TEACHER
Hello, and welcome to Lesson One of The Queen’s Cantonese Conversational Course. This video program is designed to help you learn spoken Cantonese in a quick and easy format.

TEACHER
In this lesson, as in all other lessons, you will learn new vocabulary by repeating the spoken examples. Then, these words will be presented in a dramatised version of a situation commonly encountered when travelling in a Cantonese-speaking city.

TEACHER
In all probability, you will find it difficult to understand the words and phrases contained in these dramatised sections when first viewing them. Do not worry. Just listen closely, and try to get a sense of what is being said. Listen to the sounds and the rhythms of the spoken word. The meanings of all the words and phrases contained in these dramatised sections will be fully explained by the subtitles.

TEACHER
Now for our first exercise. When Cantonese speakers meet a foreigner, they will often ask where that person comes from. In this exercise, you will learn how to tell someone where you come from. Listen to the model speakers, and repeat the examples. Let’s begin.

[nationalities]

TONY
I am from Vancouver.

RICHARD
I am from Montréal.

ROBERT
I am from Chicoutimi.

TEACHER
Very good. Now, let’s watch our model speakers perform a dramatised skit, to illustrate new vocabulary. Sit back and relax, as we begin an exciting tour of the vivid and exotic nightlife of Vancouver, Pearl of the Orient.

[where are you from?]

TONY
Hi, I’m Tony, the bartender.

ROBERT
My name is Robert. This is Richard.

TONY
Where are you from?

ROBERT
We are from Montréal.

RICHARD
And you, Tony? Where are you from?

TONY
I am from Hong Kong. I arrived here eight years ago.

ROBERT
We arrived today, on holidays.

RICHARD
Where is the washroom?

TONY
Up the stairs, down the hall, to your left.

ROBERT
I’ll wait for you here.

TEACHER
In the next exercise, we’ll learn how to tell someone that you like something. Cantonese speakers are highly opinionated, and are very willing to express their preferences. Listen carefully, and repeat each example in the time provided.

[what do you like?]

RICHARD
I like BBQ duck.

TONY
I like fish.

ROBERT
I like a half-order of vegetarian tourtière with a side of poutine and maple syrup, and for dessert, a slice of brown sugar pie.

TEACHER
Now, let’s return to the dramatisation. Listen carefully to the different examples, as people talk about what they like.

[I like...]

TONY
What do you like, Leslie?

LESLIE
I like white men, because they are well-hung. But I like Asian men too. And you?

TONY
I like Chinese men better. They are cleaner. White men are dirty. I am afraid of catching AIDS.

LESLIE
Condoms will protect you.

TONY
I do not like condoms. They taste bad.

TONY
Bath house tonight, Leslie?

LESLIE
Not tonight. Tomorrow instead.

TEACHER
In the next exercise, we’ll practice telling people what you do. In Cantonese culture, your occupation is a very important way of identifying yourself. Remember to use the phrase “ngoh hai,” which means “I am.”

[occupations]

RICHARD
I am a potato queen, which is someone who likes to do it with white men.

ROBERT
I am a rice queen, which is someone who likes to do it with Asian men.

LESLIE
I mostly do it with white guys, so I guess that makes me a potato queen, but now I like Asians too, so maybe I’m sticky rice.

TEACHER
Now, let’s join our friends in Vancouver, as they discuss their occupations. Try and see if you can pick out the new vocabulary that we’ve just learned.

[what do you do?]

LESLIE
My name is Leslie.

ROBERT
My name is Robert.

LESLIE
What do you do?

ROBERT
I teach English in Montréal. Over there, nobody knows how to speak English.

LESLIE
Really? I am a student. I came here to learn English, but no one knows it here either.

ROBERT
Have you been to Montréal?

LESLIE
No, but I like French men.

ROBERT
Really? I like Asian men. My boyfriend is Chinese.

LESLIE
So, do you like your boyfriend?

ROBERT
I like him, but we are not happy anymore.

LESLIE
Too bad. Would you like to go to the baths?

ROBERT
I’d really like to, but I’m too tired tonight.

LESLIE
Tomorrow night then.

ROBERT
Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow at the bath house.

TEACHER
You have now completed Lesson One of The Queen’s Cantonese Conversational Course.

TEACHER
Remember: the best way to master a new language is to practice the vocabulary everyday. Speaking another language will open the door to a whole new world of interesting friends and exciting places.

TEACHER
I hope you’ll join us again for the next installment of The Queen’s Cantonese Conversational Course. See you next time! “Joi gin.”