Category Archives: Administration

Pages related to administration of the website and the Institute.

我寫比咸美頓中文學校之信/我写比咸美顿中文学校之信/Letter to Hamilton Chinese School

最近(二零二一年九月十三號)我寫咗一篇信俾我個城市嘅中文學校。

“你哋好,

我今日聯絡你哋係為咗搵人幫手成全一個保留廣東話嘅計劃。個計劃有啲複雜不過如果有你哋間學校嘅支持絕對有可能成功。

我解釋個計劃之前需要首先解釋我對中文字嘅睇法。喺講粵語人多嘅地方之外好多地方會有中文學校。但係事實就係呢啲學校唔能夠傳到寫同讀中文字文章嘅文化俾下一代。我哋族人一代一代都一直失敗傳到寫字同讀書嘅基本人生能力俾我哋啲孩子。如果老實面對現實問題唔係教育方法或者某一啲老師嘅疏忽而係我哋最尊敬同親愛嘅中文字喺外國環境根本太難學。

好多老師遇到呢個情況會決定儘量教多啲中文字。不過結果同以前嘅老師唔會改變。

其實文化似植物多過似石頭。人會有創意。家陣有一堆人同我一樣覺得用粵語嘅人應該集中精神追求擁有一副拼音式嘅日常用寫字方法。我嘅意思唔係用拼音符號學同教中文字。我嘅意思係除咗教中文字要教埋點樣用一個粵語字母表寫字!

除咗喺教室用粵語字母要印刷報紙,書,字典。要電腦可以打得入。要演劇嘅字幕見得到。要又香港,廣州,中國,越南,加拿大,美國,歐洲,馬來西亞,印尼,星加坡甚至全世界都會有人識得讀呢個新嘅粵語字母表寫字方法!

其實竹升有好多嘢想用廣東話做,只不過唔識講,唔識寫,打唔入電腦。如果一個粵語字母表能夠幫到全世界嘅竹升享受寫同讀廣東話世界裏邊啲好嘢我覺得做為教師有責任支持粵語字母表嘅發展。

除咗幫竹升其實粵語字母表對我哋族人嘅尊嚴好重要。

如果一族人覺得自己嘅語言值得紀錄又點會咁多日常用嘅廣東話詞都寫唔到呢?你能夠寫到le
he嗎?有好多廣州話嘅詞用中文字寫唔出。就算寫得到未必多人識讀。啲詞如果冇人寫就會一啲一啲繼續消失因為日常書面上遇到嘅字會影響人選擇用嘅詞。

如果一族人能夠接受寫唔到自己啲詞消失其實代表呢族人覺得自己嘅文化唔值得分享。如果粵語字母表成全到可以表示我哋族人愛護自己嘅語言。

更加重要嘅係呢個字母表可以代表我哋族人識得欣賞創意,識得追求最好俾自己,肯付出努力面對一個不停改變嘅世界。

時代會改變。我哋族人嘅寫字方法都應該改變。今日嘅電腦世界需要一啲容易方法打字輸入電腦。一個粵語字母表可以簡化好多電腦鍵盤嘅問題。

字母表其實唔係一副符號,而係一族人嘅寫字態度。佢嘅存在唔係喺張紙上邊而係喺人嘅心裏邊。一族人要有字母表必須先有決心得到呢個目的。

我需要嘅幫助係得到你哋嘅支持。我係一個竹升。每次用中文字寫一封信都需要幾日時間因為我要不停查字典。呢封信我已經寫咗三日三夜。我自修咗八年先至寫得咁慢。如果你哋唔肯幫啲竹升得到個字母表,我都好辛苦先至搵到另外一個機會搵人幫我。

如果你哋有興趣知多啲即管聯絡我啦。”

可惜我始終都得唔到簡學校嘅支持。佢哋有回答我不過以為我想整一個類似粵拼嘅系統。我更加情操解釋之後佢哋冇回答我。

(簡體字)

