TEACHER
“Nei ho?” How are you? And welcome to Lesson Two of The Queen’s Cantonese Conversational Course. We’ll begin this lesson by learning how to go shopping in a Cantonese-speaking city.

TEACHER
In the next dramatisation, we’ll visit a quaint traditional market in Vancouver, and learn how to ask how much something costs. We will practice the term, “Gei doh chien,” which means, “How much money?”

[shopping]

TONY
Hi, I’m Tony the grocer.

TEACHER
What do you have for sale?

TONY
Today, I have everything. All very fresh, lowest price.

TEACHER
How much?

TONY
A hand job costs $10. A blow job costs $30.

TEACHER
Very cheap! A fuck, how much is that?

TONY
A fuck? ...$40. Top only today.

TEACHER
For one hour, how much?

TONY
One hour... $60. One night costs $120.

TEACHER
Very cheap! Let me look around first, and I’ll come back later.

TEACHER
Very good. Of course, after a busy day of sightseeing, you will want to find a place to rest and relax. Cantonese people are great outdoor enthusiasts, and like to enjoy long peaceful walks in the park. Let’s join our friends in Vancouver, as they enjoy the scenery of world-famous Stanley Park.

[a walk in the park]

RICHARD
I’m tired.

ROBERT
Let’s just walk a little longer.

RICHARD
No, I’m too tired. I’m going back to the hotel.

ROBERT
I was thinking of going to the movies tonight.

RICHARD
Okay, go ahead. I’ll be waiting for you.

ROBERT
Don’t wait up for me.

ROBERT
Remember to take your pills.

TEACHER
Good! Now, in the next exercise, let’s practice different ways of meeting someone new. You will find that Cantonese people are very sociable, and love meeting new people. Listen to the spoken examples, and repeat after the appropriate responses.

[meeting people]

TONY
You looking for a good time?

ROBERT
You’re not my type.

TONY
Me clean.

ROBERT
Leave me alone.

TONY
Me fuck you long time.

ROBERT
Fuck off! Go away!

TEACHER
Now, let’s learn how to find medical help in a Cantonese-speaking city. Many Cantonese people are experts on traditional treatments, and are very generous with their expertise. Let’s join our friends in Vancouver as they discuss an everyday health problem.

[where does it hurt?]

LESLIE
Tired?

RICHARD
Very tired. My back hurts.

LESLIE
Where?

RICHARD
Here.

LESLIE
This accupressure point is called The Cave of Dragon and Tiger. Let me give you a massage. Turn around.

RICHARD
That feels good.

LESLIE
Massage improves the circulation and enlightens the mind.

RICHARD
What are you doing with your finger?

LESLIE
This is called One Golden Finger Divides the Jaded Peach.

TEACHER
You will find that Cantonese people believe in having choices. In Cantonese, a common type of question includes a choice between a positive and a negative form of the same word. In the following exercise, let’s practice how to answer with the negative choice.

[positive negative]

LESLIE
You beat or not beat your meat?

RICHARD
Beat. Beating your meat is safer sex.

LESLIE
Can or cannot use vaseline?

RICHARD
Cannot. Vaseline will destroy latex.

LESLIE
Swallow or not swallow semen?

RICHARD
Usually, not swallow. If you have a cold sore, or an open cut, or have just brushed your teeth, it can be risky.

TEACHER
Very good. In the next dramatisation, we’ll learn a few useful phrases to use in case of emergency. Although Cantonese cities are very safe, you may still find yourself in need of assistance. Do not worry. Cantonese people are very helpful, and will gladly assist any travellers in distress.

[emergencies]

TONY
Hi, I’m Tony, the grocer.

RICHARD
You look familiar...

TONY
I don’t think we’ve ever met. Can I help you?

RICHARD
I’m confused. Can you give me some advice?

TONY
Okay. What’s your problem?

RICHARD
I’ve had a white boyfriend for many years. I love him, but now we’re not so happy.

TONY
Why not?

RICHARD
To be with a white man doesn’t feel right. I think a Chinese man would be better.

TONY
Have you been with one before?

RICHARD
Yes, I met someone today. It felt so right. I really like him. But I didn’t get his phone number. I don’t know how to find him. His name is Leslie.

TONY
I know Leslie. Tonight he’s going to the baths.

RICHARD
Really?

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

TEACHER
Remember: the best way to master a new language is to practice the vocabulary everyday. In the West, silence may be golden, but Confucius says, that the right word can win a thousand friends.

TEACHER
I hope you’ll join us again for the next installment of The Queen’s Cantonese Conversational Course. That’s all for now! “Hai gam doh!”