Guest post from FortuneCookieMom.com

I love Cantonese. It is not only my native language and part of my culture, but it is also a fun and interesting language. I feel honored Learn Chinese with NihaoHello invited me to write about something I love and have used and studied throughout my life.     


*This post contains affiliate links.   This is the start of a series, and in this series, we will be exploring some FUN Cantonese phrases. Anyone who wants to learn Cantonese will find this phrases fun and useful. There will be a simple explanation, definition, and pronunciation guide for each phrase. If you are planning on visiting or moving to a Cantonese-speaking area, or just want to learn fun phrases this is a great series for you.  

Introduction : What is Cantonese?

Cantonese is a dialect spoken in Southern China, and it is the main language in Hong Kong, Macau, and Southern China. Cantonese is a tonal language, which has 9 tones (3 of the tones are rarely used). Modern linguists view Cantonese as a six-tone-language. It depends on how you view it. This is a cute short clip from Youtube that shows what the 6 Cantonese tones sound like:

   

My Experience Teaching Cantonese

 

Teaching Cantonese at the LDS Missionary Training Center (@ Utah, U.S.A.)


 I was a Cantonese teacher for almost two years. I had the opportunity to teach a lot of young men and young women who want to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and who were sent to serve people who speak Cantonese. Most of the young missionaries didn't know any Cantonese before, so it was difficult for them to learn an unfamiliar language. However, through their hard work and faith, they all learned to speak Cantonese fluently within a year. It's amazing.  

A Homeschooling Mom


 I never dreamed of teaching my kids Cantonese by myself. If I didn't marry an American, I don't think I would ever homeschool my kids, because it is not a common thing to do here in Hong Kong. However, it is quite a challenge as well as an adventure to teach Cantonese and written Chinese to my kids. It's not easy to keep them focused and sitting still while maintaining an interest in learning Chinese. Especially since I need to create and find different fun and creative activities for them. One thing that makes Cantonese difficult to learn that it is a spoken language full of slang with no written form.  

In the Next Post, you will see...

  Some fun Cantonese slang and phrases, and even if you have never heard of Cantonese it will be fun to learn some! For next post, I gathered 5 slang Cantonese phrases that are very common.
  1. 大菌食細菌 - Big germs eat the small germs.
  2. …連到呀媽都唔認得 - (You did something)... to the extent that even your own mother can't recognize you/ to the extent that you don't recognize your mom.
  3. …到飛起 - (Something)... make you fly up to the sky.
  4. 我食鹽多過你食米 - I eat salt more than you eat rice.
  5. 等到頸都長 - My neck is getting longer and longer from waiting.
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 I am a mother of three who married a wonderful Japanese American man. I am a pianist, vocalist, chorister, former Chinese teacher, who graduated in Linguistics Major with TESOL and Music minor from BYU. I have been sharing on my blog about Chinese Homeschooling for six months by now. I also share Chinese language learning resources via my blog for helping parents to homeschool their dual language or multilingual young children (ages 3-6). Come visit my blog - FORTUNE COOKIE MOM now!





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