Vocabulary

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

大家好(daai6 gaa1 hou2)! Hello and welcome to Cantonese Survival phrases brought to you by cantoneseclass101.com, my name is Nicole and I will be your language teacher and culture guide throughout this course. This course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Hong Kong or anywhere else in the Cantonese world. You will be surprised at how far a little Cantonese will go. Now before we jump in, remember to stop by cantoneseclass101.com and there you will find the accompanying PDF and additional info in this post. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.
Cantonese survival phrases, #14. Restaurant IV, At the Table. Finally, you are at a table and at your seat. Now it’s time to order. In today’s lesson, we will cover how to ask for a menu and then order your food and drinks. Now normally to get a waiter’s attention, you can just raise your hand and simply say 唔該(m4 goi1). That means, excuse me 唔該(m4 goi1). And then when the waiter comes to the table, you can ask for a menu by saying 唔該, 菜單(m4 goi1 coi3 daan1), 唔該, 菜單(m4 goi1 coi3 daan1). Now let’s hear the whole sentence slowly 唔 該, 菜 單(m4 goi1 coi3 daan1). Now let’s break it down 唔該(m4 goi1) here means please 唔該(m4 goi1) and this is followed by 菜單(coi3 daan1) which in English means menu. 菜單(coi3 daan1) Menu. 菜(coi3) is a mid flat tone 菜(coi3). It means vegetable 菜(coi3). 單(daan1) is the high flat tone. 單(daan1) It means a list. 菜單(coi3 daan1) means menu. 菜單(coi3 daan1) menu. Now let’s hear the whole sentence again 唔該, 菜單(m4 goi1 coi3 daan1). Please, can I have the menu? 唔該, 菜單(m4 goi1 coi3 daan1). Can I have the menu or sometimes you will hear people say 菜單, 唔該 (coi3 daan1 m4 goi1 ). Now the word order in Cantonese is quite flexible. As long as you put the right words together, they will know what you mean 唔該, 菜單(m4 goi1 coi3 daan1) or 菜單, 唔該 (coi3 daan1 m4 goi1 ). Now a typical Cantonese menu is composed of 小菜(siu2 coi3) appetizers which can be a large variety of dishes from 點心(dim2 sam1) to other small dishes. Then 主菜(zyu2 coi3) main dish which can be fish or meat or vegetable with rice in general and then 甜品(tim4 ban2) dessert 甜品(tim4 ban2). Now firstly in 99% of the cases, they will ask you what you would like to drink first. 想飲啲咩呀? (soeng2 jam2 di1 me1 aa3?), 想 飲 啲 咩 呀? (soeng2 jam2 di1 me1 aa3?) Now 想(soeng2 ) means to want 想(soeng2 ). 你想(nei5 soeng2) you want. 我想(ngo5 soeng2) I want. 想(soeng2 ) want. It’s followed by 飲(jam2) which is the verb to drink. 飲(jam2) to drink. Now it’s a second tone, high rising tone 飲(jam2). Say it like you are asking a question 飲(jam2) and it’s followed by 啲(di1), 啲(di1). It sounds just like the English letter D. And it means any or some 啲(di1), 飲啲(jam2 di1). To drink some or drink something. And this is followed by 咩(me1) which means what things or which thing or in this case, which drink 咩(me1). And finally we hear 呀?(aa3?) in the end. This is the particle that softens the question 呀?(aa3?). Now let’s hear the whole sentence again 想飲啲咩呀? (soeng2 jam2 di1 me1 aa3?), 想飲啲咩呀? (soeng2 jam2 di1 me1 aa3?) And it’s literally translated as want drink some what 呀?(aa3?) What would you like to drink 想飲啲咩呀? (soeng2 jam2 di1 me1 aa3?) Now let’s hear it one more time 想飲啲咩呀? (soeng2 jam2 di1 me1 aa3?) Now let’s see some typical beverages that Hong Kong people have with dinner. First one we have 茶(caa4) which means tea 茶(caa4) tea. Now 茶(caa4) is using the lowest tone 茶(caa4) and that means tea 茶(caa4) and next we have 啤酒(be1 zau2) and that means beer 啤酒(be1 zau2). Let’s hear it slowly 啤 酒(be1 zau2). It’s literally beer alcohol 啤酒(be1 zau2). That’s the way Cantonese say a type of alcohol. First they say the type beer 啤(be1) and then add the word alcohol 酒(zau2), 啤酒(be1 zau2). And that means beer 啤酒(be1 zau2). And sometimes at dinner, you want to drink 紅酒(hung4 zau2), 紅酒(hung4 zau2) Red wine 紅酒(hung4 zau2). Now the first sound is red, the color red 紅(hung4). And next we have the word for alcohol 酒(zau2), 酒(zau2). 紅酒(hung4 zau2) Red wine 紅酒(hung4 zau2). Now let’s go over the three words again 茶(caa4) tea, 啤酒(be1 zau2) beer, 紅酒(hung4 zau2) Red wine. Now after ordering drinks, you want to order food. Now in Hong Kong, if you don’t know what to order, you can always ask for recommendations and house specials by saying this 有咩好食呀?(jau5 me1 hou2 sik6 aa3?). Let’s hear it one more time slowly 有 咩 好 食 呀?(jau5 me1 hou2 sik6 aa3?), 有 咩 好 食 呀?(jau5 me1 hou2 sik6 aa3?) which literally means, is there anything delicious or is there any specialties the house is good at or do you have any recommendations 有咩好食呀?(jau5 me1 hou2 sik6 aa3?), 有咩好食呀?