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Unpopular Cantonese

Everywhere I look for help with Cantonese, I find the same answer : ''Why would you want to learn Cantonese ? Learn Mandarin !" But I don´t want to learn Mandarin ! That´s like telling someone who wants to learn Québécois that he or she should study real French instead. Adding to that the Chinese schools in my city that taught Chinese, stopped teaching Cantonese and now only teach Mandarin. I have no friends who are fluent in this language and I can´t find any decent resource to get started. Is there anyone out there who is willing to teach me the basics ?!

And no, I cannot pay for a course.



Hi! what do you need right now? Materials, just small informations on how to start?

Are you trying to learn the full package? read , write , speak?




I keep hearing the same thing! Even though I live in a major city, there are very few options for learning Cantonese. A couple of language schools offer extremely expensive tutoring options aimed at businessmen but I'm learning for personal reasons and I can't justify spending so much money. I did just discover that Pimsleur has a course in basic Cantonese that isn't too expensive ($120) and I tried out the free sample lesson. The method seems to work really well so I'm going to give it a try.


I'm interested in Cantonese too because I had a lovely vacation in HK last year. Do you get the same reaction from native Canto speakers? 


Not so log ago, I read a travel essay from a Japanese writer who was adequately fluent in Cantoneses and Mandarin thanks to her experience of studying as an exchange student in Hong Kong. She wrote Canto was somewhat enjoyed as an exclusive language by locals. Basically, they can talk sh*t about a person (usually foreign) who is right in front of them and they can often get away with it. LOL 



I have lot's of materials please drop me an e-mail at jolojoko/at/gmail/dot/com and i can make a list for you.. no need to pay a dime.



I want to focus on speaking, because I'm also learning Japanese and I don't want to confuse myself with Chinese/Cantonese characters. The resources I have found so far are confusing me as well. I know about the tones, but sadly every resource tends to state something else. Some like to write the romanized words with numbers and some use the Yale romanization... I just don't know where to start if I can't even know for sure that I'm pronouncing the tones right ! 


I saw a course in which they give you a cd and a small textbook, ... it's overpriced and I'm sure it awful. I mean learning Cantonese in 6 months ? Yeah, right. I'm aiming for fluent Cantonese, not some bussiness phrases.


I went to a Mandarin doctor who also spoke Cantonese and he kept joking that I should learn it as well and that my boyfriend should teach me. My boyfriend speaks Cantonese, but not that good. He learned it from his parents, but he says that most of the time he finds out that he's just speaking gibberish or using made up sentences. No, I do not want to ask him for help, I'm keeping this a secret.


My reasons for learning this language : to surprise my boyfriend, because I like the way the language sounds, because I love languages and Chinese was on my must learn list but Mandarin is less apealing to me, because then I can understand all the cruel words my mother-in-law is using to describe me and I can finally give her an answer in her own language, ... (don't feel sorry for my mother-in-law, she's a racist and narrow minded, she hates me and we've never met)


I don't quite understand why you compained that there was no one to teach you the basic Cantonese, cause there are so many native Cantonese speakers online here. It's ok that you want to learn Cantonese, and you've got a quite good reason to do so. But sadly, even people in Hong Kong are learning Mandarin now. Click this link to find some partners: . Hope you find your Cantonese teacher soon.

It's a fairly distinctive dialect, though. It's easy to understand anyone in the anglosphere, but I've seen a lot of cantonese and mandarin speakers struggle with the same. That can be said about a lot of dialects in china, though. 

whoops, sorry esahc123. I misread your quote on my phone. I agree 100%. 

You can find some good resources on the internet to learn Cantonese. There are some websites that are dedicated to learning Cantonese. If you prefer textbooks then do a search for the Greenwood Press publications which are based in HK and specialise in Cantonese language tuition. The books are affordable and useful as they contain audio, transcripts and lots of new words.


If you want to learn Cantonese however, the main recipe is passion and dedication. If you do not maintain these then it will be difficult to learn Cantonese or any language. You should start off with self-study and not waste money on courses or tuition. When you reach a sufficient level you can utilise a tutor on this website or simply converse and exchange languages with the many people that speak Cantonese on this website.

Hi Kokoro, let me know of you still need help with your Cantonese, I am totally okay that you dont pay, we could hang out like friends and start practising Cantonese on daily basis. iamnokman/at/yahoo/com/hk ;)

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