Archive for August, 2006

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

Listening to Cantonese fluency!

Listening to Cantonese over-and-over…
Cantonese is very tonal; the wrong tone can cause misunderstanding, even in context. It’s virtually impossible to remember words and tones through memorising a dictionary. So how can I learn massive amounts of vocabulary without sounding like a pitch-less opera singer? Speaking fluently requires memorisation of vocabulary and knowing how to […]

3 Comments » - Posted in Learning by 馬先生

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

Forget grammar, vocabulary is more important

I previously wrote briefly about Steve Kaufmann incredibly speaking 9 languages fluently, English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, Swedish, German, Cantonese and Italian.

Steve speaking Cantonese (15:29min) :
Steve does not practise or actively speak Cantonese anymore.

- note: first 10 seconds have audio problems
The following presentation was conducted by Steve Kaufmann in part English and Japanese. […]

1 Comment » - Posted in Learning by 馬先生

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

Learn by watching the news or TV series?

Steve Kaufmann speaks 9 languages fluently, English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, Swedish, German, Cantonese and Italian.
Steve interviews Max, a Swede learning Mandarin (14:10mins). As I cannot understand Mandarin, I had a native speaker translate for me. It deals with Max’s study of Mandarin and Cantonese, his thoughts on Pimsleur, and how repetitive […]

1 Comment » - Posted in Learning by 馬先生

Monday, August 14th, 2006

Learning vocabulary by reading - my mistake

In my first month of learning Cantonese, I learnt a mere 100 spoken words. I calculated 100 x 12 months = 1200 words per year if I continued on this pattern. As Pimsleur moved so slowly and painfully, I didn’t think it was possible to learn any faster.
The Linguist classifies a […]

No Comments » - Posted in Learning by 馬先生

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

Native Cantonese speaker (Caucasian)

Who do you think is more impressive…?

White person
Chinese person

Born and grown up in Hong Kong speaking Cantonese fluently
(HK accent)

Born and grown up in America speaking English fluently
(American accent)

I guess neither is as impressive as the other. However, the Chinese-American is considered a normal everyday ocurrence.
Native Cantonese speaker (Caucasian):
Sharon Balcombe was born in Hong […]

3 Comments » - Posted in Cantonese by 馬先生

Friday, August 4th, 2006

My confidence crushed - Pimsleur Cantonese

Costing $295USD on Amazon, Pimsleur Cantonese comprises of 30 x 30min lessons teaching Cantonese solely through listening, repeating then anticipating responses.
The course claims upon completion of Pimsleur Comprehensive Level I Program (30 lessons), you will have achieved spoken-language communication skills at an Intermediate-Low Level including the ability to participate in simple, direct conversations, […]

12 Comments » - Posted in Learning by 馬先生