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Lesson Transcript

David: Welcome to cantoneseclass101.com. I am David.
Nicole: 大家好,我係Nicole。(daai6 gaa1 hou2, ngo5 hai6 Nicole.)
David: Yes we are here Nicole. You are joining us for this lesson and some in the future too.
Nicole: Yay!
David: And we’ve got a lesson that is upper beginner, season 1, lesson 13. You Can’t Take This To Hong Kong.
Nicole: No you can’t.
David: Not on a plane, anyway.
Nicole: Right.
David: And you can’t take it off Hong Kong either. We are talking about security checks.
Nicole: 安全檢查。(ngon1 cyun4 gim2 caa4.)
David: Yeah in airports, in train stations, they will not let you take these things off yeah.
Nicole: Yeah they are everywhere nowadays.
David: Yes the good news is, they are not dangerous things. So you can buy them anywhere. We’ve got a dialogue which covers a lot of this. This takes place at the security check.
Nicole: Right.
David: So we are going to get right to it. This is casual Cantonese as always.
A:打開行李,我哋需要檢查。(daa2 hoi1 hang4 lei5, ngo5 dei6 seoi1 jiu3 gim2 caa4.)
B:查咩?(caa4 me1?)
A:查你有冇帶鋒利物品。(caa4 nei5 jau5 mou5 daai3 fung1 lei6 mat6 ban2. )
B:有把生果刀。(jau5 baa2 saang1 gwo2 dou1. )
A:沒收。(mut6 sau1.)
B:菜刀呢?(coi3 dou1 ne1?)
A:沒收。(mut6 sau1. )
B:猪肉刀呢?(zyu1 juk6 dou1 ne1? )
A:麻煩你跟我哋行一趟。(maa4 faan4 nei5 gan1 ngo5 dei6 haang4 jat1 tong3.)
David: Once more, a bit more slowly.
A:打開行李,我哋需要檢查。(daa2 hoi1 hang4 lei5, ngo5 dei6 seoi1 jiu3 gim2 caa4.)
B:查咩?(caa4 me1?)
A:查你有冇帶鋒利物品。(caa4 nei5 jau5 mou5 daai3 fung1 lei6 mat6 ban2. )
B:有把生果刀。(jau5 baa2 saang1 gwo2 dou1. )
A:沒收。(mut6 sau1.)
B:菜刀呢?(coi3 dou1 ne1?)
A:沒收。(mut6 sau1. )
B:猪肉刀呢?(zyu1 juk6 dou1 ne1? )
A:麻煩你跟我哋行一趟。(maa4 faan4 nei5 gan1 ngo5 dei6 haang4 jat1 tong3.)
David: And now, with the English translation.
A:打開行李,我哋需要檢查。(daa2 hoi1 hang4 lei5, ngo5 dei6 seoi1 jiu3 gim2 caa4.)
A: Open the luggage, we need to check.
B:查咩?(caa4 me1?)
B: Check what?
A:查你有冇帶鋒利物品。(caa4 nei5 jau5 mou5 daai3 fung1 lei6 mat6 ban2. )
A: Check if you brought any sharp items.
B:有把生果刀。(jau5 baa2 saang1 gwo2 dou1. )
B: I have a fruit knife.
A:沒收。(mut6 sau1.)
A: Confiscated.
B:菜刀呢?(coi3 dou1 ne1?)
B: Kitchen knife?
A:沒收。(mut6 sau1. )
A: Confiscated.
B:猪肉刀呢?(zyu1 juk6 dou1 ne1? )
B: Butcher knife?
A:麻煩你跟我哋行一趟。(maa4 faan4 nei5 gan1 ngo5 dei6 haang4 jat1 tong3.)
A: You'll have to come with us, please.
David: I am sure there is a good reason why she has all those knives.
Nicole: Oh because she sells them.
David: Or she is going to a knife convention.
Nicole: Oh, knife.
David: Yeah, knife convention.
Nicole: A knife collector.
David: With the Hong Kong Knife Collectors Society.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: Annual meeting was destroyed by customs.
Nicole: Or maybe she is a knife lover. Wow!
David: Anyway, our vocab, it’s not actually about knives but t it is about customs and security checks. So let’s get to this vocab.
Nicole: 行李 (hang4 lei5)
David: Luggage.
Nicole: 行李 (hang4 lei5) [slow] 行李 (hang4 lei5) [normal speed]。 海關 (hoi2 gwaan1)
David: Customs.
Nicole: 海關 (hoi2 gwaan1) [slow] 海關 (hoi2 gwaan1) [normal speed]。檢查 (gim2 caa4)
David: To check
Nicole: 檢查 (gim2 caa4) [slow] 檢查 (gim2 caa4) [normal speed]。安檢 (ngon1 gim2)
David: Security check.
Nicole: 安檢 (ngon1 gim2) [slow] 安檢 (ngon1 gim2) [normal speed]。刀 (dou1)
