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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Cantonese Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn the final 6 Cantonese consonants.
d-/-t, t, z, c, w, -
Are you ready? Then let's get started!
The first consonant is...
d-/-t
打 (daa2)
多 (do1)
突 (dat6)
This sound is represented by the letter D in the initial position, or represented by the letter T in the final position. It sounds like the T in the word 'stand'. There should not be a burst of air when you pronounce this sound. Listen to (host name).
d-/-t, d-/-t (slowly)
d-/-t, d-/-t (slowly)
The next consonant is...
t
他 (taa1)
拖 (to1)
土 (tou2)
This sound is represented by the letter T. It sounds like the T in the word 'tan'. Ensure that there's a burst of air when you pronounce this sound. Listen to (host name).
t, t (slowly)
t, t (slowly)
The next consonant is...
z
炸 (zaa3)
借 (ze3)
至 (zi3)
This sound is represented by the letter Z, but it actually sounds more like a TS or DZ sound. Think of pronouncing the word 'zoo' with a T in front of it. The trick here is to emphasize the T sound whilst mixing in a *very* slight Z sound. Pronouncing it quickly may also help. There should not be a burst of air when you're pronouncing this sound. Listen to (host name).
z, z (slowly)
z, z (slowly)
The next consonant is...
c
車 (ce1)
翅 (ci3)
茶 (caa4)
This sound is represented by the letter C, but it actually sounds more like a TS sound. This is very similar to the previous sound, except there is a prominent burst of turbulent air. This is the only difference between the two sounds, so make sure you are able to differentiate the two. Remember, you want to emphasize the T more than the S sound. Listen to (host name).
c, c (slowly)
c, c (slowly)
The next consonant is...
w
蛙 (waa1)
窩 (wo1)
烏 (wu1)
Like the W in the word 'we'.
w, w (slowly)
w, w (slowly)
The final consonant sound is...
愛 (oi3)
澳 (ou3)
哀 (oi1)
"This sound isn't represented by any letter, but it is sometimes produced before an A, E, O, or at the end of some final consonants. This sound, or one can argue, lack of sound, is the abrupt pause that takes place before the next sound is released suddenly.
You can pronounce it by contracting your throat muscles quickly to obstruct the airflow, and then releasing the pressure abruptly.
Because the vocal cords are held tightly together, this prevents them from vibrating, so you should not hear anything for a short period of time.
Some English speakers may produce this sound when pronouncing the word 'button' for example, or when they say 'uh-oh!'
Listen to (host name)."
-, - (slowly)
-, - (slowly)
Well done! You just learned the final 6 consonant sounds in Cantonese.
d-/-t, t, z, c, w, -
We've covered every single sound that could possibly appear in Cantonese. With these sounds, you can pronounce anything in Cantonese. Isn't that great?
How difficult were they to learn? Please comment and share your thoughts.
See you in the next Ultimate Cantonese Pronunciation Guide lesson!

15 Comments

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CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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We've covered every single sound that could possibly appear in Cantonese.
How difficult were they to learn? Please comment and share your thoughts.

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 04:51 PM
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Hi Tim,


Thanks for your question. 😉

In fact, it is how the Jyutping system works. For your information, there is also another Cantonese romanization system, namely Yale, which has the "y" instead of "j". Besides, in Jyutping, "ei" is for the "ay" sound in English.


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Tim
Sunday at 02:47 PM
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I'm confused by some of the Jyutping letters. If Jyutping is an attempt to phonetically spell Cantonese words with Roman letters, why do they have "j" for "y", "e" for the "ay" sound, or "i" for the "ee" sound?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 05:52 PM
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Hi William,


Thanks for your question.

No, there are no differences in pronunciation of "z" with different vowels or when two “z” words are used together. 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

William
Saturday at 09:13 AM
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Hello,

I’m wondering if there are grammar rules on how to pronounce “z” for different words. Sometimes it sounds like dz/ts, but other times sounds more like the J” sound in mandarin (今天的 “J”) but with more of an dz mixed in...


正在 is zing3 zoi6

Or 製造 zai3 zou6

直接 zik6 zip3


Are there differences in pronunciation with different vowels or when two “z” words are used together?


多謝

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 05:43 AM
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Hi Shana,


Thank you for your kind feedback! 😉 We are very happy to hear you are enjoying our lessons so much. If you ever have any questions, please let us know!


Kind regards,

利凡特 (Levente)

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Shana
Wednesday at 12:42 PM
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That was actually quite difficult, but you guys do such a good job of explaining how to make the sounds. I'm sure I can sound like a native speaker one day if I keep practicing my pronunciation.

Hualani
Monday at 08:28 AM
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TYVM, well done. My questionʻs concerning last consonent taught demonstrated as “- ?”

I’m curious why it isn’t taught as glottal stop? Is it a glottal stop?

Other languages have glottal stops in alphabets, some recognized as consonents, some as vowels,

Most commonly theyʻre demonstrated as ‘ , or single apostrophe mark, glyph.

It does work well to use example uh’oh. Demonstrated as a hyphen in English, or an apostrophe,

If not a glottal stop? As in sheeps Ba’ah? Or the type of fresh lava rock, Hawaiian name Aʻa?

Choice of diacriticial markings (hyphen vs. apostrophe) or glyph is less important than correct, natural pronunciation.


If I’m wrong, I’m confident I will learn more soon, including written form for this alphabetical inclusion.

Have a wonderful day.


CantoneseClass101.com
Thursday at 03:48 PM
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Hello Lynn,


Thanks for leaving us a question. 😉

"-" is just to show this sound isn't represented by any letter. It is not written in the romanisation.

You can read the last part about the final consonant again to get a clearer picture of it. 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Lynn
Sunday at 01:43 PM
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I don't understand the last consonant in this lesson. So it is just written as '-'???

Cantoneseclass@101.com
Saturday at 09:49 AM
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Hello Marina,


For the Pronunciation.........

Jyutping is the romanization system for Cantonese and it has 6 tones. Pinyin is the official romanization system for Mandarin which has 4 tones. So the pronunciation of them is quite different most of the time.


In spoken Cantonese, there are many different slang and characters that do not exist in Mandarin. Some characters such as {唔(m4)~not}, {佢(keoi5) ~ he,she} or {哋(dei6)~plural} are only used in spoken Cantonese. In standard written Mandarin and Cantonese, they should be written as {不(bat1)~not}, {他(taa1)~he}, {們 (mun4)~indicates plurality} instead of

{唔(m4)~not}, {佢(keoi5) ~ he,she} or {哋(dei6)~plural} .


In Writing........

The written form is almost the same between Cantonese and Mandarin for documents. When speaking daily conversation Cantonese speakers tend to use the spoken form character which is quite different from the one of Mandarin and standard written forms of Cantonese.


So there are quite lots of differences in pronunciation between Cantonese and Mandarin so the Jyutping and Pinyin systems are different. So even for the Mandarin speaker who knows the Pinyin system still has to get familiar with the Cantonese

6 tones in Jyutping system.


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com