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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Cantonese Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn all the Cantonese vowels and their variant vowel sounds.
aa
e
i
o
u
oe
yu
With these sounds, you can pronounce any vowel that could possibly appear in Cantonese!
Some vowels may be hard to distinguish, especially for English speakers, so make sure you listen carefully!
Remember that memorizing and reproducing the sound is the goal. Don't get too frustrated if you forget when to use the variant sounds, because that'll come naturally later.
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
The first vowel is...
aa
沙 (saa1)
巴 (baa1)
生 (saang1)
This is almost identical to the A sound in the word 'far'.
aa, aa (slowly)
aa, aa (slowly)
The next vowel is...
e
啤 (be1)
啡 (fe1)
遮 (ze1)
This is similar to the E in 'bear'.
e, e (slowly)
e, e (slowly)
The next vowel is...
i
試 (si3)
翅 (ci3)
至 (zi3)
It's identical to the I in 'ski'.
i, i (slowly)
i, i (slowly)
The next vowel is...
o
播 (bo3)
火 (fo2)
佐 (zo3)
It's identical to the O in 'ore'. However, there should be more of a vibration at the base of your throat.
o, o (slowly)
o, o (slowly)
The next vowel is...
u
呼 (fu1)
姑 (gu1)
箍 (ku1)
It's identical to the U in the word 'true'.
u, u (slowly)
u, u (slowly)
The next vowel is... oe
靴 (hoe1)
朵 (doe2)
鋸 (goe3)
This sound doesn't exist in English, but it's very similar to the U in the word 'fur'. Be sure to compress your lips.
oe, oe (slowly)
oe, oe (slowly)
The final vowel sound is...
yu
注 (zyu3)
處 (cyu2)
恕 (syu3)
This sound doesn't exist in English, but it's similar to the U in the word 'menu'. First, try saying an 'ee' like 'see'. Now try rounding your lips while pronouncing this sound. Listen to (host name).
yu, yu (slowly)
yu, yu (slowly)
Well done! You've just learned all the vowel sounds in Cantonese.
In the next lesson, you'll start learning consonant sounds.
Which vowel sound was the most difficult for you to learn? Please comment and share your thoughts.
See you in the next Ultimate Cantonese Pronunciation Guide lesson!

26 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Which vowel sound was the most difficult for you to learn?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 11:04 PM
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Hi Dany Tran,


Thanks for your question. 😉

You can find the corresponding audios (like deoi1, seoi1) in the Cantonese Jyutping Chart on this webpage:

https://www.cantoneseclass101.com/cantonese-alphabet/


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Dany Tran
Thursday at 11:14 AM
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How about this "eoi"? How do I pronoun "eoi"?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 05:32 PM
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Hi Tim,


Thanks for your feedback! 😄👍

For your information, here is a Cantonese Jyutping Chart attached with audios so that you can check different combinations. 😉

https://www.cantoneseclass101.com/cantonese-alphabet/


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 05:26 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Peter Ng,


Thanks for your questions.

You can consider "a" as the shorter version of "aa". And IPA represents International Phonetic Alphabet. 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Tim
Sunday at 02:57 PM
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It would be helpful in this lesson, or a separate new lesson, to demonstrate how to pronounce the other vowel combinations in Cantonese. In the few words I've learned, there is "ou", "ai", "oi", "ei", and "iu".

Peter Ng
Wednesday at 12:50 PM
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What is IPA?

Peter Ng
Wednesday at 12:49 PM
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How is single a pronounce?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:45 AM
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Hello Takira,


Thanks for sharing your comment. 😉

Here is a small tip for you. Do duck face to practice this vowel. 😎


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Takira
Saturday at 11:58 PM
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Yu is a sound I am definitely not accustomed to forming my mouth to make

CantoneseClass101.com
Sunday at 08:29 PM
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Hi Marc,


Thank you for leaving the comment.


Keep up studying well and in case of any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team CantoneseClass101.com