(jau5 me1 hou2 sik6 aa3?). Now let’s break this down. 有咩(jau5 me1), 有咩(jau5 me1) It’s a phrase asking, is there any. Is there any. 好食(hou2 sik6) is tasty or delicious. 好食(hou2 sik6) is an adjective. 好食(hou2 sik6) delicious. 呀(aa3) is just 呀(aa3) as we have mentioned before, it’s a particle that softens the question 呀(aa3). Now the whole sentence sounds like this 有咩好食呀?(jau5 me1 hou2 sik6 aa3?), 有咩好食呀?(jau5 me1 hou2 sik6 aa3?) Do you have any recommendations or what would you recommend. Now after the recommendations or after you’ve read the menu, you might probably want to order – you can pick a dish by saying 我要呢個(ngo5 jiu3 ni1 go3). I want this one. 我要呢個(ngo5 jiu3 ni1 go3). I want this one. Now this is something we’ve learned in previous lessons. Here is a quick review. 呢個(ni1 go3) this one, 呢個(ni1 go3) this one. 嗰個(go2 go3) That one 嗰個(go2 go3) that one and before that, you can say 我要(ngo5 jiu3) which is I want. 我要(ngo5 jiu3) I want. Now some of you might have noticed we’ve learned two ways of saying want in this lesson. One is 想(soeng2 ) want. 想(soeng2 ) and the other is 要(jiu3) want, 要(jiu3). Now the difference between these two words is that 想(soeng2) is you are thinking about something, you want to do something and you stress more on you needed something and also 想(soeng2 ) is more polite. It’s more like I would like something but it can’t be followed directly by nouns. You have to put a verb behind it. I want to do something 我想(ngo5 soeng2) do something but with you, you can just put a noun after it like I want this one 我要呢個(ngo5 jiu3 ni1 go3). I want that one 我要嗰個(ngo5 jiu3 go2 go3), 我要嗰個(ngo5 jiu3 go2 go3). All right, before we move on, let’s have a quick review of what was just learned. First of all, we know how to call the reader’s attention by saying 唔該(m4 goi1) that’s excuse me 唔該(m4 goi1). Then you know how to ask for a menu 唔該, 菜單(m4 goi1 coi3 daan1), 唔該, 菜單(m4 goi1 coi3 daan1). Please, can I have the menu? 菜單(coi3 daan1) is menu. Next we have the waiter asking 想飲啲咩呀? (soeng2 jam2 di1 me1 aa3?), 想飲啲咩呀? (soeng2 jam2 di1 me1 aa3?) What would you like to drink? And you can have 茶(caa4) tea, 啤酒(be1 zau2) beer or 紅酒(hung4 zau2) red wine. Now let’s hear all of them again 茶(caa4) tea , 啤酒(be1 zau2) beer, 紅酒(hung4 zau2) red wine and then you are ready to order food however you don’t know what to order. So you ask the waiter 有咩好食呀?(jau5 me1 hou2 sik6 aa3?), 有咩好食呀?(jau5 me1 hou2 sik6 aa3?) What would you recommend or is there any specialties the house is good at. Or if you want to order from the menu, you can point at a picture and say 我要呢個(ngo5 jiu3 ni1 go3). I want this one 我要嗰個(ngo5 jiu3 go2 go3). I want that one. Now in Cantonese restaurants, you can see pictures of food hanging in the walls. So you can just point at the random one or a nice looking one and say 我要嗰個(ngo5 jiu3 go2 go3). I want that one. Of course you won’t forget to say 唔該(m4 goi1) which means please or thank you. Now here is a quick tip for you. A traditional Cantonese meal consists of many small dishes of a bowl of rice. Rice is a staple of Cantonese food. We call these dishes 小菜(siu2 coi3) which literally means small dish. This is a very common way of eating around many of South Asian countries but they all have different dishes, different 小菜(siu2 coi3). If you go out for a meal and you are not quite sure what to eat, order a little bit of everything and I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. If a Cantonese person invites you out for a dinner or drink, don’t ever try to make him split the bill into half. The Cantonese way is to have a small argument over who should pay the bill and then if you are the guest, it is proper that you eventually give in and let him pay. Bear this in mind, Cantonese love it.
Okay before we go, we’d like you to practice what we’ve just learned. I will provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you are responsible for shouting it out aloud. You have a few seconds before I give you the answers. So 加 油(gaa1 jau2)! What would you say to call a waiter’s attention? 唔該(m4 goi1). And next we have, menu please 唔該, 菜單(m4 goi1 coi3 daan1). Next we have the waiter asking, what would you like to drink 想飲啲咩呀? (soeng2 jam2 di1 me1 aa3?) Tea 茶(caa4), beer 啤酒(be1 zau2), red wine 紅酒(hung4 zau2) and now you want to ask for recommendations 有咩好食呀?(jau5 me1 hou2 sik6 aa3?) Or you want to order, I want this one 我要呢個(ngo5 jiu3 ni1 go3). I want that one 我要嗰個(ngo5 jiu3 go2 go3). All right, that about does it for today. Thank you for listening. Remember to stop by cantoneseclass101.com and get the accompanying PDF and if you stop by, please leave us a comment. Bye bye.

