Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Becky: Hello and welcome back to CantoneseClass101.com. This is Lower Beginner, season 1, lesson 2, First Things First in Hong Kong. I’m Becky.
Olivia: 哈囉!(haa1 lo3!) And I’m Olivia!
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to say which action goes before another, and ask if it's necessary to do something in Cantonese.
Olivia: The conversation takes place in an apartment, where two friends are talking about their upcoming trip.
Becky: It’s between Karen and Olivia. They're planning to travel to Macau, but they want to know if they need to apply for a visa.
Olivia: The speakers are friends, so they’ll be using casual Cantonese.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Karen: 去澳門使唔使攞簽證? (heoi3 ou3 mun2 sai2 m4 sai2 lo2 cim1 zing3?)
Olivia: 唔知喎。(m4 zi1 wo3.)
Karen: 上網查下先。(soeng5 mong5 caa4 haa5 sin1.)
Olivia: 食完飯先啦。(sik6 jyun4 faan6 sin1 laa1.)
Becky: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Karen: 去澳門使唔使攞簽證? (heoi3 ou3 mun2 sai2 m4 sai2 lo2 cim1 zing3?)
Olivia: 唔知喎。(m4 zi1 wo3.)
Karen: 上網查下先。(soeng5 mong5 caa4 haa5 sin1.)
Olivia: 食完飯先啦。(sik6 jyun4 faan6 sin1 laa1.)
Becky: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Karen: 去澳門使唔使攞簽證? (heoi3 ou3 mun2 sai2 m4 sai2 lo2 cim1 zing3?)
Becky: Do you need a visa for visiting Macau?
Olivia: 唔知喎。(m4 zi1 wo3.)
Becky: I don't know.
Karen: 上網查下先。(soeng5 mong5 caa4 haa5 sin1.)
Becky: Let's check it online now.
Olivia: 食完飯先啦。(sik6 jyun4 faan6 sin1 laa1.)
Becky: Let's eat first (and do that later).
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Becky: I've heard a lot of people in Hong Kong say “visa” in English. Do most people know what it means?
Olivia: Yes, this is actually a word that’s very easy for Cantonese speakers to pronounce. Many people in Hong Kong know what it means.
Becky: I hear a lot of people talking in Chinese but with English words in their conversation.
Olivia: Right, it’s especially common among the younger generations. And for 3 or 4 generations, people in Hong Kong have used a lot of English in their conversations.
Becky: And “visa” is one of the words they use.
Olivia: Yes, and “Check” is another word that’s used a lot by people in Hong Kong. For example, they'll say, check下個number (check haa5 go3 number) . And as you can guess, it means “check the numbers”.
Becky: Ok, we'll have a lesson on commonly used English words in Cantonese later. Now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Becky: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word is..
攞 (lo2) [natural native speed]
to take, to get, to obtain
攞 (lo2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
攞 (lo2) [natural native speed]
Next:
簽證 (cim1 zing3) [natural native speed]
visa
簽證 (cim1 zing3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
簽證 (cim1 zing3) [natural native speed]
Next:
護照 (wu6 ziu3) [natural native speed]
passport
護照 (wu6 ziu3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
護照 (wu6 ziu3) [natural native speed]
Next:
知 (zi1) [natural native speed]
to know
知 (zi1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
知 (zi1) [natural native speed]
Next:
唔知 (m4 zi1) [natural native speed]
not to know
唔知 (m4 zi1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
唔知 (m4 zi1) [natural native speed]
Next:
上網 (soeng5 mong5) [natural native speed]
to go online
上網 (soeng5 mong5) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
上網 (soeng5 mong5) [natural native speed]
Next:
查 (caa4) [natural native speed]
to find, to search, to check
查 (caa4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
查 (caa4) [natural native speed]
And Last:
先 (sin1) [natural native speed]
before others in time or order
先 (sin1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
先 (sin1) [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Becky: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Olivia: The first one is 攞. (lo2.)
Becky: How do you use this word?
Olivia: 攞 (lo2) means “to fetch”, “to take” or “to get”. When we say “to get a visa”, we say 攞簽證 (lo2 cim1 zing3), or 攞VISA (lo2 VISA). As I mentioned earlier, the English word “visa” is commonly used in Cantonese conversations.
Becky: Can you give us some examples of how you use this word to mean “to take”, ”to fetch” or “to get”?
Olivia: For example, 攞錢 (lo2 cin2) “to get some money”. Or 攞野食. (lo2 je5 sik6.)
Becky: Meaning “Get something to eat”.
Olivia: 攞命 (lo2 meng6) “to take someone’s life”.
Becky: Oh, to kill someone!
Olivia: (laughs) yes, 攞你命! (lo2 nei5 meng6!) I’ll kill you!!
Becky: Not yet, we still have a lot of lessons to teach…
Olivia: (laughs) The next phrase we want to talk about is上網 (soeng5 mong5) “to go online”.
Becky: What can you tell us about this please?
Olivia: 上 (soeng5) means “up” or “to go up” and 網 (mong5) means “net”.
Becky: So “go up to the net” means “go online” here. Could you repeat it?
Olivia: 上網 (soeng5 mong5)
Becky: And there is one more word in the dialogue we can talk about here.
Olivia: Right, it’s 查. (caa4.)
Becky: It means “to check”, right?
Olivia: Yes. 查 (caa4) means “to check”, but note that sometimes people just use the English word. For example, “to check or to search online”, can be either 上網查 (soeng5 mong5 caa4) or 上網CHECK. (soeng5 mong5 CHECK.)
Becky: Okay, that’s very convenient. Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to talk about which action goes before another one.
Olivia: Yes, and we use the word 先. (sin1.)
Becky: What does it mean?
Olivia: 先 (sin1) implies “to do something first”, or in some cases, “to do something now”.
Becky: In the dialog, we heard “let’s check it online now”...
Olivia: ...上網查下先. (soeng5 mong5 caa4 haa5 sin1.)
Becky: By that, it implies that the action of “checking it online” takes place before anything else, hence “check it online now”.
Olivia: Right. But in the last sentence of the dialogue, Olivia suggests to Karen to finish eating first before checking things online. So she said 食完飯先啦. (sik6 jyun4 faan6 sin1 laa1.)
Becky: Implying “Let's eat first, and do that later.”
Olivia: It’s a very straightforward usage of the word 先 (sin1) as in “first” or “before” in the sequence of action.
Becky: So it implies that there is another action or thing in our mind, but we will deal with the first one first.
Olivia: Exactly.
Becky: Can you give us an example?
Olivia: Sure, 睇完戲先食飯. (tai2 jyun4 hei3 sin1 sik6 faan6.)
Becky: Which means “Watch a movie before eating.”
Olivia: let’s break it down, 睇完戲 (tai2 jyun4 hei3) "finish watching movie" / 先 (sin1) "before" / 食飯 (sik6 faan6) "eating" or "have a meal."
Becky: Very easy! And the structure is similar to English. So you can use this word to indicate the ranking of time or order for an action or event. Olivia, can you give us another example?
Olivia: Okay, 畢咗業先結婚。(bat1 zo2 jip6 sin1 git3 fan1.)
Becky: “Graduate before getting married.” Let’s break it down. First you need to understand the vocabulary for “to graduate” and “to get married”.
Olivia: They are 畢業 (bat1 jip6) and 結婚 (git3 fan1) respectively. So we start with the expression of the completion of the action of graduating, 畢咗業 (bat1 zo2 jip6), followed by this lesson’s topic word 先 (sin1), then end with the second action, 結婚 (git3 fan1) “to get married”. Altogether, 畢咗業先結婚。(bat1 zo2 jip6 sin1 git3 fan1.)

