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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Andrew, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. Pui-Lai

    Pui-Lai New Member

    Just really wanted to provide some input here :)

    As a professional (SLT and a specialist interest in bilingualism among other things) and a mother of a 3;6 year old, I can offer my opinion but carefully reminding you that everyone's situation is very different (level of motivation -yours, partner, child etc, abilities and so on).
    I am pro traditional too. My reasons however have no empirical evidence so perhaps a Chinese expert can tell me! I like traditional writing because I feel that there is so much meaning in the character and when simplified, lost. I kind of see it as the 'make-up' of the word, a bit like the etymology in English. Therefore, at the moment, I am keen to teach my child Traditional Chinese, knowing full well that he will be exposed to simplified Chinese as he grows older. This also doesn't conflict with my husband or his family or mine (his family are from Taiwan and so are used to the Traditional Chinese writing and my parents are from HK). These are just my personal opinions and the only thing that I can do for now is use the Traditional Chinese writing system wherever possible. I understand though, realistically, he will be exposed to simplified Chinese sooner or later and learn that. However, in my belief, I think when that time comes, he will hopefully find it easier and appreciate the meaning of Chinese writing more!
    As a professional, I always say to parents and carers, it's about consistency; having a clear understanding of what your goal is, your motivation and also being realistic. Learning a writing system is similar to language learning- your child needs an environment to learn it in that is meaningful to him/her.
    So to offer my view on your questions is to choose one language and one writing system to focus on (there is no right or wrong in whichever one you choose). If possible, I am a big advocate for the one parent one language rule - this rule extends to grandparents, close relatives/friends that your child sees often.
    Then provide as many contexts (situations) to allow your child to use this language. (This may actually help you to choose the language that you want your child to learn) but stick to one written language system for now.
    I hopet this helps for now ! I am writing this on the tube so forgive any typos or anything that doesn't make sense!
    Good luck :)
  2. Sin Man

    Sin Man New Member

    Hi guys,
    My name is Sin Man and I lives in Texas, USA. Funny thing is I was looking for Pepper Pig in Cantonese on youtube and reach here. Born and raise in Hong Kong and my son is almost 2 years old, like many parents I worried that he will be one of those who doesn't know Cantonese but only speak English. I now mostly let him watch cartoons in Cantonese and only speak Cantonese to him at home. I am planning to buy more books in 繁體中文 to read to him and buying 發聲筆(the pen that can read the materials) for him so that I can hopefully teach him better
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
    Asianguruguy likes this.
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Administrator
    Staff Member

    Hi Sin Man, welcome to the community! Which books are you planning to buy - do you have a link? And what does this pen do - do you have to buy the special books to go with the pen?
  4. Sin Man

    Sin Man New Member

    Hi Andrew, sorry for the late reply! http://www.e-readbook.com.hk/index.php?route=common/home this is the pen I am talking about and you can either just buy the pen or pen with the whole package which included books, flash card etc.
  5. Cee_Bee

    Cee_Bee New Member


    I'm Cecilia and I live in the UK. I was brought up in London and attended Chinese school to learn to read and write Cantonese. I left once I got my Chinese GCSE and sadly, have had very little opportunity to use my Cantonese since then. My children are Anglo Chinese but can only say a few phrases and it seems to me that Cantonese is becoming an endangered language even in China Town. I do however, intend to continue using my Cantonese where possible.

    I discovered Mandonese when I was googling how to watch TVB programs. Renting TVB drama series on VHS tapes was a huge part of my childhood experience of Chinese culture. I don't watch any new series anymore, but I am glad that the old ones still get talked about, even now, on Asian forums.
  6. Asianguruguy

    Asianguruguy New Member

    Hey Everyone,

    I'm Liem and live in Texas, USA. I was born in the US and my parents grew up teaching me Cantonese. My Cantonese is barely OK but since I've had my daughter I've been encouraged to teach her and improve my Cantonese too. My wife doesn't speak Cantonese so I'm the only Cantonese teacher in the house. We usually try to watch Chinese cartoons together which helps a lot but been looking for more resources. I'm glad I found this site and hope to see more people post their experiences.
  7. le_chat_de_jade

    le_chat_de_jade New Member


    My name is Delphine. I am married with a man from Hong-kong. Together we have a little girl call Lisa.

    I speak french, english, german and i am a total beginner with cantonese. My men speask cantonese to is daughter every day, but we would like also that she learns how to write this language. In Switzerland it is more easy to find books about mandarin than cantonese.

    For me it is very important that my girl knows where she is from. So when she will go to Hong-kong to be able to understand his familly, order food at the restaurent.

    I would also like to apologize for my english, I know that my writing is not perfect. I will do my best to be understood.

    best regards Delphine:)
  8. bamilton

    bamilton New Member

    Chinese speaking is easier than Chinese writing, that’s why many students take oral Chinese course as their first Chinese course. Our Hanbridge Mandarin school will help you to learn Chinese step by step. How to learn Chinese speaking ? If you want to learn Chinese speaking, you need to speak Chinese as much as possible with your mandarin teacher. Even if your Chinese is not good, you should keep practicing. After you keep speaking Chinese a few times, you can speak Chinese anytime and anywhere in China. Most Chinese people are really nice to foreigners and they like to talk to you. You can talk with Chinese people about weather or food, for example,you could say “you tiao” is really delicious and you like it. They will tell you a lot of things about Chinese learning, no matter you already known or you don’t know, they are always professional.
  9. Judy

    Judy New Member


    I've been researching Traditional Chinese culture, customs, religion and Cantonese language slowly over the past several years. I am trying very hard to learn but there is not much even online available about villiage customs. As a teenager my family would not even discuss funeral practices and why certain things were done since we chinese people by tradition avoid discussing death. Recently I've been working on a family tree and even my parents are not sure of certain chinese relationship titles since we are one of the few families in my area (USA) that speak Cantonese. I agree with Pui-Lai that families should focus on one culture and one language. Just because a person is chinese by blood does not mean that they are truly Chinese unless that know how to speak and act like a chinese person. In my area some many Chinese have become Americanized and are only Chinese by blood, they usually know nothing about the chinese culture. This is just one reason why I have been having so much trouble creating my family relationship title chart. If anyone is willing to help, let me know. I posted this message on facebook(Someone posted a message on your group there too.)

