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Everything posted by Andrew

  1. The Mandonese Video Library contains several hundred hours of Cantonese and Mandarin kids videos. To request access please contact Andrew Tsai via Private Message.
  2. Introduce yourself in this thread - here are some suggestions: What's your background? How good is your Chinese? How many children do you have? What language would you like them to learn?
  3. Inspired by this blog post, I suddenly realized that Netflix was sittig on a large quantity of streaming Cantonese shows and movies for kids. In Netflix on desktop browser, you can easily filter for every show in Mandarin by going here: https://www.netflix.com/browse/audio/yue Once you've clicked on a show, remember to change the audio settings (in the bottom right) to enable Cantonese audio. Here's what my current view of Mandarin shows looks like on Netflix (in the UK) - this is just a small sample:
  4. Fiona at PlayCantonese has created some fantastic online resources which are for sale here: http://www.playcantonese.com/cantonese-nursery-rhymes/
  5. Andrew

    Just had a baby!

    Hi apologies to everyone who has private messaged me in the past few weeks, we've just had another baby! Her name is Felicity Tsai and we've already begun speaking to her in Mandarin and Cantonese so hopefully she'll get to become trilingual soon enough!
  6. http://www.ktkkt.com/y/1492/player-0-0.html - 51 episodes at 21mins each - looks like a TVB rip
  7. Inspired by this blog post, I suddenly realized that Netflix was sittig on a large quantity of streaming Mandarin shows and movies for kids. In Netflix on desktop browser, you can easily filter for every show in Mandarin by going here: https://www.netflix.com/browse/audio/zh Once you've clicked on a show, remember to change the audio settings (in the bottom right) to enable Mandarin audio. Here's what my current view of Mandarin shows looks like on Netflix (in the UK) - this is just a small sample:
  8. This is a basic step-by-step guide to watching TVB from the UK on a computer. If you have ever been curious about watching Cantonese TV you'll know that there are very few options available to us. You can try to buy Cantonese DVDs in a shop (alarmingly couldn't find any such shops in London Chinatown last time I looked) or you could order from YESASIA or PLAY-ASIA who both supply Cantonese dubs of Eastern and Western films and TV shows for quite a high price. Alternatively you can look to TVB, who provide a lot of online content for free (rather like BBC iPlayer). However the drawback is that it will only stream to users who are located in Hong Kong. Try to access http://mytv.tvb.com from the UK or anywhere else in the world and you'll be greeted with this error message: Now there are lots of ways to bypass this region restriction, and the simplest is to use what's known as a VPN service. What this does is that it redirects your internet traffic through a server in somewhere like Hong Kong, and this will make websites like TVB think you are geolocated in Hong Kong, and you'll be able to access the same content that everyone in Hong Kong can watch. The simplest and easiest to use VPN service is known as Hola. Hola has several advantages over competing methods - it's completely free, it's browser based (no administrator privileges required to install), and it doesn't redirect 100% of your traffic (this would make accessing other parts of the internet slow) but it redirects the selected tabs that you choose. Hola TVB instructions 1) Make sure you have either Firefox or Chrome installed and running 2) Go to https://hola.org and click the 'Get Hola, it's free' button 3) Go to http://mytv.tvb.com/live 4) To watch anything on TVB you'll need to download the Octoshape plugin - click the Octoshape button and select the left button and follow the installation instructions: 4) Click the Hola extension button on your browser and select Hong Kong SAR - if it's not there then manually type in the country: 5) Refresh the page, and then you should be able to watch all the TVB content you want: Tips Now obviously the 'live' channels are +8 hours ahead of GMT so if you are watching at a sensible time like 8pm, you'll actually be catching the local Hong Kong time of 4am which doesn't seem so helpful. However you do have access to the full range of 'catchup' channels including the 'KIDS' section. The KIDS section has a very large selection of cartoons and TV shows aimed at younger children- some are dubbed in Cantonese, e.g. Shaun the Sheep, other 'imports' from CBeebies are kept in the original English (probably to help Hong Kong children immerse themselves in a foreign language!) You'll need a fast internet connection for this to work, at least 5Mbps which most people in the UK have access to. Also, the connection (lag) will be slow as we are accessing content all the way from Hong Kong - be prepared to wait maybe 10-20 seconds for a stream to load. If you are having trouble viewing, try to drop the resolution of the stream - default load is 360p but if you go lower than that, you'll have less buffering and slowdowns. Anyway let me know how you get along, I'd be happy to advise anyone technically how to do this. In the future I may write up a guide on how to get this content onto your TV screens for more comfortable viewing. Also please check out the review of TVB Anywhere, TVB's new officially licensed service for watching TVB internationally.
  9. Background I have created this post because there is almost no information online about the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Chinese school. The CCC have a website but not really any information in English online. In a sense it's has a very traditional setup - everything is handled in person or over the phone only on weekends, and it can be tricky to find up to date information or accounts of how the school works, fees, times, classes, etc. Details 19-20 Frith Street, London W1D 4RL Directly opposite Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, about 5 minutes walk from Leicester Square tube station and Chinatown Contact 020 7734 8135 Website http://www.cccuk.org.uk/ Timetable 2016-2017 Interior Enrolling We enrolled last minute in September 2016 as we were undecided as to whether to sign Benjamin (reception age child, 4 years old) up to Chinese school so we were trialling several other options. Registration at CCC actually happenend 3 months earlier in the summer in July, so we missed the boat there. Initially we intended to enrol him in the Beginner's Mandarin class however by September these were all full up. Then we decided to sign him up for the Beginner's Cantonese class instead as these had availability. The Beginner's Cantonese Saturday class was cancelled due to not enough students so instead we signed him up to the Sunday class instead which did have space. Teaching I'd describe the teaching style as 'traditional' Hong Kong style. The teacher doesn't seem to use games or actiities as part of the curriculum, and instead focuses on rote learning, repetition, the assigned book lessons. Each week a set of homework needs to be completed in the supplied green book, which is marked every week. Every week also features a test where the student is graded out of 100. Every now and then there is also an exam. Overall I'm extremely impressed with the class - it is quite strict (homework, test every week, big exam once a year) and doesn't seem to be any room for 'fun', but our son has taken to it and enjoys it and has made a lot of progress learning lots of characters, how to write them, etc. Link: List of all Chinese schools in London
