Beginning Cantonese

by: Prof. Dana Scott Bourgerie

Beginning Cantonese Cover
Learn to speak and understand Cantonese through dialogs that teach you basic language skills for communicating with Cantonese speakers in a variety of cultural contexts. Beginning Cantonese Lesson Image Watch video and learn about greetings, shopping, food, dining out, weather, education, literature, holiday traditions, and more.  With our specially designed video player for language learning you can pause the video at any point and scroll the transcription. Read annotations about culture and grammar. Click on almost any word or sentence to hear it spoken, along with translations.   This course can be used either by independent learners or by students in a traditional or self-instructional classroom setting, and is the equivalent of the material covered in a one-year college course.   Transcriptions are primarily written using romanization, but you can also view them with Chinese characters.

Classroom-Tested and Peer-Reviewed

Beginning Cantonese Lesson Image Beginning Cantonese was developed and peer-reviewed by Cantonese language experts and tested by college students using it as their first year textbook.  The entire course contains 20 lessons, 29 videos with native speakers, poems, games, songs, hundreds of annotations, and 11,400 word and sentence audio recordings.

Just $9.99/month! (3 month minimum).

Beginning Cantonese was originally published as part of the highly reviewed University of Arizona Critical Languages Series (ISBN 1929986041).  We have added many new mobile-friendly features that help you learn Cantonese on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Multiple Choice, Fill in the blank, and Listening Dictation exercises are provided for each lesson. A searchable audio glossary with thousands of words and translations helps you find every occurrence of a word or part of a word in all of the lessons. A custom on-screen keyboard is provided for Cantonese romanization  

Sample Video: Cantonese Numbers 1-10

Try one of the sample lessons below with video, transcriptions, annotations, translations, and individual word and sentence audio recordings:

Table of Contents and Sample Lessons with Audio and Video

  1. Hái Jūnggwok Jūngsān Daaihhohkge Haauhyùhn Chāantēng (At the Zhongshan University Cafeteria in China)
  2. Gàatìhng Sìhngyùhn (Family Members)
  3. Jòu Fóng (Renting a Room)
  4. Hái Pàhngyáuh Ūkkéi Sihkfaahn (At a Friend’s House for Dinner)
  5. Hái Chāangún Sihkfaahn (Eating at a Restaurant)
  6. Tìnhei (Weather)
  7. Hái Syùdim (At the Bookstore)
  8. Hái Baahkfo Gūngsī (At the Department Store)
  9. Hái Choi Síhchèuhng (At the Food Market)
  10. Tóuleuhn Hohkjaahp Gaiwaahk (Discussing Study Plans)
  11. Gaaisiuh Pàhngyáuh (Introductions)
  12. Kàhmyaht tùhng lóuhsì ge mihntaam (Yesterday’s meeting with the Teacher)
  13. Yīfuhk (Clothing)
  14. Léuihhàahng (Traveling)
  15. Hái Ngàhnhòhng (At the Bank)
  16. Tái Yīsāng (Seeing the Doctor)
  17. Wán gùng (Finding Work)
  18. Hái Yàuhguhk (At the Post Office)
  19. KālāOK (Karaoke)
  20. Sunghàhng (The Airport)

About the Author

Prof. Dana Scott Bourgerie is Department Chair and Professor, Asian & Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. He earned his Ph.D. in East Asian Languages in 1991 from The Ohio State University. He has studied as a Fulbright scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and as a visiting scholar at the City University of Hong Kong. More information about him is here.
Beginning Cantonese materials © 1995-2024 Arizona Board Of Regents on behalf of the University Of Arizona. Used under license.