There are at least two ways to say “beautiful” in Cantonese:
- 靚 ( colloquial; means good-looking as in 靓相 pretty photos; high quality or high class as in 靓车 – good cars such as Lamborghini or Porsche )
- 美麗 (美丽) (beautiful, not just pretty; formal; sometimes shortened to just 美. so 美国 can mean beautiful country)
- 好好睇 (very good looking )
1. You are so beautiful! 你好靓！
2. I don’t need those beautiful lies! 我唔需要美丽嘅谎言。
Note: tell a lie = 讲大话 (colloquial. lie = 大话 literately mean “big talk” ). 谎言 means “lie(s)” and it’s very formal.
However, we do use 美丽的(or 嘅 )谎言 is a set phrase or idiomatic phrase for “beautiful lies”.
3. 你种嘅花好靓啊！ The flowers you are planting are very beautiful (pretty)!
6. Your eyes are beautiful. 你嘅眼睛好靓！
There are two words that means “Please” in Cantonese:
- 請 （ 请 ） (this may also mean ask or invite)
- 唔该 (this phrase can also mean “Thank you”. Literately it means “not deserved” or “should not (bother you). ” )
We can use them interchangeably. The first form is more formal.
1. Please open your books: 請打開你嘅書。cing2 daa2 hoi1 nei5 ge3 syu1
or we can also say 請你讲多一次。cing2nei5 gong2 do1 jat1 ci3
3. Could you say that again, please?: 唔该你可唔可以讲多一次? m4 goi1 nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 gong2 do1 jat1 ci3
or we can say: 可唔可以請你讲多一次? ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 cing2nei5gong2 do1 jat1 ci3
可以 = can ; could
可唔可以 = could or could not; can or cannot
Other Usage of 請
- 邀請 verb. invite ; noun. invitation.
e.g. May I ask/invite you to come to my home?
我可唔可以邀請你來我屋企。ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 jiu1 cing2 nei5 loi4 ngo5 nguk1 kei5
- 請假 ask for leave
e.g. 我想請（病）假 I want to ask for (sick) leave. ngo5 soeng2 cing2 beng6 gaa3
病 = sick
- 請問 Could you please tell (me/us) ..?
e.g. Could you tell me where is the toilet? 請問廁所喺邊度? cing2 man6 ci3 so2 hai2 bin1 dou6
… 喺邊度? = where is … ?
We can say 六月十六號是父親節 ( June 16th is Father’s Day ).
We often call our elderly daddy 老爹 (Old Dad). Similar to Mandarin.
We should also say ” 老竇我好掛住你啊 ！” ( = Daddy, how I miss you! ) if you call home from far away. Take good care of your father and send him more love if you still can. I cannot any more as he passed away many years ago. There’s a Chinese saying from a famous peom: 子欲養而親不待 ( When the son wants to support the parents who have passed away. ) A pretty close translation of the sentences in that Chinese poem can be found at Dict.cn: 树欲静而风不止，子欲养而亲不待.
With the help of ChineseBay.com’s Cantonese Pronunciation Dictionary, we can start some easy lessons for missionary.
For pronunciation, you may click the above Chinese to get the Jyutping (Cantonese pronunciation) for those characters.
Here’s an introduction of Jyutping Lessons that you may follow. (Master Jyutping, and your are free):
After you master the Jyutping you may use the Jyutping Dictionary to learn the Cantonese pronunciation of all the Chinese characters.
Cantonese for Missionaries and Cantonese for Pastors. It means as a missionary or pastor who meet Cantonese a lot, they need to learn this basic Cantonese.
Colloquial Cantonese Lesson Three
Let’s learn how to say “To be or not to be.”
☆係唔m4係(是不是) = is or not?
☆係咁gam2 (是这样)= is like this
☆係嘅ge3(是的) = It is.
☆係喇laa1(是了) = so it is
☆係嘞laak3(对了) = that is right.
☆係噃bo3(是的哦) = Oh, it is.
☆係吖aa1(是啊) = Yes,(I agree).
☆係呀aa1(是啊) = Yes, (I agree).
☆咪就係囉mai6zau6hai6 lo1 = That’s right.(I agree to this obvious point.)
☆係啰(囉)lo1(就是嘛) = a tone-down version of 咪就係囉.
☆係啩gwaa3(可能是吧)= perhaps it is
☆係咪mai6(是不是)= 係唔m4係 is or not?
☆係咩me1(是吗)= is that so?
Please note that 咪 here is taking 6th tone instead of the 1st tone(mistake in the video): mai6
CantonesePod.com & ChineseBay.com
The Cantonese phrases and expressions we teach here are so colloquial that the Chinese characters used do not make sense at all in Mandarin. If you find them difficult, you need to practice more and try to learn them again and again from your own conversations with Cantonese speakers or find them in the Cantonese movies or TV programs. Don’t give up and keep learning and you will find more fun in learning Cantonese.
This is a Cantonese word. We don’t have it in Mandarin.
☆冇乜嘢 mou2 mat1 je5 (没什么)
= have nothing at all.It’s nothing.(it’s OK)
☆冇你咁好氣（气）mou2 nei5 gam2 hou2 hei3(没有你那么耐心)
=have no patience like yours(don’t want to talk to you anymore)
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