#20 Guest Episode: Vivek Mahbubani, Part 2 (粵語)

This week features the second half of our discussion with Vivek Mahbubani, a bilingual stand-up comedian from Hong Kong who performs in both Cantonese and English. He has appeared in local film, TV, and radio, and he also co-hosts the podcast Ho Ho Hong Kong. This week we look into Vivek’s tips for learning Cantonese, and the role that humor can play in language acquisition.

1. 竅門 hiu3 mun4 (N) trick, tip, know-how
2. 心態 sam1 taai3 (N) mentality
3. 觸摸 zuk1 mo2 (V) to feel, to touch
4. 語氣 jyu5 hei3 (N) tone of voice
5. 噓 hoe1 (V) to boo
6. 發嬲 faat3 nau1 (VO) to get angry
7. 黐線 ci1 sin3 (VO/SL) to become crazy
8. 早響 zou2 hoeng2 (V/SL) to (early) alert
9. 畫面 waa2 min2 (N) scene, picture
10. 一模一樣 jat1 mou4 jat1 joeng6 (EXP) exactly the same
11. 夾硬 gaap3 ngaang2 (ADV/SL) forcibly
12. 勁悶 ging6 mun6 (ADJ/SL) super boring
13. 調轉 diu6 zyun3 (V) to reverse
14. 正經 zing3 ging1 (ADJ) formal, serious
15. 就坐 zau6 zo6 (V) to be seated
16. 尊重 zyun1 zung6 (ADJ/V) respectful / to respect
17. 隆重 lung4 zung6 (ADJ) solemn, formal
18. 撈埋 lou1 maai4 (V) to mix (up)
19. 程度 cing4 dou6 (N) extent, degree
20. 鍛煉 dyun3 lin6 (V/N) to exercise/practice, exercise/practice
21. 坦白 taan2 baak6 (ADV/ADJ) frankly, frank
22. 攞嚟衰 lo2 lai4 seoi1 (VC/SL) to bring misfortune
23. 研究 jin4 gau3 (V/N) to do research, research
24. 根本 gan1 bun2 (ADV) (not) at all
25. 共鳴 gung6 ming4 (N) resonance
26. 是但 si6 daan6 (PRON) whatever, any
27. 急 gap1 (ADJ) urgent, anxious
28. 反感 faan2 gam2 (ADJ/N) disgusted, disgust
29. 邏輯 lo4 cap1 (N) logic
30. 明明 ming4 ming4 (ADV) obviously, undoubtedly
31. 提供 tai4 gung1 (V) to provide
32. 有糧出 jau5 loeng4 ceot1 (VO) to get salary
33. 存在 cyun4 zoi6 (N/V) existence, to exist
34. 訓練 fan3 lin6 (V/N) to train, training
35. 贏硬 jeng4 ngaang6 (VC) to win for sure, sure win
36. 興 hing1 (V) to be in fashion, in style, trendy
37. 疫情 jik6 cing4 (N) pandemic
38. 甩甩咳咳 lak1 lak1 kak1 kak1 (ADJ) stuttering
39. 發表 faat3 biu2 (V) to present, to express
40. 之餘 zi1 jyu4 (CONJ) in addition to
41. 爽 song2 (ADJ) cool, amazing, awesome
42. 限制 haan6 zai3 (V/N) to limit, limit(ation)
43. 始終 ci2 zung1 (ADV) afterall, no matter what
44. 獨特 duk6 dak6 (ADJ) unique
45. 見解 gin3 gaai2 (N) view, opinion
46. 可貴 ho2 gwai3 (ADJ) previous, valuable
47. 挑戰 tiu1 zin3 (V/N) to challenge, challenge
48. 現實 jin6 sat6 (ADJ/N) practical, reality
49. 翻譯 faan1 jik6 (V/N) to translate, translation
50. 鼓勵 gu2 lai6 (V/N) to encourage, encouragement
51. 低能 dai1 nang4 (ADJ/SL) stupid
52. 代替 doi6 tai3 (V) to replace, to substitute
53. 開波 hoi1 bo1 (VO) to start (lit. a ballgame)
54. 配合 pui3 hap6 (ADJ) matching
55. 理論 lei5 leon6 (N) theory
56. 清晰 cing1 sik1 (ADJ) clear
57. 任務 jam6 mou6 (N) mission, task
58. 非裔 fei1 jeoi6 (ADJ) African descent/heritage
59. 故意 gu3 ji3 (ADJ) intentionally, on purpose
60. 頭緒 tau4 seoi5 (N) clue
61. 入手 jap6 sau2 (VO) to start (lit. to enter + hand)
62. 建立 gin3 laap6 (V/N) to establish, establishment
63. 組織 zou2 zik1 (N/V) organization, to organize
64. 成立 sing4 laap6 (V/N) to found, founding
65. 母校 mou5 haau6 (N) alma mater (lit. mother + school)
66. 華僑 waa4 kiu4 (N) Chinese diaspora
67. 輕鬆 hing1 sung1 (ADJ/V) relaxing, to relax
68. 分數 fan1 sou3 (N) score
69. 值得 zik6 dak1 (ADV/ADJ) worth, worthy
70. 講開 gong2 hoi1 (VC) to speak of
71. 魔鬼 mo1 gwai2 (N) devil
72. 欣賞 jan1 soeng2 (V/N) to appreciate, appreciation
73. 老土 lou5 tou2 (ADJ) corny, old-fashioned
74. 嚴肅 jim4 suk1 (ADJ) serious
75. 精彩 zing1 coi2 (ADJ) brilliant
76. 途徑 tou4 ging3 (N) means
77. 渠道 keoi4 dou6 (N) channel
78. 互動 wu6 dung6 (V/N) to interact, interaction
79. 心得 sam1 dak1 (N) insight
80. 態度 taai3 dou6 (N) attitude

