Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Eric: Hello and welcome to the Lower Beginner series at CantoneseClass101.com. This is Season 1, Lesson 18, Getting Around Hong Kong. I’m Eric.
Teddy: 大家好!(daai6 gaa1 hou2!) And I’m Teddy!
Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn about loanwords in Cantonese. Loanwords are words borrowed from another language and incorporated into Cantonese.
Teddy: The conversation takes place on the street.
Eric: It’s between two friends, Jane and Wendy.
Teddy: And as usual, the speakers will be using casual Cantonese.
Eric: Let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Wendy: 有冇巴士返酒店?(jau5 mou5 baa1 si2 faan1 zau2 dim3?)
Jane: 不如搭的士。(bat1 jyu4 daap3 dik1 si2.)
Wendy: 點解呀? (dim2 gaai2 aa3?)
Jane:買咗啲芝士好重。(maai5 zo2 di1 zi1 si2 hou2 cung5.)
Eric: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Wendy: 有冇巴士返酒店?(jau5 mou5 baa1 si2 faan1 zau2 dim3?)
Jane: 不如搭的士。(bat1 jyu4 daap3 dik1 si2.)
Wendy: 點解呀? (dim2 gaai2 aa3?)
Jane 買咗啲芝士好重。(maai5 zo2 di1 zi1 si2 hou2 cung5.)
Eric: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Wendy 有冇巴士返酒店?(jau5 mou5 baa1 si2 faan1 zau2 dim3?)
Eric: Is there a bus that can take us back to the hotel?
Jane 不如搭的士。(bat1 jyu4 daap3 dik1 si2.)
Eric: Let's take a taxi.
Wendy 點解呀? (dim2 gaai2 aa3?)
Eric: Why is that?
Jane 買咗啲芝士好重。(maai5 zo2 di1 zi1 si2 hou2 cung5.)
Eric: The cheese we bought is very heavy.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: I’ve found that catching a taxi is very common and easy in Hong Kong. Hundreds of taxis seem to be on the road day and night.
Teddy: That’s true, but keep in mind that they may all be full during rush hour.
Eric: When do you find it hardest to catch a taxi?
Teddy: In the morning when everyone is rushing to the office around 8:30, and between 3:30 to 4:30 in the afternoon.
Eric: Is that because kids are getting off school at that time in the afternoon?
Teddy: The main reason is that most taxi drivers change their shifts at that time. Many of them cover their meters with a sign, a signal indicating that they are not in service.
Eric: I see. Can you call ahead for a taxi during the rush hours?
Teddy: Yes. They’ll tell you how long you have to wait. Sometimes during rush hour or in remote areas, people may offer $10 or $20 more to entice a driver into providing service.
Eric: That’s good to know. Okay, now let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
VOCAB LIST
The first word we shall see is:
重 (cung5) [natural native speed]
heavy
重 (cung5) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
重 (cung5) [natural native speed]
Next:
有冇 (jau5 mou5) [natural native speed]
Do you have...?,is/are there any
有冇 (jau5 mou5) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
有冇 (jau5 mou5) [natural native speed]
Next:
巴士 (baa1 si2) [natural native speed]
bus
巴士 (baa1 si2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
巴士 (baa1 si2) [natural native speed]
Next:
返 (faan1) [natural native speed]
to return
返 (faan1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
返 (faan1) [natural native speed]
Next:
酒店 (zau2 dim3) [natural native speed]
hotel
酒店 (zau2 dim3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
酒店 (zau2 dim3) [natural native speed]
Next:
不如 (bat1 jyu4) [natural native speed]
how about, why not
不如 (bat1 jyu4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
不如 (bat1 jyu4) [natural native speed]
Next:
的士 (dik1 si2) [natural native speed]
taxi
的士 (dik1 si2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
的士 (dik1 si2) [natural native speed]
