Cantonese is a traditional Chinese language spoken by 75 million speakers. Cantonese is a linguistic neighbor to Mandarin Chinese. You’d think with so many Cantonese speakers there would be more apps and resources available for people who want to learn Cantonese, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
There are plenty of apps and courses that teach Mandarin Chinese, and very few that teach Cantonese Chinese. Even though there are less options for learning Cantonese, there are still some great apps available.
In this post we’ll look at the best apps for learning Cantonese.
Cantoneseclass101 is an app that teaches Cantonese with lessons in the form of a podcast. Every lesson is built around an actual conversation between two Cantonese speakers. These conversations occur in daily situations, and teach practical phrases you can use in real life. Each podcast episode also explains the grammar behind each conversation, so you can understand what you’re saying.
Cantoneseclass101 also has lessons on how to read and write traditional Chinese characters. You’ll learn the correct order and number of strokes for each character. There’s also a dictionary, phrases lists, and listening exercise on the app as well.
Cantoneseclass101 is a great way to learn Cantonese and improve your speaking, listening, and writing skills. You can download Cantoneseclass101 for Android or in the Apple App Store.
Pimsleur Cantonese is an audio course with one goal: to get you thinking and speaking in Canonese. The course is made up of 30 minute lessons. In each lesson you are taught Cantonese phrases word by word and syllable by syllable. Then you are required to answer and ask questions spontaneously, much like you would in a real conversation.
There’s no other audio course I know of that teaches you to speak Cantonese as effectively as Pimsleur. Being an audio course you won’t learn how to read or write Cantonese. There’s also only one course level available for Pimsleur Cantonese, so if your level in the language is higher than a beginner, then you might not get as much out of the app.
If you want to try out the Pimsleur method and see it’s the right Cantonese app for you. You can get your first Pimsleur lesson for free, by clicking the link below.
Italki is the go to app for one on one language lessons with a real teacher or tutor. There are more than 100 Cantonese teachers on the site. Each teacher supplies their own learning materials for their students and offers lessons for 30 minutes, 1 hour, or for 1 ½ hours. The lessons with teachers are paid (the teachers set their own rates so prices vary). There are also some awesome free features on the app as well.
You can publish to a public journal to practice your written Cantonese, and have your text corrected by native speakers. You can also search for a language partner and find a Cantonese speaker who is looking to practice their English. There’s even a blog where teachers publish articles on the languages they teach.
With a purchase of $20 or more. After you complete your first lesson 10 free Italki credits will be added to you account.*
Drops Cantonese uses visual learning and a gamified approach to teach Cantonese. The idea behind the app is that for five minutes a day, you can learn important words and phrases by playing mini games. The app is designed to be a fun and even addictive way to learn a foreign language. The app focuses on vocabulary so you won’t find any grammar here.
Drop Cantonese tends to teach individual words more than it does phrases. You might not be conversational using Drops, but you will learn essential Cantonese words. Drops is available for both Android and iOS.
Simply Learn Cantonese
Simply Learn Cantonese is a free ad-driven app that teaches you how to speak Cantonese. The app is essentially a Cantonese audio phrasebook recorded by native speakers in Hong Kong. You can use flashcards, quizzes, and tests to practice what you learn. The audio is high quality and the flashcards use spaced repetition to help you review as efficiently as possible.