7 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍
Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters. Got a complicated question? Try asking your teacher using My Teacher Messenger.

CantoneseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Remember to pace yourself when eating in a Cantonese restaurants. The dishes come fast, and won't stop coming for a long time. It's a marathon not a sprint.

Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Sunday at 12:17 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Claire Oh,


Thank you for your question.


-Green tea 綠茶(luk6 caa4)

- Black tea 紅茶(hung4 caa4)

- Oolong 烏龍(wu1 lung2)

- Jasmine 茉莉(mut6 lei2)

- Chrysanthemum 菊花茶(guk1 faa1 caa4)

- Ti Kuan Yin 鐵觀音(tit3 gun1 jam1)

- Pu-erh普洱(pou2 lei2)

- Flower bloom tea 香片(hoeng1 pin2)


The most common tea people order in the dim sum restaurant should be Pu-erh普洱(pou2 lei2) .


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Claire Oh
Sunday at 9:20 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I'd like to know words for tea. How can I say these kinds of tea in Cantonese?

- Green tea

- Black tea

- Oolong

- Jasmine

- Chrysanthemum

- Ti Kuan Yin

- Pu-erh

- Flower bloom tea


And which tea is the most common one to eat with dim sum or meal? 有咩好茶呀?

Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Friday at 8:23 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Llew,


Thank you for your question. 就係 (zau6 hai6) means "exactly is.....".

You can just use the word 係 (hai6)。=>我最愛嘅甜品係湯丸。My favorite dessert is 湯丸.

When you use 就係 (zau6 hai6) instead of 係 (hai6), you can emphasize the meaning of 就 (zau6 ) "exactly". :smile:


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Llew
Thursday at 10:26 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello!

In the sentence 我最愛嘅甜品就係湯丸。

What does 就係 mean?

Why not just hai6?

Regards Lew

CantoneseClass101.comVerified
Wednesday at 8:01 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Julie - Thank you for letting us know. Lesson #13 was inadvertently filed under the wrong category :oops: It should now appear under the "Survival Phrases" listings.

Julie
Wednesday at 2:54 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi!

Lesson 13 is not appearing here on the website. However I do have the audio file on my iTunes.

Julie