  10. I think CCC is closed for the summer, the first time they will be contactable will be in first week of September I believe. I think the next level is called 'Class 2'. Also the Greenwich Chinese Schools and CCC rumours turned out to be false. See Greenwich statement here: http://www.gccsms.org.uk/important-announcement-rumours-stop-at-the-wise/
  11. TVB Anywhere UK Review Update 21/11/16 - NOT RECOMMENDED: Unfortunately the TVB Anywhere box has broken again for a 2nd time. The box gets stuck into a loop where the logo displays, and you can't get into any of the channels. Speaking to the UK branch (ChineseTV.co.uk) which is based in Wing Yip Business Centre, Croydon (+44 (0)20 3770 8828 info@chinesetv.co.uk) have been very unhelpful, and they won't supply another review unit. This type of TV box is only as good as the service that you receive. x2 breakages within 12 months and no customer service to replace means that I can't recommend this I'm afraid. TVB Anywhere is TVB’s officially licensed overseas digital setup box for watching Cantonese and Mandarin content through the internet. It’s one of the few ways to access Cantonese speaking video content outside of Hong Kong and China. This is the real deal – no danger of suddenly not working, disappearing or shutting down due to lawsuits (like the TVPad). This is officially launched and there are support numbers and warranties that can be called in via offices around the world (including UK and Europe). Despite offering a fairly complete package, it’s a shame that there’s very little information about the product online – whether it’s reviews from people who have used the product, or actual information on TVB Anywhere’s website. There’s no real English documentation of what the product offers which is why I’ve taken it on myself to writeup a quick review of the product for those who are interested. I’m primarily writing this as a person who wants to help his Cantonese-speaking in-laws to watch Cantonese content, and secondly as a parent who would like to expose their 4 year old son to more TV shows which are in Mandarin and Cantonese. I’m reviewing this using a 200Mbps internet connection in London. Review box was provided by TVB Anywhere. What comes in the TVB Anywhere box? The packaging includes: - TVB Anywhere box and power adapter - HDMI cable - Remote control - Video cables (composite and HDMI) - Instruction manual Installation Installation is pretty simple and is on par with setting up a device like an Apple TV. Simply plug in the adapter and then plug the HDMI into the back of your TV. Using the remote to change the language to English (via the TVB App settings) and use an Ethernet cable or go through wireless settings to setup network connection. I’d estimate you need at least 5Mbps connection to get decent quality and speed, so make sure you are located close enough to your router and that you have decent broadband. Impressions Video Below is a short 10 minutes of using TVB Anywhere - browsing the TVB Live channels, the settings, the 7-Day Catchup, the VOD (Video On Demand) services, see below: Channels There’s a very decent selection of channels: most exciting are the official live TVB channels – Jade, News and Junior which are the main Cantonese speaking Hong Kong channels. Others like Asian Action, Premium Lifestyle look very good too. You might see other familiar channels like Phoenix-Europe (which is a Freesat channel). And there are a few dozen other mainland Chinese channels which are mostly Mandarin speaking. 7-Day Catchup Since Hong Kong time zone is GMT +8 you’ll never really get the right experience watching the live TV channels. 7-Day Catchup allows you to watch specific shows and times from the last 7 days on select channels: Jade, Premium Drama, Junior, Premium Lifestyle and KBS World. Access to Junior is fantastic as there is a wide selection of Cantonese shows aimed at young toddlers and older kids. However it’s a bit disappointing that only 5 channels are available on catchup, whereas a device like the MoonBox has access to a whole lot more. Video On Demand (VOD) This looks very promising with currently 191 full series of shows (think of these as Chinese boxsets). These are put into helpful categories like Epic and Thriller. I’m no expert on which dramas are popular these days or are worth watching (I’ve leave that for the in-laws to determine), but it feels like there’s a large and wide selection of content. The Children section only contained 5 series at time of writing which feels quite disappointing, however I believe most parents will mostly use the 7-Day Catchup for the Junior channel which is plenty for most kids. What’s also nice is that many of the dramas feature Mandarin and Cantonese audio tracks, which can be switched using a button on the remote control if the track is available. Other Features Despite having an AppStore category, it’s not really an open box available to download additional apps or channels, it’s just used to open to TVB Settings menu. There’s also a Programme Guide which tells you about new content coming out in the future. There’s no advanced functionality here (for example the ability to schedule to watch a particular show). Pricing and Where To Buy Here’s the current breakdown for the first year - when you buy online, you’ll be paying for: Box (including shipping) + 2 Year Subscription £256 – an offer for new customers only After that period is over a 1 Year Subscription is £119 Ordering can be done from the TVB Anywhere website where shipments are fulfilled via PayPal. Alternatively, payments can be made over the phone and via credit card, cheque or bank transfer. I’ve been told that it’s possible to buy the Box + 2 Year Subscription in Wing Yip in Croydon, Manchester for £248. Subscription, Support and Future of TVB Anywhere The great thing about TVB Anywhere compared to other, illegal piracy options (e.g. TVPad, MoonBox) is that this is an officially licensed device. Once you buy the device (which comes with a year’s subscription), you won’t be in danger of having it be closed down during that period of time, and you’ll have support via phone and email from their offices in UK and Europe. There is also a standard 14 day returns policy. I made good use of the support – they are happy to take calls and questions, and when my box stopped working after a few days (it went completely unresponsive) the office were happy to send over a replacement straight away. I think that the TVB Anywhere box does a very good job of allowing overseas Chinese to watch Cantonese and Mandarin content online – it has the main Cantonese TVB channels, and a wide selection of dramas to choose from. The Junior channel is a godsend for immersing kids in child-friendly Cantonese programming that is readily available, entertaining and challenging. If anyone ends up buying their own TVB Anywhere box, I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the service, please comment below.
  12. I remember doing a demonstration of this many years ago on my old blog, it's still a fantastic tool: http://shinyhacks.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/pleco-ocr-review-chinese-real-time.html
  13. Andrew

