Independent learning materials

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
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Eric

Independent learning materials

Post by Eric » Sat Feb 09, 2002 3:19 am

Hello,
Does anyone have any recommendations for materials (courses/texts/audios/etc...) for learning Cantonese? Also, are there any colleges/universities offering online instruction in Cantonese?
In a related question, does anyone have any comments on romanization of Cantonese? I have the "Colloquial Cantonese" course (Routledge), and it uses Yale. It seems fairly straitfoward. What other systems are in use? Is the Yale system best for first-time learners?
Any input would be welcomed!
Regards,
Eric
It's simple

Re: Independent learning materials

Post by It's simple » Sat Feb 09, 2002 5:02 pm

As long as you find the way you are studying that fits you, stick with it. And don't change it midway, ok!
Goodluck2u.
: Hello,
: Does anyone have any recommendations for materials (courses/texts/audios/etc...) for learning Cantonese? Also, are there any colleges/universities offering online instruction in Cantonese?
: In a related question, does anyone have any comments on romanization of Cantonese? I have the "Colloquial Cantonese" course (Routledge), and it uses Yale. It seems fairly straitfoward. What other systems are in use? Is the Yale system best for first-time learners?
: Any input would be welcomed!
: Regards,
: Eric
Helmu

Re: Independent learning materials

Post by Helmu » Mon Feb 11, 2002 10:57 pm

: Does anyone have any recommendations for materials (courses/texts/audios/etc...) for learning Cantonese?
You have the "Colloquial Cantonese" course ? It is quite good. Wait til you are through, then you decide again. It also depends a bit on where you are able to shop for the stuff. I can then recommend the books of Matthews/Yip (grammar focused, but good vocabulary). Some other good ideas can be found in older postings of this forum.
: Also, are there any colleges/universities offering online instruction in Cantonese
If you find anything serious, let us know.
: In a related question, does anyone have any comments on romanization of Cantonese?
See an older post of mine in this forum in response to Adam Sheiks question.
: I have the "Colloquial Cantonese" course (Routledge), and it uses Yale. It seems fairly straitfoward. What other systems are in use? Is the Yale system best for first-time learners?
Yale is one of the best systems in use and it seems to be the only one that you can find in the books of more than just one author. Especially, grammar books, dictionaries etc tend to use it. That makes it a pretty good choice.
There are all kinds of other systems in use, good and bad. In this forum, you will find a lot of Jyutping, which is even slightly better than Yale, but there seem to be no textbooks yet using it.
Eric

Re: Independent learning materials

Post by Eric » Tue Feb 12, 2002 7:03 pm

Thanks, Helmut!
I have reviewed several of your posts and found them to be informative. I just ordered Pimsleur from Amazon.com (expensive!), as I have read good things about it. I also hope to acquire the FSI course as well (wish you could get CDs instead of tapes, though!).
I also have the Yip grammar series on my wish list... I'm hoping that through the Pimsleur and FSI courses I can acquire a solid understanding of the tones and a decent vocabulary, and then polish my grammar through the Yip series.
Thanks for the help...
Helmut
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:53 pm

Re: Independent learning materials

Post by Helmut » Wed Feb 13, 2002 2:42 pm

Eric,
one more point:
I observed that older material often contains a lot of words that makes native speakers comment like "Yes, I understand, but noone is using that word. You should say ... instead.". It can then be quite frustrating, when trying out your newly acquired knowledge on a native speaker.
It's really special for Cantonese, and I am not yet sure why. Anyway, if in doubt, which book you should buy, take the newer one. From my experience, the problem starts with material from the eighties and gets really serious with material from the seventies.
Helmut
Lisa c

Re: Independent learning materials

Post by Lisa c » Wed Feb 13, 2002 4:32 pm

I think it's becuase HK is small so everyone has the same point of referenc in terms of movies, songs etc. It follows trends and slang that change every 6 months. Even the older people use the slang, I think it's similar to Los Angeles. While they may learn "proper" Cantonese in school and understand it, if someone uses it it points out that they're not HKers.
The Cantonese from the older materials would probably be in use by people that have emigrated - Malaysia, Singapore, US, etc.
Eric

Re: Independent learning materials

Post by Eric » Wed Feb 13, 2002 8:15 pm

Hi Helmut and Lisa,
Yes, I get the impression from the forum that some of the language learnt during self-study can be dated somewhat. I suspect that this is the case with some of the FSI material, as I believe it was produced in the 70s. However, it is one of the few Cantonese self-study materials that looks to be fairly comprehensive, so I will still be purchasing and using it.
Off-topic (a little), does anyone have any suggestions about where to purchase the FSI course. I have found two places online: worldlanguage.com and multilingualbooks.com. There is an $80 price difference between the two for the Level 1 & 2 bundled course! Is one "better" than the other? Just curious...
Thomas Chan

Re: Independent learning materials

Post by Thomas Chan » Thu Feb 14, 2002 7:37 pm

: Yes, I get the impression from the forum that some of the language learnt during self-study can be dated somewhat. I suspect that this is the case with some of the FSI material, as I believe it was produced in the 70s. However, it is one of the few Cantonese self-study materials that looks to be fairly comprehensive, so I will still be purchasing and using it.
Speaking of outdated materials, I'd like to warn
against the Cantonese phrasebook (and other
phrasebooks) published by REA, which even
advertises that it was used by the Foreign
Service. Upon inspection, its clearly a
reprint of a book that was first published
decades ago, but I couldn't find any explicit
indication that it was older than the date on
it (2000, I believe). I bought this book only
because I recognized the typesetting and
romanization looked suspicously to what I had
seen in 1940s Army phrasebooks, and was
interested in it for its historical data, but
its clearly not useful today, even with the
modern photos of hydrofoils and skyscrapers
that have been inserted to spice it up. But
when there are sentences showing how to ask for
a donkey as transportation, one gets a bit
suspicious...

Thomas Chan
tc31@cornell.edu
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