Cantonese is spoken by more than 55 million people in Guangdong (also known as Canton), the most populous province of China. Many people speak Cantonese in other parts of the world as well — especially in Vietnam, where over a million people are fluent in this language.

 

If you would like to also learn Cantonese, you should consider using an online tutoring service. This will allow you to receive live feedback from an expert without the inconvenience of traveling to in-person classes. In this guide, we’ll take you through the top Cantonese tutoring services that are available online and show you how to get the most value out of these courses.

How to Pick an Online Cantonese Tutoring Service

Which online Cantonese tutoring service is the best option for you? The answer to this question, of course, will depend on your specific needs. After you consider why you want to learn Cantonese in the first place, you should have no problem narrowing down your options.

Learning a new language for travel

If you’re only interested in learning Cantonese to help you get through a couple weeks of travel, then there’s no need to invest all the time and money that it would take to become completely fluent. In this case, we recommend using CantoneseClass101, which is highly affordable and can teach you enough Cantonese for small tasks such as booking a hotel or ordering a meal at a restaurant.

Learning Cantonese for work

Many people need to learn Cantonese for work, as Guangdong (which borders Hong Kong and Macao and includes the major cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen) is one of the most active commercial regions in the world. Compared to learning Cantonese for travel, learning Cantonese for work usually involves reaching a much higher level of fluency — after all, even a small miscommunication can lead to a situation such as accidentally offending a client, signing  a contract that you don’t fully understand, etc. Transparent Language is the best provider for those who want to develop an advanced understanding of Cantonese.

Help with studying Cantonese for school

Marketplace-style platforms, such as Italki and Preply, allow you to choose from hundreds of Cantonese tutors. With all of the different options available, students can often use these providers to find an instructor who has experience teaching for a specific exam.

How We Picked the Best Online Cantonese Tutoring Services

To determine which online Cantonese tutoring providers stand out as the absolute best, we first created a list of the most popular services. Then, we refined our list by assessing each option’s prices, features, and customer reviews. The last step in our process was trying out the user interfaces of these platforms ourselves in order to see which online tutoring services provide the best learning experience.

 

The 5 Best Online Cantonese Tutors

Whether you’re interested in learning Cantonese for travel, work, school, or any other reason, at least one of the services listed below should be able to provide you with exactly what you need.

CantoneseClass101

  • CantoneseClass101
  • CantoneseClass101

You can create your CantoneseClass101 account by simply signing into Facebook. 

The CantoneseClass101 mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices.

CantoneseClass101 offers a variety of resources for learning Cantonese, including over 1,600 pre-recorded audio and video lessons, PDF lesson notes, and vocabulary flashcards. We found that this platform’s interface is quite user-friendly, and they offer features such as slowed-down audio and line-by-line breakdowns to help you pick up the nuances of this language. Their mobile app allows you to easily learn some Cantonese while you’re away from home, making this provider a great choice for those who are often traveling.

To get the most value out of this provider, you should upgrade to their Premium Plus plan (while the base price of this plan is $47 per month, you can save money by making a long-term commitment – for example, paying for two years upfront would cost you $399, which works out to $16.63 per month). In addition to on-demand exercises, the Premium Plus plan offers one-on-one access to a Cantonese teacher, who will design a personalized learning plan for you, provide weekly assignments, and regularly evaluate your speaking and writing skills.

Price Basic: $8/month

Premium: $25/month

Premium Plus: $47/month

Free trial Free version available
Device  Desktop, mobile device
Format  On-demand exercises, one-on-one interaction with personal teacher
Certificate of completion:  Yes
Knowledge level  Beginner to intermediate

Learn more about CantoneseClass101.

 

Italki

  • Italki
  • Italki

Each Italki instructor profile displays how fluent they are in Cantonese and English. 

The calendar tool makes it easy to see when an instructor will be available.

This freelance marketplace offers over 100 Cantonese tutors for you to choose from. With Italki’s search and filtering tools, you’ll easily be able to find an instructor who’s a good match for your specific needs.

There are tutors on this platform who charge rates as low as $6 per hour – if you want live Cantonese tutoring at the most affordable price possible, this is certainly going to be one of your best options. It’s also worth noting that Italki has an excellent reputation among both former and current users – over 10,000 people have reviewed Italki on Trustpilot, and the platform has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5. “Italki has been a very easy way to begin my language learning journey,” wrote one student. “I was lucky that the first tutor I chose to do a taster lesson with has been the right fit! These first few weeks of learning Cantonese have been great, and I’m excited to keep going.”

Price $6 – $45 per hour
Free trial Discounted rate for trial lessons
Device  Desktop, mobile device
Format  Live video chat
Certificate of completion:  No
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Italki.

