Our teaching team often gets asked "Should my child learn Cantonese or Mandarin?" It is predominantly a question raised by families with at least one parent from a Cantonese background, even if they were born here and don't speak a word of the language, or they speak it at home.
Whether a family with a Cantonese background should learn Mandarin or Cantonese depends on several factors and considerations:
Heritage Connection: Learning the language that aligns with the family's cultural heritage can foster a stronger connection to their roots. If maintaining a strong cultural identity is important, then learning the language spoken by their relatives (Cantonese) might be preferred. If the family intends to pass down knowledge of their heritage to their children, the practicality and relevance of the language in the future should be considered.
Daily Communication: If the family primarily interacts with people who speak Cantonese, then learning Cantonese would be more practical for day-to-day
Business and Career Opportunities: Depending on the family's geographic location and future plans, one language might offer more economic opportunities than the other. Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in China and other regions in Asia and is becoming increasingly important globally due to China's economic growth and influence. On the other hand, Cantonese is far more limited in where it is spoken for business.
Education and Resources: Consider the availability of language learning resources, classes, and materials for both languages as well as the added effort required to learn two languages. A structured & engaging program in either language will go a long way to help reduce the stress & effort.
Personal Interest and Motivation: The family's interest in the language plays a significant role. If the family members are enthusiastic about learning either Mandarin or Cantonese, their motivation will likely lead to better outcomes!
Your family really needs to understand their overall goals for language learning and balanced with their time commitments to extra-curricular activities. In some cases, families may choose to learn both languages to broaden their child's ability to communicate and cultural understanding, even within the Chinese community.
Fortunately, Panda Mandarin can help you with your family's language learning journey for both Mandarin and Cantonese. We have a number of families from Cantonese backgrounds that we've helped and we also offer a variety of courses in both languages that are taught in our trademark fun & engaging way! Contact us for more details!