And Last:
芝士 (zi1 si2) [natural native speed]
cheese
芝士 (zi1 si2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
芝士 (zi1 si2) [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: 有冇. (jau5 mou5.)
Eric: What can you tell us about this phrase?
Teddy: It’s an expression asking whether there is something or not. 有 (jau5) means "to have," and 冇 (mou5) means "to not have."
Eric: In English, we’ll ask, "Is there any...such and such?"
Teddy: Yes, and in Cantonese, we’ll ask, "有冇 (jau5 mou5)….such and such?"
Eric: So how would you say "Do you have any money?"
Teddy: 你有冇錢呀 ? (nei5 jau5 mou5 cin2 aa3?)
Eric: I have no money!
Teddy: 我冇錢. (ngo5 mou5 cin2.)
Eric: So, in the dialogue, Wendy asked if there was a bus…
Teddy: 有冇巴士? (jau5 mou5 baa1 si2?)
Eric: How about, "Are there any taxis?"
Teddy: 有冇的士? (jau5 mou5 dik1 si2?)
Eric: So "has, has not" becomes a question phrase.
Teddy: Right. Combining 有 (jau5) and 冇 (mou5) together forms a question. 有冇(jau5 mou5). 有冇錢? (jau5 mou5 cin2?)
Eric: Do you have any money?
Teddy: 有冇人? (jau5 mou5 jan4?)
Eric: Is there a person?
Teddy: Right. This is a very useful phrase 有冇 (jau5 mou5).
Eric: Okay. What’s the next phrase you want to teach us?
Teddy: It’s another useful phrase for when you want to make a suggestion; it’s 不如. (bat1 jyu4.)
Eric: In the dialogue, Jane suggested, "How about taking a taxi?"
Teddy: 不如搭的士. (bat1 jyu4 daap3 dik1 si2.) 不 (bat1) means "no" or "not," and 如 (jyu4) means "if." Together they indicate a suggestion.
Eric: Okay. How do you suggest, "How about taking a bus?"
Teddy: 不如搭巴士. (bat1 jyu4 daap3 baa1 si2.)
Eric: "How about learning Cantonese?"
Teddy: 不如學廣東話. (bat1 jyu4 hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2.)
Eric: Great. How about you repeat the word for our listeners again? Listeners, repeat after Teddy.
Teddy: 不如. (bat1 jyu4.) [pause] 不如. (bat1 jyu4.)
Eric: Excellent! Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn some common loanwords in Hong Kong.
Teddy: In the dialogue, we have already seen three of them – 巴士(baa1 si2)﹐的士 (dik1 si2) and 芝士 (zi1 si6).
Eric: They are "bus," "taxi," and "cheese."
Teddy: Right. When Hong Kong was a British colony, many English words were used by local Chinese. Each syllable in the words was replaced by a character that could be written in Chinese and read by local people.
Eric: Are these loanwords still commonly used nowadays?
Teddy: Yes. For many, you can simply guess what they mean in English.
Eric: Great! Let’s try a few.
Teddy: Okay. How about 柯打 (o1 daa2)? 柯打 (o1 daa2)
Eric: "Order?"
Teddy: Right! Now, how about 多士? (do1 si2?)
Eric: Hmm…
Teddy: 多士. (do1 si2.) [pause] 多士. (do1 si2.) Okay, let me say it faster. 多士. (do1 si2.)
Eric: "Toast?"
Teddy: Excellent. Okay, one more: 士多? (si6 do1?)
Eric: Hmm ... Is it another food?
Teddy: No, it’s a place. 士多. (si6 do1.)
Eric: "Store?"
Teddy: Good! If you listen carefully, you may hear a lot of loanwords during conversations in Hong Kong.
Eric: Teddy, please give us another example.
Teddy: Okay. A lot of food was originally introduced by the Western world. Therefore, the names of foods will be similar to their original foreign name. Let’s see… Try this one. It’s a kind of fruit: 士多啤梨. (si6 do1 be1 lei2.)
Eric: This one, we’ll let our listeners guess…
Teddy: 士多啤梨. (si6 do1 be1 lei2.)
Eric: Listeners, repeat after Teddy; then you can guess it.
Teddy: 士多啤梨. (si6 do1 be1 lei2.) [faster]
Eric: You can find the answer and other examples in the lesson notes! And we’ll use a few more loanwords in our next lesson. You may also be able to guess those too!

