Just recently, a Guangdong TV station’s Cantonese news channel was ordered to switch to Mandarin. But in Shanghai, a growing number of people are trying to learn to speak Cantonese.
Cantonese is becoming so popular in the mainland financial hub that Justin Lao from Hong Kong quit his job as an investment analyst and opened a Cantonese learning center in the city, Apple Daily reported Monday. There are 120 million people who speak Cantonese, which is the 21st most spoken first language in the world, according to kugedu.org.
“I had a part-time job teaching Cantonese when I was working in Shanghai. That’s when I discovered that many people were interested in Cantonese,” Lao said.
His learning center, K.U.G. Education & Technology, offers online and offline lessons for those interested in learning Cantonese. Fees range from 1,380 yuan (US$222.42) to 7,800 yuan for 10 sessions.
The center has enrolled more than 300 students since it opened for business in June last year. Students include company owners, employees of multinational and Hong Kong-owned companies, those who want to pursue their studies or careers in Hong Kong, and people who simply want to learn the language, the report said.
“After taking half of the course, I could now understand half of the conversations in TVB’s talk show program Be My Guest,” said Ms. Yu, a senior management officer for a luxury brand who will soon be working in Hong Kong for three years.
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