Cantonese Language Facebook Groups

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, due to many readers asking for Cantonese specific Facebook groups, I did some research into the topic. Here are my tl;dr findings:

1) Canadians and UK residents are representing! US residents, you gotta step up your game.

2) There is a dearth of Cantonese language parenting groups/forums other than this main one: Cantonese Parents, babies and toddlers, which I covered in a previous post.

3) As with all things, if more than a handful of friends are looking for a group and haven’t found anything, this means there is a true need. So, if you want a Cantonese language support group, CREATE ONE.

From my searches on Facebook, a lot of groups come up so I will leave you to look at the ones I didn’t include for relevance and brevity reasons. But, because I’m sure many of you are lazy just like me (I prefer “efficient,” thanks), I have linked the searches below. I have also included instructions just in case you need them.

Keywords: CantoneseCantonese Parent

Instructions:
a) Type “Cantonese” or “Cantonese parent” in the Facebook Search bar.
b) Click on “Groups” Tab to filter your search. (Alternately, you can click on the “Pages” Tab, too. But those are generally pages and not communities.)

So, without further ado, here are a few of the groups. Since I am not a member of these groups, I’m not sure how active they are. In general, I have paraphrased the descriptions they included for their groups. If I can find anything else about them without joining the groups, I also note it.

Cantonese Parenting Group – It seems to be a small group but I haven’t really checked it out (for obvious reasons). There are no public posts. But this group seems to be the most relevant.

Cantonese 粵語 (廣東話) 社團 – Not a parenting group, but a group dedicated to the Cantonese language. Originally comprised of Hong Kong immigrants to Canada, the group now welcomes Cantonese speakers from all over the world. The posts are all generally related to Cantonese and are posted in Simplified. (There may also be Traditional posts, but from the public ones I saw, I found only Simplified.)

Cantonese Playgroup for Parents and Toddlers in South Essex – Pretty self-explanatory, this playgroup is mostly for South Essex or East London parents with children aged between 1 and 5. The purpose is to let your children learn and practice Cantonese through play and for you to meet other Cantonese speaking parents. Since this group is very small, she plans on setting up a playgroup when there are enough people.

Cantonese for Parents and Children in South Essex – Again, self-explanatory. This playgroup is for parents (either fluent or can speak only a little Cantonese) who have children at pre-school age and wish to have other Cantonese speaking kids play with their children.

Informal events will be held on the first or second Saturday of the month in either East of London area or West Thurrock (mostly Lakeside Shopping Centre).

Bristol Cantonese Parents, Babies & Toddlers – This group is for English and Cantonese Parents, babies and toddlers in the Bristol area to connect, make friends and create opportunities and play dates to encourage Cantonese language and culture with their children.

They also post information about anything Chinese and/or family friendly in Bristol.

NW Cantonese Parents, Children, Families (UK) – For Cantonese speaking families in the North of England (well, Manchester and surrounding areas!) An informal and relaxed group, they are looking for fellow Cantonese (British-born or otherwise) parents so they can share experiences and to provide their children with the opportunity to meet others with similar family backgrounds/cultures.

They aim to arrange monthly/bi-monthly meets, family friendly and usually involving food whenever possible. Attendance is relaxed and non-compulsory – purely for fun and for meeting others.

Cantonese Conversation Circle – Seems geared more towards practicing Cantonese as an adult (as well as located in Toronto). I can only see the public posts (the last of which was 5-6 months ago) so I don’t know if they have other more recent posts. They meet approximately once a month at a Toronto woman’s house to practice conversational Cantonese. (They specify folks absolutely MUST be queer positive.)

Alright, that’s it for this edition of Facebook groups (Cantonese edition!). If you end up being inspired to start your own Cantonese language Facebook group, please let me know. I would love to feature it and get more members for you. Let me know in the comments, email me at virginia [at] mandarinmama [dot] com, or submit a comment via my Contact Page.

Have a great weekend!

Mandonese

For my friends who are trying to teach both Mandarin and Cantonese to their children, you no longer have to choose! (Not that you ever did.) Mandonese is an online forum (remember those?) that according to their site, is designed to be a place where parents who want to teach their kids Mandarin and Cantonese can discuss, share information and find useful information.

The site was created when Andrew Tsai, the site creator and owner, started re-learning his Mandarin and Cantonese after he had his daughter. Tsai couldn’t find many resources from the perspective of an English speaker to help him, so as all entrepreneurial folks are apt to do, he created his own.

Mandonese seems to be a relatively new site but has a decent amount of activity. It doesn’t have a ton of members yet, but hopefully that will change the more people know and hear about it. I’m always a fan of sharing useful sites and communities. In fact, I had originally wanted Mandarin Mama to have a forum similar to this site, but now that one exists, why reinvent the wheel? I far prefer to use something already made and ready-to-use versus create something myself! (This character trait is what seriously limits my entrepreneurial spirit. Truthfully, I just want other people to take my ideas and make something for me to throw my money at.)

