November 19, 2007

The News Series

Many language learners like listening to news in their targeted languages. I also like this approach because:

  1. news are real-life authentic contents, unlike made-up scenarios created for learners
  2. news are usually read at normal pace with clear pronunciations of the words
  3. news reports contain virtually no slang
  4. the news contents are generally predictable, if you know what is going on around you
  5. news vocabulary is usually concentrated in the sense that same words and phrases are used repeatedly from time to time
There are however some disadvantages. The vocabulary used in news reports is usually not very practical for daily use. For Cantonese in particular, the news reports are usually written in standard Chinese, then are read in the colloquial Cantonese style (e.g. with ending particles added). You would sound weird if you speak to native-speakers like a news-anchor.

With the popularity of online news and media-sharing services, it is becoming much easier to access news materials in any language. However, transcripts of the new reports are very difficult to find, especially for Cantonese. In this series, I will try to pull Cantonese news reports from different sources and provide transcripts for them.

Transcribing is a tedious and time-consuming task, so I cannot promise I will provide Jyutping and translation every time. But I encourage learners to utilize the online tools such as CantoDict to look them up. It is certainly a useful and rewarding exercise to go through.