最近(二零二一年九月十三号)我写咗一篇信俾我个城市嘅中文学校。

你哋好,

我今日联络你哋系为咗搵人帮手成全一个保留广东话嘅计划。个计划有啲复杂不过如果有你哋间学校嘅支持绝对有可能成功。

我解释个计划之前需要首先解释我对中文字嘅睇法。喺讲粤语人多嘅地方之外好多地方会有中文学校。但系事实就系呢啲学校唔能够传到写同读中文字文章嘅文化俾下一代。我哋族人一代一代都一直失败传到写字同读书嘅基本人生能力俾我哋啲孩子。如果老实面对现实问题唔系教育方法或者某一啲老师嘅疏忽而系我哋最尊敬同亲爱嘅中文字喺外国环境根本太难学。

好多老师遇到呢个情况会决定尽量教多啲中文字。不过结果同以前嘅老师唔会改变。

其实文化似植物多过似石头。人会有创意。家阵有一堆人同我一样觉得用粤语嘅人应该集中精神追求拥有一副拼音式嘅日常用写字方法。我嘅意思唔系用拼音符号学同教中文字。我嘅意思系除咗教中文字要教埋点样用一个粤语字母表写字!

除咗喺教室用粤语字母要印刷报纸,书,字典。要电脑可以打得入。要演剧嘅字幕见得到。要又香港,广州,中国,越南,加拿大,美国,欧洲,马来西亚,印尼,星加坡甚至全世界都会有人识得读呢个新嘅粤语字母表写字方法!

其实竹升有好多嘢想用广东话做,只不过唔识讲,唔识写,打唔入电脑。如果一个粤语字母表能够帮到全世界嘅竹升享受写同读广东话世界裏边啲好嘢我觉得做为教师有责任支持粤语字母表嘅发展。

除咗帮竹升其实粤语字母表对我哋族人嘅尊严好重要。

如果一族人觉得自己嘅语言值得纪录又点会咁多日常用嘅广东话词都写唔到呢?你能够写到le
he吗?有好多广州话嘅词用中文字写唔出。就算写得到未必多人识读。啲词如果冇人写就会一啲一啲继续消失因为日常书面上遇到嘅字会影响人选择用嘅词。

如果一族人能够接受写唔到自己啲词消失其实代表呢族人觉得自己嘅文化唔值得分享。如果粤语字母表成全到可以表示我哋族人爱护自己嘅语言。

更加重要嘅系呢个字母表可以代表我哋族人识得欣赏创意,识得追求最好俾自己,肯付出努力面对一个不停改变嘅世界。

时代会改变。我哋族人嘅写字方法都应该改变。今日嘅电脑世界需要一啲容易方法打字输入电脑。一个粤语字母表可以简化好多电脑键盘嘅问题。

字母表其实唔系一副符号,而系一族人嘅写字态度。渠嘅存在唔系喺张纸上边而系喺人嘅心裏边。一族人要有字母表必须先有决心得到呢个目的。

我需要嘅帮助系得到你哋嘅支持。我系一个竹升。每次用中文字写一封信都需要几日时间因为我要不停查字典。呢封信我已经写咗三日三夜。我自修咗八年先至写得咁慢。如果你哋唔肯帮啲竹升得到个字母表,我都好辛苦先至搵到另外一个机会搵人帮我。

如果你哋有兴趣知多啲即管联络我啦。”

可惜我始终都得唔到简学校嘅支持。渠哋有回答我不过以为我想整一个类似粤拼嘅系统。我更加情操解释之后渠哋冇回答我。

Recently, I wrote a letter to the Hamilton Chinese school.

“Hello,

Today, I contacted you to find support for a plan to preserve the Cantonese language. The plan is a bit complicated, but with your school’s support, it can definitely succeed.

Before I explain the plan, I want to first explain how I view Chinese words. Outside of places with a lot of Cantonese speakers, a lot of places will have Chinese schools, but the reality is that these schools have been unable to transfer the ability to read and write Chinese literature to the next generation. Our people have failed for generations to impart basic reading and writing ability to our kids. If we were to honestly face this problem, it isn’t because of teaching methods or particular shortcomings of particular teachers, but because our revered and beloved Chinese characters are too hard to learn overseas.

A lot of teachers when they encounter this situation will decide to teach as many Chinese characters as possible. However, the end result will be the same as by teachers in the past.

Culture is more like a plant than a rock. People are creative. Now, there are some people who, like me, feel that people who use Cantonese should concentrate effort into acquiring a set of phonetic, daily usage writing system. What I mean is not another set of pronunciation letters to help teach Chinese words. I mean that besides teaching only Chinese words, one must also teach how to use a Cantonese alphabet!

Besides being used in the classroom, I want printed newspapers, books, dictionaries. I want computers to be able to input it. I want to see the words in movie subtitles. I want Hong Kong, Guangzhou, China, Vietnam, Canada, the United States of America, Europe, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapre and the entire world to know how to read with the cantobet writing system!

Jooksings want to do a lot of stuff with Cantonese, but they often don’t know how to speak, write, or type into their computer. If a cantobet can allow the whole world’s jooksings to share in the joy of reading and writing in the Cantonese world, I feel teachers have an obligation to support the development of the Cantonese alphabet.

Besides helping Jooksings, the development of the cantobet is actually very important to the dignity of our people.

If a people feel that their words are worth preserving, would it be the case that everyday Cantonese words cannot be written. Can you write le he(clumsy)? There are a lot of Cantonese phrases that Chinese words cannot write. Even if they can be written, not a lot of people can necessarily read it. Phrases will slowly disappear from usage because everyday writing influences the terminology that people use.

If a people can accept being unable to write their own language’s phrases and the disappearance of their language’s terminology, it means that this people does not feel their language is worth sharing. If the cantobet becomes a reality, it shows that our people love their language.

More importantly, this alphabet shows that our people know how to appreciate creativity, know how to strive for the best for ourselves, and are willing to put effort to face an ever changing world.

TImes do change. Our people’s writing system should also change. Today’s computerized world needs an easy input method. A cantobet can simplify the problem of computer input.

An alphabet is actually not a set of symbols, but an attitude that a people take towards writing. Its existence is not on the page, but inside people’s minds. In order for a people to have an alphabet, they must first have the determination to make it a reality.

The help I need is your support. I am a jooksing. Every time I use Chinese words to wrtie a letter, it takes me several days because I need to continually use the dictionary to look up words. This letter has already taken me three days and three nights. I spent eight years to achieve just this slow writing speed. If you are unwilling to help jooksings get an alphabet, it will be very arduous for me to find another chance for someoen to help me.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact me.”

Unfortunately, I was not able to get their support. They initially thought I wanted to make another Jyutping. After I clarified my wishes, they did not respond.

Jyutcitzi/粵切字

(Update, Wednesday November 3, 2021: This post was written when I first joined the Jyutcitzi Telegram group. It’s interesting, but depressing too. See this post for something more uplifting: https://cantoneselang.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=409 (It’s a letter I wrote to the Hamilton Chinese School). I still have high hopes for Jyutcitzi, but I left because I feel I would be happier if I continued with the cantobet project. I am still looking for people to help me because I feel like I have not succeeded in finding a place to belong to. I feel that the reason people don’t help me is because I am not a socially successful person, and I should strive to be a type of person that people want to be around. That is why I shouldn’t give up on finding someone to help me create a cantobet.)

Recently, I learned of the existence of Jyutcitzi, which is a script for Cantonese that was developed by a group of people without my involvement. Though it was painful to see my work pale in comparison to what their team had accomplished, I was relieved to learn that there now is a dedicated team of people working on a phonetic Cantonese script with similar goals of protecting the Cantonese language and making it more useful to people.

Their work can be found at https://github.com/jyutcitzi

as well as related links:

  1. Jyutcitzi GitHub master page
    https://github.com/jyutcitzi
  2. Transliterator, python (translates Honzi-English Cantonese passages into Honzi-Jyutcitzi passages. https://github.com/jyutcitzi/jyutcitzi-transliterate
  3. Jyutcitzi RIME based keyboard: https://github.com/jyutcitzi/jyutcitzi-RIME
  4. Jyutcitzi fonts: https://github.com/jyutcitzi/jyutcitzi-fonts
  5. Theoretical core: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/4/folders/1_rf_aNZLSeYxqiadczUec5cHwFQ0Ax6R
  6. JCZ and related Instagrams
    Cantonese script reform: https://www.instagram.com/cantonese_script_reform
    JCZ use demonstration: https://www.instagram.com/
    JCZ text: https://www.instagram.com/cantonese_writing/cantonese_new_script/
    JCZ calligraphy: https://www.instagram.com/canto_calligraphy/
    JCZ art: https://www.instagram.com/canton_era_hk/
    JCZ inspired hangeul:
    https://www.instagram.com/cantonese_hangeul/
    Jcz inspired hangeul: https://www.instagram.com/hkscript/
  7. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WzZ8jfi1aA&t=34s&ab_channel=CantoneseScriptReformSociety
  8. JCZ-enabled talk page (JCZ are automatically rendered): https://cantotalk.com/
  9. Online traditional Chinese to Jyutcitzi converter: https://cantotalk.com/t.php?style=honzi_jcz&mode=font&subject=%E5%91%A2%E5%9A%BF%E5%98%A2%E4%BF%82%E6%BC%A2%E5%AD%97%E7%B2%B5%E5%88%87%E5%AD%97%E7%B2%B5%E6%8B%BC%E8%BD%89%E6%8F%9B%E5%99%A8

It includes a font, keyboard, but most importantly, a thriving community, videos, examples and other learning materials.

Partially inspired by the Korean alphabet, the Jyutcitzi takes a different design approach than the cantobet that I worked on(with a bit of help along the way), which was mostly developed overnight during my trip to Vancouver in an attempt to inspire someone to create an alphabet for Cantonese and was designed to be simple to learn.

While I don’t like some of the design decisions behind the Jyutcitzi script, it does function well, and I feel that it has a better chance of being adopted as a real Cantonese phonetic alphabetical writing system than the one developed mostly by me. I hope people will consider using Jyutcitzi to print books in Cantonese.

As for the cantobet from the Phonetic Cantonese Institute, which is just me right now, it remains unfinished. Perhaps one day when I am less busy will continue making the writing system I actually wanted, but I already know that my failure to find people to help me has led to the futility of my own personal efforts. The real energy and innovation in Cantonese writing has shifted to the Jyutcitzi project because they have a thriving community that I was not able to create on my own. It is a sad realization for me, but I hope that the Jyutcitzi will lead to a truly phonetic Cantonese script used around the world. The world has no need for the PCI Cantobet anymore… probably.

Trip to Vancouver

On June 21st, I took a trip to a workshop called Cantonese Worlds where different people interested in Cantonese gathered together and talked about various topics, ranging from aspects of Cantonese linguistic history, presentations from students about their educational trip to somewhere in China, Cantonese opera, research into identity issues of Cantonese speakers from Cambodia and Vietnam and other places, issues affecting Vancouver’s Chinatown, and a project for Cantonese-language adult education, and a Cantonese teacher sharing her successful and happy experience using a theme-based approach to teach students, in a method she calls Spiral learning. There were presentations of music and video, many hours and hours of Powerpoint slides, a bit of discussion, meet and greet, and a few celebrities. You can see more details here: Cantonese Worlds.

I was not a presenter, and attended the event in the hopes of inspiring some of these researchers to help me make a phonetic Cantonese alphabet a practical daily reality. I also went around telling people about the Cantobet that I created with the help of various very kind people I met along the way. Though the results of my efforts may not have been very successful, I did end up telling a lot of people to come to this website, so I feel it is important to make this blog post.

