Learning Cantonese does not have to be expensive. Here are a comprehensive list of free online learning resources for Cantonese, predominantly for beginners and intermediate learners. Regardless of your learning style, you should be able to find something that suits your needs. Videos, podcast, grammar lessons, language tips and more to start you on your Cantonese learning journey. Some of these websites have additional paid portions for additional resources.
This website is a great resource, and you can sign up for a free lifetime account. They have great articles under their resource category to explain the Cantonese language basics, grammar and so on. Their podcasts and dialogues are in Colloquial Cantonese and come with transcripts that can be downloadable as a PDF. They have short video clips in Colloquial Cantonese though I was quite disappointed to see that the subtitles and transcript were in Standard Chinese. I would also give their vocabulary list a miss if you are a beginner, as they seem to combine both Colloquial Cantonese and Standard Chinese in their list. If you follow their Facebook page, they share vocabulary and dialogue info-graphics in Colloquial Cantonese that are not on their website. They have three paid subscription levels, but I have not accessed them, and hence cannot review them. Cantonese 101 is part of Innovative Language, which has various other languages on offer.
Providing extensive and systematic grammar coverage of Colloquial Cantonese, with lots of examples of usage, and audio clips. For more details, please read our review.
Update: There has been changes to the website, and it is not as easy to find the grammar lessons from the home page. Click here to go to Grammar lessons instead, and also use the search function.
You can download a free 127-page ‘The Complete Guide To Learn Cantonese” PDF, perfect for beginners to get a grasp of what it takes to learn Cantonese. There are also
- Grammar lessons (video, vocabulary and transcripts),
- Particles cheatsheet featuring 41 particles (recommended)
- Jyutping chart where you can play more than 1500 + recordings
Baggio, the founder, is a Hong Konger who is based in Canada. He also offers additional Cantonese tips via e-newsletters.
Luke Truman, a Westerner who has learnt Cantonese in a 2 years, shares his resources for learning languages, including Cantonese. The website is a little confusing, so you would have to spend some time to navigate it but it is worth the time as he offers insights to learning from a Western perspective. The article How I learned Cantonese in 2 years is very insightful. He also has a guest post on Fluent in 3 months that I would recommend reading.
This is a community and learning resource for language learners all around the world. Founder Benny speaks 7 languages (though I don’t think Cantonese is one of them). However, there is a page detailing Cantonese resources, including paid courses and some guests posts from people who actually are learning and speaking Cantonese. Read the very encouraging article Why Cantonese isn’t as difficult as you think. Also, lots of language learning hacks make this page worth visiting.
Olly Richards, the founder of I will teach you a language, speaks 8 languages, and offers lots of language tips (not specific to Cantonese), but you can filter the articles by language. He shares a good article How to learn Cantonese in 1 year! He also offers many different paid language courses including Cantonese conversations (Intermediate) . He also has e-newsletter tips for each language, but you have to pick one language at a time.
Includes four Cantonese courses, 33 eBooks and 161 audios completely free. Read our review to decide if this suits you as well as learn the fastest way to download the files. (You wouldn’t want to download them one by one if possible!)
There are 15 units with basic phrases based on various themes, and simple grammar lessons for you to understand basic grammar structures.
If you would prefer to have a short succinct summary on how to learn Cantonese, wikihow has you covered, with their How to Learn Cantonese article, accessible without giving your email address.
This Cantonese school for kids has generously shared their curriculum online.Includes videos, printables, worksheets. Mixture of Colloquial Cantonese (in videos) and Formal Cantonese in videos and print. Good to learn with your kid. For more details, please read our review.
Please note some of these resources would ask to add you onto their mailing list in exchange for information. If you sign up on a few sites, you might get an influx of emails which might be a tad overwhelming. If so, here’s a tip- set up a filter for these emails and have them sent to a folder Learning Cantonese, but don’t forget to check regularly. Of course, you might prefer to have the emails in your inbox, so that you will be reminded frequently to study Cantonese. It all depends on your learning style.
For More Online Cantonese Resources:
- Online Cantonese Dictionaries
- Vocabulary lists of Colloquial Cantonese
- Online Cantonese Tools
- Cantonese Dictionary and Translator Mobile Apps
- Free Online Cantonese Literature
Anything I Missed?
Have I missed any good resources? Or maybe you have a question about something. If so, please feel free to drop a comment on this post. I will continue to update this post with more resources.