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 7. In today’s lesson, we will cover another extremely important phrase. Do you speak English? Using this phrase as opposed to speaking English with someone is important for many reasons. For one, if the party you are speaking to doesn’t understand English, at least they will be able to understand what you are asking. Furthermore it shows a lot of respect on your part that you’ve made an effort to learn even a little bit of the language. For these reasons and many more, we are going to cover this very important phrase, do you speak English. Now in Cantonese, do you speak English is 你識唔識講英文(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2),你識唔識講英文(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2) Let’s break it down by syllable 你 識 唔 識 講 英 文(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2). Now let’s hear it once again 你識唔識講英文(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2). Now let’s hear it once again 你識唔識講英文(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2) It literally means do you know how to speak English. The first word 你(nei5) means you. 你(nei5) you. It’s a low rising tone 你(nei5) you and then we have the verb 識(sik1) to know 識(sik1 ) to know. In the Cantonese question form which is to know or not to know 識唔識( sik1 m4 sik1), to know or not to know 識唔識(sik1 m4 sik1) or do you know 你識唔識(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1). Now we’ve talked about this question form in our last lesson like can you, can I 可唔可以(ho2 m4 ho2 ji5). That is can or not can 可唔可以(ho2 m4 ho2 ji5). In this question, it uses the same format 識唔識( sik1 m4 sik1). To know or to not know. So do you know is 你識唔識(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1), 你識唔識(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1). Now pay attention to the word 識(sik1). It has a glottal stop at the end that’s not pronounced 識(sik1). It uses the high flat tone, however with the glottal stop 識(sik1),識(sik1) . So do you know is 你識唔識(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1). Though we have the verb 講(gong2) that means to speak or to say 講(gong2), 講(gong2) high rising tone by asking a question 講(gong2). Then we have the word for English 英文(jing1 man2), 英文(jing1 man2), English 英文(jing1 man2). Now let’s hear the whole sentence again 你識唔識講英文(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2), 你識唔識講英文(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2). Do you know how to speak English or do you speak English, can you speak English. Now before we move on, please remember that 你(nei5) is the formal and standard way for you 你(nei5). Between young people or friends, you will hear 你(lei5) instead of 你(nei5). That’s very common and it’s the lazy accent of Cantonese. 你(lei5) instead of 你(nei5). It’s popular among young people but please do not use 你(lei5) with people you don’t know or with elders. You might want to use 你(nei5) in formal occasions. Now for a change, let’s try asking a different language. Let’s replace English with Cantonese. So do you speak Cantonese is 你識唔識講廣東話(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2). Let’s hear it again slowly 你 識 唔 識 廣 東 話(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gwong2 dung1 waa2). The first half of the sentence is completely the same with the one we just learned 你識唔識講(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2). Do you know how to speak or do you speak something and then we replace 英文(jing1 man2) with 廣東話( gwong2 dung1 waa2). That’s the word for Cantonese. Let’s hear it again 廣東話( gwong2 dung1 waa2), 廣東話( gwong2 dung1 waa2). Now this literally means Canton language 廣東話( gwong2 dung1 waa2). It sounds a bit like it’s English name Canton 廣東(gwong2 dung1), 廣東話( gwong2 dung1 waa2). That’s Cantonese. Let’s hear the whole sentence again 你識唔識講廣東話(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2). So here, just the word for the language changes. The rest is the same. Now let’s have a quick review before we move on. We have learned two sentences. The first one, do you speak English 你識唔識講英文(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2) and then we have, do you speak Cantonese 你識唔識講廣東話(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2). Now we’ve learned some very, very useful words and structures. If you want to say I can speak English or I can speak Cantonese, you can use just the words we learned. I speak English 我講英文(ngo5 gong2 jing1 man2) or I can speak English 我識講英文(ngo5 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2). If you want to say, I can speak Cantonese, that will be 我識講廣東話(ngo5 sik1 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2). I know how to speak Cantonese 我識講廣東話(ngo5 sik1 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2). Nowadays, most people in Hong Kong generally do speak basic English. In fact, most tourist places and young people speak English. So you don’t have to worry too much however you can never go wrong by knowing the local language. So keep studying the survival phrases and sometimes when the elderly speak English, they can come off as a bit rude. This is mainly due to the intonation of the speech which they rarely adapt two foreign languages. Don’t worry, they aren’t being rude to you. They are just trying to make themselves understood. When you want to talk to someone in English, you can ask 你識唔識講英文(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2) or if you want to talk to someone in Cantonese which I am sure you will, you can ask 你識唔識講廣東話(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2). Okay to close our today’s lesson, we’d like you to practice what you’ve just learned. I will provide you with the English translation and you are responsible for shouting it out loud. You have a few seconds before I give you the answers. 加 油(gaa1 jau2)! Do you speak English? 你識唔識講英文(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2) Do you speak Cantonese? 你識唔識講廣東話(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2) I can speak English or I speak English 我識講英文(ngo5 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2). I can speak Cantonese or I speak Cantonese. 我識講廣東話(ngo5 sik1 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2) All right, that about that’s it for today. Remember to stop by cantoneseclass101.com and pick up the accompanying PDF and when you stop by, be sure to leave us a post. Bye bye. All right that about does it for today. Remember to stop by survivalphrases.com and pick up the PDFS. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment, bye, bye.

