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Mandarin v Cantonese for your kids? Sassy Mama Chinese language expert Kate Zhou answers your questions!

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Local Hong Kong children are learning what they call ‘two literature, three languages’ at local schools. In other words – Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Just by sheer number of people who speak Cantonese or Mandarin globally, if I have to make a choice, I think I’d choose Mandarin.

That said, what is your goal? If it is to live in Hong Kong and become fully integrated, it makes sense to speak the local dialect. Your kids would certainly have a lot more opportunity to practice and hear Cantonese on a daily basis.

But if your long-term goal is the ability to work in, or with, China, Mandarin will be essential. And since more people in Hong Kong are learning Mandarin too, perhaps that wouldn’t be such a bad – or biased – choice!

If you have any questions on Chinese learning for children, feel free to leave your comments for Kate below the line.

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