From even my cursory explorations, I have found several new websites and blogs. Plus, many of the main contributors have sites of their own that I have started to check out. (I am quite the online stalker.) Topics range from children and adult learning materials, to cartoons and DVDs, to buying and selling books and educational materials. Currently, most members seem to be from the UK, but they don’t seem to discriminate since they let me join, too.

Now, I tend to be a joiner, but I have definitely found that with forums such as these, the measure you give is the measure you receive. I know many of us prefer to be online stalkers, but remember that if everyone were like that, we wouldn’t be able to find any information at all. So, please, for my own selfish interests, go to Mandonese. Join. Participate. Tell other people about it. For the children. Think of the children!!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Chinese Bookstores

Here are a few more Chinese bookstores. Keep in mind, I have not used any of these sites. I am merely listing them here on my blog for your convenience.

Right to Learn – According to their site, they provide educational toys, learning resources, Montessori materials, advice, enrichment classes, and workshops to parents, preschools and learning facilities in Singapore and around the world. From my preliminary searches, they don’t seem to have a ton of Chinese resources or books. However, one thing I did like was their Montessori sandpaper cards for Simplified Chinese character strokes.
Site Language: English
Physical Locations: No, based in Singapore
Products: Educational Toys, Learning Resources, Montessori Materials,  Advice, Enrichment Classes, Workshops
Product Languages: Simplified, pinyin, English, Arabic

Great Wall Books – Opened since 1995 in the heart of Las Vegas, it seems to be a great Mom and Pop shop of handpicked Chinese books, dvds, cultural items, etc.
Site Language: English/Traditional
Physical Locations: Las Vegas, NV
Products: Music CDs, DVDs, Books, collecting stamps, children section, medicine, martial arts, and Chinese cultural items
Product Languages: Simplified, pinyin, English, bilingual, Traditional (although it seems only for adult fiction)

Buyoyo.com – One of the largest online retailers of Chinese books and entertainment products
Chinese books, dvds, cultural items, etc.
Site Language: English, Traditional, Simplified
Physical Locations: No, based in Hong Kong
Products: Music CDs, DVDs, Books, etc.
Product Languages: Simplified, pinyin, English, bilingual, Traditional

The Chinese Bookshop – Online shop for Chinese books, they often partner with schools in the UK for book fairs. They have a very helpful FAQ section. In general, I loved the easy navigation of this site and how easy it is to find the books or type of books you want.
Site Language: English
Physical Locations: No, based in London
Products: Music CDs, DVDs, Books, games, etc.
Product Languages: Simplified, pinyin, English, bilingual, Cantonese, Traditional, zhuyin

GuangHwa – The online English site (as of 2/13/16) is under a revamp and you will be redirected to their sister site, Cypress Books (featured next). Chinese site still seems to be fine.
Site Language: English, Simplified
Physical Locations: London, UK
Products: Music CDs, DVDs, Books, games, etc.
Product Languages: Simplified, pinyin, English, bilingual

Cypress Books – UK based publisher and distributor. Top resource for Chinese language, literature, history, art and traditional medicine. Sister company to GuangHwa bookstore. Develop books and curriculum in conjunction with Sinolingua. They also support a lot of cultural exhibitions and events in the UK.
Site Language: English/Simplified
Physical Locations: London, UK
Products: Music CDs, DVDs, Books, games, etc.
Product Languages: Simplified, pinyin, English, bilingual

More Chinese Apps

Here are a few more Chinese apps:

LinguPinguin FREE – English Chinese – The app has several scenarios (eg: toys, farm, body) and you click on different parts of the pictures and the app will say the item in either Chinese or English. All three of my children have enjoyed this app (but it is definitely geared more towards the 2 years old range). The animation is cute and fun. The Chinese used is more indicative of Mainland China vs Taiwan.
Category: Games
Updated: Dec 12, 2013
Version: 3.4
Size: 21.5 MB
Languages: English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish
Seller: Elevision GmbH© Elevision GmbH
Rated: 4+
Made for: Ages 5 and Under
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Notes: Paid version is $1.99 and 42.6MB, last updated Nov 12, 2013

Chinese Flashcards (Mandarin & Cantonese) – This app contains over 400 commonly used Chinese words in both Mandarin and Cantonese (as well as 2nd Language support in English). Includes colors, numbers, food, drink, and animals. Illustrated and voiced by professional Chinese voice actor. The main complaint is that the spoken Cantonese is not correct. 
Category: Education
Updated: Oct 18, 2012
Version: 1.1
Size: 155 MB
Languages: English, Arabic, Avestan, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Northern Sami, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Seller: INKids Pty. Ltd.© INKIDS PTY LTD
Rated: 4+
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPad
Notes: Upgrade to full version for $0.99. The main complaint is that the spoken Cantonese is just a direct translation of Mandarin – and not how a Cantonese person would actually say it.

Chungaboo Language Series – Flash cards, games, and ebooks in multiple languages.
Category: Education
Updated: Nov 27, 2012
Version: 1.6
Size: 92.3 MB
Language: English, Chinese
Seller: Chungaboo LLC
© 2012 Chungaboo LLC
Rated 4+
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Notes: Can upgrade for Travel $0.99 and Animals $0.99