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Learning Cantonese

Hello there! Cantonese learners!

First of all, as a native Cantonese speaker, thank you so much for learning Cantonese.

I understand it can be frightening since there are so many tones in my mother tongue. Let alone the amount of Chinese Characters.

Plus, you don't really have to speak Cantonese to survive in HK.. There are many expats who don't speak Cantonese here (another reason not to learn it)

That got me thinking,

Why did you choose Cantonese instead of Mandarin?

What kind of methods have you been using in order to speak the language?

Is it really that difficult like they always say?

Cantonese is a very expressive language and I hope you will see the beauty in it as well~

Add oil!

May 9, 2019 4:33 AM
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Comments · 3

Chinese, both Mandarin and Cantonese, probably both seem quite intimidating to speakers of English and others Western languages at the beginning because Chinese is so different to what they are used to. However, once you get learning Chinese, you realise that there is nothing innately difficult about learning the characters, the only problem with characters is that there is a lot of them. That's it; all you have to do is sit down, study and memorise them. The tones can be difficult for some, but (speaking from my experience of Mandarin here) the most experienced and fluent learners of Chinese get their tones wrong occasionally, even native speakers do, so as long as you're right most of the time, catch yourself when you slip up, or are at least easy to understand, it doesn't really matter in my opinion.


I don't think you should question people's motives for learning a language. Quite the opposite, I think you should encourage them regardless of their reasons. Also, not doing something simply because it isn't necessary isn't a good reason not to do it. 


Cantonese isn't that hard if you already speak Mandarin well and you can read and write well, but I must admit the two aren't as similar as I first though. You can't just speak Mandarin using the Cantonese pronunciations for the characters.

May 9, 2019

Thanks Laurence for spending time to reply.

May 9, 2019
What sorts of challenges did you face learning Cantonese after studying Mandarin? I am also interested in beginning to study Cantonese.
May 17, 2019
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Japanese, Other, Russian
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Japanese, Russian