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Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning


Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

Do you desire to learn or advance in Cantonese quickly and effectively?

Then you need a Cantonese tutor.

A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of and myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
  • A voice recorder 
  • Spaced-repetition system (SRS) flashcards
  • Weekly homework assignments
  • A personal language instructor

As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

Gain Unlimited Access to Audio and Video Lessons!

Woman learning a language with Premium PLUS on a tablet

As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

There are lessons on various topics that tackle crucial language-learning elements, such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Conversation

Specifically, there are pathways. Pathways are collections of lessons that center on a specific topic. Some Innovative Language sites, like, even have pathways geared toward proficiency tests. For example, the JLPT N3 Master Course pathway.

Because of the abundance of lessons, I’ve found pathways in the lesson library to help me prepare for certain events. Thanks to the “Speaking Perfect Japanese at a Restaurant” pathway, I spoke fully in Japanese while dining in Japan. Additionally, I participated in conversations at language exchange meetups in South Korea after completing the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway.

Each lesson has lesson notes, which I read while simultaneously listening to the audio lesson. This strategy enables me to follow along on key points. Lesson notes generally contain the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar points
  • Cultural insights

As someone who’s constantly on-the-go, I heavily benefit from mobile access to lessons. Podcasts and lesson notes are available on the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS.

All lessons and their contents are downloadable. Prior to my flights to Japan and South Korea, I downloaded lessons on my iPhone. The apps make learning more convenient for me during my commutes.

Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

a young man practicing his pronunciation with a microphone headset

Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

Some lessons create opportunities to speak your own sentences. For example, the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway presents opportunities to answer questions personally. This helps you gain the ability to give answers as the unique individual you are.

Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

Increase Your Vocab with Spaced-Repetition Flashcards and More!

A child learning words with flashcards

Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. CantoneseClass101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

A woman studying at home

Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

A woman teaching pronunciation in a classroom

My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

You’re assured to undergo the same experience with Premium PLUS. You’ll gain access to the aforementioned features as well as all of the Premium features.

Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

Learning a new language takes dedication and commitment. The Premium PLUS features make learning irresistibly exciting. You’ll look forward to learning daily with your language tutor.

As of right now, your challenge is to subscribe to Premium PLUS! Complete your assessment, and meet your new Cantonese teacher.

Have fun learning your target language in the fastest and easiest way!

Subscribe to Posted by in Cantonese Language, Cantonese Online, Feature Spotlight, Learn Cantonese, Site Features, Speak Cantonese, Team CantoneseClass101

The Qixi Festival in Hong Kong – Time for a Little Romance


Isn’t there something so happy and light about Valentine’s Day (or your country’s equivalent)? Whether you spend it each year with your lifelong partner, a new lover, or by yourself, there’s something to be enjoyed and admired in this holiday. 

But have you ever stopped to wonder why so many cultures have a special day for romance and lovers? 

In Hong Kong and Mainland China, this holiday is the Qixi Festival (though Hong Kong celebrates Western Valentine’s Day, too!). 

So what does the Chinese Qixi Festival look like? Why is it celebrated, and how? Let’s find out together.

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1. What is the Qixi Festival?

Bridge of Magpies

The Chinese Qixi Festival (also called the Seven Sisters Festival or Chinese Valentine’s Day), is a special summertime holiday dedicated to lovers—and those looking for love. Traditionally, this holiday was celebrated mainly by young women who hoped to find a good spouse by demonstrating their talents in feminine tasks (such as needlework). 

There’s a 傳說 (cyun4 syut3), or “legend,” surrounding the Qixi Festival. The Qixi Festival story is about two lovers: a lonely cowherd named Niulang and a goddess named Zhinu.

Zhinu was the seventh and last daughter of the greatest Goddess. She grew tired of her life in the heavens and went down to earth in search of fun and excitement. As you likely guessed, this is how she encountered Niulang and eventually fell in love with him. 

The two married in secret and had children together, though their happy marriage didn’t last. The Goddess found out about their relationship, and in anger, she forced the two apart by putting a silver river (the 銀河 [ngan4 ho4], or “Milky Way”) between them.

Following this tragic incident, Niulang’s cow spoke to him. The cow convinced Niulang to kill it, take its leather, and go to find Zhinu. But the river was too wide for either lover to cross. Seeing this, the magpies took it upon themselves to help the two lovers make their way back to each other. 

It’s said that once a year, Niulang and Zhinu can see each other again for one night via 鵲橋 (zoek3 kiu4), or “the bridge of magpies.” But if it rains, the magpies are unable to form the bridge, and the two lovers must remain separated for another full year! 

2. When is the Qixi Festival This Year?

The Milky Way

Each year, the Qixi Festival takes place on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. Here are the holiday’s dates on the Gregorian calendar for the next ten years.

  • 2020: August 25
  • 2021: August 14
  • 2022: August 4
  • 2023: August 22
  • 2024: August 10
  • 2025: July 31
  • 2026: August 19
  • 2027: August 8
  • 2028: July 28
  • 2029: August 16

By the way, check out Hong Kong’s Lunar-to-Gregorian conversion chart and never miss another Cantonese holiday! 

3. How the Qixi Festival is Celebrated 

A Couple under a Red Blanket on the Beach

According to tradition, Qixi Festival activities often involve young women competing against each other in a variety of handiwork tasks (all in good fun, of course). Popular tasks include needlework, sewing, and crocheting, each of which is considered a valuable talent for a potential wife to have. The women will often go to a temple and offer paper sacrifices to the Seven Sisters (Zhinu among them), pray for improved skills, and ask for a good husband.

