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Problems in Essentials in Cantonese

The Essentials lesson in Cantonese contains the words


, which are supposed to mean “Yes” and “No”, respectively.

These choices make me question whether anyone who actually knows Cantonese was involved in creating the course. The two expressions in question are from Mandarin Chinese, and are not used at all in natural spoken Cantonese. They are used in song lyrics, where the composer wants to sound literary. In addition, when a Cantonese speaker reads aloud a text written in standard/Mandarin Chinese, they have to have some way to actually read what is written rather than translating the text into Japanese, so they would indeed pronounce the characters in the way taught in the lesson. But these expressions have no reason at all to be included in a Cantonese lesson, except at the very highest level, where you want people to be able to read aloud in Cantonese a text that was written in another language for China-wide consumption.

If I can spot such basic problems in a language I do know, I am led to wonder what errors there are in courses in languages I don’t already know, which risks damaging confidence in the whole enterprise. What is the general approach taken? Is it first of all to create as comprehensive a selection of courses as possible, and then to go back and improve them? I can understand that—after all, it’s probably better to have an imperfect course than none at all—but, if so, it may be advisable to give learners an indication of how complete each language course is.

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I think the answer is simple, each language course has exactly the same set of words to learn, so even though they are hardly used, they are there because the words yes and no are in every language course in Drops, so they are simply filling in the boxes. Although I have noticed several other oddities, such as fish and rain being exactly the same word / tone. Pretty sure that’s not right.


Thanks for playing Drops!

You’re right, the base is the same set of words for the languages, but we constantly work hard on improving both the app and the content, like including language specific / local words too.

For Cantonese, we’ve just made available the option to select Form: Written or Spoken.

Errors can happen, and we’re really sorry about them. We try our best to fix any mistake, as soon as possible, and will double check the words fish and rain to make sure they’re corrected, if necessary!

Keep playing, and please feel free to share your feedback, we always value our users’ thoughts and suggestions highly.


@ The Drops Support Team

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