TEACHER
“Dim a dim a?” How’s it going? And welcome to Lesson Three of The Queen’s Cantonese Conversational Course. We will begin this lesson by learning how to eat in a dim sum restaurant.

[dim sum]

TEACHER
Dim sum is a famous specialty of Cantonese cuisine. In this quaint tradition, small dishes of food are served from carts that circulate through the restaurant. Here comes one now. Let’s see what there is to eat today.

TEACHER
What’s fresh today?

TONY
Today, everything fresh!

TEACHER
What’s in this one?

TONY
Gloves. Real latex, good and chewy.

TEACHER
And this one?

TONY
Lube. So tasty! There’s mango flavour, green tea flavour, and lychee flavour.

TEACHER
And that one?

TONY
Poppers. Try! Everybody like!

TEACHER
What’s this one?

TONY
Condom. Very good for the health.

TEACHER
Do you have dildoes?

TONY
Over there. In the fish tank, still swimming!

TEACHER
Looks fresh! Give me one order.

TONY
Okay.

TEACHER
Thank you very much!

TEACHER
A recent trend in Cantonese television is the introduction of American-style talk-shows. These programs allow the Cantonese audience to be very honest and open about their feelings. True confessions have become a normal part of everyday conversations. In this exercise, you will learn how to express your innermost feelings.

[confessions]

RICHARD
I can’t tell my Chinese friends that I am HIV positive.

ROBERT
Some Asians think I’m easy because I’m a rice queen.

RICHARD
Chinese guys are always trying to steal my boyfriend because he’s white.

LESLIE
I’m stuck on this Chinese guy I met at the park today. It felt so right.

ROBERT
So, why are you going to the baths?

LESLIE
I want to forget him.

TEACHER
Good. In the next dramatisation, we will explore a traditional form of Cantonese lodging. Away from the hectic pace of modern life, you will find an oasis of gentle hospitality and old-world charms. Let’s join our friend on his first visit to an ancient Chinese bath house.

[checking in]

TONY
Hi, I’m Tony, the receptionist.

RICHARD
Haven’t we met before?

TONY
No, but I’m from a big family. Can I help you?

RICHARD
Give me a locker please.

TONY
Okay, that’ll be $7.

TEACHER
No, not like that. Watch me. Are you crazy! $7 too expensive! Next door is $4 only!

TONY
Next door so dirty! We clean!

TEACHER
My friend is new here. Any special deal?

TONY
Okay, okay. First-timers... $6.50.

TEACHER
Fine. We’re leaving.

TONY
How about $5. Student discount, okay?

TEACHER
Okay. Give him $5. Do it!

TEACHER
Cantonese people believe that social harmony can only be achieved through communal effort. Consensus is important, and all issues are resolved by working together. Let’s join our friend in Vancouver, and see how he confronts a difficult situation.

[what should I do?]

TEACHER
Don’t cryÉ What’s the matter?

RICHARD
I fell for this Chinese boy, but I didn’t get his number. So I came here to look for him.

TEACHER
So, did you see him?

RICHARD
Yes! He’s fucking my boyfriend!

BOY ONE, BOY TWO, BOY THREE
Wah! So terrible!

RICHARD
What should I do?

BOY ONE
Go confront your boyfriend!

BOY TWO
Go fight for the Chinese boy!

BOY THREE
Just go home, and pretend nothing happened.

TEACHER
Spoken Cantonese is very informal, especially among friends. With strangers, however, one should use the more polite forms of conversation. When asking for a favour, preface the request with “m-goi.” After someone does a favour for you, you can thank them by saying “m-goi saai.” Let’s practice using “m-goi” and “m-goi saai” in the following exercise.

[please and thank you]

LESLIE
Bend over, please.

ROBERT
Fuck me, please.

LESLIE
Suck me, please.

ROBERT
Faster, please.

LESLIE
Deeper, please.

ROBERT
Come all over me, please.

LESLIE
Thank you very much!

TEACHER
Good. Now, after a pleasant visit, you will want to say farewell to your host. In Cantonese, there are a variety of polite ways to say good-bye. In the next dramatisation, we’ll hear several common examples.

[good-bye]

LESLIE
Can you leave now, please?

ROBERT
So that’s it?

LESLIE
I’ll call you.

ROBERT
I’ve gotta hit the showers.

LESLIE
What, are you still here?

RICHARD
Get out, you slut!

TEACHER
Telling the time in Cantonese is very simple. In this exercise, let’s practice how to tell the time.

[what time is it?]

TEACHER
What time is it?

[It is eleven o’clock.]

TEACHER
What time is it?

[It is eleven-ten.]

TEACHER
What time is it?

[It is eleven and a quarter.]

TEACHER
What time is it?
What time is it?
What time is it?

ROBERT
It is eleven-thirty.

TEACHER
What time is it?

ROBERT
It is twelve midnight.

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

TEACHER
Remember: to speak Cantonese, you must also try to think in Cantonese. Review this video program everyday, until you understand the Cantonese mind.

TEACHER
I hope you’ll join us again next time, for The Queen’s Cantonese Conversational Course. Bye-bye!