8 free tools for learning Cantonese

Learning Cantonese doesn't need to be expensive. This article shows you how free tools available to anyone can help you boost your Cantonese skills!

1. Cantopop

It's the reason many people get started learning Cantonese in the first place, especially in Mainland China. There are numerous resources to get your music, lyrics, etc. from, a good place to get started researching this topic is probably on Reddit under /r/cantopop.

2. Anki

Anki is a great free flashcard tool that's available for desktop, online and mobile. It comes with a list of flashcard decks ready for you to download but also allows you to build your own ones if you wish. If you're interested in structured vocabulary maybe also have a quick look at our own Cantonese language resources.

3. Youtube

This is a straight forward one to most, but maybe not for all, so I put it in. The amount of free learning content Youtube provides you with is unparalleled. I'm talking not just about learning videos that teach you Cantonese, a lot more interesting are things like sport videos, music videos and other things targeting a certain topic that you're interested in and that you actually want to watch. This is when learning becomes easy and enjoyable.

4. Wikipedia

Similar to Youtube but for reading, Wikipedia provides you with a vast pool of information filled with articles on virtually any topic. Read the article on your favourite NBA team, your favourite singer, artist, business person, you name it. Make it a goal of yours to read 1 article a day in Cantonese and your progress will be through the roof. First step, of course is to get to a certain level of proficiency in characters.

5. CantoDict

CantoDict is an amazing resource for anybody learning Cantonese - regardless of level. There are a couple of things that help you get started but the most helpful part of the site is the dictionary put together with the help of volunteer Cantonese native speakers. A must for anybody getting started with Cantonese.

6. Podcasts

Similar to Youtube but audio only, podcasts provide a variety of both learning resources and topic targeting content. Podcasts can help you in any stage of your learning process and are perfect in combination with flashcards or vocabulary heavy learning resources like our own.

7. Meetup.com

This stands for a whole list of similar offerings, but I found Meetup.com to be one of the best out there for looking for either studying meetups or language exchange with Cantonese native speakers, especially in Hong Kong. There are also language exchange platforms online, just make a search and you should be able to find a list of those. For Cantonese it might also be interesting to check with a university close to you or visit China town - chances are that there are Cantonese native speakers there looking for language exchange sessions.

8. TV

This might only be useful if you're in Hong Kong, Macao or Mainland China, but if that's the case, TV is a great source for learning Cantonese - especially things like TV series or sport coverage where relatively easy language is used. In Hong Kong most TV has to be paid for, but usually there are some channels you get for free when e.g. setting up internet at home through your ISP. In Mainland China Guangdong TV is a great source for all sorts of topics with specialized channels for news, TV series, culture, sport and much more.


With the internet you have a bigger amount of information and resources at your fingertips than ever before. The vast amount of free resources online is often best utilized in conjunction with either language courses (online or in person) or other structured learning material like our Cantonese vocabulary resources. I hope this article can help you a bit to speed up your progress and make learning Cantonese more interesting!