Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Eric: Hello and welcome to the Lower Beginner series at CantoneseClass101.com. This is Season 1, Lesson 25, These Cantonese Phrases are Filled With Happiness! I’m Eric.
Teddy: 哈囉!( haa1 lo3!) And I’m Teddy!
Eric: In this final lesson of the series, you’ll learn how to offer greetings and blessings for holidays and festivals.
Teddy: The conversation takes place at a party.
Eric: It’s between two friends, Jane and Wendy.
Teddy: And as usual, the speakers will be speaking casual Cantonese.
Eric: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Wendy: 聖誕快樂!(sing3 daan3 faai3 lok6!)
Jane: 飲杯!(jam2 bui1!)
Wendy: 身體健康!(san1 tai2 gin6 hong1!)
Jane: 同大家玩開心啲!(tung4 daai6 gaa1 wan2 hoi1 sam1 di1!)
Eric: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Wendy: 聖誕快樂!(sing3 daan3 faai3 lok6!)
Jane: 飲杯!(jam2 bui1!)
Wendy: 身體健康!(san1 tai2 gin6 hong1!)
Jane: 同大家玩開心啲!(tung4 daai6 gaa1 wan2 hoi1 sam1 di1!)
Eric: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Wendy: 聖誕快樂!(sing3 daan3 faai3 lok6!)
Eric: Merry Christmas!
Jane: 飲杯!(jam2 bui1!)
Eric: Cheers!
Wendy: 身體健康!(san1 tai2 gin6 hong1!)
Eric: To good health!
Jane: 同大家玩開心啲!(tung4 daai6 gaa1 wan2 hoi1 sam1 di1!)
Eric: Have a great time with everyone!
Eric: Do you celebrate Christmas and the New Year in Hong Kong?
Teddy: Yes. For those holidays, we have big celebrations here in Hong Kong.
Eric: How about in mainland China? Do they celebrate Christmas?
Teddy: Not really. Unlike Hong Kong, Christmas isn’t a public holiday there. However, shopping malls will have sales and Christmas decorations.
Eric: What about the New Year? Is it a big festival?
Teddy: We have the year-end countdown and street parties in Hong Kong. But in Hong Kong and China, the Chinese New Year—or Lunar New Year—is a bigger deal. There are fireworks, parades, big sales and decorations everywhere for the Chinese New Year.
Eric: How do you say “New Year” in Cantonese?
Teddy: The New Year is 新年 (san1 nin4). The Chinese New Year is called 農曆新年 (nung4 lik6 san1 nin4).
Eric: Okay, now let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word we shall see is:
聖誕 (sing3 daan3) [natural native speed]
聖誕 (sing3 daan3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
聖誕 (sing3 daan3) [natural native speed]
快樂 (faai3 lok6) [natural native speed]
快樂 (faai3 lok6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
快樂 (faai3 lok6) [natural native speed]
大家 (daai6 gaa1) [natural native speed]
everyone, everybody
大家 (daai6 gaa1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
大家 (daai6 gaa1) [natural native speed]
飲杯 (jam2 bui1) [natural native speed]
飲杯 (jam2 bui1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
飲杯 (jam2 bui1) [natural native speed]
身體 (san1 tai2) [natural native speed]
身體 (san1 tai2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
身體 (san1 tai2) [natural native speed]
健康 (gin6 hong1) [natural native speed]
健康 (gin6 hong1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
健康 (gin6 hong1) [natural native speed]
玩 (waan2) [natural native speed]
to play
玩 (waan2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
玩 (waan2) [natural native speed]
And Last:
開心 (hoi1 sam1) [natural native speed]
開心 (hoi1 sam1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
開心 (hoi1 sam1) [natural native speed]
Eric: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What phrase are we starting with?
Teddy: 飲杯 (jam2 bui1) We use this phrase at most parties.
Eric: What does it mean?
Teddy: 飲 (jam2) means "to drink" and 杯 (bui1) means "cup" or "glass." Together, 飲杯 (jam2 bui1) means "cheers."
Eric: That makes sense. How about when we’re drinking liquor?
Teddy: We say 飲酒 (jam2 zau2) It refers to drinking all kinds of alcohol, including wine.
Eric: Ok. Would you repeat them for our listeners please?
