Cantonese is a language from southern China that is spoken by roughly 70 million people worldwide. It is the language of Hong Kong cinema and has traditionally been the most prominent language spoken in Chinatowns around the world. People choose to learn Cantonese for a variety of social and economic reasons: because it is a heritage language that one’s relatives speak; because it is the language of one’s partner and monolingual in-laws; because it is necessary for living and working in Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, or other Cantonese-speaking communities; because it is the bridge to fully appreciating and understanding Cantonese culture; or simply because it is an irresistible challenge. Whatever the motivation, more and more people are choosing to learn Cantonese as an additional language.
This book discusses many issues related to both acquiring and teaching Cantonese. If you are a learner of Cantonese, this long overdue volume is essential to understanding both the grammatical and the social issues involved with learning this notoriously difficult language. If you are a teacher, this book will be invaluable to gaining insight into your students’ motivations and needs. And finally, if you are an applied linguist, the unique aspects related to the acquisition of Cantonese offer a fascinating contribution to the literature.