Cantonese Vocabulary

The Cantonese vocabulary is the backbone for learning. Below we picked 70% of the most commonly used words. Therefore memorizing them will give you a 70% boost in the language. This is the smarter way of online learning. Learn only what you need. We start with commonly used numbers.

One:   [jat1] Audio Two:   [ji6 ] Audio
Three:   [saam1] Audio Four:   [sei3  ] Audio
Five:   [ng5] Audio Six:   [luk6] Audio
Seven:   [cat1 ] Audio Eight:   [baat3 ] Audio
Nine:   [gau2  ] Audio Ten:   [sap6  ] Audio
First: 第一  [dai6 jat1 ] Audio Second: 第二  [dai6 ji6] Audio

Time Expressions

Days of the week and time expressions:

Monday: 星期一  [seng1 gei1 jat1] Audio Tuesday: 星期二  [seng1 gei1 ji6  ] Audio
Wednesday: 星期三  [seng1 gei1 saam1] Audio Thursday: 星期四  [seng1 gei1 sei3] Audio
Friday: 星期五  [seng1 gei1 ng5  ] Audio Saturday: 星期六  [seng1 gei1 luk6] Audio
Sunday: 星期日  [seng1 gei1 jat6  ] Audio Now: 現在  [jin6 zoi6  ] Audio
Yesterday: 昨天  [zok3 tin1] Audio Today: 今天  [gam1 tin1] Audio
Tonight: 今晚  [gam1 maan5  ] Audio Tomorrow: 明天  [ming4 tin1] Audio

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Most popular fruits and vegetables:

Fruits: 生果  [saang1 gu2] Audio Apples: 蘋果  [pan4 gu2 ] Audio
Bananas: 香蕉  [hoeng1 ziu1 ] Audio Tomatoes: 蕃茄  [faan4 gaa1] Audio
Potatoes: 薯仔  [syu4 zai2  ] Audio Onions: 洋葱  [joeng4 cung1] Audio

Colors that we think are very important to remember:

Red: 紅色  [gung1 sik1] Audio Green: 綠色  [luk6 sik1] Audio
Blue: 藍色  [laam4 sik1] Audio White: 白色  [baak6 sik1] Audio
Black: 黑色  [haak1 sik1] Audio Grey: 灰色  [fui1 sik1] Audio

Some words related to food:

Breakfast: 早餐  [zou2 caan1] Audio Lunch: 午餐  [ng5 caan1 ] Audio
Dinner: 晚餐  [maan5 caan1  ] Audio Milk: 牛奶  [ngau4 naai1] Audio
Coffee: 咖啡  [gaa1 fe1] Audio Bread: 麵包  [min6 baau1  ] Audio

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Weather terms and sensations:

Sunny: 天晴  [tin1 ceng4] Audio Windy: 有風  [jau5 fung1] Audio
Rainy: 正在下雨  [zeng3 zoi6 haa5 jyu5] Audio Snowy: 正在下雪  [zeng3 zoi6 haa5 syut3] Audio
Cold:   [laang5  ] Audio Hot:   [jit6] Audio

Words related to family and relatives:

Boy: 男孩  [naam4 haai4 ] Audio Girl: 女孩  [jyu5 haai4 ] Audio
Son: 兒子  [ji4 zi2] Audio Daughter: 女兒  [jyu5 ji4  ] Audio
Brother: 兄弟  [hing1 dai6  ] Audio Sister: 姐姊妹  [ze2 mui6 ] Audio
Man: 男人  [naam4 jan4] Audio Woman: 女人  [jyu5 jan4 ] Audio
Father: 爸爸  [baa1 baa1 ] Audio Mother: 媽媽  [maa1 maa1 ] Audio
Grandfather: 祖父, 外祖父  [zou2 fu2 ngoi6 zou2 fu2] Audio Grandmother: 祖母, 外祖母  [zou2 mou5 ngoi6 zou2 mou5] Audio

Locations in the house which are talked about more during the day:

House:   [nguk1] Audio Toilet: 廁所  [cak1 so2 ] Audio
Room: 房間  [fong2 gaan1 ] Audio Bedroom: 睡房  [seoi6 fong2 ] Audio
Kitchen: 廚房  [ceoi4 fong2 ] Audio Table:   [coek3 ] Audio

Animals and pets popular to everyone:

Cat:   [maau1  ] Audio Dog:   [gau2 ] Audio
Mouse: 老鼠  [lou5 syu2] Audio Bird:   [niu5] Audio
Cow:   [ngau4  ] Audio Horse:   [maa5 ] Audio

The clothes most worn by most people:

Socks: 襪子  [maat6 zi2  ] Audio Shoes:   [haai4  ] Audio
Trousers:   [fu3  ] Audio Shirt: 恤衫  [seot1 saam1] Audio
Sweater: 汗衫  [hon4 saam1] Audio Coat: 外套  [ngoi6 tou3  ] Audio

Most popular languages in the world:

English: 英文  [jing1 man4  ] Audio French: 法文  [faat3 man4] Audio
German: 徳文  [dak1 man4 ] Audio Spanish: 西班牙文  [sai1 baan1 ngaa4 man4  ] Audio
Italian: 意大利文  [ji3 daai6 lei6 man4] Audio Portuguese: 葡萄牙文  [pou4 tou4 ngaa4 man4] Audio
Greek: 希臘語  [hei1 laap6 jyu5  ] Audio Russian: 俄語  [ngo4 jyu5] Audio
Arabic: 阿拉伯語  [aa2 laa1 baa3 jyu5  ] Audio Hindi: 印度語  [jan3 dok6 jyu5] Audio
Chinese: 中文  [zung1 man4  ] Audio Japanese: 日文  [jat6 man4 ] Audio


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Travel Vocabulary

Most popular terms when traveling:

Taxi: 的士  [di1 si6 ] Audio Bus: 巴士  [baa1 si6] Audio
Hotel: 酒店  [zau2 dim3 ] Audio Reservation: 訂位  [deng6 wai2 ] Audio
Airport: 機場  [gei1 coeng4] Audio Passport: 旅行證件  [leoi5 haang4 zing3 gin6 ] Audio

Words you can use in class or talking about school:

Student: 學生  [hok6 saang1 ] Audio Teacher: 老師  [lou5 si1 ] Audio
Pen:   [bat1 ] Audio Books:   [] Audio
Page:   [jip6 ] Audio Dictionary: 字典  [zi6 din2 ] Audio

Body parts which are talked about more often:

Hand:   [sau2  ] Audio Feet:   [goek3  ] Audio
Hair: 頭髮  [tau4 faat3  ] Audio Eye: 眼睛  [ngaan5 zing1  ] Audio
Mouth:   [hau2] Audio Nose:   [bei6  ] Audio

Emergency vocabulary to ask for help or offer help when needed:

Ambulance: 救護車  [gau3 wu6 ce1 ] Audio Doctor: 醫生  [ji1 saang1] Audio
Hospital: 醫院  [ji1 jyun2 ] Audio Pharmacy: 藥房  [joek6 fong2 ] Audio
Police: 警察  [ging2 caat3] Audio Stomach Ache: 胃痛  [wai6 tung3 ] Audio

As you can see, this Cantonese vocabulary is something you will need every day. You can use our Vocabulary Trainer to help you memorize these words.

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Cantonese Phrases


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Did you know? People use only a small amount of their vocabulary on a daily basis. The rest of the words are either unused or not used often.