• Save Cantonese 守護粵語

    Uniting to promote cultural, linguistic and intellectual diversity


    🍊Celebrating Cantonese language & culture

    🌱Grassroots advocacy for local language programs

    📣 Campaigns: Stanford University, City College of San Francisco, K-12

  • Latest Campaign Updates

  • In the News 媒體

    Media reports about the Save Cantonese campaign, part of a global Cantonese movement

  • 2022

    November 2, 2022 / DW News

    Although Cantonese is spoken by 80 million Chinese around the world, its influence is waning due to pressure from Beijing to favor Mandarin as the official language in China. But the decline has stirred some people to try to preserve the language, for example, in the US. (Read more)

    October 12, 2022 / The New Statesman

    Fewer than five civil servants working in the UK's Foreign Office have been taught to speak Cantonese by the department since 2017, despite the ongoing crisis in Hong Kong.No employee has been taught to speak Cantonese to a C2 level, the highest level of proficiency. (Read more)

    October 22, 2022 / South China Morning Post

    Readers discuss the importance of keeping Cantonese culture alive (Read more)

    October 11, 2022 / Reprinted in The Star (Malaysia)

    From the United States to Britain and beyond, there’s worry among native and second-generation Cantonese speakers about preserving the language, spoken by some 85 million people worldwide. They fear their children can’t communicate with elderly relatives. Or worse, the Cantonese language and culture won’t survive another generation. (Read more)

    October 6, 2022 / Radio Free Asia

    Douyin, China's most popular social platform, recently banned live-streamers from using Cantonese to live stream, causing dissatisfaction. Commentators say the move is linked to an ongoing crackdown on dissent and traditional freedoms in Hong Kong. (Read more)

    October 5, 2022 / South China Morning Post

    Several Cantonese-speaking influencers say their live-streaming sessions on Douyin were suspended after the platform failed to recognise the language (Read more)

    October 4, 2022 / Reprinted in Voice of America

    For years, learning to speak Cantonese was not that hard in San Francisco. It is a place where Cantonese speakers from South China have migrated for over 150 years. But now, there is fear that the Cantonese language and culture might not survive current political and social changes. (Read more)

    September 26, 2022 / The Associated Press

    Cantonese speakers have lived in San Francisco for over 150 years, but today there’s fear that "political and social upheaval are diminishing a language that is a cultural touchstone." American and British schools that offer Chinese simply teach Mandarin, leaving many families with Cantonese roots "struggling to find ways to pass on their heritage." (Read more)

    September 25, 2022 / The Stanford Daily

    Despite growing up with Cantonese, I remember being told repeatedly that it wasn’t worth learning. Here is our opportunity to unlearn that shame, to show that just like every person has a place at Stanford, so does every language, and on equal terms. (Read more)

    April 17, 2022 / The Los Angeles Times

    In late 2020, Laura Ng was stunned to hear that Stanford, citing COVID-related budget problems, was laying off its longtime Cantonese teacher, Sik Lee Dennig. As efforts began to save Cantonese at Stanford, the language remained under threat worldwide. It is being swamped by Mandarin, the official language of more than 1 billion people in China and Taiwan — as different from Cantonese as Spanish is from French. By Anh Do (Read more)

    March 7, 2022 / The Patch

    Cantonese is a popular language in San Francisco, yet the classes at City College of San Francisco have been in danger of elimination. By Eric He (Read more)

    February 20, 2022 / VOA Cantonese

    一名原籍香港的商人最近仗義捐助美國史丹福大學使該校的粵語課程暫時免受停辦威脅的義舉,再次在美國燃點了關注保存粵語的希望。負責推動該校保留粵語課程的民間組織Save Cantonese表示,在美國推動普及廣東話,從來不是粵普之爭, 也與美中關係無關;而是要彰顯美國多元文化精神,尊重廣東話在美國二百多年歷史中佔有重要平等一席。(Read more)