Aside from these competitions and offerings, most Qixi Festival traditions today revolve around 愛情 (oi3 cing4), or “romance,” lending this holiday its nickname as the Chinese Valentine’s Day. Before the Qixi Festival, Hong Kong lovers and spouses might buy each other cute gifts or write love notes for each other to be presented during the festival. Qixi Festival gifts often include chocolates, flowers, and maybe even jewelry! Those who want to go above and beyond for their love may plan a romantic date night—and believe us, there will be plenty to do. From dances to laser light shows, Hong Kong is filled with activity during the Qixi Festival! 

Qixi Festival foods tend to be on the sweet side, though you’ll also find a few savory dishes. Sesame-flavored pastries, glutinous rice sticks, sugary treats that are shaped like women, and dumplings are particularly popular. You can read more about the different foods and what they symbolize on

The streets of Hong Kong are rich with decorative lights and streamers for the Qixi Festival, and one can find a variety of exciting events taking place all day long (and through the night). Many people enjoy looking up at the night sky and trying to find the stars of 織女星 (zik1 neoi5 sing1), or “Vega,” and 牛郎星 (ngau4 long4 sing1), or “Altair,” which symbolize the two lovers. Between these two stars, there’s another, representing the magpie bridge. What could be more romantic than imagining the two lovers meeting amid the stars while snuggled close to your own loved one? 

    → Feeling all warm and fuzzy inside now? Check out our vocabulary list of the top 15 Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day and impress your loved one with some sweet Cantonese sentiments. 

4. A Popular Story, Indeed

Did the story of Zhinu and Niulang sound familiar to you? If so, there’s a good reason for that! 

This story has inspired similar holidays in other countries, such as the Tanabata Festival in Japan! The stories do differ a bit, as stories tend to do when passed from one culture to another, but the similarities may surprise you! 

5. Essential Qixi Festival Vocabulary

The Jade Emperor

Let’s go over some of the Cantonese vocabulary from this article! 

  • Qixi Festival – 七夕節 (cat1 zik6 zit3
  • Jade Emperor – 玉皇 (juk6 wong4
  • Zhinu – 織女 (zik1 neoi5
  • Vega – 織女星 (zik1 neoi5 sing1)
  • The bridge of magpies – 鵲橋 (zoek3 kiu4)
  • Romance – 愛情 (oi3 cing4)
  • Niulang – 牛郎 (ngau4 long4)
  • Milky Way – 銀河 (ngan4 ho4)
  • Legend – 傳說 (cyun4 syut3)
  • Altair – 牛郎星 (ngau4 long4 sing1)
  • Valentine’s Day – 情人節 (cing4 jan4 zit3)

Remember that you can visit our Cantonese Qixi Festival vocabulary list to hear the pronunciation of each word and add them to your flashcard deck for further study! 

Final Thoughts

Are you ready for a romantic date night under the stars of Vega and Altair? Or a solo adventure through the flashing, colorful streets of Hong Kong? 

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Chinese Qixi Festival with us, and that you walk away from this article knowing a little more about Cantonese culture. If you’re really into learning about this unique culture, by the way, we have a special blog archive of articles related to Cantonese culture and holidays, so be sure to check it out! 

Which Qixi Festival activities would you most like to participate in? And more importantly: What’s your favorite date night activity? Let us know in the comments! 

For more relevant content, check out these vocabulary lists on

We hope to see you around! 😉

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Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the Mid-Autumn Festival is an annual holiday that corresponds with the full moon, which represents unity. This is a time of family fun, fire games, mooncakes, and mythology!

In this article, you’ll learn about the Mid-Autumn Festival story and how HongKongers celebrate this special evening today. You may be surprised how much cultural insight you can glean in studying this holiday—and understanding a country’s culture is an essential step in mastering the language.

At, we hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative! So let’s get started.

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1. What is Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong?

On the evening of Mid-Autumn Festival, the moon is very round, because it’s a full moon. The full moon symbolizes reunion in Chinese culture, so families will gather together and admire the full moon while eating mooncake.

Now let’s talk about the mythology of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

There was a time when there were ten suns, which overheated the mortal world. So the Emperor of Heaven sent HouYi, an archer, and his wife, Chang’e, to the mortal world. HouYi shot down the extra nine suns and relieved the suffering of the people.

To reward him, the Queen of Heaven gave him two immortal elixirs. On August 15, while HouYi was out, his apprentice forced Chang’e to surrender the elixir. Chang’e accidentally swallowed the elixir and floated to the moon.

2. When is Mid-Autumn Festival?

A Full Moon

The date of the Mid-autumn Festival varies each year on the Gregorian calendar, as it takes place on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years on the Gregorian calendar.

  • 2019: September 13
  • 2020: October 1
  • 2021: September 21
  • 2022: September 10
  • 2023: September 29
  • 2024: September 17
  • 2025: October 6
  • 2026: September 25
  • 2027: September 15
  • 2028: October 3

3. Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations & Traditions

In Hong Kong, the Mid-Autumn Festival public holiday is actually on the day after, so that everyone can get the most out of the celebrations of Mid-Autumn evening.

1- Playing with Fire: Mid-Autumn Festival Lanterns

On this evening, children carry lanterns in the shape of their favorite cartoon characters, and teenagers play with candles, or even burn wax. However, because of the high number of fire-related disasters and injuries, as well as the massive amount of leftover melted wax in public areas, the government has listed wax burning as illegal.