ADJ - Adjective
ADV - Adverb
CONJ - Conjuction
EXP - Expression
N - Noun
PRON - Pronoun
SL - Slang
V - Verb
VC - Verb complement
VO - Verb object


Raymond: 今個禮拜有我哋同 Vivek Mahbubani 阿 V 討論嘅第二部分。阿 V 係一位嚟自香港,以粵語同英語表演嘅雙語棟篤笑演員。佢曾經喺本地電影、電視、及電台演出,亦同時係播客節目 Ho Ho Hong Kong 嘅主持之一。呢個禮拜我哋探討阿 V 學習粵語嘅竅門1,同時幽默喺語言習得所扮演嘅角色。

Cameron: This week features the second half of our discussion with Vivek Mahbubani, a bilingual stand-up comedian from Hong Kong who performs in both Cantonese and English. He has appeared in local film, TV, and radio, and he also co-hosts the podcast Ho Ho Hong Kong. This week we look into Vivek’s tips for learning Cantonese, and the role that humor can play in language acquisition.

Cameron: 好多我哋嘅聽衆可能想知道嗰個幽默就點去幫人學語言,就係特別係廣東話或者其他嘅都可以。

(Many of our listeners might want to know how humor can help people learn languages, particularly Cantonese, but also other languages.)

Vivek: 其實因爲好得意嘅,就係幽默呢,就唔係淨係講嗰個字嘅,你要明白埋人哋嘅心態2呀,人哋嗰個文化,即係人哋鍾意笑啲乜嘢先觸摸3到嘅。即係例如我講一個爛 gag,嗰啲字好笑,但係可能你喺,當你喺一個晚會,跟住大家就上台講笑話噉呢,就大家好開心, “啊,笑吓啦陳生,哈好笑”噉樣嘅。但係調轉如果好似我今日話我哋做表演成晚都係啲噉嘅 gag 你會覺得“吓?我都識講啦呢啲嘢”。噉第一就幽默呢,你要係教識,你唔單止要識嗰啲字呀,係要識得點樣去用,點樣用乜嘢語氣4講嗰樣嘢。即係好似話我頭先講嗰個故事噉啦,即係話我俾人5嗰個故事噉啦。

(Actually, what’s interesting is that humor isn’t just about the words that you speak, you also need to understand people’s mentality, their culture–you need to get a feel for what makes people laugh. For instance, if I use a laan6 gag [a particular brand of blunt jokes], the words are very funny, and maybe at a particular event everyone is getting up onstage and telling jokes, everyone is very happy, going, “Oh, Mr. Chan is so funny.” However, if it’s more like today I say for the whole performance we’re just going to tell this type of joke, you’ll think, “Huh? Even I know how to tell these sorts of joke.” So the first thing about humor that I want to explain is that it’s not just about knowing the words to the joke, you also need to know how to use them, what sort of tone of voice to employ. It’s like the story I told earlier where I got booed.)

其實如果我個語氣唔啱呢,整個故事就好似,我係好似發嬲6噉嘅啫。即係如果我話“去到嗰度呢,噉我六點鐘正嚟到啦,跟住嗰個人同我講話九點鐘可以表演喎,黐線7早響8呀嘛。噉好啦,噉我坐係度囉,噉就等你囉。噉好啦嚟到表演嘅時候,嘩,個主持呢飲醉酒,佢仲望左望右,噉周圍望吓噉。’Hey, are you funny? Here.’ 跟住俾個咪我喎。喂,(有冇)搞錯呀。” 即係我噉樣講,都係其實個畫面9一模一樣10嘅,但係我用嗰啲字呀,用嗰個語氣,就好似觸摸唔到嗰個幽默感呀。呢個所以個 first point 就係話,你幽默係逼緊你睇一個語言呢,就唔係淨係話嗰個 literal meaning 呀。係背後嗰個 image 同埋背後嗰個 feeling 嘅啫。

(However, if my tone isn’t just right, the whole story is like, it’s like I’m getting angry. I could be like, “I went there and arrived at six o’clock on the dot, and the people there told me I could perform at nine–absolutely crazy for not letting me know earlier. Fine, I sat there and waited, and when it was finally time to perform–wow–the emcee was drunk, he was looking around all over the place. Then he was like, ‘Are you funny? Here,’ and he gave me the mic. Like what’s wrong with you?” So I can tell it like that, with the scene being totally the same, but the words and the tone not really tapping into the sense of humor. So that’s my first point, that where your humor forces you to see a language not just about the literal meaning–there’s also the background image and feeling.)

