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Popup Cantonese

Language Learning

Popup Cantonese teaches Cantonese as it is actually spoken. Start with our basic Cantonese lessons, and in no time you'll be speaking like everyone else in Hong Kong. Our free daily podcasts, vibrant community, and love for the real China make us the most powerful and personal way to learn Cantonese.

Popup Cantonese teaches Cantonese as it is actually spoken. Start with our basic Cantonese lessons, and in no time you'll be speaking like everyone else in Hong Kong. Our free daily podcasts, vibrant community, and love for the real China make us the most powerful and personal way to learn Cantonese.


Beijing, China


Popup Cantonese teaches Cantonese as it is actually spoken. Start with our basic Cantonese lessons, and in no time you'll be speaking like everyone else in Hong Kong. Our free daily podcasts, vibrant community, and love for the real China make us the most powerful and personal way to learn Cantonese.




75 Chaoyangmen Nei Dajie, Beijing, China, 100086 (+86)-10-84030540


Beginner - Pushing a Car

Admittedly, this lesson doesn't have much to do with life in Hong Kong, if only because none of us can remember the last time we've actually driven on the island. In our car that is, because while we definitely enjoy shuffling around in a cab every now and then, if said cab happened to break down there is absolutely zero chance we would get out and help the driver push given the near 100 percent humidity.


Elementary - Mrs. Robinson

Mrs. Robinson had pushed her daughter to get involved with the university sports program. "You spend too much time in the library," she gestured dismissively at the concrete edifice. "Why don't you try to make different kinds of friends and broaden your experience here." And then had come the dinner parties, end-of-year gatherings and various minor sports celebrations: supportive parenting at its best. Note: this lesson is at the easier end of our Elementary level, it might even be...


Elementary - iPad Acquisition Techniques

There are a couple of ways to get an iPad. The most expensive is to walk into the IFC and just buy one. But why wait in line? Or risk falling down that glass staircase and breaking your neck? We have your interests in mind, which is why this week we're going to talk about safer, alternative methods of iPad procurement. Oh, and we'll be chatting about Nicole's crazy father as well. Learning Cantonese? Our elementary podcast for today covers an easy way to ask rhetorical questions....


Advanced - Our Love-Hate Relationship with China

You think you have a love-hate relationship with China? Ever since 1997 we've been privvy to nothing but complaints over the water cooler about those guys. And then they complain back at us. No wonder 2012 was such a rough year in the annals of Hong Kong - China relations. That said, we're progressive people and are sick of the constant moaning. Which is why for this advanced Cantonese podcast, we found a couple of Hong Kong locals and locked them together with some mainland Chinese...


Elementary - 30 Degrees

The temperature in Kowloon Financial's head office had risen steadily through the day, from a comfortable twenty degrees at opening to its current sweat-inducing thirty degrees. James would have opened the window to create a draft, but with the temperature outside several degrees higher than this, and not even the least wind blowing in off the bay, it seemed that the only thing to do was suffer through this heatwave, or find whoever was responsible for fixing the air conditioner. Learning...


Advanced - Life as a Running Dog

This week we're happy to release an advanced show that's one hundred percent native Cantonese. In our studio this week are Aldo and Melody, who take to our studio to chat about relations between Hong Kong and China, and why we don't particularly mind being called running-dogs by certain members of the mainland political establishment. So if you're living in Hong Kong and working towards fluency, give a listen and let us know what you think. And feel free to leave your own thoughts in the...


Intermediate - Nepotism in Action

The internship program was one of the most prestigious in all Washington State. And while Susan had expected running it to be a challenge, she had not expected the largest hurdles to come from the company's own upper management, which soon began exerting pressure to find space for the sons and daughters of those connected to the board. And so much so that what used to be a program attracting the smartest and brightest in the country was rapidly descending into a day care center for a more...


Beginner - The Four Flavors

One of the best things about living in Hong Kong is the amazing culinary diversity in the city, and particularly the whole range of Asian cuisines. If you're planning on taking full advantage of life in the culinary metropolis that is Hong Kong, you'll need to know the Cantonese to talk about tastes and flavors. Which is where this podcast comes in, eager to cover all the bases from sweet to sour. Learning Cantonese? This Cantonese lesson is intended for beginners to the language. If you...


Elementary - Drinks after Work

Mary had expected the long hours and the occasionally soul-crushing minutiae of handling the international accounts. Carpenter & Wilkins was one of the leading law firms on the island and catered to a top-tier clientele of financial firms, which meant a constant inflow of new legal issues. But even though her work environment was challenging, Mary found her job a lot less social than she had expected. Perhaps it was memories of law school, but she had expected more camaraderie with her...