2- Mid-Autumn Festival Food: The Mooncake

The mooncake is a special food unique to the Mid-Autumn Festival. Have you ever tried it? A traditional mooncake is round like the moon, but has diversified in recent years for commercial purposes.

Other than the traditional lotus seed paste with egg yolk filling, snow-skin mooncake and other new flavor variants are also popular in Hong Kong. For example: abalone, swallow’s nest, barbecued pork, and sesame. The snow-skin mooncake is a new style of mooncake that’s served chilled. Please give it a try if you have a chance!

3- Fire Dragon Dance

Another custom of the Mid-Autumn Festival is the fire dragon dance. You can see a fire dragon dancing on the streets of Tai Hang in Causeway Bay three nights in a row. For the fire dragon dance, you may see some eye-catching Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival clothing! In 2011, this activity was listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by China, ensuring its continuation.

4. More Moon Mythology

Dragon for Festival

Do you know what kind of animal lives on the moon in Chinese mythology?

In Chinese mythology, the animal that lives the moon is a rabbit. We call it Moon Rabbit, and it keeps Chang’e company. Scientifically, the distribution of the light and dark areas of the moon’s surface seems to create the image of a rabbit.

5. Vocabulary to Know for the Mid-Autumn Festival

Snowy Mooncakes

Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for the Mid-autumn festival in Hong Kong!

  • 中秋節 (zung1 cau1 zit3) — Mid-Autumn Festival
  • 月餅 (jyut6 beng2) — mooncake
  • 冰皮月餅 (bing1 pei2 jyut6 beng2) — snowy mooncake
  • 月兔 (jyut6 tou3) — Moon rabbit
  • 賞月 (soeng2 jyut2) — moon watching
  • 蓮蓉 (lin4 jung4) — lotus seed paste
  • 燈籠 (dang1 lung4) — lantern
  • 后羿 (hau6 ngai6) — Houyi
  • 滿月 (mun5 jyut2) — full moon
  • 蛋黃 (daan6 wong2) — egg yolk
  • 嫦娥 (soeng4 ngo4) — Chang’e

To hear each of these Cantonese vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Mid-Autumn Festival vocabulary list!


We hope you enjoyed learning about the Cantonese Mid-Autumn Festival with us! Let us know in the comments if you have any astrology-related holidays in your country, and how you celebrate. We look forward to hearing from you!

To continue learning about Cantonese culture and studying the language, explore We provide an array of learning tools for every learner, at every level:

  • Insightful blog posts on a variety of cultural and language-related topics
  • Free vocabulary lists covering a range of topics and themes
  • Podcasts to improve your listening and pronunciation skills
  • Mobile apps so you can learn Cantonese anywhere, on your own time
  • Much, much more!

If you’re interested in taking a more one-on-one approach to your language-learning, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus. Doing so will give you access to your own personal Cantonese tutor who will help you develop a personalized plan based on your needs and goals. Yes, really!

Cantonese is one of the most difficult languages to learn, so we commend you for your effort and determination! At CantoneseClass101, we believe that you really can master the language—and we want to be here to help every step of the way!

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! Enjoy some mooncakes for us. 😉

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Hong Kong Body Gestures


Have you ever heard of Albert Mehrabian’s famous “7%-38%-55% Rule“? According to this rule, tones of voice and body language account for 38% and 55% of personal communication respectively, with words taking up the remaining 7%. Non-verbal language is truly the key to successful communication. Therefore, in addition to teaching you new Cantonese words and phrases here at, we’re here to teach you the common Hong Kong body gestures to help you better communicate with locals! Truly, Cantonese nonverbal communication is just as important, if not more so, as the words you speak.

We’re introducing four different types of body gestures here, namely:

  • Body Posture
  • Hand Gestures
  • Facial Expressions
  • Physical Movement

To help you better master this nonverbal communication in Hong Kong, we’ve also included photos/videos and examples below. Let’s start now! Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet – How to Improve Your Cantonese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

  1. Body Posture
  2. Hand Gestures
  3. Facial Expressions
  4. Physical Movement
  5. Gestures You should Avoid
  6. Bonus: How to Count Numbers in Hong Kong
  7. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 can Help You Learn More Cantonese

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1. Body Posture

1- Defensive

Woman Crossing Her Arms

  • How: Cross your arms across your chest.
  • When: To express distrust or that you’re unengaged; to tell someone that you’re annoyed or offended
  • Example: If someone has been talking about something uninteresting for a long time and you want to subtly let him or her know, you can cross your arms.
  • Notes: It’s best not to use this posture in business settings as crossing your arms is considered a negative and unprofessional posture.

2. Hand Gestures

Cantonese Hand Gestures

1- Good

Thumbs Up

  • How: Thumbs-up (think of the “like” button on Facebook); one hand only (can be left or right)
  • When: To show that you think something is excellent, the best, or super good
  • Example: When your friend makes an excellent suggestion on what to do this weekend, you can simply give him or her a thumbs-up to show that you like the idea.
  • Notes: It’s a widely used positive hand gesture in Hong Kong, both in business and casual settings.

2- OK

OK Sign

  • How: Make a circle with your thumb and index finger; the three fingers left should remain upright; one hand only (can be left or right)
  • When: To show approval; to express that everything is going smoothly and is fine; to express “yes” or “well understood”
  • Example: When you’re asked to do laundry, you can give an “OK” hand gesture to signal that you’ll do it.
  • Notes: It’s a very common hand gesture in Hong Kong, whether in the workplace, school, or among friends and family.