所以就好似話你唱首歌啦,有啲歌佢唔係夾硬11填啲歌詞,總之押韻呀, rhyming 呀,就 OK 㗎嘛。可能有啲字係要形容嗰個畫面,噉我覺得“完全明白呀” 噉樣,完全 feel 到嗰樣嘢。所以我就覺得,幽默嘅好處就係,第一,你會肯去聽,因爲成件事好玩好多呀嘛,噉你接觸嘅機會多好多。嗱,你學一門語言最 common 嘅方法就係睇多啲戲呀,睇新聞呀,聽歌呀,聽電台嗰啲嘢㗎嘛,但係如果你嗰啲新聞日日都係勁悶12噉樣呢,“大家,今日呢,我哋嘅疫情呢都 5 萬單”嗰啲呢,你個人就會噉學咗呢個噉嘅 style of language 喇。你會發覺你講嘢個語氣個態度都係噉嘅。噉就好似話,我自己學廣東話呢,以前就好多時係同學校之餘,亦都係同啲同學傾偈噉樣㗎嘛。

(It’s like when you’re singing a song, in some songs, the lyrics aren’t forced–if it’s all rhyming, that’s fine–but maybe the words describe a scene and make you think, “Wow, I totally get it,” you totally feel it. So I think that the advantage of humor is that you will intentionally listen, because the whole thing is fun, and there are a lot of opportunities to encounter it. Now, when you’re studying a language, the most common method is to watch a lot of movies, watch a lot of news, listen to a lot of songs, or listen to a lot of radio, that sort of stuff, but if the news that you listen to every day is really dry, like, “Everyone, today there were 50,000 COVID cases,” then that is the style of language that you will pick up, and you’ll discover that your tone and attitude of speaking will be like that. It’s like in my case, when I studied Cantonese, in addition to formal schooling, I would just chat with my classmates.)

噉嗱,調轉13,如果你今日叫我做 MC 呢,唔係唔得,但係你搵我做一個好正經14嘅 MC 呢,我唔單止會覺得呢個唔啱我 style,我可能啲字眼都唔識嘅。即係好似話,我平時同 friend 傾偈,唔會話“請大家就坐15”噉樣,冇人會噉講嘢㗎嘛。我哋出街食飯“大家就坐”噉樣,覺得“嘩,乜嘢‘就坐’呀?你當我邊位?” 噉樣㗎嘛。但係你做 MC 呢,我都係個意思,就係想叫大家坐低嘅。但係如果我上台話“請大家坐低”呢,就好似覺得 casual 咗嘅。噉你諗下,我 same point 我叫大家坐低啫,噉我又唔係唔尊重16,唔知咪坐低好正經啫係咪,好 nice 㗎。但係如果我話“請大家坐低呢”,成件事就好似 casual 咗,但係你係咪就係想有一個噉嘅 connection 呢?

(On the flipside, if today you asked me to be an emcee, it’s not that it wouldn’t work, but if you were looking for me to be a serious emcee, it wouldn’t only not fit my style, but there is also particular words that I wouldn’t know. It’s like, when you usually talk with friends, you don’t say, “Would everybody please take a seat,” nobody will talk like that. When we go out to eat, if someone says, “Take a seat,” you’ll think, “Wow, what is this, ‘Take a seat?’ Who do you think I am?” But if you are an emcee, if I have the same meaning in mind, for everyone to sit down, if I get on stage and tell everyone, “Everyone please sit down,” that seems more casual. If you think about it, my same point is to tell everyone to sit down, and it’s not that I am not respectful, but I don’t know whether “sit down” is very formal, very “nice.” But if I say, “Everyone please sit down,” the whole thing feels casual, but do you think this is the kind of connection you would like?)

我做棟篤笑唔通話“大家好,今日嚟講吓笑話先!首先大家就坐。”覺得,嘩,使唔使咁隆重17呀? It’s a bit too formal 呀突然間。So 噉my point 就係話 humor 係教緊你點樣用一個可以話 in a way 好 casual,好 relax 嘅 wordings,嘅 language skills 呢,去表達你嘅意思。但係亦都令到人哋覺得,我同你嘅關係拉近咗。所以 I think humor真係逼緊你去識得用嗰啲字,唔單止個 meaning,係用埋嗰個語氣,撈埋18成個效果出嚟,先至係做到個幽默感喇。So I think humor definitely 係一個 language 嘅第二個 aspect 囉,第二個 skill level 囉可以話係。

(When I do standup, it doesn’t work for me to say, “Hello everyone, today I will be telling some joke! Please take a seat.” You’ll think, “Wow, do you really need to be so formal? It’s a bit too formal out of the blue. So my point is that humor teaches you how to be more casual, more relaxed wordings, these sorts of language skills for expressing your meaning. However, it will also let people think that your relationship is closer. So I think that humor really gets you to learn how to use words, not just the meaning, but also the tone, it mixes together to have the final effect, and that’s what produces a sense of  humor. So I think that humor is really a second aspect of a language, a second skill level, you could say.)

Raymond: 嗱,噉你都話你有做廣東話同埋英文嘅,即係演出啦噉樣。噉,噉嗰個需求呢,即係對於其實你要做棟篤笑呢,即係當然對於你嗰個語言嘅要求係,即係有相當一定程度19呀。噉你其實你有冇做啲咩即係令到你可以保持你係中文英文嗰個水準,嗰個語言嘅水平,你有冇需要鍛煉20㗎其實?

(Now, you say that you perform in both English and Cantonese. In terms of stand-up comedy, there is a certain degree of language requirement. Is there anything you do to keep up your level of English and Chinese, your language ability, like do you do exercises or something?