    Bang Bang Oriental Food Hall

    This looks like the 'sequel' to Oriental City - a gigantic food hall, dim sum restaurant: http://www.bangbangoriental.com/ Address is NW9 0AS and grand opening is on 11th July 2017.
  14. Andrew

    Raising children in West ...

    It's a really hard decision to make. I think the UK is a fantastic place to raise a family and I'm biased as I've lived here all my life. In general, I find the 'Chinese' aspects of education very narrow-minded and competitive (think Tiger Mom). Many Chinese people come out not have as broad a range of skills as say a child coming out of the UK education system. However if you are in HK you may also have the option to go to British/International school route, which has more similarities with UK education system. Prospects for future regarding jobs and careers - it really depends. Many UK or HK educated children will find prospects in their home country, or abroad, there isn't really a limitation - if you reach good grades you can study anywhere. What pangster mentioned regarding prospects - houses, cars, jobs - these are being squeezed anyway by the way the global economy is working. I think most graduates even now are finding it nearly impossible to get on the housing ladder unless they are entering a very high earning career like law or accounting and earning over say £80k annually. I shudder to think what this'll be like in 15-20 years time, whether you are in the UK or in HK. Regarding safety and children walking around on their own to go to 7 Eleven/cornershop - this is probably similar in HK as in UK, these days people are more aware of dangers to children safety. However where I live in North London, I always see kids around 10 years old going out of their houses and going to the park without parental supervision, so it really depends on where you live. In short it's a very hard decision! Let us know how you end up making a decision.
  15. Andrew

