Cantonese

by Josh Chan
(CA)

Well I am from Hong Kong and therefore I speak fluent Cantonese. I think one of the reasons why Cantonese is the hardest language to learn for foreigners is because we have a complicated sound system, 9-sounds, which means that it is possible for one word to have nine sounds with nine different meanings! Cantonese is also harder because there's nothing which is written in Cantonese, as it is "informal" to write in Cantonese, all the Hong Kong people write with Mandarin grammar and words instead, there's almost no way you could improve your Cantonese through reading. Cantonese is my first choice, also because it has so many words which cannot be written as there's no word for that sound sometimes. Although the basic grammar system is easy, but the endings words for every sentence make it hard to learn, which is the exclamation words. It is similar to the word "嗎"(Ma) in Mandarin, which acts as a question mark when added behind a sentence. In Cantonese there's a big system of the ending exclamations which makes the sentence more precise. For example "喎"(Wor) is added at the end of the sentence when you are repeating to person A what person B have told you. When A says "Tell B that I need something to eat"; you will say to B "A says that he need something to eat <> " In Cantonese. There's more like "To show uncertainty to someones statements"; "To tell someone that they might did something wrong"; "To show power, or emotion"; "To show satisfaction to someone's act"; "To show sarcasm" ...etc. Although I listed some out, but still it seems hard to explain when talking about some other exclamation-endings to someone else. To conclude, Cantonese is hard because it is not written, it is totally different than other languages; it has a different word system comparing to other languages including Mandarin; it is hard to pronounce; and it has a weird exclamation-ending grammar system.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Language Review.

[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • XML RSS
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
Donate Bitcoins