With grammar, both Mandarin and Cantonese are subject-verb-object. Bringing together all these ideas, on balance i’d have to say Cantonese is more difficult than Mandarin mainly because of the increased difficulty of learning and using 6 tones. I discovered the complexity of Chinese tones during my project to learn Cantonese. For the tone 7-9, they are the syllables ended in a clip p, t, k in Cantonese (Clipped syllables). The tone used to pronounce the syllables of a Chinese word can completely change its meaning. Learning Cantonese with Online Courses . However, the grammar is probably one of the easiest pieces of the Cantonese puzzle. Interactive Cantonese lessons with audio files Cantonese Lessons. Cantonese is an official language in both Hong Kong and Macau where the vast majority of people speak Cantonese as a first language. Depending on the source, you may see Cantonese described as having 6, 7, 9, or 10 tones. As you can see they have taken sounds that closely align and plonked them together. Characterizing the English tone inventory is less straightforward, and there are, historically, a number of different characterizations. Truth be told, Cantonese is not the easiest language to learn due to the many tones, for many people difficult pronunciation, and characters. Personally I would suggest you to focus on Mandarin first. The Cantonese language is tonal, but includes 6 different tones instead of the 4 seen with standard Mandarin. But these tones are essentially the same as 3 of the other tones with other consonant or vowel endings. (By study, I mean any activity where I was focused on learning the language. So that is your overview of Cantonese. Probably not the easiest thing in the world to learn! Characters aside, the other major stumbling block in Cantonese is the tones. Quickly Learn Cantonese Chinese Words with Secret Memory Techniques: Now learning the Chinese Language, Vocabulary & Tones is Easy and Fast! Carlos uses the Yale romanization system which was developed for English speakers and takes into account the sound and the 6 tones in Cantonese. William.h Malaysia. #2: Check out the language learning infographic. I had heard many people say, particularly Cantonese speakers themselves, that Cantonese was a difficult language because of these nine tones, as compared to only four in Mandarin. You must rise, maintain or lower the relative pitch of your voice to "sing" each word. Also, in some cases the vocabulary in Cantonese is formed by taking a loanword from English and mapping on already existing Cantonese sounds as approximations to the English sounds. FSI and DLI Cantonese Course Includes four Cantonese courses, 33 eBooks and 161 audios completely free. Truth be told, Cantonese is not the easiest language to learn due to the many tones, for many people difficult pronunciation, and characters. We incorporate culture and current issues into each episode to … We are adding new Cantonese learning tools all the time and our newest tools have some great worksheet creators as well as other Cantonese learning tools: Cantonese Stroke Order - Look up Cantonese words and see the stroke order. And if you really put your mind to it, you can even learn Cantonese in one year, like I did. Learn the romanization of Cantonese first, do not learn by ear. But, why start out there? From complete beginner courses, to grammar and listening training, I've created unique, story-based programmes to help you reach you language goals. While Guangzhou Cantonese generally distinguishes between high-falling and high level tones, the two have merged in Hong Kong Cantonese and Macau Cantonese, yielding a system of six different tones in syllables ending in a semi-vowel or nasal consonant. It may happen that the Chinese themselves make a mistake about the tone. 2. Unlike most other languages in the world, every word that you learn in Cantonese will consist of four parts: (1) the characters; (2) the romanization; (3) the tones; (4) the meaning. The writing on the other hand is either the same like with simplified (Guangdong) vs simplified (rest of China) or traditional (HK/Macau) vs traditional (Taiwan) or slightly different like with traditional (HK/Macau) vs simplified (rest of China) or simplified (Guangdong) vs traditional (Taiwan). In terms of vocabulary, there are more English loan words in Cantonese than in Mandarin mainly because Hong Kong was a colony of the UK for so long. It also has significant usage amongst Chinese communities in Singapore, Cambodia and Indonesia. Only two, should be easy to remember right? … The combinations of syllables together can make some logical sense and make learning the new vocabulary easier and sometimes fun. Fewer and fewer people are speaking it in Guangdong province and given the large influx of Mandarin speaking migrant labour it seems few people are trying to promote the language. Cantonese is difficult to learn because of the 9 tones? Luckily for us, the romanization systems have tone numbers built in. (The grammar book also has great introductory information about topics mentioned above: Cantonese tones, pingyam systems, and the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese – all of which you can actually read on Amazon for free using the … (Some of these have more than one realization, but such differences are not used to distinguish words.) If you ask native speakers they will tell you that Cantonese has 9 tones and that it’s impossible for foreigners to master them. From then the language spread across much of southern China. ). Learning the subtleties of tones in Cantonese is more important than you think. After learning the basic knowledge, you will go through the Basic Cantonese For Beginner Course and start to learn Cantonese Character (Traditional Chinese) : Beginner Course.. Gabrielle has worked in education industry for 13 years in Hong Kong. Videos, podcast, grammar lessons, language tips and more to start you on your Cantonese learning journey. Nope. This has changed the Chinese languages being spoken abroad. I would get extra exposure to Cantonese by listening to podcasts, music, or other audio whilst driving. Not surprisingly, tones have a tendency to scare people away from learning Chinese because they’re commonly deemed too difficult to learn. If the tones are divided according to the pitch levels only, the re are only 6 real tones. The tones were important to learn for Cantonese and the book is somewhat challenging for me. The 4 tones that you will learn here are those used for Mandarin, the official language. lots spefic cantonese word still dont have a … Luisa Tam teaches you how mastering the pitch contours of the language can help you avoid some awkward… However, for things like direct objects vs indirect objects or word order for comparative sentences the grammar is different. There are "9 tones" in the Cantonese language, of which 3 tones have ending consonants (入聲字), often confusing for the untrained ear. Most beginners find trouble learning the tones. This makes Cantonese more difficult for English speakers. This has been going on for centuries between Chinese dialects. If the Cantonese speaker has had no exposure to Mandarin then the two languages are mutually unintelligible. As such, Cantonese was the language most used for communication by foreigners when interacting with the Chinese. I’ve also create … This was a huge key for improving my Cantonese as the grammar lessons in the Speak Cantonese series were sporadic and incomplete. While Cantonese may not be as widely spoken as Mandarin, it does have its uses. These tones involve a change in pitch which together with the base sound denote meaning. There is also an informal written vernacular Cantonese form which you’ll often see in Hong Kong. So, why not be a little adventurous and different and try the alternative? July 2017.
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