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Cantonese for Everyone (Jyutping version) (Second edition)

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This short course is meant for people who have no prior knowledge of Cantonese but have a strong desire to learn and a need for its use as soon as possible. This book is principally designed for newcomers to Hong Kong (especially international students) who wish to overcome the language barrier in their new living environment.

The aim of the course is to introduce the fundamental structure of the Cantonese language, as well as common and useful Cantonese vocabulary, phrases and expressions that can immediately be put to use in daily life.

The emphasis will be on the practical side of the language use, so as to meet everyday needs while residing in Hong Kong. In a relatively short period of time, learners will grasp the most useful and practical phrases or expressions to make life here easier and more enjoyable. In addition, there are sections on the culture and life in Hong Kong that will hopefully help you in the transition stage.

Many people say that Cantonese is a difficult language to learn, but I believe that given the right learning material and environment, it is no more difficult than any other second language. I hope that this course will help in this regard.

Chow Bun Ching

BA, MA, Cert TJFL

Honorary Lecturer

University of Hong Kong


About the Author
Chow Bun Chinghas dedicated more than twenty-five years to teaching written Chinese and spoken Cantonese to expatriates of varied backgrounds in the University of Hong Kong. As a lecturer at HKU, Ms Chow teaches language courses at all levels. She has also been in charge of the Cantonese Section at the Chinese Language Centre of the School of Chinese. Ms Chow was awarded a Faculty Teaching Excellence Award from the Faculty of Arts in 2009. Herresearch interests are in the area of the teaching and learning of Chinese/Cantonese as a foreign language. Ms Chow has published several textbooks that are widely used over the world. She is the co-author of Living Cantonese for Intermediate Learners (1997, Jyutping version 2017), the author of Learn Chinese Using Cantonese (2008, Jyutping version 2016), Spoken Cantonese for Non-Chinese Speaking Students (2009) and Decoding Chinese Characters (2016).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................................. i

Preface ........................................................................................................................................................ ii

How to Use this Book ....................................................................................................................... iii - iv

Contents ................................................................................................................................................ v - vi

Quick Reference Matrix ..................................................................................................................vii - x

Unit 1: Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 1

1. Cantonese, the Language .................................................................................................2 - 5

2. Cantonese Sound System ...............................................................................................6 - 20

3. Immediately Useful Expressions ............................................................................... 21 - 25

Unit 2: Numerals ................................................................................................................................... 27

1. Cardinal Numbers (0 – 1,000,000) ............................................................................ 28 - 31

2. Ordinal Numbers (first-second-third) .............................................................................. 32

3. Traditional Signs for Numbers .......................................................................................... 33

4. Money ............................................................................................................................ 34 - 36

5. Date (year-month-day) ................................................................................................ 37 - 40

6. Clock Time (hour-minute) .......................................................................................... 41 - 44

7. Counting Things with Measure Words ..................................................................... 45 - 47

Unit 3: Arrival ....................................................................................................................................... 49

Main Characters in the Conversation .............................................................................. 50 - 51

Lesson 1. Greeting at the airport .................................................................................. 52 - 59

Lesson 2. You are here .................................................................................. 60 - 69

Lesson 3. Accommodation & check-in ........................................................... 70 - 77

Lesson 4. Money exchange ............................................................................ 78 - 86

Unit 4: Personal Information ...........................................................................................87

Lesson 5. Self-introduction ............................................................................ 88 - 97

Lesson 6. Getting to know a new friend ........................................................ 98 - 109

Lesson 7. My Chinese friend ...................................................................... 110 - 119

Lesson 8. Chatting with a friend ................................................................ 120 - 130 Unit 5: Essential Basic Conversation .............................................................................. 131

Lesson 9. Looking for a place .................................................................... 132 - 141

Lesson 10. What is this? ............................................................................. 142 - 149

Lesson 11. Ordering food ............................................................................ 150 - 158

Lesson 12. Having a dim-sum lunch ............................................................ 159 - 171

Lesson 13. Buying & bargaining .................................................................. 172 - 181

Lesson 14. Taking public transportation ....................................................... 182 - 195

Lesson 15. Finding your way ....................................................................... 196 - 205

Cantonese – English Glossary ................................................................................ 207 - 231

English – Cantonese Glossary ................................................................................ 232 - 255

Glossary & Abbreviations of Grammatical Terms .................................................. 256 - 257

References ...................................................................................................................... 258

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