    Please help me. I'm working on a family tree project and a family title project.
    I've been researching the Cantonese family tree titles for a while now and my parents are saying some of the titles at I'm using are wrong. For example, my dad says that in his village, the paternal grandma is called por por but in my spouse's village the paternal grandma is called ma ma. I am confused.
    Most of my information comes from the following website, can you all tell me if it's accurate?


    If anything is wrong, please let me know. I will be using this information to teach my own kids as well as myself. I realize that there are formal and informal titles, but for easier learning, I'm just using the more common titles that I learned as I grew up.

    I also used some information from these 2 sites but my main one is the kwanfamily site above. Most of the information is similiar.
  10. Cindy Lau

    Cindy Lau Member

    i think it is good of you to use this forum. i came across this recently and i also use the facebook pages but i get really annoyed that so many people post there e.g. resources and then a day/week/month later, people ask the same questions etc. wouldn't it be good if people started to use this place to collate all the resources/knowledge in one place?
  11. Cindy Lau

    Cindy Lau Member

    maybe you could start a new thread Judy? anyway, in response to your question, i think it depends on whether your family originates from China/Hong Kong/Taiwan etc and maybe there is some confusion with family titles etc. would be interested to know what others think
  12. Cindy Lau

    Cindy Lau Member

  13. CherylM

    CherylM New Member

    Hi all,

    Just came across this website a few days ago and love it. I grew up in Hong Kong (native cantonese speaker, can understand mandarin but too shy to speak) and migrated to Australia 10 years ago. We don't have children yet and expecting our first boy in Feb next year, who will be chinese/australian mixed. I would like to teach him cantonese to communicate with my side of the family. Thus, I've started to look for cantonese kid stuff.
  14. Hong

    Hong New Member

    Hello all,

    loving this website too, like CherylM. Good place to see so people like me. Our little girl is more than one month and like Cheryl my husband and i have started to search for chinese things. we are looking for more mandarin books and videos which hasnt been two bad for us. really good website and people to share
  15. ckat

    ckat New Member

    Hi, I am Kat. My husband and I are from HK and we speak Cantonese at home. We have a 2 year old. I moved to the US when I was in 2nd grade, but my parents spoke only Cantonese to me at home. So, I am fluent. I can read, but not write Traditional Chinese.

    We live in California. We are surrounded by Mandarin speakers here. There are Mandarin immersion schools, but lacking Cantonese schools. Between my husband and I, we just want our kids to be fluent in speaking Cantonese. It will be a plus if they are read and write too. I am a SAHM, so as my child gets older I will attempt start to teach them writing myself. I made the decision to not put my son into preschool earlier because we are so fearful that he will start to pick up and prefer English over Cantonese.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  16. Oneiricer

    Oneiricer New Member

    Hi all
    I'm kenneth from Australia. I might be the only Australian here in the forums. My wife is Singaporean and she speaks mandarin. I was born in HK and speak Cantonese. Anyone in my situation where I speak Cantonese to my daughter and the partner speaK's Mandarin?

    I have a 21 month old daughter and a 1 week old son.
  17. CherylM

    CherylM New Member

    Hi, I'm Australian. Good to see another here!
  18. Andrew

    Andrew Administrator
    Staff Member

    Welcome all the new faces! Let me know if there's anything I can do to help expand the community website a bit more.

    For example, I was thinking of adding continents to locations, e.g. Australasia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, North American, etc. and maybe changing names of some forums (it's very tech heavy at the moment, reflects my interests!)
  19. linda chan

    linda chan New Member

    Hello all

    I have 2 children, a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. I am BBC and my husband is Australian. I have been living in Australia for the past 14 years and in September we all returned to the UK. We thought it would be a good idea for the kids to get to know the UK side of the family whilst they are still young and not too fully ingrained in education.

    My canto is basic and somewhat strange toned at times...! In Australia there are many chinese in the cities however we were more country and therefore we chinese were few. I ended up with a HK uni student teaching me and my son canto for about 2 years which was a great help and I try to only speak canto to him. We have started cantonese school here in Newcastle on Sundays and so he has started to write chinese also. We have just about settled in and I need to look into engaging with other like minded families and getting myself another canto tutor. My son started Mandarin school in Aus at 4 years so I'm hoping that the canto tutor will also do some play based mandarin language with my son and daughter to keep that going.

    Id be very interested in anyone in the Newcastle Upon Tyne area who has similar language and cultural goals, open to language exchange also as my written and spoken english is excellent. Or if anyone can advise on who I can make contact with; this would be useful (unfortunately the canto school here didn't know of anyone who would be able to tutor privately).

    Look forward to hearing from you.
  20. raichu

    raichu New Member

    hi all.
    i live in the midlands and wish i could help you Linda. Maybe you can start a new castle thread or something?
    we have two children, 5 and 7 and we my husband is american italian and i am american chinese. any americans around? would be good to have a thread to swap tips for raising bilingual children.
    nice to meet you all!

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