Outro

Eric: And that’s all for this lesson. Thanks for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time. Bye!
Teddy: 下次見!(haa6 ci3 gin3!)

Grammar

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17 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Do you know any other loanwords in Cantonese?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 11:14 PM
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Hi Mike,


The spoken and written forms are uniform across all Cantonese-speaking regions. 😄


Loanwords do demonstrate regional differences. But the Hong Kong-Cantonese loanwords you encounter here are very much universally intelligible, due to the popularity of Hong Kong popular culture in the past decades, and the fact that Guangdong was once the only port of Qing empire. A lot of English-calqued phrases are therefore made widely known.


Examples are such as 的士 dik1 si2 (taxi) and 士多啤梨 si6 do1 be1 lei2 (strawberry). Loanwords are deteriorating in popularity in Guangdong as the new generation is more influenced by Mandarin. But you can still use those loanwords in other places like Hong Kong, Malaysia and overseas Chinatowns. 😁


Hope it helps!


Arnold

Team CantoneseClass101.com

William
Sunday at 04:28 AM
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Do people in mainland China (Guangdong) use Written or Spoken form? Do they also use the same loanwords?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 03:16 PM
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Hello mike,


Thanks for your question.

乘 (sing4) means "to ride", which is only used in written language.

You can find the audio by searching it in our online dictionary. 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

mike
Sunday at 03:52 AM
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Hello,


In the Slideshow, ''我們會乘巴士去機場''。


what is '乘' character? There was no audio.


Thanks 😄

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 05:30 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
Sunday at 11:13 PM
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thanks for the lesson


my favorite phrase is 不如學廣東話.


robert

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 05:05 PM
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Hello John,


Thanks for your question.

買咗啲芝士好重。(maai5 zo2 di1 zi1 si2 hou2 cung5.) ~ The cheese we bought is very heavy.

Literally, bought Cheese very heavy.

Here, "we bought" describes "Cheese", in other words, gives more information and functions like adjective. That's why it comes before the noun. 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

John
Tuesday at 10:16 PM
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Hi


Could you help understand the sentence structure (formula) for maai5 zo2 di1 zi1 si2 hou2 cung5.

As in your translation, The cheese we bought is heavy. The noun comes before the verb. In cantonese does the verb always come before the noun?


Thanks,

Alain

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 12:37 PM
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Hello Vincent,


酒店嘅質量係用星嚟衡量嘅。

zau2 dim3 ge3 zat1 loeng6 hai6 jung6 sing1 lei4 hang4 loeng6 ge3.

The quality of a hotel is measured in stars.


嚟(lei4) ~ When it is used as a verb, it means "come or arrive". In the above sentence it is more like a preposition that means "for" or "in order to".

衡量(hang4 loeng6) ~ weigh or measure

衡(hang4) ~ weigh

量(loeng6) ~ measure, amount


芝士有好多品種。

zi1 si2 jau5 hou2 do1 ban2 zung2.

There are many kinds of cheese.


品種(ban2 zung2) ~ type, kind

品 (ban2) - product

種 (zung2) - species


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com


Vincent
Friday at 02:05 AM
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In the third vocabulary sentence for "hotel," ("zau2 dim3 ge3 zat1 loeng6 hai6 jung6 sing1 lei4 hang4 loeng6 ge3. The quality of a hotel is measured in stars."), what does "lei4," "hang4," and "loeng6" mean, individually/literally and combined if they form a particular word there combined? (I understand "lei4" generally means "to come," but that doesn't seem to be its meaning there.)


What does "ban2" and "zung2" mean in the vocabulary sentence for "cheese?" ("zi1 si2 jau5 hou2 do1 ban2 zung2. There are many kinds of cheese.") Thank you, again!