CantoneseClass101 Premium Review

CantoneseClass101 is one of the best resources available on the Interwebs (Internet) for Cantonese learning, not only for its depth and variation of available learning content, but also the easy to use integration with the companion mobile app.

In this review, we are going to cover some of the key features and then give overall impressions of the sites strengths as well as its weaknesses.

Registration and Setup


(Click the picture to go to the homepage and register).

This is the screen that you will see when you first land on the homepage.  

  1. Choose your level based on what you think you are (aside from setting initial lesson suggestions, this choice will not change too much for you in terms of site experience, so don’t overthink this one).
  2. Then enter your email and click join now.
  3. They will send a confirmation email, go to your email and click confirm.

Note: They have a tendency to send a large volume of email so be prepared for that, and once you upgrade to premium you can unsubscribe from the mailing list.

Once you do this, you will be automatically given a 7 day free trial to most of the common premium features on the site, however, this does not unlock everything.

Audio and Video Lessons

CantoneseClass101 Audio and Video lessons are aligned to CEFR (Common European Framework) grading levels, ranked in 5 levels from Absolute Beginner to Advanced.  When asked in a review about their ArabicPod101 lesson grading, Innovative Language had this to say:

Innovative Language believes in practical expressions, aligned to CEFR proficiency levels, in the natural context of native speech. Most lessons, then, begin with a dialogue in which a language skill is introduced in context. The rest of the lessons then go on to talk more about the cultural context in which the dialogue takes place, and the key vocabulary, phrases, morphology, and syntax that allow the learner to carry out the particular language task.

Lessons are separated into Audio and Video categories and cover some of the following topics:

  • Culture Class: Holidays in Hong Kong
  • Survival Phrases
  • Top 25 Cantonese Questions You Need to Know
  • Getting a Job in Hong Kong
  • Landlord Problems in Hong Kong
  • Ultimate Cantonese Pronunciation Guide
  • Cantonese in 3 Minutes

Most video and audio content is geared towards beginners to intermediate learners.  Here is a shot of the lesson interface,


Here are some examples of video lessons on Youtube.

Learn Cantonese in 3 Minutes Video Series:

Cantonese Listening Comprehension Series:

Additional Tools and Learning Features

In addition to the audio and video lessons, CantoneseClass101 as well as all of the Pod101 and Class101 language learning sites have a suite of learning tools and features.  Some are great!  Some are hit or miss, and some are what you make of them. Overall though, I would say that about 80 percent of the features are useful and very high functioning.

Here is the provided feature breakdown of different subscription levels as provided by CantoneseClass101.


List of Features for Premium:

  • Lesson Archive
  • PDF Lesson Notes
  • Lesson Checklist
  • Cantonese Core Words and Phrases
  • Mobile Access through the Innovative101 App (iOS) / Innovative101 App (Android)
  • Season Vocabulary
  • Custom Lists Web App
  • Jyutping Chart
  • Cantonese Dictionary
  • Line-by-Line Audio Transcript
  • Interactive Lesson Quizzes
  • Word Bank
  • Spaced Repetition Flashcards
  • Accent Review
  • Grammar Bank

Here is a screenshot of the feature list inside the site.


Screenshot of the Line-By-Line dialogue breakdown feature:



CantoneseClass101 is a powerful tool for beginners and intermediate learners to learn the fundamentals of the language and has an amazing library of the best Cantonese specific learning content available anywhere.

It lacks a large amount of content for advanced learners, but it is still worth getting for the quality of instruction.


  • Great Features
  • Amazing Content
  • Cost is low comparative to what you’re getting access to.


  • Lack of content for upper intermediate / advanced learners.
  • If you don’t sign up and upgrade to premium, marketing can get spammy. Once you upgrade, just remove yourself from the mailing list and you should be good to go.

If you would like to subscribe to CantoneseClass101 –

  1. Visit here and register an account, confirming your email.
  2. Visit here and upgrade your account.


There are several ways of greeting people in Cantonese in casual situations, but here you will learn how to give a quick self introduction suitable for more formal occasions like a job interview or meeting the in-laws. Click here to get more Cantonese lessons!

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 6.17.50 PM

你好 - Nei5 ho2 Falling/Rising Tone x 2

First, say the Cantonese word for hello. Like Mandarin, it also means “you good” or “you well”. You start with a deep rising tone for the first character and then a slightly higher rising tone for the second character.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 6.17.33 PM

我係 - Ngo5 hai6 Falling/Rising + Falling Tone

Then, say I am and then your name. The first character means “I” and then second character means “is/am”. The English equivalent would be “I am Natalie”.

Now that you know how to say your name. The next part will really impress your peers!

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 6.17.59 PM

好高興 – Hou2 go1 hing3  Falling/rising + High tone + Middle tone

“好” means good/very, “高” means high and “興” means interest/eagerness. So, the english equivalent of “好高興” would be close to “it is of high interest” or “it is a great pleasure”.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 6.17.37 PM

認識你 – ying6 sik1 nei5 Falling + High Tone + Falling/Rising Tone

“認識” means “to be aquainted with” and “你” mean ‘you’. The whole phrase together “好高興認識你” in English means “It is a great pleasure to be aquainted with you” or in other words, “Pleased to meet you”. Not bad right?

Now, what do you say if you are greeting a group of people?

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 8.56.08 PM

你哋 – Nei5 Dei6 Falling/Rising + Falling Tone

When you want to say “you” in the plural form you just stick a “哋” (sounds like “day”) at the end. Simple!

This last phrase is really polite and perfect for business situations or meeting important people. Using this would be a bit too formal for a casual setting but, to show even more respect you would normally greet the oldest person first and the youngest last if in a group setting.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 6.18.12 PM

Cantonese grammar is super similar to Mandarin Chinese so once you’ve mastered one of them, you have a pretty good chance of mastering the other twice as fast. Enjoy learning!

Click here for more Cantonese lessons!