[Course Forum] Pronounce Hong Kong Cantonese (HK Useful 廣東話)

Here it is: HK 廣東話: IPA, Jyutping Pronunciation

Until I resolve the direction I want to take my “Hong Kong Useful Cantonese” course, I decided to produce something I would find useful on its own merits.

Being in Hong Kong, I’ve learned that phonemic accuracy is more important in being understand than tone.

Here’s my process:

  • Cantonese includes sounds that do not appear in English. I think more phonemic awareness is needed to be a successful listener and speaker.
  • I related sounds to the same sounds in English, wherever possible.
  • A few early words are included, as the best way to practice unfamiliar sounds is in word production.
  • Some instances of ‘minimal pairs’, though that was not a primary focus.
  • A couple of levels called “Tonal Awareness”. Again, not a primary focus.

Big picture:

  • I plan to consider this a primer for other courses, which will be more phrase based (less attention on individual characters).
  • Would like to also experiment with different types of exercises (information gap, appropriate question response, that kind of thing).
  • Native speakers with a suitable recording environment could offer a big improvement to the audio I generated (and recorded myself). I’ll see what I can come up with there.
  • Will update the jyutping with LUHK diacritics when I have time (afterthought).

I hope you give it a try!

1 Like

I had a bit of an epiphany today.

Well, not quite that dramatic. Whatever is a rung or two down from “epiphany”.

Riding on the minibus tonight, I was reading characters on the ceiling. I’m looking at “平”, and I realized that I’m mentally thinking about the Jyutping before I actually process the sound.

I’m thinking of the letters, the tone number. It’s a little too… unnatural. And exhausting.

What I would prefer to happen is I look at a character and immediately associate it with the sound, an image – not the Jyutping.

According to Francis Gouin, language is a matter of changing perceptions to conceptions. So I’m going to apply that philosophy moving forward.

With that said: I have removed Jyutping from this course.

This also means there are no longer fields for memorizing individual letters and sounds which, in retrospect, was kind of stupid anyways.

I’m an obsessive tinkerer, so I don’t know where we’re going from here. But my next priority is making a Cangjie course for Traditional Chinese.

Thanks for following along. You can try the new-look Hongkongese course here.