Chinese Courses in Hong Kong
Updated: October 13, 2021
So you'd like to learn Chinese in Hong Kong? Whether you'd like to study Cantonese or Mandarin Chinese here in Hong Kong, we have a first rate Chinese Language Course to suit your needs.
Our professional team of native-speaker Chinese teachers offer intensive full-time Mandarin Chinese Courses, intensive full-time Cantonese Courses, and one-to-one or small group private Cantonese or Mandarin Chinese classes.
See the images below or simply click the “Quick View” links below to learn more about the most suitable Chinese course for you!
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” Which Chinese Language Course is right for you? “
Study either 24 or 15 hours per week
on our Intensive 24 or Intensive 15 Mandarin
Chinese Courses offering local and overseas
students full-time study at our
Hong Kong Language Centre.
Learn Chinese in Hong Kong – 6 Good Reasons Why
1. Hong Kong is an Education Superpower
An international study in 2012 heralded Hong Kong is an ‘education superpower’. Perhaps due to it’s historic connections with the UK, Hong Kong has an East-meets-West education system that is of a very high standard.
Universities in Hong Kong are ranked among the best in Asia and shine in areas like Business (especially MBAs) and Medicine. Indeed, (in 2021) five of Hong Kong’s universities ranked in the top 200 universities in the world according to several different surveys.
Hong Kong takes great pride in its record as a world leader in education and when you decide to study Chinese in Hong Kong, you will be part of this renowned education system.
2. You Can Explore the Whole of South East Asia
Learning Chinese in Hong Kong will give you ample opportunity to explore this fascinating region of the world. With one of the most modern, efficient and easily accessible transport systems globally, Hong Kong is your gateway to mainland China as well as other fascinating countries throughout South East Asia. Take the occasional break from your formal Chinese language studies in Hong Kong and head off to a neighbouring Chinese speaking region to get plenty more Chinese conversational practise.
3. Learn Chinese Culture
Taking a Chinese language course in Hong Kong will give you a chance to learn about Chinese culture on a personal level. You will be able to practise your language skills in real life situations whilst learning to understand the nuances of meeting and interacting with Chinese. You will also learn how to conduct yourself within Chinese culture, both in business and social situations. Learning about Chinese culture is of particular importance to those who plan to do business in China on a regular basis. Indeed, it is just as important as acquiring the language skills.
4. Native-Chinese Speaking Teachers & Authentic Learning Environment
You don’t have to sit in classroom for months or years slowly pouring over boring text books to learn Cantonese or Mandarin Chinese. Many of the Chinese language schools in Hong Kong offer intensive classes to help you learn Chinese quickly. Your teachers in Hong Kong will be native-Chinese speakers and you will learn the language in real life situations instead of just in a classroom setting. Your native Chinese teachers will not only help you prepare your verbal language skills quickly, but also your written, reading and listening skills.
5. Practise Chinese on Real People in Real Situations
You will also be able to use your Chinese language skills on real people in real situations. The opportunities to use your new Chinese language skills are endless when you learn Chinese in Hong Kong. Frequent the fabulous and numerous Chinese restaurants here in this amazing city and practise all that you’ve learned during your Chinese lessons. Alternatively, just hop in a cab and try your Cantonese on one of the friendly local cab drivers. You will have ample opportunities to learn what does and doesn’t work when speaking the language. And since English is one Hong Kong’s official languages, you won’t be completely lost when you do venture out into the city.
6. Hong Kong is a Modern World City Surrounded by Beaches and Hiking Trails
Hong Kong (meaning fragrant harbour) is an ultra modern metropolis uniquely entwined with ancient tradition. It is the perfect blend of Eastern and Western influences. Whilst there’s no denying the fact that Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world and that the pollution here is an ‘issue’, you mustn’t let that put you off!
Hong Kong's Tranquil & Abundant Open Spaces
About 60 per cent of Hong Kong has yet to be developed and around 40 percent of Hong Kong’s territory is protected by lush country parks. In fact, if you take a 30 minute drive, train ride or boat trip from virtually anywhere in the city, you can find yourself basking on an idyllic beach. It may surprise you to learn that Hong Kong actually has more than 100 well maintained beaches.
Similarly, Hong Kong boasts around 300 km of government maintained hiking trails. There's nothing like hiking along any of these wonderful green mountain trails on weekends with friends or family. Indeed, any time the hustle and bustle of city life gets too much, there is an abundance of tranquil, open spaces to which you can escape.
Is it Better to Learn Mandarin or Cantonese in Hong Kong?
Whether to study Cantonese, Mandarin or even both languages whilst living in Hong Kong is a common conundrum shared by Hong Kong expats and locals alike. The choice is certainly an individual one and will ultimately be determined by your personal motives and goals. With this in mind, here are a few pointers to help you decide.
Similarities and Differences Between Mandarin and Cantonese
Learning Chinese is often considered relatively easy when compared to learning other languages. This is especially the case once you’ve got to grips with the challenge of reading or even writing the numerous Chinese characters. That said, many of the characters used in Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese are the same. As a result, you can learn one language (or dialect) and be able to read at a basic level of understanding information written in the other. It’s important to note, however, that some characters may have slightly differing meanings.
No Tricky Grammar Rules
Whether you are learning Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese you’ll be glad to know that, unlike other languages, there are no tricky verb forms or verb conjugations to contend with. Similarly, you’ll find almost no inflectional forms so, typically, words only have one grammatical form.
