#12 Guest Episode: Brittany Chan, Part 2 (English/粵語)
This episode features part two of our conversation with YouTuber and blogger Brittany Chan. She shares some of her goals for studying Cantonese, as well as a few of her favorite resources for learning the language.
Links to resources mentioned in this episode:
不浪漫故事 Not a Romantic Story
Boba Break Cantonese
Cantonese Chrome Extension
Linguistic Society of Hong Kong
Brittany’s YouTube channel
1. 頻道 pan4 dou6 (N) channel
2. 清晰 cing1 sik1 (ADJ) clear, distinct
3. 明確 ming4 kok3 (ADJ) definite, explicit
4. 目標 muk6 biu1 (N) goal
5. 製作 zai3 zok3 (N/V) production, to produce
6. 冚唪唥 ham6 baang6 laang6 (PRON) all, entire
7. 話題 waa6 tai4 (N) topic
8. 見證 gin3 zing3 (V/N) witness, to testify
9. 順便 seon6 bin2 (ADV) by the way
10.發覺 faat3 gok3 (V) to notice, to realize
11.上鏡 soeng5 geng3 (V/ADJ) to go on camera, photogenic
12. 改善 goi2 sin6 (V/N) to improve, improvement
13. 表達 biu2 daat6 (V) to express
14.補充 bou2 cung1 (V/N) to complement, replenish
15. 認同 jing6 tung4 (ADJ/V) concurred, to agree, to identify
16. 責任 zaak3 jam6 (N) duty, responsibility
17. 鼓勵 gu2 lai6 (V/N) to encourage, encouragement
18. 擁有 jung2 jau5 (V) to possess, to own
19. 組成 zou2 sing4 (V/N) to consist of, repertoire
20. 自信心 zi6 seon3 sam1 (N) self-confidence
ADJ - Adjective
ADV - Adverb
N - Noun
PRON - Pronoun
V - Verb
今集節目係我哋同 Brittany Chan 對話嘅第二部分，佢係一位 YouTube 頻道同網誌創作人，內容對象爲海外學習粵語嘅華人。喺呢一集節目，我哋會聽多啲關於佢現時學習粵語嘅目標，同埋佢建議嘅一啲粵語學習資源。如果你尚未收聽對話嘅第一部分，記得聽返上一集嘅內容喇。
This episode features the second part of our conversation with Brittany Chan, a YouTuber and blogger who creates content about overseas Chinese communities and studying Cantonese. In this episode, we will hear more about her current goals for studying Cantonese as well as some suggestions for learning resources. If you didn't hear the first part of our conversation, make sure to check out the previous episode.
You've been doing your channel for a while now, do you have any specific goals at this point in terms of production, for instance, and do you have specific goals right now for your study of Cantonese？
有嘅，噉我其實未寫得好清晰嘅，但係我諗我想 read better? 哈哈哈，係其中一個我嘅廣東話嘅目標囉，因爲我其實開始呢個頻道之前呢，其實都唔係好識睇中文嘅。所以自從開始咗呢，我而家都，我諗冚唪唥6嗰啲片我都可以睇，識得睇 like level 1 嘅，就係噉囉。其它嘅目標 in terms of like 我嘅 channel呢，就我諗多啲 consistency 呀，多啲 post 人哋有興趣嗰啲話題7呀噉囉。
(I do, I haven’t written them out clearly, but I think I want to read better? Hahaha, that’s one of my goals for Cantonese, because when I first started my channel, I wasn’t too good at reading Chinese characters. So ever since I started, also now, I think I can read all the videos from Hambaanglaang, like I can read level 1, that’s it. Other goals, in terms of my channel, I would like to have more consistency, more posts with topics that people are interested in.)
(That’s really great, as I think many people are watching or keeping an eye on you, your Cantonese has improved a lot. We have a saying, it’s a four-character saying, which is “gaau3 hok6 soeng1 coeng4,” meaning the teacher and student progress together [i.e. the teacher benefits from the act of teaching just as the student benefits from receiving instruction]. I’ve also realized that if you don’t teach, you don’t know what you need or lack.)
係，真係冇錯嘅。因爲我第一次上鏡11呢，我嗰條片，我好 stiff 嘅，講返頭先講嗰個 myth 啦，我以前以爲我要一定講到一個係好標準嘅廣東話，但係其實我平時講嘅廣東話都 OK 啦，you know, so 不如唔好咁 like stiff，唔好咁 stressed out，就講返我自己講嘅廣東話。但係都係繼續日日想改善12我自己嘅廣東話，去 improve 吓自己講嘅嘢，可以表達到，like 更加表達13到我想講嘅嘢囉。
(Yup, you’re absolutely right. Because when I first appeared on camera, in that video, I was really stiff. Going back to that “myth” [see previous episode], I used to think that I had to speak a very standard form of Cantonese, but my Cantonese usually is OK, you know, so there is no need to be so stiff, so stressed out, I can just speak my own Cantonese. But I still want to improve my Cantonese daily, to improve how I speak, to reach, like, [a level] where I can better express what I want to say.)