David: Knife.
Nicole: 刀 (dou1) [slow] 刀 (dou1) [normal speed]。鋒利 (fung1 lei6)
David: Sharp.
Nicole: 鋒利 (fung1 lei6) [slow] 鋒利 (fung1 lei6) [normal speed]。鈍 (deon6)
David: Dull.
Nicole: 鈍 (deon6) [slow] 鈍 (deon6) [normal speed]。危險 (ngai4 him2)
David: Dangerous.
Nicole: 危險 (ngai4 him2) [slow] 危險 (ngai4 him2) [normal speed]。
David: Let’s take a closer look at some of these non-knife related vocab. First obviously is customs.
Nicole: Yeah, 海關。(hoi2 gwaan1.)
David: Right, and as part of customs, there is sometimes a security check.
Nicole: Now the full name for security check is 安全檢查。(ngon1 cyun4 gim2 caa4.)
David: Right but there is so many of them that Hong Kong people have shortened the word to make it more convenient.
Nicole: 安檢。(ngon1 gim2.)
David: Security check.
Nicole: Yeah, 安檢。(ngon1 gim2.)
David: Right. The rule is you can’t take liquids, you can’t take a lot of liquids, and you can’t really take anything sharp.
Nicole: Right.
David: So they do actually, they will stop you from taking razors and that sort of thing.
Nicole: Right, right, right and especially for knives 刀。(dou1.)
David: So we are not making up this dialogue.
Nicole: It’s based on
David: It’s based on the true story.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: That someone had at least one knife confiscated.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: There is the interesting word here meaning sharp.
Nicole: 鋒利,鋒利。(fung1 lei6, fung1 lei6.) Now this is a very formal word actually. In colloquial Cantonese, we just say 利(lei6).
David: Yeah so you could say, this knife is sharp, watch it.
Nicole: 把刀好利,小心。(baa2 dou1 hou2 lei6, siu2 sam1.)
David: Yeah and what are some other things that are sharp?
Nicole: 好多,譬如話「剃刀」(hou2 do1, pei3 jyu4 waa6 「 tai3 dou1 」)
David: Right which is a razor.
Nicole: 針 (zam1)
David: A needle.
Nicole: 鉸剪。(gaau3 zin2.)
David: Those are scissors. You are thinking far too earnest for this exercise.
Nicole: I never bring these sharp things with me you know.
David: Yeah anyway something is interesting here too. We have the word that’s the opposite of sharp.
Nicole: 冇錯,鈍。(mou5 co3, deon6.)
David: Dull.
Nicole: 鈍 (deon6)
David: But nobody says this.
Nicole: Nobody.
David: No. It’s almost as if the word doesn’t exist because everywhere in Hong Kong they just say it’s not sharp.
Nicole: 唔利 (m4 lei6), or it’s not sharp enough 唔夠利。(m4 gau3 lei6.)
David: Right. So you might hear someone complain that this knife is not sharp enough.
Nicole: 把刀唔夠利。(baa2 dou1 m4 gau3 lei6.)
David: Right or how about these scissors don’t cut. They are not sharp enough. We have one more word we want to highlight for you guys which is the word for dangerous.
Nicole: 危險。(ngai4 him2.)
David: Dangerous.
Nicole: 危險 (ngai4 him2),and it’s the opposite of 安全。(ngon1 cyun4.)
David: Yes it is the opposite of safety. Do people in Hong Kong worry about running with scissors and of course, there are tons of things that are dangerous. We recommend not bringing sharp objects.
Nicole: 係呀,係呀,唔好帶啲鋒利嘅物品。(hai6 aa3, hai6 aa3, m4 hou2 daai3 di1 fung1 lei6 ge3 mat6 ban2.)
David: Yeah.
Nicole: And then the word for object, that’s a bonus word, 物品。(mat6 ban2.)
David: Anyway, with that let’s move on to our grammar point for today.
Nicole: Right.

