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Cantonese update?

SpokeLee   September 26th, 2010 12:05a.m.

Any news on cantonese pronunciations being added?

Bohan   September 26th, 2010 2:49a.m.

this would be pretty cool, I second the request

nick   September 26th, 2010 10:08a.m.

I still don't have a source for them, so no progress has been made.

ntozubod   September 26th, 2010 5:28p.m.

Aren't they in Unihan (at least for characters)?

I don't know if this is usable to you but there is lots of stuff in Unihan. I am currently trying to learn Cangjie codes and have a little Anki deck with these.

nick   September 28th, 2010 12:55p.m.

I mean, sound files we could use. None of a Cantonese version would be an exact conversion or very clean, so I'm hesitate to start complicating things to get it in there, especially when most people interested in it are even more spoken-oriented.

xingyang   November 30th, 2010 5:17a.m.

i understand if these things take time. but i strongly request this feature. if anything, at first it could just be jyutpin. don't worry about the audio for beta stages. that should be easy to implement.

connect with cantoneseclass101.com for collaborations.

jcdoss   November 30th, 2010 9:32a.m.

I've been curious for a while, how different is Cantonese from Mandarin?

jww1066   November 30th, 2010 9:53a.m.

Apparently they're mutually unintelligible, although they share (mostly) the same characters. I still don't understand how that's possible...


jcdoss   November 30th, 2010 10:41a.m.

The frustration I've encountered lately is that I'll start a Netflix movie that is supposedly in Mandarin (or sometimes just "Chinese") and it turns out to be in Cantonese. ARGH!

Cantonese has 9 (ack!) tones. I found this website during my preliminary investigations, which is pretty cool since the dictionary and some example sentences list both Mandarin pinyin and Cantonese pinyin together.


I've spent maybe an hour perusing and reading, so I don't know if the grammar's any different. That's where Japanese and Chinese are totally different, by the way. Even though Japanese and Chinese share many characters, Japanese grammar is extraordinarily difficult and very different from Chinese (based on my still infantile Mandarin capabilities I've picked up thus far).

Thanks for the links! The first one was especially helpful.

Byzanti   November 30th, 2010 10:54a.m.

Well, with regard to food, there seem to be at least some similarities (enough that you can make out what's wanted). Eg, wonton/huntun, or dimsum/dianxin. I don't know how far this extends beyond that though !

xingyang   December 1st, 2010 4:34a.m.

A lot of the nouns in Cantonese are very similar to Mandarin. Once you internalize the verbs, I think it will be easy to speak. Pronunciation will take a bit of practice though.

Also the tones aren't that bad. There's technically 6 tones, which perfectly match a musical scale (unlike mandarin). If you're musically inclined, Cantonese tones and phrases can be remembered as a bunch of melodies. (at least for me)

jww1066   December 1st, 2010 7:24a.m.

@xingyang have you seen this paper?


"This agrees with our experience with westerners’ speech, which always sounded funnily too melodious. Foreign learners very often follow too rigidly a static framework prescribed in textbooks or conceived
of by themselves in terms of musical scales when learning tone languages in general and Cantonese in particular."

xingyang   December 1st, 2010 7:27p.m.

Ha.. good read. Thanks for sharing. It's easy to act with hubris when judging your own abilities. So it's always good to do a humility check.

On that note, I would still argue that thinking in those terms can help westerners "get there" with tonal languages. Afterwards, it would be up to the learner to refine their pronunciation by mimicking native speakers instead of a piano.

: )

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