Learning Cantonese

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2005

    Question Learning Cantonese

    Hi guys, I am going to visit my GF later this year in HK. I want to know if there is any cheap way of learning good cantonese? A good book? I will appreciate it a lot if you all can suggest me how to go about learning cantonese.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Hey - the thing that I would suggest is that you need a book with CD / cassettes. There are 7 tones in the Cantonese language which I am finding to be a nightmare. For example; seui means water / years old / bad / sleep depending on which tone you use. Plus the best way to learn is by copying / mimicking someone if you have the opportunity to do that.
    There are plenty of courses once you are in HK.
    Good luck.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Sai Kung

    Hi again Bradd!!

    Sazzy is right, Cantonese is such a difficult language to learn, so many words that have several meanings and pronounced with different tones to make them different! When I was in the UK I ordered a Cantonese course through Linguafone, although after 2 months I still hadn't received anything as the company they were using for the course had gone bust!

    My wife bought me a course here but it was impossible to use as it only mentioned each word once and each sentence once! No bloody good when you are trying to get the pronounciation correct as well!! Most of my cantonese I have learnt from my wife. As she is a native we have a good circle of chinese friends and they also teach me too, although sometimes after a few beers it's in the more blue style of cantonese! I bought one book here published by Berlitz, simply called Cantonese Chinese. It's the nearest I've seen to writing words as they are said. Whatever you try nothing will get near to actually being here and learning with people around you!

    Good luck


  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2005


    I recently bought the Berlitz Cantonese Chinese Travel Pack from Waterstones (CD Edition). The ISBN is 981-246-283-X and cost £12.95 in the UK.
    Look up www.berlitzpublishing.com

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2006

    as discussed in another thread - "interesting cantonese" by susannah ng is a great book for beginners, and it comes with 4 cd's. cheaper than a tutor is you need to grasp the basics.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Hi, this seems to be working decently well for me (audio only):


    Mind, it's boring at times but at least you get the words eventually and it's really cheap (19USD for 7 hours recording).

    Good luck!