Digital TV the Hong Kong way
Those recent Toon managers in full

Too difficult for you, lah!

Look, I've tried, really I have.  I've attended public courses, I've paid for private tuition, I've bought books...and yet my Cantonese is still rubbish - and I've always felt that somehow this wasn't actually my fault. 

Now I'm delighted to discover that this might not be self-delusion, and that Hong Kong people don't really want foreigners to learn Cantonese.  They tell us it's so difficult, it's not really a language (it's a dialect, lah), and helpfully suggest that we learn Mandarin because it's so much easier.  Right. 

In case we hadn't quite got the message, they make fun of our attempts to speak their "dialect", pretending that they don't understand the dumb gweilo who used the low falling tone when it should have been the low rising tone. 

Hong Kong's most famous Norwegian Cantonese teacher, Cecilie Gamst Berg, isn't having any of this nonsense.  She plays down the importance of tones, arguing (rightly in my opinion), that generally the context is enough for people to understand what you mean, even if you get the tone wrong. 

She also points out that Cantonese is actually quite simple compared to English.  No past or present or irregular verbs or any of that nonsense.  If you can learn the words, sentence construction is the easy bit.   

Yes, I finally got round to downloading RTHK's "Naked Cantonese" podcast, and I have listened to the first three (only 97 to go), and I am feeling slightly more optimistic. Cecilie's approach is certainly quite refreshing, and the format seems to work quite well (she is teaching an RTHK presenter how to speak Cantonese).  

If you haven't yet discovered this podcast, go to iTunes and download it now.  Or try You Tube.

Comments

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Misty Git

wah nei sik gong jung mun, very good lah!

Good for you, i am also using ChinaDoll's podcast to learn the wah, i also recommend "Pimsleur Cantonese I Complete Course". I have tried many other courses and forget the words after a few days but this one really does stick in the mind.

i am half way through the lessons (there are 30) and can now have basic conversations with native speakers which i find very very rewarding.

Misty Git

John

Awesome advice, I didn't know about the podcasts but did know about Cecilies website & the youtube stuff. Now I'm subscribed and can listen on my way to work :-)

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