November 18, 2007

Emergency Button


This is probably the most famous Cantonese tongue-twister. But still, many native speakers find it challenging. In fact, many stumble on it.

Translation: Enter the laboratory and press the emergency button
Transliteration: Enter (入) Experiment (實驗) Room (室) Press (撳) Urgent (緊急) Button (掣)
Jyutping: jap6 sat6 jim6 sat1 gam6 gan2 gap1 zai3

A practicing tip is to pay attention to the alternating pattern of the words with bilabial (blue) and non-bilabial finals. The words 入 (jap6), (驗) jim6, (撳)gam6, and (急) gap1 require your lips to touch each other at the end of the sound, whereas the rest require them not to touch each other. So when you say the whole phrase, your should be alternating between opening and closing your mouth.