Hi! I’m Manny, living in the Lucky Country of Australia. I am almost an ABC (Australian Born Chinese), as our family migrated to Australia when I was a baby who hadn’t started talking yet. My Hong-Kong-born parents, spoke Cantonese at home, and with us. (Minority Language At Home strategy). I learnt English when I started kindy, as well as mandarin classes, supplemented by minimal Cantonese learning activities at home. Hence I am conversationally fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, and similar to most ABCs, English is the language I am most comfortable with, and most fluent in.
Now, married with a kid, we speak English at home. It embarrasses me to admit that for the first few years of my kid’s life, I have never thought of passing on either Cantonese and Mandarin to kiddo, as I am not a native speaker. Having always believed the myth that you should always and only speak the language that you are fluent in, I have ever only spoken English to kiddo since birth.
Teaching a language I am not fluent in
Yet, on the World Wide Web, I have come across so many stories of people successfully teaching their children a language they are not fluent or native in. In fact, some cannot even speak or write in the language. I realised it was not too late, and I made it a mission to
- Improve my own Cantonese
- Teach my kid Cantonese
As I learnt more Cantonese, and more about Cantonese, I fell in love with the language more and more. It has very unique characteristics which make it both beautiful and difficult to learn (and teach).
I researched high and low for Cantonese materials and strategies to teach and learn Cantonese. Cantonese materials which are suitable for a non-fluent speaker as me, are not easy to find. They are usually either targeted at beginners or they are in Standard Chinese. I struggle to figure out of a phrase is in Colloquial Cantonese or Standard Chinese when I see it in print form.
Here I share the resources I have found on my journey, in hope that it would help you along your journey.
I hope you will enjoy my blog, and be patient as I slowly fill it up with resources. Please leave a comment to let me know what you would like to see.
If you would like to learn more about this blog, please click here.