Learning Cantonese, whether in a classroom setting or via an online course, can be challenging. Thankfully, there are a lot of different online resources that can help make your learning experience go just a little more smoothly.
One of these resources is podcasts.
Listening to language-learning podcasts is a great way to complement your efforts. They’re available for all kinds of skill levels and teach you all kinds of different things, depending on the podcast you choose.
Interested in learning more about Cantonese podcasts and how they might be able to help you learn Cantonese? Check out these eight best podcast options.
Podcasts for Beginners
If you have absolutely no knowledge of Cantonese whatsoever, this is where you’ll want to start. Learn basic vocabulary words and grammatical concepts and get your feet wet as you try to wrap your mind around this language that can sometimes prove to be quite challenging.
CantoneseClass101 offers a bunch of episodes across all learning levels, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced student. Beginners will like the very basic level at which the podcasts start, and the ease with which one can work their way through the material. There are also lessons available for those at an intermediate or advanced level.
Learn basic vocabulary and grammar, as well as listening comprehension. You’ll even learn a bit about the culture of those who speak Cantonese and how the language relates to cultural norms and history.
If you’re not needing an extensive Cantonese vocabulary, and just a few words to get you through a business or leisure trip, you’ll be able to find podcast episodes that are made with you in mind, too.
The majority of the content on CantoneseClass101 requires a subscription, but they aren’t particularly expensive. To learn more about the CantoneseClass101, read our full review.
While this podcast does not update daily, as you might assume, it does offer quite a few episodes, more than 150. While the earlier episodes will allow you to learn more basic and beginner vocabulary words and concepts, the later episodes get into more specific vocabulary that you might need in very specific situations, such as vocabulary you might need while at a Chinese funeral or when giving or receiving a gift.
Another beginner podcast, Popup Cantonese is no longer being updated, but it does offer a good selection of beginner and intermediate episode lessons, all on different topics and about eight minutes in length each. Premium subscribers can access a few additional tools, like transcripts and dialogue-only recordings from their site.
If you’re just wanting to learn some helpful vocabulary words for an upcoming trip, this podcast might be extremely useful to you. It just covers the very basic words you might need in a travel, hotel or restaurant setting, showing you how to do anything from order a glass of wine to request a taxi ride.
As you get into more intermediate-level Cantonese language-learning podcasts, you’ll find podcasts that go in-depth on certain subjects or concepts, as well as those that begin to push your language learning to more challenging areas.
Although this isn’t exactly a podcast, Cantonese Conversations is a fantastic resource for those looking for interesting materials to practice with. It includes 29 natural conversations with speakers from Hong Kong, along with transcripts, word lists, an Anki deck, and more. It’s probably most useful for intermediate level students, but advanced and beginner level learners could find value in it as well.
While the podcast’s name might lead you to think the episodes are really only suitable for those going into a medical field, don’t be fooled. The podcast actually focuses on quite a few different topics that are helpful for anyone learning Cantonese, with a focus on vocabulary that you just won’t learn in a traditional classroom setting, or even with most of the beginner podcasts.
Most episodes are around an hour in length, and the podcasts are produced in a mix of English, Cantonese and Mandarin. Topics include things like STDs, insurance, gluten, depression and more.
Learn more advanced vocabulary words for a variety of settings, with Cantonese Pod. There are several dozen episodes to listen to, even though this podcast is no longer updated. Learn vocabulary related to the news, popular fiction stories and more.
Ready to move on to advanced Cantonese language-learning podcasts? At this stage, many students find it helpful to start listening to podcasts that are entirely spoken in Cantonese, in order to train themselves to comprehend the spoken language.
The SBS Cantonese podcast produced by the Special Broadcasting Service gives you worldwide news and political insight that you might already be familiar with, just in the Cantonese language. This is a nice way to move over to podcasts that are spoken fully in Cantonese, as you already likely know the subject matter, so the content isn’t completely foreign to you, but you’ll have to work at understanding the content in a new language.
Do you know of a good Cantonese language-learning podcast that we didn’t include above? Tell us about it!