Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Non-Chinese Cantonese speakers


wannabeafreak
 Share

Recommended Posts

I uploaded these for my blog at http://cantonese.hk, though not many people on this forum would visit my site to know of them.

Norwegian

PART 1:

PART 2:

PART 3:

Indian

PART 1:

PART 2:

PART 3:

New Zealand/Australian

PART 1:

PART 2:

PART 3:

Robert Bauer

PART 1:

PART 2:

PART 3:

Sharon Balcombe

PART 1:

PART 2:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Thanks. I give the following scores to their Cantonese based on accent+fluency.

Norwegian

70

Indian

75 the rich family

100 the teacher daughter, 99.9 the mother

New Zealand/Australian

99 AMAZING! I only detected a couple tonal mistakes(very slight) in the whole video. Without looking at her, I would think she's a native speaker.

Robert Bauer

70

Sharon Balcombe

100!!! NO FAULT!! born in Hong Kong, no wonder!

I love her quote --- when she and her brother went back to America, her brother said "妈咪,你睇下几多鬼佬!”

I want to hear her speak English though...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cecilie Gamst Berg is a cantonese teacher and also did the RTHK3 Canto lessons.

She may be fluent, but still I would rather learn Cantonese from a native speaker. Her accent is foreign and I believe you must only receive inputs from native-accent speakers. Otherwise your pronunciation and accent will forever be foreign. That's why I dislike seeing French, Russian, German people... teach English! That's how I personally feel, she may be a great teacher but I am very picky on only receiving perfect pronunciation.

I am not sure Hari Harilela is a non-chinese.

Why did you say this? He is obviously non-chinese... look at his face, he is Indian. Also the Indian lady in the classroom has native-accent Cantonese. You can tell from her accent and usage of the language. You are only considered Chinese if you are ethnically Chinese. China is not multi-cultural to the same extent as America and Australia.

And what's the point anyway? Are chinese people speaking English are still circus attractions?

I can't understand what you mean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would prefer an advanced non-native speaker as teacher. The reason is very obvious, a non-native speaker may have a better idea were difficulties in specific language teaching are. I have seen many HK Chinese which by all means should give up teaching language. Most do stricly textbook teaching with zero creativity. Accent is not an issue, most English speakers have accents.

"look at his face" - well then you have a problem accepting that a Chinese can become US American (or whatever). If he holds an HK SAR passport then he is obviously (HK) Chinese.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would prefer an advanced non-native speaker as teacher. The reason is very obvious, a non-native speaker may have a better idea were difficulties in specific language teaching are. I have seen many HK Chinese which by all means should give up teaching language. Most do stricly textbook teaching with zero creativity. Accent is not an issue, most English speakers have accents.

Why do English TEFL schools require Native speakers? Accent and intonations are important. As Quest stated Cecilie has a 70/100. Would you want to be limited by her command of the langauge? In every place you will have good and bad teachers. Well I've seen many English speakers who should also give up teaching, but would you like an Italian teach a bunch of Japanese English? How would there intonations sound, obviously foreign. The issue you have is the delivery process or methodology used. It comes down to finding the right teacher. In this case, if Cecilie has not had a full Chinese education (for example going to Primary, Highschool, University). No matter how good her teaching methods are, she will never be able to teach as well as a native HK person who uses the same method.

Also, my GZ tutor does not have the same level of Cantonese as my HK wife. Even though he is native, his Mandarin education reduces his command compared to a pure Cantonese speaking Hongkie.

"look at his face" - well then you have a problem accepting that a Chinese can become US American (or whatever). If he holds an HK SAR passport then he is obviously (HK) Chinese.

Actually, they are called HK Indians. Same as we call Italian-Australians, Greek-Australians etc.

Ask anyone if they refer the Indians in Tsim Sha Tsui as Chinese and I bet you they will say they are Indians.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, my GZ tutor does not have the same level of Cantonese as my HK wife. Even though he is native, his Mandarin education reduces his command compared to a pure Cantonese speaking Hongkie.

There are many kinds of GZness with different backgrounds. People from GZ proper and people from the perimeters are kinda different, even if they don't have accents. Some are more influenced by mandarin than others, due to different family composition. I don't see a native (family also native) GZ person from GZ proper would have a lower command of Cantonese than someone from Hongkong, on average of course.

As Quest stated Cecilie has a 70/100.

Cecilie speaks better when she speaks slowly, such as when on the radio show.. only misses her tones occasionally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why do English TEFL schools require Native speakers?

You can not compare that. To work as a teacher you have to be a trained professional with academic educational background. What you get in canto/manda language schools are usually not, I would say less then 3% have any idea about teaching.

As Quest stated Cecilie has a 70/100. Would you want to be limited by her command of the langauge?

Yes. It's good enough to get around for a start. I have to admit that her RTHK3 classes started good. But then they got a bit carried away with too much fun.

Most classes in HK are just textbook classes. They don't put fun into learning at all. People don't learn much that way. Sometimes they focus on tones for several hours - a sure way to have everyones interest lost in no time. I am sure that Cecilie will have a much better concept and does not go much into boring tones at all.

