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Lesson Transcript

Matt: So we got some feedback on our last Pronunciation lesson.
Nicole: Do I want to hear that? Should I be worried?
Matt: Maybe. Some of our listeners said they loved it, but that it was too difficult for them.
Nicole: Can't blame them on this. It was too difficult to teach all the tone changes in Cantonese in one lesson.
Matt: Too difficult? Did you think it was too difficult?
Nicole: Don't ask me. I'm a native Cantonese. But I think it is challenging to a Cantonese beginner.
Matt: That's right Nicole. I think they should be speaking Cantonese by now too.
Nicole: That's not what I said!!!
Matt: Just kidding. Anyway, last class was a bit tough, but it was a high-level overview.
Nicole: In today's lesson, we're going to slow things down so you can practice with us.
Matt: This way you can hear how tones sound when we put them together in different words.
Nicole: Right.
Matt: Let's start off easy.
Nicole: The easiest word! 唔該 (m4 goi1).
Matt: “Thank you.”
Nicole: 唔該. (m4 goi1).
Matt: “Thank you.”
Matt: So that was really easy. Nicole, how about something I can use when I meet somebody I like in a club?
Nicole: 加油 (gaa1 jau5)
Matt: I can't use that. It means "go for it".
Nicole: 加油 Matt.
Matt: We all know you like making fun of me. But that's a good word. Can you say it again slowly?
Nicole: 加油, 加油 (gaa1 jau5). That's the first tone and the second tone.
Matt: Literally it’s “to add oil”. Let’s take a look at our next word:
Nicole: 書店 (syu1 dim3).
Matt: Bookstore.
Nicole: 書店 (syu1 dim3).
Matt: Lets listen to these two characters separately, and then together.
Nicole: 書店, 書店 (syu1 dim3).
Matt: bookstore - high level flat tone, and then a mid level tone.
Matt: I find this word to be pretty useful. Let's try some words that sound pretty close, but not exactly the same.
Nicole: Ok. Let's play a game.
Matt: Another game? What kind of game?
Nicole: I'll give you two words, and you tell me the difference of tones.
Matt: Ok.
Nicole: These sound really close.
Nicole: First word.... 冰水 (bing1 seoi2)
Matt: Ok. cold water
Nicole: 冰水 (bing1 seoi2) “cold water”. 俾冰水我 (bei2 bing1 seoi2 ngo5) “give cold water to me”.
Matt: what about the second word?
Nicole: 陰暗 (jam1 aam3)
Matt: Ok. “dim”
Nicole: What are the tones? 冰水 (bing1 seoi2) and 陰暗 (jam1 aam3).
Matt: They both start with the first tone.
Nicole: 冰 (bing1) and 陰 (jam1).
Matt: But the first word had a second tone.
Nicole: Right. 冰水 (bing1 seoi2). That means "cold water".
Nicole: 陰暗 (jam1 aam3).
Matt: Those were easy, don't you have something tougher?
Nicole: Ok. 好玩 (hou2 waan2)
Matt: Hmmm....
Nicole: 好玩 (hou2 waan2) “fun”
Matt: Second tone, second tone.
Nicole: Right! Listen for the 好玩 (hou2 waan2) here. Notice the way our pitch drops, and starts rising again, 好玩 (hou2 waan2).
Matt: That's a mistake a lot of people make.
Nicole: 好玩 (hou2 waan2).
Matt: It's easy let tones slide into each other and say them wrong. Be careful of that.
Nicole: Right. So practice saying them with us and you'll sound fluent. And don't change tones because you're angry!
Matt: Right. That's a mistake I used to make.
Nicole: Ok now listen to this word. 知道 (zi1 dou3)
Matt: this means "to know".
Nicole: 知道 (zi1 dou3).
Matt: "to know"
Nicole: That's first tone and third tone. If you're angry, you might say it like 知道 (zi1 dou3). short and angry.
Matt: And that is horribly wrong.
Nicole: Right. So say it properly 知道 (zi1 dou3).
Matt: So let's review the words we learned in this podcast.
Nicole: Sure.
Nicole: 唔該 (m4 goi1).
Matt: thank you”.
Nicole: 加油 (gaa1 jau5)
Matt: “go for it” or “add oil”.
Nicole: 書店 (syu1 dim3)
Matt: “bookstore” or “bookshop”.
Nicole: 冰水 (bing1 seoi2)
Matt: “cold water”.
Nicole: 陰暗 (jam1 aam3)
Matt: “dim”.
Nicole: 好玩 (hou2 waan2)
Matt: “fun”.
Nicole: And the last word, 知道 (zi1 dou3)
Matt: “to know” or “to understand”. Great stuff. You sound really fluent, Nicole.
Nicole: Thank you, 唔該 (m4 goi1).



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CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Which word from today's lesson was the most difficult to pronounce in Cantonese?

Do you have more questions? Feel free to ask us below!

Wednesday at 10:20 PM
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Hi Tone Deaf,

The tone in 嘈死 (cou4 sei2) should not be changed, sorry for the mistake, we have edited the sample sentence accordingly :sweat_smile:

For a Cantonese tone chart, please see this graph for reference --> https://cantoneseeveryday.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/e69caae591bde5908d2.jpg

Hope it's helpful! Feel free to ask if you have any other questions! :wink:


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Tone Deaf
Saturday at 01:01 AM
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Is there a place on the site where all the tone changes are shown together in a table?

For example, the flash card for 嘈 (cou4 noisy) has a sample sentence

gaak3 lei6 uk1 sing4 jat6 daa2 maa4 zoek2, cou2 sei2 jan4 laa6!

It looks like cou4 sei2 becomes cou2 sei2. (I call myself tone deaf because the audio doesn't sound like 2-2 to me) So I ask myself: does 4-2 always change to 2-2? I don't know where to check.


Wednesday at 10:39 AM
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Great to hear! Keep it up! :thumbsup:


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Tuesday at 03:30 AM
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Olivia 你好,

Great explanation ! 多谢



Monday at 01:16 PM
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ung1 sounds a bit like "own" in the sentence "on my own";

ong1 sounds a bit like "on" in the sentence "turn it on"

(but don't forget the "g" ending for both)

For example:

鬆 (sung1) "loose" sounds like "zone" [audio: https://www.cantoneseclass101.com/learningcenter/audio/jyutping/sung1.mp3]

桑 (song1) "mulberry" sounds like "song" [audio: www.cantoneseclass101.com/learningcenter/audio/jyutping/song1.mp3]


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Saturday at 08:51 PM
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Olivia 晚上好!

Could you explain the difference in pronunctiation between "ung1" and "ong1" ?



Tuesday at 03:16 PM
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Dear 陈行祥,

Sorry for the confusion, the link error is fixed now. :grin:

Olivia / CantoneseClass101.com

Monday at 10:48 AM
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This audio file isn't working either. When I tried to download the mp3, my browser was unable to find "libsyn PRO 053111 koreanclass101"