Duolingo Cantonese

  • November 25, 2020

Duolingo is a good language course. It’s an effective way to learn a language, and it’s more comprehensive than some other popular apps. Duolingo also uses a freemium model which makes it an ideal app to get your feet wet in a foreign language. 

Unfortunately there is no Duolingo course for learning Cantonese.

Since 2012 people have been petitioning the company for a Cantonese course, but Duolingo has yet to announce any plan or intention to create one. 

Of course Cantonese isn’t as popular as it’s geographic and linguistic neighbor Mandarin, but with over 70 million worldwide Cantonese speakers, you’d think a course would at least make the list of languages for the Duolingo incubator (the place where Duolingo volunteers create their language courses). There are courses for many less popular foreign languages such as Welsh and Irish on the app. There’s even a course for Klingon and High Valyrian.  Somehow though, Cantonese just didn’t make the cut. 

While Duolingo might have a course for the Cantonese language, there are some good alternatives 

Alternatives for Duolingo Cantonese


CantoneseClass101 is a language learning app and site that teaches Cantonese with audio lessons in the style of podcasts. Unlike Duolingo, CantoneseClass101 uses real conversations between native speakers. Each lesson covers a single conversation, and breaks down new vocabulary and grammar in a way that’s memorable and engaging. This is a great way to improve your listening, pronunciation, and vocabulary skills in Cantonese. 

Cantoneseclass101 also features a ton of useful resources you won’t find in a Duolingo course, such as lessons on writing in Cantonese, a Cantonese-English dictionary, pronunciation training, essential phrase lists and more. 

Pimsleur Cantonese

Duolingo specializes in teaching reading and writing in a foreign language. Pimsleur is for those who want to practice speaking it. 

Pimsleur Cantonese uses a trademark listen-recall-response method, that trains your brain to think and speak in Cantonese. The course is entirely audio based. Each lesson is 30 minutes long, and teaches you a series of phrases and questions. During each lesson you are asked questions in Cantonese and are required to answer in a limited amount of time, before the course provides you with an answer. This simulates real life conversation and is a great way to learn the basics of conversational Cantonese. 


Italki is an online portal where you can find language teachers from around the world. Italki teachers offer individual lessons through video chat (using Skype, or Italki’s video platform). Each teacher has his or her own way of teaching and will supply you with learning materials such as course book pdfs, videos, documents, and more. Currently there are over 100 Cantonese teachers offering lessons on Italki. Honestly, practicing with a native Cantonese speaker is one of the best ways to learn Cantonese. If you’re serious about learning the language, I recommend trying out Italki. 

Similar to Duolingo, Italki also has a free forum where users can ask each other questions and give language learning advice. There’s also a blog written by the teachers, and a notebook where you can publish entries in Cantonese and have them corrected by native speakers. 

With purchase of $20 or more. After your first lesson Italki will give you 10 Free Italki credits*

Final thoughts

Just because there’s no Duolingo Cantonese course, doesn’t mean you can’t start learning the language today. There are some great alternatives available. These alternatives look a lot different then your typical Duolingo course, but that doesn’t mean they are just as effective if not more. 

Try out a Cantonese course today, and see which one is right for you! 

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