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After some time you will be able, with the help of the tool, to statistically declare one of the versions as the winner.
If you want to compare variations with multiple changes, like a button with different color and a page-title, you use a so called “multivariate” test. You can invite some people (The Sample) from this Large Group and let them use your website with a green button.
Statistical significance will tell you how likely it is that the Large Group will behave the same as The Samples just did.
You do need patience to get enough traffic to variations for the test to reach statistical significance. Some marketers will tell you that you should spend 50% of your time on the headline and the other 50% on your call to action (CTA). In the example below changing the shape and color of the button resulted in a 35% increase in conversion. In the example below, borrowed from Unbounce, the second headline resulted in a 68% increase in click through rate. We previously told you that images are not your search engine’s biggest friend (number 8 on our 10 steps to rank higher on Google list).
Sometimes we keep adding more and more to our websites and soon we have forgotten about the goals of the visitors and our goals for the website. In this example removing the social buttons resulted in an increased conversion to the basket of 11.9%.
In the following example from the Obama campaign page, the team did not reduce the number of fields in the form, but successfully split them up in smaller tabbed chunks reducing form-anxiety for the visitors.
Their bite-sized approach to study materials makes it appropriate for busy people and those who struggle with motivation, but it is certainly not any kind of shortcut and you will still have to do the hard work yourself. To help you with that hard work, I’ve put together my own guide for using the site as effectively as possible, and getting you speaking Cantonese quicker. Some people are reluctant to pay for online products, but it’s certainly the way things are going. Learning is arranged in courses of 25 lessons each, arranged by proficiency level, ranging from complete beginner to advanced.
On the website, there are a few powerful features accompanying each lesson, and, for me, are the most valuable part of the product.
Another page gives you a list of vocabulary from the dialogue, which, again, is clickable so you can hear the audio (natural speed and slowed-down) and see how it’s written. In addition to the lessons, there is a wide range of extra resources for beginners, which, for me, adds real value for people learning Cantonese for the first time. A couple of other nice features include a quiz function, which gives you vocabulary and writing tests based on language from the lesson, and an online dictionary Cantonese-English and English-Cantonese dictionary (accessible from the search bar, which is handy) which is well-linked to the language from the lessons and lets you export words directly to flashcards.
The podcast lessons are digestible and entertaining, so it’s great for anyone who lacks motivation, or is looking for an easy way to get started. The fact that the lessons follow the same format help to give structure, compartmentalize learning, and really make it clear what’s being discussed, which might be good for some people (not for others – this depends on how you like to learn). Vocabulary is well selected and based on casual Cantonese (the kind of Cantonese that’s actually spoken in Hong Kong), unlike a number of learn-Cantonese books I’ve seen which contain more written language that you wouldn’t use when speaking.
The grammar that they teach in the lessons are relevant and well presented – easy to understand and usable right from the start. The flashcards feature works well and is very useful (if you don’t mind all that time in front of the screen). The line-by-line clickable dialogues with audio, transcription and translation are AWESOME. Each lesson comes with a comments section where you can ask any language questions you have.
Having the lessons available in podcast format is great, because you can make the most out of your time – you don’t have to be sat at the computer.
The dialogues in lessons are short, which is good for beginners, but frustrating when you get more advanced. Even after signing up, there is a fair amount of advertising, up-selling, and cross-promoting related products (by way of emails, in-site banners etc), which is irritating when you’ve already paid for the product. The resources are, at times, not very ‘cared for’, which is a bit disappointing for something you pay good money for; podcasts are sometimes poorly edited, the voice recorder function doesn’t seem to work most of the time, and the information across the different study tools is not always consistent. The vocabulary lists and flashcards work with single words out of context, which is a big missed opportunity. One issue I have with the lessons are, ironically, the fact that they are just that – lessons. Vocabulary lists from the lessons don’t always contain all the useful words from the dialogues.


