Cantonese, the language of Hong Kong, Macau and the Southwestern area of China, is one of the two prominent languages of China. Cantonese has its roots in Guangzhou and the Guangdong region, creating its own culture. Is it really worth learning Cantonese over the more common Mandarin Chinese variety? It certainly is.
As mentioned, Cantonese is the official language of Hong Kong and Macau, and is widely spoken in Guangdong. However, many Cantonese speakers are able to speak Mandarin as well, owing to its prominence and their shared roots. There are around 80 million speakers of Cantonese, making it one of the more widely spoken, especially considering its use amongst overseas Chinese communities around the world.
For the most part, many of the main grammatical elements in Cantonese are shared with Mandarin, with pronunciation and words being the main dividing factor. In some cases, the verbs and overall sentence structure are moved around. That is not all, either. The Cantonese language is tonal, but includes 6 different tones instead of the 4 seen with standard Mandarin.
While Cantonese may not be as widely spoken as Mandarin, it does have its uses. Due to its sister languages prominence, native speakers will be happy to see people even just attempt to learn a few words of Cantonese. This alone makes learning Cantonese worthwhile. Even more so if staying in the region where it is spoken.
Why Should You Learn A New Language Like Cantonese?
There are so many reasons why people choose to learn a new language like Cantonese. Having a clear cut reason why you want to learn will help you with your motivation and give you the push to learn on when you might feel out of your depth. While there are a lot more complex reasons, here are a few you should consider when starting your language learning journey:
Traveling: You know what would make travel infinitely easier and more enjoyable? The ability to speak the language of the locals. This will make it much easier for you to get to know the people and learn much more about the culture of the area. It unlocks so many more opportunities to see places off the beaten path, try new and interesting food, and see the country from a different perspective.
Business: Of course, knowing the language of your business partners would make day to day operation much smoother. It takes away a lot of the ambiguity and helps get to the point. In addition, it opens more opportunities to travel for work, work abroad or just get a more prestigious job at home. Speaking multiple languages is a well sought after skill that may just set you apart from others applying for the same position.
Improving Yourself Learning a new language is among the most common new years resolutions people make. While many people do not follow through, those that are determined to improve themselves and learn new skills really put in the effort to achieve their goal. Becoming fluent in a target language is very fulfilling and gives you a chance to meet new people and explore more. Otherwise, it is a very impressive feat that you can show off to everyone you know.
Meeting New People Have you ever thought that, by learning a language like Mandarin, you would open up the possibility to speak to over a billion people? Whether you have friends that you want to try speaking with in their native language, or you are looking to meet new people from different cultures, learning a new language is one of the best ways to go about it. Having these native speakers as friends and speaking to them frequently will also help you practice and learn even more.
Understanding Media Whether you listen to K-Pop, watch Japanese anime, or enjoy reading German literature, learning the language of the media you are consuming will make the experience much easier. Beyond just understanding the language, you will also pick up on the more subtle cultural aspects of the text that sometimes get lost in translation. Being able to see yourself progress as you begin understand what you are reading or hearing is a great motivation and will make you feel great.
How To Get Started Learning Cantonese
When it comes to choosing how to get started or ways to continue your learning, there are many different methods that people use. Everyone learns best in different ways, so try them all out and find what works best for you. Similarly, there are both paid and free language learning programs that you will need to consider. Here are some of the more prominent examples:
Maybe you are a real book worm and learn best through reading and writing. There are so many choices available online or in a combination of audio CD and book form that will walk you step by step through a language. These usually follow a format of a few pages on a particular topic followed by some related questions for you to answer as a test. For some, this is an ideal way to learn for what can be a reasonable price. For others, they may find this method difficult, unfulfilling, or boring. If you have the willpower to set aside time and concentrate on the task, you should give it a try.
Language Learning Courses
For those who enjoy the classroom experience, language classes can be a very effective way to get a formal education in your target language. These can be either in a classroom setting with several other learners, or one-to-one with a private language tutor. While learning directly with a private tutor will get you a more personalized experience, it can become costly. However, if you want one of the most effective educations in the language and time and money is no issue, this is definitely worth considering.
If you surround yourself in the language you are learning, it should be easier to learn, right? This is generally the case. You will constantly be tested and hear new vocabulary in your day to day life. Every interactive with others will be an opportunity to use your skills, helping to remember and practice what you know. While it is an effective method for learning a new language, it is far from practical in most cases. You are probably better starting off with a different method and working your way up to eventually visiting or even moving to the new country.
It is no secret that we think language learning apps like Ling are a great way to bolster your learning experience. Apps are amongst the most convenient methods. Smartphones are nearly always at hand, so when you have a few free minutes waiting at the bus stop or while laying in bed. These are great opportunities to practice some vocabulary or try out some of the lessons. Adding to this, they are also able to test your ability to speak, write and understand text. While these apps likely should not be the only method you use, they are a great tool for improving your ability a little bit at a time.
Why Ling Is The Perfect Language Learning Companion
Ling is designed to make language learning as easy, fun, and accessible as possible. Using a variety of mini games and interactive learning techniques, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the Cantonese language using just your smartphone. Whether you’re a complete beginner and want to learn the basics of the language, or you’re already fluent and want to learn advanced vocabulary or brush up on your knowledge, our Ling Cantonese app is able to help.
Traditional language lessons can be boring, dull and no fun at all. That is why we’ve made the learning process fun by using puzzles, games, challenges and quizzes to teach you how to read, write and speak in Cantonese. Ling uses native Cantonese speakers to help you perfect your pronunciation. We have also made sure to give Ling users the best value possible, offering over 50 languages from just one app. You can even try out the Ling language learning app for free and see if it is right for you. Download and try it out today.