Free Cantonese Chinese Lessons

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These Cantonese Chinese lessons have been designed to provide practical travel vocabulary and a foundation for basic conversational skills. You may also download a complete audio transcript for listening in your car.

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In Cantonese, there are a few ways to say Please. The following is quite common:
English:Please
Chinese:tchayng
English:To ask
Chinese:mun
In Cantonese, when approaching someone to ask a question, it's polite to first say Excuse me, may I ask before asking the question. We'll learn how to say excuse me in a later section. For now, we'll use May I ask
English:May I ask?
Chinese:tchayng mun
Literally:please to ask
English:Miss / young woman
Chinese:sew-dzay
English:Miss, may I ask?
Chinese:tchayng mun sew-tday
Literally:may I ask miss
English:May I ask miss, do you know how to speak English
Chinese:tchayng mun sew-dzay, nay sik-hm-sik gahng yeeng mun ah
Literally:may I ask miss, you know-not-know how to speak English? +?
English:Mister / sir
Chinese:seen-sahn
English:May I ask sir
Chinese:tchayng mun, seen-sahn
Literally:(same)
English:May I ask sir, do you know how to speak English
Chinese:tchayng mun seen-sahn, nay sik-hm-sik gahng yeeng mun ah
Literally:may I ask sir, you know-not-know how to speak English? +?
English:Some / a little
Chinese:yut-dee
English:Some people
Chinese:yut-dee yan
Literally:(same)
English:I can speak a little Cantonese
Chinese:ngoh sik gahng yut-dee gwahng-dohng wah
Literally:I know how to speak a little Cantonese
English:Much
Chinese:doh
English:Very much
Chinese:hoh doh
Literally:(same)
English:You can speak a lot of Cantonese
Chinese:nay sik gahng hoh doh gwahng-dohng wah
Literally:you know how to speak very much Cantonese
English:You understand a lot of English
Chinese:nay sik tayng hoh doh yeeng mun
Literally:you understand very much English
English:I don't speak well
Chinese:ngoh gahng duk hm hoh
Literally:I speak not good
The unfamiliar word in that sentence does not have a direct translation into English, but it's something like saying The way I speak English is not good or, word for word, I speak in a way not good:
English:To go
Chinese:houe
English:I'm going to China
Chinese:ngoh houe johng-gwohk
Literally:I going to China
English:You're going to America
Chinese:nay houe may-gwohk
Literally:you going to America

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