Vivek: 其實坦白21講呢,我英文同埋中文都有少少距離嘅。喺邊方面呢?就係我覺得喺 vocabulary 嗰方面嘅。即係我中文 vocabulary 的確係低過英文好多倍啦。噉始終冇計啦,噉我嗰陣時聽書冇聽咁多呀嘛,噉我就自己攞嚟衰22嘅啫。但係調轉就係,我點樣逼自己就係聽多啲人哋平時傾偈,講嘅語氣,即聽下啲可能俗語呀,即係你講嘢唔會話“一百蚊”,會講“一嚿水”。“呢個乜嘢嚟㗎?”“一嚿水”噉樣,“哦,明啦!” 噉樣。即係呢啲噉嘅少少係 casual chitchat 嘅字呢,噉成個 picture,我唔需要用啲好大嘅 vocabulary,但係當我講啲你會成日日常生活用嘅字眼呢,就好似成件事就好聽好多嘅。 

(To be frank, there is a small gap between my English and my Chinese. In what sense? I think in terms of vocabulary. My Chinese vocabulary is definitely lower than my English vocabulary by a lot. Ultimately there is no way around it, back when I was in school I didn’t pay attention and I could only blame myself. On the other hand, I will force myself to listen more to people in regular conversation, their tone, their slang, like they won’t say, “one hundred dollars,” they’ll say, “one hundred bucks.” “What is this?” “One hundred bucks,” like that. “Oh, I get it!” These are words for casual chitchat, and in the larger picture, I don’t need to use really big vocabulary words, but if I just use vocab that you use in your daily life, the whole thing will sound a lot better.)

In the same way 啦,即係英文噉樣呢,即係我 of course 而家我已經老咗呢,啲後生同我講話 “Yolo!” I am like “what the heck”  噉樣。呢啲噉嘅字我完全唔知講乜㗎嘛。但係我會開始明白研究23,“oh, I see what this really means!” 噉呀 yolo 係唔係 yolo 嘅意思呢?又唔係,佢又係第二個意思嘅喎噉樣,哦可以噉玩喇。 So my point 就係話,即係佢係逼住我記住,我係我嘅 humor 係即係人與人之間嗰個 connection 嘅。如果我講我嘅故事,但係根本24都冇共鳴25嘅話呢,係冇意思。即係好似話,我搭扶手電梯噉啦。我喺香港講,大家完全明嘅。我去到澳洲講呢,大家會覺得“有乜問題呀?講 excuse me 有幾難呀?吓?企左邊企右邊是但26啦。你27?你趕住咪搭車囉”即係噉諗,成個心態都唔同啲㗎嘛。 

(In the same way, my English is like that, of course I have gotten older, and there are some things that young people say, like “YOLO!” and I’m like, “What the heck?” I don’t know these sayings at all. But I’ll start to understand and research it, “Oh, I see what this really means!” So “YOLO” means “yolo?” Not exactly, there is also a secondary meaning, I can play like that. So my point is, it forces me to remember that my humor is the connection between people. If I tell my story and it doesn’t resonate at all, it is meaningless–like that one about riding the escalator [refer to previous episode]. When I am in Hong Kong, everybody totally gets it. But if I go to Australia and tell it, everyone will think, “What’s the problem? Is it that hard to just say, ‘Excuse me?’ What does it matter if someone is standing on the left or the right. Are you in a hurry? You need to rush so as to not miss the bus.” That sort of mentality, it’s completely different.)

In the same way, 就好似話,我去到 Vancouver 噉啦,我好記得嗰次就係第一次去嘅時候呢,我係(見到)每日個人搭巴士落車都要講 thank you 呢,我個腦係完全唔可以接受。即係我係唔單止唔明,亦都係反感28。我會覺得,我唔明呢個邏輯29,我明明30我俾咗錢,你提供31緊一個我俾過錢嘅服務你要我多謝你?你有糧出32因為我嘅存在33知唔知 okay?反而我每一次落車應該話 you are welcome 噉樣嘅。即係我會噉諗喇。所以我調轉個 point 就係話,我係不斷噉訓練34緊自己,可唔可以聽下周圍嗰啲人講嘅說話。 What’s the… 呢排有啲人點樣傾偈呀?有啲咩 terms 噉呢?噉你 at least 都知,啲人平時噉樣講嘢,噉樣諗嘅。噉你可能你自己嘅思維都唔同咗嘅。 

(In the same way, it’s like when I went to Vancouver, I clearly remember that first time I went, I saw when every person got on and off the bus they would say, “Thank you.” I couldn’t fit my head around it. I not only didn’t understand it, I actually felt opposed to it. I thought, I don’t get the logic, I clearly gave money, and you offered a service for that money, and you want me to thank you? You know that you get a salary because of my existence, right? And every time I get off the bus you should say, “You’re welcome.” I remember that. So to get back to my point, I endlessly train myself to listen to what people around me are saying. What’s the… how do people talk these days? What terms do they use? You at least know what people regularly say, what they think, but your way of thinking might be different.)

But ultimately, honestly 呢,我覺得,始終你講到 humor 呀,都係一個 performance 嚟㗎嘛,一個 art 嚟㗎嘛。噉你要有個 balance 喇。噉你係講呢排興嘅嘢吖,定係講你根本係一個 artist 想做嘅嘢喇。即係好似話,如果我想每一個禮拜都有 show 呢,好簡單,講時事一定 hit 硬㗎嘛。今個禮拜 hit 啲乜嘢呢?我就講嗰啲嘢,贏硬35㗎呢樣嘢。But my point 就係,嗰啲係 riding the wave 嘅咋嘛。即係呢排36啲乜,我就講中咗個 point 啫。但係咪我真係好笑呢? 

