Anyone learning Cantonese as a second language?

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by evylgrynn, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    A minor typo error to my earlier post to be corrected to :
    The Japanese word densen (electric wire) is tianxian in Hokkien.
     
  2. Shiryu

    Shiryu Regular Member

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    Lots of TVB series, that will do you good.
    Most of my CBC (Canadian Born Chinese) learn from them and they are very good at speaking cantonese now. However, writing and reading is a different story.
     
  3. No one

    No one Regular Member

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    I think what Taneepak and loh have been saying is very interesting. Actually, a similar kind of phenomenon is going on with hakka. Concerns grow at least within mainland china about 'the hakka' losing their heritage under the reign of the CCP, which insists on everyone speaking putonghua. One example of this is the bemoaning over shange (山歌) and how few now can actually sing them. Sure, there are competitions and whatnot, and it is kept alive, but there is a suspicion that this is 'artificial'.

    At the same time, there are even centres in meixian (moiyan) devoted to hakka culture and language, treating it as special, unique, and with its own history. And 'the hakka' (a rather fuzzy concept, since jiangxi, sichuan, guangdong and fujian hakka are quite different...not to mention the hakka diaspora in southeast asia, east timor, even india) are now seen to have had a long rich history in china. So Deng xiaoping, ye jianying, even sun zhongshan (sun yatsen) are often cited as prominent hakka. (In badminton I guess there is Lin dan, altho I've seen no evidence that he's emphasised this aspect of his identity.) The hakka dialect is seen to be quite rich and rather unusual in having northern roots; sometimes it's claimed to be as 'ancient' as cantonese, which is thought to be the dialect which has kept closest to classical chinese.

    My guess is these phenomena are linked. Under modernisation and standardisation--which can be seen as a threat but also an opportunity, many groups are 'rediscovering' their apparently long histories and heritage. Overseas chinese take part in this by going 'home' (although the 'home' they know has been in many ways radically transformed by communist rule), where locals play up the traditional. thus at least on the mainland, there is evidence of revitalisation of these 'dying' cultures.

    I should say I'm not trying to be cynical here. A similar thing is happening in the west: you can see it in the way that people now talk about their 'ethnic heritage'. They no longer say, "I am Australian/American etc" but rather often talk about their Scottish/Irish/Amerindian/Chinese/Hokkien/gujurati background.

    anyway, my point is: some people worry about the loss of this richness--but it may not happen. On the other hand, people who suggest uniqueness may be surprised to find out that this is not a unique phenomenon at all.

    but anyway. this thread was about learning cantonese!
     
    #43 No one, Sep 5, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  4. extremenanopowe

    extremenanopowe Regular Member

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    One other suggestion is to try the karaoke with your partner. If you get an approval after singing, u get some 'rewards'.. That'll motivate yeah. Try the dono what the most popular 'shanghai' something....'long fen... long lao....' (by alan I think). The reward will be unbelieveable once you master it.;) Or try out samuel hui songs. A little simpler.
     
  5. drifit

    drifit newbie

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    one of the accurate cantonese lyrics. this shall help a lot............;)
     
  6. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Actually, tiny Hong Kong has been a powerhouse in spreading spoken Cantonese, through movies, canto-pop songs, martial arts, etc.
     
  7. extremenanopowe

    extremenanopowe Regular Member

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    Labelled as the hollywood of the east during those days exposing a lot of the songs and shows does help. ;) Bruce lee, Patrick, siew fong2, lui heong kam, Jacky chan, Hui brothers, chow yun fat, andy lau and the 3 other heavanly kings. Eventhough India produces more.
     
  8. george@chongwei

    george@chongwei Regular Member

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    watch more TVB HKG drama series:p and u will learn more cantonese.:D:D
     
  9. robin7

    robin7 Regular Member

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    My dad is Hakka and my mom was Cantonese but we speak Hakka at home and I only speak Hakka with my family. Apart from English and Mandarin, I speak more Cantonese than Hakka since I stay away from my family.

