November 16, 2007

Orientation Package

For those who want to learn Cantonese, this is how you should start.

No, I am not going to teach Cantonese in this blog (well, at least not in the traditional way). There are so many wonderful resources out there on the Internet. Why would I want to waste my time reinventing the wheel?

Instead, I am going to give you an orientation package. Yes, it is just like the one new hires would receive on day 1 when working in a large company. The package will show you the ropes (or pointers to the ropes). Then you will be on your own.

3 things to setup in your web-browser

  1. Bookmark the Cantonese sounds database. Don't worry if you don't know how to use it now.
  2. Bookmark the MDBG Javascript-based Chinese typing interface.
  3. Setup the CantoDict Firefox plugin by following these steps. IE users, get Firefox now!
3 things to pick up ASAP
  1. Learn a Cantonese romanization system. I personally recommend Jyutping.
  2. Get familiar with the 6 Cantonese tones. There are tons of resources out there on the Internet. Skip over those materials which tell you Cantonese has 9 tones. Pick the ones with audio demonstrations. This one has a nice diagram. This one has good audio.
  3. Start learning some basic phrases. Here is a good link.
1 support group to join
  1. Cantonese Learning and Discussion Forums
I believe the most efficient way to learn a language is to have the learners to take control themselves. The teacher should only play the role of a mentor. Remember, you are responsible for your own learning!

(This post is subjected to update. Last modified: 14 Dec 2007)