How to Learn Cantonese through This Website introduction
This post describes how learners can utilize the resources on this website to learn Cantonese.
You may have already noticed that Cantophilia is different from other Cantonese language-learning websites. It does not contain context-less vocabulary lists, grammatical explanations, or lists of useful phrases.
While they could still be useful references for learners, I think there is a better way to learn Cantonese – through the studying of real-life authentic content.
I believe the most efficient way to learn a language is to absorb it through materials taken from real-life. Artificially made-up materials could still be helpful, but they are not as effective or interesting. Therefore, most of the materials found on this website are taken from real-life sources.
All learners should master a Cantonese Romanization system. Jyutping is used on this website, but conversions to other systems should be straightforward.
You don’t need to aim to pronounce every word perfectly, but at least you should know what each one should sound like.
Understanding the conversation is not the goal of the listening exercise, since the translation is already provided. Your goal is to be able to recognize each word in the conversation any time you listen to it.
The only way to archive this is to listen to the material again and again. Be ready to listen to each conversation 50 or even 100 times.
To improve your speaking, you should try to ‘parrot’ over the conversations. A better way is to pause and repeat each line as you go along.
You may also want to memorize and recite parts of the conversations. Some people are against this method, but I have known many successful language learners who have used this method themselves.
All learner’s materials on this website are graded, but they act only as a rough guideline. Learners are encouraged to look at materials from other levels.
Cantonese is a language with a rich history and culture, and it is one of the most expressive and enjoyable languages I have ever heard. Furthermore, Hong Kong cinema is legendary, with big stars like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Stephen Chow.
In addition to movies, there are several TV dramas and Cantopop songs released in Hong Kong regularly.
However, Cantonese is not exclusive to Hong Kong. Cantonese is also spoken in Macau, Southern China’s Guangdong region, sections of Malaysia, and Chinatowns around the world, with 60 million native speakers.
But it’s just too hard to learn, right?
Cantonese has a reputation for being a difficult language to learn, but as with any language, with a sound plan and a firm routine, you may progress quickly.
So, how long does learning Cantonese take?
My progress was exceedingly slow during my first month of learning Cantonese because I had no idea what I was doing. But as soon as I started using the techniques I’m going to discuss, I began to make considerably faster progress. After a few months, I was having good Skype discussions with my tutor, and after six months, I was able to hold a comfortable one-hour conversation with no English.
After that, I won the Add1challenge (now the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge) and then flew to Hong Kong for two weeks of vacation without speaking a single word of English.
So, what methods did I employ? What is the most effective approach to learning Cantonese?
In this essay, I have shared with you some simple steps you can take right now to become a conversational Cantonese speaker in six months.
A word from the Fluent in 3 Months team: The “Fluent in 3 Months” technique allows you to chat with a native speaker for at least 15 minutes. It just takes 90 days. Click on this link to learn more.
Beginners should read the Orientation Package before proceeding in using the materials from this website.
Suggestions and comments are always welcome.