(But ultimately, honestly, I think that in the end when talking about humor, it is also a performance, even an art form. So you need to have a balance, whether you’re talking about the stuff that is popular lately, or the core stuff you want to do as an artist. It’s like, if I want to do a show every week, it’s simple, just talk about current events and it will hit home. So what works this week? I’ll talk about that stuff, the surefire topics. But my point is that those things are just riding the wave, they are current and trendy, I just have to nail the point–but am I really being funny?)

As 一個 artist,係咪一個好笑(嘅 artist)呢?唔係喎,我只不過係跟潮流嘅一個人講嗰啲嘢嘅啫。噉就睇情況,所以我自己會搵個 balance 嘅。但係我諗, keep 住廣東話同埋英文或者粵語,即係嗰啲噉嘅 skillset 係真係要自己個環境觸摸多啲囉。即係 honestly,我如果呢排當疫情37噉啦,我講嘅廣東話少咗好多嘅。而我係 feel 到自己,當我要去諗點樣表達自己呢,係的確有啲甩甩咳咳38噉樣啦。噉調轉我可能同啲人開多啲會呀,或者做呢啲噉嘅 podcast 噉樣呢,係 in a way 我都有著數就係我有個機會去繼續講自己要講嘅嘢。

(As an artist, am I funny? No, I am just someone talking about what’s trendy. It all depends on the circumstances, so I try to find a balance. But I think that keeping up my Cantonese and English, that skillset is all about encountering more things in my environment. To be honest, during the pandemic, I’ve been speaking a lot less Cantonese, and I really feel like when I am thinking about how to express myself, there is a certain stuttering. But then maybe I’ll meet with some people, or do these sorts of podcasts, in a way there is a benefit, opportunities for me to continue speaking.)

發表39自己嘅意見之餘40,亦都努力 keep 住嗰個 muscle 囉,嗰個用粵語諗嘅 muscle。因爲冇計呀,呢個係你用得少,你唔係唔記得個語言,但係你冇咁41囉。因爲嗰啲字 is not at the top of your head 呀嘛。所以就好多嘢會限制42住呀。所以廣東話始終43我嘅生活環境,唔係工作上呢,我都冇乜機會接觸,所以我要多啲做啲工作嘅嘢喇。

(In addition to expressing my views, I am also maintaining that muscle for thinking in Cantonese. There’s no way around it–if you use it less, it’s not that you’ll forget the language, but it won’t be so fluent. The words won’t be at the tip of your tongue. Many things have their limits. So no matter what, in terms of my Cantonese living environment, if I am not going to work, I don’t have much of an opportunity to encounter it, so I have to work more.)

Raymond: 係呀,好多謝你分享即係你好多,其實我覺得係你,你特別有獨特44嘅角度嘅見解45啦,加上你生活嘅經歷啦,同埋你係一個表演者呢,噉你嘅工作係好需要你語言嘅能力啦,噉樣我覺得係非常之可貴46嘅。嗱,噉呢,我哋都傾咗唔少啦,噉但係呢我哋通常每次有嘉賓上嚟我哋嘅節目呢,我哋都會邀請我,嘉賓啦同埋我哋自己啦,每人都會分享一個或者一兩個呢你覺得對於學習語言,特別係粵語啦,有幫助嘅資源嘅。你而家,你而家即刻諗唔諗到呀?定係你想我哋講先呀?

(Yes, thank you for sharing so much. I think that you have a very unique perspective on this, as well as your life experience. You’re also a performer, so your work relies on your language abilities, which I think is very valuable. We’ve talked a lot now, and usually each time when we have a guest on the program, we have both us and the guest share one or two resources that they think can help with language acquisition, particularly Cantonese. Have you thought of something now? Or do you want us to go first?)

Vivek: 可以呀,嚟啦。 Whatever, man, 挑戰47吓啦係咪。

(I can, sure, whatever man, challenge me.)

Raymond: 唔係,意思即係話,你諗唔諗到,有啲乜嘢嘅資源可以分享,即係幫…

(No, what I mean is, have you thought of some resources to help…)

Vivek: 我諗到。

(I have.)

Raymond: 你諗到喇?

(You have?)

Vivek: 冇呀,你拋我上個台,我點都要嘔啲嘢出嚟㗎啦係咪。 

(No, just put me on stage and I’ll spew something out.)

Raymond: 你而家…

(Now you…)

Vivek: It’s ok, 得,冇問題。嗱,其實我真係會成日同人講話,你學一個語言呢,真係記住你 directly primary 嘅目的,學呢個語言呢,有一個 level 嘅,就係嗰啲真係好現實48去睇一本書呀,佢要教你嗰啲字點樣咬呀嗰啲嘢。但係第二個方法,真係去做一個 activity。我以前好鍾意,例如俾一個例子你啦, 我以前打機啦,噉你打機嘅時候呢,就好自然地要同人傾偈呀,可能有個咪噉樣呢,“喂,你一陣上呀上呀上呀!” 噉樣呢,你嗰一刻,個腦冇得話 translate, 冇得話英文就係 “go, go, go”,中文就係“去,去,去”,等我而家翻譯49先,冇㗎喇已經。你係訓練緊你個腦,諗乜即講,諗乜即講噉樣。開始訓練你話口才啦,你個 gag 才啦,再加埋就係你會 enjoy 個 process,你會 associate 咗嗰個 language 係一個 fun thing。而唔係我返緊學,唔係做一個練習,我唔係交緊功課。我覺得呢個好essential 嘅地方就係我要記住學一個 language 嘅目的唔係淨係去溝通咁簡單。