Whilst grammar between Cantonese and Mandarin is often quite similar, this is not always the case. There is quite a bit of difference, for example, in where verbs are placed. Pronunciation and vocabulary can be very different between the two as well.
Reading Differences Between Cantonese & Mandarin Chinese
As far as reading goes, Mandarin Chinese is pretty straightforward, with words being pronounced as they are written. However, this is not true for Cantonese, where words aren’t pronounced as they are written in many cases.
Do Mandarin & Cantonese Speakers Understand Each Other?
Cantonese is spoken by more than 60 million people in China. Generally, someone who speaks Cantonese, particularly as their mother-tongue, can understand some Mandarin Chinese.
Conversely, native Mandarin speakers are less likely to understand as much Cantonese. The degree to which a mainland Mandarin Chinese speaker understands Cantonese will often depend on how geographically close they live (or were raised) to a largely Cantonese speaking province. For example, people from Guangxi Province, which is close to Guandong where Cantonese is widely used, are more likely to understand Cantonese than those from Hubei Province where they mostly speak Mandarin dialects.
Why Learn Cantonese in Hong Kong?
If you’re planning to live and work here for some time, it definitely makes sense to learn Cantonese in Hong Kong. Your daily life will be much easier when you can speak fluently with locals in their language.
While English is an official language in Hong Kong, not everyone speaks it as well as they speak Cantonese. Building relationships with locals for work or business and simply living everyday life will be much easier when you learn Cantonese Chinese.
It’s also important to remember that Cantonese is spoken in vast areas outside of Hong Kong as well. So if you plan to do any traveling for business or pleasure to places like Macau, Guangzhou, or Guangdong province, or many other places in southern China, taking a Cantonese Chinese Course in Hong Kong will serve you well.
You might also want to learn Cantonese to get the most out of watching movies produced in Hong Kong. The language spoken in Hong Kong films is more often than not Cantonese and a lot of the meaning can be lost when there are English or even Mandarin Chinese subtitles. To fully appreciate these classic films, learning Cantonese is a must!
Why Learn Mandarin Chinese in Hong Kong?
Mandarin Chinese is much more widely used than Cantonese. It is the language of the media of much of mainland China. The education system of mainland China, including universities, uses Mandarin. So if you’re planning to work, live, or study more in mainland China, then taking a Mandarin Chinese Course in Hong Kong makes a lot of sense!
If you learn Mandarin, you will be able to keep you up-to-date on all of the news and information coming out of China on a daily basis, and it can help you build business relationships if you plan to live in Hong Kong but travel to China often for work.
How Long Does it Take to Learn to Speak Chinese?
Before enrolling on one of our Chinese courses here in Hong Kong, students often ask how long it will take to become fluent in Chinese. The simple answer is it that it is entirely up to you. Like learning any language, it depends on how much time and effort you put in. The speed at which you pick up the language will also depend on your own abilities, the learning environment you choose and how often you get to practice using the language.
For example, you’re far more likely to master Cantonese in Hong Kong than you would studying it in your native country. Learning Cantonese in Hong Kong will allow you plenty of opportunities to practise the language with local native speakers outside the classroom. This is a great benefit that you simply cannot get by studying somewhere that Cantonese is not a widely spoken language.
Simple Conversations in Chinese Within 2 Months or Less
We cannot pretend that you can learn to speak Chinese fluently within one month. Obviously, it does take some time to get used to the sounds and the grammar of Chinese just like with any other foreign language. However, if you work with a good, well-qualified, native Chinese teacher like the teaching professionals here at Q language, and you put in extra work outside of the classroom (say, at least an hour a day) then it’s quite possible to start having simple conversations within two or three months - for some people, it can be even less.
Read our blog post How to Become Fluent in Chinese for some great tips on becoming fluent quickly!
Basic Fluency in Chinese Within a Year
You might be able to get to basic fluency in about one year where you are able to express yourself and make yourself understood easily in general conversation. And even if you are far from perfect with many words yet to learn after, say, two years, you can actually still be pretty fluent. Besides, at that stage it's more about getting to grips with the more advanced vocabulary that you wouldn't necessarily use on a day-to-day basis. Similarly, improving your listening ability to try and understand more of what people are saying, fine-tuning your pronunciation and increasing your vocabulary are all very important. It will become much more natural after this point if you continue to study proactively.
Chinese Locals Appreciate Foreigners Speaking Even a Little Chinese
Chinese is an incredibly rich language and there is always more to learn. Even if you’ve been studying for many years, you can still learn new things every day. However, don't let that put you off as you can always learn to speak enough of Chinese to travel and get by after just a few months. The most important thing is to keep up your studies. Chinese people really appreciate foreigners speaking even a little Chinese, so we encourage you to just make a start and stick at it!
Ultimately, the decision to learn either Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese depends on your future goals and priorities. Where you plan to live and who you plan to interact with on a daily basis will help you determine which is best for you to learn. If you have the time and resources, consider learning both if you’re torn between the two.
Our Students Love Q Language!
I came to Hong Kong because I love this city and I think there are good opportunities for doing business in the future, so I decided to study Chinese because it will be very useful. I’ve been studying Intensive Mandarin at Q Language for 2 years and I can now speak Chinese.
Hong Kong is a very international city and I meet people from many different countries. I can speak in English here and I can practise my Chinese also, so it’s very convenient to live here.
My brother lives in HK and he invited me to study here. I was nervous as Hong Kong was unfamiliar, but I soon made many friends at Q Language and the teachers here are wonderful.
-Shopper C, Thailand