Lesson focus

David: Today, we are going to talk about measure words.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: We are getting Nicole all excited about this. We haven’t talked about measure words in a while.
Nicole: Yeah you are right.
David: And we’ve got a fun one in this lesson. In fact, we heard it multiple times.
Nicole: 把。(baa2.) And we hear it in this sentence 有把生果刀。(jau5 baa2 saang1 gwo2 dou1.)
David: I have a
Nicole: 把 (baa2)
David: of a fruit knife.
Nicole: Yeah 有把生果刀。(jau5 baa2 saang1 gwo2 dou1.)
David: What do we exactly use this for? We were talking about this before the show and generally, it’s for things with handles.
Nicole: But not all things with handles.
David: Yes I learnt a mistake with coffee cup.
Nicole: Yes it’s got a handle but you cannot use 把 (baa2) to describe it.
David: Yeah. So it’s usually something you hold or manipulate in the hand. Apparently a coffee cup doesn’t cut it. Nicole, you’ve got some examples of things for us.
Nicole: Of course, 譬如話「一把刀」,「一把叉」,「一把鉸剪」。(pei3 jyu4 waa6 「 jat1 baa2 dou1 」, 「 jat1 baa2 caa1 」, 「 jat1 baa2 gaau3 zin2 」.)
David: Right. That last one is scissors. They technically count. One thing that kind of, it’s surprisingly, kinda, is an umbrella.
Nicole: Oh 一把遮. (jat1 baa2 ze1 .)
David: Yeah and that’s actually – that’s a very Hong Kong way of saying it.
Nicole: Yeah definitely. 一把遮 (jat1 baa2 ze1)
David: Right there is the more formal.
Nicole: You can’t say that. If you read about that, 一把雨傘。(jat1 baa2 jyu5 saan3.)
David: Yes it’s formal, it’s not that spoken.
Nicole: It is written language.
David: Yes the casual colloquial way of saying umbrella is
Nicole: 遮。(ze1.)
David: And that’s still something you hold in your hand.
Nicole: Of course.
David: Yeah so things that have this measure word, they are small?
Nicole: Normally yeah.
David: Yes.
Nicole: Not too big.
David: Yeah we don’t know for sure, right? Because..
Nicole: Of course you can’t
David: If it’s a measure words in Cantonese, you never know you know.
Nicole: You never know.
David: You could run into something huge...
Nicole: There is always exceptions yes.
David: Right such as the coffee mug.
Nicole: That one is totally so because I suppose that thing has to be somewhat flat but an umbrella is not flat.
David: You see, we got in an argument about this before because I think Cantonese should change the measure word for coffee cup. I think we should start referring to it using this measure word.
Nicole: Yeah try it and get laughed at. If you want to sound so totally un-Cantonese, do say that.
David: Okay. Anyway, let’s just review some of these words again that do use this measure word.
Nicole: Okay 一把刀 (jat1 baa2 dou1)
David: A knife.
Nicole: 一把叉 (jat1 baa2 caa1)
David: A fork.
Nicole: 一把鉸剪 (jat1 baa2 gaau3 zin2)
David: A pair of scissors.
Nicole: 一把遮 (jat1 baa2 ze1)
David: An umbrella. This measure word is confusing for a lot of people especially if you don’t know that it can be used as a measure word because it pops up and then you think to yourself, what is it doing there and the answer is, it’s preceding an object that you hold in your hand.
Nicole: I think the way out is just to use the most general one 個. (go3 .)