I was considering on of her pub runs (for fun) but I am not sure if it's suitable for moderate drinkers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ms Carma Hinton is a native speaker of Mandarin, but even though she's been classed as a 'foreigner' her whole life, she's so totally Chinese when she opens her mouth that I honestly wonder how other people cannot 'see' it. It's like a BBC friend of mine who complains about the British being racist, and does so with such a perfect northern English accent that I can hardly think of her as 'Chinese' at all.

http://www.douban.com/group/topic/1051474/

http://www.edubridge.com/erxiantang/library/morningsun_kama.htm

Even though it's nice to learn a language from native speakers that look like you (and it' a good thing for Chinese society that these people's voices are heard), the chances for us adult learners to get to this level are zero. And frankly, this shouldn't be an issue. Those Chinese who will not listen to you, fully accept you etc. 'because your Chinese is not good enough' are fooling you, as many will also not accept a native speaker who looks like a foreigner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why do English TEFL schools require Native speakers?

One more point: I find it very disturbing when british, USA, canadians etc.- that are 100% English native speaker and qualified, can NOT get that job because they look Asian or named "Wong". How more racist one can get?

I heard those stories many, many times.

the chances for us adult learners to get to this level are zero.

Maybe as far as MY chances are concerned. But I do know some late starting non-native speakers which made it to native speaker standard. It's just a question of how much time you put into it and how well you can immerse.

And frankly, this shouldn't be an issue.

This one I agree fully. I don't aim at perfection anyway. Ordering a beer and not getting tea is fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's just so much rarer to see a Cantonese speaking caucasian, and honestly I have never seen/met/heard a caucasian who speaks Cantonese as well as Sharon Balcombe. I've seen/heard many non-Chinese but fluent Cantonese speakers, but never one that could speak it flawlessly like Mrs. Lau. even if they were born in HK. People complain that HK people dont talk to them in Cantonese, but if they spoke Cantonese like Sharon Balcombe, I think it would be hard not to speak to them in Cantonese. She sounds culturally, linguistically, totally Cantonese... my mind's still fighting hard, trying to force an accent on her, but so far failing to find even the slightest hint of foreigness in her accent.

Sorry, I missed the Indian mother and daughter, they are 100% too, just like Sharon, the daugther slightly more so. The mother has a bit(0.1%) of country accent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is so strange about Caucasian speaking Cantonese?

When I was a kid in 1950s, my neighbor was a family of Britons whose kid spoke perfect Cantonese (including all the 4-letter words). Their parents could all speak Cantonese, though not as fluent as their son. But in average, their Cantonese were all much better than my other two neighbors -- Shandongese and Shanghaiese.

Nowadays if you go to the market in Hong Kong, most Filipino/Indonesian maids bargain in Cantonese with those vendors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quest:

Without comparison, Robert Bauer speaks quite good Cantonese. But of course, he is below average after you compare all the videos.

Actually I prefer the Harilela most. They spoke unambigously, precisely and clearly. Of course, they spoke with an accent. But accent is not the point since we (you and I) also speak English with an accent. The most important point is that you can convey your idea accurately. Just like Kissinger speaks English, everybody can tell that is not his native tongue but he can convey his idea to us.

For Balcombe, I am not curious on her accentless since she is just like my neighbor kid -- 100% native.

In terms of fluency, of course it is the Aussie/New Zealand girl who excels.

Though my father is a Chaozhouese, I speak Cantonese with HK accent -- a lot of "lazy sound". However, I tell my kid not to learn the horrible Zhongshan-accented Cantonese that her classmate speaks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quest, how do you rate 河國榮 compared to the above people?

I'd like to change my rating for the Indians (the men), they are actually more fluent than Cecilie and Bauer. So maybe 75 for the Indian men. I think 河國榮's fluency is like theirs but with a different accent, so maybe 75-80. Do you have a video of him speaking for a lengthy period of time, I've only seen him in tvb drama.

Best first:

Sharon Balcombe (native)

Indian Daughter (native)

Indian Mother (native but with slight Indian/乡下话 characteristics)

Aus Girl (near native, miss a tone or two occasionally, fluency slightly worse than the above 3, she uses 系呀,系嘞 too much)

(some distance)

河國榮 (fluent, but accent is foreign)

Indian Richmen (fluent, accent has heavy 乡下话 characteristics)

(some small distance)

Bauer (relatively fluent, accent foreign)

Cecilie (relatively fluent, accent foreign)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is 河國榮 Ho Kwok Wing.

I have cut out all the advertisements and music.

Here is the entire interview:

PART 1:

http://cantonese.hk/hkw/hkw-01.mp3 (1.97mb)

PART 2:

http://cantonese.hk/hkw/hkw-02.mp3 (648kb)

PART 3:

http://cantonese.hk/hkw/hkw-03.mp3 (296kb)

PART 4:

http://cantonese.hk/hkw/hkw-04.mp3 (874kb)

PART 5:

http://cantonese.hk/hkw/hkw-05.mp3 (992kb)

Please let me know how good you reckon he is compared to the above people. In terms of accent, fluency etc. He is my idol.

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sorry Quest, I'm curious about the 乡下话 accent. Are you saying that these people sound like native speakers but with a non-'standard', yet non-'foreign', accent? Is it like, I don't know, the way Blacks in American movies speak compared to Bostonian WASPs? If so, shouldn't their accent be considered as native as that of the others, albeit of a non-standard variety? (My Cantonese wouldn't make it to 5 on that scale, so I have to ask. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...