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Category Archives: Cantonese

Cantonese: How Do You Say “Work” or “Job”

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Work” or “Job”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – LearnDialect.sg or search for LearnDialect.sg on Spotify.


New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
WorkGung1Gung
What is your work/job?你係做咩工嘅?
(你是做什么工的?)
Nei5 hai6 zou6 me1 gung1 ge3?Lei hai zou meh gung geh?
Worked for how many years?做咗幾年?
(做了几年?)
Zou6 zo2 gei2 nin4?Zou zor gei nin?
What did you learn?你學咗乜嘢?
(你学到了什么?)
Nei5 hok6 zo2 mat1 je5?Lei hok zor mat yeh?

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Work” or “Job”

Over the course of a lifetime, an average person would go to work for about 40 years. That is, a person starts working from a tender age of early twenties until retirement. In the case of Singapore, current minimum retirement age is 62 years old and there seems to be talks of extending working life even further. “Work” or 工 in Cantonese, it seems, is an integral part of most people’s life. Hello and welcome to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. My name is Eugene and today, let’s explore some phrases that you can use in Cantonese to start a conversation about working life.

你係做咩工嘅?

If you want to ask for a person’s occupation, this is one casual way of asking in Cantonese. With this simple question, it opens a window of opportunity for you to find out about the colourful working life of a person.

To further the conversation, I typically would also ask 做咗幾年? as well as 你學咗乜嘢?

The first follow up question – 做咗幾年? – means “how many years have you been working at the job?” A literal translation in English would be “do how many years already?”

The 2nd follow up question I usually ask is 你學咗乜嘢? Over here, 學 means “learn” and this question probes deeper by asking what one has learnt. An open-ended question, it typically gets a person talking about the many skill sets and experiences that he or she has acquired over the years.

So to all our listeners, 你係做咩工嘅? 做咗幾年? 你學咗乜嘢? Now what you can do is to drop us a reply to these questions, so that we can understand you better and make our podcasts more relevant to you. Be rather mindful of the tone you use as these phrases can sound rather rude and abrupt if your tone is hurried, for example, 你係做咩工嘅? 做咗幾年? 你學咗乜嘢?

Alright, it’s time for a little test for you to practise what you have learnt so far with us. How do you say the following in Cantonese?

How are you? My name is Eugene. Please, may I ask what is your job? How many years have you been working at the job? What did you learn? Can you teach me please? Thank you and nice to meet you. I’ll make a move first!”

Pause the audio and give it a try. I’ll repeat one more time.

“How are you? My name is Eugene. Please, may I ask what is your job? How many years have you been working at the job? What did you learn? Can you teach me please? Thank you and nice to meet you. I’ll make a move first!”

Go on, pause the audio until you are ready to check the answer.

Here’s the answer:

你好, 我係Eugene. 唔該, 请问你, 你係做咩工嘅? 做咗幾年? 你學咗乜嘢? 你可不可以教我? 唔該你. 好開心見到你. 我走先喇!

Did you get it right? If you have diligently followed our podcasts, by now, you should be able to move beyond single words and string sentences together. I think that’s pretty awesome progress, isn’t it?

唔該你 for listening in to How Do You Say on LearnDialect.sg. Once again, if you have specific phrases that you’ll like to learn, please leave us a comment on our Facebook page (facebook.com/learndialect). We want to know how we can help you! 再見!


Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.

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Cantonese: How Do You Say “Goodbye”

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Goodbye”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – LearnDialect.sg or search for LearnDialect.sg on Spotify.


