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Lesson Transcript

Cantonese Survival phrases, lesson 48. Help. We hope that in today’s lesson, we will introduce you to some phrases that you won’t have to use. Today, we will learn how to call for help. Even if everyone wishes nothing bad or dangerous happens while on holidays in Hong Kong, it’s better if you know some important useful phrases to use in case of emergency. In Cantonese, help is 救命!(gau3 meng6) Let’s break it down. 救 命!(gau3 meng6) and hear it again 救 命!(gau3 meng6) Literally this means safe life 救 命!(gau3 meng6) Now let’s practice it with the case of robbery. 救 命 呀!(gau3 meng6 aa1), 搶嘢 呀!(coeng2 je5 aa1) that’s what you should say in the case of robbery. Help, robbery 救 命 呀!(gau3 meng6 aa1), 搶嘢 呀!(coeng2 je5 aa1). 救 命 呀!(gau3 meng6 aa1) means help, 救 命 呀!(gau3 meng6 aa1) help. You know this, there is an extra sound in the ending 呀!(aa1) This 呀!(aa1) is to call for people’s attention. 救 命 呀!(gau3 meng6 aa1) It’s stronger than 救 命!(gau3 meng6) and I think it’s also easier to shout out. 救 命 呀!(gau3 meng6 aa1) Help! And then you have 搶嘢呀!(coeng2 je5 aa1) which means robbery, 搶嘢呀!(coeng2 je5 aa1) robbery. 搶嘢(coeng2 je5) means robbery or literally to rob 搶(coeng2), 搶(coeng2) and 嘢(je5), 嘢(je5). This 嘢(je5) means things. 搶嘢(coeng2 je5) rob things 搶嘢(coeng2 je5) robbery. To recap here, we have 救 命 呀!(gau3 meng6 aa1), 搶嘢呀!(coeng2 je5 aa1) Help, someone’s robbing. Now in the case of a theft, you should shout 偷嘢呀!(tau1 je5 aa1) stealing, 偷嘢呀!(tau1 je5 aa1) stealing. The only sound that changes here is 偷(tau1) which means to steal, 偷(tau1) steal while 搶(coeng2) is to rob 搶(coeng2) to rob. 偷(tau1), 搶(coeng2) to steal and to rob. Now let’s practice it with the help phrase. 救 命 呀!(gau3 meng6 aa1), 偷嘢呀!(tau1 je5 aa1) Help, someone’s stealing from me. There is another way to call for help and it’s 救我!(gau3 ngo5) let’s hear it one more time. 救我!(gau3 ngo5), 救我!(gau3 ngo5) You should have guessed what it means by now. Help me or save me. 救我!(gau3 ngo5), 救我!(gau3 ngo5) Now if you need to call the police, shout 警察!(ging2 caat3), 警察!(ging2 caat3) Let’s break it down 警 察!(ging2 caat3)and hear it again 警察!(ging2 caat3). This is the Cantonese for police. You can always combine this together in an emergency. 救 命!(gau3 meng6), 警察!(ging2 caat3), 救我!(gau3 ngo5) Help, police, help me!
Now if you want to report a crime, you can dial to police which in Cantonese is 報警(bou3 ging2), 報警(bou3 ging2), call the police or dial the police. 報警(bou3 ging2) literally this means, report police 報 警(bou3 ging2). One thing you should know is, that the phone number for the police in Hong Kong is 999. You can easily call it from a public phone or from your mobile phone. Make sure to carry your phone when you are in Hong Kong. Otherwise make sure that in an emergency, you know how to ask for a public phone. Today’s phrases are not limited to frightening situations but you can also use them in the unfortunate event that you or someone around you is in the need of immediate assistance. So I will make sure you remember all of them by giving you a regular test. I will give you the English and you will give us the Cantonese.
Help 救 命!(gau3 meng6) help me 救我!(gau3 ngo5) police 警察!(ging2 caat3) call the police 報警(bou3 ging2) robbery 搶嘢(coeng2 je5) stealing 偷嘢(tau1 je5) 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 Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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With an effective police and legal system, Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world. But one should be wary in crowded areas where pickpockets are likely to strike, particularly at the main tourist attractions.

Kian An
Wednesday at 06:21 PM
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Wow that is amazing! I wished the police in Zurich could be so efficient.