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Cantonese Survival phrases, Lesson 47. I am Vegetarian. Today’s lesson is for all of the vegetarians out there. We will go over some phrases to make sure you don’t get any unwanted surprises on the plate. In Cantonese, I am vegetarian is 我食齋(ngo5 sik6 zaai1). Let’s break it down by syllable. 我 食 齋(ngo5 sik6 zaai1) Now let’s hear it again 我食齋(ngo5 sik6 zaai1). 我(ngo5) means I, 我(ngo5) I. Next we have 食(sik6) eat, 食(sik6) to eat. 我食(ngo5 sik6), I eat. Finally we have 齋(zaai1) which means non-meat cuisine. 齋(zaai1) non-meat cuisine. To recap here, we have 我食齋(ngo5 sik6 zaai1). Literally this means I eat non-meat cuisine or I eat vegetarian dishes. There is another way you can communicate that idea. In Cantonese, I don’t eat meat is 我唔食肉(ngo5 m4 sik6 juk6) Now let’s break it down. 我 唔 食 肉(ngo5 m4 sik6 juk6). Let’s hear it one more time. 我唔食肉(ngo5 m4 sik6 juk6) The first word 我(ngo5) means I. 唔(m4) means don’t. So 我唔(ngo5 m4) means I don’t, 我唔(ngo5 m4) I don’t. And next we have 食(sik6) which means to eat and we have covered that in our previous sentence. 我食齋(ngo5 sik6 zaai1) I eat vegetarian food. 我唔食(ngo5 m4 sik6) I don’t eat. And lastly in this sentence, we have meat 肉(juk6),肉(juk6) meat. 我唔食肉(ngo5 m4 sik6 juk6) I don’t eat meat. 我唔食肉(ngo5 m4 sik6 juk6) I don’t eat meat. We can use this sentence pattern for other kinds of food by simply changing just one word. So let’s look at some other possibilities. Let’s try cheese which in Cantonese is 芝士(zi1 si2) cheese 芝士(zi1 si2). Let’s break it down by syllable. 芝 士(zi1 si2), 芝士(zi1 si2) cheese. Now let’s try the phrase with this word. I don’t eat cheese. In Cantonese, it’s 我唔食芝士(ngo5 m4 sik6 zi1 si2). Let’s break it down by syllable. 我 唔 食 芝 士(ngo5 m4 sik6 zi1 si2) I don’t eat cheese. Now let’s hear it one more time. 我唔食芝士(ngo5 m4 sik6 zi1 si2) I don’t eat cheese. If you want to make sure some food doesn’t have an ingredient that you can’t or you don’t want to eat, you just simply ask about it. For example, if you want to make sure a meal doesn’t have meat, you should simply ask 有冇肉㗎?(jau5 mou5 juk6 gaa3) Let’s break it down. 有 冇 肉 㗎?(jau5 mou5 juk6 gaa3) Does it have meat? 有冇?(jau5 mou5) means to have or have not, 有冇?(jau5 mou5) have or have not followed by 肉(juk6) meat, 肉(juk6) meat. Finally we have the pronounced question mark 㗎?(gaa3), 㗎?(gaa3). So the entire sentence sounds like 有冇肉㗎?(jau5 mou5 juk6 gaa3), 有冇肉㗎?(jau5 mou5 juk6 gaa3) Does it have meat? Now let’s practice the sentence with other things that you might not want. Say chili, I don’t want chili 辣椒(laat6 ziu1), chili 辣椒(laat6 ziu1). 有冇辣椒㗎?(jau5 mou5 laat6 ziu1 gaa3) Does it have chili? 有冇辣椒㗎?(jau5 mou5 laat6 ziu1 gaa3) Does it have chili? All right, that’s it for today’s lesson.
Let’s move to the regular test and see how much you can remember. I will give you the English and you translate them into Cantonese. I am vegetarian. 我食齋(ngo5 sik6 zaai1) I don’t eat meat. 我唔食肉(ngo5 m4 sik6 juk6) I don’t eat cheese. 我唔食芝士(ngo5 m4 sik6 zi1 si2) Does this have meat? 有冇肉㗎?(jau5 mou5 juk6 gaa3) Does this have chili? 有冇辣椒㗎?(jau5 mou5 laat6 ziu1 gaa3) All right, that’s about does it for today. Remember to stop by cantoneseclass101.com and pick up the accompanying PDF. And if you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment. Bye bye.

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CantoneseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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Which restaurant would you recommend in Hong Kong?

CantoneseClass101.comVerified
Sunday at 12:22 pm
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Hello Peter,


Thank you for bringing up the discussion about the usage between the written form and spoken form of Cantonese.

You are right that usually not a lot of people would say 吃點心(hek3 dim2 sam1) in the daily conversation. 👍

吃(hek3) is the written form and you will find it more often in the print or textbook in Hong Kong. But it does not mean the word 吃(hek3) never exists or being used by Hong Kong people. On the other hand 食(sik6) is the spoken form and you certainly hear more in the conversation.


Sorry for not being able to clearly specify the difference in answering the user, Steven Cung`s question below. I think it is great to keep the discussion open. Thanks again.


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com



Peter
Friday at 10:04 pm
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Dear Siuling and Steven Cung --


Is there or is there not a horrible error in this sentence that Steven Cung wrote:


"I would recommend xo restaurant 我想要薩布里納言取消 xo 餐廳 吃點心才" is not correct Cantonese. No one in HK speaks this way -- no native speaker would use 吃 -- they all say 食 (and more culturally in this case, referring to 食點心 is generally stated as 飲茶).


Heck (hek3) Steven -- you should never use 吃 hek3 -- that is Mantonese -- Cantonese forced, bullied, bulldozed, molested, and menaced into a Mandarin form.


Cantonese 101 in the Vocabulary link is good at that.

Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Friday at 11:49 am
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Hi Steven,


In Cantonese you can say 我會推薦 xo 餐廳.


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Sunday at 10:36 am
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Hi lo taai,


monosodium glutamate (MSG) is 味精 (mei6 zing1):grin:


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

lo taai
Monday at 10:50 am
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ngo5 m5 si6 MSG . Dim5 gong5 MSG..?