    British Born Chinese in Hong Kong

    I don't know a great deal about HK but I imagine there are a very large number of British expats who live there, and the communities seem nice and welcoming. Are you sending your kids to a local nursery/school or going private for international nursery/school? Are you planning to come back within 2-3 years?
  16. Hi thanks for commenting - I really recommend that if you speak only Cantonese at home and can't speak Mandarin, you should send your child to a Cantonese class for the home language support. They won't progress as fast as other children if they don't get to practise the language at home too. Age range for the beginner class was around 4-8 years old - Reception to Year 3. All that really matters is whether they are able to speak basic Cantonese and in the first class, write things like 1, 2, 3, person, you, me, etc. I have recently heard a rumour that CCC might be stopping the beginner Cantonese class for 2017/18. This is similar to another rumour where I heard that Greenwich is also closing their beginner Cantonese class. In which case I might suggest trying to tutor to get your child into the next level Cantonese class (where my son will be going) just so that they are able to get in for the rest of the following years. I would suggest speaking to CCC to see what the situation is for next year.
  17. EDIT: This list is now being maintained in this directory: https://babylingualism.com/directory As far as I know there's no big list of Chinese schools in London, so I've taken it upon myself to compile a list with basic information listing things like times, languages, etc. I've done this because many Chinese school websites are very poor - for example, some schools teach 'Chinese' but don't clarify whether this means Mandarin or Cantonese, and many don't mention whether they teach traditional or simplified characters which can be a dealbreaker for most people. If you have any additional information to add, please comment below and I'll update this main post with it. Any information would be useful for example: - Updating any specific information in the list - Writing your impressions of the Chinese school Chinese Chamber of Commerce (CCC) http://www.cccuk.org.uk/ Languages: Mandarin and Cantonese Characters: Traditional characters Ages: Reception - A Level Times: Saturday and Sunday Location: Soho, Leicester Square Link to individual thread Chinese Independent School of Tower Hamlets http://www.cis-london.co.uk/ Languages: Mandarin and Cantonese Characters: Ages: Reception - A Level Times: Location: Tower Hamlets Dartford Chinese School http://dartfordchineseschool.co.uk/ Languages: Mandarin Characters: Simplified Ages: Times: Saturdays 10:00-12:00 Location: Dartford Ealing Chinese School http://www.ecms.org.uk/ Languages: Mandarin Characters: Simplified Ages: Times: Location: Acton Giggling Panda https://www.gigglingpanda.co.uk/ Languages: Mandarin Characters: Simplified Ages: Times: Saturday and Sunday Location: Wren Academy, Finchley Greenwich Chinese Community School and Mandarin School (GCCSMS) http://www.gccsms.org.uk/ Languages: Mandarin and Cantonese Characters: Mandarin - simplified, Cantonese - traditional Ages: to A2 Level Times: Mandarin (Sunday 1:45-4:30) Cantonese (Sundays 10:00-12:45) Location: Greenwich SE10 Hackney Chinese School http://www.hackneychineseschool.org/ Languages: Mandarin and Cantonese Characters: Ages: Times: Saturday 9:30-12:30 Location: Hoxton Haringey Chinese Centre http://www.haringeychinesecentre.org.uk/chinese-school- Languages: Mandarin Characters: Ages: 5-16 Times: Saturday 10:30-12:30 Location: Turnpike Lane Harrow Chinese School http://harrowchineseschool.wixsite.com/harrowchineseschool Languages: Cantonese Characters: Traditional Ages: 5 - GCSE (and A Level if enough students) Times: Saturday and Sunday Location: Harrow Hounslow Chinese School http://www.hounslowchineseschool.org.uk/ Languages: Cantonese (Mandarin for Adults only) Characters: Ages: to A2 Level Times: Saturday 10:30-12:30 Location: Hounslow Hua Hsia Chinese School http://huahsia-chinese.co.uk/ Languages: Mandarin Characters: Ages: Times: Saturday and Sunday Location: Hampstead and Southgate Link Chinese Academy http://www.linkchinese.co.uk/ Languages: Mandarin Characters: Simplified characters Ages: to GCSE Times: Everyday Location: Many locations including Hammersmith, Islington, Kingston, Greenwich, Wandsworth Notes: Summer program Linxian Chinese School http://www.lamyinchinese.org.uk/ Languages: Mandarin and Cantonese Characters: Ages: Times: Saturday 9:00-11:00, Monday and Wednesday 4:00-6:00 Location: Islington and Charing Cross London Mandarin School http://london-mandarin-school.org/ Languages: Mandarin Characters: Simplified Ages: to A Level Times: Location: Hackney London Overseas Chinese School https://www.facebook.com/LondonOverseasChineseSchool/ Languages: Mandarin Characters: Traditional and simplified characters Ages: Times: Location: Colindale London Pei Ying Chinese School http://www.peiying.org/ Languages: Mandarin Characters: Simplified Ages: 5+ Times: Saturday 1:30-3:45 Location: Oakwood Minghui Academy http://minghuiacademy.org/en/home/ Languages: Characters: Ages: Times: Location: Alexandra Park School Ming Tak Chinese School http://mingtak.webs.com/ Languages: Mandarin and Cantonese Characters: Ages: 4-A Level Times: Saturday 10:40-12:50 Location: Sutton Panda Mandarin http://pandamandarin.co.uk/ Languages: Mandarin Characters: Simplified characters Ages: Times: Saturday and Wednesday Location: Archway Real Chinese Academy http://realchineseacademy.co.uk/ Languages: Mandarin Characters: Simplified characters Ages: 4 - A Level Times: Location: Bromley, Kent Q.H. Chinese-English Language & Cultural Exchange Centre in London http://www.qhlanguageexchange.com/chinese-for-young-children Languages: Mandarin Characters: Ages: Times: Saturday 9:00-11:00 Location: Hammersmith QingHua Chinese School http://www.qinghuaschool.org.uk/ Languages: Mandarin and Cantonese Characters: Ages: Times and Locations: Saturday morning 9:30-11:30 Harrow Saturday afternoon 2:15-4:15 Acton Yu Hua Chinese School http://www.yuhuachineseschool.org.uk/ Languages: Characters: Ages: 3 - A2 Level Times: Saturday mornings Locations: http://www.yuhuachineseschool.org.uk/new-enrolment.html Camden Chinese Community Centre Kentish Town Community Centre Crossway Centre (Richmond) Lauriston Primary School, E9 Watford Chinese Community School http://www.watfordchineseschool.co.uk/ Languages: Characters: Ages: Times: Location: Watford WenLin Chinese School http://wenlinchineseschool.org.uk Languages: Mandarin Characters: Ages: Days: Saturday Location: Balham
  18. Hey Andrew nice to see you here :). I think it's aimed at kids who have a basic knowledge of Cantonese and who have good language support at home. Also you'll need to be able to complete the homework/tests every week - see the photos of the homework I posted.
  19. Hi thanks for posting these, I'm currently away and will be back Wednesday, I'll give these a go at downloading. The ISO files are encoded as DVD player videos - are your source videos there too? Anyway will try on Wednesday, I have a 200mbps download speed.
  20. Hey let me know if you can post up any of these :)
  21. Andrew

