Monday, January 14, 2008

How I Learnt Cantonese

I was born a Hokkien, a Chinese who speaks Penang Hokkien. Then how did I learn Cantonese? Well, I learnt the Chinese dialect through my aunt - the ‘sister’ of my late father. She had no place to stay and my kind-hearted dad allowed her to live with us and soon she became my aunt. She was a Cantonese by birth but she could speak Hokkien.

At that time, Redifusion - a cabled radio was very popular in Penang. I was attracted to Cantonese because of the story-telling slot by Lei Tai Sor. In order to understand these stories, I needed to know Cantonese. As fate had it, my aunt became my Cantonese teacher. I would be listening to the story and asked her some words a day. Some of the initial words I learnt from her are as follows:

1 hai [yes]

2 hm hai [no]

3 tim k'ai [why]

4 Lei ku hai mat ye? [What do you guess it is?]

5 hm kwoi sai [thank you]

6 hou sa chan [very proud]

7 yi kar [now]

8 t'ng yet [tomorrow]

9 kay hou t'ai [how beautiful]

10 hou cheot sou [we stand to gain]

Soon I had learned enough Cantonese words to be able to follow the stories with full comprehension of the stories.

Although I speak Cantonese with a Hokkien accent, I can get my message across in the dialect if the need arises.

It shows that if we are motivated to do something worthwhile we will succeed in doing it.

2 comments:

AndyC said...

whoa like dat also can learn. respect !!!

Chinese Language Lesson said...

how about the tone ? are they the same as Chinese language ?