Want to discover a hack in learning Cantonese (廣東話 gwong2 dung1 waa2)? Well, you landed on the right post! Check out these best apps for learning Cantonese in today's post. After all, learning this Asian language can provide you with better professional and personal opportunities. Let's get to know more about this here.
Language learning is not an easy process that you can just do overnight. Luckily, technology has made learning languages almost limitless. Many factors can contribute to language learning like learning style, learning resources, learning environment, native language, and more.
There are many different platforms with special features that can develop your language skills. But, in a sea of language learning apps, which one to choose if you want to learn a not-so-easy-to-learn Cantonese language? This blog will talk about the best learning apps for learning Cantonese that will helo you speak like native speakers.
Cantonese is not a language as commonly spoken as Mandarin. If people want to learn Chinese, they will learn Mandarin Chinese as it is the language spoken in Mainland China and other Chinese-speaking countries. On the other hand, Cantonese Chinese is mainly spoken in Hong Kong, Guangdong Province in Mainland China, and Macau. You can also hear people speaking Cantonese in other parts of the world like the USA and Europe brought by the immigrants from Guangdong Province.
Cantonese is not too easy to learn as it uses traditional Chinese characters and has many tones. But, that doesn't mean that you can't learn the language. Even if it's not as popular language as Mandarin Chinese, language learners from around the world still learn Cantonese because of the following reasons:
As the four Asian Tigers, Hong Kong is indeed a haven for job seekers. If you choose to work in Hong Kong or Macau, you'll earn a living or build a career. To do that, learning Cantonese is one of the first things to do. Companies seek multilingual or bilingual employees who can be useful in dealing with international clients.
Language and culture always go hand-in-hand. It can never be separated. Learning the Cantonese language is also learning the history and culture of the country where it is spoken. Learning the Cantonese language allows you to be more empathetic to the Hong Kongers, especially if their culture and traditions are very different from yours.
The goal of language learners is to build connections with native Cantonese speakers. Your Hong Kong experience will be more meaningful when you have talked to at least one native Cantonese speaker. More importantly, learning Cantonese while in a Cantonese-speaking country is a sign of respect for the people, language, and culture.
Before going for a trip to Cantonese-speaking countries like Hong Kong and Macau, you should pack with you some basic Cantonese vocabulary lists like greetings, basic words and phrases, and more. You can use it when you are going around the country, shopping, using public transport, dining, and more. It will really help you have a comfortable and fun adventure.
Learning Cantonese is a no-brainer for the fans of Canto-pop and other types of music in Hong Kong. Listening to their music will make you pick up words subconsciously. So, imagine how great it is to dance or sing along with your favorite Cantonese music without any translations.
Cantonese is a challenging language to learn, and it's not the easiest foreign language to learn for a non-native speaker. In the past, learning this language WAS almost impossible if you were not in the country where it is spoken or didn't enroll in language courses or private lessons. Thanks to technology, studying Cantonese can be done online with the help of online platforms and apps. So, here are the apps for learning Cantonese. This list doesn't go from greatest to least effective apps because they are best in their ways.
Ling App is a language learning app developed by Simya Solutions where you can learn 60 languages in just one subscription, and Cantonese is one of them. What makes its millions of users fall in love with this app are the key features developed by real language experts.
First, it has a nice interface and is very easy to navigate, which is one of the qualities that a language app should have. Ling uses smart flashcards with a built-in spaced-repetition system for language activities. Users dig the apps that are easy to use and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. It also allows self-directed learning wherein you can choose the topic you want to learn. Well, that's how learning should start - you must be interested in what you are learning.
Next, it has in-depth listening and writing activities. Developing these language skills is very important for a complicated and tonal language like Cantonese. Ling App has fun and interactive listening and writing exercises that make you feel like you're just playing a game. It caters to all the essential language skills: reading and listening, writing, speaking, and grammar.
Third, Ling App has a high-quality of lessons. Some apps will make you learn random words and phrases which you can't use in a certain situation. With Ling App, the vocabularies you will learn are essential words and phrases that are practical that can be used in different situations and social contexts. If you want to learn more about Cantonese and the culture of Hong Kong, you may check out the Cantonese blog posts.
Also, the flow of the lessons is pretty much like how we learn in school but in a more interactive way. You'll start by building vocabulary, then use it in meaningful sentences, learn how it's pronounced then, followed by short exercises and mini-quizzes to test what you have learned. The learning activities range from multiple-choice, sorting sentences, and dialogues. As a language teacher myself, this is an A!
Simply Learn Cantonese is another language app developed by Simya Solutions that can be used to learn Cantonese. It is also one of the language apps recommended by many users in learning Cantonese because it is pretty affordable and effective. Though the free app may be distracted by ads, you can disable them by subscribing to a paid plan.
In Simply Learn Cantonese, you'll learn Cantonese using a travel phrasebook with 10,000+ essential and relevant vocabulary. Every word and phrase has high-quality audio recorded by real native speakers. You can also make learning more challenging and varied by using their pre-made cards to answer their tests and quizzes. It also has a built-in spaced repetition system to help transfer what you have learned from short-term to long-term memory, so if you love to travel and want to learn some essential phrases.