I write in English because my ability to write in Chinese is limited. Writing a single paragraph often takes up a lot of my time, and though a worthwhile endeavour, I feel compelled to communicate in the language that I am most comfortable in, which is English. I will make an effort to write in Chinese in the future, but for now, I will write in English, which is the only language I can write in without spending a lot of time asking people for help, learning how to use online tools, and using a combination of various dictionaries.

The two PDF files that can currently be found on this website, the files for Cantobet 1, I realize are not easily understood, and I wanted to make this blog post to tell people that I am working on presenting the information in a much better way. It is my goal to reupload a newer version, Cantobet 2, which will have a big improvement to readability, comprehensibility, and will fix some errors in the writing system that I have discovered, ranging from missing sounds(the sound of sh, iu and ai) to extra sounds(the symbols for the swallowed sounds for t,p,k, I feel can be omitted without losing much). You can still use the old files, but I hope to upload the newer version soon.

I also wanted to make another call out for volunteers. As usual, if you are interested in helping to make a Cantonese alphabet, there are many things that you can do, including: 1)Trying it out, writing something in Cantonese using the Cantobet, and sharing it with friends. 2)Helping to spread the idea that Cantonese is language that deserves to have its own alphabet. 3)Share your Cantobet writing online to give a reason for others to read it. 4)Help me figure out what the most common sounds and tones are in Cantonese so that the most common tones for various vowel combinations is known. This would be boring work of counting dictionary entries and associating them with tones for various vowels until you have gone through the dictionary several times for all the vowels, and have counted the most common tone, second-most common, third,fourth, fifth, sixth and maybe even seventh most common tone for each of the vowels. 4)Many other things such as helping out with this website, collecting and updating a set of links, providing information on how to learn, developing a kind of online curriculum that will get a person from a complete beginner into a fluent speaker, helping figure out the complicated space of online writing in Cantonese, and basically anything that will help people achieve their language goals for Cantonese.

The greatest need I have is to find leadership, the ability of someone to take this project from its current state to a successful conclusion. I would really value help that I could get. Basically, I could use the help of anybody really interested in moving this project forward, to do a whole bunch of random things. There are many other things that I could use help on, but have not listed here because I could come up with a very long list.

I know there is a great chance of people coming to this site, looking at the PDF files and being disappointed when they see the alphabet I promised isn’t so easy to understand and I am trying to do a better job, and will give an update as soon as I have come up with Cantobet 2, which will have be basically almost the same as Cantobet 1 that you can find in the PDF files, but with a few improvements. Don’t give up on the Cantobet because of this site! An update is coming as soon as I can manage it.

Alphabet creation date and location set for Saturday, August 20th, 2016 at Kitchener City Hall at 2:00pm

On August 20th, 2016 at 2:00pm at Kitchener City Hall, in front of the fountain, there will be a meeting to create an alphabet for Cantonese. I will bring papers explaining the various sounds that exist in Cantonese, and will supply blank paper and writing utensils. Different people will draw symbols for different letters of the alphabet, and at the end, the people there will get together and choose the letters to use for the various sounds and add them up together to make an alphabet. We will test the alphabet out on some Cantonese phrases and make some adjustments to the letters if necessary.

The created alphabet will be the first version and will be posted to the cantoneselang.org website when completed. Perhaps more alphabets will be created in the future, but after this event, we can say that there is at least one available for use!

I hope to see you there!

Raymond

Forward-looking statement

In the coming months, I will be doing research into the Cantonese language in order to come up with a list of suggested features for a Cantonese alphabet. I will be looking for information regarding the frequency of different sounds used in Cantonese, the frequency of various Cantonese words, and perhaps some research into psychology to determine what sorts of shapes will be easiest to remember. Once this research has been completed, I will then launch an alphabet-creation contest to the public.

New links added

I have added a few new links to the website containing links to other links, dictionaries, and useful tools I have come across. Feel free to send me links to useful material for Cantonese at any time, especially for Cantonese learning resources, reference materials and computer tools.