Teddy: 飲杯 (jam2 bui1 ) [slow] 飲杯 (jam2 bui1) [normal]
Eric: "Cheers!"
Teddy: 飲酒 (jam2 zau2)
Eric: "Drinking any kind of alcohol."
Teddy: Okay, here’s a pop quiz, do you know the meaning of 飲水? (jam2 seoi2 ?)
Eric: "Drinking water?"
Teddy: Right. How about 飲茶? (jam2 caa4?)
Eric: "Drinking tea."
Teddy: Excellent! That also means "to go to a dim sum restaurant."
Eric: I see. And what’s the second phrase we’re going to talk about?
Teddy: 開心 (hoi1 sam1)
Eric: It’s one way to say "happy!"
Teddy: Right, 開心 (hoi1 sam1). 開 (hoi1) means "to open," and 心 (sam1) means "heart." So open your heart, and be happy. 開心 (hoi1 sam1)
Eric: So how do you say, "I’m happy?"
Teddy: 我開心! (ngo5 hoi1 sam1 !)
Eric: And how do you say, "I’m not happy?"
Teddy: 我唔開心! (ngo5 m4 hoi1 sam1 !)
Eric: "Happy or not?"
Teddy: 開唔開心? (hoi1 m4 hoi1 sam1 ?)
Eric: Great! Now I’m very happy because I learned how to say "happy!"
Teddy: Yay! 開心 (hoi1 sam1 ) [slowly] 開心.(hoi1 sam1 ) [natural speed]
Eric: Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn about...celebratory phrases in Cantonese that we use for holidays and festivals.
Teddy: Yes, we hope our listeners will practice and use them, especially for the Chinese New Year.
Eric: What kinds of good wishes do people offer for the Chinese New Year?
Teddy: Upon meeting someone, we usually say a four-character blessing.
Eric: When I was in Hong Kong during the Chinese New Year, kids loved to say, "Gung hei fat choi."
Teddy: Yes! When they say that, kids receive red envelopes containing money for luck. Therefore, it’s common for kids to memorize a lot of these celebratory phrases.
Eric: So what kind of holiday wishes can you teach us in this lesson?
Teddy: Let’s start with "Merry Christmas!" In Cantonese, we say "Christmas-happy," or 聖誕快樂 (sing3 daan3 faai3 lok6.)
Eric: So "Happy New Year" would be "New Year-happy?"
Teddy: Right, 新年快樂 (san1 nin4 faai3 lok6)
Eric: And "Happy Birthday" will be "birthday-happy."
Teddy: Exactly, 生日快樂 (saang1 jat6 faai3 lok6)
Eric: I see. You say the event first, and then follow it with the adjective “happy.”
Teddy: Right! But note that the word for "happy" is different than the one we used in the dialogue. In these four-character blessings, we use the written form 快樂 (faai3 lok6), while the colloquial form of "happy" is 開心 (hoi1 sam1).
Eric: I see! So we’ve learned both ways to say "happy!" Now for the Chinese New Year, I only know how to say "Gung hei fat choi."
Teddy: That’s the most common one. But there are lots of other good wishes we use for the Chinese New Year. For example, in the dialogue, we heard 身體健康 (san1 tai2 gin6 hong1).
Eric: That’s to wish others good health.
Teddy: 身體 (san1 tai2) is "body," and 健康 (gin6 hong1) is "healthy." Together, 身體健康 (san1 tai2 gin6 hong1) is "good health."
Eric: Yes, that’s the most important.
Teddy: Another common Chinese New Year blessing is 笑口常開 (siu3 hau2 soeng4 hoi1)
Eric: Its literal meaning is "laughing mouth always open." That’s a funny image!
Teddy: Yes, it means "to be happy always." Okay here’s one more that all ladies would love to hear - 青春常駐 (cing1 ceon1 soeng4 zyu3).
Eric: What does that mean? I only recognize the first two characters for "youth."
Teddy: 青春常駐 (cing1 ceon1 soeng4 zyu3) means "to be young forever." Its literal meaning is "youth stays always."
Eric: Great! That’s a really good blessing!


Eric: Now listeners, sadly this is the end of the Lower Beginner series. We hope you enjoyed our lessons, and wish you all the best in learning Cantonese!
Teddy: Keep up the good work! 下次見!(haa6 ci3 gin3!)