New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
I am我係
(我是)
Ngo5 hai6Ngor hai
Female Senior阿婆Aa3 po4Ah po
Male Senior阿伯Aa3 baak3Ah baak
First / In advanceSin1Sin
Run走(跑)Zau2Zau
Walk行(走)Hang4Hang
I’ll make a move first我走/行先喇
(我先走/行了)
Ngo5 zau2/hang4 sin1 laa1Ngor zau/hang sin laa
Goodbye / See you again再見
(再见)
Zoi3 gin3Zoi gin

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Goodbye”

See ya! Farewell! How many ways of saying goodbye do you know in English? Well, did you know, we have a few ways to say goodbye in Cantonese too? 你好, 我係Eugene and right now, we will learn some interesting ways of saying “Goodbye” with today’s Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg.

Saying goodbye in Cantonese can be as simple as saying, “阿婆 or 阿伯, bye bye!”. Yes, we can use the word “bye” as it is understood by most, if not all, Cantonese speakers in Singapore.

Often, you will hear Cantonese speakers saying either 我走先喇 or 我行先喇, both meaning “I will make a move first”. The new word – 先 – means “first” or “in advance” and the difference between the 2 phrases lies in 走 which means “run” versus 行 which means “walk”.

Based on personal experience, I am under the impression that Cantonese speakers are more open to using these 2 phrases interchangeably. Hokkiens and Teochews, on the other hand, seem to prefer saying goodbye via running as they want to refrain from referring to the afterworld. Well, if you are intrigued and want to find out more, do check out our podcasts for Hokkien and Teochew as we have addressed this concept previously.

To our audience who are Mandarin-educated and who are reading our Podcast transcript (oh yes, we do have a Podcast transcript and you can always find it on our main website, LearnDialect.sg or on our YouTube channel), you may actually find it confusing given that the written word in Cantonese to represent “run” is the same word as “walk” or 走 in Mandarin. There is no mistake here. In this case, Cantonese adheres to the Classical Chinese text (文言文) so Cantonese people use the Mandarin written characters, 走 for “run” and 行 for “walk”.

Now, the most formal way to say goodbye is to say 再見. This literally means “see you again” and is often heard in more formal settings, on TV or radio shows.

Summing up today’s podcast, these are the 3 ways to say goodbye:

我走先喇;

我行先喇; and

再見.

Thank you for listening to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. Hope you now have a deeper understanding of saying goodbyes in Cantonese. If you have specific phrases that you’ll like to learn, please leave us a comment on our Facebook page. We want to know how we can help you! 再見!


Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.

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Cantonese: How Do You Say “Nice to Meet You”

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Nice to Meet You”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – LearnDialect.sg or search for LearnDialect.sg on Spotify.


New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
Watch手錶(表)Sau2 biu1Sau biu
Very beautiful好靚(很美)Hou2 leng3Hou leng
Nice watch手錶好靚
(手表很美)
Sau2 biu1 hou2 leng3Sau biu hou leng
John is a nice personJohn個人好好
(John的人很好)
John go3 jan4 hou2 hou2John gor yan hou hou
Very happy好開心
(很开心)
Hou2 hoi1 sam1Hou hoi sum
Meet見(见)Gin3Gin
Nice to meet you好開心見到你
(很开心见到你)
Hou2 hoi1 sam1 gin3 dou3 nei5Hou hoi sum gin dou lei
Stay in touch保持聯絡
(保持联络)
Bou2 ci4 lyun4 lok3Bou ci lyun lok

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Nice to Meet You”

Hi, nice to meet you! Stay in touch! Ever wondered what’s the equivalent in Cantonese? My name is Eugene and we will explore this phrase with today’s How Do You Say podcast on LearnDialect.sg.

Let’s start with the word, “Nice“. Even in English itself, “nice” is a very flexible word as it can be used to describe many things – beautiful, good, and the list goes on. As such, there are many ways to express it in Cantonese too. For example, how do you say that a watch is nice?

In Cantonese, the term “nice watch” can be translated into 手錶好靚. Literally, this means, “the watch is very beautiful”. Now, let’s break it down word by word.

手錶 refers to “watch”;

好 – as we have learnt the last episode – can mean “good” or “very”;

好靚 means “very beautiful”;

There you go, the watch is very nice. 手錶好靚.

