Learning Cantonese Final Blog (DYOM, NUS)

Daai6 gaa1 hou2, ngo5 hai6 Leong4 Gaai1 Maan6.

Under the DYOM initiative at the National University of Singapore (NUS), I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to pick up some basic Cantonese. I have documented my learning progress through this past semester. Now, I will briefly summarise what I have learnt and close off the chapter. I don’t have any family who speaks Cantonese so I may not get enough daily practice. Nonetheless, I will continue to pick up more Vocabulary through old Cantonese films 🙂

Over the past semester, I have learnt some basics of how to introduce oneself, greetings and numbers etc. I have also picked up an array of vocabulary and a great number of Cantonese proverbs. To summarise, in lessons 1 and 2, I learnt about the history of Cantonese, the Cantonese sound system, self-introduction, thanking someone, greetings, apologising to someone, numbers, money and time. To introduce oneself, I will say Nei5 hou2, ngo5 hai2 Leong4 Gaai1 Maan6, hou2 go1 hing3 jing6 sik1 nei5 dei6. To thank someone, one can say M4 goi1 (saai3) / Do1 ze6 (saai3), depending on the formality of the situation. To say sorry, it’s simply Deoi3 m4 zyu6. Some common questions we receive on a daily are: (1) Nei5 giu3 me1 meng2? = What’s your name? (Informal); (2) Gei2 do1 cin2 aa3? = How much?; (3) Ji4 gaa1 gei2 dim2? = What time is it?.

In lesson 4, I learnt about the different kinds of vegetables, different flavours, parts of the face and some different medicines. To say I love eating mushrooms is Ngo5 oi3 sik6 mo4 gu1. To say sick already must eat medicine is Beng6 zo6 zau6 jiu3 sik6 joek6. In lesson 5, I learnt about the names of different tableware, family members, type of clothes and drinks. Ngo5 dik6 uk1 kei2 jau5 saam1 go1 jan4, jau5 ngo5, Baa4 Baa1, wo4 Maa4 Maa1. In lesson 6, I learnt about travel. These phrases would be very useful when I get to travel to Hong Kong for holiday.

In lesson 7, I learnt about some health issues and some taboo related vocabulary. Some of these phrases should not be used so carelessly as it may offend / insult someone. To say that I am not very very interested in your culture is Ngo5 deoi3 nei5 dei6 ge3 man4 faa3 mou5 mat1 hing3 ceoi3, and to say that you people are uncivilised is Nei5 dei6 gam3 je5 maan4 gaa3. In lesson 8, I learnt about romance and some baby terms. Some romantic places to bring your other half on a date are: (1) Zuk1 gwong1 maan5 caan1 = Candlelit dinner; (2) Seoi3 zuk6 gun2 = Aquarium; (3) Bok3 mat6 gun2 = Museum. And lastly, in lesson 9, I learnt about some well known attraction sites in Hong Kong, namely, (1) Wai4 Do1 Lei6 Aa3 Gong2 = Victoria Harbour; (2) Hoeng1 Gong2 Dik6 Si6 Nei4 Lok6 Jyun4 = Hong Kong Disneyland; (3) Hoi2 Joeng4 Gung1 Jyun2 = Ocean Park. I have been to all these attraction sites before and I got to say the most memorable place was Hoi2 Joeng4 Gung1 Jyun2 because of the rides.

On top of all these major themes, I also learnt about some Cantonese proverbs. Although I find them a little hard to understand, they were still fun to learn about.

I had a lot of fun learning Cantonese via this DYOM. Do1 ze6 saai3 siu lo si and also Olivia! 🙂

Oral Interview 2 Youtube Link:

Learning Cantonese #9 (DYOM, NUS)

In Lesson 9, I used https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FLiI39fspE&t=3735s to learn about:

  1. Attraction sites in Hong Kong
    • Cin2 Seoi2 Waan1 = Repulse Bay
    • Taai3 Ping4 Saan1 = Victoria Peak
    • Wai4 Do1 Lei6 Aa3 Gong2 = Victoria Harbour
    • Neoi5 Jan2 Gaai1 = Ladies Market
    • Hoeng1 Gong2 Dik6 Si6 Nei4 Lok6 Jyun4 = Hong Kong Disneyland
    • Hoi2 Joeng4 Gung1 Jyun2 = Ocean Park
    • Ngong6 Ping4 Saam1 Luk6 Ling4 = Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car
    • Hoeng1 Gong2 Zai2 Zang1 Bou2 Hoi2 Sin1 Fong1 = Aberdeen Jumbo Floating Restaurant

Some extra Vocabulary:

  • Saai3 Gaai3 Man4 Ming4 = World famous
  • Jau4 Haak3 = Tourists
  • Hoi2 Sin1 = Seafood

Learning Cantonese #8 (DYOM, NUS)

In Lesson 8, I used https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FLiI39fspE&t=3735s to learn about:

  1. Romance
    • Zuk1 Gwong1 Maan5 Caan1 = Candlelit dinner
    • Zau1 Min4 Gei2 Nim6 = Anniversary
    • Heoi3 Saan3 Bou6 = To go for a walk
    • Daa2 Bou2 Ling4 = Bowling
    • Heoi3 Seoi3 Zuk6 Gun2 = To go to the aquarium
    • Paak3 To1 = Dating
    • Long4 Maan6 = Romantic
    • Je5 Caan1 = Picnic
    • Co5 Dou6 Leon4 = To take a ferry ride
    • Saa1 Taan1 = Beach
    • Hok6 Tou4 Ci4 = To take a pottery class
    • Heoi3 Bok3 Mat6 Gun2 = To go to the museum
  2. Baby
    • Wai3 Jan4 Naai5 = To breastfeed
    • Daai3 Hau2 Seoi3 Gin1 = To put on a bib
    • Bi4 Bi1 = Baby
    • Wun6 Saam1 = To change clothes
    • Coeng3 Ceoi3 Min4 Kuk1 = To sing a lullaby
    • Maai5 Bi4 Bi1 On1 Cyun4 Zo6 Ji2 = To buy a car seat
    • Wai3 = Feed
    • Teoi1 Bi4 Bi1 Ce1 = To push a stroller
    • Cung1 Loeng4 = Shower
  3. Cantonese Proverbs (Cont.)
    • 食拖鞋飯 [sihk tō háai faahn] (To eat slippers rice): Used to describe a man who is supported by a woman, i.e. he can keep his slippers on, because he doesn’t have to work; a man who sponges off a woman
    • 食碗面反碗底 [sihk wún mín fáan wún dái] (To eat from a bowl and then turn it over): Go back upon somebody. Play somebody false. Betray a friend
    • 食死貓 [sihk séi māau] (to eat a dead cat): 1. To take the blame for something one has not done, 2. To be a scapegoat, to “carry the can”
    • 過橋抽板 [gwo kíuh chāu báan] (To pull up the planks after crossing the bridge): To betray one’s friends once the crisis is over, to abandon one’s friends once one is safe

Some extra Vocabulary

  • Lok6 Daai6 Jyu5 = Raining heavily
  • Gam3 Hou2 Tin1 Hei3 = The weather is so great!
  • Jan1 Soeng2 = Enjoy
  • Je6 Ging2 = Night view
  • Zap1 Haa2 = Collect / pick up
  • Bui3 Hok6 = Seashells
  • Dang2 Do1 Zan6 Laa1 = Wait for a little while
  • On1 Cyun4 = Safety

Learning Cantonese #7 (DYOM, NUS)

In Lesson 7, I used  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FLiI39fspE to learn about:

  1. Health
    • Tau4 Tung3 = Headache
    • Tau4 Wan4 = Dizzy
    • Tou5 Tung5 = Stomachache
    • Man5 Gam2 = Allergy
    • Zok3 Au2 = Nausea
  2. Taboo
    • Hou2 Wat6 Dat6 Aa3! = That’s disgusting!
    • Ngo5 Swok3 Gaa1 Hou2 Di1 = My country is better
    • Ngo5 Ning4 Jyun2 Faan1 Uk1 Kei2 = I’d rather be back home
    • Sau1 Seng1! = Shut up!
    • Ngo5 Deoi3 Nei5 Dei6 Ge3 Man4 Faa3 Mou5 Mat1 Hing3 Ceoi3 = I’m not very interested in your culture
    • Heoi3 Mak6 Dong1 Lou4 Sik6 Syun3 Laa1 = Let’s just eat at Macdonalds
    • Hou2 Mun6 Aa3! = Boring!
    • Ni1 Go3 Hou2 Naan4 Sik6 = This tastes awful
    • Gam3 Ceon2 Gaa3 = This is stupid
    • Nei5 Dei6 Gam3 Je5 Maan4 Gaa3 = You people are uncivilised

Learning Cantonese #6 (DYOM, NUS)

In Lesson 6, I used https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FLiI39fspE to learn about:

  1. Travel
    • Dei6 Tou4 = Map
    • Baa1 Si2 = Bus
    • Si5 Keoi1 = City
    • Gei1 Coeng4 = Airport
    • Zyun3 Fong2 = Change room
    • Deng6 Zo2 = Reservation / Booking
    • Teoi1 Gaai3 = Recommendations
    • Ce1 Zaam6 = Station
    • Gaan2 Heoi3 Bin1 Dou6 = Choose your destination
    • Leoi5 Hang4 = Holiday
    • Deng6 Gei1 Piu3 = To book a flight
    • Deng6 Zau2 Dim3 = To book an accommodation
    • Gang1 San1 Wu6 Ziu3 = Renew passport
    • Zap1 Hang4 Lei5 = To pack
    • Maai5 Leoi5 Jau4 Bou2 Him2 = To buy travel insurance
    • Lo2 Cim1 Zing3 = To get a VISA

Some extra Vocabulary:

  • Ni1 Dou6 = Here
  • Hai6 Mai6 = Is it? / Yes or no?
  • Min5 Fai3 = Free
  • Faa1 Sang1 = Peanut
  • Man5 Gam2 = Allergy
  • M4 Goi1, Jiu3 Di1 Seoi2 = Water, please
  • Ngo5 Jiu3 Sap6 Go3 Ni1 Go3 = I want ten of these
  • Zit3 Tau4 = Discount
  • Seon3 Jung6 Kaat1 = Credit card
  • Cou5 Cin2 = Save money
  • Nou5 Lik6 = Work hard
  • Gai3 Syun3 Hoi1 Zi1 = Calculate expenses
  • Ceng2 Gaa3 = Apply leave, request vacation time
  • Soeng5 Mong5 = Online

Learning Cantonese #5 (DYOM, NUS)

In Lesson 5, I used https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FLiI39fspE to learn about:

  1. Tableware
    • Faai3 Zi2 = Chopsticks
    • Gung1 Faai3 = Shared chopsticks
    • Tong1 Gang1 = Soup spoon
    • Toi2 = Table
    • Ci4 Gang1 = Spoon
    • Caa1 = Fork
    • Gaau1 Caa1 = Plastic fork
    • Dou1 = Knife
  2. Family
    • Uk1 Kei2 Jan4 = Family members
    • Baa4 Baa1 = Father
    • Lou2 Gung1 = Husband
    • Go4 Go1 = Elder brother
    • Sai3 Lou2 = Younger brother
    • Je4 Je2 = Paternal grandfather
    • Syun1 Zai2 = Grandson
    • Maa4 Maa1 = Mother
    • Neoi5 = Daughter
    • Mui4 Mui2 = Younger sister
    • Lou5 Po4 = Wife
    • Syun1 Neoi5 = Granddaughter
    • Po4 Po2 = Maternal Grandmother
    • Gung4 Gung1 / Gung1 Gung1 = Maternal grandfather
    • Maa4 Maa4 = Paternal grandmother
  3. Clothes
    • Ngau4 Zai2 Fu3 = Jeans / Denim
    • Fu3 = Pants
    • Laang1 Saam1 = Sweater
    • Seot1 Saam1 = Shirt
    • Mou5 = Hat / Cap
    • Pei2 Lau1 = Leather jacket
  4. Drinks
    • Ling2 Lok6 = Lemon coke
    • Ling2 Mat6 = Hot honey lemon
    • Hou2 Laap6 Haak1 = Horlicks