Outro

Becky: Listeners, don’t forget to check the lesson notes for more details and sample sentences. And feel free to leave us a comment if you have any questions!
Olivia: We’re happy to help!
Becky: And that’s all for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time. Bye!
Olivia: 拜拜!(baai1 baai3!)

Grammar

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27 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Let us know if you have any questions.

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 03:39 PM
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Hello William,


Thanks for your questions. 👍

1) Yes.

2) 想 (soeng2) is only in mid-rising tone.


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

William
Thursday at 11:51 AM
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Another question! Is the word 'soeng2' possible in both the low rising and the rising tone?

William
Thursday at 11:48 AM
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Hi CantoneseClass101,


Can the word 'haa5' (the one that was taught in A Cantonese Romance) be written as both 下 and 吓?


Thanks, William

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:16 PM
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Hello Shreyan Bardhan,


Please let us know if you have any Cantonese questions. 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Shreyan Bardhan
Monday at 07:39 PM
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😞

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 07:19 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
Thursday at 10:55 PM
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thanks for the lesson


my favorite is 去澳門使唔使攞簽證?


robert

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:24 PM
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Hello Nick,


Thanks for your question. The "下" following a verb has the meaning of "a little bit", so it would make sense if you interpret this combination as a temporary action. It is very common to have 先 placed at the very end of the sentence, implying that the speaker is about to do something immediately. But it could be used as an imperative too, for example, if changing "上網查下先 (soeng5 mong5 caa4 haa5 sin1)" to "你上網查下 (nei5 soeng5 mong5 caa5 haa6)", then it would turn the meaning from "let's check it online now" to "check it online now". 😉


Another example is "瞓下覺先 (fan3 haa5 gaau3 sin1)" ~ I need a nap.


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Nick
Wednesday at 10:21 AM
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Hello!

I was wondering about the use of 下. I read elsewhere that 下 is used following a verb to suggest it's a temporary action. Is that right? The two examples it is used are "check下個number" and "上網查下先" where 下 follows 查. The temporary action definition of 下 would make sense there. If so, what are some other phrases where you would use 下?

Thanks!

Nick


CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 05:29 PM
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Hi Penny,


唔使客氣 (m4 sai2 haak3 hei3) ~ you are welcome! 😉

喎 (wo3) contains several meanings. Reporting information is only one of them and your understanding is correct that 唔知喎 (m4 zi1 wo3) ~ I don't know is not the case. 👍

If one says it impatiently, then I will have the feeling that he/she does not care whether he/she knows it or not. In this situation, 唔知喎 will also imply "I don't care". But when one says that in a general tone, I will understand this 喎 simply a final particle which contains no special meaning. It really depends on the speaker's expression. Moreover, I think it does not express disappointment in a normal situation.


Very good question! 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com