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Now you've aced baby sounds and first words, you are ready for a story.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...

Your first story in Cantonese starts, naturally enough, as every good story does with:

 耐 好 耐 之 前

hou2 noi6 hou2 noi6 zi1 cin4

A long time ago (or once upon a time)

It follows the exploits of Goldilocks and the Three Wild Pigs family of Lamma. In seven short chapters, you will learn how to introduce yourself, say if you are hungry or thirsty, say what you want to eat and drink, communicate that you are full and that you need the loo, and show your appreciation and say goodbye. The story has been written so that you can lift off the Cantonese phrases and immediately use them for you own needs politely and with confidence. 

At the end of each chapter, there are questions relating to the text or yourself. While I have provided the English version of the story and written it so that it closely matches the Cantonese, I have not provided the questions in English or a glossary. This is because I want to encourage you to make a friend, point to what you don't know and say as in Lesson 2:

    講 呀?

dim2 gong2 aa3

How do you say that?

Or, if you want to know the meaning, point at the phrase and say:

唔 該 英 文 點 講 呀?

m4  goi1 jing1 man4 dim2 gong2 aa3

Excuse me (or please), how do you say that in English?

If you fail to understand the answer, simply shrug your shoulders and say: 




This is an effective way to get people to repeat themselves without resorting to English. For years, I struggled with a long phrase that explained that I couldn't understand and could the person repeat with the result that they quickly switched to English. Using 吓? haa2, you will be more likely to prompt your native Cantonese speaker into continuing to speak Cantonese to you thus giving you a much better opportunity to learn. 

Click on the photo below to access the story. You can also listen along to each part beautifully read by the lovely Fong Fong.

When you feel confident, test your skills by telling the story to a native speaker. We did this with a group of children at the Hans Andersen Club on Lamma and it was great! Practise reading along with the audio clips below.

00:00 / 01:53
00:00 / 01:40
00:00 / 01:18
00:00 / 01:30
00:00 / 01:16
00:00 / 01:26
00:00 / 01:05
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