Some extra Vocabulary:

  • Tung1 Soeng4 = Usually
  • Gaa3 Lei1 = Curry
  • Tai2 Zuk1 Kau4 = Soccer
  • Bei2 Coi3 = Competition / Game
  • Gung1 Jyun2 = Park
  • Waan2 = Play
  • Daa2 Gaau1 = Fight
  • Sek3 = Kiss (Doting / Love)
  • Gaau3 Si1 / Lo3 Si1 = Teacher
  • Gwo3 San1 = Pass away
  • Faan1 Lei4 = Coming back
  • Caa1 M4 Do1 = Almost
  • Jat6 Jat6 = Everyday
  • Hoeng1 = Fragrant
  • Sik1 = Colour
  • Zi2 Sik1 = Purple colour
  • San1 = New
  • Fe1 Sik1 = Brown colour
  • Ceot1 Meng2 = Famous
  • Laang5 Hei3 = Aircon
  • Dyun2 = Short
  • Jit6 = Hot
  • Dung3 = Cold
  • Peng4 = Cheap
  • Gwai3 = Expensive
  • Naan4 = Difficult
  • Ji6 = Easy
  • Faai3 = Fast
  • Maan6 = Slow
  • Tou5 Ngo6 = Hungry
  • Hoi1 Sam1 = Happy
  • Dak1 Ji3 = Cute
  • Mun6 = Bored
  • Gui6 = Tired

Learning Cantonese #4 (DYOM, NUS)

In Lesson 4, I used https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlLrqLryy-Y and https://writecantonese8.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/cantonese-proverbs-in-one-picture/ to learn about:

  1. Vegetables
    • Joeng4 Cung1 = Onion
    • Syun3 Tau4 = Garlic
    • Suk1 Mai5 = Corn
    • Faan1 Syu2 = Sweet Potato
    • Mo4 Gu1 = Mushroom
    • Sai1 Laan4 Faa1 = Broccoli
    • Lau4 Seon2 = Asparagus
    • Je4 Coi3 Faa1 = Cauliflower
    • Sai1 Kan4 = Celery
    • Je4 Coi3 = Cabbage
    • Hung4 Lo4 Baak6 = Carrot
    • Saang1 Coi3 = Lettuce
    • Bo1 Coi3 = Spinach
    • Daai6 Baak6 Coi3 = Chinese cabbage
    • Baak6 Coi3 = White cabbage (Bok-choi)
    • Coi3 Sam1 = Choy-sam (Cai-xin)
    • Naam4 Gwaa1 = Pumpkin
    • Ceng1 Dau5 = Peas
    • Syu4 Zai2 = Potato
    • Ngai2 Gwaa1 = Eggplant / Brinjal
    • Faan1 Ke5 = Tomato
    • Cung1 = Spring onion
    • Dang1 Lung4 Ziu1 = Bell pepper
  2. Flavours
    • Tim4 = Sweet
    • Syun1 – Sour
    • Fu2 = Bitter
    • Laat6 = Spicy
  3. Face
    • Min6 = Face
    • Ji5 / Ji5 Zai2 = Ears
    • Ngaan5 = Eyes
    • Zeoi2 / Hau2 = Mouth
    • Geng2 = Neck
    • Lei6 = Tongue
  4. Medicine
    • Joek6 / Joek6 Mat6 = Medicine
    • Beng6 Zo6 Zau6 Jiu3 Sik6 Joek6 = Sick already must eat medicine
    • Jik6 Miu4 = Vaccine
    • Kat1 = Cough
    • Kat1 Joek6 Seoi2 = Cough syrup
    • Kong3 Sang1 Sou3 = Antibiotics
    • Aa3 Si6 Pat1 Ling4 = Aspirin
    • Tau4 Tong3 = Headache
  5. Cantonese Proverbs (Cont.)
    • 掛羊頭賣狗肉 [gwa yèuhng tàuh maaih gáu yuhk] (Hang up a sheep’s head and sell dog meat): Try to palm off something, dishonest advertising, selling counterfeits
    • 煲電話粥 [bōu dihn wá jūk] (To boil telephone congee): To talk for hours on the phone
    • 冬瓜豆腐 [dūng gwā dauh fuh] (Winter melon and tofu): 1. An emergency, a crisis; 2. An unfortunate event, especially death
    • 甩繩馬騮 [lāt síng máah láu] (Loose string monkey): 1. A very naughty child; 2. Someone no longer under the control of their superior or guardian