(It’s fine, no problem. In fact, what I always tell people is that when you’re studying a language, remember your primary goal for studying a language, it has one level, which is to really practically go read a book that will teach you how to say certain words. But the second method is to go do an activity. In the past I really, for example, playing video games, and when I played games I would naturally chat with people, it might be something like, “Hey, you guys go up, up, up!” In that moment, your mind can’t translate, it can’t say in English, “go, go, go,” then in Chinese, “go, go, go,” you can’t wait to translate it first. You train your brain to think and then say, you say exactly what you’re thinking. You start to train your speaking ability, your ability to joke, and on top of that you’ll enjoy the process, you’ll associate that language with fun things. I think this is a very essential aspect, that one of our goals in learning a language is simply just to communicate.)

係要 enjoy 嗰個 communication 呀嘛。所以我,例如話,我睇棟篤笑噉啦,其實棟篤笑 in a way 係逼緊你去明白人哋嘅意思之餘,亦都係會學到話係“啊!其實呢個 language 可以噉玩嘅喎!” 噉樣。所以我成日都鼓勵50人,做啲你好 enjoy 嘅嘢,只不過睇吓可唔可以 replace 你平時用嘅 language with 你想學嗰個 language。做唔做到,可以係好低能51嘅,例如話今餐食飯呢,我哋要每一樣嘢呢,就要講三個唔同嘅 languages 嘅字嘅,噉呢個係一個 game 囉。噉我,因爲我係一個好 big on gamification 嘅人嚟嘅,即係我乜嘢都成爲遊戲,我就覺得我就肯玩喇。

(You need to enjoy that communication, so I, for example, so when I watch stand-up, in a way, in addition to forcing you to understand a person’s meaning, you’ll also learn, “Wow, this language is also a lot of fun!” So I always encourage people to do what you really enjoy, and at the very least try to see if you can replace the language you regularly use with the language you want to study. If you can do it or not, it can be really stupid, like for example when eating a meal, for things that are the same, we have to use words from three different languages, this is a game. Because I am really big on gamification, I try to turn everything into a game, I think I’m for playing anything.)

所以我鼓勵大家,你學一個語言最好嘅方法,做一個你平時都好鍾意做嘅嘢,只不過今次試下代替52嗰個語言成爲你想學嗰個語言,有冇辦法可以學,可以做到。 你可能開波53覺得好難, 噉好啦,噉我就話今次呢,我要有三樣嘢,三個 elements 係用呢個新語言去講。講完之後呢,噉得喇,收工,可以繼續做我要做嘅嘢喇。聽日呢就四個,後日呢就五個噉樣。去慢慢去 build up,你會好快,你諗吓你三十日之後,就會突然間變成成,可能你每日加兩個嘅話呢,就變成六十個字㗎啦。 By 三個月呢,即係十二個禮拜呢,基本上呢,你可以 fluent 嘅機會係已經好高,或者你平時用開嘅 key words 就會好快學得好好㗎喇。所以我覺得係,真係做啲你平時做開嘅嘢,已經有個 motivation,只不過加一個新嘅 element,就係嗰個 language 喇。

(So I encourage everyone, the best method for studying a language is to do something you regularly enjoy but try to substitute in the language that you want to study–if there is a way to study it, you can do it. It can be hard in the beginning, but let’s say this time, I’ll use this new language to deal with three elements. When I’m done, that’s great, work’s over, I can continue doing what I want to do. Tomorrow I’ll do four, the day after that five. You will slowly build up, you’ll get really fast, and after thirty days, suddenly it will become so that maybe if you add two words a day, it will become sixty. By the third month, after twelve weeks, basically, your opportunities to be fluent are already pretty great, or you’ll quickly learn keywords for everyday usage. So really, I think that the things you already do regularly already have a motivation, so if you just add a new element, it’s that language.)

Raymond: 嗯,非常好。呢個同我教學都一個好好配合54理論55就係,你啱啱講到嘅遊戲化 gamification,將一啲嘢變成有趣,同埋一個好清晰56嘅一個任務57噉樣,你要完成嘅。噉呀啱啱其實你講開譬如打機啦,我都有留意到,而家喺網上面係好流行啲人,即係一路打機一路去直播,然之後同人去傾偈呀噉樣。噉我見到有一個台好搞笑嘅。有一個,有一個應該係非裔58嘅一個黑人啦,噉呀佢就學識講廣東話嘅。噉佢就打機呢,成日同啲中國嘅網民呢,噉就一路打機一路講呢,然之後就佢故意59呢,去嚇佢哋呢,就係因爲嗰啲網民可能都唔知佢識講廣東話,會突然間講廣東話。噉跟住佢哋就嚇咗一跳呀,跟住佢哋就會傾起偈上嚟呀,噉呀都幾有趣。

(Well, very good. This matches well with a theory in my teaching, which is gamification that you just talked about. It turns something into a task you have to finish that is fun and has a very clear goal. Actually, you just mentioned something like video games, I also noticed it became popular for a lot of people to live broadcast as they are playing games on the internet while chatting with others. Well, I saw a very funny channel. There is a black person I believe of African descent, who has learned to speak Cantonese. He would play games online and chat with some Chinese netizens. Then he would deliberately shock them, because the netizens may not know he would suddenly speak Cantonese. As they are startled, they would also start talking. It’s very interesting!)