    Cantonese Children's DVDs for sale

    Nice job I didn't think you'd be able to sell them all here as I didn't think we had enough traffic - but good to be proven wrong!
  22. I would definitely say that it's best to supplement any learning written material with practise speaking at home. If you can speak Cantonese/Mandarin (even basics) then you should speak to your child as much as possible in that languge. I only started with Benjamin in Mandarin after 3 years old and now he speaks to me in Mandarin full-time. Location is pretty good to be honest - if you are able to travel to Chinatown/Soho/Leicester Square (it's about 40mins door to door from us) then it's convenient. The other alternatives are often held in schools or out of the way places. In Chinatown you can wait in a nearby cafe, or like me you can get some Chinese grocery shopping done or you could even have dim sum! Mostly I've been impressed with the way that our son Benjamin (4 years old when he started the class) has coped with the language learning. He likes learning the words, speaking them, getting good marks etc. however this is highly dependent on our support - we spend lots of time helping with his homework, giving him mini-tests, speaking to him to reinforce the words. I'd love to recommend CCC for other parents but I think it's highly dependent on the home languge support, and also the learning style for the child as well. I can see that if Benjamin found it too 'hard' or 'boring' it would make it much harder to continue as the teaching doesn't have much flexibility in adapting to different learning styles or to stragglers.
  23. Teaching materials for Beginner's Cantonese (this is typically for intake from Reception/Year 1) The first year we used the first and second edition of this book. It contains a word follows by an image explaining the word, see cat: Homework Two types of exercise books are provided - green and yellow. The green book is for homework. The yellow book is for tests. Homework consists of two pages of repetition of the specific words. Also included is a photocopied sheet for practise which the teacher doesn't mark. Test Every lesson ends with a test. The first week we didn't realise this was happening so we didn't prepare our Benjamin for the test properly so he didn't score very high! Subsequent tests have been better prepared for.

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