There are three main reasons why people may want to acquire a language: to adapt to the environment, for practical needs, or solely for personal preference. To become fluent in a language, however, takes more than just the initial impulse to learn it. In order to become a native speaker, one must persist in learning, practicing and utilizing the language whenever possible. Take Cantonese as an example, many may find the language more difficult to master due to the existence of nine different tones. In addition, Cantonese does not have as many speakers around the world as other languages do. However, it does not change the fact that it is a widely popular one to learn. Of course, there is a reason why Cantonese is so well-loved.
Hong Kong is one of the Cantonese-speaking cities, a renowned one. She has been crowned as an international financial hub, a paradise for shopping and dining, and Pearl of the Orient. Many foreigners desire to learn Cantonese because they are attracted to Hong Kong as a dynamic, global metropolis. Others may be learning Cantonese for more practical reasons such as moving to or studying in Hong Kong.
It goes without saying that to be able to command a language thoroughly, one must grasp every opportunity they see to listen, to speak, to read and to write. In order to acquire the native accent and tone, beginners may take the time to watch Cantonese news broadcast. This not only familiarizes learners with local news, but also helps avoid the occurrence of slurred pronunciation in Cantonese, a problem that most native speakers are guilty of. Other than that, students may look for Cantonese classes that provide lesson recordings and small-class teaching to further increase their chances of utilizing and practising the language with attentive guidance. The above methods are all very useful to help build a strong foundation and hence consolidate when learning Cantonese.
To be able to express oneself in a new language, one must learn to convey ideas related to their daily life such as their experiences. This also helps students make friends in Cantonese-speaking cities, and communicate with native speakers naturally. To learn effectively, learners should encourage their native-speaking friends to correct, help and guide them in the language when they spot mispronunciation or misusage.
The above are methods that one could use in their daily life to catalyse Cantonese learning. Once one has mastered the tone and intonation in Cantonese, they would definitely be able to utilize the language effectively, and hence adapt to and enjoy a lively and dynamic city like Hong Kong.