Mandarin seems like the Chinese language to learn in America. Even among some of my Cantonese speaking friends or relatives, when they want their baby to learn Chinese, Mandarin is their choice. China is the future, people say. I used to expect most US chinatown communities to primarily be Cantonese speakers but seems like either Taiwanese people or Mainlanders are flourishing in this environment as well.
Growing up in America, my primary language is and remains English. Both my parents speak Cantonese but were too lazy to teach beyond their firstborn. They taught me a few basic words here and there but that's it. As a kid, I was forced into attended a weekend Mandarin Chinese school for a little bit but I didn't learn or retain much from there. I just remember an unfinished workbook and goofing off. Besides, an extra day of school? My American sensibility was too spoiled for that. Do I regret it? I do wish I picked up more from it and it would be great if I became semi-fluent. But I don't regret enjoying my childhood either. I'd rather watch cartoons or play Computer/Nintendo games all day.
From high school to college, I was also forced into studying a second language. I studied French cause a second language was mandatory and I wanted to learn something different from my bros (who chose Spanish and Latin). I think I've forgotten most of it, there's too many conjugations involved.
After college, I wanted to learn some Asian languages for fun. When it comes to languages, there are three that interest me: Cantonese, Mandarin, and Japanese.
Cantonese because that's where much my culture and heritage lies.
Mandarin because it's popular and the Chinese standard.
Japanese because it's products and culture are so influential.
The furthest I've ever gotten is by listening to the the first level of
Cantonese, Mandarin, and Japanese from Pimsleur. Basic stuff, but it helped me understand much more than I used
to. Even knowing a few more words and phrases makes me feel better.
I often watch many movies in these three languages as well. Movies haven't really helped me learn languages very well. The only things I learned from watching Cantonese movies are words like "POK GAI!!!" or "SIK SEAHHH!!!". In terms of learning resources, Cantonese seems the scarcest. Japanese and especially Mandarin are more plentiful. Unfortunately for me, Cantonese is the language I want to learn most. I'd feel guilty if I was better versed in the other two languages. I'm not very good at learning languages anyhow, my memory isn't the sharpest. The Cantonese tones are the toughest. The only way I could ever learn is through repetition, continual and consistent listening and speaking. And without the time, discipline, or even resources to learn I don't know if I'll ever pick it up... At least I'm pretty good at English.
Speaking of Cantonese vs. Mandarin, here's a trailer of a great movie series with a related North vs. South premise. From studio Cathay:
I really love Leung Sing Bo's comic tones and mannerisms. I agree with the idea that comedy is funnier in Cantonese than Mandarin. The "sequels" The Greatest Wedding on Earth and The Greatest Love Affair on Earth feature the same cast and premise but are unrelated. I've still been waiting a long time for Panorama to release Greatest Love Affair on DVD. The first two were quite enjoyable. Who knows if its release will ever happen. Who the purchases and watches these types of movies other than hardcore movie fans or really old people? What an unfortunate trend.
Log in to alivenotdead.com with one of these trusted providers
NOTE: Users of the original website please Click here to reactivate your account.
New users - Join the alivenotdead.comcommunity instantly by confirming your identity with a trusted authentication service.
Returning users - Please use with the same authentication service to login to your alivenotdead.com account.
First time users can create a new account from scratch by authenticate using any of the following trusted services:
WARNING: If you disconnect all your social media accounts your profile will be locked and you will not be able to access it again. If you want to keep your page, please add another social media account and then remove this one.
If you understand the risks, click this box to deauthorize your account.