• About Save Cantonese

    Mission and Vision Statement

    Save Cantonese is an international movement that sustains and celebrates Cantonese language and culture. Through grassroots advocacy, we protect and promote local language programs, while strengthening connections across the global Cantonese diaspora. We ensure that present and future generations benefit from a vibrant, thriving Cantonese-speaking and learning community.

     

    Strategic Aims

    1. Protect and strengthen educational and research infrastructure for Cantonese as a language.

     

    2. Affirm the value of Cantonese culture and identity in societies around the world.

     

    3. Build a movement of Cantonese diasporic and language-learning communities to take collective action.

     

     

    (粵)

    使命同願景聲明

     

    Save Cantonese 係一項國際性嘅運動,旨在傳承同頌揚粵語同廣東文化。我哋透過基層宣傳,保護同宣傳本地語言活動,同時加強同散居全球嘅粵語僑民聯繫。我哋確保從今以後每一代都能受惠於充滿活力、蓬勃發展嘅粵語同學習社區。

     

    策略目標

    1. 保護同加強粵語作為一種語言嘅教育同研究基礎結構。

    2. 肯定粵語文化同身份喺世界各地嘅社會價值。

    3. 建立粵語僑民同語言學習社區嘅運動,以採取集體行動。


     

    (華)

    使命和願景聲明

     

    Save Cantonese 是一項國際性的運動,旨在傳承和頌揚粵語和廣東文化。 我們透過基層宣傳,保護和推廣本地語言活動,同時加強與散居全球的粵語僑民聯繫。 我們確保從今以後每一代都能受惠於充滿活力、蓬勃發展的粵語和學習社區。

     

    策略目標

    1. 保護和加強粵語作為一種語言的教育和研究基礎結構。

    2. 肯定粵語文化和身份在世界各地的社會價值。

    3. 建立粵語僑民和語言學習社區的運動,以採取集體行動。

    FAQs

     

    What do we believe?
    We believe Cantonese is part of a vibrant and diverse society. With an estimated 80 million speakers today, it is a living language with an ancient history. Speaking Cantonese empowers individuals to access their heritage and culture. It also allows contemporary scholars to understand past and present, and empowers communities worldwide to communicate and thrive. We seek a future where where many linguistic traditions coexist, and Cantonese is part of our multilingual planet.

     

    How did our movement start and how has it grown?
    Save Cantonese was launched in 2020 in response to budget cuts that eliminated funding for the only salaried, benefits-eligible Cantonese lecturer position at Stanford University. Students, alumni, and concerned community members mobilized to Save Cantonese at Stanford: Our initial petition drew thousands of supporters and global media attention. (Read our one-page flyer on our efforts to Save Cantonese at Stanford)

     

    In 2021, our movement expanded to include the campaign at City College of San Francisco (CCSF), aiming to restore Cantonese language classes after budget cuts at CCSF nearly eliminated the program. In 2022, we began campaigns with the San Francisco Unified School District to support bilingual Cantonese-English teachers, which has blossomed into a broader K-12 campaign.
     
    What are some outcomes of these campaigns?
    With the campaign underway, Stanford University agreed to restore two Cantonese courses to be taught by a part-time hourly instructor. We then facilitated a major gift that allowed the University to endow a permanent full-time Cantonese lectureship for future generations of students. Recently, we were thrilled to learn that a new three-quarter Cantonese reading/writing sequence will fulfill the university's language requirement, a victory for students of Cantonese on campus.

     

    After student-led protests against cuts to class offerings at CCSF, two Cantonese courses were offered in Fall 2021, but only one was offered in Spring 2022. We are continuing efforts to include Cantonese classes in a certificate program that makes it eligible for funding and other administrative changes to prioritize Cantonese classes. We want future students to benefit from a strong and sustainable Cantonese language program at CCSF.

     

    We are also focused on developing and strengthening teaching infrastructure for Cantonese language education. Structural changes ensure that Cantonese classes are not diminished or disappeared, and instead can continue to be offered for future generations.

     

    How do I receive updates or get involved?
    Our campaign has grown from an effort at one university, to one connecting people who care about a future for Cantonese at multiple institutions. We have an expanding corps of volunteers, spanning many time zones across the United States, Hong Kong, Great Britain and Singapore. Updates from Stanford University, CCSF and K-12 Education are posted in “Our Campaigns." Please check out our Canto Culture initiative highlighting music, film and pop culture in the Cantonese-speaking world. To get involved as a supporter, volunteer or donor, click here.

     

    Do you offer Cantonese language classes?

    We are not Cantonese language instructors, so our focus is on advocating for language programs, rather than offering instructors ourselves. However, we are plugged into an expert network of language instructors and resources. Please see the Language Resources to Learn Cantonese section of the website for more information on language-learning opportunities.

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