MZ Level 1 Reader Transcripts in Colloquial Cantonese with Jyutping


I have previously blogged about my fabulous find – 71 levelled Chinese readers from Meizhou Chinese , of which 48 had audio in Colloquial Cantonese and Formal Cantonese audio. All for free. However, the print readers only come in  Standard Chinese.


Colloquial Cantonese Transcript

I had always been meaning to transcribe the readers to Colloquial Cantonese, and share them. I had started on Set 1 for my own use, but never quite finished tidying them up and posting them up… till now.

The transcripts are within a table comparing each story in standard Chinese with Colloquial Cantonese. One version with Jyutping and one without. YOu can download them for free here:



Colloquial Cantonese Readers

With the Colloquial Cantonese text, I created these books for my personal use with my kid, who needs help in learning to speak Cantonese. I had used the PowerPoint generously shared on Meizhou website (external link) to create these books. I have also created a glossary at the back.

I’m adding them to this post too, in hope that they might help you.

meizhou chinese

Here are the eight Colloquial Cantonese Readers from Level 1 for free download:

Please note

  • Pictures and text are copyright of Meizhou Group editors.
  • I transcribed the audio (a very tedious project) and added in Jyutping. It  is not a professional job; please let me know if you spot my mistakes, so that I can correct them.
  • I had brightened and shrunk the pictures to make them more print friendly.
  • I opted not to have the text flowing like a proper paragraph, but instead I broke the sentence up into easy to smaller chunks for myself to teach my kid. I hope it doesn’t disturb you too much.
  • The vocabulary list at the back is a little random, and for the later books, I chose longer phrases as this was what my kid needed.

All in all, this was created for my personal needs, so may not be in the format to suit you, though I do hope you might find them helpful


About Meizhou

The audio, and lots of other goodies are on the Meizhou website. I wrote a post to help you navigate it.


Frequently asked questions (FAQ) that I expect you might have:

Why did I transcribe these texts when I know that I can translate books off the fly?

Firstly, each time I translate off the fly, the phrases I use are different. Hence my child will not benefit from hearing the same phrases repeatedly. I still do this for some books.

Secondly, I am looking for levelled readers, and have actually translated some for my own use. (I am not sharing them because their original text is not publicly available on the internet, unlike Meizhou stories). I find levelled readers great because the vocabulary and sentence patterns are deliberately thought out for each level. And this is what I need for my kid, who is not a native or fluent speaker.

Thirdly, I realise my translations can sound a bit stiff, when I try to type it out/ write it out. The way I may say it looks different when I put it to print. Often now when I am translating, I have to make a conscious effort to put in the final particles 尾音, when I try to put speech to print, and I feel that there is a room for improvement. And these particles 尾音are such an integral part of Cantonese, and the hardest to teach. (Of course, maybe you don’t have this issue, but I do).

E.g. Go to sleep, it is already 10pm

已經十點鐘囉喎,去訓覺喇!  vs 已經十點鐘, 去訓覺喇!


Why don’t you just buy Colloquial Cantonese books?

Firstly, I have been buying Colloquial Cantonese books, and I encourage everyone to, too. It is important to support these literary works, which is of great importance in preserving Cantonese. However, while there are an increasing number of such books produced (check out the HK Book Fair this year) , there needs to be more.

Secondly, I have been looking for levelled readers, and there wasn’t many available (that I know of). I knew of Storybooks Canada but couldn’t find others. It is only now Hambaanglaang 冚唪唥粵文 has launched their Colloquial Cantonese readers, which I am very excited about. (More on this in a future blog).


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8 thoughts on “MZ Level 1 Reader Transcripts in Colloquial Cantonese with Jyutping

  1. Jo Wilson says:

    Hi Manny, just want to say how great your work is. I’m English, been in HK for 25 years. I put my 2 kids in local school thinking they would pick up Cantonese – they ended up hating it. I did not realise that they would not receive any materials in spoken Cantonese.

    Lately, I have fallen into teaching Cantonese. I’ve written two early learning stories: Goldilocks and the 3 Wild Pigs and Snow White and her 7 good friends – same approach: characters, jyutping and meaning, language in context – it really works.

    Anyway, I really just wanted to thank you and to say I really understand how much work you’ve put in. Amazing – love it!!❤️

    • Cantonese For Families says:

      Hi Jo,

      Thank you for your encouraging words, I really appreciate the support and feedback. I think it is so amazing that you have done so much, and also creating books! What a fascinating journey. Would love to learn more about your story. ❤️

  2. Tim C says:

    Thank you! My son can read some characters, but nothing that forms an actual story. Your PDFs will close the gap between individual characters and something interesting enough to read.

    • Cantonese For Families says:

      That’s really lovely to hear! I did create these to bridge the gap between individual phrases and sentences. We had also found some of the stories quite interesting and humourous too.

  3. Sue says:

    This is great, and you are very generous to share the work with other people who need to teach Cantonese to children, esp. when there are so few resources available. However, can I make a small suggestion? It will be more appropriate to take out the word “generous” from the line “I had used the PowerPoint generously shared on” on this page, as it is usually the readers who would be the ones to say you are generous, and we do, I`m sure. Thanks again, Sue.

    • Cantonese For Families says:

      Hi Sue, thank you for your encouragement and support! I hope the resources will be helpful. Actually the full sentence is “I had used the PowerPoint generously shared on Meizhou website to create these books. ” . The Meizhou website (an external website) has been very generous. After your feedback, I have edited it for clarity. 🙂

  4. viveik says:

    Thank you for this work Manny. It is so important to have a plethora of graded resources for the early learner. This is a real labour of love done by you for the community.

    • Cantonese For Families says:

      Hi Viveik,

      Thanks for your kind words. It means alot, especially coming from you, seeing the work that you and your team has put into Hambaanglaang Cantonese Readers. This is but just a fraction of the effort you guys have put in. I hope you enjoy them!

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