Some extra Vocabulary:

  • Hou2 Peng4 = Very cheap
  • Tong2 Seoi2 = Dessert
  • Oi3 = Love
  • Ngo5 Hou2 Zung1 Ji3 Sik6 Mo4 Gu1 Aa3! = I love to eat mushrooms!
  • Waat6 = Smooth
  • Sai3 = Small
  • Ji5 Waan2 = Earrings
  • Daai6 Ji5 Lung1 = Loan shark
  • Daai6 = Big
  • Cau3 = Smelly
  • Coeng4 Geng2 Luk2 = Giraffe
  • Dang2 = Wait
  • Lem2 Lem2 Lei6 = Delicious [Idiom]
  • Lem2 = Lick

Learning Cantonese #3 (DYOM, NUS)

In Lesson 3, I used https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlLrqLryy-Y and https://writecantonese8.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/cantonese-proverbs-in-one-picture/ to learn about:

  1. Common Phrases (Cont.)
    • Mou5 Man6 Tai4 = No problem
    • Hai6 Zan1 Gaa3! = It’s true!
    • Ngo5 M4 Seon3! = I don’t believe it!
    • Jau5 Mou5 Gaau2 Co3! = It’s ridiculous!
  2. Common Questions (Cont.)
    • Me1 Lei4 Gaa3? = What is it?
    • Dim2 Gaai2 Nei5 Gam2 Ge2? = Why are you like this?
    • Ni1 Go3 Hai6 Mei1? = What is this?
    • Nei5 Gei2 Si4 Saang1 Jat6? = When is your birthday?
    • Nei5 Zyu6 Hai2 Bin1? = Where do you live?
    • Nei5 Gei2 Do1 Seoi3? = How old are you?
    • Nei5 Jau5 Mou5 Heoi3 Gwo3 (Hoeng1 Gong2)? = Have you ever been to (Hong Kong)?
    • Nei5 Gei2 Do1 Hou6 Din6 Waa2? = What’s your phone number?
    • Nei5 Hai2 Bin1 Dou6 Hok6 (Guong2 Dung1 Waa2)? = Where did you learn Cantonese?
  3. Cantonese Proverbs
    • 上山捉蟹 [séuhng sāan jūk háaih] (To catch crabs on a hill): Harder than hard, almost impossible
    • 扮鬼扮馬 [baahn gwái baahn máah] (To masquerade as a ghost and as a horse): To play a role to deceive somebody, to play a part to trick someone
    • 佛都有火 [faht dōu yáuh fó] (Even the Buddha gets inflamed): To a degree that is intolerable, “that’s the limit!”
    • 兩頭蛇 [lèuhng tàuh sèh] (Two-headed snake): 1. someone who works for both sides in a deal; 2. A servant of two masters

Some extra Vocabulary:

  • Bong1 = Help
  • Lo2 Zyu2 = Take this
  • Hang4 Lei5 = Luggage
  • Sau2 Gan1 Zai2 = Handkerchief
  • Zeng3 Aa3 = Awesome
  • Leng3 = Pretty / Beautiful
  • Neoi5 Jan2 = Woman
  • Lam4 Jan2 = Man
  • Ziu1 Ziu1 Zou2 = Every morning
  • Pang4 Jau5 = Friend
  • Leoi5 Hang4 = Travel
  • Tung4 = With
  • Tau4 Wan4 = Dizzy
  • Syun4 = Ship
  • Gin6 Hong1 = Healthy
  • San1 Tai2 Gin6 Hong1 = Good health (身体健康)
  • Zuk1 = To wish
  • Caang2 = Orange
  • Naan4 = DIfficult
  • Bui3 Zek3 = Back
  • Tung3 = Pain
  • Coeng4 = Long
  • Tau4 Faat3 = Hair
  • Joek6 = Medicine
  • Beng6 = Sick
  • Zaap6 Tyun4 = Corporate
  • Fu2 = Bitter
  • Taai3 Gwok3 = Thailand

