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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: And we are back here with upper beginner, season 1, Lesson 19. The Case of Mistaken Identity in Hong Kong.
Nicole: 第十九課。(dai6 sap6 gau2 fo3.)
David: Yeah. We’ve got a dialogue which is between two friends, right? What are they doing Nicole?
Nicole: 講八卦。(gong2 baat3 gwaa3.)
David: Umm they are gossiping in casual Cantonese as always about the ex-boyfriend or the boyfriend.
Nicole: 男朋友。(naam4 pang4 jau5.)
David: It’s hard to know what’s going on. Anyway, let’s get to the dialogue now and then we will be back with the vocab.
A:你男朋友返咗美國? (nei5 naam4 pang4 jau5 faan1 zo2 mei5 gwok3? )
B:唔係呀,佢返咗英國。(m4 hai6 aa3, keoi5 faan1 zo2 jing1 gwok3. )
A:吓?佢唔係美國人咩? (haa2 ? keoi5 m4 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4 me1? )
B:之前嗰個係。 (zi1 cin4 go2 go3 hai6. )
A:吓?你又換咗男朋友呀?(haa5? nei5 jau6 wun6 zo2 naam4 pang4 jau5 aa4?)
David: Once more, a bit more slowly.
A:你男朋友返咗美國? (nei5 naam4 pang4 jau5 faan1 zo2 mei5 gwok3? )
B:唔係呀,佢返咗英國。 (m4 hai6 aa3, keoi5 faan1 zo2 jing1 gwok3. )
A:吓?佢唔係美國人咩? (haa2 ? keoi5 m4 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4 me1? )
B:之前嗰個係。 (zi1 cin4 go2 go3 hai6. )
A:吓?你又換咗男朋友呀?(haa5? nei5 jau6 wun6 zo2 naam4 pang4 jau5 aa4?)
David: And now, with the English translation.
A:你男朋友返咗美國? (nei5 naam4 pang4 jau5 faan1 zo2 mei5 gwok3? )
A: Did your boyfriend go back to the United States?
B:唔係呀,佢返咗英國。 (m4 hai6 aa3, keoi5 faan1 zo2 jing1 gwok3. )
B: No, he went back to England.
A:吓?佢唔係美國人咩? (haa2 ? keoi5 m4 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4 me1? )
A: Oh? Isn't he American?
B:之前嗰個係。 (zi1 cin4 go2 go3 hai6. )
B: My ex-boyfriend was American.
A:吓?你又換咗男朋友呀?(haa5? nei5 jau6 wun6 zo2 naam4 pang4 jau5 aa4?)
A: What? You've got a new boyfriend again?
David: So this is a pretty easy lesson.
Nicole: 係呀,好簡單,係呀。(hai6 aa3, hou2 gaan2 daan1, hai6 aa3.)
David: Yeah the dialogue is relatively simple. It’s mostly review. So let’s get to our vocab section.
Nicole: 返 (faan1)
David: To return.
Nicole: 返 (faan1) [slow] 返 (faan1) [normal speed]。換
David: To change.
Nicole: 換 (wun6) [slow] 
換 (wun6)
 [normal speed]。美國 (mei5 gwok3)
David: United States.
Nicole: 美國 (mei5 gwok3) [slow] 美國 (mei5 gwok3) [normal speed]。英國 (jing1 gwok3)
David: England.
Nicole: 英國 (jing1 gwok3) [slow] 英國 (jing1 gwok3) [normal speed]。嗰個 (go2 go3)
David: That one.
Nicole: 嗰個 (go2 go3) [slow] 嗰個 (go2 go3) [normal speed]。男朋友 (naam4 pang4 jau5)
David: Boyfriend.
Nicole: 男朋友 (naam4 pang4 jau5) [slow] 男朋友 (naam4 pang4 jau5) [normal speed]。女朋友 (neoi5 pang4 jau5)
David: Girlfriend.
Nicole: 女朋友 (neoi5 pang4 jau5) [slow] 女朋友 (neoi5 pang4 jau5) [normal speed]。情侶 (cing4 leoi5)
David: Lovers.
Nicole: 情侶 (cing4 leoi5) [slow] 情侶 (cing4 leoi5) [normal speed]。
David: So a lot of this vocab is review. Because of that, we are going to move through it pretty quickly. First we have a number of countries here.
Nicole: 美國。(mei5 gwok3.)
David: United States.
Nicole: 英國 (jing1 gwok3)
David: Britain right and of course, there are other. You know, we could have used any countries. We could have said Canada.
Nicole: 加拿大 (gaa1 naa4 daai6)
David: Mexico.
Nicole: 墨西哥 (mak6 sai1 go1)
David: Or anything else. We also have the words for boyfriend
Nicole: 男朋友 (naam4 pang4 jau5)
David: And girlfriend.
Nicole: 女朋友 (neoi5 pang4 jau5)
David: And a new word here to describe lovers.