You may ask, can I use 好靚 to describe a person and the answer is yes! However, by using 好靚, you are specifically referring to that person looking good. Different from Hokkien or Teochew, you can use 好靚 to compliment either a guy or a girl. For example, you can say 你個仔好靚 which means “Your son is very handsome”.

What if – beyond physical looks – you wish to compliment someone for having a nice character? Well, for example, if I want to say, “John is a nice person”, I’ll express in Cantonese as John個人好好. It roughly translates into “John’s personality is very good”.

Get it? Great! Now, let’s move on!

So now, how do we say “Nice to meet you”?

This is expressed in Cantonese as 好開心見到你. Let’s break it down again,

The first three words – 好開心 – means “really happy” while the last three words – 見到你 – means “to meet you”.

Let me repeat – 好開心見到你.

Are you still with me? Awesome! I’ve just got one more phrase to teach you today, which is commonly heard in Singapore. How do you say “Stay in touch”? We express this by saying 保持聯絡.

保持 means to “maintain” or “remain”;

While 聯絡 refers to “contact”.

As such, 保持聯絡 means “stay in touch”.

Let me repeat – 保持聯絡.

Now, let’s put everything together! How do you say, “Nice to meet you! Stay in touch!”

Go on, pause the audio and give it a try. Learning a language works best if you keep practising. Play the audio only when you are ready to listen to the answer.

Nice to meet you! Stay in touch!

好開心見到你, 保持聯絡!

Once again, thank you for listening to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. Stay tuned for more and let’s 保持聯絡!


Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.

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Cantonese: How Do You Say “Hello, Long Time No See”

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Hello, Long Time No See”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – LearnDialect.sg or search for LearnDialect.sg on Spotify.


New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
Long time no see好耐冇見
(很久没见)
Hou2 noi6 mou5 gin3Hou loi mou gin

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Hello, Long Time No See”

Hello everyone, long time no see! Hope you had a good break. Are you ready for your next Cantonese lesson? My name is Eugene and once again, welcome to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. Today, we will be covering the exact phrase at the start: “Hello, long time no see!”

As we have learnt previously, “hello” is 你好, so what about “long time no see”?

In Cantonese, we express it by 好耐冇見.

We have learnt that the first word – 好 – refers to “good” but in this case, it takes on another meaning of “very”. The second word – 耐 – refers to “long time”. When combined together, it literally means “very long time”.

The next word – 冇 – is a term used only in Cantonese to negate an action. In our case here, 冇 is applied to the action of 见, which means “to see” in English. As such 冇见 means “not seeing”.

By saying 你好 prior to the whole phrase of 好耐冇見, you address the person you are speaking to. Alternatively, you can also say 好耐冇見到你.

Now, give it a try. Pause the audio to practice on your own.

After saying “long time no see”, we can continue to ask the person “How are you?” by using what we have learnt previously.

So the formal version would be, 你好, 好耐冇見到你, 你好嗎? while the informal version would be 哈囉, 好耐冇見到你, 你點呀(怎样了)?

Hope everyone has been doing well and thank you for listening in to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. My name is Eugene and wish you a Happy New Year!


Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.

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Cantonese: How Do You Say “Thank You”

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Thank You”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – LearnDialect.sg or search for LearnDialect.sg on Spotify.


New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
Thank you (for service or assistance)唔該M4 goi1Mm goi
Thank you (for gifts)多谢Do1 ze6Dor zeh
EntirelySaai3Saai
There’s no need for formalities唔使客氣(客气)M4 sai2 haak3 hei3Mm sai haak hei

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Thank You”

Hi everyone! My name is Eugene and once again, welcome to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. In today’s podcast, we will be covering a commonly-used phrase in everyday life, “Thank you”!

So yes, “thank you” 用廣東話點講?