    February 16, 2022 / The Stanford Daily

    The Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences has received a $1 million commitment to support the Stanford Cantonese language program. The donation comes after more than a year of student and alumni activism to ensure the program’s longevity after Stanford axed the Cantonese program’s only lectureship in December 2020 due to budget cuts. (Read more)

    February 6, 2022 / SaveCantonese.org

    The volunteers of Team Cantonese respond to the amazing gesture supporting Cantonese language education, and explain why we continue to be motivated in this campaign. We hope this gift precipitates further action from the community to ensure that Cantonese survives and thrives for years to come. (Read more)

    February 5, 2022 / Palo Alto Online

    The future of Cantonese language classes at Stanford University "has been in turmoil since December 2020, when the university cut the only lecturer position for the program." This propelled a group of students, alumni and community members to band together, and now the "group's goal of endowing a permanent, full-time lectureship at the university was recently boosted with a $1 million gift from S.J. Distributors Inc. "(Read more)

    February 2, 2022 / Inside Higher Ed

    A grassroots campaign to restore Cantonese offerings at Stanford University announces a $1 million gift to support classes in the language in perpetuity. By Elizabeth Redden (Read more)

    January 28, 2022 / Patch

    The donation ensures that Cantonese classes, which were on the chopping block in 2020, will be offered indefinitely at Stanford. By Eric He (Read more)

    SaveCantonese is pleased to announce that S.J. Distributors has made a $1,000,000 commitment to endow Cantonese language classes at Stanford University. The global food company was founded by Cantonese speakers. Their gift supports Cantonese language education at a leading institution. (Read more)

    January 1, 2022 / South China Morning Post

    In cities home to large overseas Chinese communities, Cantonese should be integrated into the very infrastructure to make vital public services more accessible, writes Luisa Tam. (Read more)

  • 2021

    September 30, 2021 / Times Higher Education

    In the third decade of the so-called Asian century, European and North American universities and governments continue to neglect the world’s most populous continent. As Asia grows ever more powerful, this must change, scholars tell Joyce Lau.

    September 5, 2021 / The Stanford Daily
    Defunding diverse language classes is a mistake for a 21st century institution. Learning new languages empowers people to access other cultures, communicate with strangers, participate in business and foreign policy, and even connect to their own family history. Instead of falsely portraying multilingual Americans as unpatriotic, we should consider them an asset who help the nation to engage with the world, communicate liberal democratic ideals to a broader international audience, and assist new immigrants in better integrating here at home.​
    August 20, 2021 / KTVU FOX 2

    City College in San Francisco and Stanford University are two of only 20 colleges in the nation that provide Cantonese classes, according to the Cantonese Language Association at Brigham Young University. Those classes were almost canceled this fall and their future on the campuses is uncertain, despite the mobilization of students and alumni. (Read more)

    August 13, 2021 / Patch

    Stanford didn't renew the contract of its only Cantonese lecturer, so students and alumni started a movement to preserve the language there. (Read more)

    August 2, 2021 / #Legend

    In spite of the perception that Cantonese is fading, there are popular movements, academic programs and a flowering of media, leading to a "resurgence of awareness and interest in learning the language among the Cantonese diasporas around the world, thanks to new Internet resources like Cantonese YouTubers and digital materials.” (Read more)

    May 20, 2021 / The Stanford Daily

    The newly-elected ASSU raised the joint resolution at a meeting of the Faculty Senate by reading a statement from Save Cantonese. (Read more)

    April 28, 2021 / The Stanford Daily

    The Graduate Student Council (GSC) unanimously passed a resolution urging Stanford to fully restore its Cantonese language program and enable the program’s courses to fulfill the University’s language requirement at its Wednesday meeting. (Read more)

    April 26, 2021 / The Stanford Daily

    The Undergraduate Senate passed a resolution to restore Stanford’s Cantonese Language Program and enable its courses to fulfill the University Language Requirement during Monday’s meeting. The undergraduate students have spoken, and the resolution moves to the Graduate Student Council Next. Will the University administration respond? (Read more)