The tools on the website, especially the line-by-line dialogues and the built-in flashcard tool are excellent, and really make it possible to get stuck in and analyse the language. Many people will be tempted to just rely on the podcasts, because they’re there, easily digestible and entertaining, but you still need to spend just as much time (and probably more) with your head down, stuck into the lesson transcripts and vocabulary sections to really improve at a good rate.
You will also eventually need to find ways to start speaking before becoming fluent in Cantonese.
What’s important is that you keep an independent, self-directed approach to your learning, and use this product as a resource to learn what you need, rather than letting it direct your learning for you.
To help you do this, I’ve written a guide that shows you how to make the most out of the features on the website.
The line-by-line audio is the best part of the product for me… definitely worth considering.
However, this is a problem with all Cantonese products, not just this one… maybe I should make my own one day…! Teach Yourself, Berlitz, Lonely Planet, Yale, CantoDict, Yip and Matthews, and others, do it right (although with frustrating variations in romanizations).
Do you recommend Cantonese Class 101 in the end, or are there competing products or alternative methods? Hi Olly, do you know whether Cantonese 101 allows you to export the flashcard decks prepared on their site to an external app such as Anki? To help YOU reach your language learning goals by giving you honest advice and practical tips that actually work.
You can simply drag elements from your website in your browser and create a new variation on the fly. Smarter marketers will include the value of your content into this equation, but you get the point. Copywriters at Upworthy apparently won’t choose which headlines to test until they have come up with at least 25 concept headlines. These brands turn to responsive design techniques to create better experiences for their subscribers, and in many cases, increase their click and engagement rates.The foundation of responsive email design is built upon CSS3 media queries, which can be confusing and complicated to learn. When I first started looking around for websites to help me learn, this was one that seemed to pop up wherever I looked.
It works on a freemium model, meaning that some material is available for free (sneakily offered to you as a “free lifetime subscription”), but most of the good stuff requires you to buy a subscription. A lot of mainstream software (such as Word and Photoshop) is moving towards a subscription model, so it’s here to stay.
The dialogue is given in an interactive format: each line is clickable for audio, and you can switch the text between Chinese characters, jyutping and English translation. What you can then do, is choose the vocabulary you want to learn and export it to a flashcard programme that’s built into the website. There’s nothing special about those, it’s just a physical version of the information given on the website. When you’re just starting out it’s a delicate stage where you really need a lot of solid information (basics of grammar, phonology, writing systems) and the last thing you want to do is waste time and stifle your progress by trying to piece it all together from various websites.
Hopefully they’ll keep adding to it and making additional lessons for people who might take longer to progress. It’s not easy to select and produce graded material for an entire language course, but I’ve been impressed with the content.
It’s important to note here that listening to the podcasts is only going to be one small part of the process of learning Cantonese – you need to compliment it with more involved study, but even if you did nothing more than listen to the podcasts in the car for a month, you will undoubtedly learn a lot. I started at upper-beginner level and I found the progression to upper-beginner and then intermediate to be well managed. They have native-speaker staff who are good about responding promptly to questions, which is very handy, and one definite benefit of the online format. That is to say, they use enough Cantonese to give you some good exposure, but not so much that you get frustrated because you don’t understand what’s going on.
In fact, the reason I have stopped using the site is because I feel a need for more substantial, higher level texts that I can sink my teeth into.
For example, some words in the database don’t come with audio recordings, some translations are inaccurate or misleading (although staff do correct them once pointed out by members), and there are occasional programming bugs like the fact that opening the comments box in lessons resets the lesson page you were looking at, meaning you have to click all the way back through. They’re good about fixing problems and mistakes, but I haven’t seen any new lessons since I’ve been on the site, for example (although I believe there were some last year). It’s been designed to be easy to consume (hence the podcast format) and so despite my issues with the teaching format, it’s going to work well for people who don’t know where to start, aren’t easily motivated, or just want to be walked through a learning programme. The course designers and materials writers are good and have designed quality content – it’s just a bit of a shame that the marketers behind the scenes have been given slightly too much freedom, as you’re left with the impression you’re getting sold to a fair bit.