嗯，我最後想補充14一點呢，即係我係十分之認同15，我即係好開心，聽到好似你呀，同埋我哋上一集阿 Pearl 呢，即係同大家講，唔好覺得有啲學生，或者有啲佢哋喺屋企以前係講廣東話嘅，或者有背景嘅人，佢哋好似講得唔正呀，或者佢哋講得我哋所謂嘅麻麻哋，就即係好似睇低或者睇小，即係覺得佢哋係差啲嘅或者係唔夠嘅。噉我哋覺得其實我哋講廣東話做母語嘅人士亦都有呢個責任16去支持，去鼓勵17同埋，即係一個人講嗰個語言唔正同佢嘅背景一定有關係啦。噉但係我哋亦都要去認同每個人嘅語言呀，即係佢嗰個，佢所擁有18嘅語言都係有唔同嘅組成19嘅部分。即係唔好再分高低喇。“哦，你係因為所謂竹升呀，你係差啲嘅”噉樣。噉係呀，有裏面嘅文化喺裏邊好緊要囉。
(Yes, I want to add one last thing, which is that I totally agree. I am very happy to hear you and our previous guest, Pearl, tell everyone that it’s not good to think that some students, like those who have spoken Cantonese at home, or have a Cantonese background, that they speak incorrectly, or that there Cantonese is mediocre, or to look down on them, to think that they are lacking or somehow deficient… I also think that those of us who speak Cantonese as our first language, we have a responsibility to support, to encourage, and… that is, if someone doesn’t speak a language in a “correct” way, it has to do with their background. But we need to recognize everyone’s language, in that it is theirs, the language they possess consists of different components. We shouldn’t reinforce a sense of inferiority, like that sort of “Yes, it’s because you are an overseas Chinese, you are deficient.” Well, the inner workings of culture are very important.)
係，我覺得呢個係非常之 like counter productive 嘅。如果你同一啲竹升講, “你唔識講廣東話，即係 你唔係中國人啦”，或者 “你唔係華人啦,”但係如果你唔鼓勵佢去講，淨係話“你講得唔正呀，你咬啲字有懶音”又有呢樣又有嗰樣。噉樣其實係變咗我哋無乜自信心20去講囉。
(Yes, I think this is very counterproductive. [Like] if you tell some overseas Chinese, “You don’t speak Cantonese, so you aren’t a Chinese person,” or, “You aren’t Chinese,” but if you don’t encourage them to speak and just say, “You don’t speak right, some of your words have a lazy accent,” like this or that… These sorts of things lead to us not having any self-confidence to speak.)
(Yes, I totally agree. Good, Cameron, I give the mic back to you.)
好好。So usually for our last question, we like to ask our guest for a suggestion for a favorite Cantonese learning resource or material.
So, part of my job is to research resources, and I found that, you know, it's not good enough to just give one because everyone's at a different level. In terms of content, I really enjoy podcasts, as I mentioned. For advanced to heritage, you know, casual chit-chat learners, I really like, Not a Romantic Story, they just talk, and there are a couple, they just talk about their day-to-day life and they're really funny. They swear here and there. I think it's, you know, a fun way to just pass some time in your target language.
I also like one they're called “lok lam” (樂霖), I think… something café, and they're also very good. I think it's two people chatting about more psychological, or psychology behind certain things, relationships. I believe one of them is a psychologist or something along those lines. And they also have very interesting topics, so for more advanced heritage speakers that one's really good, those are two good podcasts.
I do… It's harder to find, I would say, podcasts for beginners, or I would say actually more intermediate level, because, I mean, listening comprehension is really, is one of those portions that takes you from one level to the next, so it's difficult. But for beginners, I really enjoy Jade’s from InspirLang’s podcast as well as Poetic Cantonese. There was one ,it was like on Spotify but they're not a podcast, they're like little songs. I think it's called like… I don't remember this one, I'm sorry. But they basically just like saying they're like “機場” (gei1 coeng4, airport)，“機場”. It’s really cute. One day I caught Jared just got him like “機場” ，“機場”。That's a great way to learn vocabulary, so yeah those were pretty great.
