Learn Cantonese with L1 Mandarin

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Learn Cantonese with L1 Mandarin

Postby QiuJP » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:01 am

I have started learning Cantonese for my trip to Hong Kong. As I am a native speaker of Mandarin, I thought it was an easy task to learn Cantonese. But when I started with materials for Mandarin speakers, I realised that it is way more difficult get going:

1) Many characters are pronounced differently in both "dialects"
2) Tones are hard, as it takes time to get used to the similar tones that are actually not present in Mandarin, and to stop the tendency to put Mandarin tones to Cantonese words while speaking.

That means, the approach needs to be different from other same family group such as the Romance languages.

Does anyone have other ways, so that I can effectively learn Cantonese with my L1 Mandarin?
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Re: Learn Cantonese with L1 Mandarin

Postby smallwhite » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:19 pm

QiuJP wrote:I realised that it is way more difficult get going:

How long have you been learning Cantonese for?
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Re: Learn Cantonese with L1 Mandarin

Postby lukbe » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:30 pm

Actually, I think the experience doesn't need to be that different from learning an L2 romance language from a L1 romance language.
After getting to a pretty good level in Cantonese, getting somewhat decent in Mandarin happened pretty fast for me.

It's true that this is partly due to my experience learning Cantonese (as opposed to being a native speaker). Nevertheless, if you're familiar enough with a romanization system such as pinyin for Mandarin, you might take a look at Cantonese romanizations (I recommend jyutping), and this might make your life easier. Once you have this awareness of the sounds of both languages, it's relatively easy to make educated guesses when transferring the pronunciation of a character between languages.

Other than that, I guess that watching HK TV shows with Chinese subtitles and trying to pay attention could also be useful.
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