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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!

19 Comments

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CantoneseClass101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
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Which vowel sound was the most difficult for you to learn?

CantoneseClass101.com
Wednesday at 1:45 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 8:29 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


Marc
Friday at 7:54 am
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I would say oe was the hardest for me to master.

CantoneseClass101.comVerified
Friday at 5:37 pm
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Hello Kent,


These vowels are the basic component of making the different Cantonese words written in Jyutping system.

Please see the Jyutping Chart below and click on each play icon to hear the different pronunciation.

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


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Kent
Tuesday at 2:16 pm
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Hello, I have a question.

What are the letters above the vowels indicated from 19seconds?

For example:

aa (b)

e (bj)

i (d)

o (dj)

u (f)

oe (fj)

yu (g)

Cantoneseclass@101.com
Sunday at 12:09 pm
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Hello enjoykhg


Hope you find this audio chart helpful. I always go back to this chart when I am not so sure the pronuciation.

Jyutping Chart

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


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

enjoykhg
Friday at 12:59 pm
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but what if “U” sound at begging? for example, 屋…

I am intermediate learner but this is still confusing.

enjoykhg
Friday at 12:59 pm
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but what if "U" sound at begging? for example, 屋...

I am intermediate learner but this is still confusing.

Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Friday at 11:59 am
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Hi Steven,


You can watch the lesson couple more times and you will get familiar with it.


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com