Learning Cantonese #2 (DYOM, NUS)

In Lesson 2, I used https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYj-WOpMtCM to learn about:

  1. Common Phrases
    • Zou2 San4 = Good morning
    • Zou2 Tau2 / Maan6 On1 = Goodnight
    • Hou2 Noi6 Mou5 Gin3 = Long time no see
    • Ci4 Di1 Gin3 = See you later
    • Ngo5 Jiu3 Sik6 (Faan6) = I need to eat (rice)
    • Ngo5 Jiu3 Sik6 Je5 = I need to eat something
    • Ngo5 Soeng2 Jam2 Gaa3 Fe1 = I want to drink coffee
  2. Common Questions
    • Nei5 Giu3 Me1 Meng2? = What’s your name? (Informal)
    • Dim2 Cing1 Fu1? = What’s your name? (Formal)
    • Nei5 Zeoi3 Gan6 Dim2 Aa3? = How are you lately?
    • Nei5 Ne1? = How about you?
    • Hai2 Bin1 Aa3? = Where is it?
    • Zik1 Hai6 Dim2 Aa3? = What do you mean?
    • Gei2 Do1 Cin2 Aa3? = How much?
  3. Time
    • Ji4 Gaa1 Gei2 Dim2? = What time is it?

Some extra Vocabulary:

  • Co5 Dai1 = Sit down
  • Hai6 / M4 Hai6 = Yes / No
  • M4 Gin3 = Lost
  • Zai2 = Son
  • Sai2 Sau2 Gaan1 = Washroom
  • Maai4 Daan1 = Bill
  • Saam1 Zek3 Gau2 = 3 Dogs
  • Jau5 = Have
  • Lei4 = Come
  • Heoi3 = Go
  • Ho2 Ji3 = Can / May
  • Taan4 Kam4 = Play Piano
  • Jiu3 = Want / Need
  • Soeng2 = Want to / Would like to / Feel like
  • Zing2 = To make
  • Haai4 = Shoes
  • Zou6 = To do
  • Gung1 Fo3 = Homework
  • Zung1 Ji3 = To like
  • Hok6 = Learn / Study
  • Gwong2 Dung1 Waa2 = Cantonese
  • Man6 = To ask
  • Man6 Tai4 = Question
  • Teng1 = To Listen
  • Zi1 Dou3 = To know
  • Maai5 = To buy
  • Seoi2 = Water
  • Hou2 Hau2 Hot3 = I am so thirsty
  • Cau2 Faan6 = Fried rice
  • Jin1 Joeng1 = Yin Yang (Tea + Coffee Mix)
  • Ngau4 Juk6 = Beef (Cow Meat)
  • Zyu1 Juk6 = Pork (Pig Meat)
  • Gai1 Juk6 = Chicken Meat
  • Zau2 Dim3 = Hotel
  • Caan1 Teng1 = Restaurant
  • Jan3 Dou3 = Indian
  • Gei1 Coeng4 = Airport
  • Daap3 Fei1 Gei1 = Take a flight
  • Ci3 So2 = Toilet
  • Ci3 Zi2 = Toilet Paper
  • Koei5 = He / She
  • Dei6 Tit3 = Metro / Subway / Train
  • Bik1 = Crowded
  • Dik1 Si2 = Taxi
  • Ce1 = Car
  • Zaa1 = Drive
  • Uk1 Kei5 = Home / House
  • Syu1 = Book
  • Gung1 Si1 = Office
  • Lou5 Baan2 = Boss
  • Gam1 Jat6 = Today
  • Qing2 Caat3 = Police
  • Faai3 Di1 = Hurry up
  • Ji1 Sang1 = Doctor
  • Tai2 = See / Visit