excuse here was that the beef jerky is expensive.
Teddy: Yes. And Wendy gave another excuse objecting to the idea of buying egg rolls. She said 但係好易碎喎。(daan6 hai6 hou2 ji6 seoi3 wo3).
Eric: So, in response to Jane's first choice, Wendy said, "But beef jerky is very expensive."
Teddy: 但係牛肉乾好貴 (daan6 hai6 ngau4 juk6 gon1 hou2 gwai3).
Eric: Then in response to Jane's second choice, she said, "But egg rolls are easy to break."
Teddy: 但係蛋卷好易碎 (daan6 hai6 daan6 gyun2 hou2 ji6 seoi3).
Eric: In these two sentences, we hear "but"...
Teddy: ...但係 (daan6 hai6)...
Eric: ...at the beginning of the sentence. This is similar to the way we use "but" in English. Now, Teddy, can you tell us what other words also mean "but?"
Teddy: Yes. In colloquial Cantonese, the most common ones are 但係 (daan6 hai6), 不過 (bat1 gwo3), and 之不過 (zi1 bat1 gwo3). And in the written form, we use terms like 但是 (daan6 si6), 可是 (ho2 si6), and 然而 (jin4 ji4). For now, let’s focus on the colloquial terms 不過 (bat1 gwo3) and 之不過 (zi1 bat1 gwo3).
Eric: Do these two terms mean the same?
Teddy: Yes, they do. The second one is the same as the first, but with a starting note to attract more attention. All of these terms can say "but" in the same way 但係 (daan6 hai6), 不過 (bat1 gwo3), and 之不過 (zi1 bat1 gwo3).
Eric: Ok, let's use these new "but" terms in the previous examples.
Teddy: 不過牛肉乾好貴 (bat1 gwo3 ngau4 juk6 gon1 hou2 gwai3).
Eric: "But beef jerky is very expensive."
Teddy: 之不過蛋卷好易碎 (zi1 bat1 gwo3 daan6 gyun2 hou2 ji6 seoi3).
Eric: "But egg rolls are easy to break."
Eric: Can you repeat the "but" terms for our listeners? Listeners, please repeat after Teddy.
Teddy: 但係.(daan6 hai6). [pause] 不過 (bat1 gwo3). [pause] 之不過 (zi1 bat1 gwo3). [pause]
Eric: Great. So we've learned two more terms for "but."
Teddy: For details and examples using other less common "but" terms, please check out the lesson notes.

Outro

Eric: That’s all for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you in the next lesson!
Teddy: 拜拜!(baai1 baai3!)

Grammar

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7 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 06:30 PM
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What's your favorite souvenir?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 05:31 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
Sunday at 11:11 PM
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thank you for the lesson


my favorite phrase is 之不過蛋卷好易碎


robert

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 05:49 PM
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Hello Vincent,


每次食蛋卷都搞到。

mui5 ci3 sik6 daan6 gyun2 dou1 gaau2 dou3 jat1 san1 dou1 hai6.

Everytime I eat an egg roll, the flakes fall everywhere.


搞到(gaau2 dou3) ~ cause, bring about

搞(gaau2)~ stir up, make

到(dou3) ~ arrive, reach


一身(jat1 san1) ~ whole body

一(jat1) ~ one

身(san1) ~ body.

都係 (dou1 hai6) ~ as well

都(dou1) ~ also

係(hai6) ~ yes


我雖然窮,但係好開心。

ngo5 seoi1 jin4 kung4, daan6 hai6 hou2 hoi1 sam1.

I am poor but happy.


雖然(seoi1 jin4) ~ although

窮(kung4) ~ poor



Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Vincent
Friday at 01:01 AM
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In the vocabulary sentence for "egg roll" ("mui5 ci3 sik6 daan6 gyun2 dou1 gaau2 dou3 jat1 san1 dou1 hai6. Everytime I eat an egg roll, the flakes fall everywhere."), what does "dou1," "gaau2," "dou3," "jat1 san1," and "dou1 hai6" mean, literally and in that sentence? (I'm guessing that one or more of these words means something like "the flakes fall everywhere, " but I have no idea which of them mean such.)


In the first vocabulary sentence for "daan6 hai6," ("ngo5 seoi1 jin4 kung4, daan6 hai6 hou2 hoi1 sam1. I am poor but happy."), what does "seoi1, " jin4," and "kung4" mean, individually and together, if they form a word together? Also, are any of these written Cantonese words? Thank you, again!

Cantoneseclass101.com Verified
Saturday at 10:46 AM
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Hello Alex,


Very good! The only thing you need to pay attention is the word "calendar".


我最鍾意嘅手信係日曆(ngo5 zeoi3 zung1 ji3 ge3 sau2 seon3 hai6 jat6 lik6)

日 (jat6)~ day

曆 ( lik6) ~ calendar


Or you can say

我最鍾意嘅手信係月曆 (ngo5 zeoi3 zung1 ji3 ge3 sau2 seon3 hai6 jyut6 lik6 )

月 jyut6 ~ month

曆 ( lik6) ~ calendar


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Alex
Friday at 09:36 PM
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Hello,

I'd like to try to answer your question!:smile:


My favorite souvenir is a calendar.


Would I say:


Ngo5 zeoi3 zung1 ji3 ge3 sau2 seon3 hai6 yat6 lik6.


or:


Yat6 lik6 hai6 ngo5 zeoi3 zung1 ji3 ge3 sau2 seon3.


Thank you!

:innocent: