December 21, 2007

First-Month Feedback Needed

Cantophilia has been launched for a bit more than a month now. I would like to thanks all my readers for your support.

In order for me to set the right track, I would need feedbacks from all of you, in particular on the materials this site provides. You may comment on the following areas as well as others:

  1. Content
  2. Difficulty
  3. Format
Suggestions are also welcome on other things you would like to see in this website.

Thanks in advance.

9 comments:

nmurray said...

Hi Edwin,

Congatulations on what you have done to date on Cantophilia. I check your site every day for new uploads.

I'm working on learning a couple of the tongue twisters as well as the Digital Life song and extracts from the politicians' exchange.

I find them challenging but within my capability at this stage. They are easier to learn because they are ineresting and fun.

Please just carry on uploading this sort of material. It would be good if the audios were downloadable onto my mp3. I guess there is a way to do it but I am not that technical.

My main interest when I go to Hong Kong is the horse racing at Sha Tin, Happy Valley and Macau. So if you come across any video/audio material related to horse racing that would be great.

Thanks again for promoting your native tongue and providing learners like myself with such inetesting learning materials.

Kind regards,
Neil Murray

Edwin said...

Thanks, Neil, for your comment.

I have taken a quick look, and there seem to be a lot of horse-racing clips in YouTube.

The problem is that the commentators usually speak very fast and use a lot of slangs.

I will see what I can do.

Anonymous said...

Edwin

I think what I notice most about the material you've put up is that it is all real content as opposed to the contrived, slowly spoken material in most courses. This makes it extremely useful to my eyes as it helps make real conversation more accessible

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Edwin,

This site is truly a great resource for Cantonese learners. I really appreciate the amount of time it must take you to prepare this content. I'd say the level of difficulty is just right, and the content has been very entertaining. A few suggestions:

1. I've been taking a lot of sentences from this site and pasting them into my SRS (Mnemosyne). However, some of the dialogues are formatted in the following manner: "你(You) 唔(Not) 係(To be)". This means that I need to manually remove the parts in parentheses. I think it would be better to either remove the English part or keep it on a separate line for those of us who prefer to focus on the Chinese characters.

2. Content-wise, I prefer the segments which consist of everyday Cantonese conversation. I'm less interested in the content which uses Mandarin vocabulary and grammar with Cantonese pronunciation (e.g. songs) since nobody really speaks like that.

3. Have you looked into transcribing any Cantonese podcasts? A starting point might be http://www.cmm.hk/index/newcafe/newcafe.html - there seems to be some interesting content there, and they are all free to download and listen to over and over. (BTW, do you know of any other interesting Cantonese podcasts?)

Thanks again for all the great work!

Martin said...

Hi Edwin,

Content - You've had a good mix, covering tongue twisters to McDull to debates over pronunciation. It's good to cover as many areas as possible, and you're doing really well. Here's to hoping you keep it up.

Difficulty - I'm not sure I'm the best person to comment on this because of my very basic understanding of Cantonese, but I've found all of your posts useful and well written (even the advanced ones).

Format - Going back to difficulty: even if a topic is difficult, you make it accessible to everyone with your transcriptions. So overall, no problems with the format!


I know the feedback I've given isn't the most useful, as I haven't really given any criticisms. But the truth is you're just doing a great job and I hope you keep it up!

Many thanks,
Martin

Edwin said...

Anonymous #2,

About the transliteration, I received a comment from a reader who actually find the juxtaposition format helpful. Anyway, I will see if I can include both formats in the future posts.

The content of the New Cafe podcast surely sounds interesting. But I think the hosts speak too fast and they sometimes overlap each other. I will probably find some easy parts to transcribe in the future.

Thanks.

Edwin said...

Martin,
Thanks for your comments. I find both positive and negative ones helpful.

Richard said...

Hi Edwin,

Firstly, thanks for the effort in creating this site and keeping it updated.

I think there's a good mixture of content on the site. Most of it is entertaining and funny. I would like to see more dialogues (one-to-one) that use "everyday" Cantonese. I hear constantly that Cantonese is filled with slang but i don't often get to see this in my textbook material. Also, i think it would be useful to see different people speaking Canto such as old people, young people, teens, etc. I think it will be useful to listen to people's accents as well - eg. comparing an old guy's Canto with a young person's. Also in different regions such as South China Canto vs HK Canto and Canto from other regions.

I like the transcripts that accompany the dialogues since it allows us to break it down and analyse it, piece by piece.

I think it's difficult to actually spread difficulty over 3 levels - however you do a good job. Since the survey shows that most of us are beginners, it is good to provide material which isn't too advanced. I think everyday concepts such ordering food and catching public transport would be ideal for beginners. For intermediate, introduction of colloquial expressions such as slang and also discussions about more interesting topics would be ideal - ie. topics which are unique to HK or Canto speaking people.

The format might depend on the type of material you have. I think its difficult to follow an exact format since material may not be readily available. But if there's plenty of material available then you could format the material into "sections". Eg you could have a section that focuses on "dialogue". A section that focusses on the unique properties of Cantonese. A section that is light hearted humour or entertainment. A section that may also provide insight into the joys (and pains) of learning Cantonese, etc. Although as i said before, it depends on the amount of material that you can obtain.

Thanks again for your time and effort to produce this site.

All the best,
Richard.

Anonymous said...

Edwin,

I think a good place to source plenty of daily spoken cantonese are TVB series dramas (modern period ones). These are easily available on the net these days. Cartoons like McDuff are textbooky but still good.