December 1, 2007

How to Learn Cantonese through This Website

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 contents.

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 straight-forward. 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. You 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.

Beginners should read the Orientation Package before proceeding in using the materials from this website.

Suggestions and comments are always welcome.


Rich said...

Hi Edwin. Thanks for creating this site and going to the effort to put up some realistic learning material. Learning this way does add a degree of realism and provides further motivation. I like the way that you grade the posts into those 3 levels. Also the transcripts are very useful. A great tool for Cantonese learners. Thanks!

Edwin said...

You are very welcome. Please let me know if you have any further suggestions or comments.

Ray said...

Hello Edwin! I would like to recommend My First Chinese Reader. It is a good chinese learning textbook for kids. Really Helpful

Keiz said...

Hi ray! in addition to ray's reccomendation.
New Practical Chinese Reader
also helps childresn write and recognize chinese character from memory. Might be helpful to your readers.

david said...

Thanks for the orientation package. I hope it will help me a lot in speaking the language fluently. I hope this is some best material for beginners.
Thanks for sharing it here.

Mommy said...

Do you have a recommendation for a cantonese english dictionary?

Lewis n Clark said...

Why aren't you going? I ask. "It would be awkward. I don't support her. If I go, all the attention will be on our confrontation and that would be bad."Translator in Beijing