Are you Cantonese Beginner?
Of anything that you’ll ever need to learn, it’s Cantonese introductions.
When its time to speak, and you don’t have a set introduction prepared, you’re going to fail. Or you’re just going to give off the feeling that you don’t care about speaking or learning.
And most learners out there, above all, just want to speak and be understood in Cantonese. The easiest way to do it?
- It’s to talk about yourself. Get that introduction.
- It’s to have a set introduction you’ll repeat again and again. Why?
- Because who doesn’t start with introducing themselves? Everyone does!
Learn to introduce yourself in Cantonese and you’ve got 1/3rd of a Cantonese conversation squared away. The rest are topics of interest and closing greetings.
So, here’s what you’ll need for a self Cantonese self introduction. In other words, this is your elevator pitch that you’ll use over and over.
- Hello, My name is ……
- Nice to meet you.
- I am from …….
- I am …… years old.
- I am a (student/occupation).
Important: You should know your Cantonese tones in order to get the pronunciation right. In the jyutping (romanization), the tones are marked by numbers as you’ll see below. Otherwise, understand that pronunciations written in blue are not 100% accurate.
1. 你好,我叫 (your name) – Hello, my name is (your name)
So, this is how you introduce yourself in Cantonese. You’re literally saying “I am called “(your name)”
- 你好,我叫 (your name)
- Nei5 ho2, ngo5 giu3 (your name)
- Hello, my name is (your name)
If you’ve not started learning your tones yet, this will help you as a beginner to properly sound the phrases out – just to give you a better idea of the sound.
- nei5 ho2 sounds like “nay ho”
- ngo5 giu3 sounds like “naw gyuu”
As you can tell…
- 你好 (nei5 ho2) means “hello”
- 我 (ngo5) means “I”
- 叫 (giu3) is “to be called” or “call”
- this is pronounced as “nay ho, naw gyuu (your name)”
2. 好高興認識你。Nice to meet you.
- Hou2 go1 hing3 jing6 sik1 nei5
- Nice to meet you.
- Pronounced as: ho go hing ying sik ney
3. 我係美國人。I am American.
So, let’s say you’re American. America in Cantonese Chinese is 美國 (mei5 gwok3) and adding 人 (jan4), the character for person, turns the word into “American.” You already know that 我 (ngo5) is I.
- ngo5 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4
- I am American.
- Pronounced as: Naw hai mei gwok yan
Oh, and there’s a new character here – 係 (hai6). This is the verb – to be. So, just for your own reference… new vocabulary
- 係 (hai6) – verb – to be
4. 我 (number) 歲 – I am (number) years old.
Remember how to say “I”? Sure you do! This one is easy. If you know your Cantonese numbers, it’s matter of adding “I” and “Number” and “age.”
- 我 (number) 歲
- Ngo5 (number) seoi3.
- I am (number) years old.
- Pronounced as: Naw (number) soee”
So, for example…
- Eighteen: 十八 sap6 baat3
- Nineteen: 十九 sap6 gau2
- Twenty: 二十 ji6 sap6
- Thirty: 三十 saam1 sap6
- Fourty: 四十 sei3 sap6
- Fifty: 五十 ng5 sap6
If you’re 20 years old, you can say…
- 我 二十 歲
- Ngo5 ji6 sap6 seoi3.
- I am twenty years old.
- Pronounced as: Naw hai yee sahp soee.
5. 我係 (occupation) – I am (occupation)
We’re going to see the verb “to be” again. See? Tones aside, Cantonese is very simple. The pattern goes as follows…
- 我係 (occupation)
- ngo5 hai6 (occupation)
- I am (occupation)
Here’s some extra vocab.
- Student: 學生 – hok6 saang1
- Teacher:教師 – gaau3 si1
- Lawyer: 律師 – leot3 si1
If you wanted to say you’re a student in Cantonese, you’d just add that word in.
- ngo5 hai6 hok6 saang1
- I am a student
- Pronounced as: Naw hai hok saang.
Conclusion – How to Introduce Yourself in Cantonese
Now, you know the necessary phrases to give a self introduction.
So, here’s your introduction script you might want to use. Is it completely perfect? No! But it gets you speaking right here, right now and launches you into learning even more Cantonese. And that’s the best part. Use the scripts below.
你好,我叫 (your name). 好高興認識你.我係美國人.我 (number) 歲.我係 (occupation).
Nei5 ho2, ngo5 giu3 (your name). Hou2 go1 hing3 jing6 sik1 nei5. Ngo5 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4. Ngo5 (number) seoi3. 我係 (occupation).
If you’re interested in learning more Cantonese, check out the video lesson below. I use CantoneseClass101’s lessons to learn how to introduce myself.
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