As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread:

Learning Cantonese

FromAlpha2OmegaFromAlpha2Omega Registered User
edited October 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I want to take some introductory lessons in Cantonese, but I have no idea who I should do it through. I missed the deadline for the introductory fall course at the University of Toronto and I'll be in Hong Kong in January. The tutors that I've contacted so far have been sketchy and seem to lack a formal lesson plan. Does anyone know of a good organization in Toronto that offers introductory Cantonese lessons that I could start reasonably soon?

FromAlpha2Omega on


  • TokyoRaverTokyoRaver Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Step 1. Give up

    Holy CRAP is Cantonese hard

    Also limits you to HK, Mandarin is easier and has broader utility

    HK is definitely cooler though

    TokyoRaver on
  • Unearthly StewUnearthly Stew Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Is there a particular reason you want Cantonese? Mandarin will be much better idea, even in Hong Kong you'll be able to get by on it.

    Unearthly Stew on
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I've spent about ten hours a day for the last two and a half months studying Mandarin and am currently the equivalent of a first grader. I don't know how much you wanted to know by January but it wouldn't be much at all. The tones alone, of which I believe Cantonese has eight, take quite a while to learn for most people.

    Quid on
  • WheezerWheezer Registered User
    edited October 2008
    Regarding the tones, make sure you get a native speaker to teach you pronounciation. Once you learn the tones and understand how Cantonese is written using the alphabet things will get much easier. Then it's a matter of building your vocabulary.

    Learning the characters are a different matter again. There are many characters, and especially at the beginning you will just need to rote memorize them. The initial lessons should teach you the correct stroke order when drawing a character. It's another fundamental.

    It's one of those languages where the basics have challenges but as you progress you won't run in to any complicated grammar rules or such.

    And if you are going to Hong Kong in January, you will be able to greet people and exchange a pleasantry or two in Cantonese if you try. The thing is, however, that you can speak English in Hong Kong almost everywhere. Should you run in to a situation where you need or want to do something in a place people only speak Cantonese or Mandarin, someone will be able to help and translate for you.

    Wheezer on
  • EriosErios Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Yeah, not sure how to break it to you, but in HK, most people speak English.

    Erios on
    Steam: erios23, Live: Coconut Flavor, Origin: erios2386.
  • LemmyLemmy Registered User
    edited October 2008
    Seriously, my parents lived in HK for 12 years and speak less Cantonese than I can.

    And all I can do is count to 10 and tell you to go fuck your mother. You know, the essentials.

    Lemmy on
  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Mainland is making its way more and more into HK. And it will probably continue to do so. Cantonese is a dialect of Mandarin after all. You're better off learning Mandarin especially if you ever want to do business outside of HK. By the way I'll be in HK as well for two weeks until Jan 9. Shoot me a PM if you want to get into some antics in a big fun city.

    Shogun on
Sign In or Register to comment.