Error Analysis of Cantonese Speakers in Learning Modern Standard Chinese Lexical System: A Hong Kong Case Study

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This paper discusses about the error types of Cantonese learners in learning Modern Standard Chinese (MSC) lexical terms in Hong Kong.

In China, Chinese is taught in Putonghua and the written text is in Modern Standard Chinese. The spoken language and the written text is almost the same. In Hong Kong, although we share the same text, MSC, Chinese is taught in Cantonese. Due to the geographical, cultural and political difference from China, there are some lexical difference in Putonghua and Cantonese. From inference, there are also some lexical difference Cantonese and Modern Standard Chinese. This explain whey errors occurred when Cantonese speaker learning Modern Standard Chinese.

According to our teaching experience, we find that written errors occurred in published textbook, newspapers and spoken errors occurred in teachers’ Putonghua classroom language due to Cantonese interference. We try to analyze and categorize those errors and hope to benefit our Modern Standard Chinese teaching in the future.


Keywords: Chinese Teaching, Putonghua Teaching
Stream: Adult, Vocational, Tertiary and Professional Learning
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Wai Lau

Language Instructor, Centre of Language in Education, Hong Kong Institute of Education
Hong Kong, China

I'm a Putonghua Instructor of Centre of Language in Education in Hong Kong Institute of Education. I'm interested in Methodology of Putonghua or Chinese teaching and lexical difference between Putonghua and Cantonese.

Shuet Keung

Language Instructor, Centre of Language in Education, Hong Kong Institute of Education
Hong Kong, China

I'm a Putonghua Instructor of Centre of Language in Education of Hong Kong Institute of Education. My research interest is Methodology of Putonghua teaching, Phonological difference between Putonghua and Cantonese and Lexical difference between Putonghua and Cantonese.

Ref: L09P0523