It’s not just about the studying – you’ve got to get out into the real world too, something that is often forgotten.


Through a lot of trial and error over 6 months of study, I figured out how best to use the dialogues and resources to improve my Cantonese much faster than simply following their lessons through one by one. I agree with all your criticisms, although I would add the use of inconsistent teaching of colloquial forms. In this method real visitors of your website are shown version A or version B of your website.
Now we invite some more people (A similar Sample) from the Large Group and lets them use a website with a blue button. Normally statistical significance of a test requires at least a couple of thousand visitors, but again it all really depends.
Most businesses will rely less on extremely captivating headlines, but nonetheless it will always be the first or second element of your website that visitors will notice.
Images (of people or arrows pointing around) not only draw attention towards a section of your website, but can have a big influence on reaching your goals.
And like everything else in email, they don’t work quite the same way in our inboxes as they do on the websites we view in browsers.
There are different pricing options and, as usual, the longer your subscription the cheaper it gets. You can listen to them on the website itself or else downloaded it all as podcasts, which you can then put on your smartphone and take around with you.
This works really well, and is ideal for breaking down the dialogues into smaller parts, listening and reading at the same time, and is great for improving your vocabulary and listening comprehension.
These flashcard decks are fully customizable and use a spaced repetition system to help you learn them.
Nevertheless, people like to consume information in different ways, and if you like to have everything printed off and there in front of you, it’s good to have. They recycle grammar points and language over the course of each level, which is good to reinforce what you’ve learnt. Of course, you can see the words in context within the dialogues, but I’m a big believer in keeping words in full sentences at all times, especially when revising. In one 15-minute lesson, there are only 30 seconds-ish of sustained listening to Cantonese (the dialogue).
While there’s no harm in seeing related vocabulary, the fact that you haven’t heard it in the dialogue makes it a bit random, and it would be much more useful to provide the vocab that you’d already heard.
Like any other book, audio course, or even language school, don’t be under the impression that it’s any kind of silver bullet, or that simply buying this will be any guarantee of you learning Cantonese. Much of their content in the videos presents written forms and never teaches the colloquial or even bothers to distinguish between the two. Surprisingly, whenever we are on the website’s owner side of the table we are tempted to asks as much information from our potential clients as possible. This is understandable given that it’s all based around podcasts and the need to keep it digestible, but, just like with any resource, it can’t be all things to all people. It’s often the case in the lessons that you want to know what a word means, but it’s not given in the vocab list. It seems like that family of language websites has cut back on costs recently and it has had a severe effect on the quality of the product. If you take the cost of a 1-year subscription as your baseline (whatever language learning resource you buy, you’d probably aim to get through it within a year if you’re serious about progressing), which is US$180, then the cost is a lot more than a book, but substantially less than other commercial products – Rosetta Stone ($500 for all levels) or Pimsleur ($345 for 30 lessons), for example. This, I found frustrating after a while (specifically once I’d been through the lower levels and had reached the intermediate course). You can look it up in the dictionary that comes with the website (and from there you can export those words to flashcard decks), but it’s unnecessary and interrupts the user experience.
Defining the right goals for your website is very important and will be the topic for a separate post soon.
It wasn’t that the “teaching” wasn’t useful or good quality, it’s just that I wanted to change things up a bit and spend more time with the language. The issue with Cantonese is that there are very few resources out there, and rather than use nothing at all, you can use CC101 to learn a lot and make good progress.
I would like there to be more material for extensive listening, so I could just listen and enjoy without having to always be taught something new. At intermediate level, one of the presenters speaks exclusively in Cantonese during the lessons, which is great, but it’s not quite enough, as English is still the medium of instruction.




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