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.


AndyC said...

whoa like dat also can learn. respect !!!

Chinese Language Lesson said...

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