Learning Cantonese? With our first set of Critical Phrases lessons complete and our Critical Adjectives set nearing completion, we want to take a break from our regular programming today and give you a quick way to test your progress and reinforce the Cantonese you've already learned. So if you've just started to learn Cantonese take this fifteen question quiz designed to test your retention of what we've already covered. We think you'll be pleased with how far you've already come.

If you have trouble with any of this material, consider reviewing our previous lessons before moving on. And if you don't, definitely pat yourself on the back for how far you've come! Although the words and sentences tested today are relatively basic, and we're not totally done our introductory material yet, you'll soon be at the level where you can start working through real-life dialogues spoken at native speed.
 said on
January 18, 2011
Hi Nicole,

Questions 9, 10 and 11 are mixed up on the transcripts.

Thanks for the podcast!

美宝.
 said on
January 18, 2011
Hi Nicole,

Great test.

Has the pattern used in question #6 ever been mentioned in any of the lessons?

If yes, where did I miss it?

多謝

-Philipp
 said on
January 18, 2011
I understand that this program decided to stick with 6 tones, however other sources that I'm using insist there are rather 7 tones, defined as high level, high falling, mid level, mid rising, and low falling, low rising, low level. Here there is a tone defined as high rising, and no tones described as falling. Is this supposed to be a difference in Hong Kong and Canton varieties? Do tones vary much in the Cantonese landscape? Any explanation would be appreciated.
 said on
January 18, 2011
@woaibento

Hi 美宝,

Thanks for pointing that out. It's fixed now.

@Benrose

Hi Philipp,

Actually question #6 has not been mentioned before. It's a tricky one.

It uses the word order of a statement and the intonation of a question, that is, a rising question tone at the end. We'll be covering it more in depth later. It's there for people who are doing really well, so that they learn something from the test.

@tony11235

In modern Cantonese the high falling tone is merged into high level, and low falling is often pronounced as low flat. I wouldn't say it's a noticeable difference in Hong Kong and Canton varieties nowadays. The loss of falling tones is common in Guangzhou just like it is in Hong Kong, especially among the young. But historically speaking the phenomenon happened earlier in Hong Kong.

Yeah, not only tones vary in the Cantonese speaking world, but also vowels and consonants, sometimes to an extent that it sounds like another language. Within Hong Kong and Macau there is not many accents or varieties though. And the Hong Kong and Guangzhou/Canton Cantonese are almost the same. They're the RP of the Cantonese language.

Hope it helps. Please let us know if you have further questions.
 said on
January 18, 2011
Hi Nicole,

You speak very good English and with some Western accent. I'm curious as to how or where you learned English :-)

Malcan
 said on
January 18, 2011
@Malcan08

Thank you, Malcan. Compliment accepted:)

I learned English in school to start with, and later, after accumulating a certain amount of basic vocab, I trained myself by watching movies and shadowing the speech in the movie -- perhaps 2 secs behind the speaker. It requires a split of attention: to listen and speak at the same time. But I find it extremely helpful.

I don't know if I made myself understood. If not, please let me know. Btw are you an ESL teacher?
 said on
January 19, 2011
@nicole,

Wow, being able to speak such good English and with a Western accent by just shadowing is indeed a remarkable achievement. I know some Chinese friends who have lived here in Canada for many years and yet their English are still heavily accented with HK Cantonese. I've been learning 汉语 for two years now at Cpod, and have read discussions there on shadowing but have not tried it ... maybe now I should.

p.s. not a teacher, graduated in Business and have been to China and HK.
 said on
January 19, 2011
@Malcan08

Thank you. 过奖了(too much credit). Shadowing is not the only method I used but defintely the most helpful one to me. I highly recommend it. Immersion is of no doubt very important, too -- I need to work on that myself.

I think pronunciation is a habit and is hard to change once formed. That probably explains your friends' situation.

Brendan speaks perfect 汉语. I'll ask him for tips on learning a second language and let you know! 加油