Nicole: 情侶 (cing4 leoi5)
David: Lovers.
Nicole: 情侶(cing4 leoi5)。情侶(cing4 leoi5)。當時我哋可以將「男朋友」同埋「女朋友」合埋一齊講,變成「男女朋友」。 (dong1 si4 ngo5 dei6 ho2 ji3 zoeng1 「 naam4 pang4 jau5 」 tung4 maai4 「 neoi5 pang4 jau5 」 hap6 maai4 jat1 cai4 gong2, bin3 sing4 「 naam4 neoi5 pang4 jau5 」.)
David: Right. That’s another word for lovers you can say.
Nicole: 男女朋友。(naam4 neoi5 pang4 jau5.)
David: Boyfriend and girlfriend.
Nicole: For example, you can ask them, are you boyfriends and girlfriends? 你哋係咪男女朋友?(nei5 dei6 hai6 mai6 naam4 neoi5 pang4 jau5? )
David: Right and that’s a bit more polite than asking someone, are you lovers?
Nicole: Yeah lovers is a big commitment.
David: Yeah it sounds more serious but it’s also useful. You know, sometimes you will see a boyfriend and girlfriend and they are walking around wearing the same clothing.
Nicole: Oh!
David: With same hats.
Nicole: You don’t want to do that.
David: But if you do or if your friends start doing that, you can say that they are wearing
Nicole: 情侶裝。(cing4 leoi5 zong1.)
David: And that’s lover apparel.
Nicole: 情侶裝。(cing4 leoi5 zong1.)
David: Right and you do see that a lot in Hong Kong. Come on Nicole.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: You have to admit it. Anyway, again, we’ve got lovers.
Nicole: 情侶 (cing4 leoi5)
David: Or the more casual way of saying boyfriend and girlfriend.
Nicole: 男女朋友(naam4 neoi5 pang4 jau5). And the opposite of that is 普通朋友(pou2 tung1 pang4 jau5).
David: Yeah.
Nicole: We are trying to clarify the relationship.
David: Just we are not lovers. Don’t make that mistake. We are just
Nicole: 普通朋友。(pou2 tung1 pang4 jau5.)
David: Right. We also have two verbs here. We have the verb
Nicole: 返 (faan1)
David: To return
Nicole: 返 (faan1)
David: In the previous lesson, we saw this in the sense of
Nicole: 好返 (hou2 faan1)
David: To get better, to recover.
Nicole: 好返 (hou2 faan1)
David: We also see the verb to change.
Nicole: 換 (wun6)
David: As in to change a boyfriend.
Nicole: 換男朋友 (wun6 naam4 pang4 jau5)
David: Or to change a girlfriend.
Nicole: 換女朋友 (wun6 neoi5 pang4 jau5)
David: And that’s a bit impolite. It’s kind of like you are swapping someone in and swapping someone out.
Nicole: 少少唔禮貌啦 (siu2 siu2 m4 lai5 maau6 laa1),but it’s common thing to do right?
David: Yeah and it’s a common way of expressing to get a new boyfriend or girlfriend in Cantonese.
Nicole: Yeah, 換男朋友,換女朋友,好普通啫 (wun6 naam4 pang4 jau5, wun6 neoi5 pang4 jau5, hou2 pou2 tung1 ze1),it’s normal.
David: Okay. I actually have a question for you though. Now we have the name of the country England here.
Nicole: 英國。(jing1 gwok3.)
David: Does this refer to the United Kingdom as a whole country or is it just Britain?
Nicole: Aren’t they the same? Oh no, I am going to offend the listeners.
David: We don’t know. So if you know, you can leave a comment on the site and let us know.
Nicole: Yeah please, please do.
David: We can’t figure it out. Anyway, that’s our vocab for today. Let’s move on to our grammar section.

Lesson focus

David: Okay this is the easiest grammar section we are ever going to do in this lesson.
Nicole: Yeah I am going to enjoy this.
David: The grammar structure is one word and this is not even really a word.
Nicole: It’s a sound.
David: Okay yes. Nicole, why don’t you give us the line in the dialogue where we hear this.
Nicole: 吓?佢唔係美國人咩? (haa5? keoi5 m4 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4 me1? )
David: Hah! Isn’t he American?
Nicole: 吓?佢唔係美國人咩?(haa5? keoi5 m4 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4 me1? )
David: Yes, our focus today is strange sounds that Cantonese speakers make.
Nicole: It’s not strange.
David: It’s not strange in Hong Kong. These are kind of equivalent of going “umm” or you know, “ah”…
Nicole: But you have that in English?
David: Well we do and what’s interesting is that some of these you can say in Cantonese although some of them are kind of weird.
Nicole: No they are not.
David: Well we were talking before the show and Nicole was saying that you know, in Cantonese, you can say “umm”…
Nicole: “Umm” yeah that’s like a good pronunciation.
David: Thank you but you were saying that it is too stressful and requires too much energy to come out with a hmm…to add that H sound.