Intermediate - Dinner for One

What was it about the New York professional set when it came to punctuality and romance? This was Susan's third date in mid-town Manhattan and the third time she'd been kept waiting over half an hour. In most situations you try to be a little flexible, sure, but thirty minutes? On a first date? It was as if this section of the city existed in a private bubble where the normal rules of social courtesy simply didn't apply. She glared at her watch and resolved to wait another five minutes, no...


Elementary - Our Morning Workout Routine

It's not that we don't like the gym. It's that our enthusiasm for thirty minutes on the treadmill is highly contingent on the time of day, and what you're suggesting means getting out of bed at six in the morning and biking downtown before the subway even opens for the day. That might interest other people. But not us. Because if the sun isn't up then neither are we. Learning Cantonese? If you're a total beginner to the language you'll want to start from our series on high-frequency...


Elementary - You're a bad, bad boy....

Up until he turned five, Henry had never known the darker side of life, and his existence passed as a series of pleasures which ran one into the next. As he grew the boy discovered in turn the joy of self-locomotion, the power of speech, and the pleasure of socializing with a group of well-adjusted peers. And yet these happy times were not to last, as events beyond the young boy's control conspired to draw storm clouds over this idyllic period and introduce a dangerous and uncontrollable...


Elementary - Cat in the Fridge

The thought was too horrible to bear: could the household be passing through wartime rationing? The mid-afternoon milkings which had once satiated them as kittens had become at first irregular before disappearing completely. Debating this crisis from the comfort of the third floor sundeck, Edmund and Lucy decided the time had come for action. If they were not to live their lives at the mercy of others for basic food security, it would be necessary to find their own reserves, however...


Intermediate - The Investigation

The moon had been hidden behind a layer of clouds blown in off the ocean, lending some credence to the claims of the parking lot staff not to have seen the actual killing. But while the evidence against the main suspect was admittedly circumstantial, the political pressure to secure his conviction was more intense than in any similar case, as it was clear to those in power that the murder of Andrei Prodan had not only been uncommonly vicious, but an affront to Hong Kong's fundamental...


Beginner - Book Smarts

It's hard to pull off being passive aggressive in a Cantonese. It isn't just that you need to keep your words in the right order, master those tones, and avoid flubbing the grammar, but you also have to perfect a certain je ne said quoi, a sort of supercilious attitude that never lets the other person be sure if you're really playing with them. Want to learn the ropes? Then consider yourself lucky then that we have plenty of passive aggressive voice actors. And you have us.


Beginner - Working Out

Normally, Allan spent thirty minutes on the treadmill and then another half hour lifting weights, or at least hovering in the vicinity of the weight-lifting equipment soaking in the general vibes of the health equipment. As he woke up this morning with a slight headache from last night's business dinner, he wondered if perhaps it would be better to drop the cardio completely today and focus one hundred percent on the weightlifting? Learning Cantonese? Even if you're as generally slothful as...


Intermediate - The Boy Wizard

Melody was halfway through chapter five by Tuesday morning. As is traditional with children's stories, her novel had started with the somewhat cliched passage of the children heading off to school. But it was now thickening with hints of the titanic struggle between good and evil to come, a clash that would test the extremes of both friendship and magic. As she finished another paragraph, the author couldn't help but glow at the thought of the Pulitzer that would almost certainly be...


Beginner - This and That

Learning Cantonese? Trust us that no matter how fluent you get, at some point your language skills will fail and you'll find yourself resorting to pointing and grunting. Which is where this podcast comes in. In this Cantonese lesson for relative newbies, we teach you how point to things and express your opinion about them. Useful for everything from ordering room service at the Peninsula to buying electronics in Shenzhen. So listen in and let us know what you think!


Elementary - Shopping for Clothes

Planning to spend the next few years walking around Hong Kong buck naked? Both we and the local police are guessing not, which means that at some point you'll have to head out and purchase clothing from a local shop in Hong Kong. And while the good news is that Hong Kong is considered a mecca for exactly this activity, the bad news is that if you don't speak Cantonese you're at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to finding the best that the city has to offer. We can help you fix...


Beginner - The Apology

Grovelling isn't exactly our forte, but sometimes you need to put that dignity behind you to salvage whatever you can from your marriage. Like the time one of us arrived home at one o'clock in the morning after a grueling karaoke session only to find that it might not have been the best day in the year to miss dinner with the family for beers with the boss. Learning Cantonese? In this lesson we'll talk about what happens when you're late, as well as a few ways to apologize on those...