The most common used Cantonese pronunciation system is jyutping 粵語拼音, for it does not only give you the sound, but also give the tone. In tonal languages, different tones of a sound can make a great difference of meaning. For example, 媽 (maa1) and 嫲 (maa4) mean mother and grandmother respectively. If you can’t speak it in right tone, it will become a joke! There is a shortcut to master the “Nine Tones”. You can practice the numbers (3-9-4-0-5-2-7-8-6). The sequence the above order is exactly from Tone 1 to Tone 9. Try it and you will get the feeling.
* when we say 媽媽 (mother) in Cantonese, we sometimes pronounce it maa4 maa1.
“Nine Tones” in Cantonese – 粵語九聲調
Exercise 1 of Nine “Tones” in Cantonese – 粵語九聲調練習 1
Exercise 2 of Nine “Tones” in Cantonese – 粵語九聲調練習 2
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