3- Bad

Thumbs Down

  • How: Thumbs-down; one hand only (can be left or right)
  • When: To express dissatisfaction; to tell people that something’s not good or is of low quality
  • Example: If your kid broke your phone, you may show him a “bad” hand gesture to let him or her know that this is defintely not good.
  • Notes: This is less common than the “good” and “OK” hand gestures, as it’s best in general to avoid negative gestures.

4- Fist and Palm Salute

Fist and Palm Salute

  • How:
    Male: right-hand half-fist, then hold the right hand in front of your chest with your left hand
    Female: left-hand half-fist, then hold the left hand in front of your chest with your right hand
  • When: To congratulate someone; to wish someone luck
  • Example: When you visit a friend in Hong Kong during the Chinese New Year, you can first say to him 恭喜發財 (Pronunciation: gung1 hei2 faat3 coi4) meaning “May you have a prosperous New Year,” and then perform this gesture.
  • Notes: This hand gesture is mostly used during celebrations, such as Chinese New Year and weddings.

5- Thank You (Restaurant Only)

  • How: Tap your fingers several times by your cup
  • When: To say thank you when someone’s pouring tea for you at a Chinese restaurant
  • Example: If your friends are pouring tea for you during yum cha, you can simply tap your fingers several times by your cup as a means of thanking them.
  • Notes: This should only be used in Chinese restaurants (dim sum place). If you want to know more about this unique and funny hand gesture in Hong Kong, visit the Loop.

3. Facial Expressions

1- Respect / Submission

Girl Looking Downcast

  • How: Lower your eyes
  • When: To show someone that you respect or obey him or her
  • Example: If your boss is angry and you think it’s wiser to be (or pretend to be) obedient, you can lower your eyes when he or she is facing you.
  • Notes: When you’re greeting someone older than you that you’re not very close with, you may also want to lower your eyes to show respect. Eye contact meaning in Hong Kong has a lot to do with respect.

4. Physical Movement

When it comes to body gestures in Hong Kong culture, note that even though it’s typical in Hong Kong to stand close to each other during conversations, body contact doesn’t occur. Being touchy isn’t part of the Hong Kong culture. You’ll be seen as rude and impolite if you excessively touch another person during a conversation in Hong Kong.

Avoid hugging or kissing another person, or patting someone on the back. This is especially true if you’re interacting with someone older than you or someone in a position of authority—it will be perceived as offensive and rude. Hugging and kissing are quite rare, even if it’s when running into a close friend. Nodding your head is the most common way to quickly greet someone, and an acceptable Hong Kong body gesture to a close friend is a little pat on the arm.

1- Hello (Business Settings)

  • How: A little handshake
  • When: To greet someone, usually in business settings
  • Example: You can give a little handshake when you’re first introduced to a colleague.
  • Notes: This is usually used in business settings or for people we’re not close with. There isn’t any typical body gesture for greetings with friends.

2- Beg / Pray

Boy Kneeling

  • How: Kneel down with both feet on the ground
  • When: To beg for something; to pray
  • Example: If you’ve made a terrible mistake, you can kneel down to beg for forgiveness.
  • Notes: This gesture signifies a huge degree of submission. Avoid using it unless you’re praying or you really need to beg for something.

3- Respect

Woman Holding Out a Gift

  • How: Use both hands to hand over or receive something from someone
  • When: To hand over something; to present a gift; to receive something
  • Example: During a gift exchange session in a Christmas party, hand the present you’ve carefully prepared to your friends with both hands.
  • Notes: You should always hand over or receive things with both hands; using one hand is considered rude and impolite.

5. Gestures You should Avoid

Here’s an all-important list of Hong Kong body gestures that are considered rude, which you should avoid as much as possible!

1- Pointing to Someone with only Your Index Finger

Boss Pointing at Employee

  • When: To refer to someone
  • Notes: This is considered disrespectful and impolite; you should keep your hand open if you want to refer to someone.

2- Keep Only Your Middle Finger Up

  • When: To express anger or frustration; equal to foul language
  • Notes: This is very disrespectful and impolite.

3- Winking Your Eyes at Someone

Woman Winking

  • When: To flirt; to show disrespect
  • Notes: Winking your eyes in Hong Kong doesn’t look cool; instead it’s a sign of disrespect and should be avoided.

4- Crossing Your Leg over the Knee and Pointing Your Foot in Someone Else’s Direction

  • When: To demonstrate superiority; to slight someone
  • Notes: It’s impolite and should be avoided in most situations.

6. Bonus: How to Count Numbers in Hong Kong

  • One = Hold only the index finger upright.
  • Two = Add the middle finger to the index finger. This is also a common hand gesture used when posing for a picture.
  • Three = Same as “OK.” Make a circle with your thumb and index finger; the three fingers left should remain upright.
  • Four = Keep all four fingers up with the thumb folded in.
  • Five = Open your palm when all fingers are up.
  • Six Gesture

  • Six = Curl in your index, middle, and ring fingers only, to indicate six.
  • Seven Gesture

  • Seven = Keep your thumb and index finger outstretched; pointing down looks like a number seven.
  • Eight = Add your middle finger to the number seven sign and point up.
  • Nine = Bend the index finger like a hook with other fingers closed.
  • Ten = Open the palm of both hands as two 5s gives you ten. You can also make a cross using only your index fingers.

7. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 can Help You Learn More Cantonese

After mastering the common Hong Kong body gestures, it’s time to learn more Cantonese to make sure that you can communicate in Hong Kong with the correct verbal and non-verbal languages. With, you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, either through your mobile apps, desktop software, or even our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

We’ve delivered until now 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, abundance of vocabulary learning tools and spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What’re you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now! Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet – How to Improve Your Cantonese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese

10 Famous Cantonese Movies You Don’t Want to Miss!

Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Stephen Chow… Even though Hong Kong is a really small city (roughly one-twelfth the size of New York), it gave birth to quite a few good movies and movie stars. Do you want to learn Cantonese in a fun way while also understanding more about Hong Kong culture? Here are ten famous Cantonese movies for you to work through in your spare time! We’ve even gone to the effort of translating some of the most memorable Cantonese movie quotes so that you can get a taste of what each film’s about before picking and choosing your favorites! Here are some tips to improve your pronunciation while watching movies in Cantonese.

Ways to improve pronunciation

Table of Contents

  1. In the Mood for Love
  2. Infernal Affairs
  3. Shaolin Soccer
  4. Fist of Fury
  5. Police Story
  6. A Simple Life
  7. A Better Tomorrow
  8. Ip Man
  9. Love in the Puff
  10. Ten Years
  11. Bonus: A Local Cantonese Cartoon that Warms Your Heart
  12. Conclusion

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Movie genres

1. In the Mood for Love (2000)

  • Cantonese Title: 花樣年華
  • Romanization: faa1 joeng6 nin4 waa4
  • Director: Kar-Wai Wong
  • Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung; Maggie Cheung

In the Mood for Love is arguably one of the best Hong Kong movies in centuries. Directed by the internationally renowned filmmaker Kar-Wai Wong, the movie paints the love story of two middle-aged Hong Kongers in the 1960s, starring the handsome Tony Leung Chiu-wai and the elegant Maggie Cheung Man-yuk. Both betrayed by their partners, the lonely next-door neighbors are eager to seek comfort in each other—but are hesitant to go further.

  • Famous Quote from Movie (Cantonese Written Form): 那個時代已過去。屬於那個時代的一切,都不存在了。
  • Romanization: naa5 go3 si4 doi6 ji5 gwo3 heoi3. suk6 jyu1 naa5 go3 si4 doi6 dik1 jat1 cai3,dou1 bat1 cyun4 zoi6 liu5.
  • English Meaning: That era is gone. Everything that belongs to that era no longer exists.

2. Infernal Affairs (2002)

  • Cantonese Title: 無間道
  • Romanization: mou4 gaan3 dou6
  • Director: Wai-Keung Lau; Alan Mak
  • Stars: Andy Lau; Tony Chiu-Wai Leung; Anthony Chau-Sang Wong

Infernal Affairs is a Cantonese undercover police thriller that has earned high praise and inspired an Oscar-winning remake (Martin Scorsese’s The Departed). Starring an abundance of famous Hong Kong movie stars, this 100-minute Cantonese thriller is a journey of finding out who the mole is, and who the cop is.

  • Famous Quote from Movie (Cantonese Speech Form): 出嚟行,遲早要還 。
  • Romanization: ceot1 lei4 hang4, ci4 zou2 jiu3 waan4.
  • English Meaning: This is expected.

3. Shaolin Soccer (2001)

  • Cantonese Title: 少林足球
  • Romanization: siu3 lam4 zuk1 kau4
  • Director: Stephen Chow
  • Stars: Stephen Chow; Wei Zhao; Yat-Fei Wong

Most, if not all, Hong Kongers have watched Stephen Chow’s comedies and can quote a few lines immediately. Perhaps one of the best and most well-known of Stephen Chow’s movies, Shaolin Soccer mixes the popular movie theme—kung fu—with another popular sport (soccer), in a ridiculous plot that’s sure to make you laugh hard. The quote introduced below has become part of everyday language and is still used excessively seventeen years later!

  • Famous Quote from Movie (Cantonese Speech Form): 做人如果無夢想,同條鹹魚有咩分別呀?
  • Romanization: zou6 jan4 jyu4 gwo2 mou4 mung6 soeng2, tung4 tiu4 haam4 jyu2 jau5 me1 fan1 bit6 aa3?
  • English Meaning: If we don’t have any dreams in life, we are no different than a salted fish.

4. Fist of Fury (1972)

  • Cantonese Title: 精武門
  • Romanization: zing1 mou5 mun4
  • Director: Wei Lo
  • Stars: Bruce Lee; Nora Miao; James Tien

Fist of Fury (also known as The Chinese Connection) is a Cantonese action film starring the greatest martial arts icon Bruce Lee in his second major role after The Big Boss (1971). The martial arts master played a student of Huo Yuanjia, who fought to defend the honor of the Chinese against foreign aggression and to seek revenge for his master’s death.

  • Famous Quote from Movie (Cantonese Speech Form): 我少讀書,你唔好呃我 。
  • Romanization: ngo5 siu2 duk6 syu1, nei5 m4 hou2 aak1 ngo5.
  • English Meaning: I am not well educated. Don’t lie to me.

5. Police Story (1985)

  • Cantonese Title: 警察故事
  • Romanization: ging2 caat3 gu3 si6
  • Director: Jackie Chan; Chi-Hwa Chen
  • Stars: Jackie Chan; Maggie Cheung; Brigitte Lin

Police Story is a Cantonese action film written and directed by the famous Jackie Chan, who also starred in the lead role. In the movie, Jackie (the cop) is framed and has to prove his innocence with both wit and power. A cool fact: The theme song of this movie, The Story of a Hero, has become one of the songs that represents the actual Hong Kong Police Force!