Nicole: I admit it. It does require a lot of energy “hmm”…
David: So…
Nicole: So you have to exhale, you know…
David: Yes so…
Nicole: When you are making that sound.
David: In Hong Kong, people don’t “hmm” as much as they “umm『 but you know that’s close to English. There are actually some sounds that are specific to Cantonese. They are bit weird.
Nicole: For example, the first one in our dialogue is 吓?吓?(haa5? haa5? )
David: Right and that’s “oh?” or “really?”
Nicole: That’s like you are really surprised. You are showing that you are surprised..
David: Yes.
Nicole: By hearing the news or something.
David: Yes if you hear that they are not laughing at you slowly.
Nicole: Does that – what it sounds to you?
David: Well if they did it two or three times….
Nicole: Of course..
David: But…
Nicole: I remember just doing it once.
David: Yeah so Nicole, give us some examples of how to use this.
Nicole: 吓?你又肥咗? (haa5? nei5 jau6 fei4 zo2? )
David: Hah, you gained weight again!
Nicole: 吓?你又肥咗?(haa5? nei5 jau6 fei4 zo2? )
David: So the emotion here is, it’s oh, really, you know. Can it be true that this has happened?
Nicole: Yeah.
David: Yeah.
Nicole: Yes it can be true.
David: Yes.
Nicole: So that’s our first weird sound, 吓?(haa5? ) and the next one is “Eh”
David: What tone is that?
Nicole: The sixth tone.
David: Umm.
Nicole: “Eh”
David: So low, mid, flat.
Nicole: Yes exactly, low, mid, flat. “Eh” You hear that a lot.
David: Right and what this means, this is – it’s close to meaning like I am not sure about something.
Nicole: Yeah, yeah you are hesitating about something.
David: Yeah, for instance
Nicole: Eh...我唔知道喎。(ngo5 m4 zi1 dou6 wo3.)
David: I don’t really know.
Nicole: Eh...我唔知道喎。(ngo5 m4 zi1 dou6 wo3.)
David: Yeah or if someone asks you, you know, do you recognize that guy?
Nicole: Eh...唔識喎。(m4 sik1 wo3.)
David: No I don’t recognize him. That’s actually not too far from English. There is one more sound we want to touch on that is, it’s uniquely Cantonese.
Nicole: 咦?(ji2? )
David: And this is tough to translate.
Nicole: 咦?(ji2? )
David: How do we use this in context?
Nicole: 咦? (ji2? ) means surprise as well but in a good way like if you’ve been looking for your watch and then you suddenly found that it’s hidden under your wallet and you found that it is a 咦?係呢度呀!(ji2? hai6 ni1 dou6 aa4!)
David: 咦?(ji2? ) its here.
Nicole: Yeah like oh it’s here! Finally.
David: Yeah. So kind of eureka, kind of what a surprise!
Nicole: Eureka.
David: Finally! Yes.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: New word for you Nicole.
Nicole: Yes I learn something new every day.
David: Yeah. Let’s have one more sentence with 咦?(ji2? )
Nicole: 咦?你又換男朋友呀?(ji2? nei5 jau6 wun6 naam4 pang4 jau5 aa4? )
David: What a surprise! You changed your boyfriend.
Nicole: Yeah so it’s similar to 吓? (haa5? )
David: Yes but it’s a bit more kind of….
Nicole: Refreshing, I don’t know.
David: Yeah it’s difficult. I mean it’s difficult to translate this stuff into English but pay attention to this because the sounds that people use to start their sentences in Cantonese are not exactly the same as in English. We do have umm…People will not generally hmm with a h sound.
Nicole: 係,我哋比較多就講 (hai6, ngo5 dei6 bei2 gaau3 do1 zau6 gong2) umm without the H.
David: Yeah and then we have these three sounds which aren’t that close to English.
Nicole: 吓?(haa5? ) and then you have a similar one 咦? (ji2? ) These two both mean surprise.
David: Yeah and then we have three sounds that are somewhat uniquely Cantonese.
Nicole: 吓?(haa5? ),Eh…,咦?(ji2? )
David: And all of these go at the start of sentences.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: And we’ve got different degrees of surprise as well as if you are not sure about things. So use them and if you start listening, you are going to hear people use them all the time too.
Nicole: Yeah.


David: Anyway that’s all the time we have today. Before we go, we did want to remind you that we have a voice recording tool on the site.
Nicole: Yeah it’s in the premium learning center.
David: Right. So you can record yourself and you can play it back to see if you are getting the tones right.
Nicole: Yeah it’s a very helpful way to learn.
David: Yeah for now though, that’s all the time we have. I am David.
Nicole: 我係Nicole。(ngo5 hai6 Nicole.)
David: And coming to you, close to the island of Hong Kong and coming to you on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. Thanks for listening.
Nicole: 多謝晒 (do1 ze6 saai3),Bye bye.


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