Should you learn Cantonese or Mandarin first?

It doesn’t really matter which you learn first. Just know that Mandarin is useful throughout the entire mainland, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore while Cantonese is useful in basically just Hong Kong. Sure there are parts of Guangdong that speak it, but it functions more as a local dialect.

Is it easier to learn Cantonese or Mandarin first?

Mandarin is easier to learn

Cantonese is seen to be more difficult because it has from 6 to 9 tones, each of which signify different things (while Mandarin only has 4 tones). In addition, because of its greater prevalence, it is easier to find Mandarin study materials than Cantonese study materials.

Is it better to learn Cantonese or Mandarin?

So it seems as though Mandarin is more practical than Cantonese. That’s not to say that learning Cantonese is a waste of time, and for some people, it may be the better choice, but for most people wanting to speak “Chinese”, Mandarin is the way to go.

Should I learn Cantonese after Mandarin?

Having some sort of background with Mandarin may be useful in learning Cantonese, it may make absolutely no difference.

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Should I learn to speak or write Mandarin first?

Short Answer: DON’T try to learn how to write yet. Learn to speak using Pinyin first. When you get to a point where you can converse in Chinese with some level of fluency than it might be beneficial to start to learning charcters. If you can’t communicate comfortably orally then learning characters will slow you down.

Which language is easiest to learn?

And The Easiest Language To Learn Is…

  1. Norwegian. This may come as a surprise, but we have ranked Norwegian as the easiest language to learn for English speakers. …
  2. Swedish. …
  3. Spanish. …
  4. Dutch. …
  5. Portuguese. …
  6. Indonesian. …
  7. Italian. …
  8. French.

Can mandarin speakers understand Cantonese?

However, the two languages are distinct when spoken. Mandarin speakers typically cannot understand Cantonese speakers, and vice versa.

What’s the hardest language?


As mentioned before, Mandarin is unanimously considered the toughest language to master in the world! Spoken by over a billion people in the world, the language can be extremely difficult for people whose native languages use the Latin writing system.

Is it worth learning Cantonese?

In essence, Cantonese is the second most spoken Chinese language. … Many would think that it is better to learn Mandarin Chinese because it is easier to study than Cantonese. However, it is still a very important language that is worth learning, especially for business.

Is Cantonese harder than Mandarin?

Cantonese is harder than Mandarin. Cantonese has a unique pronounication and has nine tones, it is relatively difficult enough for a foreigner compared to Mandarin, nevertheless, it requires lots of listening and practicing with a native Cantonese speaker to master the pronounication and the tones.

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Is Cantonese difficult to learn?


Cantonese can be difficult even for those fluent in other Chinese dialects because of its tonal system. … This gives a new hurtle to language learning, since a reader of Cantonese can’t sound out syllables in a text as we can with phonetic alphabets. They must know and recall the name of each character.

Can you learn both Mandarin and Cantonese?

The tones are crucial to conveying your meaning. If you decide it makes sense to learn both Mandarin and Cantonese, most people recommend learning Mandarin first before conquering another Chinese dialect. It’s interesting that both dialects use pretty much the same characters for writing though.

Do you read right to left in Chinese?

Nowadays, official Chinese publication is written horizontally from left to right. It is still from right to left in some memorial archways, plaques and even company names. Vertical reading from right to left still exists. A number of Chinese books in Hong Kong are still printed this way.

Is it worth learning Chinese characters?

Learning Chinese characters helps you understand the language better. Pinyin is just helping learners to know how to pronounce. Pinyin is not the standard writing system of Mandarin Chinese, it’s only used for showing people the accurate pronunciation of each Chinese character, just like the IPA in English.

Can Chinese read English?

Despite English being taught in the Chinese school system for many years, few Chinese could be considered fluent in English. There are hundreds of millions of people in China studying English, but less than 1% of Mainland Chinese are conversational, according to some estimates.

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