Cantonese tutor

Hi there,

After mentioning to my new HK workmates that I intend to start learning Cantonese, and being greated with numerous "Yeah, right" responses, I feel duty bound to in fact learn enough of the language to get around town and the office, and spite aforementioned workmates in the process.

I travel a lot for work and am at the office for odd hours, so want to track down a cantonese tutor with teaching experience as structured classes would be difficult for me to attend.

Does anyone have experience with or knowledge of such tutors? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

I joined a few friends to

I joined a few friends to hire a putonghua tutor some years ago. It's definitely worth trying several - most will let you buy a single lesson before signing up for anything longer. We tried four over several weeks, and were able to make a much better choice from being able to compare them.

Oh, and give the tutors as much background as possible before you first meet. eg what's your current exposure to Chinese language? What you do and don't want to get out of the lessons (eg writing? conversation? business language? formal? slang? etc). That will give them the best chance to prepare, and also see if you are a suitable student for them. As with any new business relationship, it's best to have everyone with realistic expectations upfront, to avoid trouble later.

We've had our own fair share of struggles with Cantonese but it's well worth it in the end.

Cheers, MrB


depending on where you live, the YWCA has a course which I've heard is pretty good. You may want to find out who the tutor is and see if she/ he can be contracted privately.

I've also been pretty happy with my putonghua lessons at executive mandarin. I think they also do cantonese classes.

On a whole I think people's experience with studying putonghau has been better than cantonese. perhaps because the market is much better developed and experienced! Fewer people seem to have the inclination to study cantonese.

I once tried the HKU space program but was not overly impressed by it. The British council used to give excellent classes about 7 years ago, but stopped to concentrate on english only. Perhaps someone there knows who they used for that.

In learning putonghua i've found some excellent podcasts with lessons which I use when travelling/ out and about, there may be the equivalent for cantonese.

Finally a friend of mine has been using the books/CD from the "interesting cantonese " book by Susanne Ng. which they've been happy with.

Good luck

Self-learning courses Have

Self-learning courses

Have you tried any self-learning courses? Pimsleur has an audio CD set if you are interested in learning speaking Cantonese only.

Cantonese tutor

Many thanks for all the above advice! I ended up getting a private tutor, Amy Leung ( who has also written a text book in its 3rd edition. I've found her to be excellent.