Updated with additional channels
Reading is a great way to expand a child’s language, especially a minority language that they do not have much exposure to.
However, if you are not able to read Chinese characters or read them well, or perhaps you struggle to read and paraphrase Standard Chinese to Colloquial Cantonese, or if you are not fluent in Cantonese, reading to your child in Cantonese is quite a momentous task, even if you have lots of Chinese books available.
Fear not, your child can still have stories read to them, thanks to some native Cantonese speakers have taken it upon themselves to record videos of themselves reading Cantonese books.
This mummy is a native Cantonese speaker who shares videos of her reading storybooks to her child – both in Colloquial Cantonese and in Standard Cantonese. Subscribe to her YouTube channel to get the latest book updates. She reads a great selection of books from Hong Kong and Taiwan. There are over hundred books on her channel and more are being added frequently.
This mummy is also a native Cantonese speaker who shares videos of her reading books, some in Colloquial Cantonese, some in English, and some bilingual. Some books are originally in Chinese, and others, she translates from popular English books such as Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers.
This is a newer channel (2020) . Ms Carol reads many cute Chinese books in Cantonese, with cute voice impressions.
Eunice reads these Chinese books in Cantonese. also with cute voice impressions. She usually uploads a book a week. A few of her earlier books are read in both Cantonese and English.
Founder of Michigan Cantonese Storytime reads many Cantonese stories. Many of these are centered around certain themes, especially for festival days such as Mid-Autumn and Christmas. If you navigate around her YouTube channel, she also has many different videos of animation and so on by themes.
Thirty one stories read in a casual manner by a Dad in Colloquial Cantonese. Includes Goodnight Moon and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and some books from the小雞 series. This channel is no longer updated.
12 stories including 愛哭公主 The Princess who Loves to Cry &小雞逛遊樂園 – Little Chicks at the Amusement Park. The nine Chinese books are read in Formal Cantonese and translated to Colloquial Cantonese. The three English books are read in English and Cantonese. This channel is no longer updated.
Eight English books read by a dad in Colloquial Cantonese. Includes Curious George and The Itchy Bear. This channel is no longer updated.
This mummy reads some greenfield books青田教育中心 我會自己讀 (27 books) in Formal Cantonese in one playlist. On another playlist, she tells three stories are in a mix of Standard Chinese and Colloquial Cantonese, and the remaining 12 books are more我會自己讀. There are also some videos of book readings not sorted into any playlist. This channel is a tad disorganized, but might be useful if you want to hear someone reading greenfield books or if you are deciding whether to buy them. (If you do, they come with a CD).
I’ll be adding to this list as I find more YouTube channels for book readings in Cantonese. Please bookmark this page and come back for updates.
How to use these Videos
Some ways that you can use these videos:
- You can show the videos to your child,
- You can let them listen to the audio while looking through an actual book (if you have the book in any language, though ideally Chinese.)
- Watch the video and learn to “read” the book, and then read it to your child.
- A mixture of the above methods – e.g. watch once together, then be the reader after that
According to research, reading to your child would be best. But my personal two cents is that with a minority language, any exposure is good., so you should do what works for you- after all, each way helps to expose your child to more Cantonese. The value of exposure to native speakers should not be undervalued!
Have you been watching any of these book reading videos? Please share with us how you use them. Do you know of any other channels? Please let us know, and we will add it to our list.
This post is part of the Cantonese Kids Resources on YouTube series
- Cantonese Storytime and Book Reading on YouTube
- Cantonese Cartoons on YouTube
- Cantonese Nursery Rhymes 粵語兒歌 on YouTube
- Cantonese Bible Stories on YouTube
- Cantonese Christian Kids’ Songs 粵語兒童詩歌 on YouTube
- Cantonese Stories粵語兒童故事 on YouTube