I like the Boba Break from Inspirlang. I'm not sure if she has any free ones of those ones but they're great dialogues to hear, you know, her and one of her friends speaking and, you know, having a conversation. I really like those ones a lot. And in terms of other resources, one that I would still recommend but you have to keep something in mind that, you know, a lot of Cantonese resources out there that use Jyutping, I would say, for the most part are not a hundred percent accurate, which is not a big deal in the sense that, you know, you should still be doing your own, you know, checks and making sure that the tones are right so that you can say it correctly. But one that I really like for someone like myself who is still learning how to read for the most part is the… what I call it… the Cantonese pop-up dictionary Chrome extension. So this one was really like a fun find for me because I wanted to read online resources that were in, either like just standard Chinese or Cantonese, and I was a mess. I mean, I can't read it. I can maybe like pull out a few words here and there, but even to get the overall context is difficult, so this one is just you turn the extension on, and then you hover over the Chinese character, and it gives you the definition as well as the Jyutping pronunciation, which is so helpful because for a heritage speaker as myself, you know, I know the word, but I don't know what it looks like, you know. So having that little popup has been really beneficial and it's something I even use for my own work use. Oh, and then, in a YouTube channel, I personally like, I've mentioned this many times on my socials. Jared and I both use 冚唪唥’s videos. Myself for reading and him for pronunciation and just overall comprehension, I love what they do, and I always want to like, promote them. They're doing great work.
Great, Cameron if you don't mind, I will jump in, I would like to give a few recommendations.
Go ahead, yeah.
Because I'm so glad Brittany just brought up the resourcefulness or the usefulness of Jyutping. Because I think many of you know that Jyutping is not the only like romanization system available but Jyutping is the one that is being promoted in many organizations and also in Hong Kong by a lot of the teachers, and like scholars and researchers. So what I'm going to recommend is basically, it's the origin of Jyutping. And actually Jyutping comes from, in the… I think it's in the eighties, developed by the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong, LSHK. And actually this organization, they also put up a lot of their resources online. It’s at LSHK.org. And since I'm in touch with the organization and then they are developing, their trying to develop and make their resources are more accessible, so if you go to their website, you can see, they have the charts, they have all the different aids to help you master Jyutping and then, there's another site that's kind of branched out from the LSHK site. It's one of their members, his name is 劉銘霏 Lau Ming Fei, actually he is based in Philadelphia now. So he also developed a website, it’s called Jyutping.org. So I will put all these links on the show notes and he also teaches and gives tutorials, like how you can do input of characters by using Jyutping and there are many ways and he also developed some of the apps and software that are available. I think those would be very useful if you are trying to pick up Jyutping. So that's my recommendations.
And I will add one for podcasts, especially for people who are looking, I think, for more advanced learners who are looking to up their listening comprehension with sort of standard Chinese, or 正式中文 [zing3 sik1 jung1 man2/4]. So a lot of this is if you're reading the news, you're going to encounter this. The BBC actually has a weekly sort of news roundup in Cantonese called 時事一週. And so it's definitely harder than I'd say a lot of the other podcast out there, but what's great is if you listen to it at the end of your week after you've already heard the news in, you know, English or any other language, you're probably familiar with the content that they're going to talk about but they’re going to use very formal vocabulary to deal with it. So I think that's a great one that's out there. And I also know that one of the Australian broadcasting companies [SBS] also has a podcast for weekly news, so that's also great if you live in England or Australia, and you want to get local news delivered in Cantonese.
That's actually genius, like, you're right, you listen to the news during the week in your other language that you understand. And then, at the end rehash it with your target language, that's cool. I learned a lot just from you guys too. Like, I'm a huge proponent of Jyutping and especially to any language, or any Cantonese learner but especially for heritage speakers who don't read Cantonese, I mean, who don't read Chinese, it's such a big barrier to entry. It blows my mind that we didn't have a standardized, you know, main romanization system, and here we have Jyutping which is I think very accurate, very accessible, and you know, we have, as Raymond gave the website, it's very… I think I've been on it and I think it's great that it's very easy to learn.
I think those are all of our questions. Obviously, do you want to quickly share your socials just so people know where to follow you?
Oh yeah, sure. My YouTube channel is “Cantonese with Brittany” and you can also find me on Instagram at Cantonese.With.Brittany. [search “Brittany Chan” instead] I'm also on Facebook with the same name, and then I also have my website where I post occasional blog posts at https://www.cantonesewithbrittany.com
Well, thank you so much for speaking with us today. I think we learned a ton. It’s also very exciting since we've watched your videos. We've enjoyed them, our friends have enjoyed them, so it's really great to hear you talk more about your process and your own journey with Cantonese.
Thanks for having me, this is a pleasure.