There are a few ways to express “Thank You”. We have:

唔該, which we have learnt previously to mean “thank you”. However, this is only meant for thanking others who have rendered you a service or assistance. For gifts, Cantonese speakers would say 多谢. These are the two phrases most commonly used to express thanks. I’ll repeat again, 唔該 and 多谢.

Sometimes, you may hear 唔該晒 or 多谢晒. Adding the word – 晒 – expresses a deeper level of thanks as it means “in entirety”. As such, 唔該晒 or 多谢晒 is taken to mean “thank you very much”.

When responding to a word of thanks, Cantonese people will typically answer with 唔使客氣. This is the Cantonese way of saying “You’re welcome” but translates more accurately into “There’s no need for formalities”. Let me say it one more time, 唔使客氣.

A word of thanks to show appreciation – 唔該 or 多谢 – and knowing how to respond – 唔使客氣 – in a polite manner goes a long way.

Hope this helps in your daily conversations and thank you for listening in to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. My name is Eugene and see you the next time!


Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.

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Cantonese: How Do You Say “Please, May I Ask?”

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Please, May I Ask?”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – LearnDialect.sg or search for LearnDialect.sg on Spotify.


New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
Excuse me / Please / Thank you唔該M4 goi1Mm goi
Excuse me, can I ask唔該, 請問(请问)M4 goi1, cing2 man6Mm goi, ceng mun
Wanton Noodles雲吞面
(云吞面)
Wan4 tan1 min6Wan tan min
How to點(怎么)Dim2Dim
UseJung6Yung
Say講(讲)Gong2Gong
WalkHang4Hang
DoZou6Zou

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Please, May I Ask?”

Hi everyone, thank you for joining us on our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. My name is Eugene and today, we will learn a few helpful phrases that starts with 唔該, 請問.

唔該 is a rather unique Cantonese expression that can mean “Excuse me”, “Please” and “Thank you”.

请 refers to “please” and 问 refers to “ask”. As such, if you ask questions by starting with 唔該, 请问, you will come across as being very polite and respectful.

Let me give you a few examples.

If I am asking someone if the bowl of wanton noodle is tasty, I would say 唔該, 請問你雲吞面好唔好食?”

If I am asking “please, how do you say “Eat” in Cantonese?”, I would say 唔該, 請問你, “Eat”用廣東話點講?

點 means “how to” in this case and 講 means “say”. Once again, 唔該, 請問你, “Eat”用廣東話點講?

If I am asking for directions to the MRT, I would say 唔該, 請問你, MRT點行?

Similarly, 點 means “how to” and 行 means “walk”. I’ll repeat – 唔該, 請問你,MRT點行?

If I’m asking, “please, how do I do this?”, it’ll be 唔該, 請問你, 點做? – 做 means “to do”.

If I’m asking, “please, how do I use this?”, it’ll be 唔該, 請問你, 點用? – 用 means “to use”.

You get the drift now? As you can tell, 唔該, 请问 is a very versatile and polite way of asking people for help!

Now let’s practise by combining some of these with what we learnt in the previous podcasts.

How would you say the following in Cantonese,

How are you? My name is Eugene. My Cantonese is not good. Can you teach me? Please, how do you say “Eat” in Cantonese?”

Now pause the audio and give it a try. Go on.

So did you get it right?

“How are you? My name is Eugene. My Cantonese is not good. Can you teach me? Please, how do you say “Eat” in Cantonese?”

This is translated into Cantonese as 你好, 我個名叫Eugene. 我個廣東話唔好, 你可唔可以教我?唔該, 请问你, Eat用廣東話點講?

Awesome, we are making good progress, aren’t we?

Keep practising, as that’s the only way to learn a new dialect.

Don’t forget, if you have specific phrases that you’ll like to learn, please leave us a comment on our Facebook page. We want to know how we can help you!

Thank you for listening in to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. My name is Eugene and see you the next time.


Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.

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Cantonese: How Do You Say “Can You Teach Me?”

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Can You Teach Me?”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – LearnDialect.sg or search for LearnDialect.sg on Spotify.


