studying cantonese language (hok gong dung wa)

next year, i plan to spend several months in hk studying advanced cantonese language. i speak cantonese daily and generally know common household conversation. what i am interested in studying is more advanced conversation, such as politics, business, science, television programs, and news reports. right now, i am thinking of studying for one semester at the new asia--yale-in china chinese language center at the chinese university of hong kong in sha tin. however, hk logically should have other language schools that would be worth considering. can anyone recommend or suggest other schools, language centers, or tutors to me? i would appreciate any feedback you can give, so i can make the best choice.
david (dalung)
san francisco, usa

learn (advanced) cantonese

my ABC friend said he's picking up a lot of advanced cantonese from his part-time law classes at HKU. you can just sit in without enrolling.

don't think there's any language program that's better the CUHK one.

Re: learn (advanced) cantonese

m goi saai, faypor! thanks for the helpful idea. since i am an attorney, i would relate to and enjoy law classes, even in cantonese. however, as a middle-aged white, i might stand out and not be readily accepted by the hku students. what do you think? is there any way you could put me in touch with your abc friend, so i could ask him about his experiences? by the way, is your name (faypor) a joke or are you really fei po?
david (sau lou)

learn (advanced) cantonese

you're welcome, david. don't worry about the age difference. since the classes are post-graduate part-time, there're quite a lot of middle-age auditing students. you can learn more about it at this website:

meanwhile, i'll forward your message to my friend.

p.s. most ppl call me fay por since to most hk ppl a slightly curvy returnee like me (born in hk but grew up in US) is just fat.

Cantonese tutition

Having studied and used Mandarin and Cantonese for the past 30 years at both universities in Australia and Taiwan and while working in Guangzhou, I suggest you google "Cantonese language schools in Shenzhen" and contact the results you get. You can only expand your vocabulary and grammar knowledge of a language by reading and writing that language (I mean Putonghua). There are quite a few private tutors of both Mandarin and Cantonese in Shenzhen (only half an hour from Hong Kong by train or bus) and their tuition rates are much cheaper than the exorbitant rates charged by institutes or private teachers in Hong Kong. Furthermore, you will be pleased by the reception you get from Shenzhen people when you speak their language instead of the sneers and derision you get from Hong Kong people. Think about Shenzhen (or even Guangzhou) . good luck!

studying advanced cantonese (hok gong dung wa)


thanks again for the auditing tip. i will check it out further. please ask your abc friend to email me at where did you grow up in the u.s., and how old were you when you arrived? i live in the san francisco bay area, which fortunately has chinese food comparable to hong kong's.

Old China Hand,

I studied Mandarin for four years in university and generally am familiar with reading and writing. What I am interested in is Cantonese conversation, not written Chinese.

When I visited Guangzhou in 2001, I expected to hear everyone speaking Cantonese and was looking forward to it. It thus surprised me to hear so many Mandarin speakers in buses, taxis, etc. Although I was able to speak a lot of Cantonese in Guangzhou, I can't say that the people's reaction was any better than in HK or Macau. As for SZ, I have the impression from blogs I have read that most people speak Mandarin there.

Given that I am not interested in Mandarin (Putunghua) and do not want to study written Chinese, do you still think that SZ and Guangzhou would be worth considering? Is my impression of the language situation in SZ and Guangzhou inaccurate? If so, I will look into Cantonese language schools there, as you suggested.