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 through a simple listen and repeat format. Don't be frustrated if you find the phrases difficult to say at first -- this is to be expected when starting on a new language. Practice as often as possible, and you'll soon notice your ability to recognize and produce the sounds of Cantonese developing naturally with repeated exposure. You may also download a complete audio transcript for listening in your car.

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English:Person
Chinese:yan
English:American
Chinese:may-gwohk yan
Literally:America person
English:Chinese
Chinese:johng-gwohk yan
Literally:China person
English:Is / are / am (verb)
Chinese:hie
English:I am America
Chinese:ngoh hie may-gwohk yan
Literally:I am America person
English:You are Chinese
Chinese:nay hie johng-gwohk yan
Literally:you are China person
English:I am English
Chinese:ngoh hie yeeng gwohk yan
Literally:(same)
English:Not
Chinese:hm (lips closed)
To make a sentence negative, simple put the word for not in front of the verb.
English:Am not
Chinese:hm hie
Literally:not am
English:You are not American
Chinese:nay hm hie may-gwohk yan
Literally:you not are American
English:I am not Chinese
Chinese:ngoh hm hie johng-gwohk yan
Literally:I not am Chinese
In Cantonese, questions are often formed by placing both the positive and negative form of the verb, and then adding an open ah sound at the end of of the sentence.
English:Are you?
Chinese:nay hie-hm-hie ah
Literally:you are-not-are +?
English:Are you American?
Chinese:nay hie-hm-hie may-gwohk yan ah
Literally:you are-not-are American +?
There is no standard word for yes and no in Cantonese. Instead, questions are usually answered by repeating the positive or negative form of the verb from the original question. To answer the question Are you American, you'd repeat the positive or negative form of the verb:
English:Yes
Chinese:hie
Literally:am
English:No
Chinese:hm hie
Literally:not am

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