SOAS University of London

China & Inner Asia Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

Languages of China & Inner Asia at SOAS: Cantonese

Cantonese is a vital living language spoken by upwards of a hundred million people in South-east China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Malaysia, Europe, Australia, Fiji, North America and many other parts of the world where the adventurous Cantonese people have settled. It is one of a large family of Chinese languages and retains many more traces of its ancient roots than do most of the other Chinese languages. On the other hand, it is a language which seems unafraid to adopt or adapt, notably from English in the past century or so, and it invents, evolves and discards slang at a frenetic rate. As a result it is a very rich language. (Hugh Baker and P. K. Ho, Cantonese: A Complete Course for Beginners, pp. vii, viii)

If you would like to learn Cantonese, contact Ms Lik Suen ( Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia.

Degree Programmes

Degree Course Options

Language Centre

Other Resources

  • Teaching Chinese Tones

Please Note: Not all courses and programmes are available every year