David: Well, that’s the lower beginner way of doing it. We are at the upper beginner level. So we are starting to get tricky. Anyway, that’s our show for today. As always, if you have any questions, please do write us. Our email address is contactus@cantoneseclass101.com.
Nicole: Or you can leave us a note on the site and we will get back to you.
David: Yeah. For now that we are out of time, from the heart of Hong Kong, I am David.
Nicole: 我係 (ngo5 hai6) Nicole.
David: Thanks for listening and we will see you next time.
Nicole: Bye bye.


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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Have you ever had anything confiscated at Customs?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:06 AM
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Hello robert groulx,

You are very welcome. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.

Kind regards,


Team CantoneseClass101.com

robert groulx
Monday at 10:21 PM
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thanks for the lesson

my favorite phrase is 有把生果刀。


CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 08:14 AM
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Hello Vincent,

打開(daa2 hoi1) ~ to open, to break open

打(daa2)~ hit, strike, beat

開(hoi1)~ open

Other examples of using the word 打(daa2)......

打字 (daa2 zi6) ~ to type

打交 (daa2 gaau1) ~ fight, scuffle

In Chinese there are lots of two-word-vocabularies which are commonly used.

For example the vocabulary {飛行(fei1 haang4)~ fly, flight}, you asked about the meaning of the word 行(haang4) in another lesson. Actually only the word 飛(fei1) already carries the meaning of "fly", but we still add the word 行(haang4) and this is also commonly used in many different context.

沒收(mut6 sau1)~ confiscate

沒 (mut6) ~ not have, without

收(sau1)~ take back, receive, collect


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Tuesday at 06:10 AM
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Why is "daa2" 打 added before "hoi1" 開 to express "open" in the Dialogue's first sentence, when "hoi1" by itself already means "open"? "(daa2 hoi1 hang4 lei5,... Open the luggage, ...") Does "daa2" add an extra meaning that would not be there if it were simply omitted, and would the sentence be correct without "daa2"? Also, is "daa2" similarly used in conjunction with any other verbs and, if so, can you give examples?

What does "mut6" 沒 and "sau1" 收 mean individually, and together to result in the meaning "confiscated?" (Dialogue's fifth and seventh sentences) Thank you, again, for your helpful explanations!

Sunday at 03:00 AM
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Hello David,

Thank you for letting us know you like the lessons and telling us that you listen to them with your wife. How sweet.

You are right that you can say 牛肉刀(ngau4 juk6 dou1) too. 猪肉刀(zyu1 juk6 dou1) is the knife with a big flat blade and the blade of the 牛肉刀(ngau4 juk6 dou1) is usually longer and thinner.


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Tuesday at 07:05 PM
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Love the lessons, listen to them with my wife who is from HK.

Question on the Butcher knife translation:

zyu1 juk6 dou1- I translate that as Pig meat (pork) knife. Could you say ngau juk dou (beef) and it means the same thing?


Saturday at 11:45 AM
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Hello enjoykhg,

You are right that the measure word for coffee cup should be 杯(bui1). ?

一杯咖啡 (jat1 bui1 gaa3 fe1) ~ a cup of coffee.

More measure word lesson if you are interested in it. ?



Team CantoneseClass101.com

Friday at 08:58 AM
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I am very beginner of Cantonese but have some question. Is the measure word for coffee cup should be 杯 so example like 一杯咖啡 so David, you say that it should be something like 一把咖啡 in your opinion? I think it sounds more weird haha ?

Tuesday at 03:47 AM
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Hi Grace,

Thank you very much for your comment! We're glad to hear that you're enjoying our lessons! :grin: We're trying to make this learning experience as fun as possible! :wink:

Keep up the good work!


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Friday at 03:30 PM
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Some of these conversations are hilarious. Whoever wrote this, great job!