關於我哋 About Us
HBL was founded in December 2019 after a chance meeting between the Founders Dr. Chaak Ming Lau, a Hong Kong linguist and Viveik Saigal, a beginner adult learner of Cantonese.
During discussions, the need was identified for;
1) Re-imagining the Yale and Jyutping Romanisation fonts that would contain additional cues for a more accurate Cantonese Pronunciation.
2) Storybooks written in Cantonese and Jyutping for beginner adult and child students written to their level and sensibilities.
3) A graded scale for Cantonese to systematically study the language and plan teaching materials.
4) Self-study/assisted modules for non-Chinese learners designed to be conducted and assessed with the help of laymen Cantonese speakers in their circles of acquaintances and friends.
These resources would assist non-native learners of Cantonese to
- Live and Work more effectively in Hong Kong
- Understand Cantonese culture
- Identify with and participate in the Hong Kong community
What has the project achieved in the period Dec 2019 to Jan 2023?
With the above goals in mind, the founders began by creating an open-source depository of resources that include the first-ever Cantonese graded word-list scale, graphical Jyutping and Yale fonts, an online text editor and enabling publishing software.
With these foundational tools in place, volunteer writers, editors, illustrators and sound artists were invited to the project. The 2020-2022 Covid-induced mobility restrictions meant more qualified volunteers were available for longer durations and with their increased efficiency and interactions a lot more got done.
As a result of their efforts, the resources now available for learners and teachers on the website are,
- 240 graded stories covering all graded levels
- Early listening comprehension lessons
- Interactive videos
- Conversational practice references
- Software tools and more…
These resources are the first ever comprehensive collection for developing oral Cantonese fluency targeting the kindergarten-primary 3 levels for the child and adult learner.
Being totally self-funded by the founders and the generous contribution of time and resources of community volunteers, this project is a testimonial to what is possible with the effective use of computational linguistics, automating repetitive tasks, and building on existing open-source resources by a small flexible result-focused team.
Effective 31st of January 2023, the project is evaluating its future role in the emerging world of LLM AI solutions and their game-changing possibilities in early language learning and education.
計劃目標 Project Objectives
先建立流利粵語口語能力 Oracy Before Literacy
Create a corpus of materials that help build fluency in listening and speaking Cantonese before starting to read and write Chinese.
活學粵語 Highlight Romanisation
Encourage proficiency in Jyutping romanisation. Clearly displayed tones and pronunciations enable learners to focus on oral language learning and usage.
提倡社區學習 Community Teaching
Make all resources and tools open and free. Add multilingual support empowering the learners and teachers to actively direct and customise learning pathways.
學習元素 Learning Elements
分級詞表 GRADED SCALE
A word frequency and usage-based scale of Cantonese words and vocabulary, the fundamental reference of all graded learning materials ensuring spaced and varied repetition and use.
With the project focus on Cantonese Speaking and listening, Jyutping romanisation is prominently used in all materials. We encourage proficiency in Jyutping as a viable input method for Cantonese literacy for both native and non-native learners as it is increasingly supported by open-source Jyutping-based reading and writing software.