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How do you learn to speak Mandarin if you only know how to speak Cantonese


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Hello, my parents want to learn Mandarin but they only know Cantonese. They don't know how to use computers and don't have time to read books and study text. Are there CDs in Cantonese that would help people like my parents learn Mandarin. They want to listen to these CDs in the car while they drive to work. Thanks!

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I don't think it's possible to learn a language - any language - just by listening to a cd on the way to work, when you have half your mind on the traffic and the other half on the day ahead of you. Better to sit down every day for ten minutes to really study, or just accept that they don't have time and learning Mandarin is just not a priority at this point.

Some listening-based courses that people speak well of are Pimsleur and Chinesepod. I haven't tried either, but your parents can check it out. Chinesepod is in English though, not sure about Pimsleur. I know some people who taught themselves Mandarin (or Cantonese) by watching lots of soap operas in the target language, but I'm not sure if that works when you're not a kid anymore and picking up languages becomes harder. Perhaps you could also look into what courses are used in Hong Kong, there must be tons of people there who know only Cantonese but want to learn Mandarin.

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From the thread titled "Dictionary with simplified, traditional Chinese characters, and English":

I am trying to get a dictionary for my parents that already know traditional Chinese and speak decent English (writing and spelling English not so well).


Since your parents already know how to read Chinese, and standard written Chinese is basically Mandarin, your parents already know Mandarin.


It's just the Mandarin pronunciation of the characters that they need to work on.


Teach them pinyin and then get the dictionary.


Get them to watch videos in Mandarin and get them to read the subtitles along with what's said on screen.


I'm sure they'll get the hang of it in no time.



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