I have been trying to find Toisan language (aka Taishanese) material for some years now. As mentioned in my blog post, 'Learning Chinese: Cantonese or Mandarin? Or…? Taishanese!', I was recently successful in finding some rare learning material for this language.

From one of Aaron Lee's blog post, 'Cantonese (Toishan) Basic Course', I discovered that the U.S. Defense Language Institute was teaching a course in 'Toishan' back in the 1960s! They have since made the text material available online. (See Defense Language Institute's 'Chinese-Cantonese (Toishan) Basic Course'.) From that post too, I found a link to Ben's Cantonese Practice Journal: Toishanese (台山話) Textbook Audio, where he has provided the audio material for the Defense Language Institute's 'Chinese-Cantonese (Toishan) Basic Course'.

Unfortunately, due to a limit on file size on Ben's site, he had to provide each audio file separately; thus, it's a bit tedious downloading the audio material for the Defense Language Institute's 'Chinese-Cantonese (Toisan) Basic Course'. After downloading the material myself, I decided to package the material in zip files so that it's easier to download for anyone else looking for Toisan language material (I pay for my own server space on Linode, so I'm not as limited in my storage as Ben is on his site). Of course, I mentioned this to Ben at his site. He emailed me and clarified that the Toisan language material from the Defense Language Institute is now in the public domain (this means that the material is available to use), but is not to be sold by anyone else.

While I am happy to share this material with others on my site, I ask that people please respect the copyright of this material, especially since in this case it's in order to keep the material available for free. In other words, please do not download this material, re-package it, then sell it as your own work or leave off the author of the material. I think it's pretty crass to take another's work that's originally for free, then try to profit from it directly. I have seen this done on lulu.com before (it was material that is in the public domain with an 'Anonymous' author). Even if you may not know who the author is for something, this does not mean you can claim authorship nor should you profit from the material alone. If you don't know the author for something, you should list the material as 'Author Unknown'. If a material is 'Anonymous', it means that the author has chosen to keep his/her/their name secret, but he/she/they is/are still the author and the material must be listed as 'Anonymous'. (I should also note that the 'owner of a copyright' can be different from the 'author of material that's copyrighted'.)

You can download and share the audio material for the Defense Language Institute's 'Chinese-Cantonese (Toishan) Basic Course', but do not sell it and do not claim authorship. The material was originally put together by the Defense Language Institute.

Now that that's out of the way, here are the zip files for the Defense Language Institute's 'Chinese-Cantonese (Toishan) Basic Course' (Audio Material):

Volume 1 Drills
Volume 1 Lessons, Part 1
Volume 1 Lessons, Part 2
Volume 2 Lessons, Part 1
Volume 2 Lessons, Part 2
Volume 3 Lessons, Part 1
Volume 3 Lessons, Part 2
Volume 4 Lessons, Part 1
Volume 4 Lessons, Part 2
Volume 5 Lessons, Part 1
Volume 5 Lessons, Part 2
Volume 6 Lessons, Part 1
Volume 6 Lessons, Part 2

You can download the text material from DLI's 'Chinese-Cantonese (Toishan) Basic Course'. Since the above link no longer works ("PDF pending restoration"), you can download the text material here.

If you use Anki, you can download my DLI Toishan-Cantonese Chinese Anki deck. So far, the deck consists of characters, vocabulary, and expressions from Volume One through Volume Three. (Note that after downloading, you have to import the deck into your Anki. In Anki, select "File", "Import", and then select the "apkg" file from the folder where you have saved it.) The previous deck consisting of only Volumes One and Two is still available, but it is recommended that you use the latest deck since it contains the latest edits.

I have also created corresponding courses on Memrise. If you use Memrise, you can search under Taishanese for my courses. The direct links to the courses are:

DLI Toishan-Cantonese Volume 1
DLI Toishan-Cantonese Volume 2
DLI Toishan-Cantonese Volume 3

I have also created a separate Anki deck for Appendix F of the DLI material. Appendix F consists of kinship terms - you can download it here. The corresponding Memrise course is Taishanese 台山 Family and Relatives.

Under the Taishanese category, you will also see a short course called Beginner's Chinese Characters (in 台山話). This is based off another Anki deck of mine, which is also available for download.



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