Learning Goals & Course Structure

In this lesson

  • Our learning goals
  • Course structure

Our Learning Goals

Welcome to this Cantonese pronunciation course! 😃

We have three learning goals in this course. By the end of this course, we should be able to

  1. recognize and distinguish different Cantonese sounds
  2. produce Cantonese sounds accurately
  3. read and write Romanized Cantonese using Yale Romanization of Cantonese

This course is available in two editions which teach two commonly used Cantonese Romanization systems:

You are in the Yale edition right now. If you would like to learn Jyutping, click here to go to the Jyutping edition.

Read the following frequently asked questions to find out more about Romanization systems:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Romanized Cantonese?

It is a way to transcribe or write down Cantonese speech using Roman letters (so you don’t have to learn all those Chinese characters to write down Cantonese). The letters and numbers above the Chinese characters are Romanized Cantonese: gwóngdūng. There are different systems we can use to Romanize Cantonese. We call these systems Romanization systems.

2. Which Romanization system should I learn?

If you’re going to take our Cantonese courses after completing this course, we recommend learning Jyutping because we use Jyutping in our courses. If you’re going to take Cantonese courses elsewhere, you should first check which system they use.

3. 🤔 Hmm… Should I learn both the Jyutping and Yale systems?

It would be good to know both because some learning materials are only available in one of the systems. But our advice is to stick with one of them at the beginning. And when you’ve mastered the first one, you can learn an additional system or just use a convert table when needed.

Course Structure

This course is divided into five sections:

5Putting It All Together

In Section 1, we will cover some basics of Cantonese pronunciation. Then, from Sections 2 to 4, we will look at the three components of Cantonese syllables: tones, finals and initials. Don’t worry if these names look new to you. We’re going to introduce all of them very soon. In Section 5, we will do lots of practice together so that you will be familiar with the things you have learnt in this course.

Each section has small lessons which cover individual Cantonese sounds or a group of Cantonese sounds. At the end of each section, there will be a section summary and a section quiz.

In this course, we use a teaching approach that we call “why” and “how” approach. Instead of just presenting contents to you, we will also explain to you why you are learning the contents and how you can learn them. We believe that this can help you learn better.

In the remaining lessons of this section, we will first look at some tips for learning pronunciation and our learning approach. Then, we will learn some basic concepts related to Cantonese pronunciation. These lessons are designed to help you get ready for learning Cantonese sounds in the later sections.

Now let’s begin our learning journey. Add oil (check out the meaning of “add oil”) and see you in the next lesson!