  • Famous Quote from Movie (Cantonese Written Form): 你别管我,命是我的,我有分寸。
  • Romanization: nei5 bit6 gun2 ngo5, meng6 si6 ngo5 dik1, ngo5 jau5 fan1 cyun3 。
  • English Meaning: Leave me alone; this is my life, I know what I’m doing.

6. A Simple Life (2011)

  • Cantonese Title: 桃姐
  • Romanization: tou4 ze2
  • Director: Ann Hui
  • Stars: Andy Lau; Deanie Ip

A Simple Life (also known as Sister Peach) depicts the relationship between a man and his aging maid. This heart-warming movie has earned numerous awards and its lead actress, Deanie Ip, won the Best Actress Award at the 68th Venice International Film Festival.

  • Famous Quote from Movie (Cantonese Written Form): 即使沒有別人給你理由,生命依然值得堅持。
  • Romanization: zik1 sai2 mut6 jau5 bit6 jan4 kap1 nei5 lei5 jau4, sang1 ming6 ji1 jin4 zik6 dak1 gin1 ci4.
  • English Meaning: Even if there is no reason to, life is still worth living.

7. A Better Tomorrow (1986)

  • Cantonese Title: 英雄本色
  • Romanization: jing1 hung4 bun2 sik1
  • Director: John Woo
  • Stars: Lung Ti; Leslie Cheung; Yun-Fat Chow

Starring the handsome Yun-Fat Chow and the multi-talented Leslie Cheung, A Better Tomorrow centers around the tension between an ex-gangster and his policeman brother. It became a blockbuster not only in Hong Kong, but also in other parts of Asia. Proof? The most famous game show host in Korea, Yoo Jae Suk, can still recite some of its most famous quotes and its Cantonese theme song after almost thirty years! (

  • Famous Quote from Movie (Cantonese Speech Form): 「你信唔信有神?」 「信,我咪係神 !」
  • Romanization: 「nei5 seon3 m4 seon3 jau5 san4?」 「seon3, ngo5 mai6 hai6 san4!」
  • English Meaning: “Do you believe in god?” “Yes, I am god.”

8. Ip Man ( 2008 )

  • Cantonese Title: 葉問
  • Romanization: jip6 man6
  • Director: Wilson Yip
  • Stars: Donnie Yen; Simon Yam; Siu-Wong Fan

Ip Man is a martial arts movie based on the real life of Bruce Lee’s teacher, who fought for dignity during the Sino-Japanese War. Donnie Yen’s portrayal of Ip Man has earned him international attention and he soon became a new martial arts icon.

  • Famous Quote from Movie (Cantonese Speech Form): 我要打十個!
  • Romanization: ngo5 jiu3 daa2 sap6 go3!
  • English Meaning: I want to fight with ten people at the same time!

9. Love in the Puff (2012)

  • Cantonese Title: 春嬌與志明
  • Romanization: ceon1 giu1 jyu5 zi3 ming4
  • Director: Ho-Cheung Pang
  • Stars: Miriam Chin Wah Yeung; Shawn Yue

Love in the Puff is a Cantonese romantic comedy sequel to the 2010 film Love in a Puff, featuring Miriam Yeung and Shawn Yuen as an ex-couple, who find it difficult to get over each other. As the story is relatable and the lines are colloquial, this movie became an instant hit in the city.

  • Famous Quote from Movie (Cantonese Speech Form): 成世人流流長,總會愛上幾個人渣。
  • Romanization: seng4 sai3 jan4 lau4 lau4 coeng4, zung2 wui2 oi3 soeng5 gei2 go3 jan4 zaa1.
  • English Meaning: Life is long, no wonder we would fall in love with a few bastards in our lifetimes.

10. Ten Years (2015)

  • Cantonese Title: 十年
  • Romanization: sap6 nin4
  • Director: Jevons Au; Zune Kwok; Chow Kwun-Wai; Ka-Leung Ng; Fei-Pang Wong
  • Stars: Jevons Au; Fun-Kei Chan; Peter Chan

Ten Years is a Cantonese speculative fiction movie composed of five different short films. It envisions Hong Kong in the year 2025, with diminished freedom of speech and human rights. Even though it was produced under a tight budget, this movie was a hit when it was released and influenced the city both culturally and politically.

  • Famous Quote from Movie (Cantonese Written Form): 我不想做到這一刻,才放棄原則。
  • Romanization: ngo5 bat1 soeng2 zou6 dou3 ze5 jat1 hak1, coi4 fong3 hei3 jyun4 zak1.
  • English Meaning: I don’t want to give in and betray what my beliefs after all the efforts.

11. Bonus: A Local Cantonese Cartoon that Warms Your Heart

McDull, Prince de la Bun (2004)

  • Cantonese Title: 麥兜菠蘿油王子
  • Romanization: mak6 dau1 bo1 lo4 jau4 wong4 zi2
  • Director: Toe Yuen

McDull is the “flawed” mascot of Hong Kong. He’s a cute and kind piglet cartoon character that was featured in several TV shows and movies. Even though he’s not very smart, his warm nature has captured the hearts of both kids and adults. If you’re looking for a touching movie with strong local Hong Kong elements, this is your movie!

12. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

Want to level up your Cantonese after watching these movies? No worries. With, you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through your 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, abundance of vocabulary learning tools, spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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How to Say Happy New Year in Cantonese & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Cantonese New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join CantoneseClass101 for a special Cantonese New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Cantonese

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March – December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Cantonese? Let a native teach you! At CantoneseClass101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Cantonese New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in China
  2. Must-Know Cantonese Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Cantonese
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn Cantonese

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Cantonese New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in China

How to Celebrate New Year

Let’s talk about New Year’s Eve, or 除夕 in Cantonese.

Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?

What is the most popular way to send New Year’s messages after the New Year’s Eve countdown in modern-day Hong Kong?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep reading!

Every 31st of December, countdown celebrations are held throughout Hong Kong. Many countdown events are held in shopping centers, but the government’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department also organizes the countdown carnival, which is 嘉年華 in Cantonese. Usually, families spend the New Years’ events and celebrations together in Hong Kong. A lot of people also host private parties at restaurants and clubhouses on New Year’s Eve.

Among the many countdown celebrations held in Hong Kong, the most popular is fireworks on Victoria Harbour. Fireworks are called 煙花 in Cantonese. This event attracts a lot of people to the shores.

In Hong Kong, there are three major outdoor New Year countdown events. “Countdown” in Cantonese is 倒數. The first is the Apple Countdown, which is held at Times Square in Causeway Bay. The concept of this countdown was inspired by the New Year countdown held in Times Square in New York. The second takes place on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, where famous celebrities perform and count down the coming of the New Year along with the public. The third is at Lan Kwai Fong in Central. During New Year’s, every bar, restaurant and nightclub in these areas is packed, and the streets are filled with people. The roads around those areas are blocked for the day and become “pedestrian zones”, or 行人專用區 in Cantonese.

Crowded events such as these often lead to outbreaks of disorderly behavior, so fights and accidents during the countdown events are reported almost every year. The most serious accident reported was the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy of 1993. In this accident, 21 people died and 63 people were injured due to a stampede that resulted from overcrowded streets. It is recorded as the worst stampede in Hong Kong’s history. Ever since then, the Hong Kong Police Force, or 香港警務處, have implemented crowd control in all crowded areas to prevent joyous events from turning into tragic disasters.

On New Year’s Eve, most public transportation, or 公共交通工具, offer overnight services, called 通宵服務 in Cantonese. These services allow participants in New Year’s events to return home safely after the celebrations.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

What is the most popular way to send New Year’s messages after the New Year’s Eve countdown in modern-day Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, most people call or send instant messages to their friends and relatives. Because there is such a heavy demand on phone network services at this time, it‘s no surprise when calls or text messages don’t go through.

Happy New Year!
san1 nin4 faai3 lok6!

2. Must-Know Cantonese Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Cantonese Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year


This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in China could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

ng5 je6

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

jyun4 daan3

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

paai3 deoi3

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

tiu3 mou5

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

hoeng1 ban1

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

jin1 faa1

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

8- Countdown

dou3 sou2

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts – a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

san1 nin4 gaa3 kei4

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday – to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

ng5 coi2 seoi3 zi2

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

san1 nin4 cin4 zik6

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

ging3 zau2

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

san1 nin4 daai6 gai3

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

ceon4 yau4

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At CantoneseClass101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Cantonese New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the Cantonese word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at CantoneseClass101 – what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Cantonese friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

duk6 do1 di1 syu1.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Cantonese in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Cantonese language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

pui4 uk1 kei2 jan4 do1 di1.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

gaam2 fei4.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

cou5 cin2.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to CantoneseClass101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year – it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

gaai3 jin1.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

hok6 san1 je5.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess – no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

jam2 siu2 di1 zau2.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

ding6 si4 wan6 dung6.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

sik6 dak1 gin6 hong1 di1.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Cantonese with CantoneseClass101

jung6 hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Cantonese, especially with us! Learning how to speak Cantonese can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. CantoneseClass101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Cantonese new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Cantonese, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Cantonese incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with CantoneseClass101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Cantonese could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Cantonese – it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Cantonese – learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with CantoneseClass101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Cantonese! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that CantoneseClass101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Cantonese at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Cantonese that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Cantonese with CantoneseClass101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

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Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

Your learning is about to get a whole lot easier.

More than ever, learners are choosing mobile as the platform to study Cantonese. Mobile has always been a part of our DNA. We began our life on your iPod, and have remained by your side ever since.

In our 11th year, we’re returning to our roots as a way to learn Cantonese on-the-go. How? With a brand-new lesson interface just for you.

Hint: It will launch in beta later this month!

If you want to secure access to this brand new upgrade, take advantage of the upcoming All Access Pass Sale! Click Here to Get 25% OFF All CantoneseClass101 Subscriptions!

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It’s built from the ground-up to be a great experience on your phone, tablet, and computer.

You don’t have to compromise anymore.

Take the whole lesson experience with you wherever you go.

Our lessons are the heart of our learning system and now they’re the heart of the interface as well. Just tap the big play button to start learning right away.

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As you scroll through the lesson contents, the player sticks with you at the bottom of your screen.

Pause, rewind or adjust your speed and volume without losing your place.

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Navigation is also just a tap away.

Quickly jump to the dialogue, vocabulary, or lesson notes with our new lesson navigation bar. Available at the top of your screen wherever you are.

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And for the first time ever, you don’t need to download a PDF or jump between tabs to read the lesson notes and transcript. Read it all on your mobile browser as you listen.

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There are many more small improvements but the end result is this: a drastically improved lesson experience on mobile and desktop.

Spend less time squinting at your screen and more time reaching your Cantonese goals.

The new lesson interface will launch in beta this month.

We can’t wait to hear what you think. Keep on studying!

Sneak peek! And if you take advantage of our upcoming 25% OFF All Access Pass Sale, you secure full access to this new update! You unlock our complete Cantonese learning program – ALL Audio/Video Courses from Beginner to Advanced, Premium Study Tools, Bonus Apps and much more!

