Please refer to Cantonese tone chart beforehand. I made these gifs from a TV programme that introduces Cantonese tone. The rolling lines are a poem that describes the characteristics of each tone.

平聲 Level Tone

平道莫低昂- level path, don’t lower, don’t raise

上聲 Rising Tone

 高呼猛烈強 – “it loudly calls, vehement ardent, strong.”

去聲 Departing Tone

分明哀遠道 – “clear, distinct, its dull, low path is long”

“The 去聲, departing tone, is a prolonged tone, diminishing while it is uttered, just as a diminuendo, does in music, and sounded gruffly……They call it departing tone, because it goes away like flowing water never to return.”

入聲 Entering Tone

短促急收藏 – short, quick, take back in hurry


Speaking of sword, many people think that the sound of Cantonese is like sword clank, 鏗鏘. The following is a Cantonese song about sword, 刀劍如夢, and I think Cantonese sound does suit the theme.