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Level Up Your Cantonese with Cantonese Podcasts


Do you know the average amount of time people in Hong Kong spend commuting on public transport each weekday? 73 minutes! Not to mention how crowded public transport is here during peak hours—you can barely use your phone. Imagine all those hours wasted on the commute if you didn’t engage in anything productive or fun!


What if I told you that you could actually use those hours to efficiently practice your Cantonese with hardly any effort? 

By listening to Cantonese podcasts, you can expand your knowledge of the language without going through the tedious grind of flashcards and grammar exercises. This is not a life hack. In fact, it’s the same thing that happens whenever you watch movies or series in your target language! If you find something interesting enough, you’ll start tuning in on a regular basis and eventually become absorbed in it—and having fun through natural exposure like this is the best way to learn anything. 

In this article, we’ll talk about how you can learn Cantonese by regularly listening to podcasts. We’ll also introduce you to the best Cantonese podcasts for learning new words, picking up idioms, solidifying your knowledge of grammar structures, and more. 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese Table of Contents
  1. Why learn Cantonese from podcasts?
  2. Recommended Cantonese Podcasts for Beginners
  3. Recommended Cantonese Podcasts for Intermediate Students
  4. Recommended Cantonese Podcasts for Advanced Students
  5. How to Make the Most out of Cantonese Podcasts
  6. How Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

1. Why learn Cantonese from podcasts?

A Woman Listening to a Podcast

The best way to learn Cantonese is to fully immerse yourself: travel to Hong Kong and forbid yourself from speaking any other language until it becomes second nature. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, right?

This is good advice, for sure, but what if it’s not an option? Maybe you need to reach a specific level before your trip to Hong Kong in order to pass an exam or land a job. In any case, when full immersion is not on the table, it leaves you with a few other options. 

Taking classes, learning grammar from textbooks, and going through the usual tedium of vocabulary lists and “fill in the blank” exercises have proven to be reasonable approaches. But in this day and age, why not take advantage of everything the internet has to offer? Streaming, YouTube videos, vlogs, online radio, and, of course, podcasts.

1 – The Benefits of Passive Learning

Practice makes perfect, and the more exposure you get, the better. 

On top of whatever method or academic program you’re following, the simple habit of listening to Cantonese every day in your car, on the bus, or while doing the dishes will foster a slew of benefits: 

  • Improving your listening skills
  • Reinforcing your pronunciation, especially early on
  • Consolidating your grammar as you hear the structures in context
  • Enriching your vocabulary on the topics of your choice
  • Learning something new (in addition to Cantonese), depending on your podcast of choice

2 – Different Levels, Different Perks

As a beginner, listening to Cantonese podcasts early on will give you a good sense of how the language sounds and allow you to tackle the pronunciation as early as possible. Fixing pronunciation mistakes further down the line would be significantly more difficult.

Intermediate learners always experience the effect of diminishing returns. Simply put, it takes more work to achieve the same level of progress than it did when you had just started. Through consistent exposure, you’ll expand your grammar knowledge, learn new vocabulary, and get more comfortable with Cantonese—all without putting too much pressure on yourself.

Advanced students may benefit the most from podcasts, especially when they’re getting fluent enough to choose from the massive amount of content for native speakers. Suddenly, you’ll be able to listen to hundreds of podcasts on any topic imaginable and keep making progress along the way.

2. Recommended Cantonese Podcasts for Beginners

The Blocks ABC Resting on the Edges of Books to Resemble Steps

As easy as ABC!

1 – Cantonese for Travel and Beginners – Real Life Language

This podcast covers the basic vocabulary words and phrases you might need when traveling. The series covers everything from talking about drinks to letting someone know your luggage is lost. If you’re just thinking about putting some Cantonese words in your pocket for a trip to Hong Kong or another Cantonese-speaking region, this podcast may be extremely helpful!