嗱,噉如果你唔介意,噉呀我又講一個我想分享嘅一個資源呢,噉而家你都嚟過溫哥華啦,噉呀可能你都會留意到,其實而家呢度好多人都係對學習廣東話有興趣嘅。噉但係呢,又好多人就覺得冇頭緒60呀,唔知點樣由邊度入手61噉樣。或者可能佢喺屋企識聽識講但係唔識睇噉樣啦。噉而家呢就有好多譬如有啲老師啦,或者對教學有興趣嘅人士呢,我哋就開始建立62啲網絡喇。喺海外呢,而家我哋有好幾個組織63呢,係成立64咗,或者新成立嘅。噉我就講一個呢,其實有一個我係想邀請阿 Vivek 你參加。噉首先第一個呢,就係叫 “Cantonese Language Association”,呢個係我以前母校65楊百翰大學呢,噉我哋一啲學生同一啲學者一齊啦,我哋有個網站擺晒好多嗰啲資源喺上邊嘅。

(Hey, if you don't mind, I would like to share another resource. Since you've been to Vancouver, perhaps you would notice that, in fact, many people here are Interested in learning Cantonese. But as a matter of fact, many people feel that they have no clue, and they don't know how to start from scratch. They may know how to listen and speak but don't know how to read at home. Now there are many people such as teachers, or people who are interested in teaching, that we have started to build networks. For overseas, there are several organizations either established or newly established. Let me just talk about one, and actually there is one I would like to invite Vivek to join. The first one is called "Cantonese Language Association", which is founded in Brigham Young University, my alma mater, where we students and scholars together put up a lot of resources on our website. 

噉另外一個呢係新啲嘅,叫 “Cantonese Alliance”,噉係呢個史丹福大學嘅粵語課程之前嘅張錫莉老師,佢而家呢亦都召集緊佢以前啲學生啦,佢認識嘅老師啦噉樣,噉呀成立咗一個。噉另外第三個我想講嘅呢,就係有一個叫 “Cantonese Creators Collective”。呢個我覺得係完全配合 Vivek 嘅。噉呢喺紐約嗰邊呀,有幾個呢個,嗰啲華僑66呀,即係有華裔嘅人士呢,噉佢哋又好想去幫多啲人去用輕鬆67啲嘅方法去學廣東話。噉佢哋就認爲,哦你係利用粵語去做創作嘅人呢,應該去互相分享嘅。噉我都知道 Vivek 你其實都好想將你嘅棟篤笑帶俾更多人去睇啦,我覺得呢個我都會邀請你去參加。

(The other one is newer, it is called "Cantonese Alliance". It is formed by the former teacher at Stanford University Cantonese program Dr. Sik Lee Dennig, who is gathering her former students and the teachers she knows. The third one I want to talk about is the one called "Cantonese Creators Collective". This one I think is completely compatible with Vivek. Over in New York, a few people of Chinese descent really want to help many people learn Cantonese in an easy way. They think that those who create in Cantonese should share their work with each other. I know Vivek you also actually really want to bring your standup comedy to a larger audience, so I think I will invite you to join this one too.)

Vivek: OK 呀, I mean,佢三個 C 完全係同我以前讀書嘅分數68一樣呀,所以非常之啱我呀。

(OK! I mean with 3 C’s which is exactly the same grades I got when I was in school, so it fits me perfectly.)

Raymond: 噉呀好,噉我哋歡迎定你先。都多謝你支持。好,阿 Cameron。

(Then great, we welcome you in advance. We also thank you for your support. Ok, Cameron.)

Cameron: 好,其實我今日分享嘅資源就係 Raymond 之前同我分享嘅,就係一個 YouTube Channel 係粵語長片台。喺錄音之前,我啱啱睇緊個一個就一部六十年代嘅戲。噉佢哋大部分就係五十年代同六十年代嘅戲。佢哋嘅故事就簡單啲,但係我覺得呢個係一個好處,因爲呢你就可以 focus on 嗰個佢哋講嘅嘢,佢同埋佢哋嘅,特別係佢嘅講法。都係有字幕嘅,但係字幕就係中文嘅。 Raymond,我唔知道你所睇嘅呢啲長片,仲有冇你覺得值得69睇嘅呀?

(Well, actually the resource I want to share today is one that Raymond shared with me, which is a YouTube channel with feature-length Cantonese filmes. Right before we recorded, I was watching a film from the 60s. They are mostly films from the 50s and the 60s. Their stories are fairly simple, but I think this is an asset, as it allows you to focus on what they are saying, particularly the turns of phrase they use. There are also subtitles, though they are in Chinese. Raymond, among those that you watched, are there any you think are worth watching?)

Raymond: 係,你既然講開70呢個網台呢,我知道佢都係最近先將好多大部分嘅黑白嗰啲粵語長片呀擺上台。我諗阿 Vivek 你喺香港你頭先都話你以前細個睇電視呢,我諗你都聽過佢哋叫嗰啲粵語殘片呀,即係呢…

(Yes, now that you’ve spoken of this website, I know they’ve uploaded most of the black-and-white Cantonese feature films. I think that Vivek, I think you said earlier that in Hong Kong when you were little you watched TV, I think you’ve heard of these Cantonese films before…)

Vivek: 有,嗰啲係夜晚12點…

(I have, those aired around midnight…)

Raymond: 係喇,噉一係就係夜晚,一係就係中午嘅。

(Yes, one at midnight and one at noon.)

