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learn Cantonese or mandarin??

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  1. #11

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    are you work in h.k now??
    Yep.

    and can you speak any cantonese and mandarin??
    Nope. While here I haven't felt any need to learn any Mandarin whatsoever, but that's me. I haven't taken Mandarin lessons in several years either, nor do I have any interest, at least for now to visit China. But that's just me.
    I'm learning Cantonese right now though.

    is it better if you can speak cantonese??
    I don't know if it is "better", but I notice that during half of my free-time I'm speaking in Cantonese. But again, that's just me. I don't usually hang around the Central-Causeway Bay Anglo-Expat belt (the area of Hong Kong that is very Enlgish bretween Central and Causeway Bay)

    Thanks for yr advise~~~You are very nice~~~
    Ah, no problem. Instead thank the people who work hard to keep this site up and running.
    Practicing a language is as important as learning, if not more. If your boyfriend would like to practice Cantonese, get in touch with me. I have plenty of friends who love to practice their English, as do many Hong Kongers. There are also some "Language Exchange" threads on the site.

  2. #12

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    I took some Cantonese classes a few years ago, but I really wanna get good at it. I was born here, and I speak German, Spanish and French way better than Cantonese. I have experience teaching English, too....I'm gonna have to check out the YMCA and that govt. subsidized program that someone posted about on here...people love it when you speak their language


  3. #13

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    Be careful not to lose your Cantonese.

    Be careful not to lose your Cantonese.
    If you don't practice, it dissipitates away and disappears.

    Gradually integrate the new language into more and more of your native language pass-times, and your knowledge and skill increases accordingly.

    Wasting time watching TV? Watch it in Chinese. Looking to buy a movie? Get a chinese one (with sub-titles). Looking for good music? Check out Chinese ones. Going to a restaurant to eat? Order (twice) in Chinese. Going to a bar? Get to the local ones and play dice games in Chinese.

    This is easier done than said, really. You'll be shocked when you look back and recall how little you knew when you began. The confidence is encouraging. But be careful though not to plateau.


  4. #14

    For those who want to learn Cantonese, I am willing to teach for free provided that they have genuine interest in the language.


  5. #15

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    Cantonese or Mandarin...

    Merci Demore tres interessant le site en francais.

    Clear that the Two language are different same way spanish is different from French.
    (Un de mes prof disait meme que la difference etait du meme degree que entre le Basque et le Breton. )

    The discussion between learning Cantonese or Mandarin will never end, at the every one own choose depending of the situation & location.

    I used to live in a very local Chinese Area few years back and Cantonese was the only way to go auround. You can not imagine how people are nicer when you speak a little the language... + That was so fustrating to listen to my local collegue opening meeting and not understand a word.

    For the Carrier oriented people Mandarin can be a better investismment but Hong Kong is surely not the best place to learn it... and with out pratice difficult to progress. Cantonese seem easier to learn in Hk due to the environnement.

    My advice learn Both: Cantonese for the local live and Mandarin for the carrier and travel in china/Taiwan.

    Djo Tao (Or shall I say byebye in local HK cantonese) Bonne Nuit


  6. #16

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    I disagree about learning Mandarin for a career edge. There are a billion speakers already. If a Chinese company is going to hire a foreigner, it is because that foreigner has some special skill or experience that cannot be found locally, not just because you speak their language. And if a multi-national company will hire you, it will not just be because you speak mandarin because already plenty of Mandarin speakers know some english.

    Learn it because you are interested in the culture. I chose Cantonese because I plan to stay in HK long term.


  7. #17

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    well, like said, if so many ppl can speak mandarin and that is a language used in china, not knowing the langauge wld set one back in his attempt to work in china right. 8-P it becomes a prerequisite. not a career enhancer.

    anyway, if ask me, i'd think learning mandarin first followed by cantonese makes more sense. Cantonese, at the end of the day, is a derivation of mandarin. if we start talking about the chinese culture, then there wld be absolute necessity to understand the tradition of language to appreciate the literatures, history, etc. cantonese is more an oral language than a written one. u learn it to blend into the society.

    having said that. i always have difficulty handling cantonese.
    of the few mandarin and mandarin derived languages i know, cantonese pronounciation just drops conveniently in between the few of them to pose me difficulties in mastering it...

    hmm.. so what shall i do...


  8. #18

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    You are wrong saying that Cantonese derived from Mandarin. Mandarin was one of the many dialects found in China. Today's mandarin is based on the mandarin dialect spoken in Beijing. It was chosen to be the national language and renamed putonghua (common tongue) back in 1949 or around that time.

    Back to my point about learning Mandarin to help your career, you do not need it. Why would a foreigner want to work at a local position in China? The salary is horrible! If you are a foreinger working in China, is not because you speak Mandarin but is because you have a skill that is needed. It is not a prerequisite for a foreigner to work in China.


  9. #19

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    I definitvely need to improve my writting communcation skill: Carrier oriented did not mean that give the definitif edge to work in China, that a Plus ONLY.

    Agree with Kirlex: Cantonese does not derive from Mandarin, that like saying English derive from French. Or the Opposite French Derive from English. As every One Know (we all speak french N'est ce pas) there a lot of English word in French and a lot of French Word in English.
    Strange I have "Deja Vu"(Pronouce Day Cha Vouuuuuuu, with American accent) Feeling :-)
    Cantonese expression and grammar usage is different from Mandarin.

    Not Really important what you learn first, what is important is where is your interress and your Heart.
    I personnaly learn Mandarin and Cantonse alternatively depending of my location and freind. (hard not to mix at the beginning)

    And it is not more difficult to learm Cantonese than Mandarin.
    For the prononciation issue & listenning issue in cantonese you need to pratice more more more more and repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat

    True that Now the Culture and History access pre-required Mandarin in Current China. That due to political reason and direction in the last 60 Years. Mandarin/PutongHua is now the language of the education more than culture in all china except Hong Kong.
    Who Know wich langauges the Chinese Classical Writer where speaking ?


  10. #20

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    so based on this theory, languages evolved from the different provinces into the different dialects, which happened to be similar to each other but unfortunately pronounced differently ?

    let's put it into a very practical logic... books, that record most of chinese literature and history, are writen, in, mandarin. even hk serious writers (the non tabliod ones) are writing serious literature in mandarin. i think HK's most well known writer, jing yong (not sure what his english name is), writes his books in standard mandarin. of cos the directors and movie companies can choose to film them in cantonese..

    i look around me and half the people around me are recruited because they can speak some language we need them to. japanese, korean, mandarin, etc. of cos the core knowledge is needed, but if i were to choose between two guys that know our business decently well, i'd still pick the one that can speak one more language. especially when u do sales, try get a guy that can speak no mandarin but knows product well to do sales in china....

    Last edited by freeier; 11-05-2006 at 06:47 PM.

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