Hey guys, quick question for you Chineses, if I learn Cantonese first, will Mandarin be easier to learn after?
I ask as I want to learn Cantonese for traveling to Hong Kong as well as Cantonese films/
To a Certain extent. The written language uses the same traditional Chinese characters. But the tones and sounds for each character are drastically different.
For example, I grew up in Taiwan and speak mandarin fluently, I have no problem reading a Cantonese newspaper because the characters are what I'm used to and written down, the languages are very similar barring a few instances, but I can't understand a cantonese person when they're talking, or speak more than a few phrases of cantonese.
Learning to speak cantonese will not help you with speaking Mandarin whatsoever. And while it would help you with READING Mandarin, you don't really want to be learning traditional characters which are only used in Taiwanese publications.
If you want to learn Chinese just go and do the HSK like everyone else.
You will become used to differentiating tones in general, although Mandarin has different tones than Cantonese. That's about it. The languages have far fewer than even 1% of words in common. Hong Kong uses Traditional Character, while the mainland uses Simplified. I would recommend learning Simplified from the beginning, and at least the Guangdong province which speaks Cantonese still uses Simplified.
Honestly, I think you're making a big mistake learning Cantonese instead of Mandarin. No one outside of Hong Kong and Guangdong will even understand you--not AT ALL. Whereas most people in China will have at least SOME grasp of Mandarin, if not fluency.
Modern Hong Kong is basically a western city.
Seriously. Last time I visited and spent a few weeks there, it was basically a carbon copy of a large US city in terms of quality of life.
That's what subtitles are for. Tbh if you just want to learn cantonese for the love of it I say go for it. but it is not a sensible choice because cantonese is a dying language that is being gradually phased out, and your stated end goal is to learn Mandarin.
It's like Learning Dutch first to make it easier to learn English it doesn't make sense.
Anyway, I know what you mean, those Hong Kong gangster films are cool, but the 90's are over man, let it go. get with the times and learn chinese.
Have you ever been to Hong Kong?
I think the center of gravity of the movie industry is shifting to the mainland though. You can get by in Hong Kong with English, and learning a language ONLY to watch movies is probably not going to provide enough motivation to see it through unless it's your job or something. Also, Beijing is attempting to curb a degree of Cantonese language broadcasting in HK.
Are you trying to move to HK?
Btw, this books works. I swear to god. The method sounds retarded, but fuck me, I can easily learn 20 characters a day, no sweat, and remember how to read AND WRITE them 99% of the time.
Never really said mandarin was the end goal.
Though learning both would be nice to know if I ever travel to the region (which I really want to after I finally get the fuck out of uni).
Not really, don't have that kind of money, plus I love the US too much to leave permanently.
Yea, I read about the curbing of it which is why I'm questioning Cantonese; however I also read something like 30% or so of China still doesn't know mandarin.
Noted, thanks anon.
>also read something like 30% or so of China still doesn't know mandarin.
That's older people, and isolated rural farmers. Mandarin is the future of China, and now mainland media has supplanted all of the areas that HK used to dominate, which will only elevate it more. Learning any other dialect will be like learning Gaelic because you like Ireland.
Heh, yeah, but the number that do speak it is larger than the entire population of Europe. And 99.9% of people in like the 50 biggest cities speak it. Do you plan on visiting some isolated villages or conversing with the elderly?