Many second and third generation Chinese in Western countries, who may not be fluent in reading Chinese characters, often struggle with finding educational resources. What they are looking for are resources written in Colloquial Cantonese and with a pronunciation guide.
Below are a list of resources specially for children, found after hours of searching the internet. These sites provide basic resources for toddlers and pre-schoolers, and are suitable for use at home or in playgroups. They are also suitable for adults looking to expand their vocabulary.
Cue Cantonese Immersion is early years Cantonese language learning program in Canada, focusing primarily on teaching conversational Cantonese speaking and listening. Available for free download are some learning resources such as Vocabulary posters (in Colloquial Cantonese and Audio via QR codes to help you with pronunciation), worksheets, and games, mostly with realistic images. She has also developed a series of Conversational Cantonese -English audio books with audio (via QR code), English translations and Jyutping pronunciation guide. The series includes 多變的天氣 The Everchanging Weather, 餐具 Eating Utensils, 我的心情 The Way I Feel and 溫溫暖暖過冬天 Dressing Warm for Winter.
Cantonese Fun is a Cantonese-immersion playgroup in Seattle. On their site, they have some resources, of which my favorites are the vocabulary cards for animals and vehicles. The vocabulary cards are in Colloquial Cantonese and uses realistic images.
CantonSponge offers ideas and materials on how to introduce Cantonese language to your little ones in a fun way. Colloquial Cantonese materials include song sheets, vocabulary posters, and flashcards, with cute graphics. It was started by a mum in the Netherlands who wanted to teach her husband and kids Cantonese. In August 2018,due to the growing demands of family and work, she decided to stop with CantonSponge. My advice is to download the resources quickly as materials may be removed due to the limited storage of a free Wix site.
Michigan Cantonese Storytime (MCS) offers free Cantonese storytime, nursery rhymes etc for young kids. Their Facebook page offers lots of resources, and if you look under the Photo tabs, they have lots of themed Chinese writing practice sheets with Colloquial Cantonese vocabulary. You can also crop them to make flashcards.
Twinklebots was started by this Cantonese mama who produces tons of videos to teach children Cantonese, and amongst them is this playlist which helps children learn Cantonese vocabulary. She also has another playlist of Cantonese Nursery Rhymes 粵語兒歌.
This page was created to gather Cantonese speaking families in the New York City to meet weekly for children rhymes and storytime, with focus on 0-2 years old. The website has some song lyrics (with JyutPing) available for download, and as well as a useful lists of resources for teaching Cantonese. Some of the lyrics were rewritten to be more relatable to current life.
About these resources
These type of resources are specifically developed for the overseas Chinese, as locals in Hong Kong do not use any romanization or pronunciation guide, and do not teach their children to read or write in Colloquial Cantonese. Hence these resources are limited, as they are mostly produced by parents when their child is young.
I will be sharing any printables that I develop for my kiddo too. Please check back for new items.
Other Free Online Cantonese Resources for Kids:
- Cantonese Music for Kids (lyrics printable)
- Cantonese Storytime and Book Reading on YouTube
- Storybooks Canada: Early Learning Storybooks
- 輕輕鬆鬆廣東話Hing Hing Sone Sone Cantonese Learning Programme
Anything I Missed?
Looking for Colloquial Cantonese resources for kids online for is akin to looking for buried treasure, and some of these I have discovered by accident, and others by lots of research. I’m hoping there’s more up there. If you have any resources that you know of, please drop a comment on this post and let me know, so that I can update this post with more resources and more people can enjoy them.