Click Here to Get 25% OFF All Plans until March 31st, 2017.

To your fluency,

Team CantoneseClass101

P.S. Get 25% OFF ANY Plan! Master Cantonese with YOUR All-Access Pass!

Want to learn Cantonese fast with an ALL-ACCESS PASS to our entire learning system? Get 25% OFF Basic, Premium and Premium PLUS and unlock ALL audio/video lessons, study tools and exclusive apps that you’ll ever need. And with Premium PLUS, you get your own teacher! Just $3 a month & up to $137 in savings. Ends March 31st, 2017.

Get Your Cantonese All-Access Pass! Click here to get 25% OFF ALL Plans!

CantoneseClass101 Free Lifetime Account: Is it really free?

You want to learn Cantonese but you don’t want to spend a cent. You don’t want to lose time creating an account if they ask you for your credit card just after. For you Cantonese learner, we tell you how you will access great resources for free for life and without card or having to pay. This is your unique path to fluency for free.

free lifetime account cantonesepod101 benefit

CantoneseClass101 is not really free, is it?
Although there are paid plans, yes, it is FREE. Every single lesson that we have ever created has been free for a certain period of time. And every new audio and video lesson (we publish 3-5 lessons a week) is completely free to access for 3 weeks before going into our lesson library.

What’s a Free Lifetime Account?
A Free Lifetime Account is – simply put – a free membership at CantoneseClass101.

What do I get with this Free Account? How can I learn for free for life?
Here’s how you learn every day without paying a cent at CantoneseClass101. You have access to all of these features for life:

  • New audio and video lessons every week – 3-5 new, free lessons a week
  • The first 3 lessons of every single series – 100+ lessons in total
  • New Daily Dose of Cantonese lessons – a new free lesson every day
  • Cantonese Word of the Day lessons – a new free lesson every day
  • Throwback Thursday lessons – a free random lesson every Thursday
  • The Innovative Language 101 App for the Android, iPhone and iPad
  • The 100 Most Common Words List to get a head-start on learning vocabulary
  • Vocabulary and phrase lists for topics, themes and holidays
  • Bonus resources and mobile apps in the Cantonese resources section

    Start speaking Cantonese now!

    Do I need a credit card to sign up?
    No. All you need is a valid email address to join. The only times you’d require a credit card (or another payment method such as PayPal) is if you want to upgrade to a Basic, Premium or Premium PLUS subscription.

    To sum-up, you create a free account only with your email address, you’ll get a 7-day trial to experience Premium access to CantoneseClass101, and after this period you will stay on as a “Free” member accessing all our tool and resources mentioned before. So what are you waiting for?

    It will take you only 30 seconds and a valid email, no credit card, no money asked, to create your free lifetime account and get on the way to reach Cantonese fluency!

  • Top 15 tips to remember words when learning Cantonese

    Hey Cantonese learner!

    We recently gave you some shortcuts to learn Cantonese.
    In your journey to become fluent and conversational in less time that is needed to say “Gotta catch ’em all”, we will this time give you the Top 15 tips to remember words!

    1. Use repetition: reading, writing and speaking words over and over again.

    2. Associate words with drawings, pictures and funny scenes.

    3. Try to use the language routinely in the context of daily life.

    4. Reading as much as possible, especially the newspaper, helps you to remember words.

    Click Here To Start Learning Cantonese Right Now!

    5. Learn about the roots of words and how different words are related to each other.

    6. Speak as often as possible with native speakers.

    7. Categorize new words with other related words that you already know.

    8. Be persistent in practicing everyday by talking to your family or your dog, even though they don’t understand you.

    Click Here To Sign Up For A FREE Lifetime Account!

    9. Say words out loud so that you can actually hear them.

    10. Associate new words with words that sound similar in your native language.

    11. Listen to songs and memorize the lyrics.

    12. Often watch TV or YouTube videos that are designed for young children.

    Access tons of Audio and Video lessons for Free!

    13. Associate new words with stories, games or movies.

    14. Try to use the new word in a simple sentence so you learn whole phrases, not just individual words.

    15. Try to think in Cantonese, so it becomes natural to your thought process.

    No money, no credit card required, just you and the ton of lessons!

    If you follow all those tips, you will be a step closer to reach your goal. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at!

    Introducing Our Brand New Dashboard!

    Hey Listeners!

    Guess what? Your language learning goals just got a little easier!

    As you’ve probably realized by now, there have been some major improvements made to your dashboard! These updates have been designed to improve your overall experience with the website and help keep you organized and on-track! Here are a few of the changes:

    • Your progress is now tracked right, smack in the middle of the page to keep you motivated and organized.
    • A new, sleek and easy to navigate design allows you to worry less about where to click and more on learning Cantonese!
    • An enlarged profile picture that gives your dashboard a unique and more personal feel.
    • A new layout for the “Latest News” feed to keep you informed on all of the most recent updates.
    • Bigger buttons to make it easier on the eyes. Locate your all of your lessons and materials faster than ever.

    Stay tuned, as more updates are being rolled out later in the month!

    Enjoy your new dashboard,

    Team CantoneseClass101

    P.S. Get Access To Our My Teacher Tool For Extra Help!
    As you may have noticed, on the left side of your dashboard is our My Teacher feature. This tool allows you to have 1-on-1 interaction with your very own personal teacher! This is only available to our Premium Plus subscribers, so be sure to upgrade if you want to take your studies to the next level!

    Click Here To Sign Up For Premium Plus Now!