This blog focuses on learning and teaching Cantonese as an overseas Chinese who spent their formative years outside Asia. Cantonese resources are rather limited, and hard to find, while there seems to be a plethora of Chinese and Mandarin resources out there, most of which are free.
Compilation of Resources
During my research, I find a lot of good Cantonese online resources, spread across many different sites, making it hard to keep track of. I aim to compile listings of many various resources, especially free online resources, which are more accessible to everyone. Lists will be continually updated. Initially I will focus on online resources, before moving on to other resources such as books and CDs.
I try to create new content or provide a guide to a list of existing contents. I try not to duplicate what is blogged about frequently. For example, I don’t blog on crafts and cooking in Cantonese, as there are many blogs that do that, and will no doubt do it much better than I can.
Focus on Cantonese and on Colloquial Cantonese
The focus is on Cantonese and on Colloquial Cantonese, because this is the main struggle of Overseas Chinese who were brought up outside of Hong Kong (and other parts of Asia). I might eventually blog more about Standard Chinese resources, but that is not the current focus. There are plenty of resources for teaching Chinese to children and for learning Chinese as a non-native.(Sometimes I might have some material in Mandarin, but all these are from the perspective of Cantonese. E.g. Comparing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Lyrics in Cantonese and Mandarin.)
Through the Lens of a Heritage but Non-Native Cantonese Speaker
All articles are through my perspective, an English-dominant, non-native Cantonese speaker living in a Western country. This influences my experience and the strategies I use to teach my child Cantonese.
- Articles and explanations are in English.
- Printables will usually include the option of Cantonese Romanisation (JyutPing)
- In the printables, Chinese characters are usually as big as possible, so that it helps you to imprint the words on your brain
- While no code switching and total immersion is obviously best for language learning, this blog is mainly for those who do not have native fluency in Cantonese and provides alternative suggestions. Depending on your situation, you may choose to adopt the suggestions or not. It is OK. Everything has its pros and cons, so please decide what works for your family.
Traditional Chinese Characters
I use Traditional Chinese characters, as that is what I am taught, and because this is what is used in Hong Kong, where Cantonese is most used. I am aware that in China, Cantonese speakers use Simplified Chinese characters, but I have not included these as I believe those from China are more likely look for resources in Chinese, not English, as they would most likely be able to read and write Chinese. However, if there is interest, I might include Simplified Chinese in new material.
I try to include Cantonese Romanisation in Jyutping wherever possible, as I know that many Cantonese speakers do not read Chinese characters well. In the printables, I try to make the Romanisation discreet yet readable, so that it does not distract from the Chinese characters. If you can read some Chinese characters, I encourage you to only write down the Romanisation for words that you are not familiar with, because being forced to read Chinese characters will help you to remember the words and improve your reading skills.
I understand the need for printing out material for learning. I do that too. But to minimize the environmental impact, where possible, I create printables are printer friendly and black and white, to minimize ink.
Structure of this Blog
This blog is divided into
- Resources for teaching children Cantonese
- Resources for Cantonese speakers to improve Cantonese
The section on Printables is where all blogs with printables are listed. Lastly, there is a section for Christians looking for Cantonese resources.
My Personal Blog, Not Professional Advice
This is my own personal blog, written and edited by me. Here, I share what works for our family’s experience. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own or of my family, and is for informational purposes only, and may not always be accurate, complete and up to date (despite my best intentions). It is also not to be taken as expert or medical advice. Every family is different, so please use your judgement in trying any advice or activities. Please consult a professional should the need arise.
If you would like to learn more about me, please click here.