21 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.
Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters.

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

When traveling do you always ask the meaning of words or customs you do not understand?

Cantoneseclass@101.com
Sunday at 5:34 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello tasha,


我講烏爾都文(ngo5 gong2 wu1 ji5 dou1 man4). Or 我講烏爾都話(ngo5 gong2 wu1 ji5 dou1 waa2 )

I speak urdu.


烏爾都文(wu1 ji5 dou1 man4) ~ urdu

烏爾都話(wu1 ji5 dou1 waa2) ~ urdu


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

tasha
Thursday at 12:33 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi,

How would you say "i am urdu speaking" in cantonese?

Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Sunday at 2:31 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Cristina,


你識唔識講廣東話? Do you know how to speak Cantonese?


我淨係識少少。 (ngo5 zing6 hai6 sik3 siu2 siu2)

I just know a little bit.


我而家學緊。 (ngo5 ji4 gaa1 hok6 gan2)

I am learning.


Feel free to send us any other questions. ?


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Cristina
Sunday at 9:25 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello!


If somebody asks me "你識唔識講廣東話?" how can I answer "just a little bit, I am learning".


Thank you!

Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Friday at 7:44 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Steven,


In Cantonese you can say, 你識唔識講英文?


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Wednesday at 12:41 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Claire Oh,


I understand how you feel. :disappointed:


The jyutping of “Yes” and “No”

係(hai6) ~ Yes

唔係(m4 hai6) ~ No


唔(m4) means "not" so you can add lots of verbs after the word 唔(m4) to express the negative meaning.

When you ask 你識唔識講英文?(nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2) Do you know how to speak English?

The main verb in this sentence is 識(sik1). If the lady understands your question, her answer should be either

{我識(ngo5 sik1)~ I know} or {我唔識(ngo5 m4 sik1)~ I don`t know.}.


If she cannot understand your question because of the incorrect intonation, she probably would say:

對唔住(deoi3 m4 zyu6)~Sorry,我聽唔明(ngo5 teng1 m4 ming4)~ I don`t understand.


I am sure lots of people have your experience when they start living in the new place. You will understand more Cantonese day by day through the practice. :thumbsup:


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Claire Oh
Wednesday at 9:10 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

What if someone says "Yes" or "No" in Cantonese when I asked 你識唔識講英文??


..Well, it actually happened :disappointed:

When I called my hotel to check my reservation, the lady answered "something short", I guess Yes or No, but I couldn't understand (sigh)


So PLZ let me know the jyutping of "Yes" and "No"? :sob:

Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Wednesday at 7:28 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Debbie George,


Thank you so much for your encouragement. I agree with you that the explanation of the literal meanings in the lesson is pretty helpful when you start constructing sentences. Thank you for your support and feel free to ask us any question. :smile:


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Debbie George
Thursday at 1:49 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I love that the information is presented in small chunks. Connecting with past learning is so important and you do a great job of it. I also like how you explain the literal meanings so that it is not just rote memory. In this way it prepares us to start constructing original sentences. I only purchased one month to see if I liked it. I am very pleased and will be renewing!:thumbsup:

CantoneseClass101
Tuesday at 7:10 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Mystique8020,


Thank you very much for your comment! We are glad to hear that you are enjoying our lessons :smile:

Regarding your questions on lesson 7, do you mean there is an extra "aa" character in the sentence? I believe that is 呀 (aa3), which is a common final particle used in neutral questions, it is also used to soften the tone of affirmative statements so they don't sound as abrupt.

In most cases, the final particle 呀 (aa3) can be omitted or added according to the speaker's preference.


Olivia

Team CantoneseClass101.com