The next app that is part of the best apps for learning Cantonese is Pimsleur. The greatest goal of every language learner is to use what they have learned in conversations. So, if you want an app that will develop your conversational and speaking skills, this app is one to consider. Pimsleur Cantonese is an audio course made up of bite-sized 30-minute lessons.
So, how do Pimsleur works? Cantonese phrases are taught word by word and syllable by syllable in each class. Then, just like in a genuine discussion, you'll be expected to respond and ask questions on the spot.
From this, you'll learn how to speak Cantonese as soon as you start because you have been immersed in the Cantonese language since day one. Since it's an audio course, do not expect it to develop your other language skills like reading or writing deeply. You might learn grammar along the way but not too in-depth. If you want to learn more about Pimsleur, you can check the Pimsleur review or use the app itself.
Drops is an app known for its superb visuals and gamified approach to learning Cantonese. It has an excellent animation that encourages users to learn. But, aside from having amazing visuals and animations, it stands out because it focuses on teaching learners new words and phrases. It helps learners remember new words, review vocabulary over time, and transfer it to their long-term memory. Since this is more of a vocabulary-building app, you can't expect it to teach Cantonese grammar.
There's also a blog review about Drops that you can read to know more.
For a more straightforward approach to learning and developing your Cantonese speaking and listening skills, Glossika is an app that you should try. In Glossika, there are no actual lessons to learn because it focuses on repeating words, phrases, and sentences pronounced by a native speaker. You need to listen to and mimick the sound aloud, and upon doing this over and over again, you'll learn the vocabulary, grammar, and speaking rhythms.
CantoneseClass101 is one of the language apps with the most updated Cantonese lessons. Each week, there's a new and fresh lesson to learn which is timely and relevant to their culture.
With CantoneseClass101, you can learn Cantonese through a thousand lessons available in a podcast form. These lessons are designed like an actual conversation of two Cantonese speakers that typically occurs in real-life daily conversations. CantoneseClass101 will help you improve the Cantonese language skills that eventually help you reach fluency.
Aside from lessons, you can also access their dictionary where you can simply search for the word you are looking for, but the vocabulary you can find in the dictionary are those who have been part of the lessons. You can also watch a video on their Youtube channel if you are more of a visual learner.
Study tools and technology can aid learning, but they can never replace teachers in the teaching and learning process. With Italki, you can find a teacher or tutor that will help you learn a new language like Cantonese. If you're a teacher, this is also an app that can help you teach Cantonese. Basically, Italki is a marketplace for finding a teacher or tutor that suits your need and learning style.
You should know that there are two types of teachers that you can find in Italki, Professional Teachers, those who have degrees and teaching certificates, and Community Tutors, those who are native speakers or near-native speakers. The rates of the teacher vary based on different factors like the type of teacher and the proficiency level of the tutor in Cantonese.
What's nice about Italki is that it offers three free 30-minute trial lessons with teachers. You can also check the reviews from their students or watch a short introduction video that they provide to learn more about them. Once you find a Cantonese teacher or tutor, you can already book a lesson and pay according to their rates. The lessons are usually 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. You can be flexible as you want just to communicate with the teacher.
Aside from being one of the largest marketplaces in finding a language teacher, Italki also has a huge community where you can post and interact using the language you are learning and let the native speakers comment, discuss, or correct it. It is a good way to practice your knowledge in Cantonese.
If you need more than this description, you can read the Italki review.
Cantonese uses a complicated writing system because it uses traditional characters, unlike Mandarin, simplified characters. So, to develop your writing skills, such as stroke order, Skritter is one of the best apps to use. You can also develop writing style corrections to character decompositions and tone practice which are significant in learning Chinese.
If you're a total beginner in learning Cantonese, the Mango Languages is an app to consider. This app will guide you to a series of chapters of guided courses that build your communication skills from zero in a logical way. Each chapter has conversational goals and grammar goals which are important factors in learning a new language like Cantonese. It also uses your prior knowledge to help you review and learn new material simultaneously. If you need more information, you can read the Mango Languages review.
If you want a child to learn Cantonese, start at the earliest stage possible. During their formation years, a child's brain is more open to acquiring new languages. Gus On The Go has engaging and interactive games and activities to learn vocabulary. It also helps children master Cantonese pronunciation by mimicking the sounds recorded by a native speaker. With this, children will be able to develop basic language skills slowly.
Clozemaster is a Cantonese app that is completely free. It has many sentences to practice that you can learn through multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions. This is not a beginner-friendly app because it uses traditional Chinese characters, so you might as well learn about it at first using different apps or resources before using this app. But, for a free language app, this can go a long way.
Just like what a Chinese proverb says, "To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world." Learning Cantonese is a tough decision to make because of the technicalities behind it, but once you do, it will slowly open you to a world you have never been before. To do that, you'll need to use different resources and tools.
There's no such thing as a perfect language app for everyone, but this list of best apps for learning Cantonese will help you discover the perfect app that fits your learning style. There's no harm in discovering things on your own because it's part of your language learning journey. All these hardships will lead you to your success.