The reason why we have a wide variety of narrators of stories is to be able to have the learner hear a diversity of spoken Cantonese that they will encounter on the street. As the project unfolded, our pool of narrators by default are native Cantonese Speakers who had immersed themselves in the language since birth. It may be news to some that 8% of Hong Kong Residents are of non-Chinese origin. A large percentage of whom have been here for many generations.
When I met Gurpreet, to explain the HBL project that he introduced at the AWAKE: Indian Dance Festival project, I also requested him to help us record a title. His recorded title is here https://hambaanglaang.hk/shopping/ Let us know what you think of his narration.
Gurpreet was born and raised in Hong Kong. He attended a Chinese as Medium of Education school where he was the only child of non-Chinese origin. Gurpreet graduated from HKU in speech and hearing sciences, During his time here, he was also the President of the Sports Association HKUSU
He is currently a Grantee of Cyberport’s Creative MicroFund. During Covid, having some time on his hand he started a YouTube channel that talks about non-Chinese community culture in Hong Kong. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6ZZDRNS6lxPqk3KvHv22Xg
The HBL project is creating materials for the 500,000 child and adult residents of non-Chinese origin in Hong Kong. Gurpreet’s fluency with Cantonese is commendable and exemplary. His level of Cantonese fluency, achieved with much effort and hard work is unfortunately the exception and not the norm among the resident non-native speaker of Hong Kong.
We at HBL are committed to developing resources and materials that will help the motivated learner in acquiring Cantonese proficiency that will help enrich their daily interactions, integration and contribution to Hong Kong, in the same way Gurpreet can. We are now actively searching for such voices to add richness to our content. Would you know someone of an non-Chinese background we can invite to write or narrate for us ?