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How to Learn Cantonese Effectively

There are a lot of Chinese living in the bay area, so there are more Cantonese-speaking Chinese. This is why some foreigners also learn Cantonese. However, Before learning Cantonese, I would like to summarize the following five points:

1. The Foundation of Cantonese — Cantonese Pinyin

Cantonese pinyin is equivalent to Chinese pinyin and English phonetic symbols. It consists of three parts: initials, finals, and tones. When you master the initials and finals, you can learn them by using some apps or small programs.

cantonese book
Cantonese book

Cantonese songs have an unexpected advantage when transposing sounds. Most Cantonese songs sing the same lyrics as Mandarin according to the Cantonese pronunciation (you may be surprised, but this is the fact). People who understand Putonghua can understand the meaning of the lyrics, so it is easy to parallelize the pronunciation of the words. In this way, it is easier to remember the lyrics of a few favorite songs. After all, it’s easier to remember the words you’re already accustomed to.

2. The Charm of Cantonese

A lot of people think Cantonese sounds good, but it’s uncomfortable when speaking it. That’s because you haven’t mastered all of its tones. Cantonese has nine tones and six tones. Our thinking is easily fixed on the four pronunciations of Putonghua. Therefore, we often infer that speaking Cantonese is easy. After all, we know how to speak Putonghua. Actually, it’s the contrary. We can’t verify whether our pronunciation is correct or not. That’s why you will make mistakes repeatedly. However, remember that inculcation is the key to mastery. To learn, you must make mistakes again and again. However, tread lightly. Repeated mistakes may reduce our confidence in speaking Cantonese.

3. The Taste of Cantonese 

When learning Cantonese, there are many aspects to explore. When you have mastered the Grammar and Cantonese spelling, you’ll begin to understand part of what others say. You will be able to find more and more interesting places. Why do “你先吃” you eat first – Why do people say it “你食先” Nei 5 sik 6 sin 3″?, You can speak Cantonese very well after you learn the grammar.

4. The Essence of Cantonese 

Slangs are part of a language. They are the unofficial evolution of the dialect. Cantonese has its fair share of quite interesting slang too. There are many unique expressions and interesting words. These unique languages do not come from the sky. They all have their own sources. Some originate from interesting stories, others from special sources. The common saying, also known as the common saying, is one of the idioms, which refers to the conventional, popular, and concise sentences.

5. Vocabulary and Grammar

There are inherent differences between Putonghua and Cantonese. That’s why making the transition is quite difficult. However, it is necessary to change the pronunciation of some words from Cantonese to Putonghua. For example, “tomorrow” should be said as “listening day,” and “not knowing” should be “not knowing.”

If you don’t want to put too much pressure on your study, you can start with a simple one. Go to the Internet to find the most basic Cantonese vocabulary and sentence structure list. You can utilize the Cantonese training materials summarized by the public account and organized by non-governmental organizations. It does not have to be comprehensive, but it should be enough to cover the most basic words and sentence patterns, such as “he”, “eat”, “how many”, “yes or no” He bought toys for his daughter in the supermarket “When did you have dinner with your father yesterday?”

6. Oral Cantonese

At this time, you can almost understand the most formal spoken Cantonese, such as news. The Cantonese-specific expressions in the news are relatively limited, and most of them belong to the categories mentioned above. After you master this level of Cantonese, you must then pay attention to the expressions you haven’t learned. At the same time, pay attention to the pronunciation.

You will find that the words you hear can’t match the subtitles word by word. Broaden your vocabulary until you can understand the slang. That way, you will transition from a typical speaker into a more colloquial speaker. Also, try to localize your learning by gradually choosing more and more “colloquial” materials, such as interview programs, and some songs written in Cantonese (it is said that most Cantonese songs do not belong to this category, but some of them are sung according to their spoken Cantonese, For example, Xu Guanjie’s many songs), and then transitioning to more localized materials; like entertainment programs, films and TV dramas.

There are more and more Vietnamese materials, words, and expressions different from putonghua, even proverbs and sayings. Try to progress step by step, so that on the basis of being able to understand part of a sentence, you can easily know which part of a sentence you don’t understand. Look up the word or sentence pattern and remember it.

In addition, if possible, actively create a language environment, such as communicating with more people from Cantonese-speaking areas. Although native speakers have learned “naturally” since childhood, many people do not understand Cantonese Pinyin and how to utilize grammar at its fullest potential. However, they can tell you how to speak idiomatically and how not to speak idiomatically. of course, Not everyone can find people from the Cantonese-speaking area, so there is no need to worry. From my personal experience, the process of learning Cantonese is still dominated by those above. I wish you all the best in your study!

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