    I picked up Cantonese at a very young age thru watching TV series and movies from Hong Kong. Then I moved to Kuala Lumpur where Cantonese is widely spoken.

    Since Cantonese has 9 intonations compared Mandarin's 4 as mentioned by Linus, Cantonese is more difficult to learn compared to Mandarin, especially for those who are non-chinese people.

    My advise is
    1. Watch more TV series and movies from Hong Kong.
    2. Mix around with Cantonese speaking people. Moving to Hong Kong is a good idea but avoid mixing with young generations due to the annoying "lazy accent". I personally can't stand on the "lazy accent" spoken by the youngsters. Words such as "chang" (orange) being mis-pronounced as "chan", "sang" (alive) as "san", "gong" (speak) as "gon", "gok" (angle) as "got" etc. Can someone from Hong Kong explain on this problem?

    Listen, speak, practise and practise!
     
  10. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Many years ago the standard of spoken Cantonese in Malaysia and Singapore was poor. After being swamped with Hong Kong movies and Hong Kong canto-pop music for the last 20+ years, Malaysian and Sinagaporean Chinese are now more confident to speak Cantonese in Hong Kong without fear of being laughed at.
     
  11. robin7

    robin7 Regular Member

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    Yeah, Malaysians and Singaporeans are good in languages as well as dialects, and knowing a few dialects is very common to in Malaysia and Singapore. Many Hong Kongers, on the other hand, can't even speak Cantonese properly (with the annoying "lazy accent"), let alone speaking Mandarin (pu tong hua) fluently.
     
  12. extremenanopowe

    extremenanopowe Regular Member

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    George.... can u pls teach them how to sing the 'long fun... long lao....' song? hehe
     
  13. Qidong

    Qidong Regular Member

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  14. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    The Cantonese dialect that is spoken in Hong Kong is the real standard Cantonese, like Guangzhou Cantonese or Macau Cantonese. You cannot get better Cantonese or hear better Cantonese spoken, the way standard Cantonese is spoken, anywhere else except Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau. Certainly, Malaysian or Singaporean Cantonese never even come close.
    Because standard Cantonese is so widely spoken and taught in Hong Kong-many schools use Cantonese as the medium of instruction-Hong Kong people are very poor in spoken Mandarin.
     
  15. giant

    giant Regular Member

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    but hai nan harded than cantonese..u guys watch cantonese drama?tat really can learn..
     
  16. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    I have heard Frances Yip Lai Yi singing this song live. I was part of a delegation and we were treated to a dinner in a restaurant and was in a table close to the stage. She was singing maybe 2 or 3 metres from me. All I can say is that her voice is so impressive and powerful - so far not any hi-fi equipment could reproduce what I heard at that moment.
     
  17. evylgrynn

    evylgrynn Regular Member

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    so far I've found that I have to approach it a few different ways.
    I've done a few lessons with my mother in law, where she has taught me quite a few words-numbers, days, months, common phrases (nei ho ma?). I've also bought a book that came with a CD, I put the audio files onto my cell phone and listen to them.
    I'm looking for Hong Kong movies with English subtitles. I think the biggest thing is to listen to the language being spoken, the tones really give me trouble, being an English speaker where tones don't really matter too much.
     
  18. Sealman

    Sealman Regular Member

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    This is very true. I only speak Cantonese to my grandmother.

    Agreed. I spent two weeks in Hong Kong and practised my Cantonese by conversing with the locals.

    I find the TVB news very difficult to understand due to the terms used.
     
  19. Sealman

    Sealman Regular Member

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    I note the locals often mix Cantonese with English in their conversations.
     
  20. wocdam

    wocdam Regular Member

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    well, Cantonese not that hard to learn. most of the Northern China dialects are much harder. in singapore, we have many people who speaks different dialects fluently. I'm Hokkien, but Cantonese not a problem for me either. no problems even when i was in HK for vacation. also speak Teochew, Hakka, Shanghainese as well.
     

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