 

Transparent Language

  • Transparent Language
  • Transparent Language

In addition to tutoring for individuals, Transparent Language also provides tutoring for businesses, schools, libraries, and government agencies.

Transparent Language offers live chat customer support from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

This provider offers two options for live language tutoring: Transparent Connect Tutoring and Transparent Connect Capstone. Transparent Connect Tutoring allows you to schedule 30-minute sessions with a live instructor as needed. Your instructor will personalize your lessons for whichever areas you would like to focus on, such as vocabulary building, pronunciation practice, cultural familiarization, etc.

The Transparent Connect Capstone option is more structured. This 12-week course involves a total of 48 hours of instruction (36 hours of on-demand exercises and 12 hours of live lessons with an instructor). Transparent Connect Tutoring and Transparent Connect Capstone are both rather expensive compared to other providers, though. If you’re on a tight budget, you should check out more affordable options such as CantoneseClass101 or Italki.

Price Transparent Connect Tutoring: $79 for two-session package or $299 for eight-session package

Transparent Connect Capstone: $1,899

Free trial 14-day free trial available
Device  Desktop, mobile device
Format  On-demand exercises, live video chat
Certificate of completion:  Yes
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Transparent Language.

 

AmazingTalker

  • AmazingTalker
  • AmazingTalker

With over a million users, AmazingTalker is one of the most popular online language tutoring providers.

The AmazingTalker matching quiz will assess your availability, budget, and learning goals in order to help you find the right tutor.

Like Italki, AmazingTalker is a marketplace-style platform that allows you to choose your own tutor. One feature we really like about this platform is their matching quiz, which can help you find the perfect tutor for your particular situation in just a couple minutes.

AmazingTalker has a solid 4.2 out of 5 average rating on Trustpilot. Overall, users are happy with the quality of AmazingTalker’s instructors, but some students have had bad experiences with their customer support.

Price $10 – $30 per lesson
Free trial Discounted rate for trial lessons
Device  Desktop, mobile device
Format  Live video chat
Certificate of completion:  Yes
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about AmazingTalker.

 

Preply

  • Preply
  • Preply

Preply has a strict selection process and verifies the identity of each of their tutors.

Each instructor profile will show you their schedule, subject specialties, and customer reviews.

Another freelance marketplace, Preply offers a selection of more than 150 Cantonese tutors. Also, any business users who need language tutoring for their staff should strongly consider choosing Preply —– this platform has been used to train employees at industry-leading organizations such as Zendesk, Eventbrite, and ByteDance.

Users have given Preply an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 on Trustpilot. Students generally praise Preply’s tutors and customer support, but they sometimes run into technical issues on this platform. “The teacher is great,” wrote one student. “He is very organized and teaches well. I also like how easy it is to buy and schedule hours. However, I have had many technical problems where we had to do the lesson via Skype, because the website wasn’t working or the audio quality was too poor.”

Price $5 – $40 per hour
Free trial Discounted rate for trial lessons
Device  Desktop, mobile device
Format  Live video chat
Certificate of completion:  Yes
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Preply.

 

Other Cantonese Tutoring Services to Consider

All of the providers listed above only offer language tutoring, but there are also options you should consider that provide a broader set of services . For example, Varsity Tutors is a great service to check out if you’re still having trouble finding the right fit for your specific needs, as they offer an especially strong selection of Cantonese tutors for you to choose from.

What to Expect When Using An Online Cantonese Tutoring Service

Each online tutoring service offers its own unique user experience. On some platforms, the interaction with your tutor is minimal —– you may only be able to reach out when you have questions or need an assignment assessed. There are also platforms that don’t involve any at-home assignments and are entirely based on live video chat sessions with your tutor.

Some of the platforms based on video chat provide group sessions in addition to one-on-one sessions. This is an excellent option for anyone who is particularly concerned about their budget, as group sessions are generally offered at a much lower per-person cost than one-on-one sessions.

What you need to learn cantonese using an online tutor

All you need to take online Cantonese classes is a reliable computer or mobile device and a high-speed internet connection. To really succeed in these courses, you should carve out at least an hour (ideally two or three hours) per week in your schedule for studying Cantonese. If you can’t make that time commitment, you’re not going to be able to make any significant progress. We also recommend that you turn one of the quietest rooms in your home into a designated study area, as this will help you avoid distractions and stay focused.

Free vs. Paid Online Cantonese Tutors: What’s the Difference?

While there are plenty of free video and audio lessons available online for learning Cantonese, these self-study resources offer limited value. You may be able to learn some vocabulary and basic language concepts this way, but you’ll need the help of an experienced instructor to make sure you’re not making any mistakes with your pronunciation or grammar. Access to a tutor will almost always cost you some money, but this price is worth it if you want to truly learn Cantonese.

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