    April 12, 2021 / The Stanford Daily

    Advocates are calling for a new blueprint, the Cantonese Studies Initiative, to protect the Cantonese language program from future financial strain and permanently tie Cantonese to Stanford’s teaching mission. The initiative also aims to financially support faculty and graduate student research that intersects with Cantonese studies. (Read more)

    April 6, 2021 / Asia Times

    Cantonese at Stanford is truly at a crossroads, and this is a moment not only to show support for the continuation of its teaching at the university but also to reflect on the importance of Cantonese and why it deserves to be taught as an independent subject at Western universities. (Read more)

    March 28, 2021 / AsAmNews

    AsAmNews, which specializes in coverage of Asian American issues, interviews several Save Cantonese coalition members about why Cantonese is worth saving, and juxtaposes their comments with a University spokesperson's comments on budget cuts. (Read more)

    February 26, 2021 / South China Morning Post
    Save Cantonese team members suggest that cutting Cantonese courses "damages the university’s global reputation and undermines its self-professed commitment to diversity." They argue for a future "where multilingual citizens of the world can converse freely and openly in a multitude of languages, including their mother tongues" and suggest that "as the most widely-spoken Sinitic language other than Mandarin, Cantonese offers a more pluralistic understanding of China." (Read more)
    February 8, 2021 / The Stanford Daily

    Stanford's termination of its only Cantonese instructor reinforces a mistaken and politically-charged belief in Mandarin as a "core" language and other Chinese languages as "dialects," at the expense of flattening and silencing diverse beliefs and experiences. (Read more)

    January 31, 2021 / Ming Pao

    The cancellation of the Cantonese language program and the firing of Sik Lee Dennig represent Stanford's devaluation of Cantonese language, culture, and historic contributions. Although Cantonese does not seem in danger of disappearing, if there is not continued support of language learning, the language and the culture along with it can easily vanish. (Read more)

    January 21, 2021 / The Stanford Daily

    Huang argues for the cultural and historical importance of preserving Cantonese in the face of "monolinguistic, nationalistic language ideology." (Read more)

    January 20, 2021 / KTSF

    The Bay Area's KTSF 26 Chinese TV station reports on Stanford's refusal to renew Dr. Sik Lee Dennig's contract and students' efforts to save the Cantonese language program. Originally broadcast on television. (Read more and watch the video)

    January 19, 2021 / Inside Higher Ed

    More than 3200 have signed a petition asking for Stanford to maintain and invest in its Cantonese language program as part of its commitment to diversity and its historical debt to Cantonese-speaking people. (Read more)

    January 11, 2021 / The Stanford Daily

    Stanford students and alumni, as well as other academics, express disappointment at Stanford's decision to cut the Cantonese program from a full-time position to a lectureship. (Read more)

  • 2020

    December 30, 2020 / The College Post

    Students voice disappointment at the cancellation of the Cantonese language program at Stanford. (Read more)

    December 30, 2020 / Next Shark

    After the firing of Sik Lee Dennig, the only Cantonese instructor at Stanford, a petition has been created calling the move inconsistent with its aims of diveristy and inclusion, and for Stanford university to save its Cantonese program. (Read more)

    December 1, 2020 / The Stanford Daily

    The Stanford Daily reports on cuts to the Cantonese program at Stanford, due to budgetary shortfalls, suggesting this is tantamount to the erasure of Cantonese contributions to the building of Stanford. (Read more)

    December 1, 2020 / The Stanford Daily

    The Stanford Daily reports on cuts to the Cantonese program at Stanford, due to budgetary shortfalls, suggesting this is tantamount to the erasure of Cantonese contributions to the building of Stanford. (Read more)

    December 1, 2020 / The Stanford Daily

    The Stanford Daily reports on cuts to the Cantonese program at Stanford, due to budgetary shortfalls, suggesting this is tantamount to the erasure of Cantonese contributions to the building of Stanford. (Read more)