New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
My Cantonese is not good我個廣東話唔
(我的广东话不好)
Ngo5 go3 gwong2 dung1 waa6 m4 hou2Ngor gor gwong dung waa mm hou
Can you teach me?你可唔可以教我?
(你可不可以教我?)
Nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 gaau3 ngo5?Lei hor mm hor yi gaau ngor?

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Can You Teach Me?”

Hello everyone, 你好, 食咗未? Welcome back to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg.

我個名叫 Eugene and today, I will teach you a phrase that will come in very handy when you are asking for help in learning Cantonese. This phrase is 我個廣東話唔好, 你可唔可以教我?

Breaking it down into 2 parts:

  • The first part – 我個廣東話唔好 – translates into “My Cantonese is not good” and;
  • The second part – 你可唔可以教我? – means “Can you teach me?”

Are you ready? Ok, let’s go!

The first part, 我個廣東話唔好. “My Cantonese is not good”.

好 refers to “good”, so 唔好 refers to “not good”. So if you were to say that your Cantonese is not good, you would say 我個廣東話唔好.

Now pause the audio and give this first part a try. 我個廣東話唔好.

Good! Now let’s move on to the second part of the phrase, 你可唔可以教我? “Can you teach me?”

可唔可以 refers to “can or cannot” while 教 refers to “teach”. So 你可唔可以教我? translates very literally into “You can or cannot teach me?”

Now pause the audio again and give it a try – 你可唔可以教我?

Great! Now, let’s combine both parts together – 我個廣東話唔好, 你可唔可以教我?

One more time and this time, say it with a smile! 我個廣東話唔好, 你可唔可以教我?

Great! Don’t you think this is a good opening line to start a conversation with Cantonese speakers? I am sure many Cantonese speakers would be more than willing to help you.

Well, in fact, if you have specific phrases that you’ll like to learn, we want to be the first to help! Please leave us a comment on our Facebook page. Who knows, the next podcast may be dedicated to you!

Thank you for listening into our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. My name is Eugene and see you the next time!


Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.

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Cantonese: How Do You Say “What is Your Name?”

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “What is Your Name?”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – LearnDialect.sg or search for LearnDialect.sg on Spotify.


New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
I / MeNgo5Ngor
My name is我個(的)名叫Ngo5 go3 ming4 giu3Ngor gor meng giu
What is your name?你叫咩(什么)名?Nei5 giu3 me1 ming4?Lei giu meh meng?

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “What is Your Name?”

你好, 食咗未? My name is Eugene and thank you for listening to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg.

Today, you will be learning a couple of phrases for introduction in Cantonese, namely 你好, 我個名叫 and 你叫咩名.

For the first phrase 你好, 我個名叫 means “Hello! My name is…”.

Let me break it down for you. 你好, as what we learnt in our previous lesson, means “Hello” while 名 refers to “name” and 叫 means “called”. So technically, 我個名叫 means “my name is called”.

In my case, I would say – 你好, 我個名叫Eugene.

Now pause the audio and give it a try. 你好, 我個名叫 <your name>.

Isn’t it great that you have learnt how to introduce your own name? Now, conversations are always 2 ways and if you have introduced yourself, wouldn’t you want to find out the name of whom you are speaking to as well? In this case, you would ask 你叫咩名? which means “What is your name?”

Once again, 你叫咩名?

Now, let’s go over the 2 phrases again.

你好, 我個名叫… and

你叫咩名?

There you go! Besides learning how to introduce yourself, you are beginning to learn how to strike a conversation!

Remember, practice is the key. Don’t be afraid to start speaking in Cantonese! In the next post, you will learn other common conversation phrases and expressions.

Thank you for listening into our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg and see you the next time.


Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.

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Cantonese: How Do You Say “How Are You?”

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “How Are You?”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – LearnDialect.sg or search for LearnDialect.sg on Spotify.


