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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hello and welcome back to CantoneseClass101.com. This is Lower Beginner, season 1, lesson 4, Don’t Get Lost in the Crowd in Hong Kong! I’m Becky.
Olivia: 哈囉!(haa1 lo3!) And I’m Olivia!
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to talk about continuous actions.
Olivia: The conversation takes place on a busy street.
Becky: It's between two friends, Karen &Olivia.
Olivia: As usual, they're using casual Cantonese.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Olivia 小心呀,好多人。(siu2 sam1 aa3, hou2 do1 jan4.)
Karen 我跟住你行啦。(ngo5 gan1 zyu6 nei5 haang4 laa1.)
Olivia 拖住我啦。(to1 zyu6 ngo5 laa1.)
Karen 哦。(o4.)
Becky: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Olivia 小心呀,好多人。(siu2 sam1 aa3, hou2 do1 jan4.)
Karen 我跟住你行啦。(ngo5 gan1 zyu6 nei5 haang4 laa1.)
Olivia 拖住我啦。(to1 zyu6 ngo5 laa1 。)
Karen 哦。(o4.)
Becky: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Olivia 小心呀,好多人。(siu2 sam1 aa3, hou2 do1 jan4.)
Becky: Be careful, it's very crowded!
Karen 我跟住你行啦。(ngo5 gan1 zyu6 nei5 haang4 laa1.)
Becky: I'll be following you.
Olivia 拖住我啦。(to1 zyu6 ngo5 laa1.)
Becky: Hold my hand.
Karen 哦。(o4.)
Becky: Okay.
Becky: Is it always very crowded in Hong Kong?
Olivia: Yes - there are lots of tourists and the local people like to go out a lot too.
Becky: Where are the most crowded areas? We want the listeners to be prepared on their next visit!
Olivia: Well, many people like to go to Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, or Mongkok, because there are lots of shopping malls and restaurants in those areas.
Becky: What are these places called in Cantonese?
Olivia: Causeway Bay is 銅鑼灣 (tung4 lo4 waan1).
Becky: That’s on Hong Kong Island, isn’t it?
Olivia: Right, and then there are Tsim Sha Tsui which is 尖沙嘴(zim1 saa1 zeoi2), and Mongkok which is 旺角(wong6 gok3). These are on the Kowloon peninsula.
Becky: There’re many electronics stores in Mongkok, right?
Olivia: That’s right, Mongkok is a very popular place for buying and selling computers and cellphones.
Becky: Sounds like it’s worth a visit, listeners! Okay, now let’s move on to the vocab.
The first word we shall see is:
小心 (siu2 sam1) [natural native speed]
be careful
小心 (siu2 sam1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
小心 (siu2 sam1) [natural native speed]
好多 (hou2 do1) [natural native speed]
many, much
好多 (hou2 do1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
好多 (hou2 do1) [natural native speed]
人 (jan4) [natural native speed]
person, people
人 (jan4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
人 (jan4) [natural native speed]
跟 (gan1) [natural native speed]
to follow
跟 (gan1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
跟 (gan1) [natural native speed]
行 (haang4) [natural native speed]
to walk
行 (haang4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
行 (haang4) [natural native speed]
拖 (to1) [natural native speed]
to mop, to drag, to hold (hands)
拖 (to1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
拖 (to1) [natural native speed]
哦 (o4) [natural native speed]
okay (expressing realization or understanding)
哦 (o4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
哦 (o4) [natural native speed]
And Last:
啦 (laa1) [natural native speed]
(common final particle used in requests and imperatives.)
啦 (laa1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
啦 (laa1) [natural native speed]
Becky: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What are we starting with?
Olivia: First up is 小心 (siu2 sam1)
Becky: Which means “Be careful”. Can you break it down for us please?
Olivia: Sure! 小 (siu2) means “small” or “little”, and 心 (sam1) means “heart”. So altogether we have “small heart”, and the implied meaning is “to pay attention to something”.
Becky: I see. This is the reason for the definitions “be careful” or “pay attention”, right?
Olivia: That’s right.
Becky: Can you repeat it please?
Olivia: Sure! 小心 (siu2 sam1) [pause]
Becky: Great! What’s next?
Olivia: The next word is 拖 (to1). When we’re talking about an inanimate object, 拖 (to1) implies the action of “dragging” or “pulling”. For example, 拖車... (to1 ce1 ...)
Becky: ...“a tow truck”, or “to tow a vehicle”.
Olivia: But when this verb is associated with someone, it implies the action of “holding hands”, which is what we had in the conversation.
Becky: Can you repeat that word? Listeners, repeat after Olivia.
Olivia: 拖 (to1) [pause]
Becky: Excellent! Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Olivia: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use a very common verb complement, 住(zyu6), and of course, it always follows a verb.
Becky: Where was it in the conversation?
Olivia: It appears as 跟住(gan1 zyu6) in the second sentence 我跟住你行啦 (ngo5 gan1 zyu6 nei5 haang4 laa1), and 拖住 (to1 zyu6) in the third sentence 拖住我啦(to1 zyu6 ngo5 laa1).
Becky: How does the verb complement function in these two sentences?
Olivia: 住 (zyu6) marks a static extended state. For instance, 跟住 (gan1 zyu6) meaning “to be following” implies the action of following in the continuous sense, and the action occurs for a relatively long duration.
Becky: So can we say that it’s a durative marker?
Olivia: In a sense, yes. Let me give you another example using 拖住 (to1 zyu6) from the conversation, which means “to be holding someone’s hand”. 過馬路時拖住我 (gwo3 maa5 lou6 si4 to1 zyu6 ngo5) means “Hold my hand when we’re crossing the road”.
Becky: Here we have the action of holding hands, but note that it’s NOT a dynamic action, but a static condition that lasts for the whole time they’re crossing the road. Can you give us some more examples Olivia?
Olivia: Of course! Let’s use the verb “to watch” which is 睇(tai2), add the verb complement 住(zyu6), to get 睇住(tai2 zyu6).
Becky: Which means “to watch over”, or “to be watching”
Olivia: 我睇住佢跌落地。(ngo5 tai2 zyu6 keoi5 dit3 lok6 dei6).
Becky: “I watched him fall”. Here the action of “watching” is continuous yet static, for the whole time span of him falling.
Olivia: Exactly. Here’s another one, 指 (zi2) “to point”, which becomes 指住 (zi2 zyu6) “to be pointing at”. A simple sentence would be 佢指住我.(keoi5 zi2 zyu6 ngo5).
Becky: Meaning “He/She is pointing at me.”
Olivia: And to make it a bit more complex, 佢指住我嚟鬧。(keoi5 zi2 zyu6 ngo5 lai4 naau6.)
Becky: “He/She is pointing at me while scolding me.”
Olivia: We’ve put more examples in the lesson notes, so check them out!


Becky: And don’t worry if you can't fully understand the usage of verb complements, we’ll talk about them more in future lessons. Thanks for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you in the next lesson!
Olivia: 下次見!(haa6 ci3 gin3!)


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