Malachi 平王 1 year ago
Should I learn Cantonese after Mandarin?

I absolute love this course and love how Mandarin Chinese works and I am hoping this course will be the beginning of a path for me to learning new languages. I was wondering, though. After learning Mandarin how much easier would it be to learn Cantonese or should I even bother. I love traveling to China and the skills I have learned in this course have been very useful, but I spend my time in China in the south. When I am in Hong Kong it all feels like Greek all over again. My question basically is: does anyone know a good course in Mandarin for second language Mandarin speakers to learn Cantonese that I could take after coming out of this course and would it be worth the effort or will I already know enough after finishing this course to pick up Cantonese without a course?

Phillip Wong 1 year ago

I am not aware of a course, but as someone that was born in Hong Kong and reasonably fluent, it is a reasonably different dialect. Much like French and English you will find especially the words translate from English like 咖啡 or coffee similar in pronunciation. Written Mandarin and Cantonese are the same mostly (there are some differences). I left at a very young age to live in New Zealand so can’t read nor write which is why I find this course so good. When I was last back in Hong Kong, since it was handed back to China I have noticed that announcements etc seem to be in Mandarin, or both Mandarin and Cantonese something unheard of when it was still in English hands. People will understand you if you speak Mandarin, but given that it is regarded as the dialect of Chinese rule, you would get further speaking Cantonese.

I have found however in doing this course hard not to introduce Cantonese pronunciations. So my advice would be after the course to focus on Mandarin for a while before moving on else you may get the two mixed up.

Phillip Wong 1 year ago

Sorry just to clarify when I say different dialect, it is more about pronunciation in my view, so once you have aced this course, you should be able to work out what someone speaking Cantonese is saying if they speak slowly. In doing the course this, I am finding the difference between Mandarin and how I would pronounce a word in Cantonese being more akin to me trying to understand someone with an extremely thick Irish or Scottish accent speaking. Hope that makes sense.

Malachi 平王 1 year ago

Thank you, this is very helpful. I will definitely take all of this in mind.

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