2 – CantoneseClass101*

CantoneseClass101 offers a range of podcasts covering all learning levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Beginners will start with podcasts that are very basic, and they can work their way up through the materials at their own pace. Even if you’re just looking to acquire a little vocabulary for a business or leisure trip, you’ll find suitable podcast episodes here!

*While this site is helpful for beginners, there are lessons tailored for intermediate and advanced students as well.

3. Recommended Cantonese Podcasts for Intermediate Students

Several English Words Typed on Small Pieces of Paper

From ABC to words, and beyond…

1 – RTHK: Naked Cantonese

This is a very fun Cantonese podcast hosted by Cecilia Gamst Berg (a Norwegian Cantonese teacher) and Sarah Passmore (a producer for RTHK). There are more than 200 lessons covering everything from beer to rugby. It’s a pity that the program ended in 2011, but the content is still valid and enjoyable!

2 – Learn Cantonese Daily

Learn Cantonese Daily is a weekly podcast that helps you build your Cantonese vocabulary. It covers a wide range of topics, from art-related expressions in Cantonese to the difference between 返 (faan1), 翻 (faan1), and 番 (faan1). The content is more well-suited to intermediate learners who already know a bit of Cantonese and want to polish their language skills further.

4. Recommended Cantonese Podcasts for Advanced Students


1 – SBS Cantonese – SBS廣東話節目

The SBS Cantonese podcast is produced by the Special Broadcasting Service, and it covers worldwide news and political insight in Cantonese. As worldwide news is easily accessible in almost all languages, this is a nice way to learn Cantonese since you can also listen to the news in your native tongue to compare. 

2 – RTHK: Podcast One

Would you like to find Cantonese podcasts produced by native Cantonese speakers that center around your interests? RTHK: Podcast One is the place to go! It features a wide range of podcasts in Cantonese, covering topics ranging from culture and drama to finance and the latest Hong Kong local news. These podcasts are all prepared by RTHK, the public broadcasting service in Hong Kong. 

5. How to Make the Most out of Cantonese Podcasts

Study Hard

1 – Pick a podcast for your level.

What might sound really obvious can also be challenging when you’re somewhere between levels. I would recommend starting with something on the easier side so you don’t get discouraged. Then, if you feel like you’re ready for more, you can always move on to some more challenging content later.

2 – Select the right topic for you.

The best podcasts for learning Cantonese are those that will fascinate and engage you! Especially if you’re at an advanced level and have the luxury of choice, I strongly believe you should choose your listening material based on the topic over any other consideration. While it may take some trial and error to figure it out, listening to something you’re passionate about will keep you invested and coming back for more.

3 – Listen to several podcasts and place value on diversity.

You don’t have to find the perfect program from Day One; in fact, keeping your options open is often the smart choice. This is also a good way to expose yourself to more than one voice and accent.

4 – Practice makes perfect.

On beginner podcasts, you’ll often find some listen & repeat exercises—and I’d encourage you to take them seriously. Especially if you’re at home or in the comfort of your car, you can go wild and repeat as much as you want. This is the best possible way to practice your pronunciation.

5 – Daily exposure is key.

If you can find the time for a daily podcast session by setting up a routine, this consistency will take you a long way. Commuting time is a popular option, but any downtime can be transformed into progress, as long as your ears and brain are fully available (don’t multitask too much!).

6 – Don’t forget to mix it up.

Although it might be possible to learn solely through passive learning, you’ll achieve the best results by mixing things up. I’d recommend using podcasts as a complementary activity, accompanied by some classic grammar and vocabulary work.

6. How Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

We know that learning a new language can be tiresome or even lonely, but with the right tools, you can master the Cantonese language without all the struggling. 

With, you can have you+r daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through mobile apps, desktop software, and our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

Until now, we’ve delivered more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, an abundance of vocabulary learning tools, spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community for discussing the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

Keep in mind that if you prefer a 1-on-1 learning approach and want to further accelerate your Cantonese learning, you can take advantage of our MyTeacher program.

Know that your hard work will pay off, and before you know it, you’ll be speaking Cantonese like a native.

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