New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
Hello你好Nei5 hou2Nei hou
How are you?你好嗎(吗)?Nei5 hou2 maa1?Lei hou maa?
Hello (Informal)哈囉(啰)Haa1 lo1Haa lo
How are you? (Informal)點呀?Dim2 aa1?Dim aa?

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “How Are You?”

Hello everyone, 食咗未? My name is Eugene and welcome to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. Today, you will learn 2 more greeting phrases in Cantonese, after which, I’m sure you will be able to say hello and sound like a natural Cantonese speaker immediately!

Personally, when I meet up with my Cantonese friends, this is what I will say to them immediately, “哈囉, 點呀?”

Yes, I’ve just greeted them entirely in Cantonese. Did you get it? Once again – 哈囉, 點呀?

The first 2 words, 哈囉 – does it sound similar to the English word, “Hello”? In fact, it is the exact same word as we borrowed the word from English and put a Cantonese spin on it. The next 2 characters – 點呀 – means “How are you?” These phrases are commonly heard at informal settings such as gatherings among friends.

What about formal settings, for example, when you meet someone senior or when you are attending a business lunch? How do we say “Hello” and “How are you”?

Well, for “Hello”, you can use 你好. 你 refers to the English word “You” while 好 means “good”. A direct translation would mean “you good” but is interpreted by Cantonese speakers to mean “Hello”.

Ok, so we have just learnt 你好. If instead of “Hello”, you want to say “How are you?”, the trick is to just add a 嗎 behind it. There you go – 你好嗎? Putting a 嗎 at the end signifies a question, and thus it will be interpreted to mean “you good?”, which then refers to “How are you?” Did you get it?

In fact, you can also combine these with the greetings that you learnt in the previous post.

你好, 食咗未?

點呀? 你好嗎?

Now, did you notice that I used two different pronunciations for the same word? They are “Nei” in 你好 and “Lei” in 你好嗎, respectively. “Nei” is the original pronunciation but increasingly, Cantonese speakers are using “Lei” currently due to changes in the pronunciation of certain syllables, otherwise commonly known as the lazy tone phenomenon. Both versions can be used and honestly, our view is that the correct pronunciation is the one that everyone understands.

Now head out and practise these greetings with a big smile on your face! In the next post, you’ll learn how to introduce yourself in Cantonese. Once again, this is Eugene and thank you for listening into our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg.


Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.

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Cantonese: How Do You Say “Have You Eaten?”

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Have You Eaten?”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – LearnDialect.sg or search for LearnDialect.sg on Spotify.


New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
Have you eaten your fill yet?食饱未?
(吃饱没?)
Sik6 baau2 mei6?Sek baau mei?
Have you eaten?食咗未?
(吃了没?)
Sik6 zo2 mei6?Sek zor mei?

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Have you Eaten?”

Hello everyone, welcome to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. My name is Eugene and in less than 5 minutes, you will learn how to greet people in Cantonese in a couple of different ways!

So let’s start!

Listen to these phrases:

食饱未?

食咗未?

Do they sound similar to you?

食饱未? means “Have you eaten your fill yet?”

食咗未? means “Have you eaten yet?”

Now, you may be wondering why greetings among Cantonese or Chinese people revolve around food. One story is that in the olden days, there is a lack of food and people did not always have enough to eat. As such, asking about whether somebody has had a meal yet is a good way to show that you care about their wellbeing.

Now, there’s a growing taboo. In current days, the 2nd phrase, namely 食咗未 is preferred over the first phrase 食饱未. This is because the first phrase 食饱未, seems to imply that the subject of your greeting is not affluent enough to eat his or her fill.

Alright, let’s do a recap now. The 2 phrases are:

食饱未?

食咗未?

Hope all our listeners learnt something today. In our next post, you will learn 2 more common greeting phrases to greet your family, friends and co-workers! Thank you for listening into our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. My name is Eugene, see you!


Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!


Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At LearnDialect.sg, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.

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