Vivek: 係,係。我記得就係以前好夜,我因為我以前啱啱大學畢業呢, 就會夜晚先開工嘅諗住靜啲呀噉啦。噉嗰陣時有時想休息吓睇吓電視先,永遠都係黑白粵語長片嗰啲乜嘢即係又係呢啲有把刀有個魔鬼71噉樣嘅。係呀所以我都見過。

(Yes, yes. I remember that it was quite late before, because I think right after I graduated from university, I would go to work at night and think it was really quiet. Back then I would sometimes want to rest a bit first and watch some TV, and it was always some sort of black-and-white Cantonese films with swords and demons. Yeah, I’ve seen them.)

Raymond: 係呀以前呢,就細個既係唔識欣賞72呢,又覺得好舊呀、好老土73呀噉樣,唔會睇啦。噉呢但係最近呢,因爲加上我自己而家教書,教流行文化呢,反而我同啲學生一齊去睇呢,噉呢一樣嘢最有趣嘅就係呢,都有啲似阿 Vivek 你啱啱講嘅故事。以前呢,好多嘅悲劇呀,好多好嚴肅74、好正經嘅嗰啲內容呢,你今日睇返呢,就覺得係變成喜劇啦。噉呀我而家就覺得好精彩75嘅。即係話“嘩,你咁老土?吓?你噉都做得出呀?”噉樣。噉所以都,呢個都係一個好嘅學習資源。

(Yeah, when I was little I didn’t know how to appreciate them, I thought they were really old and corny, so I wouldn’t watch them. But recently, as I am also teaching popular culture now, I’ll watch the films with my students. What is most interesting is that–just like the story you, Vivek, just told–is that what were previously very serious tragedies or dramas, with very serious content, they now come across as comedies when I watch them today. Now I think they’re brilliant. I’ll say, “Wow, something so old-fashioned? What? You don’t mind doing somethings so embarrassing?” So they are still a resource worth studying.)

Cameron: 好,噉如果我哋嘅,就聽衆想就 follow Vivek,佢哋應該喺邊度就 follow 你?

(Well, if our listeners wish to follow Vivek, where can they do so?)

Vivek: 你好簡單,你就噉搵 “funny Vivek”,即係無論你 Facebook 呀,IG 呀,或者我個 website “funnyvivek.com” 呀,你 @funnyvivek 呀,主要基本上就 “funny Vivek”。因為我覺得自己唔肯定我 fun 唔 funny 呢,我就同你講,我就係 “funny Vivek” 喇。唔好搞錯,唔係第二個。

(It’s very simple, you can look for “funny Vivek,” whether on Facebook or Instagram, or you can go to my website funnyvivek.com, you can just @funnyvivek, what’s most important is the “funny Vivek” part. Since I myself am unsure whether I am funny or not, I’ll just say I am “funny Vivek.” Don’t get it wrong, I’m not anyone else.)

Raymond: 係啦,噉同埋我都會鼓勵觀衆、聽衆呢,噉你哋可以從唔同嘅途徑76上面呢去欣賞 Vivek 嘅節目。噉如果可以現場睇就最理想啦。噉但係我都知道而家 Vivek 喺網上都有你嘅節目係咪?

(Alright, and I also encourage our audience, our listeners, you can follow Vivek’s program through various means. If you can, seeing him onstage is best. But I know that Vivek also has an online program right now, right?)

Vivek: 係呀,我而家一時會做啲 Facebook live 嘅 streaming。都係 in a way 係 keep 住自己有個渠道77俾我可能講我近排諗嗰啲 ideas 噉啦。噉冇計,因爲始終係好 raw,冇得去 open mic 去鍛鍊嘅話呢,噉我就唯有係上台… 上網一齊玩吓啦。噉我無論係講下我啲近排嘅笑話,或者近排嘅有趣事之餘,或者一齊上網玩啲遊戲互動78吓。因爲始終喺香港,尤其是大家啲心情未必係太好啦而家,尤其是疫情嘅原因。 So, why not? You know, 大家有少少嘅拉返呢個距離,同埋 keep 住用廣東話大家歡笑唔係仲開心囉。

(Yeah, for now I am doing Facebook live streaming. It’s a way for me to maintain an outlet where I can talk about recent ideas. That being said, because it’s really raw from start to finish, I can’t go to an open mic to practice, and I’m the only one onstage. Let’s have some fun together online, no matter whether I am telling some recent jokes or talking about recent things of interest, or playing a multiplayer game online. Because ultimately in Hong Kong, everyone’s mood isn’t too great right now, particularly due to the pandemic. So why not? You know, to pull everyone closer these days, using Cantonese makes everyone laugh and stay happy.)

Raymond: 好,噉我哋喺度呢,都再次啦多謝 Vivek 啦,今日同我哋分享你咁多有趣嘅經歷啦、經驗啦、心得79啦。噉呀最緊要大家其實你無論學乜嘢語言都好啦,我覺得保持呢個歡樂同埋幽默感呢,都係一個好重要嘅我哋嘅人生嘅態度80嚟嘅。

(Alright, at this point, we’d like to thank Vivek again, thank you for sharing so many experiences and insights with us. I think what’s most important is that no matter what language you are studying, what’s most important is staying happy and maintaining your sense of humor, they’re a very important part of our life attitude.)